August 10, 2012

Paying too much?

JUST HOW MUCH of your hard-earned cash can a boatyard owner expect to get his grubby mitts on every year? How do you know if you’re shelling out more than the next guy?

            In Skene’s Elements of Yacht Design, Francis S. Kinney asks: “Just how much is upkeep per year? Not many owners will tell you--they don’t want their wives to know.”

            There’s probably still a lot of truth to that, and perhaps it’s better if you really don’t know. But Kinney offers a couple of hints.  If you do little or no maintenance for yourself, you can relate actual costs per year to the original cost of the boat when new in this way:

             Wooden and steel boats will need between 5 and 12 percent of the original cost per year.

              Aluminum and fiberglass boats will need between 2 and 5 percent of the original cost per year.

            For current values, you should adjust the original cost of your boat for inflation; that is, regard it as the actual price you’d pay for your boat if it were delivered brand-new today.

            If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, you can expect to hand over expenditure on maintenance to a boatyard owner.

            Now, there are about 2,000 boats in my local marina, with an average value (at today’s new prices) of at least $30,000. That’s $60 million. At 5 percent, the boatyards’ annual share of that for maintenance is $3 million and the average yearly bill should be $1,500. Do you get the feeling you’re paying the boatyard bill for everyone?

Today’s Thought
What is infamy, so long as our money is safe?
— Juvenal, Satires

Now hear this . . .
IF ALL GOES as planned, there will be no Mainly about Boats columns for the next 10 days or so.  We’re off to Hawaii, to the island where Captain James Cook (probably the greatest navigator and explorer the world has ever known) was killed in 1779.  I hope the natives are friendlier now.

Meanwhile, if you scroll to the very bottom of the page you’ll find nearly 600 past columns under the heading “Labels.”  Rummage around in the pile, click on something, and see what you come up with.  It’s all free, non-fattening, and guaranteed hygienic. And best of all — no advertisements.

“Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.”
(24) “I’m afraid you’ll have to leave, sir. You’re not allowed to have pets in the dining room.”

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

1 comment:

Ken said...

Have a great holiday, we'll miss you.