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  • Holly

Hidden Costs to Commission a New Catamaran

In this blog I will cover the final, final costs of commissioning our catamaran after manufacturer and dealer costs.

We finally had a chance to tackle our four inch high stack of receipts and account statements for work completed after final delivery from our broker for the boat. We knew it would be important to budget for additional costs for full commissioning as not everything is done by the dealer or commissioning agent, even on a new boat.

I entered everything in a master spreadsheet and did my best to categorize the items. In a separate blog, we will outline all of the major projects but wanted to get this summary out to people for anyone currently in the process of setting a budget. If you have been following our Covert Castaway podcast, you will know what the big projects are.

It's also worth mentioning that our choice was to pick the boat up in France and provision everything there. We did estimates of buying and shipping a crate, taxes, customs, etc. and we determined it was roughly a wash once you factor everything in.


Post-Factory, Post-Commissioning Cost Breakdown

When we budgeted for the boat, we figured the cost of the boat, factory options, dealer options and basic commissioning since some items were different than our dealer offered. We also budgeted for sails, dive equipment and compressor, Flexiteek, safety equipment, liferaft, gangway, electronics, dingy (we splurged and went for a OC Tender) which was a bit more to ship but also included the outboard. We get more people looking at our tender than our boat and we absolutely love how it flies!

Just to be safe we earmarked an additional $125,000 in our budget for added costs and it's good we did because we certainly found things to spend more money on. We also made game-time decisions on copper bottom paint that was in, then out, then in our budget and out again. The Sailrite was sort of an impulse purchase and it's the most expensive sewing machine in the world because we had to pay currency conversion, customs, shipping (and it's heavy), plus VAT, which is more than US taxes. I've used it and do love it, though my lower back hates it.

As we've also mentioned in recent podcasts, we hired extra help for technical jobs, rigging and boat set up to accelerate us getting things done on the boat which would have otherwise taken us another 12 months. It was also important for us to have the boat set up for short handed sailing, since the boat doesn't come set up this way. We also had help during our passage from La Rochelle to Palma via Gibraltar which helped us have an extra person on watches, get extra projects done, help with break-fixes real time and learning systems on the boat. We are grateful for Loic Kerbrat for helping us with all of this!

Please let me know if you have any questions or need clarifications, send email to us at

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