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Old 07-30-2014, 02:49 AM   #1
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RV's to Boats

Well,
After about 10 years worth of cruising the asphalt, we are thinking of moving on to the water. I am an Ex-Marine engineer from Cal Maritime and have loved the ocean since the day my dad moved to Seattle in 1980 and have decided to "look into" buying a boat to replace the RV, and keep it in SF if at all possible? I have talked to a lot of people in the industry about all the costs involved and I found this forum while googling the differences between the "triple nickel" and the fords & figured this would be a great place to join and learn. Although I am comfortable with the ocean, the private "yacht" world is new to me!
So, a few parameters we are working with and trying to figure out.
1. Costs of owning a boat (not including the boat itself). Mooring -$625 ish insurance - $2000/yr What am I missing? Hall outs, maint, ect.
We are looking at 45-50ft in size About $175k budget
Thanks for the help in advance :-)
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:40 AM   #2
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We made the transition several years back. I find on the yacht I do most of the maintenance myself. On the RV I had most done. That can help on the maintenance cost allot. Use allot more fuel per mile but then you dont usually go as far. I think your insurance cost is way low. I expect double of what you were thinking. Haul outs and bottom job seems to be about 3K a year or maybe 2 years dependent on how bottoms last in your area.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:27 AM   #3
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Doing all your own work on the boat will be a big money-saver. Like myself, a retired millwright, you cannot afford to pay a mechanic as good as you are. By the way, my son graduated from CMA in 1995 and is a chief engineer.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:39 AM   #4
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Like everything, the more things you can do yourself, the less expensive it might be. But remember that you more than likely have limitations, both skill sets and time, and there may be areas outside of your expertise that are best left to a skilled sorta-professional, at least the first time through. The key in hiring things out is finding a good yard and great mechanic that'll be fair and honest with you.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:39 AM   #5
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I've seen annual maintenance and operational figures of 10% of the cost of the boat thrown around. I have not kept dollar figures since I've owned my boat - I don't want to know.
I do almost all my own maintenance, but I did not do a required engine replacement last year.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:21 PM   #6
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If you don't care how your boat looks and smells you can save lots of money. No washing, waxing, varnish, rug replacement, new cushions, dealing with window leaks, patching leaks in the tanks, replacing bad heads and hoses, new enclosures, dealing with mildew etc. Costs depend on the owner's wishes and ability/desire to spend money. What you vs the next guy chooses to spend on the same vessel can amount to many thousands (tens of) of difference per year. But, I have drawn the line at buying the latest in TV watching gear!

Bottom line, it will cost a lot more than an RV.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:03 PM   #7
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Boats are a lot like RVs (I have both) in that if you use it often or live on it, you fix things as you go and it doesn't seem so expensive. Leave it in the slip for months at a time and then use it for a weekend and put it away and you'll have problems everytime you use it. She'll always seem like an expensive boondoggle because you only see the problems when you want to use her. Your budget and estimates of costs are reasonable and you'll find a great boat at that price.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:08 PM   #8
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In the RV you can see the road pretty clearly and avoid the potholes, not so much in a boat. Cost of running gear replacement can be breath taking. The radiator is pretty forgiving in an RV but the water intake can plug at anytime in a boat and cook impellers and other costly bits. Getting stranded in the RV means at most a long walk to cell reception to call for a tow, getting stranded on the water even relatively close to civilization can be a bit more dicey.

Medical emergencies fairly close to a marina can take an hour or more for help to respond, many miles out and help can potentially be days away. I love boating and camping but for all their similarities the differences can be stark.

A friend with an Alegro Bus recently complained of the difficulty involved with taking it back to the dealer for reliable servicing of the generator. There is no dealer support to speak of for the overwhelming majority of these boats.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:17 PM   #9
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If you don't care how your boat looks and smells you can save lots of money. No washing, waxing, varnish, rug replacement, new cushions, dealing with window leaks, patching leaks in the tanks, replacing bad heads and hoses, new enclosures, dealing with mildew etc. Costs depend on the owner's wishes and ability/desire to spend money. What you vs the next guy chooses to spend on the same vessel can amount to many thousands (tens of) of difference per year. But, I have drawn the line at buying the latest in TV watching gear!

Bottom line, it will cost a lot more than an RV.
This description fits about half the looper boats that limp into the harbor. We dread the late summer rush toward Chicago.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:29 PM   #10
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Don't forget to add property tax. In California it is 1% of the boat's value. But that's probably a wash since you pay that on your RV already.

Other things to include are: bottom cleaning, washing, waxing, brightwork.

