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Trying to figure out what live aboard expenses?-gctid427201

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    Trying to figure out what live aboard expenses?-gctid427201

    A little background first. I am a retired Electronics Engineer, worked in heavy industries all my working life. A Vetren, served from 1968 to 1972. I have owned and run a charter service for the last seven years. I have owned several boats. A wooden duck boat when I was 14 years old, a canoe when 21, a 16 foot runabout 115 hp outboard, a 19 ft runabout, a 2355, a 285, and a 35 ft Viking convertible. Still have the 285 and the Viking. The admiral and I are thinking we would like to live aboard as it might be financially beneficial in our later years. I have been doing all my own maintenance on my boats.

    I know that I will not pay real estate taxes. We own two vehicles and would trim that to one, Less insurance. No house insurance, but that might be a trade off as I will have to have boat insurance. My electric bill has been about $200 and that would be offset because I have to plug the boat in. I pay $75 per year for garbage/recycle. I have the maintenance on the house and property, but I have not nailed that down yet.

    What am I not thinking of and what has been some of your costs so I can make an informed decision.

    Capt. Greg

    #2
    Fish Tales wrote:
    A little background first. I am a retired Electronics Engineer, worked in heavy industries all my working life. A Vetren, served from 1968 to 1972. I have owned and run a charter service for the last seven years. I have owned several boats. A wooden duck boat when I was 14 years old, a canoe when 21, a 16 foot runabout 115 hp outboard, a 19 ft runabout, a 2355, a 285, and a 35 ft Viking convertible. Still have the 285 and the Viking. The admiral and I are thinking we would like to live aboard as it might be financially beneficial in our later years. I have been doing all my own maintenance on my boats.

    I know that I will not pay real estate taxes. We own two vehicles and would trim that to one, Less insurance. No house insurance, but that might be a trade off as I will have to have boat insurance. My electric bill has been about $200 and that would be offset because I have to plug the boat in. I pay $75 per year for garbage/recycle. I have the maintenance on the house and property, but I have not nailed that down yet.

    What am I not thinking of and what has been some of your costs so I can make an informed decision.

    Capt. Greg
    You have it pretty nailed down.

    Here's my list from our last boat:
    • Yearly registration/documentation - $400
    • Yearly excise tax - Included in above
    • Yearly moorage (include water and electricity) - $5000
    • Annual insurance - $1200
    • Annual maintenance - $400
    • Periodic haulouts - about $2000 every 5 years, including survey and bottom paint
    • Connectivity (cable, internet access) - $45/month for Clear internet. No cable. We stream online content and watch local broadcast TV.
    • Fund for the Dammits (unexpected crap that comes up) $500




    Garbage and recycle are part of the slip fee. I'm sure I'm missing some items.....

    It you are willing to do things yourself, you'll save a bundle. An oil change on the water can cost $150 (twin diesels, including oil and filters) or $600. I just completed the electronics install on our trawler; total time spent was about 16 hours. I was quoted $3000 in labor costs for the same install- plus, I know how things are connected and routed, so any troubleshooting is made easier.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Pete, Now to start the search for an appropriate vessel. I am thinking trawler because of the cost of fuel. I am usually not in a big hurry. I used to say that I have more time than money, but at my age I am not so sure of that. Thanks again.

      Greg

      Comment


        #4
        Around here the slip fee for liveaboards is about an additional 50% of the normal slip fees. For instance a normal $400 slip is $600 for a liveaboard. Factor in holding tank pump out service as well.

        Comment


          #5
          If I could do it here I would. I would save a bundle. I want to look for that opportunity in the south for a southern live aboard and keep my northern live aboard. My wife said she would like to be a gypsy for a bit.

          Comment


            #6
            Our slip runs about $1500 every two months. I think they charge an additional fee for liveaboards here. You would also have to factor in additional power and pump-outs. Another issue is wear and tear on equipment that may not have been built for daily use (heads, holding tanks, pumps, lighting, etc).

            Lots of "gotchas" you need to be prepared for.
            Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

            iBoatNW

            1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

            Comment


              #7
              Fish Tales wrote:
              A little background first. I am a retired Electronics Engineer, worked in heavy industries all my working life. A Vetren, served from 1968 to 1972. I have owned and run a charter service for the last seven years. I have owned several boats. A wooden duck boat when I was 14 years old, a canoe when 21, a 16 foot runabout 115 hp outboard, a 19 ft runabout, a 2355, a 285, and a 35 ft Viking convertible. Still have the 285 and the Viking. The admiral and I are thinking we would like to live aboard as it might be financially beneficial in our later years. I have been doing all my own maintenance on my boats.

