real cost of owning this boat

Discussion in 'Sport Yachts/Yachts' started by tugger, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. tugger

    tugger New Member

    23
    Nov 11, 2019
    boatless
    boatless
    OK, we have decided on a sea ray 400 or 420 DB or a meridian 391 or 411 sedan bridge. This will be in a slip in salt water in florida. I know how much insurance and the slip will cost and fuel according to usage. I am trying to get SOME idea of the other costs of owning this boat so I can go into it with my eyes wide open. I am assuming we will be getting a diesel and one in good working order. The broker I spoke with said overall for general maintenance including painting the bottom every 3 years, scraping the bottom regularly, engine and just other things that happen and need to be taken care of he would say on average to "escrow" about $500-$700 a month to use as needed during the year. So around $6000-$8400 a year ON AVERAGE for expected maintenance. Does this seam high, low, or reasonable assuming no major repairs appear? Thank you for all your help, this has been an invaluable resource for me!
     
  2. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    Yeah, perhaps not far off. Depends a bit on how much maintenance you can or want to do yourself. Then factor in the occasional "big ticket" item that you didn't see coming.

    Consider this: if one part on an engine fails or needs replacement, it's likely the one on the other engine will need replacement too. This can make things add up quickly. Lots of boats have twins so people deal with it all the time. I know a guy with a 38 foot Meridian, and he always replaces engine parts in pairs when one fails. He grumbles about it, but does it. And he owns the marina.

    My former 270 AJ with a single cost us, on average, about $5-6000 a year. That's all-in, slip, storage, etc in a northern environment. I'm sure others with this type of larger boat can help with more specifics.
     
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  3. Third Edition

    Third Edition Active Member

    336
    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    Our 36' Sundancer is in NE Florida. Water is a bit colder than elsewhere. We spend $70/month for divers to gently clean the bottom. Regular use of the boat also helps to keep the bottom clean.

    Bottom paint every 3 years is about right.

    Waxing and buffing is about $400 twice a year for us. They come to the boat.

    Our boat is at the dock at our house, so no slip fees.

    Canvas cover of the cockpit and other exposed areas is a big help keeping the boat clean and shiny. And keeping the critters out.

    You'll need a plan for hurricanes. This needs to be worked out well in advance. We center the boat in our canal. It's pretty easy to do, now that I know the routine and have all the lines, etc. If you're at a marina you'll need to ask around for what your dockmates do, and what the marina staff will do. This might inform your decision on where to keep the boat.

    Good luck to you.
     
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  4. Skip Boyer

    Skip Boyer Member

    71
    Sep 24, 2015
    North Carolina
    1998 500DA Sundancer, 1999 Maxum 2800, 1998 270DA, FFG 7 Oliver Hazard Perry
    Twin Detroit 6V92TA
    I think i would factor in for a reasonable amount for the yet unseen items that will pop up. For example, Two weeks after we purchased our current boat the shower faucet started leaking. No big deal. At first just a drip, then few drips, and on to a stream. A few weeks later a short circuit in the stern light caused breaker for running lights to trip. constantly. Next up was a failed A/C unit. The shower fix was about $25, trip to hardware store, and few hours. Wiring problem, 8 hours or so troubleshooting, 10 cent butt connector. A\C unit $2500, 12 hours labor. I blame these failures on Murphy. Most likely just unpredictable repairs that could be chalked up to lack of use by previous owner ??? Whatever the cause i think the first year could be extraordinarily high as you "learn" the boat. Good Luck and enjoy.
     
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  5. Third Edition

    Third Edition Active Member

    336
    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    Skip's post reminded me of another expense. Flushing the A/C unit every year or two. Our mechanic does it in about 2 hours, start to finish. Keeps the marine growth from building up thus the A/C runs efficiently.

    Many folks who wet-slip run their A/C on the dehumidify mode, but we don't. We rely on a dedicated 110v dehumidifier draining into the shower. That saves wear and tear on the A/C unit. With a dehumidifier it stays dry below, but kinda hot at times. Hot isn't bad.
     
  6. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    For the folks that have been doing this for a while....is there really ever an average year for expense? For me, I've not yet established what average feels like to the pocket book :)

    I'm going into...let's see....my 6th year of owning a cruiser. So I'm still relatively new to this. Excluding slip, gas, and insurance as the OP said - I've had years where everything worked as it should, no major repairs, my total expense for the year was a maybe $250 for my wash and wax (DIY) supplies/tools, perhaps $150 for a new battery or bilge pump of the like, $75 for three impellors and maybe $500 for the annual winter-prep maintenance (all DIY). Once in a blue moon it is absolutely possible to maintain a 35-40 foot boat for under a grand if you're doing the work yourself.

