Friday, February 19, 2016

Spring has Sprung...Time to Buy a Boat!

In the Bay Area at least.  This week we have seen sun burning temps in the 70's to 80's and then hail and rain earlier this week.  As it gets warmer, you should get the ball rolling with your sights set on buying a boat for sailing the bay or your local lake.  It does not have to cost a fortune to own a nice 30 foot boat.  In our area, it can cost $7-$10k annually to own and maintain a 30 footer.  Here is a run down of the basic annual costs:

Berthing $4000
Insurance $350
Bottom Cleaning $300
Tow Insurance $100
Property Taxes $150
Equipment Upgrades $500
Fixing things that break $1500 (average)
Bottom Paint $1000

That's a close estimate on an average year.  The older the boat, the more things will need to be replaced.  In the last 18 months, we have replaced our diesel for an electric engine and redone the standing and running rigging and put on a new furler.  All major expenses, but split 6 ways.  Fortunately, those expenses come around once in a great while.  Did you know a well taken care of diesel will last more that 30 years?

In my situation, I could afford the $10k per year but I did not want to spend that much of my hard earned cash.  So I explored bringing in some partners.  We started with 3 and now have 6 total.  We each put in $100 per month to cover basic costs and build a small kitty.  We set up a weekly cal so each partner gets a week when the boat is his/hers (yes, we have a female partner, Val).  When its not your week, get in touch with said partner and ask to use the boat or join in on their sail.  It has worked great and all for $3.00 per day per partner!  I am the lead partner and take on the care and feeding of the boat.  If there is an issue, I am usually the one getting it taken care off.  I do not mind, as I am always learning and since I sail the most, I break most of the stuff : }.

Here was the criteria for our purchase 15 years ago on our 1981 Newport 30:

30 footer that could cruise the bay in comfort and style
Legal head
Inboard diesel
Standing headroom, 6'4"+
Sleeps 3-4
Wheel steering
Rigged for a spinnaker
Turn key
$15k budget

Many people take several months to a year to find that perfect boat.  We found ours on the 3rd boat.  She was far from perfect but what boat that is 20+ years old is?  This boat has brought so much joy into our lives and I could not imagine not being able to access our beautiful bay the way this boat has for us.

Here are a few examples of boats for sale from the local Craigslist that you could purchase today!

 1976 Pearson 30 Sailboat - $8900 (brisbane)

Beautiful 1981 Catalina 30 Sailboat - Ready to Sail or Liveaboard - $13000 (sausalito)

 Cruising sailboat and live aboard - Cheoy Lee Luders 30 - $20000 (emeryville)

All of these would be perfect for a partnership.  We also have an annual work day on the boat with all the partners.  It's amazing what can get done in a day when you have 6 folks and 12 hands.

We have a partnership agreement that everyone signs that outlines the duties of all partners.  Happy to share that if you are interested.  Lastly, when a partner leaves, it is up to that partner to find a suitable replacement.  I have been very happy with our set up and have enjoyed each and every partner.

Be sure to read a few articles about boat buying before you set foot out the door.  There are few things you need to know even before calling your first boat seller.  It has been a great 15 years for us and I look forward to many more.  Good luck and enjoy the ride!

This pic is from the 2003 Great Vallejo Race. Our 1981 Newport 30.

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