Thread: Newbie Here
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:25 AM   #9
Scraping Paint
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Newbie Here

skipperdude wrote:

Older boats cost a lot to own.
I don't necessarily agree with this if the implication is that older boats cost more to own than newer boats.* I'll certainly go along with "boats cost a lot to own" however

Assuming an older boat has been maintained decently and operated properly, its systems and components are wearing out at the same rate as the systems and components on a brand new boat.* The only difference is that if you buy a brand new boat, you start with zero time on everything.* If you buy a used or older boat, there is already time on the components, but if some things have been replaced recently, they may have no more time on them than the same components on a much newer boat.

I once asked the captain of a 120' corporate yacht I was associated with for awhile how the effort and cost of maintaining the vessel he commanded--- which had been built in 1966--- compared to the same expenses for a new or newer yacht.* He pointed to the new 150' yacht on the next dock and said that all the stuff on that vessel was wearing out at the same rate as the stuff on the his vessel.* In fact, he said, his 1966 yacht, which was impeccably maintained, cost less per year in maintenance than a lot of the new yachts he was familiar with because all the systems on his yacht had long since been troubleshot, the quirky problems found and fixed, and so on.* But the skipper and crew of the newer yacht were still tracking down leaks and trying to figure out why when a toilet was flushed in the forward stateroom the water pressure in the aft shower went away, and so on.* Dealing with these kinds of issues can cost major bucks, he said, but it was an expense he didn't have because all these sorts of problems and surprises had long been corrected on his boat decades earlier.* New boat warranties will cover stuff that happens soon after delivery, but he said that boats have a way to popping up surprises long after the warranty has expired.

When I mentioned that my wife and I had recently purchased a then-26-year-old Grand Banks and that we expected it to be more troublesome and costly to keep up he strongly disagreed.* He said that our old GB would cost us no more to own than if we'd bought a new GB.* Unexpected failures occur on new boats as often as they do on old boats, he said, and regular maintenance, service, and replacement of worn components will be the same between both of them.* As to operating costs, fuel costs, moorage, insurance, electricity in the slip, and so on he said these would be basically the same between a 26-year old GB36 and 2 year old GB36.

In the eleven years we have owned our boat, we have found that what this skipper said is right on the money.* We know people with five-year old boats who had to have an engine replaced.* We've had a prop shaft replaced, and so has an acquaintance with a two-year old GB.* We periodically replace macerator pumps, so do our friends with new boats.

So I think the notion that an old boat automatically costs more to own than a newer boat is a fallacy IF...... the older boat has been maintained well and operated correctly.

An older, neglected boat can certainly cost a pile of bucks, but so can a newer, neglected boat.

Now there may be some makes and models of boats that fundamentally deteriorate over time no matter what an owner does with them.* But the basic structure of a boat that's well-built to begin with like a Grand Banks, Krogen, Tollycraft, Hatteras, etc. should give no more problems in 25 or 30 years than it did in 5 years.* Everything else--- plumbing, toilets, pumps, anchor windlasses, electronics, lights, stoves, refrigerators--- are the same kinds of things that are on newer boats and they're all wearing out or deteriorating at the same rates.

One "rule" I have heard that seems to be based on reality is the average age for marine components like refrigerators, pumps, electronics, etc. before they fail are start giving problems is ten years.* Obviously there are exceptions, but this average seems to hold pretty true in our experience.

When we bought our boat, the very experienced broker and GB owner who helped us locate it said that as a very rough rule of thumb, the average cost of ownership of the typical, used, trawler type boat is ten percent of the purchase price per year.* This includes moorage, insurance, fuel, servicing, maintenance, haul outs, repairs, and replacements.* Some years it will be more if you have to have new engine mounts or exhaust systems installed, other years it will be less.* The cost can be lowered if you are able or willing to do some of the work yourself.* But the average over time will be ten percent of the purchase price.* We do most of our own maintenance and upkeep, but we have found that, over the eleven years we've had the boat, that ten percent of the purchase price figure is pretty accurate.* And other boat owners we know, with new boats and old, say they have experienced the same thing.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 22nd of December 2009 12:33:54 PM
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