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Boating Costs

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sgstrait
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Boating Costs

Postby sgstrait » Sun, 12 Jul 2015 8:45 pm

Does anyone know the heads of costs that would be involved in maintaining and running a boat here? I am thinking of buying a small 25 foot power boat. Don't need numbers just yet, but just the heads of costs e.g. berthing, insurance, maintenance. Although if you do have info on costs, that would be great.

Are wet berths generally available, or in limited supply just like everything else?

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 12 Jul 2015 10:01 pm

Curiousgeorge should be able to help you with this one. It's right up his alley.

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby Barnsley » Mon, 13 Jul 2015 11:12 am

Berths are at a premium here as you can imagine , I have a friend in the boat game , if you send me your details , I can put you in contact with him.
Life is short, paddle harder!!

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby bgd » Mon, 13 Jul 2015 11:17 am

Try one of the clubs, e.g Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, they should be able to give you an idea. Then compare whats on offer.

Another option is to look at Malaysia, marinas over there will be cheaper than Sg. I know of one in Puteri Harbour, easy to get to if you have a vehicle.

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby curiousgeorge » Mon, 13 Jul 2015 9:57 pm

Here I am :)

No longer living on a boat, but can still help.

Firstly, to store a boat anywhere you'll need a yacht club membership. The likes of One Degree 15 charge about $75,000, but you can probably get a transferred membership thru a membership broker for 15-20k. On the other hand, somewhere like RSYC will do a three-year "term" membership for about $4200. These are not transferable so you won't get it cheaper via a broker, but you might get a full membership for not a lot more via a broker.
Other options are Keppel Bay, Punggol and Raffles (Tuas). Unless you're connected to SAF (are you?)

Disclosure - I am a member of RSYC. I chose them as a compromise between location (closer than Punggol, Rafffles) and price (a lot cheaper than Keppel and One Degree).

TO help your decision, consider that the best boating in Singapore is around the Southern Islands - that is a long way from Raffles or Punggol. About 20+mins from RSYC depending on your boat speed.

Choosing a club and paying for membership is only one consideration - the second is berthing space.

There are pretty much no wet berths at Keppel & One Degree, both have long waiting lists. Possible at RSYC, I am not sure of the current status. More likely at Raffles and Punggol, as they are both less desirable for many in terms of distance.

However, if you're an occasional boater with a 25ft craft (odd size, more likely 22, 26 or 28ft!) then I would suggest you consider a Dry Berth. It's cheaper and kinder to your boat in the long run (don't need to anti-foul the boat if you're hosing it down after each run, less corrosion).

In which case, RSYC is probably your best bet. Not sure of prices, I would think around $10-$15 per foot per month. (A wet berth up to 35ft is $490 a month, and a dry berth will be a LOT cheaper).

With a dry berth at RSYC, you book up to 24hrs in advance and they will launch your boat for you via an over-size forklift. Less than 24 hrs and you might have to wait/queue for a launch. Six free launches per month, $20 for every extra launch after that. Weekends and public holidays are obviously busy.

On the return, they will place your boat on a washing rack and transfer it back to its storage rack when you're done. Plenty of crew around who will clean your boat for you for a few $$.

Now for costs...

Before you buy, you're going to need a license to drive a motorised boat in the port of Singapore. Its a theory course, exam and practical test for around $400. You can't drive a boat without it, and demonstrating knowledge of Maritime laws, custom and practice.

I would guess for a 25ft launch with twin outboards capable of 20kts, around 10-15yrs old and not a POS, you're not going to see much (if any) change out of $50k to $100k. Less than that you need to be suspicious. $50k might get you a crappy Chaparral with one engine, $100k might see you a Grady White with twin outboards. (Chaparrals are the Suzuki Swift of the boating world, Grady White more of a Volvo). Of course, you can spend literally $1,000,000 for a new 25ft powerboat with triple 300hp engines...

Even a Chaparral would probably get you to Batam or the JB marinas but immigration on your boat is a whole other ball game, for another post. Cheaper boats will only have one engine, and that might be fine if you are staying close to shore but otherwise...well you can imagine what happens if you lose that one engine!

Remember - everything costs more in Singapore - and boating is even MORE than that.

You're going to need to register the boat and licence it, get a Radio licence and pay insurance - that's about $3k right there, about $2k a year to maintain insurance/licence.

For a boat over 5yrs old, budget around 10% of the purchase price, per year, for maintenance and repairs.

Then add your fuel costs.

