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View Poll Results: What is your annual live-aboard budget?
0 - $9,999 per annum 46 12.57%
$10,000 - $14,999 per annum 63 17.21%
$15,000 - $19,999 per annum 46 12.57%
$20,000 - $24,999 per annum 57 15.57%
$25,000 - $35,999 per annum 69 18.85%
$35,000 - $49,999 per annum 42 11.48%
$50,000 - $100,000 per annum 32 8.74%
More than $100,000 per annum 11 3.01%
Voters: 366. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 29-01-2007, 17:52   #76
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Ok - I've done it. Kind of a mess but hopefully it's readable and will give some interesting results. I will add in my response once a few have been submitted.
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Old 30-01-2007, 05:21   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ess105
3) Cost of annual maintenance as a percentage of current boat value
4) Cost of annual maintenance as a percentage of replacement boat value

What is the difference between 3 & 4? Is it the boat you've got now versus the one you'd like - or the cost of your current boat written off and the likely replacement value to replicate your setup?

In any event, it sounds like an interesting idea for a poll!!

Cheers.
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Old 30-01-2007, 07:34   #78
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If your boat is new, there is no difference. For older boats I figured both would show a different picture. I would expect to see a narrower distribution on question 4). If my hunch is right then this would be a useful data point for others in their own planning.

If you haven't already voted, head on over to http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...olls-6768.html.
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Old 25-03-2007, 13:53   #79
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starting the dream?

Hello to everyone,

Been away for a few days and trying to catch up. Reading as many posts as time allows given current circumstances. When I hopped on the site this morning, I got the note chiding me for not posting lately , been reading mostly, and learning a lot, thanks to all here. This seemed like a good thread to jump back in on as it is directly relevant to my situation.

Before I start, can someone explain the date situation on the posts for me? The home page says the latest post on this thread was today at 11, but the date in the upper left corner of the post says 30/01/07. I take that to denote Jan. 30, what am I missing here?

Anyway, will try to keep this as short, but at least I recogize that I have a tendancy to ramble, so will excuse myself up front.

After a few more tests, and consultation with two specialists, I have learned that my cancer, like Senator Edwards wife, is not cureable, but "treatable". It is low grade, stage 1 or 2 Non Hodgkins marginal zone lymphoma. They are going to treat it with a drug called Rituxan in hopes of reducing the size of the tumor. Only four treatments over a one month period, then follow up Pet scans probably every 4 to 6 months to check progress. I will never be free of the cancer, but should be able to have a reasonably decent quality of life for at least a few more years, just have to accept that it will always be a part of my life and adapt to it.

So, now, knowing I'm not going to kick the bucket right away, and actually have some time left, I'm facing some choices. The big one, akin to others in this thread, is when to actually start "living" my dream. I have read so many posts that inspired me, but I still have reservations. Can I do it, can I make it by myself, can I afford it financially, etc.

To Janet, Mike and Paula, and others in the same situation, my hat is off to you. Having had my entire life perspective turned upside down in the last 2/3 months, I now wish I had done a lot more earlier, when I was more capable. Not that I'm unable now, but as Kai Nui said, things just aren't the same when you get older. I currently live close to Ventura/Channel Islands Harbor in SoCal, and have several friends who are liveaboards. I probably could live on a 30 footer, if necessary, but would I really enjoy my life? They won't use the head in their boats for instance. May work for them, but at my age, I really don't want to have to get up in the morning, throw on clothes and go up to the clubhouse to take a dump. I do plan to cruise, so maybe that won't be such a problem, but I can't stay 3 miles out forever, so at some point, I'll be tied to a dock or mooring.

I agree with David that getting by is largely an issue of what you've gotten used to over the years. I have to admit I'm spoiled. Can I adjust? I think so, but it will take some time. Do I need all the crap I currently own? No way.

I had a 100K a year job till last Dec. Position was eliminated, so that went away, had a job offer in Texas, not as much, but still very good pay, but would have been right back into the high stress lifestyle. Also, couldn't move at the time because of the medical situation. Question is, do I even want to go back to work, or blow it off, and start cruising now, while I still can? As many have stated, there will never be a perfect time, if one waits.

As to the housing, many on here have said, keep the house, use the rent money for income. Can't do that, for several reasons. One, I need the equity in the house to pay for whatever boat I get, unless I finance the boat, which doesn't make sense to me. Second, don't know about New Zealand, England, or even Texas, but here in SoCal, the market has dumped, big time. I paid over 740K for my house a year ago (built it new), put another 6 grand into custom paint and window coverings, etc. Have had the house on the market for almost 7 months now, reduced it to 739, less than I paid for it, and no takers at all. By the time I get it sold, and pay the realtor, I'm probably looking at a 40 grand loss. Even with that, I should come out with close to 200K equity left over. I can't rent it, in this area, for enough to pay the mortgage and taxes, currently $3700 a month. So, bad timing on my part, but can't blame anyone but myself for that. If I had gotten an apartment, which around here runs 15/16 hundred a month, I would have put out almost 30K in rent by now, which is certainly money down the toilet.

