Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Cost of Owning a Boat - "Seas The Day" (Catalina 315) 2nd Season Costs

(Image Credit:

With the boat put away for the winter, it seems like a good time to tally the costs for this season.

I reference our post about our first year costs (click to read), but I decided that instead of going on a Year of ownership basis, it makes more sense to look at the 2nd season costs.  It does mean that some of the costs are duplicated in this post (those related to getting things ready in the spring) and I'll try and point them out.

In our second season, there are no more startup costs.  There are still "Seasonal Costs" and "Excursion costs".


This includes the cost of owning the boat, maintaining the boat, storing the boat (in water and on land in the winter) and insuring the boat.  The total comes to $20,700.  This roughly breaks down into $12,000 in mortgage payments, $1,600 on insurance, $2,900 for maintenance, $2,400 for mooring and storage (including launch service), $1,500 to the yacht club (membership & events - we get the mooring through the yacht club), and another $100 for safety stuff and accessories (kind of light this year since everything was still new), and maybe $80 for registrations, etc.

Repeated costs from the earlier post include $1330 for a new bottom job and waxing (having a bottom job on a brand new boat was unusual, but I think that was related to plowing through the mud to get out on our delivery trip), $275 for "spring commissioning" and $185 for getting the mooring ready.


The cost per type of excursion hasn't changed much for us.  I guestimate that a typical 4 hr day sail costs about $40 for provisions (we usually eat something on-board), fuel and tips to the launch drivers.  An overnight excursion to an upscale marina near NYC is maybe around $725.  (We had one of these this year.)  Our total excursion costs are about $1325.

So my guess that it would cost us about $24,000 wasn't too far off - our total was about $22,000.


We had 16 nice days on the water... even if the weather was iffy, it was still fun.  During this season, we shared boating with 18 people (including the two of us), and made a lot of deeper friendships at the Yacht club.

This was much lighter than last year.  But it was also a year where we had the task of switching jobs, moving, and getting a new house set up which knocked a few weekends off the sailing list and frequently prevented us from enjoying sailing on two days of the same weekend.

We expect this pattern of use to change next season.  We now live in Delaware and by next spring we will no longer have a waterfront condo right next to the Keyport Yacht Club, so we'll probably do more overnights on the boat.  Keyport for now still seems to be the best place for us, so we'll see you all next season.

Winter storage

(Note:  It's earl December... I've been remiss in keeping my blog up to date.)

Finally it was time to take Seas The Day in for the winter.

There was a bit of a snag.  The weekend before it was to be hauled, I got a call from the launch captain... one of Seas The Day's lines had broken.  What do you do in this case.  One of the lines was still holding, we were only going to be in the water another couple of days, but high winds were predicted.  So I made two calls... one to Pedersen's and another to "Diver Dan" of Brother's Diving and fortunately Dan was available to quickly replace the line.

Pedersen's hauled the boat later that week (in late October), and after they had a chance to do the winterization (draining all water from the boat and flushing the systems with marine antifreeze, oh, and also an oil change) I made a trip up in early November to check everything out and then a last trip in late November to put the winter cover in place.

A day on the boat is pretty good... even if the boat is out of the water.

End of Season Sailing

It is now early December.  My blogging fell behind as we approached the end of the season, so here's a quick update on the last few trips of the season.

My brother came out for a sail on Sept 19th.  It was a beautiful day on the water.

I had to take a day off from work on Sept 30 and quickly go out to Seas The Day and "batten down the hatches".  A major storm was approaching and ominous notes started arriving from the KYC launch captain.  Arriving at the dock the weather was calm, but when I got to the boat I noticed that a previous storm had claimed my burgee (the yacht club flag) which was tangled in the bird chaser on our dodger.  I wasn't going to give up an opportunity to get some time in so I motored about (had to charge the batteries) while securing everything below decks.

Things initially looked quite calm... except for the evidence of the previous storm.

I motored out... might as well log some hours while battening everything down.  Upon returning, I made sure all the chaff protection was in place.  (Note:  One of those leads will break off later in the season, but that's another post.)

And all the major canvas items were stowed below.

A side note to this storm was that it lasted for 3 or 4 days.  A couple of boats broke loose and a KYC member (Mike V.) who owns a tugboat company came by to retrieve a boat and also "patrol" the KYC mooring field to make sure everyone was secure.  You'll have to go to their site for the photos - I was nicely huddled up in Delaware.

Finally Vicky returned from China and we had one last beautiful (but cold) day on the water on Oct 10.  This is the first time we really sailed without the bimini & dodger in place (I had removed them for the earlier storm and was too lazy to put them up).  It allowed for a lot more sun and was quite pleasant.  I'm not sure it would work in mid-summer, but we might have to try it.