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What's an average yacht program look like?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Gulfer, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Gulfer

    Gulfer New Member

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    First time post, very nervous. Be gentle. :) Seriously, looking for other owners to talk too. I find the brokers & crew give great advice. But, let's just say... At times, I would love to talk to someone that is experiencing the same pain.

    About 3 years ago, we purchased a Westport 112. We're from the mid-west and never owned a boat. Honestly, I had no idea what we getting into. All I can say, is it's been like drinking from the fire hose. More on that maybe letter.

    During the 'buying' process, someone said we could run the boat for $400k a year. Ha! I'm my dreams. But, that little false promise caused so much frustration & doubt for the first 18 months of ownership. Where we doing something wrong? Getting ripped off? Thankfully, the costs didn't put our family in a financial crisis.

    Early on, I remember talking to a captain of another Westport 112 in the Bahamas. Out of frustration, I ask their operating costs. He said, they ran about $600k per year. That was still a far cry from the number we were running at.

    I asked our captain, he said he knew the boat well and their "program" was completely different. They dock the boat behind their house the majority of the time and only use the boat a few weeks a year, plus ran with a small full-time crew and supplemented with temporary help when need.

    Running a boat is like running a business. However, there is no P&L, it's sadly only L (expenses). I struggle answering the simple question, "Are we doing a reasonable job managing the boat?" I keep hearing the catch phase... "It depends on your program".

    What's a fair benchmark of a program? But, I have no idea what is light, medium, or heavy usage?

    Curious on what yours looks like? Are we being unreasonable?

    Here is our program.

    3 years, a little over 3000+ hours of engine time.

    Year 1: Based in Fort Lauderdale, then to Naples, Key West, Bahamas, then Michigan, with some stops during re-positioning in the Northeast. About 7 weeks on family aboard. About 1100 hours of engine time.

    Year 2: Similar to Year 1, Maybe a little more usage.

    Doing a Postmortem on our program, we looked at the cost of the Michigan Trip wear & tear on the boat & crew. The trip takes about 12 weeks (to & fro), plus add in required shipyard time. That meant we're losing close to 6 months of year of enjoyment. This combined with the additional operating costs we figured there has to be a better way.

    Year 3: 1000 hours, 90 days of family on board. Naples, KeyWest, Bahamas, Cuba, Northeast (Newport, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Boston, New York, Maine, so on...) A truly memorable year.

    What did we did differently? Obviously, removed Michigan. Well, we just purchased a boat to keep in Michigan.

    On the logistics; we did a much better job of minimizing wasted re-positioning. In addition, we did a better job of providing gaps to allow the crew to recharge. Truth to told, the first 2 years.. I think we ran them a bit ragged. As for owners, we felt the opposite, we didn't like the downtime.

    The net result was NOT a significant cost savings. But, enjoyment went way up. Crew was happier. Basically, overall things went smoother.

    Looking for ways to improve, and bring this to the next level. Currently, we're a major REFIT on the entire boat to get ready to do some serious exploring. First on the list is the Caribbean. Would love some suggestions.
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    First, we're very different from most "Yacht" owners, noting I prefer the word "Boat". Where our boat goes, so do we. I know repositioning is the norm and if one is working and has little time it likely makes sense, but we don't do it. The repositioning to Michigan could have been a wonderful, enjoyable trip as could have the return trip. Likely we would have seen half the sites on the way and the other half returning. made a list of places to stop and visit and done half on the way up and half on the return, still leaving many for the next time we did it. You put hours and wear on your boat and you didn't get to enjoy it. It passed so many wonderful places.

    The boat with us starts the year in FLL and ends it there but may spend much time away. Our cruising pattern is to cruise for six weeks, ending up somewhere we can dock for a while, flying home for three weeks, then back to the boat for the next six. When we leave the boat at these destinations only two crew members stay with it. Typically crew splits the time so they all get at least a week and a half at home.

    Buying the Michigan boat likely does make sense. We have multiple boats for different uses. As we put in similar annual hours of around 1000 it spreads that out. Now we do likely cruise faster than you. We cruise Westport's at 20 knots the majority of days cruising. We have other boats for real speed so our average 1000 hours a year typically turns into 18,000 nm or so.

    We spend about 240 days a year cruising and another 40 day boating locally. Now, this past year it was down as we got involved with some schools. This current year is low as we're on a air and land trip in Europe (oh next time will be on the water) for a month which includes a stop to try to finalize a boat order.

