Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Cost of Owning a Boat - "Seas The Day" (Catalina 315) 3rd Season Costs

(Image credit:

First, some references to our First Year Costs and our 2nd Season Costs for those who want the full picture of the costs of owning and using a new 30ft sailboat.  This is going to be a simple and matter-of-fact post... read the earlier ones for more explanation.

Again, there are no "startup costs" so we have "Seasonal Costs" (the cost of owning the boat for a year) and "Excursion Costs" (an estimate of the cost of using the boat).


- Mortgage was $12,000 (we round the mortgage payment up to $1000/month).
- Insurance was $1,441
- Maintenance was $1,414 (mostly cleaning, waxing, and bottom cleaning)
- Mooring & Storage was $2,445 (Haul out, winterizing, mooring care, etc.)
- Safety equipment was $571 (new anchor, mid-ship cleats for docking, etc.)
- Accessories were $658 (spinnaker lines and fairleads, replacing solar panel, etc.)
- Yacht Club expenses were $2,518 (dues, launch service, coupons, events, etc.)

That's a total of $21047 (be nice... I'm rounding), which is a little more than last year.  We still don't have much in the way of maintenance other than cleaning.  I hope that keeps going for a bit longer.


For excursion costs, I try to estimate the cost of the typical excursion be it a day out and back from the mooring in Keyport, or a longer endeavor.  I try to include actual marina costs, any special provisioning, a guess at fuel and any tips to the launch drivers.  We basically had two types of trips this year.

First is a 4 hour day on the water - starting and ending at Keyport, NJ.  A rough guess for this trip is about $40 it's really not that expensive beyond the cost of ownership.  Note that I do NOT count the costs of meals consumed on land in Keyport.  We had 15 days like this for a total cost of about $600 (again, these are guesses).

The second type of trip was our six day vacation on the Hudson River.  This was our first time doing something like this and yes, it was a bit expensive.  Marina costs were $800, provisions $150, fuel $75 and tips of $30 or so.  We also ate in restaurants a lot at a cost of $1074.  This trip cost us $2129, and total excursion costs were $2729.

So all in all, it continues to average out to about $2K per month.

So what did we get for all this money?  A great week-long vacation, 21 days on the water total, and sharing sailing and Seas The Day with 20 people (not to mention friendships and great times at KYC, etc.).  Despite my knee issues that cropped up in August and forced an early end to the season, it was more time on the water than last year when we moved.  We also learned a lot!

(NOTE:  As of this writing, I had my knee surgery in early December and seem to be on-track to resume sailing when the season starts in May.)

Finally, some have asked "why post this?"  That's a fair question and I do it each year because back when we were thinking about purchasing Seas The Day, there was little information about what it actually costs to own a new boat.  So I share this in that spirit.  Is this exhaustive?  Probably not... I'm sure I'm missing $20 spent at West Marine or at the fuel dock here and there, but I think I'm getting many of the costs.  So how would I gauge the costs of cruising on your sailboat?  I'd look at the mortgage payment and double it.  It may not work in all cases - and it certainly depends on how you keep it, etc., - but it would get you close enough to ensure your budget can handle a new boat.

I'll see you in the spring!