Being practical or mechanically minded doesn't help much either - the spare parts are a closed shop here. Gotta pay someone to do it, and even finding that person can be a nightmare, its such a small market in Singapore (unless you are a VLCC).

With membership, berthing, cleaning, paperwork etc I think you're looking at $12-$15k per year for something small and basic. That doesn't include the boat or fuel. Or the beers you'll need onboard.


***
There is a story told to anyone considering buying a boat as follows:
"If you're considering buying a boat, go to the bank and withdraw all your money in cash and put it in a suitcase. Go to the marina and throw the suitcase into the water and watch it drift away.
The next month, do it again.
And again, repeat for a year.
If at the end of the year you are still happy throwing all your money into the water, then you're ready to buy a boat!"

***

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby bgd » Tue, 14 Jul 2015 10:56 am

I know boats to be expensive but your post really does put that into perspective.

Yacht clubs make a cost effective alternative to the country club scene, if you don't play golf.

As an aside, my brother-in-law is into his boats and was looking for a base. I suggested Sg but he discounted that due to pirates. I laughed at the time but have been reading recently that it is becoming a much bigger problem again in the Malacca Strait. He chose the Gold Coast. Still think he would have been better off up here.

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 14 Jul 2015 11:01 am

bgd wrote:As an aside, my brother-in-law is into his boats and was looking for a base. I suggested Sg but he discounted that due to pirates. I laughed at the time but have been reading recently that it is becoming a much bigger problem again in the Malacca Strait. He chose the Gold Coast. Still think he would have been better off up here.


Oddly enough, anyone who owns a boat is welcome to check whatever sorts of firearms they want to with the SG Coast Guard, for precisely this reason. Come on down to your boat, grab your firearms and you are good to go.

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby bgd » Tue, 14 Jul 2015 11:10 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
Oddly enough, anyone who owns a boat is welcome to check whatever sorts of firearms they want to with the SG Coast Guard, for precisely this reason. Come on down to your boat, grab your firearms and you are good to go.


But I guess they can't buy those firearms here?

Link to the pirate article below.

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/2165 ... buccaneers

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 14 Jul 2015 11:19 am

You can buy firearms in Singapore. You can shoot firearms in Singapore. You just have to do it through the authorized outlets. I don't know if you can buy an AK-47 for your boat in Singapore but you can put one in your storage closet and leave with it when you cast off.

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby curiousgeorge » Tue, 14 Jul 2015 4:41 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
bgd wrote:As an aside, my brother-in-law is into his boats and was looking for a base. I suggested Sg but he discounted that due to pirates. I laughed at the time but have been reading recently that it is becoming a much bigger problem again in the Malacca Strait. He chose the Gold Coast. Still think he would have been better off up here.


Oddly enough, anyone who owns a boat is welcome to check whatever sorts of firearms they want to with the SG Coast Guard, for precisely this reason. Come on down to your boat, grab your firearms and you are good to go.


TO be honest, it is not that straightforward.

There is a difference between importing as a visiting vessel and non-resident, Vs carrying as resident/local vessel.

If you are visiting (importing) you can apply for a permit two weeks in advance, and on arrival the Marine Police will inspect your secure storage locker. If they deem it acceptable, they will let you keep it onboard but it cannot be carried into Singapore. If you didn't apply for a permit or they don't deem your locker secure, they will escort you via taxi to their armory and require you to deposit your firearm there for the duration of your stay, and escort you back to the boat with it when you leave. For a fee of course.

If you're a Singaporean pass holder/PR/Citizen the above doesn't apply. You will need a gun permit from the Police and to get that you need a reason to hold firearms which in practice means Singapore Gun Club registration (another $3000 membership and monthly fees!). You're still importing the gun every time you leave Singapore waters & return.

On the other hand, regarding Piracy, you will be hard pressed to find a single instance of Piracy against pleasure craft in SEA.
1) Pleasure craft do not represent the goods/payoff that pirates are looking for
2) Pleasure craft remain mostly inshore - not a good place for piracy
3) Pleasure craft are often a lot faster than the big ships pirates are aiming for - thus harder to attack
4) The Melacca Straits are accessible to none but the hardiest boats for half of the year (not a fun place on a pleasure craft in the SW Monsoon season)
5) Pleasure boaters based in Singapore rarely venture up the Melacca straits due to (4). World cruisers, maybe. When I repositioned from Phuket to Singapore I saw not one Pleasurecraft in international waters.
6) Pirate practice is to commandeer a vessel and hide it in a less regulated nation port to offload the goods...whereas most pleasure craft aren't going to make it that far without several fuel stops. I can't see pirates paying the fuel costs :D
7) All our neighbouring countries will be able to track you anyway via your (mandatory) AIS transponder.
8) Because pleasure craft tend not to follow international shipping channels and stay closer to shore, you're not only outside of the working area of pirates, you're also in closer reach of the various Navy/Coastguard/Police vessels patrolling waters - and a single button press on your radio is enough to call for help and supply your coordinates long before Pirates get close enough to board.
9) There is more of a threat to pleasure craft in the Melacca Straits from fishing nets and trawlers than Pirates
10) Of all the Sailor's Tales I've heard in Marina bars over the years, never once have I heard of a pleasure craft from Singapore being hit by pirates.

