We often get questions regarding the true cost of a second hand boat as after the initial acquisition cost even a previously well-maintained boat will have a yearly cost.
As Impi has reached the ripe old age of 10 and our insurance company Pantaenius has a deductible for part replacements older than 10, I thought to do an exercise listing all the parts that are less than 5 years old.
Quite a massive undertaking , involving going through all the invoices in different currencies as over the last 5 years Impi was in 5 different countries buying spares in 8 different currencies! I separated out maintenance items and just went for replacement parts and materials.
It became easier with the help of my.waveapps.com, an accounting program that stores all your receipts online. Once I had figured out how it works I was able to store all receipts online and list transactions in multiple currencies.
As we spent most of the time in Australia I then converted all bills in Australian dollars. Of course over the last 5 years there have been fluctuations in currency so the figures need to be taken carefully.
There is a saying that you need to spend about 10% of your acquisition cost yearly to keep a cruising lifestyle up. So a boat costing AU$600000, will have an annual cruising cost of AU$60000.
That cost however will depend on your own skills, how you use your boat, the area where you are sailing and what your lifestyle expectations are.
For us the priorities on Impi are safety, comfort and esthetics whilst sailing around the world spending most of the time at anchor.
So if we accept that the cruising budget is 10% of the acquisition cost of the boat, then the cost of new parts and materials on board Impi took up 50% of the annual cruising budget over the last 5 years. So if you buy a 5 year old boat and are intending to sail it for the next 5 years, it will give you some idea as what your boat requires if you want to keep her up to date in line with similar priorities as our own.
How was the new parts and materials budget spent?
On Impi we attach high importance to being safe whilst doing extended mileage. For example we explored Australia by boat from Thursday Island in Northern Queensland to Hobart in Tasmania. We sailed from Raja Ampat in NE Indonesia through Southern Indonesia to the Anambas in the South China Sea in one season.
It therefore comes as no surprise to us that our biggest cost in replacement parts has been in sails, ropes, deck gear and rigging.
We installed a second autopilot, upgraded navigation instrumentation and replaced our AIS , decklights and navigation lights.
We also went on replacing all thru hole fittings. Together these areas represented 45% of our parts budget.
Comfort and Esthetics
Whilst we are environmentally aware we treasure our creature comforts on board. This has enabled us to enjoy 8 years of sailing. The installation of lithium batteries and upgraded electrical systems underpin a lifestyle on board not so different from what one might expect on land. In actual fact on the few occasions we have stayed on land it was nearly always less comfortable! 14% of our new parts budget went on that.
Replacement upholstery inside and outside, new taps, toilets, mirrors, fans and some hatches took 9%.
Refrigeration, cooking and washing machine cost us 2% of our budget.
Staying at anchor
5% of our budget went on costs associated with anchoring: 2 anchor chains, new motor and gear box for the windlass, extended anchoring rope and stern lines due to deep anchorages in Raja Ampat.
We replaced our tender when it was 8 years old, taking 8% of our budget.
Brent is a qualified diesel mechanic as well as civil engineer and keeps a close eye on all engines on board. Replacement parts for generator and engines came to 7% of our budget.
The unwelcome surprises
Due to poor manufacturing of SD50 sail drives and the fact that Yanmar did not provide a warranty for their product, the installation of SD60’s was the element that should not feature here. We really wish that as more people buy boats, consumer rights for boat holders improve and poor product warranty will become a thing of the past. 10% of our budget went on SD60’s.
So if you are thinking of buying a second hand catamaran to cruise worldwide and you have similar priorities and skills to us, this blog will give you an indication as to what you may expect to spend on new parts. Cheers guys, Impi out!