So, I figure I can spend 100 to 125 on a boat, including fixing any necessary items, pay cash, put the rest into CDs, or whatever. I have a 401 of about 200K that I can start drawing from in another year. If I start social security at 62, that would bring in another 1600 a month, so realistically, my annual income for the next 2/3 years will be around 15K, and in 3 years should jump to about 30K. Assuming I pay cash for the boat, and have only upkeep, and normal maintenance to worry about, does this seem realistic?

Keep in mind, I am an ex aircraft mechanic (a pretty good one), and can probably do a lot of the maintenance on my own.

I hope I can find a friend to store the harley for me, plan to sell off furniture, etc. as I'm not attached to it anyway. Heck, I never used any of it but the bed and stereo, the rest was just to fill up the empty rooms in a house that was way too big for me. I have enough clothes in my closet to last me several lifetimes. I would have difficulty parting with my pristine 2002 Camaro convertible, but hey, it is just a car.

So, I'ld like to take my own totally non scientific poll. Am I nuts? Should I go for it now? Wait till I can retire at 62? Try to find another job? I'll tally the results myself from the responses. You guys have all been great and have given me a lot of information as well as things to think about. So fire away, please. If you don't want to bog down the website, please feel free to PM me, richardtuten@hotmail.com .

Thanks to all , you can go back to your drinking now...

RichT
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Old 25-03-2007, 15:23   #80
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RichT - What are you waiting for, go for it man. The clock is always ticking, but you can read the time.
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Old 25-03-2007, 16:08   #81
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Just a note: The "last post" date/time thing updates every time someone votes in the poll, even if they don't make a post. So the last actual post on the thread will usually not match the last post on the front page because many people vote without commenting.
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Old 25-03-2007, 20:06   #82
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Go for it!!!!!

Hi Rich,

After reading your post I am all the more convinced that if you have a dream you should do whatever it takes to make it happen as quickly as you can. Is your plan "doable"??? I certainly believe so!!!

I have heard and I have been told that it is more economical to purchase your boat in Texas. Lucky for us that is where we live. The Kemah, Clear Lake and Seabrook areas of Texas are great places to find the perfect sail boat. All 3 cities are located just south of Houston and north of Galveston. We purchased our Pearson 36 Cutter less than a year ago and outfitted her with everything we needed and most of what we wanted. We spent less on the boat and outfitting her than you mention as your budget. Cookie's Cutter is very comfortable for the 2 of us and will also house a couple of guests at a time.

We are heading south to Mexico and plan to be on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala by the first or second week of June. It is much less expensive if you head south from the Texas Gulf Coast and spend your first season or 2 in the Northwest Caribbean. We will be slipped at a marina on the Rio Dulce for the 5 months of hurricane season and will actually be able to afford the slip and food as well. Really, though, the cost to slip your boat and have access to water, electricity and internet service is very reasonable in that area. We are leaving sometime between the middle and end of April. I quit my job and my last day was March 16 - how liberating!!! Even more so than selling all of our belongings!! My husband (Russell) has 5 days left to work and then we will both be unemployed or "retired without benefits".

Good luck to you, Rich. I truly hope you are able to cut the necessary ties and live your dream.

Best regards,
Janet
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Old 25-03-2007, 21:52   #83
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The numbers make sense to me...

The numbers as you describe them seem to add up, though you may have to go easy on the strawberries and caviar.

If you have any doubts I would suggest putting the numbers into two speadsheets.

Do the first one for the boat purchase. Put in the purchase price, necessary modifications and upgrades and add it all up.

Do the second in two parts. First part do all expenses. Second part do all income. Check that expenses do not exceed income each year by more than savings less the total purchase price (first spreadsheet) divided by the number of years that you estimate that you will cruise.

Have you considered applying for a work visa for New Zealand? Good social security...
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Old 25-03-2007, 22:40   #84
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Janet,
Thanks for the encouragement. Yep, boat prices are definitely less in Texas and the Gulf coast of Florida. People in California are just as proud of their boats as they are houses and cars, hey, it's the lifestyle here. I have looked at quite a few boats here, and then gone online, and pretty much without exception, the same boat will be advertised from 20 to 40% less in either Texas or Florida. Even the northeast is less than here. The brokers here all excuse that by saying that all the boats in Florida are "hurricane" victims, but that should be easy enough to check with a good survey. Heck, they can't all be bad. Can you suggest any good brokers in the area? I even checked into marinas at Corpus Christi, and they are very reasonable, about half of what I would pay here in Ventura. Is that area safe from the hurricanes? Looks like it would be a good place to start out as a liveaboard.