And given that the max pax on most pleasure craft in Singapore is 12, I am not sure that facing a pirate force big enough to take a crude carrier is going to work, even if you are armed with a couple of AK47s. Your pleasure craft is likely to be fibreglass and quite susceptible in the event of a shoot-out. Best practice is to let them take what they want and historically, pirates usually release their detainees once they have what they want.

So yeah, pirates not really an issue for pleasure boaters here.

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby curiousgeorge » Tue, 14 Jul 2015 4:47 pm

bgd wrote:
Yacht clubs make a cost effective alternative to the country club scene, if you don't play golf.

.


Indeed, and if you consider that a $4500 three-year membership includes Gym access, its probably on par with most gym memberships too.

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby x9200 » Tue, 14 Jul 2015 5:59 pm

On the piracy issue... for curiosity sake I google a bit and this is a nice article I found entirely confirming what curiousgeorge said above:
http://www.sail-world.com/False-Percept ... Asia/25706

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby sgstrait » Sat, 18 Jul 2015 2:49 am

Curiousgeorge, I really appreciate the time and effort you have taken to provide such a detailed synopsis of the information I was looking for. Clearly you have a passion for boating and know the business inside and out. It looks way outside of my budget now, but I'll keep looking into options nonetheless. Thank you once again.

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby Primrose Hill » Mon, 20 Jul 2015 2:30 pm

Curiousgeorge, I am merely curious here, are the fees and costs worse for a boat that you live in? I am merely curious as I know someone that bought a huge 4 bed boat and its berth at One Degree and apparently it is cheaper and they are saving money compared to rental

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Re: Boating Costs

Postby curiousgeorge » Mon, 20 Jul 2015 4:57 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:Curiousgeorge, I am merely curious here, are the fees and costs worse for a boat that you live in? I am merely curious as I know someone that bought a huge 4 bed boat and its berth at One Degree and apparently it is cheaper and they are saving money compared to rental


Well its more expensive than a dry berth - wet berths are. Also you're going to have higher water and electrical fees and these are Marina prices not Singapore Power!

I could easily say that buying a 4-bed apartment will save me money on rental :P Doesn't mean the outlay over time is any less.

Is a huge 4-bed boat at One Degree cheaper than an apartment? Probably, considering that a 4-bed on Sentosa is not going to see any change out of $10,000 per month. Berthing fees are likely a lot less than that. Depends on the length and width of the boat ( a twin-hull boat like a catamaran will typically pay 1.5 times more than a single-hull boat of the same length). For a "huge" boat, say 70ft that could be less than $2000 a month.

But to compare with rental property, you have to factor in the increased maintenance, the sewerage pump-outs, the increased water (more washing of boat!), the boat-boy, the membership costs and monthly fees, the laundry, the golf-cart...

Usually a houseboat will have a tiny engine fit for repositioning only, once its on the berth it will hardly, if ever get used. So that cost is less than a yacht. But you'll still have to haul-out the boat every few years to have the bottom scraped and painted, and that's a long way from Sentosa and likely to require a tow. On a big boat etc you're probably looking at $20,000 every three or four years which I bet they don't take into account in their "rental" calcs.

And what about the outlay on the boat itself? A huge 4-bed boat is what? $500k? A $1m boat? Where does your average rental person find that kind of money up front? Marine mortgages are hard to come by and almost impossible if the vessel is more than 5yrs old, and would still require a 50% deposit.


So yeah, if you have a ton of cash up front and don't count some of the costs then I think you can save on rental. But like I said, I could buy an apartment and live rent-free. Doesn't mean that I'm not still paying.

What I do know is that the kind of person who can afford a 4-bed houseboat and One Degree membership was probably living in a very expensive rental property in the first place. So chances are they are saving money. But its likely their rental expenses were more than most people earn in Singapore to live there anyway.
Out of interest, what kind of lifestyle compromises did you friends make when they moved onto a boat?


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