View Poll Results: How much, as a percentage of your boat's value, do you spend on boat upkeep annually?
1-2 % 6 16.22%
3-4% 7 18.92%
5-6% 9 24.32%
7-8% 4 10.81%
9-10% 2 5.41%
More than 10% 9 24.32%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-03-2017, 11:10 AM   #1
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Lets Narrow down a number for Upkeep

I have read numerous figures for boat upkeep, to include the oft quoted 10% of purchase price per year.

I wonder what folks on TF are paying for upkeep. Lets define that number as the AVERAGE annual cost of maintaining a boat. Upgrades, which are not required should not be included. For example, I chose to upgrade two chart plotters last fall even though the two I had worked. I would not include that number. I do not consider fuel, dockage or insurance to be maintenance.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:19 AM   #2
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10% + or - all in ownership expenses is pretty good for me. I know those with multi million dollar vessels that with crew, costs even more than 10%. I also know those that are 100% DIYers who dock vessel behind house and spend very low %s.

No number is wrong. It is what we choose it to be and act accordingly.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:21 AM   #3
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Personally, I think that these are averages and are calculated over longer periods of time.
Consider the average high temp. in Maine is 54F and the average high temp in Florida is 82.

Go to Maine in January and the average high is 30F, while in July it's 78F.
Go to Florida in January an the average high is 64F, while in Jul/Aug it's 92.

I think the same averages apply to boating. some years are very high, some are very low. Total the cost over 10 years and divide by the number of years. We put the same amount aside whether we spend it or not. You don't repower every year, but a single repower will drive the average cost of maintenance over the period of ownership up very high.

You're not just counting wax, oil, belts, filters, cleaner. Consider when big items go like generator, engine, canvas/eisinglass, electronics, etc.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:23 AM   #4
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Sunchaser,

There is no wrong number. But we have had numerous folks new to the trawler world who wonder what that number is. I thought getting some ideas from the assembled experts here might be helpful.

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Old 04-03-2017, 11:24 AM   #5
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This will be difficult to answer and I guess you will have as many answers as there are boaters and boats. Many parameters have an impact on the cost. First, are you doing maintenance by yourself or require someone to do it for you, this will far increase the cost. The size of the boat also will increase the cost of maintenance. Where you are cruising also, for example I am in fresh water, I do not repaint my antifouling every year but some do.
And lastly how was maintained your boat if she had a previous owner, this will have an impact on how much maintenance you will get underway.

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Old 04-03-2017, 11:24 AM   #6
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I agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
Personally, I think that these are averages and are calculated over longer periods of time.
Consider the average high temp. in Maine is 54F and the average high temp in Florida is 82.

Go to Maine in January and the average high is 30F, while in July it's 78F.
Go to Florida in January an the average high is 64F, while in Jul/Aug it's 92.

I think the same averages apply to boating. some years are very high, some are very low. Total the cost over 10 years and divide by the number of years. We put the same amount aside whether we spend it or not. You don't repower every year, but a single repower will drive the average cost of maintenance over the period of ownership up very high.

You're not just counting wax, oil, belts, filters, cleaner. Consider when big items go like generator, engine, canvas/eisinglass, electronics, etc.
In my budgeting, I include a monthly figure for maintenance, even thought the chances of spending that much in any one year is small. It only takes one blown engine to throw a wrench into the best plans.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:26 AM   #7
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You have a point

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Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
This will be difficult to answer and I guess you will have as many answers as there are boaters and boats. Many parameters have an impact on the cost. First, are you doing maintenance by yourself or require someone to do it for you, this will far increase the cost. The size of the boat also will increase the cost of maintenance. Where you are cruising also, for example I am in fresh water, I do not repaint my antifouling every year but some do.
And lastly how was maintained your boat if she had a previous owner, this will have an impact on how much maintenance you will get underway.

L.
I think you have a point. Perhaps we should have had two polls, one for DIYers and one for everyone else.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:27 AM   #8
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Not sure how useful that number will be. I would think the turn key number would be more useful. That would be how money you spend if the boat only sat at the dock, before you turn the key to use it.

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Old 04-03-2017, 11:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon J View Post
In my budgeting, I include a monthly figure for maintenance, even thought the chances of spending that much in any one year is small. It only takes one blown engine to throw a wrench into the best plans.
I think we're saying the same thing. We do the same. I have an account exclusively used for the boat, and a recurring deposit goes into that account every month.

