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Old 27-02-2014, 04:48   #451
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

This thread is drifting along like a Mexican shark fisherman and All is Lost.
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Old 27-02-2014, 05:43   #452
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

My wife (mostly) and I just put together a detailed budget for cruising essentially full time. We have 10+ years of cruising experience (but not always full time) so we feel we have a good handle on what costs are. We consider ourselves solidly in the middle class and have usually earned 6 figure incomes. We live well, but not extravagantly. We have a 30+ year old boat in good condition with most of the upgrades typical of a cruising boat. We have no debt on the boat and value it at <$70K. It is fully depreciated, so we don't take that into account. Here are our conclusions:
-We can cruise on <$2500 per month. We do not count house costs (we're keeping it) or heath insurance (thank you ACA BTW.)
-The 10% annual maintanence cost is realistic if you use yard labor. We don't so our figure is lower.
-We plan on staying at anchor or picking up a mooring as often as we can consistent with secure anchoring and convenience.
-We plan to eat out a bit more than we do at home because we expect to want to hang out in some of the places we visit.
-We do include using rental cars to commute to the boat at the beginning and end of the seasons, as well as a planned fall "sabatical" home in the fall.
-We will be travelling from Lake Ontario to the Bahamas via the Seaway and have budgeted $400/month for fuel. Much of the trip will be in "delivery" mode, which means we need to keep up 70 mile days. We will seldom sail over night as we are travelling with a dog that we like to take to shore daily.

Conclusion: cruising conservatively, the $3500/month figure seems quite reasonable.

Hope this helps. Sorry, we do not want to share our spreadsheets.
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Old 27-02-2014, 07:50   #453
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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Originally Posted by Red Sky View Post
I agree, boats rot without use, but rot isn't wear. Using your boat 24/7/365 is way different than running the motor once a week. Example, your fresh water pump has a finite number of cycles, use them up in a year or ten years or whatever.
While mechanical devices, like water pumps, do wear out it is not true that after say 1,000,000 cycles they will wear out. Just as some cars of the same model will get 100,000 miles and others will get 400,000 miles the same is true of all mechanical devices.

A classic example with water pumps is that if the pump is not used the water lines will deteriorate and can crumble so to speak resulting in small particles of rubber getting in the water and causing issues with the moving parts of the pump. On the other hand if the pump is used on a regular basis there is less chance of a buildup of these small particles and the pump will last longer. Things like winches can wear out more quickly due to the lubrication getting old and turning solid resulting in more wear on the moving parts than if the winch was simply rotated on a regular basis. Same with things like mast and traveler tracks.

Not to say you should not maintain things with moving parts, just that if moving parts are moved on a regular basis they will last longer.
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Old 27-02-2014, 08:05   #454
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

stuff wears out when it wears out.
cannot guarantee timing.
usually is worst timing evvaahhh, but it all works out.
prices of repairs is such a variable it is not predictable, even with a desktop computer.
equipment that comes with a boat for cruising will break soon. whether it is from sun damage or from other damages, it WILL break.

buy what you find exciting and desirable to you.
sail all first.
make the best possible deal on purchase, as that is your best option. then make sure you find deals on everything you do and have done...deals will make the overcharges a lil better on the wallet.
some spares are needed some are superfluous..... you will figger out in the first 3 years which is which and what your specific boat needs and wants.
you will also figger out where the best places to hide and haul are and pricing on everything in the region you sail.
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Old 28-02-2014, 05:15   #455
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

The maintenance and repair costs as a percent of a boats valve always has seemed a crazy thing to me. I just don't see how the boats value factors in when things breaking is an age thing. No way am I going to be convinced that say a 2010 40' boat worth $200k is going to cost more in repairs and maintenance than 1985 40' that is worth $60k.

My 2001 boat that is currently worth around $115k has cost the following the past 3 years on repair and maintenance:
2011 - $878.09
2012 - $3458.09 (autopilot replacement)
2013 - $1978.55 (windlass motor and voltage regulator were biggest non "normal" items)

This doesn't come close to any percentage thumb rule.

One thing I have noticed in reading cruiser blogs is that the boat upkeep cost a lot more than people who haven't done it believe and seems to be the about the same for full time cruisers covering a wide range of monthly budgets (the $2k/mo and the $5k/mo spend about the same on the boats upkeep).
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Old 28-02-2014, 05:48   #456
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

Don

It seems to me that the 10% generally includes some sort of depreciation. 10% is a rule of thumb and very dependent on the type of equipment you have and how well you maintain your boat.

Ours is a 40 footer, 8 years old, cost $150k. Do I spend 15 grand a year on it? No, leaving out depreciation, we spend about 3-4k per year (average) I do almost everything myself and the 3-4k includes buying minor extra goodies for the boat.

