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Old 21-09-2016, 11:51   #1
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Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

My wife and I, 30ish, have worked hard over the past few years/ gotten lucky on a few business deals and we are looking to escape the rat race, raise our 2 daughters, and travel the world.

We are keenly interested in cruising to accomplish this, however the one thing we are having a hard time calculating is the cost of cruising. I have read several of the threads, including the 7 years cost data, Mexico for 1k a month, and just about every thread I can find that would give us some indication. I have enjoyed reading Beth Leonard's book but I question the numbers as they are several years old (we would fall into the moderate lifestyle, and I am hoping some cruising families would be willing to let us know if it is feasible to do on ~3600/mo all inclusive which would be about 3% annual withdrawal rate from the nest egg. This would likely be on a used 40-44 ft cat, and ability and willingness to perform most maintenance and repair tasks on our own with hopefully no deadlines, except we would probably like to be back in the states in time for our oldest to go to high school to ensure ability to succeed in college.

So is it possible?

p.s. GordMay will be visiting as this is my first post. So thanks for all the participate in cruisersforum it has been a wealth of knowledge.
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Old 21-09-2016, 11:57   #2
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pirate Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

I see no reason why not.. just don't use the tourist trap shopping malls.. shop with the locals.. eat where they eat..
After that its can you bring your lifestyle down to sea level..
Welcome to CF.. and bem fortuna..
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Old 21-09-2016, 12:26   #3
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

See Third Days blog as they reported monthly expenses while cruising Mexico. They are a family if 4. In our experience spending 7 years cruising Mexico the biggest expense for us was marinas. In most places you can anchor out for free. The second biggest expense was boat repair. We are very high on maintenance and stayed on top of things so that expense was kept to a minimum. $1000-$1500 a month is very doable. Stay out of marinas and you will be saving $$$

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Old 21-09-2016, 12:47   #4
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

I agree with Boatman's and Chouliha's posts above. I would also add that a slow pace reduces costs. We find that we spend less money when we are not cruising fast and entering as many ports per month.

This allows you to take advantage of Boatman's advice by using local knowledge and this also allows you to take cheaper marina rates for those time when you do select a marina. If you also tally the cost of fuel, then the fuel use for the same terms of motoring is divided by a greater number of days and significantly less per unit of time. This can also improve your favorable weather by waiting for the best sailing conditions.

Some people do better at "slow" than others,- we are masters of "slow".
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Old 21-09-2016, 16:42   #5
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

Will we only be able to enjoy Mexico for that budget?
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Old 21-09-2016, 17:24   #6
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

Your cost of cruising will to a large extent resemble your present cost of living on the dry land. You will stop paying the rent, you will start paying berthage, etc.

You will also start with spending a lot and soon find (or not, depending on your preferences) ways to cruise on less. You simply learn the tricks of the trade and play and pay accordingly - avoiding the common pitfalls that the green horns do not even expect to exist.

I do not think 3600 is a viable monthly figure for a typical US family of four to start cruising with. But I am 100% sure 3600 is enough and to spare for a cruising family of 4 who stick with it and learn as they go.

If I were you, I would give it a shot!

Cheers,
b.
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Old 22-09-2016, 10:13   #7
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

Read blog post "best advice" first :-)

We did not track dollar for dollar over our 4 years of full time cruising with kids.

I will say if you set a reasonable budget it will work. 1000/month probably not but 3-4K will for most boats and have enough for shore side adventures etc.

There is a saying about work expands and contracts to fit the available time. Similar with funds.

Sure you will find folks who have kept very detailed accounts and a wealth of info :-)

All the best! Go!!!!!!!
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Old 22-09-2016, 10:31   #8
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

Assumption is then that you only want to draw off the interest from the nest egg and not touch principle?
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Old 22-09-2016, 10:33   #9
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

A64. correct
Akprb. Is that on sv third days blog you are referencing?
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Old 22-09-2016, 10:41   #10
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

I ask as I think it is going to be tough, and that maybe a mono can be had and maintained for less than a Cat.
I know Cat's are popular, but I have to think they are more expensive to maintain with twin engines and all, I assume more surface area for bottom jobs and although many will argue, It seems that when you do want to take a Marina, it cost more. I think you will end up digging into the principle every now and again.
But, I hope that soon we will get more than 3% return too
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Old 22-09-2016, 10:53   #11
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

Dipping into it for maintenence or for living? The general idea behind the 3% is that most financial professionals seem to recommend a 4% withdrawal rate if you want your finances to out live you. Realizing that number relates to individuals around 55+ I thought a 3% would be better and actually have a chance of being there when I do retire assuming we would be working when kids returned to high school. Are my assumptions somewhat right? Could I move to a 4% withdrawal rate? (I know more of a question for financial pro)

Still trying to read more about the green horn mistakes and what those may be.
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Old 22-09-2016, 11:54   #12
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

See this site. S/V BeBe: Costs
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Old 22-09-2016, 11:58   #13
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Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

You will meet all sorts of people out cruising. Just like neighbors in your home town. Some people are thrifty and others budgets don't matter. We met people in Mexico cruising in $600 a month. Never in a marina and never eating out except on rare occasions. We also met people spending 10k a month. Always stay in a marina, hire boat boys to wash and work on the boat, eat out at every fancy restaurant and drink heaps of booze.

But you know what they are all enjoying the same view!

What will it costs you depends on how much you have to spend.

Stay out if marinas, do your own maintenance and stay away from larger towns where there are many temptations and you can do it very reasonably.

Good Luck

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Old 22-09-2016, 12:18   #14
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennenrkc View Post
Dipping into it for maintenence or for living? The general idea behind the 3% is that most financial professionals seem to recommend a 4% withdrawal rate if you want your finances to out live you. Realizing that number relates to individuals around 55+ I thought a 3% would be better and actually have a chance of being there when I do retire assuming we would be working when kids returned to high school. Are my assumptions somewhat right? Could I move to a 4% withdrawal rate? (I know more of a question for financial pro)

Still trying to read more about the green horn mistakes and what those may be.


Maintenance is living, or said another way what does it matter what you spent it on, it's gone.
What is tough I believe is those inevitable big ticket expenditures that you just can't really budget for, anything form a dis-masting to a blown engine, bad sail drive, some may be covered by insurance but surely there will be costs, and I don't think for instance an engine will be covered.
Replacing a $25,000 engine will kill a budget for years for instance.

You right about needing to see a Pro, and even then how do you vet one?
Working it backwards for someone of your age, you have accumulated significant wealth, surely you know how to manage money and have someone who is doing that for you already?

I'm in that 55+ category and I went into this assuming a 5% draw, thinking I could get 5% on my money, now a year or so later, I'm seeing that I can't get 5% and that maybe 3% is more inline.
I'd feel more comfortable not touching the principle myself.


I have been trying to determine what it will cost to cruise and have honestly come up with the flippant answer being the most correct one, it will cost what you have.
If you have 6 or 7 K a month to spend, you will likely spend it, if you only have 3 or 4, then you will likely cut back on things to stay within budget, but I believe you need to have access to a rather large UH-OH fund, you do, lots of people that are cruising on Retirements and Social Security etc., don't.
For many of them an UH-OH means cessation of cruising until they can get back on their feet.


Personally I believe Bebe's cost are more inline with what I expect ours to be.
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Old 22-09-2016, 12:31   #15
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Re: Cost to Cruise with Family of Four

We are a family of 4. Cruised east coast and bahamas 3 times and averaged about 1200 to 1500 a month no marinas or eating out.
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