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Cost of ownership

Old 08-19-2020, 02:04 PM
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Default Cost of ownership

I'm considering going big. Really big. Like 40+ What am I looking at in terms of expenses?

1) Docking? - What's the difference between owning and renting?
2) Fees (amenities)?
3) Fuel ?
4) Maintenance - Engine service and cleaning?
5) Other costs?

What would be a good bottom line estimate per year. I need to sell the wife on the idea. We usually go on 2 or more cruises per year with the kids which amounts to over $12k a year. With covid and all that I'm not sure if we want to keep up the tradition and want to look at other options.
Old 08-19-2020, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by drumsfield View Post
I'm considering going big. Really big. Like 40+ What am I looking at in terms of expenses?

1) Docking? - What's the difference between owning and renting?
2) Fees (amenities)?
3) Fuel ?
4) Maintenance - Engine service and cleaning?
5) Other costs?

What would be a good bottom line estimate per year. I need to sell the wife on the idea. We usually go on 2 or more cruises per year with the kids which amounts to over $12k a year. With covid and all that I'm not sure if we want to keep up the tradition and want to look at other options.
Triple, Quadruple or Quintuple your cruise budget and you’ll be in the ballpark.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:22 PM
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Between slip rental and fuel I bet you would be at or above $12k. Buying a slip on the coast around here can easily be $200k+.
My annual cost for a 25' for the items you list is probably $6-7k and I don't run long distances.

You can afford to take a few good charters where you don't have to do any work and get out significantly cheaper.

Don't forget to add Insurance to that list, hurricane dry dock and pull out fee (if applicable).
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:22 PM
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Insurance can be a big one. Do you plan on trailering said 40' boat? If so transport costs can add up. Someone better suited to answer this question will be along shortly but based off of my experience with 30' +or- boats, I agree with Mike. My guess is $50k+.

This is not even factoring in the eventual cost of replacing motors, electronics ect.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by lurker25 View Post
Insurance can be a big one. Do you plan on trailering said 40' boat? If so transport costs can add up. Someone better suited to answer this question will be along shortly but based off of my experience with 30' +or- boats, I agree with Mike. My guess is $50k+.

This is not even factoring in the eventual cost of replacing motors, electronics ect.
No plans on trailering. Thinking of buying a slip and keeping it there. Aside from the cost of purchasing the slip what fees do marina's charge?
Old 08-19-2020, 02:28 PM
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The answer to that depends HIGHLY on a number of factors....

Your skill level and willingness to do the maintenance and light repairs yourself.
The age and quality of the boat you buy.
How much and how far you cruise it.
Just to name a few...

The rule of thumb I've always heard is 10% of the purchase price per year assuming nothing major breaks. In experience I've found that's a good rough idea but there's something of an inverse relationship to what you spend on the boat and what you'll then spend maintaining it. In other words boats, but especially bigger boats, are pay me now or pay me later, save on the purchase price and you could well spend more maintenance and repair later.

Big boats are expensive, just no two ways about it... turbos cost thousands of dollars, coolers and exchangers cost less but still have four figures and have hot saltwater running through them. AC's, generators, head systems, water heaters, stoves, refrigerators, ice makers, fresh water systems, sumps - something is always broken on a big boat, even a very new, very quality one, and if there's not you just haven't found it yet.

Not trying to discourage you... but big boats are a lot like having another spouse. They require constant attention and will pretty significantly alter your cash flow.

edit to add... all of the above is based on my experiences in diesel powered boats. If you're talking a 40' center console with quad outboards that's another animal and I have no experience there.

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Old 08-19-2020, 02:28 PM
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The last slip I looked at for a boat my size came with $4k yearly maintenance fees.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:34 PM
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Your 12k on vacation is not going to cut it . 42’ and 48’ are 2 totally different boats. So what do you really want to own and how new? The better question might be ‘ what is your total budget for a boat purchase’?
Old 08-19-2020, 02:35 PM
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Dockage - expect a min of $10/ft. More than likely higher (depends where you keep her)
Insurance $10k (probably higher depending on where you keep the money pit....I mean boat.
Maintenance (engines and hull) Engines are market value depending on hours. Hull - prepare for 'Haul out' charges, cleaning, repaint.
Maintenance (Decking, canvas, cushions) monthly/weekly fee or you do the cleaning. Consider it mowing the lawn. You will replace the 'soft goods' every few years.
Once this sinks in and you chase it with a Titos or 3, Welcome to the club!! Best times ever are right around the corner!
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:40 PM
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Sounds like a 'pipe dream'.

Just way too many unknowns. You will have to narrow your choices down, type of boat, gas, diesel or sail just to name few.....
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by drumsfield View Post
No plans on trailering. Thinking of buying a slip and keeping it there. Aside from the cost of purchasing the slip what fees do marina's charge?
Best to see the marina you're looking at buying a slip from. If you're buying vs. renting it sounds like its a condominium of some sort so there will be a monthly CAM fee involved. I'd encourage you to speak with the marina, they will give you details of exactly what it will cost you. Speak with an insurance agent regarding the type of boat you're looking for. Get a quote, then start factoring in maintenance costs, think of things like fishing gear (if that's your thing), also don't expect fuel prices to remain as low as they currently are.

