Where’d the money go? (the Rockland refit, in Maine)

Sunrise in Rockland, Maine

I am definitely not a financial expert. But I find money interesting, and especially interesting when we’re talking about how money can be best used to make life more interesting.

In case you weren’t sure, boats are a pretty crappy investment.

Waxed and polished sailboat hull

This is nicely backed up with all sorts of unhappy little truisms, like “BOAT = Bring On Another Thousand“, or “Boat dollar: $1000 bucks” (as in, “honey, I need a couple more boat dollars to finish off this project”), or “Boat: hole in the water lined with fibreglass into which one pours money“.

This feels particularly true when I think about our little mini-refit. Specifically: how did we spend $4000 on our boat?? It breaks down as follows:

  • $1000 for the haul out in Rockland. This includes 12 layover days at $50/day (ie what they charge you to live in their work yard and do your own work). Added value: $0.
  • $1800 for the new prop, prop shaft, shaft coupler, and dripless shaft seal. The dripless shaft seal is very nice to have, but a future buyer probably doesn’t really care one way or the other. The prop is definitely not currently adding value, but with a little work might be a value-add in the future. Added value: unknown.
  • $1200 for a ridiculous assortment of expensive marine stuff, including things like new thruhulls, seacocks, hoses, epoxy, varnish, bottom paint, fasteners, tools, AWAB hose clamps (crazy but I think we spent $120 on hose clamps alone…), and the list goes on…. Added value: unknown.

So at the end of the day we spent an unplanned $4k on the boat, and have received an unknown amount of added value in exchange. NOT a good deal!

Sunrise at Journey's End Marina

But someone smarter than me said you need to spend around 10% of your boat’s value on maintenance every year, just to maintain the boat’s current value. You can get away with spending less, but you’ll be decreasing the boat’s value. And if you spend a little more, you might manage to increase the boat’s value just a little tiny bit.

To be fair, we have sailed Brio hard for the last 4+ years, doing just the bare minimums to keep her moving. So I hold no resentment towards her — she deserves a little care and effort from her owners.

And thankfully, living on a boat has all sorts of intrinsic value outside of the financial realm.

Splashing front view

I just want to make sure no one thinks boats are sound financial investments 😉

– LMK

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