    Caribbean is out next major trip after we return and settle in for a bit. Our patterns are not unlike your years 2 and 3. One year might focus on the East Coast including the Chesapeake, NYC, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's, and Boston. Another year the west coast of FL and the Gulf Coast. Another year the Caribbean. Another time, the Bahamas. One or two major areas a year.

    We do enjoy our destinations and plan our stays at each. Our typical cruising pattern is a day of travel on the water followed by one or two days at a destination. We might move 8 to 10 hours on the water day, but then sit for a day or two.

    Now I don't know the size or experience of your crew. Most would say we overpay but we have the best and no turnover in over 7 years of doing this. We also have more crew than needed but we want our crew to enjoy the travel as well. They can get what they need to do done quickly on each stop and then enjoy the same things we plan to see. One of our real joys is seeing young stews enjoying places they only imagined going. In fact, we couldn't bear this trip and them not enjoying it so our crew is with us in Europe. They're like family, like our kids, the closeness far beyond owner and crew but then they eat at the table with us, go to restaurants with us. We're not going to make them eat in the "basement" or crew lounge. our best friends work and perhaps two can join us at a time on our trips but our crew always makes great friends along with us. We also plan so all our crew can have a minimum of 140 days a year, home in FLL. I'll remind you that crew doesn't leave a boat or the career typically over pay, but over how they're treated and over the struggle to have a personal life, a home, relationships. We do provide our crew condos and cars in FLL.

    Now, I'm trying to relate to normal ways of doing things and I'll encourage you to play with the tools on this site, https://www.luxyachts.com/yacht-cost-calculator

    That said, we'd expect on a 112 to spend nearly $400k on crew with salaries, payroll taxes, insurance, travel, meals, and uniforms. Fuel and lube and diving $100k. Dockage $30k. Maintenance an average (and this includes building allowances for refits and for painting and for rebuilding engines) at least $100k, owners food, beverage and provisions plus sightseeing and entertainment for 90 days assuming two guests, $50k. Insurance, customs, licensing, crew training $50k. So, I'd see $700-800k as more the norm on this boat. For us, it would be higher.

    Don't get your numbers from those trying to sell you a boat. The $400k number is just outrageously low to me. The $600k is possible with limited cruising with a crew of 3, perhaps only 2 permanent, with minimum benefits and modest pay, and with anchoring rather than marinas and low cost dockage at home. If someone asked me out of nowhere the annual cost to expect, I'd toss out $800k to $1 million and if they came in less that would be great. Now that includes allowances for all the periodic work as I said above not just the costs you incur every year.

    Now, sounds like you're learning what works for you. We have friends who are one month cruising, one month at home. Everyone finds what works for them. I'll toss you some future destinations. Don't stop at Boston or in Maine, continue to Montreal. Don't stop at Key West or Galveston, head to Cancun, but don't stop there, head to Alaska. Go to the West Coast some time and keep the boat there a couple of years. Then after all that, sometime you can ship it to Europe and enjoy a summer there. There are always more places to go, but always more to see in all the areas you've previously cruised.
  3. Gulfer

    Gulfer New Member

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    First of all, thank you for replying. You're sort of a legend on this forum, at least in my eyes. Prior to posting, I think I went through every thread on this forum. I saw your name many times. However, many of conversations are 'expert' level, i.e. too technical for me. But, it's good to hear the lingo and eventually, maybe someday will understand it all.

    >>First, we're very different from most "Yacht" owners, noting I prefer the word "Boat".​
    We do as well. I'm not exactly sure the etiquette.

    >>The repositioning to Michigan could have been a wonderful, enjoyable trip as could have the return trip.
    Agreed. The challenge there was we one child in high school. He graduates in May, then we officially an empty nesters! Which opens a whole new world with flexibility we haven't enjoyed in 24 years! Due to the short season in Michigan, combined with travel time. It made it difficult to take full advantage of the repositioning.

    >>The boat with us starts the year in FLL and ends it there but may spend much time away. Our cruising pattern is to cruise for six weeks, ending up somewhere we can dock for a while, flying home for three weeks, then back to the boat for the next six. When we leave the boat at these destinations only two crew members stay with it. Typically crew splits the time so they all get at least a week and a half at home.
    We where thinking about 10 days a month, with some longer stays when it makes sense. I like your idea of sending some crew back home for some family time.

    I agree with your comment, crew happiness isn't directly tied to income. One of our challenges has been giving the crew needed breaks. Sometimes, as a new owner; you forget... Even while you're not using it, they are still working. And of course, planning for their breaks. We've really improved on this particular point, but have room to make it even better.

