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Old 05-20-2015, 02:21 AM   #1
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Late model trawler, cruising and operating expenses

Hello all,
It was recommended in my boat search thread that I truly consider the cost of operating and maintaining a larger trawler. Here are my numbers, and peramaters given the intended boat being on the horizon:
52' single engine, FD hull.

Berth: $7500
US:
(Sacramento) slips: $500-750mo. incl. utilities (incl Wi-Fi)
Thailand:
$625mo. +utilities (15%mo?)
$625x12mo.=$7500 if always at a marina (365 days)

Insurance: $2500
1% per year
$2,500

Fuel: $1500
1.6-2.5 Gallons per hour at 6-8 knots per hour (if single* engine, 2x if dual engine setup)
Fuel capacity:1000-1500 gallons
1.6gph, 1000gal. is 666hrs. and 4.25mpg(?)
1000/4.25 = 4,250 miles
Full tanks = 4.49x1000=$4490 full tanks (US) ľor- $3,120(Thai)
Cruisers use avg. 400 gallons per year(?), or $4.49x400=$1796 yearly fuel cost (US) $1248(thai)
4.25mpgx400gallons=1700 avg. miles travelled per year.
*these costs are based on single engine.

Maintenance: $8,000-$16,000
1-2% of new boat cost (seems that many avg. 1.1% of new, $8,800)

Total per Year: $19,500 to $27,500

...am I even on the ballpark?
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:42 AM   #2
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In some areas no slip is required , anchoring or a mooring ball is very inexpensive.

Maint will vairy with the owners ability vs the price of local labor.

PM is usually within an owners grasp if he chooses.

Fuel costs can be varied with the throttle , speed co$ts !

On a fairly new boat I would contemplate mostly upgrade expenses .

EG.If a FW pump fails on a fairly new boat , purchase a better one , dont replace builders cheapos.

Your numbers should keep you out of trouble , BUT you also need a reserve fund for big things that can break.

Windlass melt down , transmission dies , the fun stuff.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:23 AM   #3
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I would say you have your eyes wide open - go for it.

But, don't get too complacent if the first few years are under budget.
Do as FF says and put that money aside in the "emergency" fund.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:06 AM   #4
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I think you are close. However, it also depends on a) how well the PO's maintained the boat, and b) how many upgrades they did and c) how much work you are willing to do yourself. I think your assessment would pertain to a well maintained boat, with you doing some of the work.

Our boat: 30 years old KK42, very well maintained by the PO who did a very substantial refit. Purchase price $185k USD. Replacement for a new KK44 >$1,000,000. We are in the $10-20k per year, with me doing a lot of the work, but hiring pros for electrical, structural and critical systems. I've got a couple of individuals I hire at rates well below full service yards. Plan on >$125/hr/person for a full service yard.

Factor in time. I'm a slow newbie. I've been working 2-4 days per week since March! My shipwright has been very generous with his knowledge and is forcing me to learn about epoxy and fibre glass work. The chores around the house aren't getting done!

Dream on and best of luck!


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Old 05-20-2015, 11:31 AM   #5
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A couple of things to offer:

a. Don't forget the cost of money. If you finance, the cost is whatever you pay in interest each year on the financed amount, plus the lost investment income from the down payment. Say 6% of the purchase price? If you pay cash, the cost of money is the lost investment value of that money. Again, 6% of the purchase price or so? Obviously, YMMV, but the cost is real.

b. Depreciation is another real cost of ownership. You don't get to pay it up front, or even annually, but when you sell, that cost smacks you silly. While not a cash flow item, like moorage, fuel, repairs, etc., it's another buried cost of ownership that is an ugly reality of boat ownership. Again, YMMV, but assuming you'll recoup the money you dump into a boat upon sale is simply naive.

After 12 years of ownership of a 53' Canoe Cove, which is admittedly a bit on the far side of a "trawler" but certainly a long-distance coastal cruiser, and after keeping meticulous track of every penny spent to buy, own, operate, and sell the beast, I made the mistake of tallying all those costs. While the absolute numbers are privileged, I can say that the hourly cost to operate was just north of $325 per engine hour. Enough to make my knees buckle. Yup, a 12 hour round-trip from Everett to San Juan Island (for instance) used up almost four grand. Not including food, liquor, ice cream cones ashore, etc.

In terms of cash flow, something like $3500 per month was required to stay afloat.

In terms of value, PRICELESS. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. And I have! Be realistic with your expectations, do your due diligence (you're certainly on the right track so far!), decide if you can afford all the costs associated with boat ownership, and act accordingly. And, IMHO, once you've done all this, ignore the cost of fuel. It's lost in the noise.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:03 PM   #6
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2014 was the first full year I owned my 2000 Nordic Tug 37. Here's how costs broke down:

Fuel: $4849.84
Insurance: $1304.5
Maintenance: $15,533.97
Upgrades: $5017.70
Moorage (permanent and transient): $5379.68
State registration: $1039.50
Other: $817.08

Total: $33,942.27

Much of the maintenance was catching up on things that I wasn't sure the previous owner did. The windlass failed and required replacement, which ended up being about $4,000. I had the boat hauled, bottom painted, dripless shaft seal replaced, and some other items for about $4,000. Engine and generator maintenance was roughly $6,000, but most of that is not annual maintenance.