              I know that I will not pay real estate taxes. We own two vehicles and would trim that to one, Less insurance. No house insurance, but that might be a trade off as I will have to have boat insurance. My electric bill has been about $200 and that would be offset because I have to plug the boat in. I pay $75 per year for garbage/recycle. I have the maintenance on the house and property, but I have not nailed that down yet.

              What am I not thinking of and what has been some of your costs so I can make an informed decision.

              Capt. Greg
              Thanks for the help, need more as the admiral wants to know where in the PNW would be a good place to be a liveaboard. We have experience with the San Juan Islands as visitors for a week or two at a time, but for longer periods it would be nice to get some input from the experienced group here.

              Comment


                #8
                Port of Everett or Cap Sante in Anacortes would be my first choices as a live aboard if cruising were the priority. They both offer great amenities, but are on this side of the Sound so you're not completely stuck with the islands. Moorage on the Islands can be pretty spendy as well. Covered moorage keeps you out of the weather and things drier than open moorage would do for you as well.
                Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

                iBoatNW

                1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

                Comment


                  #9
                  The Admiral and I have been living on our boat for about 2.5 years now in Everett, WA. It started as a temporary gig and turned into a larger boat and longer term plans.

                  Pete has given you a pretty good outline of the expenses and Mike is right on about the covered berths. I would highly recommend you consider a covered berth. It is nice having a dry dock or swim step to move on and off the boat from. Especially when the snow or ice comes. Also being able to unload supplies, laundry, etc without them becoming soaked. The draw back is that during the short summer you don't have quite the light of an open slip but you can always take the boat out. Many do. But most of the year you need to consider the weather. Nice having a dry boat and it also helps protect your investment/home, so less maintenance.

                  Everett charges an additional $52.00 per month for live a boards. This will vary depending on the marina. From Everett you are centrally located and at about 6 hours cruising from the San Juan's and about the same from the South Sound. The marina is one of the largest on the West Coast.

                  Cap Sante in Anacortes does not allow live a boards but Anacortes Marina, around the corner does as do several others up there. If it were not for working at Boeing in Everett we would probably be living up in Anacortes.

                  La Conner also allows live a boards and has covered berthing available. Prices are comparable to Everett and you are close to the San Juan's but more protected from the weather that comes in. Steaming time from La Conner to the San Juan's is about 45 minutes to an hour. Another favorite of ours.

                  Marinas in Washington by law charge 12.5% of your berthing fees for property tax. This is a part of the rate. As a live a board you will be looking at that and other items such as your interest on a boat loan for calculating your taxes just like in a house.

                  We have a diesel fired heater that keeps the boat nice an warm for the coldest of days and electric heat for the remainder. The diesel is hydraunic and also keeps the bilge and cabinets and closets warm and dry as the hoses pass through to the radiators in each of the rooms. Cost for operation for us is about $300-$400 per season.

                  Our electricity runs about $30-$40 per month during the summer and can reach $150 during the deep winter.

                  We pay a service to pump us out weekly at a rate of $15.00 per week. It is very convenient and saves having to unhook and get underway all the time. During the winter this is less desirable as the docks can be slippery out from under the cover. Also, for us and me still working it is one less thing for me to do in my off time. You can take the boat over to the pump out stations and the cost is the fuel you burn and your time.

                  Security in our marina is great as we have three security services that are also included; 1) Port of Everett as they are a working port, 2) City of Everett Police, and 3) US Navy as we are adjacent to the Navy base. All patrol the parking lot.

                  Generally speaking your direct expenses will be as follows:

                  Berthing Fee: Depending on marina, berth size and type berth, Covered 50 foot berth $750 approximately

                  Property Taxes: Included as part of the Berthing Fee

                  Live a Board Fee: Port of Everett $52.00 per month

                  Electricity: Dependent on Use average $75.00 per month approximately

                  Garbage: Included

                  Water: Included

                  Fuel for Diesel Heater: $300-$400 per year

                  Haul out for bottom Paint: Every 2-3 years, about $2000 give or take

                  Zincs Yearly: Most divers charge between $100-$150 for the dive plus Zincs which for us is around $125

                  Yacht Insurance: $1200 - $ 2500 per year depending on value and coverage

                  Storage: Between $75 and $200 per month depending on what you keep and how easy you want access. Makes it nice for changing out Summer and Winter gear and cloths along with tool storage. Also, you may wish to retain items. Be sure to get a heated unit as you don't want to have mold growing on your goods. We have a 10x20 foot unit with in floor heating and pay $175 per month plus $25 per month for our tender trailer.