    One issue we had early on, was when the boat is local, for example, in Michigan & Naples and we're staying at our house. The crew is on 'stand-by', waiting to see if we'll be coming down. This was one of our 'rookie' mistakes, not communicating properly and giving them a heads up when we plan on using it. We didn't properly communicate that at the beginning, as a result they crew was burning out because they were working 7 days a week. It was never our intentional...

    >>We cruise Westport's at 20 knots the majority of days cruising. We have other boats for real speed so our average 1000 hours a year typically turns into 18,000 nm or so.​

    I think we do about 15 knots on average. We've tried going slower to save fuel, and basically it's sometimes a nicer ride. But, the family gets a little bored turning a 2 hour trip into a 3.5 hour trip.

    The Captain was telling me a story of two Westports. Both with almost the exact same program. One owner, liked to only do 10 knots, the other 20 knots. The interesting thing was they both went up for resale about the same time. Since the "faster" boat had almost had half the number of hours on the engines, thus got significantly more in resale. I guess in boating, it's pay me know or pay me later.

    >>We spend about 240 days a year cruising and another 40 day boating locally. Now, this past year it was down as we got involved with some schools.
    Wow! You're my idol. How many crew do you employee full-time? If you're on the boat that much, having the crew back home for 140 days. Do you 'carry' on the payroll extra crew for flexibility. We currently run a 4 person crew, and are considering going to a 5 person crew next year when the usage ramps up a bit.

    >> So, I'd see $700-800k as more the norm on this boat. For us, it would be higher.
    We budget about $1.2m per year, all in. Which falls within the range of the 10% of the list price of the boat, if that makes sense. I wish it was closer to your $800k number, but not exactly sure how we'll ever get there. I'll look at our numbers again, but our fix closes are close to $700k without fuel. For example, docking runs about $500/day average, maybe a bit more.. Nantucket for a week or two tends to blow a budget. Anchoring out more could lower that cost.
    ,
    We've been running bit higher due to various repairs along the way. Hence, we've decided to do a pretty major REFIT this year, engines & most of all mechanical completely rebuilt, plus refresh on the interior. It's an older boat, thus everything was starting to fail at the same time, and it felt like we're getting a little nickeled and dimed to death.
  4. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    I'm just a little old 50'. My program depends on what my family and I wish do to that year. If I had to fit my program to my boat's actual expenses or my desired expenses, I'd say I had too much boat, or excessive expectations as to what a realistic program is for me. When I bought my vessel, I figuratively booked it at zero on my personal asset side, and determined it to be a variable expense on the other side with a sustainable cap. I calculated what my annual operating and depreciation cost (maintenance and repurchase)) would be, added a percentage and adjusted for inflation. I haven't been surprised except pleasantly. I believe in running a balance sheet in order to project your annual capital contributions., since there is no income component. I do not mean to sound sarcastic, because that's not my point, I couldn't afford $1M. $800K or $600K in capped expenses which have no off setting income - so I wouldn't own that boat., lovely as it is. Just saying.... If Michigan was or is an important trip, too bad you had to cut it out of your program to control costs. Everything is relative, I guess. We are the fortunate few of the world to have these woes.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I appreciate the kind words. I'm not a technical guy either, just a boat owner who loves to boat.

    Our crew are contracted to work 220 days a year. Now, we could working at home, working on the boat, and days not working when away from home on the boat. All days away from home count. Maritime Labour Convention says crew shall be limited to 14 hours per day and to 77 hours per week. We make sure they have at least one eight hour period every 24 for sleep. We try to insure they have at least one day per week with no work duties even though we count it as work since they're away from home. Now the stews have found that rather than having days off they'd rather all jump in and finish faster and then go explore together. We also have occasion when we don't need them all but knowing where we're headed they all want to go. Up the East Coast and around to Montreal was a great example, everyone wanting to go.

    We have a cruising crew of 10 (we also have 2 land based who take care of a total of 7 boats, which includes 2 boats of family/friends and 1 center console). Our largest boat requires 7. We will cruise with 8 to 10. Also, our chief stew is only 140 days rather than 220.

    However, our other boats require 3 (we generally have at least 5), 2 (we generally have 3 to 5) and 0 (although sometimes we'll have 1). Our work for crew is also reduced as we're both Captains and we take the helm a lot of the time.