Fuel and transient moorage costs were the result of about 700 hours of cruising, from Anacortes to Olympia then up to Juneau and back.

Boats aren't cheap, but they're worth every penny (to me at least).
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:43 PM   #7
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The running cost shown of the Nordic Tug is a bit less than I pay each year on my mortgage. Yes, you can argue about the depreciation/appreciation of these assets, but in recent years the boat probably was probably the smarter move.

Also, with a boat you don't have the same old view out the window every morning.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:51 PM   #8
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2000 Nordic tug 37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
2014 was the first full year I owned my 2000 Nordic Tug 37. Here's how costs broke down:

Fuel: $4849.84
Insurance: $1304.5
Maintenance: $15,533.97
Upgrades: $5017.70
Moorage (permanent and transient): $5379.68
State registration: $1039.50
Other: $817.08

Total: $33,942.27

Much of the maintenance was catching up on things that I wasn't sure the previous owner did. The windlass failed and required replacement, which ended up being about $4,000. I had the boat hauled, bottom painted, dripless shaft seal replaced, and some other items for about $4,000. Engine and generator maintenance was roughly $6,000, but most of that is not annual maintenance.

Fuel and transient moorage costs were the result of about 700 hours of cruising, from Anacortes to Olympia then up to Juneau and back.

Boats aren't cheap, but they're worth every penny (to me at least).
Hi Retriever,
One of the boats we are considering buying and shipping to NZ is the NT 37 around 2000-2002. Just wondering how you like your tug and any hints about purchase. While we don't expect you to disclose you actual purchase price I wonder what sort of age/hours/condition vessel we would get for around US$200K? Would we be better to expect to pay more for a well maintained lower hour boat (tough question I know).
As has been mentioned on this forum in the past it is hard to get a handle on precise purchase price versus asking money.
Any info gratefully received. ... Grae.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssobol View Post
The running cost shown of the Nordic Tug is a bit less than I pay each year on my mortgage. Yes, you can argue about the depreciation/appreciation of these assets, but in recent years the boat probably was probably the smarter move.

Also, with a boat you don't have the same old view out the window every morning.
My logic precisely - which is why I'll be moving aboard in the fall

Richard
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:37 AM   #10
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I'm starting to think it's better not to meticulously track everything I'm spending. It's depressing, and the financial part of my brain keeps telling me I'm an idiot for owning a big boat that sits in the water and requires constant care. 😄
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
I'm starting to think it's better not to meticulously track everything I'm spending. It's depressing, and the financial part of my brain keeps telling me I'm an idiot for owning a big boat that sits in the water and requires constant care. 😄
We are all idiots!
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:33 AM   #12
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"and requires constant care."

Washing?
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:58 AM   #13
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Have a look at Nordhavn PendanaBlog | The perfect Nordhavn for cruising boating trawler|

He owns a Nordhavn 62 and has some posts on costs and spends around $100k to $150k per year on $1.6million boat
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:48 PM   #14
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I collect aphorisms... here's one that struck my fancy:

Even as we sit here quietly at the dock, enjoying our drinks, things are breaking. Caltexflanc on TrawlerForum.
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:41 PM   #15
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Even excluding depreciation, owning/operating my boat costs more than my on-dirt home (condominium). On an engine-hour bases, my boat is costing about $100 an hour; nevertheless, almost all costs are fixed regardless of the amount of operation. This wasn't unexpected.


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Old 05-22-2015, 06:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I'm starting to think it's better not to meticulously track everything I'm spending. It's depressing, and the financial part of my brain keeps telling me I'm an idiot for owning a big boat that sits in the water and requires constant care. 😄
Excellent.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:07 PM   #17
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I am sure most here understand. I don't want to "pencil whip" every important thing or decision in my life and just let only the numbers dictate realizing a dream. If just by itself, the money ruled and was the ONLY consideration then I would never have my two great children nor have gotten to share innumerable hours with them in close quarters on the boat. If I did not have the boat these many years those hours would not total as many and I cannot buy those back. I tell my wife that if I ever come home in the fall and say that I want to sell the boat that she needs to convince me to wait until Spring and by then I fall in love with the boat experience all over again. It is not for everyone but "we lucky few".......

Glen

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Old 05-22-2015, 07:33 PM   #18
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This year my 1936 woodie will cost me about the following:

Winter storage (includes haul, pressure launch, inside storage and launch - $2,600

Summer Marina cost (June 1 to Oct 30) - $3,584

Insurance - $600

Registration - $85

Annual maintenance (repaint topsides, trim, and bottom, two coats varnish on all external wood, 6 coats varnish on all interior wood, replace three planks, recaulk as needed) - $400

New house battery and an additional solar panel (includes installation of solar panel) - $210

Fuel for 200 hours underway - $200

Oil and filter changes - $70

Total - $7,849 or about $39 per hour underway. Note that I will spend about 75 days on board this summer (it would be more, but I also have a sail boat I don't want to neglect).
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
the financial part of my brain keeps telling me I'm an idiot for owning a big boat

Yea, So?
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TDunn View Post
This year my 1936 woodie will cost me about the following:

Fuel for 200 hours underway - $200

Wow! That's one fuel efficient vessel!


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