When I did my $ estimating before buying, I did not include the washing, waxing and varnishing expenses thinking that I would be doing them myself. It didn't take long for me to find out that it wasn't for me. So something to think about.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CMA1992 View Post
Well,
After about 10 years worth of cruising the asphalt, we are thinking of moving on to the water. I am an Ex-Marine engineer from Cal Maritime and have loved the ocean since the day my dad moved to Seattle in 1980 and have decided to "look into" buying a boat to replace the RV, and keep it in SF if at all possible? I have talked to a lot of people in the industry about all the costs involved and I found this forum while googling the differences between the "triple nickel" and the fords & figured this would be a great place to join and learn. Although I am comfortable with the ocean, the private "yacht" world is new to me!
So, a few parameters we are working with and trying to figure out.
1. Costs of owning a boat (not including the boat itself). Mooring -$625 ish insurance - $2000/yr What am I missing? Hall outs, maint, ect.
We are looking at 45-50ft in size About $175k budget
Thanks for the help in advance :-)
If the passion is there, go for it. It's only money. If you have any hesitation then reevaluate your decision. Most people people find out in the first 6 months they regret their decision to buy a boat. BTW, Boats are harder to sell, so be sure. Good Luck, shopping is half the fun.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:58 PM   #12
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DONT DO IT!
Just kidding. Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:08 PM   #13
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We made the move and are really happy we did it. Yes we miss the RV but we use the boat allot more. As far as costs, we bought a 1990 boat which needed work but we new that going in. The day to day maintenance is about the same. Mostly the same systems to maintain etc. The bottom paint is an added item of course. If you do go boat use it all the time. Even if we are not going on a trip we go to it for happy hour etc.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:08 PM   #14
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Don't forget to add property tax. In California it is 1% of the boat's value.
Property taxes on homes, boats, and so on in California is a minimum of one percent. In Solano County where my boat is, it is 1.16% ($2,274.71). In some counties, it approaches 1.5%. I also have the honor of paying property tax ($95.13) on the berth rented from the City of Vallejo.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:56 PM   #15
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Wow,
A lot of info in only 1 day. Thanks for all the help! It seems that the 10% is a reasonable "guess" as I know nobody can tell you to the penny how much it will cost.
Sunchaser, you make a great point. I guess it really does matter how much you really want to put into your boat. BTW, A Defever is one of the boat brands we are looking at. Anything you can tell us about it, in a nutshell :-) I assume you could talk all day about these nice big boats :-)
Ancora, glad to here your son is doing well. I like to hear news of CMA grads making good in the industry. I only sailed for 6 years before going to work for myself. I loved the job, being away from home 4/5 months at a time, not so much.
So onto the boats. Are there any boats out there to avoid or look for? Finding out that boats are all very different, unlike a car. 2010 honda/Toyota ect are all pretty good cars. With boats, I am finding statements like "1 of 20 made", "only 9 made for private yacht". It's not like all 200,000 2010 Hondas are the same.
And the big thing seems to be power! It seems Fords are good, the 555 cummins has mixed reviews and so on. Volvo, Cats, International, Oh my :-)
Thanks again for all the quick replies!
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:13 AM   #16
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Wow,
A lot of info in only 1 day. Thanks for all the help! It seems that the 10% is a reasonable "guess" as I know nobody can tell you to the penny how much it will cost.
Sunchaser, you make a great point. I guess it really does matter how much you really want to put into your boat. BTW, A Defever is one of the boat brands we are looking at. Anything you can tell us about it, in a nutshell :-) I assume you could talk all day about these nice big boats :-)
Ancora, glad to here your son is doing well. I like to hear news of CMA grads making good in the industry. I only sailed for 6 years before going to work for myself. I loved the job, being away from home 4/5 months at a time, not so much.
So onto the boats. Are there any boats out there to avoid or look for? Finding out that boats are all very different, unlike a car. 2010 honda/Toyota ect are all pretty good cars. With boats, I am finding statements like "1 of 20 made", "only 9 made for private yacht". It's not like all 200,000 2010 Hondas are the same.
And the big thing seems to be power! It seems Fords are good, the 555 cummins has mixed reviews and so on. Volvo, Cats, International, Oh my :-)
Thanks again for all the quick replies!
Best thing to do is research and decide exactly what you want, then start shopping. I had a few criteria and I only looked at boats that fit it.Twin Naturally aspirated lehmans, no teak decks, aft cabin (ADMIRAL did not like the water slap in the bow), 35-38 footer, and away we went. Two years later we found her.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:47 PM   #17
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Try Marine Survey 101 to help separate wheat from chafe
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:34 PM   #18
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Thanks for the help as always. That Survey 101 was really involved but helpful to know what there is to look at.
Been looking at all kinds of boats and have found 3 "styles" or models that we like and would like to get a few opinions on the differences.
Defever 48-50', Californian 52', and Sea Ranger 52'.
I plan on taking the boat outside the Golden Gate in San Francisco and on along the Northern coast of California. Are Californian and Sea Rangers good boats for this style of use? They seem to be very "pretty" inside vs the Defever but I think the Defever is a more rugged ocean boat. Is this a good observation? Thanks again
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:57 PM   #19
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but I think the Defever is a more rugged ocean boat. Is this a good observation? Thanks again
Yes, the DF is a good offshore vessel. Art DeFever designed them for the rugged Pacific offshore conditions. But on a used vessel the best of designs and initial layup can be undone by a sloppy and careless owner or two.
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:01 AM   #20
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So,
Been looking at a lot of boats and I have another question :-) I am seeing a lot of boats at varying prices for pretty much the same boat. (I know they are never the same, as owner maint is a huge part of the quality of the boat, at least ones built in the 80's which we are looking at) but I was wondering if anybody knew a rough estimate of what a re-power would cost for a twin diesel low Horse-power style boat. Either replacing Ford-Lehmans or cat 3208's with new/newer more reliable power plants? Thanks as always :-)
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