Expected and hidden cost of boat ownership

Pacific Jigger

You’ll never know unless you go
Sep 16, 2019
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Bud
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Formula 233
As a lifelong boat owner, maybe I can offer a few observations? Planning on 2 trips per month, you might be better off riding the sport boats. The problem with quantifying costs associated with boat ownership begins with the word boat. It’s merely an acronym for Break Out Another Thousand. Anyone who figures this is hogwash hasn’t owned a boat for very long!
This is an expensive lifestyle and if you keep track of your yearly expenses, you’ll be shocked. At least if you fish regularly.
It’s only money, you only live once.
Buy the boat you want, fish the crap out of it and damn the expenses.
 
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Mike M

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  • Feb 2, 2007
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    Mike
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    .
    I'm not a boat owner, but...

    Annually, ~$4k is going towards owning the boat and ~$36K - $4K = $32K is consumable.

    How many 6-pack charters would $32K buy in your area? Just something to think about.
     
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    Darksails

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    Sep 10, 2012
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    Blaine
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    Tiara 3100 Open 'Sol Delight'
    Triple the cost of fuel. Insurance is too high, figure $750 or so. And slip fee is $180 or so too low. Also, diver should be $75 or so a month, including zincs for the year. Maintenance is about right.
     
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    aguachico

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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Art
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    Trident Yak- Grady White Seafarer
    Just googled 30ft Skipjack with twin diesels, $339k. How about an upper end 27-28ft with outboards? good luck
     
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    invictus

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    May 26, 2006
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    Jason
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    Tiara 2000 Cuddy
    Very rough, but note, storage, insurance & other routine costs plus 10% of boat price, annually.
     
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    Day0ne

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    Dec 24, 2004
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    At 30 feet even if the motors don't work you can still have a weekend getaway spot. And fish off the stern in a slip!

    I keep hearing about "fishing off the stern in the slip". Where I come from, the only people that bow into the slip, are blow boaters. All the power boats back into the slip. Makes it much nicer spending time on the boat in the slip.
     
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    fishboy93

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    Jul 25, 2012
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    Shoot a pm if you’re Serious. You should add in another $5k a year for maintenance and start looking for a Early 90s tiara or a a blackfin with gassers because a diesel twin screw for $75k and that yearly budget isn’t gonna happen most likely.
     
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    MYNomad

    Heading South
    Dec 12, 2007
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    Planning on 2 trips per month, you might be better off riding the sport boats.

    I doubt there is any number of trips you can do on a slipped private boat that is less expensive (on a per trip basis, after all costs, including depreciation) than sports boats. I think lots of guys talk themselves into a boat with the idea that they are saving money (the really dilusional guys think its an investment). IMO / IME, private boating is going to cost more but the experience is entirely different. If you are the guy who enjoys planning his own route, going on a whim, backing out on a whim, and making all the decisions that go into a trip (and there are MANY), vs the kind of guy who would rather let someone else do it all for you, then owning a private boat may be worth the extra cost. My first boat was a 13.5' with a 35 hp outboard (which I routinely took to Catalina, and that was in the days before gps or even Loran -- dead reconing was the only way to navigate unless you could a afford a rdf and triangulate on some radio station towers). It was worth the added cost (compared to the occassional party boat trip), and I worked my way up from there, owning about 13 boats along the way. Each cost a little more than the one before, but that incremental cost has always been outweighed the extra benefit of a little more range, comfort and fishing capabilities. So, if you are concerned about cost, maybe start a little smaller and work your way up. (Or maybe you are starting a little smaller -- a buddy of mine started with a 40' twin diesel.)
     
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    gettingbentwithbo

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    Mar 7, 2009
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    16' Starcraft SF SS
    I only have a 16' starcraft aluminum skiff and it's always one thing after the other LOL.
     
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    One_Leg

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    May 11, 2007
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    1967 Cobia Cuddy Cabin/Evinrude Looper
    Theft.
     
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    sickcat

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    Aug 5, 2003
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    With your budget ditto the idea that the boat will need upgrading to get it close to current standards. Not just electronics etc but likely deferred maintenance and even if you do the work yourself it is not cheap. Maybe you'll get lucky and find a killer deal but more likely you'll be getting the boat into good shape for some time.

    +1 on the idea that if you love spending time on the ocean then screw the money - live for fun.
     
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    miaf

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    Apr 14, 2013
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    I keep hearing about "fishing off the stern in the slip". Where I come from, the only people that bow into the slip, are blow boaters. All the power boats back into the slip. Makes it much nicer spending time on the boat in the slip.

