Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Analyze a boat purchase

A great deal on a sailboat has come to our attention so we're now in the process of deciding whether to pursue this purchase. Whenever we face a life decision like this, our first step is to decide "why". Last night we came up with this list of reasons why we'd like a boat:

1. We love spending time on boats
2. We want the kids to grow up around boats and water
3. We want to develop our own sailing skills to enable us to do a year long sailing sabbatical

The next step is to figure out the real costs of owning a boat. We contacted the marina where we would keep the boat and got the prices for monthly berthing, haul in/out, winterizing, etc, then spoke with our friends to get an approximate cost of insurance. If we spread that out over the entire year it worked out to be about $230/month. If we then add in maintenance costs, which are high on older boats, we get another $166/month(based on a $25,000 boat, mid 1980's, 8% maintenance/year).

That makes a total of almost $400/month per year to own a sailboat. Hmmmm.

If we decide that we can afford that cost, we then need to decide what activities our new sailing hobby will displace. As you can imagine, our life, like most peoples', is extremely busy, so when we pick up some new activity, then something has to give. It seems the area most likely to give would be the impromptu weekend trips courtesy of our favourite airline, WestJet. We're okay with this, especially considering we'll be spending the time sailing, fishing and swimming.

More to come, stay tuned.

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