We are averaging around $2100 a month in expenses for 2015. This is quite a bit more than what we were originally planning. I was planning on around $1600 for this boat since we aren’t living aboard. I don’t think I originally planned for all the maintenance we would be doing to the boat. Some of it is self induced pain. There are some things I could easily have put off for the next owner of Starjewel, but I wanted to make resale a little easier and to get the experience. Instead of wallowing in remorse I’ll list the good things we get for our $2100 a month.
The average daily rate for a sailboat rental comparable to ours is around $350 a day. If we chose to charter instead of purchase, we’d have to charter for 6 days a month to reach $2100. We have been spending at least that many days a month on the boat. With owning, we are also more likely to use our boat. If we’re paying for it we want to use it. Factoring in the costs of renting a comparable boat and we’re already breaking even. There are a lot of intangible benefits to ownership. We have learned a lot about maintenance. I worked on cars growing up and am pretty mechanically inclined, but I’ve never; ran rigging, cleaned a hull, installed a VHF, worked with multiple battery banks, or thought about vessel documentation and registration. All these problems, and more, that had to be worked through, have contributed to our ever increasing skill set for sailing.
Since we own the boat we get to see what we like and don’t like onboard. If there is something we want to try out we can. If you want to try a new mattress or change the VHF radio out, most charter companies will be a little irritated when you break out your saw to start enlarging the slot for the new VHF. When you own you can feel free to try new things. You also find things you never thought about that you love. Our boat came with a canvas cover for the companionway that snaps into place. We looked at several boats and never noticed or thought about this. This is the best thing we never wanted. It keeps the bugs out and keeps the A/C or heat inside the cabin. All without putting the slats in and out every time we go in or out. Just a couple snaps and you don’t have to mess with the doors. It is a great idea that we never considered.
There is also a different feeling of responsibility when you are on YOUR boat as opposed to one you can turn in and not worry about maintenance. If a line on your boat is chaffing you’re going to want to fix it before it snaps off sending your sail into the water.
While we’re not getting by as cheap as we’d hoped, we think we’re getting more out of it than we bargained for.
Let us know if you think it's worth it.