    The flipside is the year when bigger things are happening. As mentioned above generators and engines not running well can get very pricey. Last year I replaced canvas for the first time in my life...to the tune of $8k +/-. As luck would have it I also needed to replace my AC convertor, two batteries, poop tank filter, two capacitors on my generator, and probably other things I'm forgetting...all in the same year.

    I'm hoping next year is a return of my low year of $1k in maintenance...or I'll never be able to get that new radar :)
     
  7. Third Edition

    Third Edition Active Member

    336
    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    Hi Stee, my experience has been like yours. Biggest year was overhauling one engine and parts of another.

    A lot depends on the age of the boat, the previous owner's maintenance regimen, etc.

    It's nearly always more expensive than planned for.
     
  8. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    I agree there are ups and downs in terms of expenses from year to year. Some were low cost. But some were higher like when my engine coupler failed and the engine had to be pulled, or the gimbal bearing went, or I decided to add a canvas camper back.

    Over 12 years of owning the same boat from new, I got a good sense of the annual fluctuations. Maintenance regimen is quite important; I was fortunate enough to have known the entire maintenance history of the boat and been willing (and able) to do the jobs right and early. I like knowing how things work so I knew every inch of the boat. Still, even with the best of maintenance some things can't be planned for or avoided - like that failed engine coupler. That's why I said my average total boating expense was $5,000-$6,000. We usually budgeted a bit more and were happy when we didn't have to use it.
     
  9. Irie308

    Irie308 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 28, 2013
    CT
    2004 420 Sedan Bridge, GHS Hydraulic Lift
    Dual Raymarine E120W
    AB Mares 10 VSX with 30 hp Tohatsu
    Cummins 450C 8.3 L Turbocharged
    One other key thing to consider in addition to what was stated above is the condition of the boat that you do get. The boat could be in well kept condition but a new boat to you may need some customization. You also may not have full maintenance records so you should factor in the cost to set a baseline for motor/gen maintenance etc. Canvas/isinglgass are also a big ticket items that you may need to redo within the first few seasons of ownership. Electronics, if not up to date you may have the urge to upgrade. Though some of these are not must haves they will cost and should be considered when looking and will add to the cost of ownership on top of everything else within the first few years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  10. tugger

    tugger New Member

    23
    Nov 11, 2019
    boatless
    boatless
    Thank u all, terrific info
     
  11. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    DIY maintenance runs on average for me @ under $2k per year.
     
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  12. tugger

    tugger New Member

    23
    Nov 11, 2019
    boatless
    boatless
    Are routine costs of gas engines much different than diesels?
     
  13. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    740
    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    420 Sundancer 2004
    Naught On Call
    Cummins 6CTA-8.3's with V-Drives
    9KW Onan Genset
    Man, you are playing with FIRE! This is the exact question NOT to ask! ;)

    I believe one of our members (tmott?) has as his signature that he has a PhD in OCD. Well, I'm that way when it comes to managing money. I can tell you down to the last dime how much money we have spent persuing this hobby. But I don't think you want to know that answer!

    Since you asked, I will share my figures from date of purchase (August 2016) through today. I have omitted slip fees (home port and transcient), fuel, and insurance. I have created my own categories of cleaning, couses & classes, maintenance (includes parts, tools as well as Service Dept charges), safety, and supplies. For clarity, cleaning includes waxing, compounding, and bottom paint. First year maintenance expenses include a new salon Air Conditioner.

    Also, I do about 80+% of my own maintenance (including winterizing, aftercooler & heat exchanger maintenance). I keep multiple sets of full spares on board along with tools, test kits, DVMs, etc. You get the idea.

    And if the Admiral asks, it is 1/10th of these figures!

    Jaybeaux
     

    Attached Files:

  14. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    I don't know man. You didn't separate maintenance from repairs, nor do I see a category for updates/upgrades.
    Wait a minute, You should separate updates and upgrades also. JK Always enjoy and learn from your post. Thanks.
     
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  15. tugger

    tugger New Member

    23
    Nov 11, 2019
    boatless
    boatless
    Jay beaux, that’s terrific. Thank you for sharing your expenses with me. That is more help than I could have ever hoped to see. Appreciate it
     
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  16. Joint Custody

    Joint Custody Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    311
    Sep 20, 2017
    Lake Powell Utah
    2001 460 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins 6CTA8
    I would like to see your spread sheet on term of marriage... because I know you have that... lol
    Great info! And yes when ever any of the Admiral ask around our dock everything is 80% less than we all really paid.
     
