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Yachts owners, share your cost saving tips

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Keelboat classes
Forum Name: Keelboat news and development
Forum Discription: All the latest developments for yachts
Printed Date: 27 Jan 22 at 10:40pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Yachts owners, share your cost saving tips
Posted By: Mark Jardine
Subject: Yachts owners, share your cost saving tips
Date Posted: 25 Jan 12 at 8:38pm

Yachts owners, share your cost saving tips 

If you’re looking to keep your everyday outgoings as low as possible, there’s no better way to do this than by finding out how others are saving costs. You may have heard recently about the novice sailor who in his endeavours to keep costs down, successfully bid for a Sigma 33 on e-bay and then found he had to sail it home from the Greek island of Poros -

The story prompted yacht insurance provider, Towergate Insurance, to put together a Guide offering practical cost-saving tips for yacht owners who perhaps do not want to go the extremes of bidding on e-bay. - Whilst the Guide offers advice in areas such as; buying, surveys, mooring, maintenance, lifting, drying out/anti-foul, hull scrub, paint around and craneage, the firm concedes that for it to be truly insightful, it should include feedback from you, sailors who are experienced in sourcing and securing the best deals.

Have you made some great cost savings when it comes to mooring or buying anti-foul?  What do you pay for your everyday yachting essentials and what are your top buys for the year?  

Your feedback will enable us to put together a definitive cost-saving guide, comparing the prices you pay for goods and services across the UK.  It will become a central point of reference for financially-savvy sailors and one we hope to build upon over time.

Please post your feedback here - we look forward to you helping us help others save costs in these financially-demanding times.

Posted By: rogue
Date Posted: 31 Jan 12 at 3:34pm
fairy liquid is a great boat cleaner!

as for mooring fees- I berth in Valencia at the municipal marina, it's extremely good value compared to other med marinas and the facilities are excellent. -

Posted By: olly_love
Date Posted: 31 Jan 12 at 3:53pm
start small and work up is a good tip, we are really happy with our sonata, and are planning a bigger boat in a few years,but we calculated all the costs before buying it,
also yacht racing can be cheeper than dinghys as the costs of events and the boat can be split between 5 or more people

TWO FRANK-Hunter Impala

Posted By: rogue
Date Posted: 31 Jan 12 at 4:24pm
Originally posted by olly_love

start small and work up is a good tip, we are really happy with our sonata

couldn't agree more- I don't race our boat (First 21.7), and have no intention to ever, but a small cruiser is a lovely way to spend time on the water with friends and family.  I've seen a few people upgrade to a bigger boat only to find they're fighting it rather than loving it the way they used to.  I'll probably upgrade to get an inboard engine at some point- maybe up to 30ft, although for the moment there really is very little point as my current boat which I've owned for over 3 years now, more than meets our needs.

p.s. Olly your Sonata is a lovely looking boat, fantastic work fella!

Posted By: olly_love
Date Posted: 31 Jan 12 at 4:32pm
thanks, we worked our arses off for 3 months to get that
still have to finish the interior and a few tweaks

TWO FRANK-Hunter Impala

Posted By: rogue
Date Posted: 03 Feb 12 at 2:33pm
Our marina has just announced a 35% rate discount due the financial crisis in Spain- the caveat is that you have to pay upfront, but that's still a very good deal for a med marina. -

Posted By: rb_stretch
Date Posted: 03 Feb 12 at 8:13pm
I've owned boats up to 44 feet and the tried various ways to keep costs down, but they have nearly always involved compromises that reduce the enjoyment of sailing and owning them (eg. mooring rather than marina, do work yourself rather than paying for it).

My conclusion is that you should really stick to what you can afford, rather then stretch and try to make it affordable. The only exception would be if you actually enjoying tinkering on the boat rather than sailing.

Posted By: rogue
Date Posted: 03 Feb 12 at 11:42pm
That's true with dinghies too. I've known folks who'be effectively run their expensive dinghies off the back of Noble Marine... It's no way to go and shoestringing with insurance top-ups is just a recipe for disaster.

Posted By: Iain C
Date Posted: 06 Feb 12 at 3:39pm

Be really, really honest with yourself about what you want to use the boat for.  As a dinghy racer, do you really want to join another arms race with all the associated stress, or would you prefer to be sat there on a floating caravan with 15 year old sails watching the sun go down as you have a fantastic BBQ with some mates at anchor?  I’ll keep my racing to dinghies thanks and yachting to an old ploddy 70s cruiser which will look after me in whatever weather.