I'll have to look into the area you mentioned. My plan once I actually get started was to head for South America and the Caribbean, spend some time there getting used to the boat, and just being lazy, then come back up the east coast, and eventually head off for the Azores and the Med.

Chris, Thanks for the ideas. I have sort of looked at some numbers, put together a budget, etc. I can figure things like food (minimal as I'm not a caviar type person), clothing (again, minimal since I will have to throw things out or put them in storage), but my biggest problem is figuring the boat costs since I'm not familiar with a lot of the things that folks on here pay for every day. I know diesel is expensive, but I'm in no hurry, and plan to sail every where I possibly can, rather than motor, so that shouldn't be excessive. I can do my own routine maintenance items, so that should be controllable.

Quick question here. What do you guys, and gals, do for internet access. Obviously if you're at a marina, most of them, around here at least, offer internet service, either wireless or cable. But what about when you're in foreign ports, like Mexico, Guatemala, etc.? and, what do you do for cell phone service?

I don't know about working in New Zealand, although it sounds enticing. I also figured I can work along the way if absolutely necessary to add to my funds. As I said, I'm a pretty good mechanic, so should be able to pick up some work at most marinas, or harbors, I would think. I'm meticulous, hard working and dependable, so if I have to, I'll just go back to work for a while.

Any other ideas or suggestions from those who have done this recently. What did you do right? Wrong? What should I look out for? Any really BIG mistakes, that I can learn from?

Another quick question, a good friend of mine in Florida who grew up in a sailing family (Houston area), and has owned several boats, advised me that whatever else I got for equipment, to have, or add, a watermaker. Do you folks here think of that as a necessity? A must have, or "nice to have"?

I'm getting a bit excited about this, as I'm beginning to think it could really become a reality for me. Thanks to everyone here for their support and advice. In the words of our gov, "I'll be baaack"....

RichT
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Old 25-03-2007, 22:43   #85
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I agree: No car or car insurance payment. No Car maintenance or fuel & oil. No slip or liveaboard fee. No entertainment of off the cuff spending. No grocery store to pop into when you have an urge for steak. No Starbucks no way to order things you dont need. I would venture to say you could cut things in half.
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Old 25-03-2007, 23:31   #86
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Thumbs up minimal lifestyle

Jack,

You are right, a lot of things are different when you're not working. As Alan, I think it was, said in an earlier post, it costs money to make money. When I was working, I ate lunch out every day, bought dress clothes, (had a real tie fetish for a while), and spent a lot of money on gas, etc. With the cost of the house here, even at 100K a year, I wasn't saving any money. I did better when I was making half that and living a less lavish lifestyle. I'm actually pretty frugal in a lot of ways. Bought a year old Thunderbird (Hertz rental) in 1995, still driving it, with close to 200K on it now. A piece of crap, but it still starts every day, and gets me where I need to go. The 2002 Camaro sits in the garage most times because I'm "saving" it, for what I don't know.

As for medical insurance, I will have to have that because of the lymphoma, so just have to factor that in.

What about boat insurance? I have been told that it is very difficult to get insurance if you take the boat out of the US? Is that a problem? Elusive told me once that his insurance isn't effective if he goes to Mexico. What about the Caribbean, Europe?

Any other insights, thoughts from anyone? I'm all ears (or eyes, in this case).

