Incredibly, its five years since I bought Starcross. It seems like only yesterday and I still think of her as my new toy.
Of course, as the anniversary approaches so do those bills which only come round once a year. Ask most boat owners and they would tell you that the bills increase year on year and by much more than the rate of inflation, but here is my experience comparing 2009's bills with those for 2008.
Boat Licence - Up 6%
Insurance - down 11% (but my broker found me a cheaper policy)
River Canal Rescue - down 22% (but I downgraded to "silver" membership as I didn't call them out at all last year)
Mooring Fee - Up 7.4% (The biggest cost increase as ever- but with two new marinas planned for the Shroppie who knows what next year will bring).
The overall increase for these fixed costs was a modest 2.9%, more or less in line with inflation but well above my own pay rise of just 1% this year. The main variable cost is fuel. Last time I filled up, in October, I paid 86p/litre on a 60/40 split. Twelve months previously, when all fuel was taxed at the lower rate, I paid 56p/litre, which is more or less what I paid on the 40% "non-propulsion" diesel in October.
Thankfully, compared to the previous two years my expenditure on engine replacement and repainting is down by 100% which has made 2009 one of the cheaper years for boat ownership as far as I am concerned.