To me it sounded like the OP was questioning 10% as being a very high estimate. Then again, i would consider storage as a maintenance cost.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:42 AM   #10
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All,

I agree that this poll will not get at each and every situation. I hate even tying the number to the boat's value. But it would take quite a poll to separate dual engine owners from single engine, old boats versus newer boats, bigger boats versus smaller, etc.

I have had a new boat and can tell you that I paid almost no maintenance expenses for four to five years, other than cleaning supplies and engine service items. In 10 years of ownership, my annual costs were probably closer to 1 percent. Now that I have a 14-year-old trawler with dual 330 hp engines, I expect those costs to increase and have budgeted $1000/month, although I am pretty sure that number will be too high by probably a factor of two. I have had the boat a year and other than things identified on the survey, I have had only a failure on an AC compressor.

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Old 04-03-2017, 12:22 PM   #11
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So many issues with this. 10% of what? Of the new price of the boat? Of the price of a five year old boat? Of the price of a 30 year old boat? 10% of the new price is high, but one buys a bargain boat for $50k, the number will be 10% or more.

Then the question of major maintenance and even that the OP considered not required. Well, sometime all those upgrades will be required, one can't go a lifetime without replacing equipment or rebuilding anything.

Then what about Insurance, docking, property taxes, licenses?

What about depreciation?

I really don't know how one agrees even on what the number applies to.

Here's where I think the 10% number comes from originally, because it's the only place I've seen it supported. It's the annual costs of owning a "yacht" or large boat, applied as a percentage of the original purchase price of the boat. It includes crew costs, docking, insurance, reserves built for future rebuilds, everything you can think to toss in. So, on a $20 million yacht, you can figure the total annual operating cost will be close to $2 million. Those are the type numbers used for charter boats, etc.

At the other end of the chart, take a new boat and then take only the cash outlays during a year for repairs and maintenance. Well, for us that is running about 1/2 of 1%. The problem is that if one uses that number, they're going to suddenly find themselves with a major expenditure and they also might be underestimating other costs like insurance, satellite if they have it, rebuilds, painting.

Are you counting bottom painting in your annual maintenance?

I just don't know how one can apply a meaningful percentage across a group of disparate boats.
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:02 PM   #12
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Just how long is that piece of string?
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:15 PM   #13
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No doubt you have some points,

Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
So many issues with this. 10% of what? Of the new price of the boat? Of the price of a five year old boat? Of the price of a 30 year old boat? 10% of the new price is high, but one buys a bargain boat for $50k, the number will be 10% or more.

Then the question of major maintenance and even that the OP considered not required. Well, sometime all those upgrades will be required, one can't go a lifetime without replacing equipment or rebuilding anything.

Then what about Insurance, docking, property taxes, licenses?

What about depreciation?

I really don't know how one agrees even on what the number applies to.

Here's where I think the 10% number comes from originally, because it's the only place I've seen it supported. It's the annual costs of owning a "yacht" or large boat, applied as a percentage of the original purchase price of the boat. It includes crew costs, docking, insurance, reserves built for future rebuilds, everything you can think to toss in. So, on a $20 million yacht, you can figure the total annual operating cost will be close to $2 million. Those are the type numbers used for charter boats, etc.

At the other end of the chart, take a new boat and then take only the cash outlays during a year for repairs and maintenance. Well, for us that is running about 1/2 of 1%. The problem is that if one uses that number, they're going to suddenly find themselves with a major expenditure and they also might be underestimating other costs like insurance, satellite if they have it, rebuilds, painting.

Are you counting bottom painting in your annual maintenance?

I just don't know how one can apply a meaningful percentage across a group of disparate boats.

But,

So many/new prospective owners try to get their arms around the annual maintenance costs, this is a simple way to give them a rough yardstick. Many folks who buy a boat second, third or fourth hand have no idea of the initial purchase price. I was curious to measure the wisdom of our crowd and see how they measured it.

Some upgrades will be required and then will be necessary maintenance. I don't consider my chart plotter upgrades to have been necessary. It was a total discretionary purchases. Some folks on my dock are happy with their Raymarine RL chart plotters.

I opted not to include dockage and insurance because that will vary by location, size, usage and price of boat. As a prospective owner decides on a boat, she will be able to compute dockage and insurance for his situation. These are knowable well in advance. I don't know how bottom painting can not be considered a maintenance item. If you pay someone to polish and wax you boat, I would think that too would be maintenance. Since I do these things myself, I would only include the cost of materials.

