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Old 07-06-2013, 16:27   #16
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Arrrrr! Well, you chew into a can of worms there!
One of the reasons why I don't get involved in those threads about what jobs one can do whilst cruisng is that there are few that pay anything like a "normal" job at home.
It's well and good for people to say "go now!" However it can be much better to stay at home for a year or two and work hard in the normal job and save every cent.

The big bucks are made in the big jobs in the big cities of the big countires. The people working in St Martin, do, as you say, have fortitude. I wonder how many would turn their life "back" a bit to go home to their old job and save like a squirrel who knows winter will be cold?

The cruising part of cruisng is easy. It's the living a year with no pay packet that's a bugger.
It's exactly this reason I put off pursuing the cruising / caribbean dream for so long. My father, who lived in the islands for 35+ years, would tell me "don't be like those guys you see, you don't want to move down here, they are running away from something. It may look like a lot of fun but those guys don't have a cent to their names, most have english college degrees and have no long term future, you end up working up to your ass in sand flies 70 hours a week for minimum wage, getting drunk until your liver fails or you get skin cancer, and end up with a drug habit, no liver, and no future."

He wasn't speaking about everyone but as he pointed out, the odds are stacked against you.

Of course, that didn't stop him from spend all that time - doing just what he warned me NOT to do

So, we are going sailing now... before my liver gets better ideas.
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Old 07-06-2013, 16:44   #17
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

I have to wonder though, what if I don't drink? What if I enjoy making my own food and not living on what others have prepared? What if I am not running, but just enjoy living with minimal things? (I still have my toys, but they are all in storage) What if I do have skills like welding and sewing and common sense?
What if its just natural to me to avoid the noon day sun, and do things early in the morning and in twilight? What if I cover the cockpit and dress like a monk in the sun?
And what if I keep the connections with my family so I always have grandkids hanging around? How much does it really cost to cruise then? Maybe not quite so much.
(Newt- just waking from his midday nap )
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:15   #18
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

as a non drinker cruising the tropics, i found that i spend very little on foods---veggies here in tropical mexico are dirt cheap and plentiful.many fruits are still on the trees from which they grow--mangos, papayas, bananas, plantains--all free and ready to pick, in proper season. same with coconuts...everywhere...supplemental foods.
packaged meat is priced closely to usa pricing, while the tropical beef, which is grass fed--is quite delicious, better than usa cardboard beef, and cheap.....(no hormones, either..lol)
while i resided within the borders of usa, i could not afford, on my ssdi income, any land based housing. i can afford to pay rent on a marina slip here, and buy food and live like royalty in tropical mexico....is wonderful place. and this place in particular..
if you choose to shop marina chandleries in mexico, you will pay more than double the prices in usa. however, fab guys run cheap, so is perfect for my needs.
i can find ironwood for trade and i can trade many things i have brought for that which i need to get for the fabrications...this place rocks.
in puerto vallarta are located some excellent motor rewinders--they rebuild starters and alternators and other motors in need of rewinding and rebuilding--and do an excellent job of it. there is a welder inla cruz who is beyond excellent and has cheap pricing--awesomest way to repair....cannot do this in usa--there is a union standard to consider..lol
to repair a fitting that has wobbled since before 2002, while surveyor declare the mast rotted--lol--was merely the fitting--fixed for 50 pesos.
peso is worthy of 12.5 usd.
not too shabby.
to repair my formosa inside usa, i would have to shell out over 50kusd...here is gonna finish fix for less than 10. i win. and i have found an excellent shipwright/boatwright who is a derelict canuck sailor--awesome work....dirt cheap.
dont try this at home...it wont work.
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Old 12-06-2013, 14:50   #19
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

I have owned my 50c Hatteras for three years. She was bought and paid for on day one. I than updated all the electronics; HD radar; AIS; VHF radios; depth finder; fixed what needed to be repaired including onboard fire suppression systems; antennas; A/C fans; Every mechanical part that touched oil was updated with new oil and filters; new onboard water pump; coupe new bilge pumps. A new salon sofa was added along with a 42" HDTV and DVD player and recorder.

I guess what I'm trying to say it all comes down to affordability and desires. There are many people living onboard full time that are very happy with the fresh air and warm winds blowing through their vessels. Others if its not a yacht doesn't want to be on it. To each his own.

My fiancé and I took a cruise last summer for thirteen days up the coast of Western Michigan from Holland to Mackinac Island (great trip). Diesel averaged $4.20 a gallon, I spent $4250 for 765 miles averaging $5.56 a mile. Our average speed was around 18mph, top speed 24.1 which I ran to obtain where my cruising speed would be at 75% of full throttle. I knew before I started on the cruise diesel and docking would be my two most expensive costs and they were. Average per night slip at a State/City run marina cost for a 55ft was $110. We anchored out twice, once at South Manitou Island and once at Frankfort when we couldn't obtain a overnight slip.

Unless one anchors out most of the time OR you are loaded with big bucks (not me) I find cruising in a large vessel nice and expensive. But on the positive side my boat is paid for and almost all the updates are done! My insurance and my maintenance is relatively low. Since I'm a USCG captain that helps on insurance premiums and all the maintenance is updated and is now on a regular "Planned Maintenance Schedule".. Something I learned while in the Navy..

I guess living aboard and/or cruising comes down to what trips your trigger..

