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Old 11-14-2018, 08:43 PM   #1
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Friends say I'm an idiot

Hi there
I'm 56 and buying my first ever boat down here in San Diego. Im getting a Californian 34 for $36k cash and it looks like I'll be paying $625 a month slip fee. I'm buying a boat because I'm bored and when consideing a new hobby his is the only one which excited me. I haven't had a singl3 friend who hasn't joked that I'm an idiot and all the jokes and stuff and it's fine but I'm starting to wonder if they're right. How much is really gonna cost me. Aside from slip fees what are we REALLY talking about? I think my boat will get a mile a gallon. That's really gonna add up so I get that. Thats actually the only thing that scares me. At $4 a gallon a trip to Catalina will cost $350 in gas alone. Registration, insurance and other things barnacle removal and cleaning? It seems like it's all about repairs. How often do these things break down? I see people talk about new motors installed $5k total each. I have two motors and if they both blew up the day after I bought it I would spend the money and then look forward to hours and hours of boating pleasure. Am I being naive?
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:56 PM   #2
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I agree, you are an idiot, but don't worry you are a very lucky idiot and all these friends will just harass you to get a trip with you
Nobody can tell you for sure how much it will cost you, depends on so many parameters, if your boat was and will be properly maintained, if you are lucky or not, if you do your own maintenance or not. But there is one thing I am pretty sure it is that you will be happy.
A boat is sometimes stressful, sometimes joyful, sometimes deceptive and discouraging when things go wrong but at the end it is pleasure and all the dark side worth it when you watch a sunset from your deck.
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:58 PM   #3
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I think many would agree that fuel is one of the smaller expenses you'll encounter unless you are cruising all the time. Having said that I think you're wrong on the fuel burn on a 34' boat. I think you will find your mileage will be higher than that. No guesses on my part but I think others will confirm my speculation.


To answer your other questions, find out what insurance level the marina requires than call a few boat insurers and ask them for the premium costs. Depending on the age of the boat you may have to look for a company that will insure it. Many companies just will not insure older boats and they all have their own definition of what an "older" boat is.


Ask the current owner what the registration costs are and also what other boats in that marina pay for bottom cleaning. Those questions and answers will get you started and give you a better look at what owning a boat really costs.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:04 PM   #4
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It is a lot to absorb, but if you use the boat a lot, the costs are well worth it.

Most boats in our area sit and the owners rarely go out, in which case the operating costs don’t make sense and an RV or another activity is a better investment.

Start out slow, and take some cruises up and down SD bay. Next, I would suggest a run to Misson Bay and anchor for a night or two in Mariners Cove. Watch the weather carefully when going outside, especially in the Winter and be careful with the Mb bar crossing. Try to take someone with you who is experienced and ask a lot of questions.

I would suggest you wait a year or two before you go to Catalina.

Get to learn your boat, and the systems,and you will continually become more comfortable.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:08 PM   #5
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That's what I'm tallking about! It's not like throwing money in the trash. You actually end up with something. A boat to sell and some memories. I believe the boat gets closer to 1.5 gpm? That's a boat thing, right? The Marina's want $500k in insurance. I think that might be $50 per month. It do add up and I make a.descent living and i think I'm prepared. Then I saw a guy here who has to pay $1500 for a salt water pump whatever that is. Thanks guys
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:09 PM   #6
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What are the engines, gas or diesel?
Fuel use depends a lot on how you run the boat. Hard and you will use a lot more than if you run more easily and take more time. You have to work that out.

Actually as far as idiots go you are in good/bad company. The only difference between us is how long have we been idiots.

Boats are an expensive hobby, no doubt. A lot of that can be conditioned by how much you can do yourself vs how much you have to pay for.

I'll say this that my/our boat kicked most of my other hobbies to the side but I am not sorry. On the other hand I've learned a few other things to keep that thing operating well. The boat is my hobby but my wife enjoys the boat also, sometimes more than I do once we get out on it.

All depends on how you look at it.

Good luck and good boating. Say hello to a few other idiots at the dock and I'll bet you find , at least, a few good dock mates.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:15 PM   #7
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That is sound advice indeed. I'm not even sure if I want to go to Cartalina. Well maybe just for that incredible mooring. I'm thinking I'll get out of the bay to fish and look at whales . I just found out that sometimes you have to go out 80 miles to catch tuna while other times it's 5 miles. I'll wait for the closer hunts. I told same guy I was considering Chula Vista Marina and he yelled Noooooo!!!!! Too far from the mouth of the bay. I NEVER would have seen that. This boat thing seems riddled with mines!!
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:19 PM   #8
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They're Perkins diesels 185hp l think. I am buying Sweet Marie from a member of this community. He has clearly taken care of the boat and that's great. Survey tomorrow and I'll ask as many questions as I can think of. Taking a boat wise buddy wi5h me and I have a few of those and I'm leaning in hard!!
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:37 PM   #9
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Enjoy your new boat. The fuel cost will not end up being a huge concern. You can do a lot of boating without lots of running. You may only do Catalina once a year. Good luck.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandLubberDuck View Post
I think my boat will get a mile a gallon. That's really gonna add up so I get that. Thats actually the only thing that scares me. At $4 a gallon a trip to Catalina will cost $350 in gas alone. Am I being naive?
Fuel costs will probably turn out to be the cheapest part of your costs. But San Diego to Catalina is more like 150nm, round trip, so the cost is probably closer to $600. If the boat is gas, you will get worse economy (lower mpg and higher fuel cost) than diesel. On the other hand, if it is diesel, I don't think you can expect to replace the engines for $5k each. Diesels are more commonly rebuilt because of the significantly higher replacement costs, but I doubt $5K per engine is even close to enough. It would help to know what engines you have, but engines I am familiar with cost $2K - $3K per hole (cylinder) to rebuild, and turbo, heat exchangers, aftercoolers, etc., are extra.

