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Old 10-03-2016, 10:25   #16
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

I think I've read every "cruise around the world" book on amazon. The difference in people's choices are vast, some I totally got into and others I was amazed (I was picturing it like they were standing at the stern throwing benjamins off the back as you sailed between every marina on the planet).

I've lived in a number of places that allowed me to live well with a minimalistic budget (including mexico, much below the $2k talked about here). It's possible to do. But it requires discipline to make some difficult choices and stick to them. If I did a $2k month budget (as an example) it would mean holding off an additional 5 years, so for me it's worth cutting that budget down a certain degree to leave earlier (and make the sacrifices).

I do agree that people disregard budgeting for maintenance (I also see this people talking about how cheap it is to own a home, forgetting that when it breaks you gotta pay for it) but if you pre-load your maintenance (meaning while your working get everything in shape) and then set aside (before it breaks) to replace things you will be good to go.

It would be impossible to plan for everything that could happen to ruin plans. Life is risk to some degree. According to reports I see in the US less than half are ready for an emergency 1/4 of the price of things listed here. And their stuck in a cubicle job, with a cubicle life - a fate worse than death.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:44   #17
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

catastrophic **** happpens.
like my engine played runaway diesel right here, in pair a dice. did that eat my heart out? no. i found a fisherman who knows a realllly goood engineer and mechanic who rebuilt my engine.
you can find folks here who do work very inexpensively. there is a limit beneath which many of us must remain, an din so doing, we manage to repair and eat and feed a huge hungry and oops, now ill, cat, and maintain ones home for travelling.
so far, i have managed to remain under that 1500 usd level i am limited to keeping. i try to make it on 1000, as it isnt that hard, then i have repair money.
a new boom for my boat cost me 1200 pesos. win!
engine less than 4000 usd.
rebuild of unrebuildable starterx2--priceless, as i donot have to buy another 500 usd starter.. what a miracle. life here in repair it land works well.
hell even my rule bilge pumps have been rebuilt and work in top shape.. is awesome. my shurflow fresh water pumps also have been rebuilt.
i am lovin the cheapness of cruising mexico. and i have yet to enter sea of cortez. i did that in a camper. much the same as cruising in a boat, but ye dont have to concern self with mexican jumping islands. unless i have a good reason, i wont be ¨doing" the soc unless i find crew who wants to go there. seems the farther away from usa one ventures, the better mexico is.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:48   #18
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
The only way to come up with a cruising budget is to look through cruisers blogs of people out there on a boat similar to yours.
Maybe -- tho I look at spending before leaving more.

I'm happy with less then €1k a month now, living aboard full-time (in a marina). So I'm thinking I could manage cruising on close to the same budget.

I rarely if ever go out to eat (last time was my birthday ), don't drink much (and if I do, we have a BIY in someone's cockpit), enjoy simple, healthy meals ... and my boat is KISS all the way.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:50   #19
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

No I, the op, dont think I am saying, at all, that it is $1k + $1200!

QUOTE=Lizzy Belle;2068613]You keep saying $1k, but your OP says $1k + $1,200 which is over $2k ...



Friends of mine sailed for 6 yrs, young couple on 34' boat. On average, they spent around $1000 a month - some months / areas way over, sometimes way under.[/QUOTE]
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:53   #20
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

We do need to keep in sight that the thread title is Cruising Mexico for $1K/mo.
Not Circumnavigating, or elsewhere, so it's sort of Sailorboys example of living on a boat in a foreign land, which may can be done a whole lot less expensively than extensive passages, clearing in multiple places etc.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:55   #21
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

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Maybe -- tho I look at spending before leaving more.
This. Living cheaply takes practice, you can't go from being mainstream USA with all the additional costs (mostly from wants) to living "tiny house" style at a remote location.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:59   #22
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

Being in the boat refit/maintenance biz, I think your refit$/10 years is smart and probably pretty darn accurate, all said and done.

It appears the era of the net and sharing has opened up more doors for diy types to go cruising, which is great. For we all know at $40-$120/hr for professional boat work that $1k/mo would be gone real fast.

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We leave in a little over a year, there are a couple of us on the forum that have sort of beaten the how much does it cost to death, I'm one of them.
First, there really are people out there doing it at the $1,000 a month and less, there really are. But they are very independent, DIY is a way of life, they know no other way, and they learn to do without when necessary, and they have very simple boats, I mean Kerosene lantern simple, so it can be done, it is being done.

Then there is the younger crowd that want to cruise till the money runs out or some limited time, and then return to work, well obviously they can put the boat in relatively good shape before they begin and sort of defer maintenance until they return, but they will return and go back to work.