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  17. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    Just to give you an idea about how much it costs to own and operate a boat:
    I’ve got OCD about everything but keeping records of the true cost of boat ownership.
    Although I keep impeccable records of expenses, investments, projections etc. with everything else, I avoid entering dollar amounts or leaving a paper trail with costs on anything boat (or car) related.
    My wife rarely asks, I don’t volunteer the info and see no need to advertise to her what it really costs.
    I try to coordinate visits from the big brown truck for when she isn’t around, then destroy any evidence that I got another delivery.
    I see no need to ask for trouble.
    She’s not good at handling money. I’ve always been the bread winner and paid the bills.
    It works!
    That’s how much it really costs to own a boat!
     
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  18. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    80%?
    Wow! You’re a brave man.
    Gun to my head......I operate under the rule of 1/3.
    But that’s only if I get caught red handed.
     
  19. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Have been watching this thread since this morning, lots of good input from previous posters.
    Couple of observations,

    Bottom paint every three years is highly variable. The water the boat is sitting in, currents, etc. impacts lifetime of paint. One location may get 3 years, another may get 1.5. Big impact on the proper selection of the paint you use as it relates to your conditions. Budget 2 years instead of 3.

    Insurance, slip cost, and understanding your usage to fuel burn are very predictable.

    Good survey can make engine costs reasonably predictable in the short term, but don't forget preventative maintenance. Have you looked at recommended maintenance schedules for the engines? What is upcoming at various hour levels?

    What are your maintenance skills? How many things are you going to take care of versus hiring it done. For us, we go to the boat to enjoy it, not work on it. Our choice is to pay someone else to fix things. Some people do the work themselves, save a lot of ownership costs.

    Is the boat in a covered slip or an open slip - 1-2 waxing's a year versus 3-4.

    Dive on the bottom is once a month.

    What is your washing plans? I wash at a minimum every two weeks. I time them so it right after the boat has been out and right before we show up. Salt water on the boat eats up the wax. Are you doing the washing or hiring it?

    Your talking about FL, good news is you don't have to deal with winterization. Consideration you need to plan for is Hurricanes. Are you going to purchase a haul out plan? Are you local to the boat and able to do hurricane prep per your plan, or do you have to hire someone? What is the cost when a hurricane is headed towards you that you are out of pocket? There can be significant amount of work prepping a boat for an approaching hurricane.

    Finally you get all this planned out - then as mentioned by someone in a previous post you need to allow for the unexpected. Most of these expenses are probably related to systems on the boat. What is the cost of losing an AC unit? A hot water heater? Some are low dollar, some can be higher. You may go 2 years with no big ticket items, but they will pop up.

    If you are buying new with a warranty, no worries for a few years. If your not under warranty - system issues need to be accounted for.

    There is a rule of thumb passed around a lot which says plan on 10% of purchase price annually to cover slip, insurance, and maintenance. Personal experience, not sure. Have not done the math over a few years on salt water with 2 different boats. So much depends on the condition of the boat you buy.

    @fwebster made a comment to me years ago about salt water boating. Back when we were entering the ownership of a salt water boat. Found his words to be very insightful and correct. To paraphrase, his comment was you spend time with the boat - everything is perfect. Your gone for a few of weeks, come back, something has "broken" and doesn't work. I remember that comment every month, Frank is correct. May be something minor, or the precursor to a larger problem.

    You are asking a very good question to understand the costs, but keep in mind not all brokers are created equal, I would need to have extreme confidence in the individual before relying on a broker for input on this topic.

    This is an excellent location to come to for the input you are looking for. Some very knowledgeable people here that I continue to be astounded by their knowledge and experience.

    This topic has been discussed a lot over the years. I did a quick search on ownership costs - lots of good threads. Recommend you search the site some, lots of good information.

    Probably the biggest consideration that drives estimation of ownership costs is the due diligence during the purchase process. Don't skimp on surveys for the boat and the engines (separate). Be present when the surveys are done. Don't rely on the written reports, be there so you can have discussions with the surveyor about issues and topics.
     
  20. Joint Custody

    Joint Custody Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    311
    Sep 20, 2017
    Lake Powell Utah
    2001 460 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins 6CTA8

    People still ask how I only paid 49 k for our 460.. lol
    The funny part my girl is a huge gun owner.... like over 50 fire arms or more . Its funny when I ask they all seam to cost $200.00. I just smile as she knows the boat stuff is more and I know her hobby is more.

    That is why we get along so well.

    My EX when we split up " still friends" so we can joke . when we packed her stuff up she had 2800 pairs of shoes/ boots. Now put a spread sheet to that!
     
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