First boat help?

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Ann Camille, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. KeithO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 305
    Likes: 56, Points: 28
    Location: Michigan

    KeithO Senior Member

    What is interesting is that in 12 years this boat has only 230 hours. Based on the math I did above, accumulating those 230 hours cost someone about $15 230.00 for gas alone. One would need to look at the service manuals to understand how many times the engines had been serviced but once a year minimum x 12 years... It is an unfortunate truth that most gentlemen at the country club don't discuss, which is that boats like these tend to be dock queens because of how much it costs to run them. $63.30 an hour for fuel, not considering anything else.

    My very first boat was a mere 16 foot jet boat with a 95hp 2 stroke Mercury engine. If one tried towing a skier with that it was struggling and it would burn through about 13 gal/hr of premixed 2 stroke fuel. At the time the fuel + lube was over $4/gal so I was spending more than $48/hour running my little boat and it quickly got old.. I got rid of it and went with a similar size boat with a 50hp outboard. So about half the power, still a 2 stroke, same technology. But a conventional prop instead of Mercury's not so good jet drive. With that boat I could take a 2.5 gal fuel tank and go for a run on the chain of lakes I live in, about 90 min there and 90 min back and I would have to add about a quart of fuel to the tank to make it home. So from 12gal/hr with the crappy jet drive to about 1 gal/hr with the 50hp outboard. Of course the second boat wasn't as fast, but it still got up on the plane. I was probably only using 20hp once it was on the plane. Didn't have enough guts to tow a skier, one needs more than 50hp for that. But obviously fuel cost was hardly a factor with the second boat. I sure didn't mind not having to fill up and carry around 6 full jerry cans of fuel every time we took the boat out either and constantly looking at the fuel gauge so that I didn't have to paddle...
     
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  2. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    Lots of good info so far about boats in general, but what about you and your significant other? Have you taken a Boating Safety Course. Many states now have a an education requirement. This means that you need to take a test on line, usually free, or a nominal fee, that tests you boating knowledge, such as Navigation rules. It's best you take a course offered by The US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Welcome to the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Official Web portal http://www.cgaux.org/boatinged/ or the US Power Squadron, a boating club that also gives Boating courses that are approved by the states, America's Boating Club | All Education Courses https://americasboatingclub.org/learn/education-matters/all/all-courses. All states also have an on-line course that covers general boating knowledge. Approved Boating Courses - NASBLA https://www.nasbla.org/education/approved-boating-courses. see also Boating Safety - Education- Training - Equipment - Rules https://newboatbuilders.com/boating/safety-4.html

    These course will also answer a lot of questions you already have. Last suggestion, go to AMAZON and buy a copy of Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship. It's the bible of boating. New copies are rather expensive but you can get a used one or an older version for less cost. They don't change much if they are two or three or even five years old. Most of the basics never change and if you take the Power Squadron course, that's their text. You will find yourself referring to this book again and again. I have been boating since I was 8, I'm 76,(and I am a retired Coast Guard Officer) and I still use this book.
     
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  3. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Welcome to the forums Ann. You're already ahead of the game because you're asking questions. Buying a boat is a major decision. IMO too many people make impulsive decisions to their regret. Lots of good observations here and I won't duplicate them. I will say this.....

    I look at an express as a boat for a person who has little time for boating. A person who needs to get there relatively quickly. You know what a runabout is, right? I see an express cruiser as just a larger version of a runabout. Certainly roomier and more expensive but the basic idea is the same. If your idea of boating is to get there fast an express is a great boat for you.

    If the trip is more important than the destination however this may not be a good choice. A couple of things that I would look for are.....

    1. Air conditioning. Be sure those installed systems are easy to maintain and up to par. You'll use the AC, a lot. Make sure your generator is in good shape as well. Your AC depends on it. Everything others said about salt water and your engine(s) applies to marine air and generators.

    2. Autopilot. I don't see one. Some years ago when I first started traveling I learned very quickly that an autopilot was not desirable, it was a necessity.

    If you're traveling any appreciable distance an autopilot will be one, and likely your most appreciated accessory.

    Consider also how you'll move around on your boat. I know it might be difficult but try to envision being on your boat for many hours. Do you have some quiet space where you'll have a little privacy (aside from the head)? Do you have shade? Is getting around on the boat easy? Or do you feel like you're going to fall off as you go forward to anchor? The bow of that boat is a dangerous place to be. Narrow side decks make me nervous.

    Just some food for thought. Good luck.

    MIA
     
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  4. KeithO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 305
    Likes: 56, Points: 28
    Location: Michigan

    KeithO Senior Member

    The OP has not visited this thread since pointing out some of the cost of ownership issues. I think a lot of people get into boats like this without having any idea of the ongoing expenses or cost of operation. I know people at the office who have spend a similar amount on wakeboarding boats and after the first year they run them maybe 30 hours a year... Sure going to get hosed when the time comes that they decide to sell.

    At least the wakeboard boat is legal to tow and launch and retrieve yourself, whereas the express is 11ft and 12k+lb so one would have to move it with a semi and special load permits = $$$ and more than likely store it on the hard at the marina = year round rental contract...
     
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  5. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    I noticed that Keith O. Well maybe they thought better of the whole thing, as you said.

    You really have to enjoy boating to justify the costs. I owned 18' trailer boats from the age of 22 until I was in my mid 40's. I enjoyed water skiing and camping, always using the runabout. I liked cruisers but didn't want to go into debt to have one.

    Even my "forever" boat my 25' Silverton sedan isn't very big for a cruiser. But it works for me and if fairly economical to operate.

    One way to keep expenses down is to join a good private club if there is one in your area. I've belonged to a club for going on a decade. After you pay the initiation fees and the fairly steep dues for the first 3 years you become a senior member of our club. You dues and dockage/storage drop to about $1,200 a year. The catch is that you have to work at least 40 hours per year. There is a lot to do and something for everyone. We keep costs down in this way as we don't often have to hire professional help. For about $200 a month and some time it's the best deal in boating I've ever found.

    MIA
     
  6. KeithO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 305
    Likes: 56, Points: 28
    Location: Michigan

    KeithO Senior Member

    I'm afraid here all we have are groups based around speed boats, the wake boarders and the fishermen, not much over 20ft. East coat and west coast of MI have the serious boaters. But its all rather expensive... I'm planning to move to TN and looking for some land in the smokies. TN river is not too far away and is navigable to Mobile AL. The alternate plan is the FL/AL border region, they have a navigable river there too and some ways up the river would be more protected from hurricanes than being right on the gulf coast and probably more affordable too...
     
  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Gas prices in 1985 were about the same they are today. The median income in the USA has increased approximately 20%. Gas prices, per income, are at a historical low.
     
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  8. KeithO
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 305
    Likes: 56, Points: 28
    Location: Michigan

    KeithO Senior Member

    When adjusted for inflation you are dead wrong. In the 70's gas was definitely a fraction of todays price. There was a big jump after the 70s oil crisis but still half the current price. Then a dramatic escalation since 2003. The fact is that one gets less for your $ today than ever before and the progressive tax scale means that your take home pay does not change substantially as a salary earner as you earn more. The 2008/9 spike went to over $5/gal locally so worse than illustrated.

    Fact #915: March 7, 2016 Average Historical Annual Gasoline Pump Price, 1929-2015 https://www.energy.gov/eere/vehicles/fact-915-march-7-2016-average-historical-annual-gasoline-pump-price-1929-2015

    historical gas prices.png
     

  9. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Firstly, 1985 was not in the 1970's. Your claim for gas prices was for the 80's.
     
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