    As to your standing by, which you've changed, being on call is the same as working. We schedule our larger boats well. Smaller is somewhat weather and seas dependent so when home we'll have days that are known we won't boat and other days that vary from possible to probable. However, we'll have only 3 or 4 crew members prepared.

    As to your $1.2 million and 10% old maid's tale. 10% of what? Certainly doesn't decline with age and what is included. 10% on todays price would be about $1.5 million. Overall we run under 10% including depreciation. Without depreciation we run about 8%. That's a little misrepresentative though as we own our docks so would need to add something for them.

    As to cost, we budget, but we don't focus on it otherwise. It's typically run well under our budget but that's my school of very conservative budgeting. I di agree with Beau that I'd never want to own a boat that made me stress over it's costs or the finances. That destroys the pleasure. We was encourage, including by people here, to build a boat that we just weren't comfortable with the cost of, not out of the range we could afford, but out of the range we were comfortable with and beyond anything we really felt a need for.

    A couple more crew comments. We don't have a chef on board although excellent cooks including one who could be. However, we don't eat white linen service or five star. We eat good food when aboard but not fancy. We leave that for eating out. We also don't vacuum the entire boat daily. We vacuum as needed and otherwise weekly. We don't change bed linens daily like a hotel. We do it weekly unless needed more often. We do things much like home although we have a chef there, but still don't go formal. We just don't treat our boat like a hotel, but rather like a vacation home.
  6. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Gulfer , no need to be nervous that's for sure. I like your story about the engine hours on the two similar boats. I never really gave that much though before. For me , I just learned something.
    Anyway I have no more to add to this eye opening conversation other than we all on here share the need for getting out on the water no matter how or where we might be. And we always must count our blessings , for what we have got.
    Good luck on the refit.
  7. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    I personally hate to hear stories like this. This is why we have too many one and done yacht owners. They are sold a dream by the broker and then when it doesn't meet expectations they get a sour taste in their mouth and get out. I am sure there are faults to go around on all sides, yours, the brokers and your Captain. The important thing is that you are recognizing it and taking steps to make your yachting more enjoyable.

    I am really glad you are seeing it through, and finally seem to be having a good time with your boat. OB has a lot of good things to say on crew retention and how to use your yacht. Meeting other yacht owners is another good step. Another good avenue of advice is to notice other well run boats and talk to their Captains. Over the years I have been asked by owners to help guide them or their young Captains to make their programs more successful.

    As to the money, there is a happy medium to how you handle it. Tighten down to much on expenses, and your vessel and crew will suffer. Loosen up to much and money will be flying out the window with no control. I had one owner that I worked for many years with, and it wasn't until 4 years in that he finally asked about what was being spent. I assumed the CFO was keeping him informed, and he told me the only way he could own a boat was by not asking how much was being spent, it was an eye opener when I showed him the books. I had another owner that would watch the books like a hawk, no problem with this, but it made me a much better bookkeeper and really made me pay attention to what I was spending and my budgets. Somewhere in between there is a happy medium, do what makes you comfortable.