So, it is somewhat like trying to figure out the length of a piece of string. If we see a cluster of answers at say 3 - 4 percent, we might have some confidence that 10 percent is an outlier. Three to four percent might not be exact, but probably closer to the truth than numbers distant from the tendency. I thought this might be a better approach to the oft quoted 10% figure which I have seen and heard batted about for all boats, crewed or otherwise, new or used.

But, from the answers so far, it seems that there is no central tendency. It will be interesting to see if a tendency develops.

Perhaps using a maintenance cost per unit length of the boat would have been a better way of getting at the question. 70-foot boats obviously take more to maintain (everything else being equal) than a 35-foot boat.

We have so much information on this forum, it would be interesting to come up with a formulation that gets at the question.
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:18 PM   #14
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B&B,

Also, I understand that price can be confusing, hence the question asks as a percentage of boat value.

Still awkward, but...
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon J View Post
But,

So many/new prospective owners try to get their arms around the annual maintenance costs, this is a simple way to give them a rough yardstick. Many folks who buy a boat second, third or fourth hand have no idea of the initial purchase price. I was curious to measure the wisdom of our crowd and see how they measured it.

Some upgrades will be required and then will be necessary maintenance. I don't consider my chart plotter upgrades to have been necessary. It was a total discretionary purchases. Some folks on my dock are happy with their Raymarine RL chart plotters.

I opted not to include dockage and insurance because that will vary by location, size, usage and price of boat. As a prospective owner decides on a boat, she will be able to compute dockage and insurance for his situation. These are knowable well in advance. I don't know how bottom painting can not be considered a maintenance item. If you pay someone to polish and wax you boat, I would think that too would be maintenance. Since I do these things myself, I would only include the cost of materials.

So, it is somewhat like trying to figure out the length of a piece of string. If we see a cluster of answers at say 3 - 4 percent, we might have some confidence that 10 percent is an outlier. Three to four percent might not be exact, but probably closer to the truth than numbers distant from the tendency. I thought this might be a better approach to the oft quoted 10% figure which I have seen and heard batted about for all boats, crewed or otherwise, new or used.

But, from the answers so far, it seems that there is no central tendency. It will be interesting to see if a tendency develops.

Perhaps using a maintenance cost per unit length of the boat would have been a better way of getting at the question. 70-foot boats obviously take more to maintain (everything else being equal) than a 35-foot boat.

We have so much information on this forum, it would be interesting to come up with a formulation that gets at the question.
But there is no formulation that gets at the question. Just look at your poll. The problem is you've chosen to base it on current value. Well, consider a new boat coasting $500k. Now make that same boat 10 years old and worth $100k or 20 years old and worth $50k. They are not going to have anywhere near the same percentage as the older boats will likely require more maintenance. So lets say it's $10k per year, then that's 2%, 10% and 20%.

Per foot would probably be better, forgetting value. Still, is it twin's or singles, how new or old. But per foot does have more of a chance of being consistent than % of value. If you're going to use value or cost to base your percentage on then it needs to be based on % of purchase price when new. That way it stays constant over the life of a boat. Not counting engine rebuilds, painting of boat, then the percentage is going to be more in the 1-3% range.

The old 10% number is the high side of total costs and even then is too high.
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
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B&B,

Also, I understand that price can be confusing, hence the question asks as a percentage of boat value.

Still awkward, but...
But as a boat's value lowers the maintenance doesn't decrease. If anything, it increases.
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:31 PM   #17
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Jeeeeeesus Jenny, I have never seen so many people trying to quantify and/or qualify their answers to what was posed as a relatively simple question.


This is not a scientific poll about sending a man to Mars. It's just a poll to try to come up with what most of us spend on keeping our baby clean and looking good.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:04 PM   #18
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Jeeeeeesus Jenny, I have never seen so many people trying to quantify and/or qualify their answers to what was posed as a relatively simple question.


This is not a scientific poll about sending a man to Mars. It's just a poll to try to come up with what most of us spend on keeping our baby clean and looking good.
And how do the results showing on the poll help the OP find their answer? They're the ones seeking a formula.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:11 PM   #19
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2 years in on a 28 yr old, previously well maintained ($45k) boat is running less than 1%/yr. She's a peach!
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:57 PM   #20
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By "upkeep," do you mean just maintenance or also such costs as taxes, insurance, and berthage. Exclusive of operating costs as in fuel?'

If one needs to know the cost of owning a boat, one probably can't afford one.
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