If you have an inboard diesel, learn how to service it yourself.  You’ll save loads, possibly do a better job, and have a better idea how to fix something if the chips are down.


Shop around for insurance.  I pay less for a 27’ yacht sat on a swinging mooring all year than I do for a plastic racing toy that spends less than 1% of its time afloat.


Join a club.  A few good sessions with mates over a few weekends will get the membership fee back in cheap beer!  Add to that winter storage and a swinging mooring at 10-20% of yard prices and you are quids in.


Don’t go over 30’ unless you really need to.  For cruisers, this is where things become exponentially expensive.  A solid 70s cruiser just under the 30’ mark can cost you about the same as 2 new Lasers to buy, will be OK for 4 good friends for a week, and easily hop to France.  For a couple it’s perfect, and and it’s also OK on your own.  Go over 30’ and EVERYTHING becomes dearer…sails, ropes, fittings, insurance, fuel consumption, mooring fees, visitors fees, the lot.


The “For Sale/Wants” section of is your friend.  I’ve picked up brand new instruments at a fraction of new costs.  I’ve even said “does anyone have a spare handle for a 1980s SL Hyspeed anchor windlass” thinking I had no chance, and guess what…one turned up for the price of a pint.


If possible, avoid marinas.  Some people may have to keep their boat there for convenience, however waking up on a beautiful morning and having a cuppa on deck in blissful solitude on your own mooring is sooooo much nicer than listening to someone’s aerogenerator going at Mach 4 inches from your boat all night and Tarquin and Jemima having another blast round in the Crazy Frog tender all morning.  Whilst they are a necessary evil in somewhere like Cowes, try and anchor for the night, pick up a visitors mooring or similar.  Half the cost and often infinitely more pleasant.


Avoid getting ripped off at boat jumbles.  Some of the cash that people want for what is basically scrap is astounding.


Get used to the idea that you do not need tapered ExcelNinjaBanzai Pro kite sheets, because then 120’ of kite sheets costs significantly less than ones for a Fireball, and will last a lot longer too.  Ditto ball bearing blocks…do you really need them?


Scrub off regularly.  Speed and fuel consumption are hugely affected by even a bit of grot on your bottom.


However, whatever you do, do not compromise safety.  Do not put yourself in the position where your other half can’t get you back on board after an MOB because you were too tight to splash out £40 for a rescue sling.  I carry lifejackets, harness lines (plus spares of everything, re-arming kits etc), flares, drogue, liferaft, emergency VHF antenna for the fixed VHF, handheld VHF, h/h GPS to back up the main one, wooden bungs, danbouy, lifering, rescue strop, throwline, lots of get your home spares/tools and I would not put to sea missing any of it. A lot of it was second hand (eg liferaft for £100 and then got it serviced)


There’s probably more but that’s a starter…

RS700 GBR922 "Wirespeed"
Fireball GBR14474 "Eleven Parsecs"
Enterprise GBR21970
Bavaria 32 GBR4755L "Adastra"

Posted By: rogue
Date Posted: 06 Feb 12 at 3:58pm
Great post Iain... agree about swinging moorings being nicer to wake up on and cook bacon butties, but needs must, and mooring abroad is different proposition where a marina comes into its own.  

They had 30 knot squals through Valencia a couple of weeks ago, I get an email informing me not to worry and that the dockhands have checked all the boats in our row and they're all fine... exceptional service, but I guess that's not guaranteed by all marina operators. 

Posted By: rogue
Date Posted: 07 Feb 12 at 8:03pm
Originally posted by Iain C

Be really, really honest with yourself about what you want to use the boat for.  

family cruising???

Posted By: brys
Date Posted: 17 Apr 13 at 6:18pm
Why are ther no boats like this sailed in the uk?

Never enough time for sailing

Posted By: johnreekie1980
Date Posted: 15 Oct 13 at 10:30am
Because as I found sailing a flying fifteen at the weekend it is quite good fun to sit in a boat and have a crack with your mate whilst racing on a small lake than risk getting wet and injured in a boat that is not particularly high performance compared to a trapeze dinghy. If you want to go fast and get wet then buy a high performance dinghy or catamaran.

Posted By: Alexv
Date Posted: 24 Mar 14 at 11:46am
I also try to avoid marinas unless it is absolutely necessary. As for mooring fees, Spain and Greece had pretty decent fees from my experience. 

Posted By: sampeeter
Date Posted: 05 Feb 15 at 10:38am
awesome post Iain Wink

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