Then you have things like bilge pumps, wiring, radios, ect. that occasionally go bad. Are you handy, can you fix some of these things yourself, do you have time to or are you paying a mobile guy to come down and do it. Think about detailing 1-2 times per year, will you need to haul out and winterize annually or are you in Fl with no worries? Another thought if you're keeping it in the water is bottom paint. There are so many things that can effect the cost plus or minus. You didn't mention the type of boat or your usage.
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:55 PM
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We talking outboards, inboards, sport fish, open, CC?

i too am thinking of taking the 42-45’ plunge...
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Old 08-19-2020, 05:51 PM
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I’m assuming a diesel SF or express. Either way in the mid 40’s you better have 50k you can say good by to. Maybe you won’t need it but I know more then a few that dropped that coin in one season. Buying the boat is the cheap part. Keeping it running isn’t.
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Old 08-19-2020, 06:05 PM
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Don’t know where you are, but dockage in SoFla, Miami, Ft Lauderdale area will cost $15-$20/ft per month, most common $18 within 1-3 miles to inlet , diver bottom cleaning $2-2.25 / ft / month ...it adds up quickly
Old 08-19-2020, 06:09 PM
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I spend $12K per year on a single engine 21' flats boat that I keep in my garage; food and drinks not included. You can get a 5-day criuise now for a few hundred bucks per person for anytime in 2021. What are your questions?
Old 08-19-2020, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by drumsfield View Post
No plans on trailering. Thinking of buying a slip and keeping it there. Aside from the cost of purchasing the slip what fees do marina's charge?
A marina will still charge you a monthly fee for maintenance. Depends on where and what marina offers (Pool, common area, etc.)....just call to ask them about it.

They'll charge you $x, maybe 10-20.foot to haul your boat out for maintenance. They may offer you one short haul for free for zincs and stuff.

They'll charge you electric. Can't think of anything else really.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:45 PM
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For starters 40 is not "really big". It appears you live inland in Maryland from the Zip Code you gave in the past. This may be 4 seasons boating--but it is marginal in the Annapolis area. Some folks haul their larger boats out during the winter. Some keep them in the water, but have to have provisions to prevent ice accumulation. So you would factor in the slip for the seasons of the year you are boating. The haul and shrink wrap if you do that--or even more expensive put the boat in climate controlled storage during the most severe part of the winter.

Then there is engine maintenance: If you want fast--since you seems to be interested in fishing--and may even want to go 'offshore'--(depending where you slip the boat). Most likely you will want higher power diesels, capable of pushing a 40 footer in the 20 to 25 knot range. This means engines of at least 400 hp each--turbo intercooler. More engine maintenance. Of course you have to have a generator , for summer air conditioning in those waters. Another maintenance item.

Who iw going to do the compound and wax on the boat yearly? The bottom paint? Will you repair all of the little things that go wrong? You need to be prepared to at least have some hands on, if head breaks down, a water pump goes out, (engine or potable water) you have to repair that when on your "Cruise".

Also when you own the boat--and it has limited range, you are pretty much limited to a relatively small area--unless you have a lot of time.

You can find a Hatteras 43 convertible for $65K--with twin 450 HP turbo, intercooler diesels, which are going to burn about 30 gallons an hour at 18 to 20 knots. Or you can buy a nice sundeck trawler type with a couple of 150 to 200 and cruise at 8 knots burning 3 gallons an hour. The slip rent, overall maintenance is going to be the same--fuel costs huge difference.

The older cheap boat is going to cost a lot to keep up, with constant repairs and upgrades. For a relatively new boat I figure about 25% of the purchase price for upgrades, electronics etc. For an older boat 50 to 100% for upgrades and bringing up to standards--even more if you hire out the work instead of doing it. What is your time worth? How about limits of where you can cruise by time constraint--and boat speed. I think for the convertible you can figure at least 30K a year. For a trawler maybe more like 20K a year..depending. Its like gambling.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:51 PM
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If you are OK with driving a mid-size new car off the end of the dock each year, you're perfectly suited to keeping a 40 foot boat.

Old 08-19-2020, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Buoy Scout View Post
If you are OK with driving a mid-size new car off the end of the dock each year, you're perfectly suited to keeping a 40 foot boat.
+1.

This doesn’t strictly apply, but could be helpful wrt numbers:


I have a 31 foot express, and will put 150-200 hrs on the boat this year. Fuel this year will be $6-10k, plus at least 2-5k for repairs and maintenance. Slips in the area are $650 or so per month for this length (my slip is at my housing complex, so that number may be out of date). Bait, tackle, etc. will be another $2k ish.

So I’m at about $16k this year before anything big breaks. 40 feet is out of my league.

Old 08-19-2020, 08:14 PM
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I bought a decade-old and very lightly used aft-cabin 40' some years ago. It was a modern boat, needed little maintenance. 500-hours on big gas engines, 100-hours on the generator, the previous owner rarely went below, it was a time-capsule of cherry and leather, the bathrooms looked unused. I didn't cruise much, mostly entertained while slow-cruising between local ports, or anchored at the beach for swimming and sunning. I burned about 4 gallons/hour at hull speed, and everyone enjoyed being out on the boat, burned through a tank of gas in a Michigan summer. I paid about $11k for summer slip and heated winter storage, about $2k yearly for buff and wax for the hull, or for the superstructure, or bottom paint, or something I just wanted.

Cruising at speed was expensive, about .75 miles/gallon. Insurance, payments on the boat loan, I figured I was spending $16-18k/year on the boat. I sold at a small profit after five years owning it.

Before you buy, rent. Go to places you want to see, and rent boats there. Learn about boats and boating, decide what you want, take your time shopping.

If you get a diesel, you will spend less on fuel. More on diesel maintenance. I love diesels, but I'd rather buy more gas than deal with the maintenance issues my friends have.

Does it make sense economically? Probably not. But none of us can say different, and we all own boats here. You and your family will get more than just a cruise if you buy your own boat.

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