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Old 19-09-2010, 15:30   #1
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Considering Overall Cost of Long-Term Cruising

My wife and I have gone through the steps considered in posts in this section of the forum. Sailing classes, practice, chartering in the Caribbean etc. and are ready to retire and "take the leap" in about a year. We have settled on a catamaran as our preferred vessel but have not had great luck in really examining the total cost of the cruising lifestyle. The costs would include insurance, maintenance, provisions, moorings, slips, entertainment. Even though I understand that the range can be significant, I would love to hear some specifics about overall costs. Any guidance will be appreciated
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Old 19-09-2010, 15:40   #2
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budgets

In her encyclopedic book Beth Leonard has a chapter on exactly this topic. She breaks down typical budgets by desired lifestyle.

If you hunt around on the web sites of either Bumfuzzle or Windom you can find detailed ex post summaries of what they spent on their voyages.

Have fun.
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Old 19-09-2010, 16:44   #3
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Thanks!

I will look up Beth Leonard's book. I have followed the Bumfuzzle adventures but am not sure that I want to live on Pizza in every port we reach.
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Old 19-09-2010, 16:53   #4
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One of the most commonly asked questions.

Very hard to determine.
Figure $15,000 to 50,000 and maybe more, much more.

what about health insurance? With the changes in US law, that is a very difficult cost to determine over the next 5 years. big changes coming
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Old 19-09-2010, 19:00   #5
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G'day, mate. For over 12 years, we have averaged $2,000 USD per month. We have flown internationally every year with one exception. We have full health, yacht and car insurance. We are able to maintain our yacht to a high standard of maintenance by doing most of the work ourselves. You really have to decide if you want to live in "camp" mode or with a little more of lifes "comforts". If you would like more detail, feel free to send me a PM.
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Old 19-09-2010, 19:02   #6
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My reference to the Windom budgets can be found at

Six month budgetupdate

When you look at their numbers you have to keep in mind the difference between a capital expenditure and a recurring expense. Also, the spent lavishly on Windom. Whoever bought that boat from them in 2007 got a steal. If only I'd had the foresight to buy it when it went on the market.

Regarding Bumfuzzle: Those kids knew/know a lot more than most people gave them credit for. Besides, doesn't pizza have all the major food groups in it? Let's see, the cheese has dairy, the crust has carbs, the tomato sauce covers vegetables. And beyond that, the beers that they were always cadging covered whatever dietary needs weren't included in the pizza. LOL
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Old 19-09-2010, 20:01   #7
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Given your input data I would say you can make it at about

USD 5000

per month

give or take a thousand or two.

b.
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Old 20-09-2010, 04:58   #8
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The thing with the how much does it cost question is that so few who are cruising ever seem to post an answer. Which would of course be a real answer and not a discussion. Then there's the "it costs whatever you can afford" answer, which is correct because you once spend what you had you have to stop.

Guess I will have to post my answer to this once I save up the unknown amount and sail off.
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Old 20-09-2010, 06:45   #9
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There are some more questions your need to consider:

(i) the sometimes afloat vs living one. Are you keeping a land base or not, and if yes, do you intend to return to it? Will it be financially self-sufficient/making a little/your primary source of income.
(ii) where do you intend to sail? Fundamental to your costs, not only for travel to see family but also eg costs of works, availability of anchorages etc
(iii) are you happy to spend weeks/months at a time on the hook, with the enormous pleasures but significant challenges thereof. A cat will add to marina costs.
(iv) what skills do you have/want that will reduce your maintenance costs. We strongly believe that there is tendency on these boards to make out you must be a two-handed complete boat yard to be a cruiser, which is very off-putting - but your ability/willingness to do work is directly related to your budget.

