True Costs of Owning a Catamaran
By: Andrew Holland
When you are starting your search for a catamaran, one of the first and most important questions you need to ask yourself in your search for the right catamaran is “What is my budget?” Usually, however, trying to answer this question will only lead to more questions on asking price, costs of dockage, repairs, offseason storage, insurance and any of the other costs that might come with boat ownership. To help put some of these items in perspective, we put together this guide to help you successfully determine a proper budget and to outline some of the costs you will incur after the purchase. However, if there is a consistent in yacht sales, it is in the inconsistency. Each yacht sale is an individual transaction with it’s own set of circumstances and it’s own story, so exact costs will vary in each transaction, however this cost outline attempts to provide you with a tentative guide on what to expect.
Asking Price vs. Sales Price
When of the most common questions we are asked from potential buyers is “How much can I expect the seller to negotiate off of their asking price?”. To the surprise of some buyers, there is no typical percentage that a seller will negotiate off their asking price. In some cases a seller may accept an offer at 50% of their total asking price, in others a seller may not be willing to negotiate off their asking price in the slightest. Now, does this mean that the boat that accepted an offer price at 50% off their asking was a better deal? Not necessarily. It may simply mean that this seller was drastically overpriced from the start and had to negotiate that far off of their asking price. Further, the seller that may not be negotiating off their asking price at all may have the boat at an asking price that is far below market value and is a tremendous value as is.
In the end, asking prices means very little. What is most important is the True Market Value of the given yacht according to market dynamics and the condition of the vessel. Determining the True Market Value of a given yacht can be done by having your broker perform a personal inspection of the yacht and having them compare the yacht to others currently on the market of a similar vintage while also factoring in the sold comparables for that particular make and model in the current market. After having this information, you should successfully be able to determine a True Market Value for the boat and feel confident in making offers.
It is important to understand that these sold figures and comparables are not available to the general public, so it is important to contact your broker to help attain the true market value of your vessel of interest.
Survey and Haul Out
After you have successfully placed a boat under contract, the first thing you will have to arrange payment for is the survey and haul of the boat.
Below is a cost breakdown of costs according to several surveyors we have used in the past in several locations to give you an idea of the general cost of the surveyor in these areas:;
Certified Marine Surveyor, Florida
+1 (954) 881-5588
- Boats under 60 feet: $25 / foot
- Boats over 60 feet: Based on quote
Certified Marine Surveyor, Florida
+1 (561) 312-7544
- Boats under 42 feet: $22 / foot
- Boats over 42 feet: $25 / foot
- (price may increase based on age and complexity of boat)
- (price may increase based on travel expenses)
Certified Marine Surveyor, Florida
+1 (877) 787-8398
Flat rate prices, unless quotes are being used for insurance purposes.
- Usual rate: $1,500 / day
- Smaller boat rate: $1,250-$1,350 / day
- Over 65 feet: $1,650 / day
- Over 80-90 feet: 2 days; $1500 / day
For insurance and bank surveys:
- Condition and Value (New Boat): $18 / foot
- Condition and Value (Old Boat): $20 / foot
Caribbean Marine Surveys
Bill Bailey and Benson Baker Virgin Islands
+1 (284) 494-2091
- Local old or new boat under 50 feet: $28 / foot
- Local old or new boat over 50 feet: $1,600 / day
- Non-local old or new boat: $1,600 / day + travel
Flying Fish Ventures
Bob Goodchild Grenada
+1 (473) 407-4388
For insurance purposes:
- Boats under 40 feet: $560
- Boats over 40 feet: $14 / foot
- More complex boats and older boats: Based on quote
Secondly, during the survey, you will need to arrange for a “Survey Short Haul” of the boat. For clarity, a Survey Short Haul is a brief haulout of the boat so that the surveyor is able to inspect the bottom for any damage or water incursion below the waterline. Below is a cost breakdown of several marinas in the United States and Caribbean.
Lauderdale Marine Center Florida
+1 (954) 713-0333
- Up to 21 foot beam: $10 / foot
- Up to 30 foot beam: $20 / foot
- These rates are for up to 3 hours.
Broward Marine Florida
+1 (954) 927-4119
- First Hour: $12 / foot
- Each Additional Hour: $175
- Maximum Beam of 27 feet
Georgetown Yacht Basin Maryland
+1 (410) 648-5112
- First 30-40 minutes: $10.50 / foot
- Cost is situational and may vary
- Price may increase after first 30-40 minutes
- Maximum Beam of 30 feet
Grenada Marine Grenada
+1 (473) 407-2090
- Rate by foot: $6.50 / foot + “In Sling Charge”
- Additional “In Sling Charge”: $150 / hour
- Maximum Beam of 33 feet
Nanny Cay British Virgin Islands
+1 (284) 494-2512
- Rate by foot: $9 / foot
- With hull wash: $5 / foot additional charge
- Maximum Beam of 32 feet
Gambol Industries California
+1 (562) 901-2470
Sliding scale based on boat length
- 38 foot boat: $343 – about $9.02 / foot
- 45 foot boat: $420 – about $9.33 / foot
- Maximum Beam of 40 feet
Additional Costs of Survey will include: Airfare, Lodging and Food for +/- 2 days
Yearly insurance on the boat will run on average at about 1.5% of the value of the boat. The cost of insuring a catamaran is based on hull value, location, and type of use of the boat. These rates include $1M liability and medical insurance.
Catamarans Insured for Private Use
In the Hurricane Zone (Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean) Annual insurance in this region will generally cost you 1.5%-1.7% of the hull value. Outside the Hurricane Zone (North of Florida) Annual insurance in this region will generally cost you 0.8%-0.9% of the hull value. California and Pacific Islands Annual insurance in this region will generally cost you 2.0% of the hull value. In the Mediterranean Annual insurance in this region will generally cost you 1.0% of the hull value.
Catamarans Insured for Charter Use
Insurance for a Chartering Catamaran will cost up to 2% on average.
Catamarans Insured for Ocean Crossings
Above rates apply, however there is an additional “One Time Crossing Fee” that will cost you $500-$1,000. Pacific Ocean crossings may raise your annual insurance rates. The yearly cost of dockage will be dependent on how often you are indeed at the docks. If you are able to anchor out, there is little to no cost involved. If you will be staying on the docks, the cost can rise dramatically and quickly. A quick suggestion to keep these costs down is to invest in a high quality dinghy that enables you to drop anchor and get into shore comfortably and quickly. A high quality dinghy will pay itself off in no time.
Yearly Service, Repairs and Winterization
The yearly service and repair costs of a catamaran can vary greatly depending on the age and condition of the vessel. This yearly guide only takes into account for yearly maintenance, and not necessarily major upgrades that may need to be made, or major issues that may be revealed during a survey.
The yearly service and repairs for a 2-5 year old boat in average to above average condition will run between $3,000 – $5,000. This cost includes yearly haul out, bottom paint, changing zinc anodes as well as other miscellaneous items that may arise.
Dependent on location you are storing the boat, yearly long term storage on the hard could vary greatly. The quotes below are provided by TMC partner, Grenada Marine.
- 0-120 days US $0.57 per foot/day
- 121+ days US $0.52 per foot/day