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Old 17-09-2009, 10:16   #1
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Caribbean Sailing Finances?

Hello!

Me and two friends are heading out to Florida at the end of October to embark on a 6 month sail around the Caribbean. For more details look here: Canadians Bound for the Caribbean - Got Questions!

Here is our (very rough) initial budget. Would love to hear what you guys think will be more expensive, and what will be less.


Initial Costs:

Travel there/back = $500 pp

Boat: $16500 / 3 = $5500 per person
safety equipment, sheets, painting etc.: $3000 / 3 = $1000 pp

Insurance: $750 / 3 = $250 pp

Monthly Costs:

Food: $250 pp * 6 months = $1500 pp
Alcohol/partying (silent killer): $100 pp * 6 months = $600 pp
Maintenence: $600 / 3 * 6 months = $1200 pp
Diesel: $200 / 3 * 6 months = $400 pp
Moorage: $150 / 3 * 6 months = $300 pp

Other costs:

Charts/Books etc: $1000 / 3 = $330 pp
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= $11 580 per person
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Old 17-09-2009, 10:33   #2
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Have you got the boat yet?
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Old 17-09-2009, 10:42   #3
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Not yet!
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Old 17-09-2009, 10:52   #4
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The boat's the killer. You can always drink less or eat less or motor less but the cost of the boat and fitting it out will be the main thing in your budget. I don't think your idea of heading to Florida and setting out fairly soon after is realistic. You're going to be running around for at least a month looking for boats. I notice your budget doesn't allow for this.
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Old 17-09-2009, 11:25   #5
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Moorings = ~$30/day, Health or boat insurance?, $16000 for an off-shore boat? - probably will need new sails, Epirb, liferaft, etc., Food will be about twice what you are used to paying. less than 100g. diesel fo 6 mo?

Count on doublig your estimate unless you plan to live like hermits.
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Old 17-09-2009, 11:44   #6
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Vasco is correct - without your boat, who knows what will be required? $3000.00 for what I assume to be your refit, including 'sheets' (are we talking bedding or sail control lines) and safety equipment seems pretty low for anything but a virtually new and well-equipped boat. As to charts - are you planning on using a chartplotter and digital charts plus paper, or....... anyway, $1000.00 won't go very far.

I also see no budget for entry fees, cruising permits where required and ground transportation, including taxis and buses; and your moorage budget won't go very far, especially if you don't have a decent inflatable/outboard, which also doesn't seem to be budgeted for.

As to your 'travel there and back', I assume you are talking about airfare to somewhere south where you propose to buy the boat. What about hotel etc. there while you are looking for the boat (and dockage during a refit)?

Really, this is just too speculative to be able to give answers. If you had the boat with survey and an equipment inventory, you could start on this process. Without, it is impossible.

Brad
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Old 17-09-2009, 11:59   #7
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Don't go to Florida--buy a boat already in the Caribbean. You will avoid the bash from Florida to the good cruising, and the time you spend fixing up the boat will be part of your Caribbean adventure. For example:

34 ft Gramjpian Fully Equipted Liveaboard Cruiser - BoatBoss.com

You will not spend as much as estimated on diesel and moorings, but you will need to budget for a dinghy to get to and from the anchorages.
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Old 17-09-2009, 12:00   #8
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You might try looking for a boat that needs crew doing the trip. Then your budget might come into reality. Buying a boat is not like buying car. You do not go to the boat lot and do a test drive and drive away. As crew you would learn much more and not be on the steep part of the learning curve.
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Old 17-09-2009, 12:28   #9
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As others have said issues related to the boat are a larger part of the total expense, so it's hard to evaluate a budget without that information.

I think buying a boat appropriate for a 6-month cruise for 3 people with the $16,500 you mentioned and having it cruise ready for another $3000 is a bit optimistic. It may be possible, but I wouldn't count on it. I think getting Caribbean coverage for $750 is also optimistic.

