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I met a guy in Tortola last week who had sailed from London. He wanted to get his boat home and was going to pay 10,000 to get it shipped.
He surprised me a bit by explaining that he figured it would cost almost as much to sail it back.

I don't remember all the details but he was figuring on launching from Bermuda then the Azores then home.
If I remember correctly he was figuring on a couple k in broken stuff. A couple K lost in Bermuda provisioning, entry fees, dockage while waiting for a weather window.
Maybe 1k in fuel as their are a couple places you have to motor.
Some extra expenses in the Azores.

All together I believe he said he had to figure on about 8k to sail the boat home.

I never really thought about how much it costs to just sail today if this is true.
 

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You can't just pick figures out of the air for something like this.
A fast boat with one person aboard will need far fewer provisions than a slower boat with 6 aboard. Same for fuel; the lighter boat with a good compliment of sails will use far less fuel than a heavy boat with just working sails. Doing a TransAt and stopping in Bermuda is going to be very expensive, that is a fact (fuel last time I was there was more than us$8.00 per gallon); the same voyage to UK/Ireland can be accomplished nonstop, obviously for much less money. I've personally never had $2000.00 in broken gear on any crossing, pleasure or professional, at least one that did not include a hurricane or cyclone.
Of course, the style to which one has become accustomed, also has a great deal to do with costs. My Johnny Black isn't cheap, even in St. Martin, but if you can get by with Red, well that'll save you quite a few bob.
On our boat (a 50' ketch), very roughly, I would put a basic TransAt crossing at about us3.5k on the luxury side and closer to us$1800.00 in reality. My route would probably be St. Martin to UK direct, but that would depend on El Nino/Nina, etc. Obviously, I wouldn't stop in Bermuda unless absolutely necessary.
However, if I were to estimate a delivery of that nature, my fees alone would run closer to 10g's than 5, so if he was considering having the boat delivered back, he's probably correct that shipping it at 10g's, would be both cost and wear and tear wise, the expedient thing to do.
 

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I met a guy in Tortola last week who had sailed from London. He wanted to get his boat home and was going to pay 10,000 to get it shipped.
He surprised me a bit by explaining that he figured it would cost almost as much to sail it back.

I don't remember all the details but he was figuring on launching from Bermuda then the Azores then home.
If I remember correctly he was figuring on a couple k in broken stuff. A couple K lost in Bermuda provisioning, entry fees, dockage while waiting for a weather window.
Maybe 1k in fuel as their are a couple places you have to motor.
Some extra expenses in the Azores.

All together I believe he said he had to figure on about 8k to sail the boat home.

I never really thought about how much it costs to just sail today if this is true.
From Tortola to London via Bermuda is about 3900 miles. Assuming the average mid-level yacht one should be able to comfortably manage 150 miles a day, giving one roughly 26 sailing days. Assuming weather delays of roughly 20% of the passage time, sailing straight through would take roughly 33-35 days. Assuming a crew of 3, rations might cost something on the order of $50.00 per day or about $1750.00. Assume one uses 100 gallons of fuel, one would be looking at something on the order of $500.00 more on that count. Assuming $1200.00 for the stop and layover in Bermuda for a few days, one's looking at, roughly, $3450 all up. For the sake of the exercise, call it $5,000 and a heck of a learning experience.

FWIW...
 

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He might also be including possible lost wages in his sail-her-home expense column. That, plus the potential of breakage/wear & tear on the boat, and it makes the $10k figure, and shipping, more sensible.
 

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Who is to say that there will be no damage done if you get the boat shipped? I can't imagine $2000 in damage in the transit. Also the cost of stopping in Bermuda can range from the entry fee (it was something like $15/person last time I was there - will be going back next year so will see) to whatever you want to spend. Anchoring is free and it is a lovely place to stop and visit, even if all you do is ride the buses and visit the odd beach.
 

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I met a guy in Tortola last week who had sailed from London. He wanted to get his boat home and was going to pay 10,000 to get it shipped.
He surprised me a bit by explaining that he figured it would cost almost as much to sail it back.

I don't remember all the details but he was figuring on launching from Bermuda then the Azores then home.
If I remember correctly he was figuring on a couple k in broken stuff. A couple K lost in Bermuda provisioning, entry fees, dockage while waiting for a weather window.
Maybe 1k in fuel as their are a couple places you have to motor.
Some extra expenses in the Azores.

All together I believe he said he had to figure on about 8k to sail the boat home.

I never really thought about how much it costs to just sail today if this is true.
What kind of boat are we talking about? Sounds to me he's either overestimating the cost of sailing home, or underestimating the cost of shipping...

$1K in fuel ??? A couple of thousand in Bermuda ??? Seriously?