Safe Boating,
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Old 12-06-2013, 19:06   #20
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

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I have to wonder though, what if I don't drink? What if I enjoy making my own food and not living on what others have prepared? What if I am not running, but just enjoy living with minimal things? (I still have my toys, but they are all in storage) What if I do have skills like welding and sewing and common sense? )
Newt : I guess I should have provided a few parameters. Neither my wife or I drink, and yes that does save quite a bit. We don't have AC or a generator and rarely if ever tie up to a dock. So the numbers you see are pretty much bare bones in the sense that optional expenditures are a fairly small portion of the total. We did rent a few cars and did a few extravagant things (like two nights at Atlantis) but only those that passed the "will we regret not doing this since we have come all this way?"
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Old 12-06-2013, 19:52   #21
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

The way I look at it, from the point of view of FINANCES ONLY...unless you sail/use your boat about 30 weeks or more per year, it is not cost effective to own the boat. You'd be better off to just charter.

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Old 12-06-2013, 20:24   #22
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

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The way I look at it, from the point of view of FINANCES ONLY...unless you sail/use your boat about 30 weeks or more per year, it is not cost effective to own the boat. You'd be better off to just charter.

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So here we go again. What do you base this information on? Have you had a boat that over a long period of time were able to crunch these numbers? Have you chartered and done those numbers? I mean, I hate to harp on you here but maybe I'm wrong assuming that you have a seaplane and not a boat.
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Old 12-06-2013, 20:43   #23
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

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That is very cheap living. However the experience is priceless. In 30 - 40 years of cruising and traveling I have never met a kid that was not better served by living on a boat and or moving about the world meeting new people. "Teach your children well..." CSNY
+1

Thanks for posting. Interesting number!
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Old 13-06-2013, 08:41   #24
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

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Newt : I guess I should have provided a few parameters. Neither my wife or I drink, and yes that does save quite a bit. We don't have AC or a generator and rarely if ever tie up to a dock. So the numbers you see are pretty much bare bones in the sense that optional expenditures are a fairly small portion of the total. We did rent a few cars and did a few extravagant things (like two nights at Atlantis) but only those that passed the "will we regret not doing this since we have come all this way?"
Thank you Peter, you're numbers have been useful. I was more responding to those that infered that cruising carried all these other problems. I think you can cruise cheaply and have a lot of fun without risking alcoholism or skin cancer.
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Old 13-06-2013, 09:25   #25
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

Thanks for the info Peter. We have a nearly full cruising kitty, budget and a plan to take off soon. There are only two of us. We have a fairly new boat(1997) that has already been used for full time cruising so it came with everything needed for this purpose. I have also been doing upgrades and regular maintenance to minimize the maintenance costs. All work so far has been done by me and/or my wife.

We fully expect to return to our full time professional lives after 3-5 years.

A re-entry plan is important.
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Old 13-06-2013, 09:41   #26
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

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The way I look at it, from the point of view of FINANCES ONLY...unless you sail/use your boat about 30 weeks or more per year, it is not cost effective to own the boat. You'd be better off to just charter.

Mauritz
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Depends on the cost of your boat. If we are talking about buying a 250k boat, then yes, chartering is cheaper than owning. If we are talking about taking off a couple of years, then having that boat payment or depleting your cruising kitty might not make sense. It could be better to buy Black Oak's boat.


For instance, there is a Catalina 27 for like 5k on here. Black Oak is selling for like 10k.
I could charter similar boat to either for like 2500 a week. so, for 4 weeks of charter cost, I could own the 5k catalina and maintain it and pay for it's slip. Last I chartered was a couple of years ago and it was like 2400 for a 33' bene for a week.
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Old 13-06-2013, 15:05   #27
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

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The way I look at it, from the point of view of FINANCES ONLY...unless you sail/use your boat about 30 weeks or more per year, it is not cost effective to own the boat. You'd be better off to just charter.
From a numbers point of view, here's one to chew on: we recently crossed paths with a French family that is out for a limited time. They paid 40,000 Euros to use a 44 Nautitech Cat for 8 months. It has a genset and watermaker and is fairly well setup for their needs.

Now that sounds like a pile of money, but you'll be hard pressed to get in and out of a $250k boat for less than that in a year by the time you count all the costs and that's *assuming* you can find a buyer immediately at the end of your cruise. Otherwise the boat is going to be eating a couple of thousand a month just sitting in a yard on the hard with insurance + hauling + storage + loss of value from just sitting around unused (everything getting moldy etc).

So, we concluded that for 14 months or less, a long term charter would make financial sense, especially if you have a fixed end date.

But if there is any openendedness to the plans, then the charter thing just isn't going to work.

Of course, if you just want to use a boat a month a year, or even two months a year, then charter is definitely the way to go. Bite that cost bullet once and forget about all the other headaches.
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Old 26-06-2013, 08:40   #28
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Re: Actual Cruising Costs versus Life on Land

We have been a live aboard for 16 years Seattle/Puget Sound area. The only way we can justify owning the boat is to living on it. Over the years we become mostly dock condo as most of our vacation/weeks ends it taken up with children/grandchildren. I am planning on retiring next year, so we will cruise/leave the dock more. I am budgeting the same. The month moorage fee will be off set by transient moorage and fuel costs. Our personal living expense, medical, and food will be about the same. So I don’t see where the total cost is going to be any different.

We also own a condo, that we rent out, but if we lived in the condo it would be thousand of dollars per year cheaper. Anyway, might want to think about trading that big dirt house in for a reasonable size boat to live on. We think living on the water any day is better than living on land.
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