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Old 03-07-2014, 15:43   #1

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Budget (with real numbers)

Alright….. I really wanted to make a post that contained real numbers. I have seen many posts with real numbers for the boat (cost of a boat), some with living costs per month…. But I haven’t seen any posts with real numbers outlining a cruising plan and how to finance it. So here is our plan with real numbers, including our expected monthly income.
First.. Since I’m not insane and want to protect my privacy.. This is not my regular account and I will not be giving complete details of who I am. My goal was to present some numbers that may help others out, not expose my finances to the world.

First a quick background on us and our planned trip. We are a family of 5 (3 kids, parents in mid-late 30s). We plan on purchasing a 40 foot (ish) boat (maybe a CAT) and cruising for an undetermined number of years. We may stay in the Caribbean or we may head west (circumnavigation maybe). Our plans include anchoring %95 of the time with stays in Marina’s for maintenance only.

Ok now for the numbers:

Monthly budget $2500 - $3000
Boat budget $175,000 (Boat and refit if required)
Monthly income $1800 (Mortgage free rental property, after taxes/fees)
Cruising kitty $70,000

So based on these numbers.. If we spent the top of our monthly budget we would have “supplement” our monthly income from the Cruising kitty by $1200/month. That means we could cruise for almost 5 years before the kitty would be exhausted. We will still have the mortgage free property plus a nest egg (100K ish) upon return.

There it is.. 2 years worth of my planning and research laid out on 4 simple lines. I have purposely kept the spreadsheets and heavy details (needs, wants, age/type of boat, ect) out of this post. I wanted this to just be about the numbers that I think will work for me and my plan. There are many cruisers who have larger numbers, and many cruisers who have smaller. I’m willing to bet there are quite a few that have very similar numbers.

For those playing along at home... This totals about $850K in cash and assets.


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Old 03-07-2014, 16:42   #2
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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

Sounds like you've worked hard and saved hard. Even if the bailout is 3 years or 4 if you don't start you won't know...

PS - You may get crossways with the mods as technically you are only supposed to have one screen name. It really cuts down on trolling if members can't create different identities every time they want to play nasty...

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Old 03-07-2014, 16:46   #3
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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

Cats are more expensive to maintain. IMO, and for me, those numbers are a bit light. We were closer to 4k per month in a 40ft Mono. Others are different though, so maybe you are OK. As the previous poster said, go, and se how you get on - many, if not all, your current plans and expectations will be "modified" before you return! Just GO
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Old 03-07-2014, 17:27   #4
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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

Myself, I might look at a $70K boat, spend $30K on refit and double the cruising kitty, but that's me. $175k is a bit light for a 40' ish cat with refit.
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Old 03-07-2014, 17:50   #5

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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

Do you and your family have any experience with living on the hook that much? 95% is a lot when you are out and about and food and entertainment for 5 could be a budget buster in Paradise. It is pretty easy to live it up a little too. While not a "real number" you might just spend everything you have to spend.
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Old 03-07-2014, 18:18   #6
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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

Don't forget daily ice cream treats.
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Old 03-07-2014, 18:18   #7
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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

Thanks for posting this. It looks like you did the planning and the budget fits your lifestyle.
One component left out was the contingency amount. It could be used for medical purposes, a major breakdown or replacement, a new sail, etc. Or you may have to dig into your nest egg for that.
Other than the upfront cost (may not be enough for a cat + refit), I would say this could work very well, again, if you fit the lifestyle to the budget.
Go for it, have fun and adjust as required.
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Old 03-07-2014, 18:32   #8
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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

How much is your current food budget for 5? Will any of those kids become teenagers in the next couple of years?

Will you be using a homeschooling package or curriculum?

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Old 03-07-2014, 22:09   #9

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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

Ok so to answer some of the questions..

1. No we haven't spent a significant amount of time on the hook.. but.. We have spoke with and followed the blogs of a number of cruising families (currently cruising, not past cruising). 95% may be high, but our plan is to anchor as much as possible. Entertainment will be our family and watching the kids enjoy the wonders.

2. We are %100 confident that 175K can get a cruising ready cat (38-42ft, mid to late 90s). Why are we so confident? We personally know 2 people who have done just that within the last year.

3. Our monthly budget is based on other "kid boats" we have spoke with. Yes we realize that we won't be able to enjoy some things, but feel the experience is worth the sacrifice. At the end of 5 years, only one of our children will be in their early teens, so food costs shouldn't be impacted to much.

4. As to home schooling.. We happen to live in a country that has some pretty great rules about home schooling. We don't need to follow an official curriculum and are allowed to make up our own. Our immediate family has multiple teachers that will be helping us create a solid foundational curriculum. The government offers "check up" counselors that you call every few months and they assess and help adjust your material.

5. Contingency... Well I wasn't completely honest in my original post. We do have a safety net on top of our nest egg. The safety net was intended to be used for unforseen circumstances (e.g. The housing market completely collapses again and our property is worth 1/2 or less). We could dip into this pot if required.

Finally.. I do plan to try and earn some money while we are out, but I'm not counting on that. I have a few skills (electronics repair, stainless welding) that are in demand by cruisers, but I know that will be more of barter type work (i.e. trade for a bottle of rum). I'm also lining up some remote work in software development, but frankly I'm not sure I want to do it. I'm afraid it will ruin the experience.
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Old 03-07-2014, 22:53   #10
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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

We anchor nearly 100%. But after having spent one very miserable night surrounded by a few idiots, inconsiderate boaters, dragging anchors etc. in 25 knot winds and 3 foot swells, you might want to give it a try first before you buy into this lifestyle. I was up at 2am re-anchoring my boat alone in the mess, because I couldn't awaken the fools that were causing the problems.... it's not for everyone.

99% of the time everything is fine and uneventful, but sometimes the SHTF in a big way. It's kind of like working as an anesthesiologist. You'll need the temperament to go along with the budget.

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Old 04-07-2014, 01:50   #11
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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

Good plan. A little bit light on the numbers for my taste, but definitely worth a go. Key factors are your age and you own a property outright and can sail with no debts. You can return to work at anytime, probably when the kids are ready for high school. Go now! Don't forget to add inflation into your calculations, you might find you need to add more to the monthly costs after a few years. The boat shouldn't drop too much in value over 5 years. Last time I checked an ex moorings lagoon 380 was about 160k for a 6 yr old boat so I'd tend to go for newer than mid 90s. Make a spreadsheet and don't forget to include initial setup costs, boat registration, flights, survey etc which can easily add 20k to the first year. See you in the Caribbean in 6 months
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:56   #12
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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

well, it depends ...........
stop blowing smoke up my rear, blow it at the sails instead
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Old 04-07-2014, 14:43   #13
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Re: Budget (with real numbers)

Duplicate accounts are not allowed. The thread is now closed.


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