    There is a wealth of information on this site, with several experienced owners and Captains that are on here. Good luck in the future and enjoy your Westport, they are great boats.
  8. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    I've done both. Our Owner used to sail with us for only for 3 weeks a year around the Med. The other one took us around the World twice. It's all about choices.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Interesting as I'm comfortable running it accounting wise just like our businesses. We budget, have monthly financial statements and our managing captains and chief engineer explain the major variations vs. budget monthly. We use purchase orders and all expenses are run through our corporate accounting system with our boat entity billed for accounting services. I have access to going down to see every dollar but typically just review at a higher level. Our managing captains have decades of experience but still have been trained further. Our senior captain under them, and ultimately their replacement when they retire, is an accounting major in college as family tradition even though she had her captain's license and knew her chosen career. So basically have all information available, only occasionally look in detail.
    One complaint I've heard is to the effect that the captain does a lousy job of bookkeeping. I asked an owner what training their captain had received. "I don't know." Then I asked how many accountants and bookkeepers did he have working for him in his business. "I don't know but quite a few." Now where this led is so logical, "Couldn't you have one of them work with your captain a little and help him do better?" Answer, "I guess."
    As an owner you must determine what you need and want but then provide any training necessary to get it.
    Now, our boat financials don't change a thing we do, just enable us to budget more accurately in the future and project longer term. We've accumulated data we can use going forward. Much of it is to educate my wife and myself. However, some concepts have been new to our captains. For instance, they always projected refits and painting and even rebuilds of equipment. They never before charged to the financials on a monthly basis an allowance for those future expenditures though. Accrual accounting was new to them. They never saw depreciation before. We look at aging for boats and replacement just like capital assets in a business. What we do would be overcomplicating things for most, but for me it's second nature and simple.
    One of the most challenging questions for me was how to depreciate boats. If we were doing taxes involving them we would be limited as to methods but we're not as they aren't involved in any income tax scenarios. So, do you figure a useful life and use straight line? Do you do it based on hours of use? Does it even matter? Well, not if you never intend to replace the boat. However, if you do intend to do so, it's helpful to keep awareness of it's depreciated value. We use a declining rate so much more in the early years. Then annually we compare our depreciated value to market and adjust. Depreciation is a very real cost of ownership.
    You mentioned an owner's CFO, but many owners never use their CFO or others to advise them. They also don't use sound business practices in purchasing boats. They do things they would have never done in business such as an advance multi million dollar payment to an entity that has zero assets.
    Elsewhere on this site you see the case of Anodyne. Can you imagine the owner running his business so carelessly, yet he did the business aspect of boating.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    One other crew comment. Have job descriptions and discuss them. Responsibilities should be clear as should be chain of command.
  11. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    For my simple calculations, depreciation was included in its actual sense not a tax fiction. I included operating cost, maintenance, cost of replacement for items at the end of useful life, etc. I did not include replacement of the vessel with a new, since my scenario has no income side, so there is no way for me to create that sinking fund. My operating analysis was just that: can I afford to run the boat over a period of time with no economic encroachment on use. Cost of acquisition was not booked. I from time to time adjust my calculations and keep a very accurate accounting on QB's. I can graphically view my annual expense curve and forecast for replacement equipment (which is funded out of my pocket, but at least gives me a planning tool)a little folksy, but it seems to work for me. With this system I can tell what I paid for boat soap in june of 2014. Of course I do not have nearly the complication or size of the annual costs of the OP
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Yes, but the principles you follow can do well for anyone. Size of the costs don't change that. We have no income or revenue on our boats either. However, do have projections of replacements and what we're willing to spend over time. To me the purpose of what you're doing or we're doing is to understand where the money is being spent and what the cost is.
  13. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Indeed,
  14. Gulfer

    Gulfer New Member

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    Absolutely! These are truly 1st world problems, no matter what the budget.

    Our Captain absolutely hates this as well, because now he has to defend his position against poor or partial advice from a 3rd party.

    Oh, Please don't get me wrong. I'm sure I were part of the problem. I honestly don't remember the conversations now, but there is a good chance someone might have said, you can run the boat for between $X and $Y. Being an optimist (or delusional as I later found out), and of course selling the concept to my wife. I latched on the lower number. Shhh... Don't tell her.

    This speaks to the crux of the dilemma, finding the right balance? Unfortunately, I'm quickly finding there is no "On Size fits All" solution. If only life was that easy.

    Now, it's just trying to optimize our program for maximum enjoyment! :) But, I'm also painfully aware of it's not only about my family, it's also taking care of the crew. It's an interesting dynamic of trying to balance shipyard, vacations, and usage.

    This year is an "weird" year, 3 kids graduating from school. Thus, we decided it was a good time to REFIT the boat. It's been in dry dock since August and will come out in March for the Bahamas. April/May, shipyard... Finish what we started. June another trip to the Bahamas, then in shipyard for a full paint job. Plan is to be complete in mid-November.

    2021 - Caribbean, Probably start in British Virgin Island, then head south from there. The goal is to be on the boat about 10 days a month, with some longer trips around Spring break & Summer with kids.

    Here is my question? Suggestions on places you have to go? Our ideally, if you don't a similar trip; how did you schedule it throughout the islands.[/QUOTE]
  15. Gulfer

    Gulfer New Member

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    I found this reference in a website, however, I haven't been able to track it down.

    Has anyone actually seen this whitepaper? Is it very informative?
  16. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    Thus, we decided it was a good time to REFIT the boat. It's been in dry dock since August and will come out in March for the Bahamas. April/May, shipyard... Finish what we started. June another trip to the Bahamas, then in shipyard for a full paint job. Plan is to be complete in mid-November.