As long as you can write the check without too much discomfort if costs turn out to be way higher than you expect, I don't think buying a boat is a bad idea. But if you buy the boat and can't afford to keep it running, it is going to be a disaster.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:16 PM   #11
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We got our first boat (30 footer) when I was 52 and as much as others may disagree, I am no idiot
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LandLubberDuck View Post
That's what I'm tallking about! It's not like throwing money in the trash. You actually end up with something. A boat to sell and some memories. I believe the boat gets closer to 1.5 gpm? That's a boat thing, right? The Marina's want $500k in insurance. I think that might be $50 per month. It do add up and I make a.descent living and i think I'm prepared. Then I saw a guy here who has to pay $1500 for a salt water pump whatever that is. Thanks guys
My 1982 MT34 DC gets 2.85 mpg almost 3 times what poster thinks- its very similar size .
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:21 AM   #13
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From my experience your costs will be much higher in your early years because you're paying for "experience". AKA other people know better because they've paid for it.

I've paid thousands for outdrive, bellows, gimble bearing, prop, and shaft repair, and I never really did anything all that stupid. Just things that I'd never do now that I know. And yes you can have a perfectly maintained boat but someday the AC pump or fridge or windlass will just fail and it will cost a ton.
I don't know what else to say other than I think it's all worth it and we're going to double down and do it even larger and more intensive. We're hooked.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:06 AM   #14
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Some say, “the cost of boat ownership, less slip and insurance, runs about 10% of the purchase cost per year”. One may go several years with minor maintenance cost, then have to replace leaky fuel tanks ($$$). The engines purr along for years then one needs a rebuild ($$$). Over the long run the “10%” rule seems to be darn accurate, for me anyway.

Edit: I’m pretty sure everyone on this forum has some idiot in them! Speaking of myself, of course...
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:28 AM   #15
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Some say, “the cost of boat ownership, less slip and insurance, runs about 10% of the purchase cost per year”. One may go several years with minor maintenance cost, then have to replace leaky fuel tanks ($$$). The engines purr along for years then one needs a rebuild ($$$). Over the long run the “10%” rule seems to be darn accurate, for me anyway.

Edit: I’m pretty sure everyone on this forum has some idiot in them! Speaking of myself, of course...
That's some very good math. Thank you
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:40 AM   #16
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Hi,

Yes, it must be a bit crazy to be the owner of the boat.

Does it make any sense to own a boat and keep it for 6 months inside the house and only 6 months in the water, I confess to being an idiot.

If the money were a stock market or other investment they would produce +, now only financial expenditures.
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Old 11-15-2018, 07:10 AM   #17
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Doubt that you would replace your Perkins for $5K each. Labor maybe. Rebuilt engines $10-15K each.
As long as you have finances to fix things, go for it.
And make sure your marina allows you to live onboard.
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Old 11-15-2018, 07:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandLubberDuck View Post
Hi there
I'm 56 and buying my first ever boat down here in San Diego. Im getting a Californian 34 for $36k cash and it looks like I'll be paying $625 a month slip fee. I'm buying a boat because I'm bored and when consideing a new hobby his is the only one which excited me.

Even idiots can have fun boating; witness membership here...

A tip. Use the Advanced Search feature here and find/read everything you can about Californian 34s. You mention Perkins engines; ditto. (And boatdiesel.com could be an even better resource.) You mention salt water pumps ("whatever that is"); ditto. And so forth.

As others have said, fuel will likely be one of you lower costs. Mooring and insurance will be a chunk. Maintenance will maybe be largest cost, IF you hire it all done by somebody else. IF you do it yourself, much less expensive and E Voila! Yet another hobby!

A tip. Boats are usually "systems of systems" and all the systems -- fresh water pump, engines (with salt water pumps), fridges, batteries and chargers. etc... are all made by someone other than the boat maker. You can usually (at least often) find the manual for all those various system on line somewhere, which is especially useful if paper copies don't come with the boat. And also especially useful to keep on board in softcopy anyway, so you don't take up a whole stateroom with paper manuals. As you get more familiar with the boat, find those manuals, and gradually learn a bit about each of the systems, especially whatever might be required for maintenance, routine service, etc.

Enjoy!

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Old 11-15-2018, 09:34 AM   #19
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We are all idiots!
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:05 AM   #20
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Iím still just an aspiring idiot. 3-4 more years of saving, and Iíll be ready to go full-idiot.

I canít wait.
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