Most of your basic cruising costs looked feasible to me, but so much depends on life style choices. Some people like to dock and pick up moorings frequently. The last time I spend three weeks in the BVIs, I never paid for a mooring or marina. I think to make your food budget will require basic meals and almost never eating out.

I'm sure there are also other items you may need to budget for. A few that come to mind:

Communications
Entertainment
Land travel
Permits
Health related issues
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Old 17-09-2009, 13:37   #10
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Hey everybody, perhaps I better explain our situation a little better. I kind of just made that posting on the fly to see what people's reactions would be... guess i got a little douse of realism!

We're three Canadian 20-year old students, and we'll absolutely be living on the cheap. We're not looking for the glamorous cruising lifestyle many go to the Caribbean for. Rather we're looking for some good sailing and a great adventure.

We understand this means we can opt for peanut butter and jam sandwiches rather than lobster dinners and anchorages rather than marina slips, but we CANNOT take a boat that isn't seaworthy for the trip.

We're looking for a ~30' cruiser in Florida. We have free accomodation in Ft. Lauderdale so hotel costs aren't an issue there. We've been told that given the number of boats and the state of the economy in Florida we could be able to get a seaworthy boat in the $15 - $20 000 range. Do you think it will it take more to get it ready for the open waters than another $3 - $4000 in Florida?

I was quoted $650 for boat insurance for 6 months through out the waters will be travelling. Think it will be more?

Health insurance we still have to look into but we are from Canada and the system here is a little more forgiving towards our situation.

Any changes in thoughts now? Or is our dream still a flop?
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Old 17-09-2009, 13:57   #11
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The difference between an adventure and ordeal is attitude. There are many things to consider before going to sea, read as many posts and horrors stories as possible. Know what to do when things break, fail or start taking on water. If you still want to go, then I am sure you can do it on your budget. Won't be easy, but do it.
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Old 17-09-2009, 13:59   #12
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It sounds like you have a basic plan outlined. Too much planning is worse than too little. Go to Ft. Lauderdale, find a boat and go for it. You can make adjustments on the fly.
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Old 17-09-2009, 14:21   #13
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Boat already in place (and fit) it costs me some 300 USD per month per person to cruise the West Indies. We anchor (rather than use marinas), eat on board (rather than in restaurants), row our dink (rather than use outboard and petrol) and get suntanned (for free!).

I believe the price of boat / outfit can be the killer if this is your first boat / trip.

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Old 17-09-2009, 14:34   #14
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Salty go for it, whats the worst that can happen? Take the chance while ur young. I did the same when I was your age. Sailed from Scandinavia-Brazil. It set the tone for how I have lived my life uptil now.
I think you need more beermonies./Harry
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Old 17-09-2009, 14:35   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltyspringer View Post
Any changes in thoughts now? Or is our dream still a flop?
No your dream is not a flop.

However, my take would be this:

Six months is not a lot of time. Cruising is all about going slowly and leisurely. You take your time for many reasons, not the least of which is that you find so many places where you wind up wanting to stay for awhile. I think a better idea is to make the Bahamas your primary goal. Literally hundreds of islands with everything from party towns to uninhabited islands all surrounded by some of the most spectacular cruising waters in the world and well worth exploring for several months. If you do not fall in love or you get bored, then consider the Caribbean. The Bahamas are the conventional island hopping route to the eastern Caribbean anyway.

Re some of your concerns:

1. Yes, you can find boats in good condition in Florida that are suitable for your intended use and lifestyle for 15-20K. Any necessary/wanted repairs, outfitting, upgrading costs are exclusive to the particular boat and cannot otherwise be predicted. Eg.:

1979 Columbia 9.6 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

No I don’t know anything about it. But IF in good condition, it would suit your needs and appears to be very well equipped. Condition is everything and you need an expert evaluation before buying any particular boat regardless of manufacturer.

2. As has been said, you need a good dinghy and outboard and these are not cheap.

3. Once you have a suitable boat in good condition, you can make almost any budget work.
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