                  Let me know if you would like any other information. I would spend some time looking at the marinas but first you need to decide on the right boat. That will make more of a difference than the marina. Look at as many boats as you can, decide on what you cannot stand or tolerate. It is very easy to get rose colored glasses when looking at boats. When on board imagine doing regular daily tasks and the problems that you will have. Imagine getting a meal together or relaxing in those cold winter days in your salon, is there room for both of you, is it comfortable, what problems. You will start to see a pattern in what works and what doesn't. Look at as many styles and brands as you can. We spend 1.5 years looking and finally settled on the Bayliner 4588 Pilothouse. Looked at a lot of boats that were bigger and could not find anything in reasonable size (less than 55 feet) that gave us the layout and live ability it did. We have a Golden Retriever and getting on and off the boat was a concern, also for us as we get older. Climbing down from a aft cabin boat is a long ways. Ok when at your home dock, but what about when visiting another marina or at anchor. Climbing down a ladder or up with groceries or a pet can be a chore.

                  Sorry for rambling on here. I hope that this helps. Search the forum under Motoryachts for other threads about this. Also, check out the Trawler Forum, another good source for information.
                  Patrick and Patti
                  4588 Pilothouse 1991
                  12ft Endeavor RIB 2013
                  M/V "Paloma"
                  MMSI # 338142921

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It's actually not saving that much when you go Papa Charlies route....it's almost like my house payment but the boat is paid for I'd imagine.

                    Still I totally understand the value of living aboard and being able to cast the ropes off and head out where you want when you want.

                    I would also recommend the Marina's on the east side of Anacortes, they are better protected from our prominent S winds, and close to downtown anacortes with a Safeway. Cap Sante is nice too bad no live aboards, they have showers and laundry machines and the safeway is almost across the street from the docks.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      rkcarguy wrote:
                      ..it's almost like my house payment but the boat is paid for I'd imagine.
                      I dunno. I'd guess most folks living aboard boats of ample size (40'-45' range) would still be in a mortgage situation.

                      My current moorage costs (when you include power, tax, maintenance and insurance costs) are more than my mortgage was on my home for sure. And that doesn't include the cost of the boat.

                      You're buying into a freedom and lifestyle. Hard to put a number on that.
                      Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

                      iBoatNW

                      1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

                      Comment


                        #12
                        if your boat is here more than 6 months, the county will charge you personal property tax on it. My 2755 cost about $300 a year. I am guessing a 40 footer would be maybe $500?? Just something else to check depending on where you intend to dock. (oh yeah, and if you have an outboard for a dinghy, they tax you for that too, about another $50)
                        1990 2755 - sold
                        2005 275 - sold (now boatless)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Rick Kenyon wrote:
                          if your boat is here more than 6 months, the county will charge you personal property tax on it. My 2755 cost about $300 a year. I am guessing a 40 footer would be maybe $500?? Just something else to check depending on where you intend to dock. (oh yeah, and if you have an outboard for a dinghy, they tax you for that too, about another $50)
                          Another thought - if your state offers a homestead exemption for your primary residence, homestead your boat if you are a live-aboard. That has saved me a couple of hundred bucks a year...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I have been busy looking at boats. The hardest part except paying for it, is deciding which engines would be best. The size of the boat would limit the choice to deisel. DD 6-71N, Lehman, cummins 5.9, any comment on these engines. I need as much distance per gallon as possible as the admiral and I will not be liveaboards that stay tied to the dock. Are there any choices that I should include that I did not?

                            Thanks for your thoughts

                            /

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Fish Tales wrote:
                              I have been busy looking at boats. The hardest part except paying for it, is deciding which engines would be best. The size of the boat would limit the choice to deisel. DD 6-71N, Lehman, cummins 5.9, any comment on these engines. I need as much distance per gallon as possible as the admiral and I will not be liveaboards that stay tied to the dock. Are there any choices that I should include that I did not?

                              Thanks for your thoughts

                              /
                              Depends on whether speed is important to you. The Lehman engines are more of a true trawler engine, with HP ratings in the 120 to 135hp as standard. I like the Cummins, as it's a more modern engine, and can run at trawler speeds as well as make certain hulls fly. Detroits are solid, reliable, and leak. Hinos, Cats, and Volvos are also decent engines.

                              No matter the engine, your fuel usage will depend on your speed (or lack thereof).

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