Thinking of buying

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Jul 16, 2016
I'm in the early investigatigative stage of buying a larger boat , probably a Nordic in 32 feet. This will be a really big step for us from our 18 Whaler.
I was hoping to gather what the real costs of ownership would be, other than the initial buy. I'm on the northest coast of MA which gives us maybe at a stretch 5 months.
I'm looking at what typical insurance is, storage, maintenance, cost to operate, hauling, and so on. And I'm sure i've overlooked all sorts of other costs.
I would use the boat for short trips up and down the NE coast with weekend overnights.

Any and all comments/suggestions would be helpful.

Welcome aboard. For what you anticipate using the boat for, a Nordic Tug, of any size, may be overkill although they ARE wonderful boats.
A few estimates of costs.

Insurance - Cost for an agreed value policy with say $500K liability will be between 1% and 2% of declared value with the percentage cost going down as the declared value goes up. If you pay $150K for the boat insurance will likely run around $2,000.

Winter Storage - This varies widely depending on just what sort of storage you want. Turn key indoor cold storage could run as much as $8K-$10K. Outdoor storage at a DIY yard away from the water could be as low as $1,600, but you would have to winterize and cover the boat yourself and then commission it in the Spring. I store my 33' powerboat indoors at a yard about half a mile inland. Costs run: haul/launch using hydraulic trailer - $600, indoor cold storage charge - $1,800. Pressure washing after haulout - $195. All other work (oil and filter changes, battery maintenance, winterizing and commissioning water system and engine, cleaning boat, etc.) is charged at $55/hr. An average cost for indoor storage would be say $4,000 at a cheaper yard where you do some of the work.

Depending on where you keep the boat in the summer your costs could be substantial. I am in Maine and keep my boat at a marina for $3,800 for the season. If you rent a mooring that will cost around $1,500 plus perhaps $200 for parking and a spot to keep your dinghy.

Operating costs will be largely fuel. If you use the boat 20 times during the season and run 100 miles each time, you will likely use around 30-40 gallons of fuel for each outing or about $75-$100 per outing, so $1,500-$2,000 for the season. If you run faster or go farther you could easily double this.

So I would put ownership costs somewhere between $9,000 and $16,000 per year. Of course, if you finance the purchase you have to add mortgage payments to that. That would likely add $9K or more to your annual cost.

My cost for my 33' boat here in Maine runs about $7K, but my insurance is cheap because my boat is valued at only $40K. I keep my boat in a marina and store at a DIY yard where I do all my own work. If I had the boat turn key stored it would add a couple of thousand to that number. I own the boat outright so have no mortgage payments. If I kept the boat on a mooring that cost would drop to about $3.5K because I have my own mooring (my other boat is on it).
Welcome to TF! It's a great life. I'm sure you're going to love it!

If you use the google link at the end of my post and enter "cost of ownership", you'll get a list of several previous discussions on the subject. There's some good stuff there.
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If survey is 100% ok on purchase allow 10 to 15 % per year of original purchase price to run and maintain . Or if you asked my father he would of said if you need to ask you're already over your head .
Another thought for consideration...

A boat with higher hours, frequent use, and records for upkeep will likely cost you less to maintain.

A boat with lower hours, infrequent use, and fewer records for upkeep will likely cost more to maintain as you address the deferred maintenance and work out the bugs.

Don't be "turned off" by a well-used and well-maintained example. Sitting without use is absolutely undesirable with most equipment.

Good Luck
Welcome! Trawlering is great fun, good luck on your search for just the right boat for you.
Sorry, I've been trying to decipher "Lamuncha" can't figure it out, is it a secret?
We have a 2002 Nordic Tug 32/34 and here are some of our numbers:

Insurance with $150k agreed value runs us around $700 per year, with a two month winter layup from Jan 1 to March 1 (boat can stay in the water, properly winterized, but we can't leave the dock). This covers us for the Chesapeake bay and tributaries. It may make a difference that we are moored well up the Potomac, in fresh water, and well protected from storms. Only advice, shop around and use a broker.

Slip fee for a 35 foot slip runs around $3500 a year. This will vary a lot based on location.

We go through about one or two fill-ups per year, around 200-400 gallons. This is putting 100 to 150 hours on the boat, plus generator usage. Cost will vary with the cost of fuel, obviously. Cost will also vary a great deal depending on how you run the boat. We tend to run around 8 knots, which is fairly efficient. If you decide to push the boat up to 12-15, you fuel usage could triple or quadruple.

We do our own repairs, but generally spend $1,000 to $3,000 in parts and upgrades each year. This number can obviously vary quite a bit from year to year.

Can't speak to winter storage, as we keep the boat in the water all year.

Our dock electric runs around $30 per month in the fall and spring, to about $100 per month in winter due to the use of electric heaters.

Not going to comment on finance costs, as that will vary depending on whether you finance and how much you put down. That said, rates are very, very low right now. So much so that a loan may make financial sense even if you are able to pay cash, if you are able to get a better return on your investments.

Most of our trips we anchor out, so maybe another $500 a year in marina fees while away from our home dock.

Food and beverages can get very expensive. :)
We just purchased a 2002 37' Nordic Tug. We have done some interior upgrades like window shades that don't sway and a new salon and pilot house interior. We have been really happy with the boat and how well made it is. The gel coat is easy to bring back to life. The systems are easy to access and maintain. NT are really fantastic boats. You will be happy with your choice.
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