We are readying it for an RTW so in total last year, this year and next year, we'll drop about 50k into her (new electronics, radar, sails, water maker, wind vane, SSB plus a lot of little things). Again, I install everything myself, so damn few labor costs, only parts.

From all these threads, my guess is you're trying to get a handle on costs for full time cruising. You $3001 budget per month is roughly the same as ours. We like to eat well, drink wine and entertain. That will be same on the boat.

Maintenance is, of course, the big question. We maintain our boat very well indeed - because it will be our home and for safety reasons. Unless something major goes wrong, I expect to stay within our $3000 per month budget (when averaged out across a couple of years.

While I traveled extensively when young on <$500 per month, we do not want that type of lifestyle at this point in our lives.

Don't worry about the others.
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Old 28-02-2014, 06:01   #457
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

Hey I'm not worried. I have done research to believe my assumptions and budget are real and not fantasy.

So now I am really just making "points" and the percent of value thing is something I've read posted for years and feel is not true.

But maintenance and boat costs aren't the big mystery, health care is and I'm not even going to look into it till a few months prior to when I plan to head out.
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Old 28-02-2014, 06:21   #458
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

The comments about not relying on the government or taxes to fund you (or someone else's) lifestyle are interesting. Think about this:
-Social security is insurance that you paid for when you work. Yes, it's somewhat of a Ponzi scheme in that the fund has been raided and new people coming in are paying much of retirees' payment. If you earned it, take it.
-If you have a home mortgage deduction (or boat loan considered a 2nd home), the government is helping you finance the purchase thru the tax credit. The higher your tax bracket, the larger the assistance. (Who says it doesn't pay to earn a lot of money?)
-All of us have benefited from some kind of education that the government paid for with our taxes.

Sorry folks, we ALL pay somehow if we have income.
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Old 28-02-2014, 06:41   #459
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

I don't have any problem with the govt assisting my cruising lifestyle. If they were to tell me I was eligible for food stamps, welfare, or government cheese, I would gladly accept all of it. Ever since the grim reaper began to occasionally peak over my bushes, I have tended to place more importance on surviving comfortably than adhering to the romantic ideals of a privileged few.
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:05   #460
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
The maintenance and repair costs as a percent of a boats valve always has seemed a crazy thing to me. I just don't see how the boats value factors in when things breaking is an age thing. No way am I going to be convinced that say a 2010 40' boat worth $200k is going to cost more in repairs and maintenance than 1985 40' that is worth $60k.

My 2001 boat that is currently worth around $115k has cost the following the past 3 years on repair and maintenance:
2011 - $878.09
2012 - $3458.09 (autopilot replacement)
2013 - $1978.55 (windlass motor and voltage regulator were biggest non "normal" items)
Well when my autohelm 3000 wheel pilot died, many years ago, I fixed it with a handful of darlington transistors for $5. What makes an older smaller boat cheaper is far fewer systems to break and easier to repair when they do break, then newer more complex stuff. Having no fear to take things apart helps some too.
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:36   #461
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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Don

It seems to me that the 10% generally includes some sort of depreciation.
That is not the impression I get. I believe most posters are not including depreciation when they speak of maintenance costs as a percentage of boat value. This is why I say it is an inaccurate "rule of thumb".
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:48   #462
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

found some actual costs from a cruiser

Expenses
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Old 28-02-2014, 14:52   #463
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

The 10% is a rule that people just liked because it was convenient. It doesn't apply to the vast majority of people here. Where it does seem to apply is megayachts with very large crews, using marinas, covering large areas with huge fuel consumption. Add in a few haulouts, painting, redecorating the salon, insurance, fees and taxes. But the cruiser who does maintenance themselves, has no crew, anchors. Far less.
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Old 28-02-2014, 17:42   #464
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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Well when my autohelm 3000 wheel pilot died, many years ago, I fixed it with a handful of darlington transistors for $5. What makes an older smaller boat cheaper is far fewer systems to break and easier to repair when they do break, then newer more complex stuff. Having no fear to take things apart helps some too.

Your out of the norm, You have the knowledge, skills and lack of fear to be able to do this, and having such, you can get by on pennies where others spend dollars
Very few people can do this, most have to spend heavily, or barter
I've been looking for bartering to be discussed on the cruising on a budget threads, but sadly I guess bartering has almost disappeared?
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Old 28-02-2014, 17:58   #465
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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Your out of the norm, You have the knowledge, skills and lack of fear to be able to do this, and having such, you can get by on pennies where others spend dollars .............
It's not always great skill. Often it's just the motivation to make the attempt. My radar stopped working a few days ago and I have little skills with the technical repair of a radar unit; however, you need to try the simple things first. As it turned out, simply cleaning the terminal contact for a ground wire was the solution. I've seen people spend many hundreds of dollars for solutions that are this simple because they did not check all the easy things first.
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