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Old 09-13-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
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I know there are a million variables, but I'm curious if there are any good rules of thumbs that estimate operating expenses for liveaboard cruising based upon the purchase price of the boat. So for example: if someone spent $500k on a boat, how much would total living and operations expense be for a year on the great loop? Using the same basis of estimate, how much would a year on the loop cost in $100k boat? I know there are lots of variables, just looking for some rough rules of thumbs.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:04 AM   #2
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Unless maint. is an ongoing problem , most of the cost of the loop (except fuel and Gov fees) is determined by cruising STYLE. Run aground with a twin , it can get really expensive being at the mercy of the local yards.

Anchor out for free every time you can , or tie up to a slip for $50- $150 a night and hit the bars and rest. makes the biggest difference in cost.

SWELL living is done at at a $well price.

Fuel for 6000 miles which is done for the most part at slow speeds , will not change much, tho big enough tanks to avoid fueling in Canada will help.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:37 AM   #3
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I know there are a million variables, but I'm curious if there are any good rules of thumbs that estimate operating expenses for liveaboard cruising based upon the purchase price of the boat.
No.

Some people claim some broker-made-up number of 10% of purchase price annually, but from my limited experience, that is bunk. It depends more on your own expectations. You want to keep your boat "well-maintained" and can't/won't do the work? Fork it over. You want to upgrade an older boat? Fork it over. Want to boat more and fix less or buy a "well-maintained" boat from the get-go? Enjoy. Buy a brand new boat with warranty? Enjoy.

I have seen super yachts spend all their time in the shop and seen trawler owners just not care as they consider their older boat a throw-away.

It's impossible to know or plan ahead. One thing is FOR SURE... It WILL cost you more than you think it will.

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Old 09-14-2012, 08:50 AM   #4
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First we'll need to know-

What kind of anchor you have.
Displacement or semi-displacement hull.
Single or twin engines.
Direction of prop rotation.
If the boat was made in China.
What firearms you have on board.

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Old 09-14-2012, 09:07 AM   #5
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First we'll need to know-

What kind of anchor you have.
Displacement or semi-displacement hull.
Single or twin engines.
Direction of prop rotation.
If the boat was made in China.
What firearms you have on board.

Now that's just funny no matter what the others say.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:29 AM   #6
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You forgot.
Galley up or down.
Back or forward raked windows.
Fly bridge or not.
Pets on board.
Electric or vacuum flush.

Sd
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:46 AM   #7
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It cost equal or more than living on the dirt. Most people think its cheaper, but a lot depends on the size/kind of boat and how you maintain the boat. I budget $1,000.00/month average which includes moorage and does not include any major repair/maintenance/up grades.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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The figure of 10% of the purchase price per year for the average amount of the ownership cost of a used cruiser is actually quite accurate over time. We have had our boat 14 years and the average ownership cost is right at that figure. Some years have been a lot more and some a lot less. But as a rough rule of thumb for calculating the annual ownership cost over time of an average used cruiser it has proven quite accurate which is why a lot of people, including brokers, use it.

That's to simply own and operate the boat. I have no idea how much average liveaboard costs might be. I imagine they are similar in terms of food, clothes, entertainment, etc. costs the person would have on land.
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:12 PM   #9
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The concept of 10% per year is for the kitty!

Some years you wont even paint the bottom, some you may replace a noisemaker , or the cylinders with an inframe .

Its the spending over time that counts.
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:50 PM   #10
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Animal, We have been extensively cruising for 20 years and boating for many more decades and the answer is as Tom began his post. No. The same answer to the question, how long is a piece of string, will apply. Only you can determine the answers based on your lifestyle, boat, cruising grounds, an a million other variables. We did do one post for one of our blogs that might give you some ideas of categories to consider, Keep in mind this article was published in Soundings Magazine in 2007 so the amounts will surely be different today. Chuck
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:32 AM   #11
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The money to just own the boat ,and to run/maintain the boat are fairly fixed

What will vary most is the decisions concerning land contact.

Yearly slip ? or mooring ball?

Cruising , anchor or 5 star marina?

Home cooking or Cordon Blue?

These are expenses that can be controlled.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:28 AM   #12
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Perkins or Lehman
Yanmar or Deere
Cat or DD
fins, floppers or 'vanes
punch or slice
chain or rope
windlass or wench :-0
hull speed or that other speed that only non FD boats do
Teak or 'glass
to thrust or not to thrust
5200 or......well there really is no other choice;-)
Garmin or Raymarine
Shell Rotella or Chevron Delo or synthetic
sundeck/aft cabin or cockpit or BOTH!
flybridge or flattop
gas or electric stove
Crown or Turkey (this really is an indicator of what you'll spend!!!)

by the time you pondered all the variables you'll have forgotten port from left and which side the triangle poles go when South of Borneo
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:46 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the responses!

Let me narrow my question down a bit:

Boat: for the sake of argument, let's assume 35-45' single engine full displacement trawler in the 100-250k range. I like the idea of a boat that is easily powered with a relatively shallow draft.

Lifestyle: let's limit the expense calculations to those things that are boat related. Food, etc I can estimate separately.

Cruising style: I guess the two factors here are miles per year (fuel) and dock/anchorage fees. I'm thinking of a very leisurely pace - couple weeks here, a month there. Great Loop mostly, maybe as far south as the Caribbean/Central America. Any ideas on how many miles to estimate and what dockage fees might be?

Any rules of thumb for insurance?

Thanks again for all the responses!
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:43 AM   #14
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Any ideas on how many miles to estimate and what dockage fees might be?

The AICW can be done from the NYC area to about Daytona Beach with no mooring or docking fees.

If you wish "Skipper Bob" booklets show a few free docks to use.

"maybe as far south as the Caribbean/Central America."

No problem with free anchorages , big hassle will be avoiding offshore conditions in a boat that was not designed for them.

With careful weather watching Canada to SA can be done .

To the Carib only the Mona Passage is wide and can be rough enough to require great respect.
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