    If your boat has already been in refit for 7 months, and it has not been painted yet, something is definitely wrong. I can't imagine a full refit on a 112 taking more than 6 months, including paint. You are not going to have your boat for a year and a half, except for a few weeks? Although I do not know your refit list, this seems to be quite a lot of time. Now maybe you purposely put it on a slow track, if so, I take what I said back.
  17. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Another practice you may want to adopt is to require your captain to provide an annual budget with a corresponding column for actual expenses with as much detail as you'd like, and provide that simple spread sheet to you monthly. Some of the costs may not commit themselves to monthly reporting ( like insurance, which may be paid annually or semi annually). But a note section along the horizontal comparison can note any timing issues. or other explanation for anomalies. You'll have a good handle as to where you are expense wise at any given point. If you haven't already done so, maybe you can reconstruct the prior years for comparison/control. This sheet would also show you where you might cut costs, like replacing some dock fees with anchorage fees - a big savings.
  18. Gulfer

    Gulfer New Member

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    Sigh... Please don't give me something else to worry about. :) The boat arrived in Ship Yard, around mid-August. We lost a couple weeks due to the hurricane, and of course you have the holidays. So delays here and there for parts.

    About 1 year ago, we had a decision to make.. Basically, invest in the devil we know or trade her in on another. Then deal with the unknowns.

    Our broker advice we got was if you like this boat and think you'll be happy with her for the next 3 to 5 years. Then it make sense to do a major REFIT. If you feel, another boat might service your needs better. Then trade it in.

    She's a great boat, but older and getting high in engine hours. I just got this from the Captain, Yearly, we're are doing about 14,200 nautical miles, or 1500 hours a year on the engine. We have over 8000 hours on the engines before rebuilt. With a minor leak in one gasket.

    I have a spreadsheet that's about 6 pages long with all the various items we've approved. It's a pretty extensive list.

    As for what was getting done.

    Mechanically: Complete Engine Rebuild, down the the block. Generators, top end rebuilt, coils re-dipped, All Chillers replaced. The of course there is the transmission, drive shaft, and a bunch of other odds and ends... I honestly don't remember all the items.

    Interior: Some of the delays were getting all the pricing and selections. But, in general terms. Replacement of various ceiling panels, Wallpaper, New Carpet & Flooring. New Furniture. Additional Storage under beds, New Ovens & Cook top, Re-covering the existing built-in couches. All new linens and such.

    Charter-Ready: This is a topic I would love to discuss at some point. Basically, lots of various outfitting items.

    My understanding, Painting itself takes 3 months to do. Plus preparation time and reassembly. So, maybe another 6 weeks to that.

    The engines alone has taken close to 5 months, using a top dealer. So, I don't see how you could do all of this in much less time. Then again, this is my first time through; so, I'm sure there were some delays as we were making decisions. But, that's mostly on the interior on the boat. Mechanically, I don't have much to offer other than approve and pay for the work.
  19. Gulfer

    Gulfer New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    St. Louis
    We have a similar spreadsheet that work against. It really helps. Things should be smoother and predictable in theory (crossing my fingers) now that we've essentially ZERO'd the boat out. Then again, this is boating, and boats just wants to tear themselves apart on a daily basis.

    The challenge over the last couple of years is the unknowns. Maybe I'm 100% wrong, but it's hard to predict everything when you buy a 'used' boat.

    When we first bought a boat, there is all the outfitting costs, then various items that either the surveyor missed or whatever. That blew some budgets.

    I later heard somewhere to hire a Captain first, then have them help you pick out the boat out. Great advice. However, when you're a first time buyer. It's a little easier said than done. The fact of the matter, the first Captain we hired was well.. not that good. Sad to say, he didn't last long.

    As for 'random' events. Again, some things were entirely our fault on managing the boat. For example, the hydraulic lift was leaking, but the controller was fine. So, we fixed the leak. Then as luck has it, 6 months later the controller failed. In the middle of the Bahamas on New Years Eve with the toys in the water. That was a ordeal.

    One chiller went out. So, instead of listening the Captains advice that they will all be failing soon as they're all the same age. We found a refurbish chiller to replace the failed unit. That lasted for about a year, then it failed along with all the other chillers. Lucky, that seriously happened on the last day of the 2019 season.

    There were other various things along the way we did to 'try' to save money. Some worked, however more often than not it turned into throwing good money after bad money.

    Today, I marked much of this as baptism by fire. Or a learning experience.

    I really hope some of this makes sense to you experts. Or maybe in the future, someone will learn from our mistakes.
  20. FlyingGolfer

    FlyingGolfer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2017
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    NC
    This thread perfectly illustrates the immense value of yachtforums.com.