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2022 Winter Project Budget Recap

How much did we spend on our winter projects?

I wanted to share what it costs to keep SV Zeke E Boy maintained, updated and in great shape for the upcoming sailing season.  I’ll provide the high-level results of our top 7 winter projects that were budgeted.  Our overall 2022 winter project budget was $10,500, and we spent $10,886.  Not bad for the 1st year budgeting sailboat maintenance projects.* 

winter 2022 boat budget

Sanitation System:  Budget = $1,500 | Spent = $2,581

Read about the project details in the blog article, What’s that Smell?

The two toilets were procured on budget.  The cost overages were due to higher than expected price and length of the hoses (I purchased the highest quality on this item for obvious reasons).  Raw water strainers were added to each intake line, and the marine grade non-perforated stainless steel hose clamps were both more expensive and I needed more quantity than initially estimated to correctly do the job.  I also discovered the vented loop breaker valves were broken and needed to be replaced, but I didn’t know that until the system was disassembled.

new toilets 2022

Battery System:  Budget = $2,000 | Spent = $3,715

Read about the project details in the blog article, With Great Power Comes Responsibility

I changed the original budgeted batteries in favor of a more robust and powerful AMG spec instead of flooded lead acid.  Primary overages here were attributed to the amount of rework for all of the main wiring to the batteries from each charger and not enough fuses throughout the system as well as a new AC Charger.  I discovered that the previous install was done with welding wire not marine grade wire and there were several poorly done splices made to cut corners in the past.  So, I made the effort to get everything done properly with correct wire and lengths.  Fusing is most critical; every wire connected to the batteries now has properly sized and marine grade fusing. 

navigation panel wiring

An electrical fire is catastrophic; fusing can keep a small failure – small and easily identifiable.  A premium battery charger was added with a remote monitor in the navigation station for easily understanding the current state of our batteries.  The last item that was over budget was that the solar panel wires were completely degraded and getting  specialty items sourced was more than expected.

All of this adds up to a project over budget.  Alternatively, I spend the money to get the right equipment on board and plan for a long life cycle on what was installed.

Propane System:  Budget = $3,500 | Spent = $3,109

Read about the project details in the blog article, We’ve Got A Leak

The entire propane system was changed except for the saloon propane heater and the two propane tanks, which we saved money by recertifying for another 5 years. 

Since this system was a well known problem for a complete revamp, budgeting was done well and accurately. 

updated propane locker

Bottom Paint:  Budget = $1,500 | Spent = $1,266

Read about the project details in our Instagram post

This is the second spring with SV Zeke E Boy, but last spring we had no opportunity to complete this project.  I was able to track down the exact product currently used on the bottom and the hull is in very good condition and maintained well to date.  Rather than try something new, I decided to use what has worked well – even though it was expensive.  I purchased 4 gallons assuming it would take 2 coats of paint.  However, the old was in such good condition that with a light sanding and only one coat of paint the bottom looked great and ready for the season. 

SV Zeke E Boy with new bottom paint

We were under budget and only 1.5 gallons were used, so we now have an extra 2.5 gallons to use in the future if it will last and we can store it properly. 

Water Lines:  Budget = $500 |  Spent = $163

This was a placeholder for a stretch project that we did not get to this winter, but may potentially be a winter 2023 project – depending on what else comes up.  There are 2 known leaks that I’ll fix with spring commissioning.  Both are leaking spray nozzles that will be removed and replaced.

galley sink

Deep cleaning:  Budget = $500  Spent = $0

With all of the planned projects on the boat this winter, we removed literally everything other than tools.  Kara cleaned the boat thoroughly, and already had sufficient cleaning supplies so all this took was elbow grease and hard work. 

kara cleaning

Miscellaneous:  Budget = $1,000 | Spent = $51

We always like to have a contingency budget – just in case we find something else in the process of working through the list of projects.  Thankfully, this wasn’t the case this year, so we’ll spend some money making small improvements such as new circulation fans, light bulbs, fenders, lifejackets, cold weather clothing, and kitchen items.  The list won’t ever end; we’ll just need to prioritize wants vs. needs and plan to slowly accrue over time.

Budgeting comes with experience

*Planning projects and budgeting for them are a strength of ours.  It comes from our years of experience with our home maintenance projects.  Plus we really enjoy the process, the details and we love to talk about projects – almost as much as we love to work on them!

I’ll even miss working on boat projects this summer, but don’t worry, winter will come again and there’ll be plenty of time for more (plus I think Kara has a list of home projects for me)! 

No more talk of winter right now! 

We focused on getting the proper equipment installed, and preparing the boat well.  There’s no guarantee that this leads to success but from experience it sure does help.  If we had endless resources, there still would be no end to the amount of projects that could be done on a boat.  I’ve heard it said that B.O.A.T. stands for Break Out Another Thousand!  Since we are limited, focusing these resources to the most important is challenging … but enjoyable! 

kyle & kara on SV Zeke E Boy

Tell us what you think

How do you plan your boat projects?  More importantly, how well do you budget them? 

I’m always looking for insights to get better and improve – especially in financial matters.  We’d love to hear from you!

– Kyle from Zeke Life

Live like Zeke
You’re such a good boy!

kyle on SV Zeke E Boy

*Zeke Life participates in the Amazon Associates Program, which will allow us to earn money on products purchased from some of the links provided. We will only recommend products that we love and use regularly!

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