Rich
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Old 28-03-2007, 20:39   #87
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RichT -- go go go -- i can only tell you what happened to me and all i can say is go -
i had a sig other and we lived together for 7.5 years - we took sailing lessons together, we searched for a boat together and she had major input on the boat purchase -- when i purchased the boat new she named it SoulMates -- SoulMates is 2001 (commissioned 2003) Jeanneau DS40 -
we picked it up in Annapolis and brought her to Miami and while doing so both got the flu, suffered through an initial shakedown, and one really bad night at sea (even the folks in a local marina the next day could not believe we were out that night) - we sailed together and learned how to sail SoulMates, went to the Bahamas and got hit by lightening and brought her home to Miami as a team - Sailed to Key West and back as a team - talked about when and where to go cruising together - began to plan the years needed before going untying the lines - people always commented on what a great team we made sailing - then
she got a job with a 6 figure income - a year later the day i turned 60 i was fired - we had planned on my working to 62 but after trying to find a job in miami and having no luck i suggested we leave early and did the finances to prove we could - she asked that i wait a year for her to cover her finances as i was paying all the bills for the house, boat, slip ect - 8 months later i found out she had purchased a condo 3 months previous and had furnished it - when i confronted her she moved out and said she was making to much money to leave now and just was not ready - now i am trying to sell my house in a down market (have a contract that is $55k less than when i lost my job), i have depleted 1/3 of my crusing kitty waiting on her, and now it appears that trying to find someone to go with me is going to be almost impossible -
the good side i have learned to sail SoulMates by myself (even did a race), SoulMates is set up for singlehanded sailing, and i have met some friends (single) who may want to join me on for short periods of time -
I wish i had sold my house when i lost my job instead of listening to my sig other - i am now approaching 62 and think i can cruise on a combination of social security and rr retirement with will be more than $1,500 a month - one big reason is SoulMates is a fairly new boat -
with luck i will untie the lines around June 1 after i have put 2 solar panels and a ssb on board, then head up the east coast to get out of south fla for hurricane and Jeanneau is having it's 50th anniversary party at the annapolis boat show and we plan to attend
SO GO GO GO
and fair winds
chuck and s/v SoulMates
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Old 28-03-2007, 22:58   #88
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Carpe Diem???

Chuck,

Thanks for sharing. I have been giving this a lot of thought, and it helps to hear from people who have gone through some of the same issues and trials. I will be 59 next month, so a bit early for social security, but if I can sell the house here in California, even at a loss, I should have at least 200K in equity. I figure if I can hold the boat purchase to 125 or under, then put the rest into some solid interest earning bonds, I can live off savings for the next 3 years, till I can start S/S, and also start taking some income out of my IRAs.

The other option is to go back to work for another 3 years, go ahead and get the boat, and start fixing it up and learning more about sailing, then at 62, pull anchor and head for the Caribbean. I have 3 more cancer treatments, then I should be okay for a few years if all works out right.

I sympathize with your situation. Finding another job at our age is tough. Companies figure you won't be with them long enough for them to squeeze much out of you. And, if you try to find something lower on the ladder, you get the old "but you're way overqualified for this position" crap.

I would be interested in knowing how Soulmates is set up. I assume it is sloop rigged, but would like to know specifics, things like, is your main halyard blocked back to the cockpit? Furling jib? What other changes have you made to make it a single hander?

Thanks for your perspective, and if you need a deckhand on Soulmates, give me a shout. I plan on having some time on my hands soon, and it sounds like I could learn a lot from you.

Rich
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Old 29-03-2007, 02:46   #89
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In working up an estimate for my long term cruising budget, I started by keeping a documented track of how much I already earn and spend, and on what, over the last five years, to see how much I think I can truncate it. Try as I might, I can't get my truncation assumptions under the 25000 - 30000 bracket. I guess I am just not frugal enough to want to give up electronic communications, for example. One big problem is predicting inflation and interest rates for the long term.
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Old 29-03-2007, 06:51   #90
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Originally Posted by Idiens
In working up an estimate for my long term cruising budget, I started by keeping a documented track of how much I already earn and spend, and on what, over the last five years, to see how much I think I can truncate it. Try as I might, I can't get my truncation assumptions under the 25000 - 30000 bracket. I guess I am just not frugal enough to want to give up electronic communications, for example. One big problem is predicting inflation and interest rates for the long term.
When I began the same excercise myself I rapidly realized that attempting to estimate the budget for a cruising lifestyle based on my land based needs was an excercise in futility.

What I found I had to do was build a mental image of what our cruising life would be and budget for that.

On this same vein. Last year I was made redundant and part of my package was outplacement services which included some financial planning services. As I had the time and it was prepaid, I went for it and discussed planning for semi-retirement / cruising. The process went along the lines of mapping out my life-style today and figuring out what I would need for the future. To get the guy out of his standard groove I got him to show me his financial plan in all it's detail and was able to cross out about 80%-90% of all his line items as they simply weren't relevant to the cruising life. I then had to add in boat insurance, etc. which his didn't have.

Wrt to inflation and interest rates noone can tell you these. You have to make your own assumptions. I try and model conservatively which should build me a cushion. ie - I use 2.5% for inflation and 6% for rates of return on my investments even though I've been able to sustain higher returns than that since I started saving and investing.

Good luck with all this. I found the budgetting process more helpful in terms of visualizing my future than anything else. It forced me to read many books and to talk to a lot of cruisers and to pay attention to what people say on sites like this. Everyone is different of course but you can ceetainly pick up on what matters to you.
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