Thursday, March 15, 2012

One of my shipmates live on a pretty nice boat.

He bought it for peanuts and probably got what he originally paid for. It wasn't much of a boat when he bought it but after a lot of sweat equity is is now a pretty fine yacht. There was a lot of sweat and, over time, a pretty good chunk of change he coughed up to put the vessel together.

The boat has twin diesels and a pretty good sized fuel tank and uses fuel at the rate that you would expect of a yacht of that size. At current fuel prices that is about $25/hour. That comes to about $600/day.

Of course, he doesn't take it out a whole lot, partly because of that and partly because he simply put it together to live on and partly to resell.

He does this as a way of making a few extra bucks and saving a few extra bucks because slip space is cheaper than renting an apartment. I suppose to a certain extent he is playing 'flip this boat'.

He reports to me that an awful lot of people generously offer him, say, a bottle of wine or a case of beer to either go for a boat ride or to take them fishing. He also reports that when he points out that at 6 gallons of diesel an hour for an 8 hour fishing trip is 48 gallons of diesel at about $3.75 a pop comes to about $180 and when you add oil changes and other maintainence $200 really won't cover it.

Of course when he points this out to someone they seem to get a bit upset and think he is a jerk. He isn't.

He's just another working stiff that doesn't happen to have a few spare extra couple hundred bucks kicking around to piddle away and impress someone.

To a certain extent anyone that owns a pickup truck or a van runs into this sort of thing from time to time. They get asked by someone to help them move. Generally this really isn't a problem when the pickup owner agrees after being offered a tank of gas and a case of beer. DUI laws have pretty much quashed 'moving parties'.

An awful lot of people don't think. Fuel costs money. A case of beer which the skipper can not drink anyway while the vessel is underway really doesnt to start to begin to come close to compensate for what you are asking someone to do. Especially a case of beer that the passengers are going to drink themselves anyway.

We're talking about a fifty foot yacht here and not some dinky little jon boat with a 5 horse kicker stuck on the back.

Back when I lived on a 24'7" sailboat with a 9.9 horsepower Honda for auxillary power things were an awful lot different. If someone showed up with some beer or a jug or something I could easily afford to blow off a day and go sailing because it would only cost me a couple of cups of gasoline at about a buck or so a gallon to get me out of the harbor. The wind was free. I think to a certain extent that is still is because nobody has found a way to tax it yet, but I imagine someone will come along with a way.

There's an awful lot of difference between a 24'7" cruising sailboat and a 50 foot motor yacht, both in size and operating costs yet there are an awful lot of people that think that a bottle of wine will cover the operating costs of a 50 foot motor yacht.

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