    In my marina all boats are bow in. Not sure why you would want to back in, so when your hanging out in the cockpit, your just staring at the dock and watching people walk by. Much nicer bow in and hanging off the stern when water is your view and you can fish!
     
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    mike mitchell

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    Jul 25, 2017
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    In my marina all boats are bow in. Not sure why you would want to back in, so when your hanging out in the cockpit, your just staring at the dock and watching people walk by. Much nicer bow in and hanging off the stern when water is your view and you can fish!
    I think it is how your marina is designed/built.
     
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    Mnico

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    Dec 1, 2014
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    All points are valid and very helpful, seems like my "conservative" ballpark is within the margin of error, but agreed it really comes down to how much i would actually use it given lifes demands.

    Being relatively new to SD and only really fishing on cattle boats, i don't yet have a consistent PB ride which is why I'm itching for my own. Based on the numbers, in the meantime sounds like i should be offering to pay 100% of trip expenses when im lucky enough to get the invite 🛥🛥.
     
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    pura vida

    Pura Vida II
    Jan 29, 2005
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    Murrieta
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    Gene Miller
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    Pura Vida II, 500 mile range
    If 30 ft is your 1st, I'd take a very good honest friend with you that has a history of owning boats.

    I've owned 4 boats and every sale will be missed, but there is a cost for this hobby, and you'll be very foolish if you don't look at the costs of this hobby.
     
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    jiminoc

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  • May 5, 2005
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    boat-less but looking
    you're close enough in the ballpark. Add 10% and call it a day.

    other things to maybe buy:
    • scuba mask (cut line on prop)
    • additional life jackets/safety gear
    • epirb ($500+)
    • PLB (if fishing alone, smart to have one on)
    • fillet knife set
    • bait table
    • upgrade with more rod holders
    • you'll probably need to upgrade electronics on the boat
    • handheld vhf radio
    • ditch bag with supplies
    • good offshore first aid kit
    • deck brushes
    • cleaning supplies
    • detailing supplies
    • hoses / split connection to flush motors and wash
    • new fishing gear - gotta get some new rod/reels for the boat, guest setups, trolling setups, etc...
    • vaccum chamber sealer for all your new fish
    • extra dockline/rope
    • new ground tackle - probably dated or insufficient ($800+)
    • need a diver every month if slipped
    • cleaning gets old after a long trip so you may want a bi-weekly washdown for ~$100 a month
    • set of tools and toolbox for the boat
    • weather services (buoyweather, or you can use windy for free)
    • fishdope yearly membership
    • navionics ipad app to plan out trips with good contouring
     
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    Pacific Jigger

    You’ll never know unless you go
    Sep 16, 2019
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    Bud
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    If this is going to be your first foray into boat ownership, I’d suggest you start smaller and go up from there as your experience increases. A solid smaller craft will allow you to gain experience much more cost effectively and you’ll use it more due to its lower operating expense. There’s a very real reason you see people start with smaller craft and progress up. It gives you time to learn what features matter to you in a boat and the inevitable mistakes we all make along the way are cheaper experiences.
     
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    MYNomad

    Heading South
    Dec 12, 2007
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    If this is your first boat, it is unlikely that you will own it for 20 years, so I question the wisdom of financing over that term. In all probability, you will want to sell it, for one reason or another, in just a few years, 5 at the outside. On a 20 year loan, you will owe almost as much then as you do on the day you buy the boat -- meaning your equity will be diminishing over that period of time. Depending on how much of the purchase price you borrow (and the top 10% is going to sales tax so that doesn't count as equity), you may not have equity even the day after you buy. So, my advice would be to borrow for a much shorter term. That way, a couple years in when you decide you want a bigger boat (or that you don't want a boat at all), you will have growing equity.
     
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    Pitchinwedge

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    If this is your first boat, it is unlikely that you will own it for 20 years, so I question the wisdom of financing over that term. In all probability, you will want to sell it, for one reason or another, in just a few years, 5 at the outside. On a 20 year loan, you will owe almost as much then as you do on the day you buy the boat -- meaning your equity will be diminishing over that period of time. Depending on how much of the purchase price you borrow (and the top 10% is going to sales tax so that doesn't count as equity), you may not have equity even the day after you buy. So, my advice would be to borrow for a much shorter term. That way, a couple years in when you decide you want a bigger boat (or that you don't want a boat at all), you will have growing equity.

    This is what folks do in 'merica. Lust after what you can't afford and buy crap you don't need with borrowed money. Repeat as often as possible until you're bankrupt,. If you've already gone bankrupt, do it again cuz you got out of jail free. As a seasoned veteran with experience you can do the bankruptcy dance even better!
     
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