Then there are some like my Wife and I, when we quit work, we're done or certainly hope to be. We intend to do this until it's no longer fun, but realize that there will be life after cruising and our budget is based on unlimited sustainment, meaning that I intend to keep the boat in a high state of repair, for as long as we can cruise, and that will cost much more of course. I'm figuring on taking the complete refit cost, dividing that by ten and having that much available for maintenance under the assumption that everything will be replaced in ten years, somethings that a low number, other it a high number, I hope it will average out.

I've heard it will cost you the same to live cruising that it does to live on land now. I hope not.

But, I have actually come to a conclusion and that is if you have $1k a month available, and really want to do this, then you will figure out a way to make it work, if you have 3, 4 or 5K available, then it''s likely you will spend it.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:04   #23
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

cherry--- using marinas in storm season and being thrifty , you will find a good balance on 1000 usd monthly. with the exchange rate pleasant and definitely in our favor, even the lowest income folks can live on pesos easily. figger out how many pesos is 1000 usd-- at 17 pesos to 1 usdollar, life really rocks.
the average mexiworker makes 200pesos daily. repairs?? 40 usd hoursly?? wake up. aint that way here. my dinner today cost me 50 pesos with tip. full meal. yummmm.
ribbies in sauce, rice n beans. jamaica to drink. i cannot make a meal for myself for that.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:14   #24
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

Im with you Sailorboy! We are certainly the minority too. I have owned or been in a partner in many boats, power and sail, 15' to 45'. Plus, I know what my partners spends on xyz parts for a 43' wooden classic, to a 35' benehunalina. Take away marina and haul out fees and Id wager it to be only 15-20% more vs 32-36' boat. Example, two heads vs one, more parts and labor. However, if you feel less likely to want to get off the boat to stretch your legs you may not spend that much more than your friend with a Cal 34 who feels the need to spend time on shore then you.
Sure sails are larger, more costly, but if you shop around and it is now much easier to find deals than say 10-20 yrs ago, with net everywhere and social media, it isn't too bad. Picked up a sweet, barely used jib for $400, for a boat in the 40-45' size range.

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In my research boat size doesn't have as much of a budget impact as it is made out to be. Boat cost has more of an impact because people with expensive boats spend more money in general. (people with small boats always use boat size as the reason for all boat evils)

Yes location plays a big part, but the impact is greatly influenced by cruisers "growing roots". When a cruiser stays in a low cost place for 6 months their spending drops, which is part of the reason many do it. But that isn't really cruising anymore, it's living on a boat in a foreign place (nothing wrong with it).

The only way to come up with a cruising budget is to look through cruisers blogs of people out there on a boat similar to yours. Then if they post real numbers look through it to see what is missing and what type of things they do that you aren't going to do (marina stays, dining out, entertainment and sightseeing, health insurance, boat insurance)
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:59   #25
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

Hey Zee! Yes of course $40usd/hr won't be the norm on mx, although some say the yards down there are charging that and more. But some types like you have the time to be patience to find a local vs a yard. Side note, I know a guy up here doing prep work at a yard, they charge $80hr the guy sees $15/hr, so sad.
50 pesos...so that's $2.95 for your dinner out, hmmmm well I can do that too ya know! I can go "out" to Mickey Barfs and get a value menu poisonous burger and fries!

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cherry--- using marinas in storm season and being thrifty , you will find a good balance on 1000 usd monthly. with the exchange rate pleasant and definitely in our favor, even the lowest income folks can live on pesos easily. figger out how many pesos is 1000 usd-- at 17 pesos to 1 usdollar, life really rocks.
the average mexiworker makes 200pesos daily. repairs?? 40 usd hoursly?? wake up. aint that way here. my dinner today cost me 50 pesos with tip. full meal. yummmm.
ribbies in sauce, rice n beans. jamaica to drink. i cannot make a meal for myself for that.
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Old 10-03-2016, 12:57   #26
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

Here is way more detail than most people want to hear or experience. Dozens of large, expensive, and boring books have been written about the question "HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ??? and there is no easy or simple answer.

The discussion here reminds me of many contentious and repetitive discussions I had with IT VPs, Software managers, and Client managers back when dinosaurs built by IBM, Amdahl, and Control Data ruled the computer room (1980 – 2000). I was a self-employed Project Manger and Cost Accountant who consulted with almost every Fortune 500 company in the US. My specialty was ‘saving’ or ‘terminating’ large, expensive hardware and software projects that were, either late, over budget, or technically impossible. In most cases the project suffered from all three of those problems.

The determination of “how much does it cost?” has a wide variety of answers and can be manipulated to provide almost any answer one might desire. Cost Accounting can be a very emotional subject because there are so many hidden costs that make a huge difference in the answer. One has to make a number of subjective decisions about what cost to include.

