Mazurka – Total Cost of Ownership

I think I mentioned earlier that I had completed a five year plan with Mazurka.  I want to lay out the context in which I bought the boat, and the basic costs, planned and actual.  It’s part of my retrospective learning, and might be of interest to others.

Whenever I started seriously contemplating getting another big boat it was a tough sell.  Not just for my wife Samantha, who has an active and fulfilling life without boats, but for me.  I had no use case that would come close to justifying the cost of ownership.  There were no places that I wanted to keep the boat within easy driving distance of our home.  I had played with the idea of getting a Nonsuch off and on over the years – the 30 is one of my benchmark boats – but always came to the same conclusion. 

But I had a dream to travel the inland waterways that had been percolating for a very long time.  And I was getting within sight of executing on that dream.  My kids were nominally independent, my parents had both died, and I had been working remotely for years.  And there’s no life better for me than messing around in boats.

One of the big triggers for me to act when I did was an inheritance from my mother.  She and I and Suey had worked collaboratively and thoughtfully before her death to appropriately allocate her modest estate. My kids got some money to help with uni/life expenses, and I got a pot of about $65.000 that was pure mad money for me.

So I basically took that as a budget for five years of ownership, with an expected significant residual value at the end.

I still only had a vague use case. I planned on being solo. Never owned a power boat.

I put an upper bound of $40k on the purchase price, and started the search. As it happened, Mazurka came with a use case that was my template. The owners lived in Chicago ten months a year, and cruised the great lakes from end to end the other two months. Had done it for eight years and kept the boat in top condition. Never had a permanent slip.

I bought Mazurka on shore in September 2015 for US$24k, wrapped and winterized, storage paid, fuel tanks full. Arrived back to the boat in the spring and got underway. Landed in Canada total cost was about $36k.

Major costs (approx) in 5 years:

  • Insurance $3,500
  • Winter storage ashore (2 years) $2,500
  • Equipment (cover, electronics) $9,000
  • Repairs from grounding $3,500
  • Winter liveaboard Toronto $6,500
  • Hauling and storage NY $1,500
  • Waterway passes and fees $1,500
  • Transient dockage $5,000
  • Oil, filters, bottom paint $2,000
  • Fuel $11,000
  • Mechanical $28,000

I’m just doing this off the top of my head, but I’m pretty close to an accurate accounting I think. So total is $36k purchase + $74k since, total $110k. That missed the budget by a lot. This is the first time I’ve actually totalled it up.

Residual is also settled, more or less. I traded Mazurka plus cash for Escapade, and we valued Mazurka at $25k in the deal.

So, net cost for 5 years of ownership was $85k. Nice round numbers. Canadian dollars, if that wasn’t clear.

A few notes in my defence WRT managing to budget: my plans got more ambitious as I went along, and went from seasonal great lakes to 2 years of full time liveaboard/travel including the Great Loop. That use also decreased the residual value. The boat was ready for some time in the shop when I traded it. And the mechanical costs are only as high as they are due to my own negligence and ineptitude. I learned lots.

Was it worth it? I was fully prepared to go back ashore at the end of my mad money adventure, but instead here I am in Escapade. Doubling down.

I just went back and read one of my earliest posts here. No comment.

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