Clearly, not a member of the Voyaging on $500/Month Club... Nor, not even the $3K/Month Club, for that matter... :)

Jim Carrier weighs the respective costs of shipping his 35-footer transatlantic:

http://www.cruisingworld.com/how-to/seamanship/how-to-cross-an-ocean-bringing-ranger-home
 

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How do you price "wear and tear"?

Consider this: Tortola to London is roughly 3100 nm as the crow flies, so figure it's 3500-3800 nm under the keel -- 3650 nm for this analysis. Averaging 5.5 knots that's 664 hours underway or 27 days sailing round the clock. Ask yourself how many hours (underway) you put on your boat in a normal summer sailing season. My guess is that most people won't do more than 30 days of sailing in a season and most of that will be day sailing of 6-10 hrs / day, if that. The 664 hours is therefore the equivalent of between 2-4 years of summer sailing. So, what's that cost in terms of replacing gear, maintenance, wear and tear?

I once sailed from Costa Rica to Hawaii in 31 days -- more miles but just a bit longer in sailing days than the Tortola - London trip. In the course of that little amble through the Latin American windshadow and the trades (very gentle sailing) we broke:

- the Aries windvane (slipped a gear, the paddle went 90 deg to slip stream and bent to the point where it was unusable)
- the autopilot (decided to become a Republican and would only turn right) :D
- the main compass (sprung a leak)
- the laptop (hard drive had a hard crash)
- blew out the drifter (on one of the few really windy days we had)
- chaffed through a couple of 60 ft. lengths of yacht braid

Many of these problems were probably caused by running the gear 24/7 for weeks on end. To fix it all once we got to Hawaii, the tab came to around $9,000. In addition, the main and jib were exposed to 30 continuous days in the tropical UV, so I ended up having to spend >$2000 replacing the sacrificial furler covers and burned up stitching. We burned 230 gallons of diesel and ate 270 meals. Loss of the computer meant we lost weather fax capability and I ended up spending $300 for forecasts via satphone, with airtime running another $400 or so. My guess is that with all those miles we probably burnished off at least $300-400 in ablative bottom paint.

It's true that all these costs would have presented themselves at some point in the future. A very long passage just accelerates their impact on the wallet.

Bottom line: Ocean sailing ain't cheap, and sometimes it may make financial sense to write a big check and say, "F**k, it...truck it."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How do you price "wear and tear"?

Ocean sailing ain't cheap, and sometimes it may make financial sense to write a big check and say, "F**k, it...truck it."
Once you have done something even if only once the true costs are more exposed.

This "free" trip to the BVI a couple of weeks ago for example. The captain invited my wife and I to visit him on his boat for 10 days.

I figured that since the boat and the captain was free it would be a cheap vacation. Not so much. Travel, lunch and dinner out for three people every night, dockage or mooring at least every other night, bar bill, bar bill, bar bill, presents, gear.
I haven't added it all up but I'm figuring it cost 3k for my free vacation.
Even a bare boat would have added another 6 so I guess I got off cheap.
 

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How do you price "wear and tear"?
In the course of that little amble through the Latin American windshadow and the trades (very gentle sailing) we broke:

- the Aries windvane (slipped a gear, the paddle went 90 deg to slip stream and bent to the point where it was unusable)
- the autopilot (decided to become a Republican and would only turn right) :D
- the main compass (sprung a leak)
- the laptop (hard drive had a hard crash)
- blew out the drifter (on one of the few really windy days we had)
- chaffed through a couple of 60 ft. lengths of yacht braid

Many of these problems were probably caused by running the gear 24/7 for weeks on end.
That is an absolutely astounding amount of "wear and tear" for that crossing, or any other, IMO.
"chaffed through a couple of 60 ft. lengths of yacht braid" nobody noticed the chaffing? Chafe gear unavailable?
Laptops (computers) crash all the time; was this unexpected in a marine environment?
Were the weather reports worth "spending $300 for forecasts via satphone, with airtime running another $400 or so" on a crossing you couldn't possibly have avoided any weather on? Not that it helped you with the drifter, either?
Autopilots break quite often; that's just normal breakage; it would have happened anyway.
I did several 30 day, 20 day and shorter sails of 24/7, (5 years of cruising) on a vessel that subsequently encountered a 100+ knot cyclone in the SoPac and those sails didn't have enough degradation to come apart, even when I really wanted them to.
Sounds like the voyage from hell on what should have been a cake walk.
But even delivering totally whipped bareboats (at the end of their 5 year term of service) back to the States from the Caribbean, I've never had that much go wrong. I'm glad I missed that one.
 
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$10k Shipping Tortola to London?

Ho ho its Christmas! I would have thought it would be quite a bit higher? Icl cradle.

Anyone know?

(Btw ya gotta factor in airfares to get home too!)
 
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