For us - answer to (i) was full time till last year, (ii) so far UK and western Med, (iii) we anchor out for monthsl in summer but winter ashore/in marinas, and we have a 12m monohull, (iv) we do a lot ourselves but find that there are some jobs that defeat us for tools/skill/strength/time. Given all this we need approx GBP1500 a month, including eating out a bit, sightseeing, occasional car hire and 1xreturn flight to UK a year.

HTH
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Old 20-09-2010, 07:02   #10
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With a 45 ft monohull (cheaper than a cat), living on the hook and doing most of our own maintenance, we are spending about $50k a year on everything and living well in the Caribbean and East Coast US. This is about twice what we spent 15 years ago in the South Pacific and Asia. We don't feel constrained by our budget--we could afford more--and we eat out, travel off the boat, and fly home pretty much when we want to.
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Old 20-09-2010, 08:02   #11
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Don

Can you separate out the extras, like eating out, travel away from the boat, etc to come up with a baseline minimum?

Things like keeping a house, flying home, travel ashore, fine dining, sightseeing, etc are 'luxuries'. Of course many people cannot do without their sat phone, latte, first class travel, marinas every night, etc. But it would be nice to break out the extras to discover the base price for cruising.

From what I have seen, the base cost seems to run about $15,000 to $35,000.
Of course even here there are variables such as size and condition of boat plus location.
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Old 20-09-2010, 09:20   #12
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I think that it's interesting how things are interpreted. Eating ashore does not necessarily equate to fine dining, and being able to go 'home' once a year to see relatives such as grandchildren or aging parents is not considered a luxury by many cruisers we know.

It also seems very odd to go to enormous discomfort, risk and overall cost to go somewhere amazing and not see the extraordinary things about it while you're there! To give a cheap example, we spent two months anchored (free) an EU1 bus ride from Seville. We say some amazing free stuff. We also paid for an overnight trip to Cordoba to see the unique Mesquite, and it was worth every penny.

The point being the truism that if those are things you've relished in your shore life, you will want them in your sea-life. Annd not to budget for them is to mislead yourself about the cost of cruising.

This is slightly different from the cost of sailing within the cruising life, which seems to be what you're after, but not what the OP inquired about.
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Old 20-09-2010, 09:40   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
The thing with the how much does it cost question is that so few who are cruising ever seem to post an answer. Which would of course be a real answer and not a discussion. Then there's the "it costs whatever you can afford" answer, which is correct because you once spend what you had you have to stop.

Guess I will have to post my answer to this once I save up the unknown amount and sail off.
People out cruising don't pass judgement/discuss the following topics:

Politics
Religion
Lifestyle choices
Financial position
educational experience
anchor choices

John
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Old 20-09-2010, 09:54   #14
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That $2,000 USD sort of level seems to be a good one for my feeling on a long term budget, not high enough, but still far by OK

We found that a lot of expenses are flexible: If cruising in a high cost area like the Med we ate out less but made up for it with good quality supermarket food to cook on the boat. in some parts of Asia it seemed cheaper to actually eat out than cook for oneself! (Here I am thinking local restaurants in Malaysia).

Same flexibility with airfares: When Nicolle went back home we were able to use Nice airport which is about the cheapest airfare in the world to get to Australia - However the Caribbean would have been nearly $1,000 EXTRA for the one airfare. So one would fly home when its achievable to do so.

In 6 months I haul the boat for a very low price - but I have to sail 400nms to get there and have the paint already purchased. on another occasion where time is the premium I may have to spend more.

So the budget can be very flexible.

Remember the first few years can be a real killer: matauwhi said: "For over 12 years, we have averaged $2,000 USD per month"
I can bet the first 2 or 3 years were a pain in the back pocket, but after that they would have 'magically' found everything getting a whole lot easier, financially.

Flexibility and a contingency fund....



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Old 20-09-2010, 09:57   #15
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Quote:
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People out cruising don't pass judgement/discuss the following topics:

Politics
Religion
Lifestyle choices
Financial position
educational experience
anchor choices

John
That Left wing evangelist has a Bruth!!!!!!


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