Doing maintenance and repairs yourself will bring the cost down. Offloading work to professionals, if you can afford it, is fine, but it's good to know how to take care of your boat because you may not always have access to workers if sailing to far-flung islands. Modern-built boats require less maintenance work than say, wooden boats. A failure to maintain items regularly will cost more later. We recommend keeping a log of the repairs, part replacements that is done to your boat. Many parts have a limited lifespan, so knowing when they were replaced last will help prevent breakages.
- The boat’s hull (bottom) & topsides, electrical systems
- Electrical systems
- Moving parts (hinges, tracks and zippers)
- Canvas and upholstery
When doing repairs, use quality materials and products, research them thoroughly before a project instead of relying on brand names.
Some years will cost more than others, as gear wears out, if hardware or lines need replacing.
Tasks like hauling-out (to get the bottom painted) doesn't happen every year (once every 2-3 years for an offshore boat). We use ablative anti-fouling which costs about $250 to paint a 10 m yacht. If you coat your prop with prop speed (to slow growth on it) you'll pay an additional $200. Yard fees vary from place to place, those closer to large cities will cost more. In New Zealand, it cost us $420 total, including bottom rinse, haul in and out and days to stay on the hard. While in Japan, it was about double that price for half the time spent on the hard.
Traveling offshore means more wear because the boat is under more stress. Repair and maintenance can cost between $500-800 per year for a 10 m yacht like ours. This price goes up and down depending on where we go, and what has to be replaced that year. In 2018 while in new zealand, we spent around $10k on Pino (see projects and pain) to get it ready for japan and the subsequent trip across the north pacific ocean.. This was the most we'd spent in a year, and was due to the purchase of a new AIS system, mainsail, throttle cables, replacement windows, top hatch, galley plumbing, replacement batteries and solar panels. Our first year was also expensive, because the boat was not outfitted for sailing offshore, we had to buy lifejackets, jacklines, a drogue, extra lines, shackles, a med-kit, extra tools, a location device, a handheld VHF, a SAT phone, foul-weather gear, engine spares etc..
Engines require spare parts, like oil ($25) and fuel filters ($10), they should be replaced 250 hours (300 hours on some models) or once per year, whichever is sooner. Our engine has two fuel filters, a secondary and primary. Other items that need to be replaced periodically include: water pump impellers ($40), water pump and alternator belt (15-$20), zincs (inside engine, $8 each), shaft zinc ($16 each) etc.
See our resources for a list of helpful manuals on maintenace.