Are you thinking about buying a boat? Or putting together a budget for one? Then remember to budget for spare parts.
Lots of articles on boat-buying talk about the initial purchase price, cost of upgrades or a refit, and ongoing maintenance, but I see few discussing spare parts. Yet they can be a substantial line item if a particular boat doesn’t come with a decent supply.
Exactly what spares you decide to carry depends on where you’re cruising, but there are engine parts, rigging, filters, oils and lubricants, electrical connectors and fuses (plus wire!), water pumps, stove and grill parts, plumbing, epoxy, fiberglass, outboard parts, and so on.
Dave and I estimate that our collection of spare parts is worth at least $5,000, more likely $7,000 to $10,000. As I was thinking about this, I asked several friends about the value of their spares. The lowest said $3,000, a second said $5,000 and the other three ranged from $7,000 to $10,000. Not insignificant. And I’m not including the cost of tools. Just parts and supplies.
When we bought Barefoot Gal, we knew that she had almost no spares aboard. But even as experienced cruisers, we underestimated how much we’d spend to build up a stock. In contrast, Que Tal, our first boat, had come with every spare part we could think of and we only had to replace things as we used them.
As you compare boats, be sure to ask what spares will come with each one. And take that into consideration when making an offer.
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