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Old 05-10-2011, 02:55   #1
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Cost Conscious Cruiser

by Lin and Larry Pardey

Required reading. A classic. I’ve snoozed on this book before, but this time through it seemed even more useful and thorough.

All of Lin and Larry Pardey’s gems and nuggets of wisdom percolated up through my fur and into my brain over the span of a few deep sleeps. I awoke each morning refreshed and intrigued by their insights. The Pardeys make a persuasive case for simplicity and downsizing.

They back up their recommendations with cost-benefit analyses, observations, surveys and their own experience. Very well laid out, clear and concise.

Downsizing
The Pardeys advocate buying a smaller (preferably second hand) boat in order to get out cruising faster and be able to stay out longer – cruising funds stretch farther with a shorter boat. they do the cost analysis to demonstrate this dramatically. Smaller boats cost less every step of the way.

Simplicity
They recommend eliminating unnecessary boat systems to ‘make your boat unstoppable’ – to cut down on the number of breakdowns experienced. No fridge, no electronic media entertainment, no electric watermaker or autohelm. A tiller instead of wheel steering. Rethink everything and eliminate whatever you can is their mantra.

The Pardeys even eliminated a flush toilet in favour of the ‘bucket and chuck-it’ method. Something I may decide to introduce my First Mate 'the Can Opener' to. Sounds not unlike using kitty litter…

Build necessary systems that are optimised and simplified is their corollary. They offer several solutions in detail with great diagrams that they have used successfully for many years on their own boat.

One mysterious note
The Pardeys refer to an average monthly spend for cruisers of $1000/month – in a book that was copyright in 1999. Over on the Shards’ Distant Shores blog: ‘Budget for Cruising’ post in 2011, the Shards estimate that ‘budget cruisers’ spend about $1000-1500/month and ‘beans and rice cruisers’ do it for $800-1000/month.

It sounds like budgets haven’t changed too much in 12 years. Hmm.
  • Could this be explained by different definitions of ‘budget’ cruising? Probably.
  • Do the Shards refer to Canadian dollars? Unlikely and CAN$ are currently nearly par with USD anyway.
  • Do these budgets differ in their inclusion/exclusion of major repairs and parts and upkeep in the monthly budget? Most certainly.
  • It could also be that $1000/month is a nice round number and people in their surveys self-report to the number they feel comfortable with. There may be a disconnect between planned spend and actual spend if accounts are eyeballed instead of being meticulously tracked. This would help explain the number of people that overrun their budgets and wind up heading home sooner than planned. Apparently it happens a lot.
Conclusion
Overall, this book is my best addition to the library yet.

I’m gonna slip this under my First Mate’s pillow and watch the results. He says you need to open books up to get their full value. My First Mate 'Can Opener' is a bit quirky that way. Personally, I find closed books provide a less slippery, more stable sleeping surface.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:33   #2
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Re: Cost Conscious Cruiser

While I certainly admire and respect their accomplishments and seamanship, the Pardey's style of cruising is not for everyone. If you would not be happy in a house with no toilet, no electricity, no running water would you be happy in a boat without the same amenities?

But if your dream is to cruise and your budget doesn't allow for the extras then by all means go for it.

Regarding budget, this is not an exact science and can vary a lot, depending on your DIY abilities, where you cruise, how you eat, etc. The variations in the cost to cruise reflect this. For more information read the thread about cruising on $500 per month.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:54   #3
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Re: Cost Conscious Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
While I certainly admire and respect their accomplishments and seamanship, the Pardey's style of cruising is not for everyone. If you would not be happy in a house with no toilet, no electricity, no running water would you be happy in a boat without the same amenities?

But if your dream is to cruise and your budget doesn't allow for the extras then by all means go for it.

Regarding budget, this is not an exact science and can vary a lot, depending on your DIY abilities, where you cruise, how you eat, etc. The variations in the cost to cruise reflect this. For more information read the thread about cruising on $500 per month.
Well said........i2f
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