Originally Posted by j.fishwick
Do I take it that the docks are probably an expensive luxury for a small amount of convenience compared to the drystack?
They are certainly not cheap. You'll need to work out if it is a small amount of convenience or a PITA. If I was using a boat professionally on a daily basis then the choice of walk out across the road and drive away or waste say 40 minutes (there and back) every time I wanted to use, I could soon make a financial case for why it was not an expensive luxury.
Lets say you drive 10 minutes in the car each way to the dry stack. Thats 20 minutes driving per trip, and what 10 miles? If its your own car then at 40p per mile you are looking at £4 per use. if it is a university vehicle then its still costing the Uni as similar amount in real terms.
Then you have to motor say 10 minutes extra each way, so 20 minutes. With twin 90s at the 8knot speed limit you probably aren't burning barrels of fuel, but its not going to be its most fuel efficient. So what another 3 litres of fuel each trip? Not sure if the Uni can claim commercial rates for fuel - I suspect not so that will be another £4 at least (more if you fill up dockside). You will also add to other general running costs like servicing (if used 6 trips a week would mean each engine needed 1 extra service a year, just for the pootle in out the river - £300+).
Then there is your time. If 40 minutes total is about right, then presumably like every other university it "charges" your time at some massively inflated rate they call "Full Ecconomic Cost" due to the universities exorbitant overhead structure. You probably know what that is but for the sake of demonstration call it £50/h (which assumes you are relatively "cheap" in university terms!). So every time you use the boat is £33 of cost for your extra travel time.
Now lets say the boat gets used 3 days a week on average throughout the year. That is 156 trips. 156*(33+4+4) + 150 = ~ £6.5k per annum in extra cost for having to make a relatively short extra trip. Not sure what versadock etc cost, but I'd be surprised if it was enough to make an ongoing £6.5k p.a. cost look attractive. Even ignoring your time cost (which if it is externally funded they may not care about) you can probably build a case if you amortise the cost of the dock over its expected lifetime.
Of course the "wise" accountant / budget manager will also want to know the alternative - e.g. keep boat where it is and antifoul (cost of treatment, cost of jetwashing a couple of times a year, extra depreciation because antifouled ribs are worth less, estimated loss of fuel efficiency due to slime that does grow etc).