Some aspects of the "what does it cost?" answer might include:

- Money spent to prepare for cruising. We spent a LOT to make sure everything on the boat worked perfectly, we had spares, and I knew how to fix everything BEFORE we went cruising. If I included that cost; then our 3-year annual cost would have gone up by tens of thousands of dollars. Folks I met in Mexico did not do that prep work and spent the money on an as needed basis. Their “Mexico” budget would include those expenses – ours would not if we counted only money spent in Mexico. The money spent before leaving for Mexico reduced the potential income we would have in Mexico, i.e. the money we could spend each month while cruising, but increased our enjoyment of cruising because we did the maintenance/upgrades while at a dock in San Diego rather than at anchor in Aqua Verde.

- what year of the cruise are you considering? Our 4th year expenses were much greater than our 1st year because we were starting to replace worn out equipment. And, our families were demanding we spend more time at home.

- Accrued costs If you are going to keep the boat after your cruise then you are spending a pro-rata amount each year on those sails. Our main and genoa needed to be replace 3-years after we returned from four years in the bright sunshine at a cost of $10,000. That works out to a cost of $1,250 per year while cruising (we had the sails built a year before we left for the cruise. We didn't spend CASH on the sails during the cruise but we did ACCRUE and expense during the cruise that would have to be paid at some future time. However, more and more details - they can go on forever as you drill deeper into the subject, IF after cruising we had a new source of income then maybe we do not need to account for the accrued sail cost while cruising. BUT, IF we're going to sell the boat at the end of the cruise that accrued cost will be subtracted from the sale price....etc...etc.

- operating cash flow (day to day to survive)

- net cash flow (annual to meet tax obligations, insurance, investments)

- budgeted operating expenses (things you know you will need to buy)

- emergency maintenance required to continue operations (can’t be ignored)

- emergency medical/dental care (even in Mexico a root canal is several $100) Do you set aside a certain amount each month to ensure you have sufficent funds to pay for medical issues that cannot be postponedZ?

- planned maintenance to keep life enjoyable (an awning to keep the sun off)

- unplanned upgrades that lead to lower operating costs (more efficient reefer compressor to lower daily power requirements)

- unplanned upgrades than lead to ‘better’ life (bigger refrigerator to keep the beer cold or more solar panels to provide more power)

- accumulation of cash for future expenses

- Boat payments if you have a mortgage

-Labor costs for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades I never paid a mechanic to do any work, other than bottom sanding and painting, so I had no labor costs. Another cruising boat with otherwise identical spending patterns would show thousands of dollars a year more expenses if they paid someone to do all the work. My very detailed records show that I spent at least 10 or so hours a month doing mechanical work, (e.g. installing a new refrigerator compressor or rebuilding a damaged alternator) on our boat that many, or most, cruiser would pay to have done. That labor could easily account for $1,000 or more a month. I spent six-hours a month under the boat, while at anchor, cleaning the bottom - an expense of at least $60/month if you paid a diver to do it.

There is no possible, or sensible way to answer the question “how much does it cost to cruise?” without specifing, in detail, what costs are be included in the answer.

My experience is that managers, clients, and boaters select the cost aspects for inclusion that will support their pre-conceived ideas.
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Old 10-03-2016, 13:02   #27
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

If you've got go anchorages in Mexico that protect you from a full-range of winds, then maybe. Otherwise, you will find yourself in marinas from time to time, which will eat up the budget. Also, expect the "shakedown phase" of the voyage (first three months, minimum) to cost 3-5x your monthly budget. This is what happened to us and has happened to many (most) of the folks we've met since we cast off from Maryland last year. It's hard to believe it beforehand, but it just works out that way.
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Old 10-03-2016, 13:54   #28
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

Tacoma, thats why I posted the most common question, it seems, on cf regarding just mexico. Having gotten to know the family I posed the question about, living aboard in the same marina, I know they are very frugal. More so then myself. And they stayed in SOC, where everyone says is the cheapest, nowhere to blow money.

Having recent numbers for comparisons goes a long way. I too have a financial background, so I appreciate your analogy.
Oh and we love our new fridge compressor too. We were patient, hauling ice for months and found a deal direct to the manu in poland, if we bought it here in theUS, $7/800, poland half. This large refit item will allow us to not need solar, but get by with a portable genny.

SM.....-
Thanks for sharing the shakedown budget breaker - ouch, thats a huge amount. I lived and cruised as a kid out there. Ive only done mx by land, but i do think one is more apt to need a slip out your way. To me its more squally in fl/carib. And further, like Zee says, tropical mx slips are cheaper than carib/east coast us. Panama and Guat being the exception. As she has said before on cf, her 41 Formosa is $400 at an awesome resort marina, during cane season. But you cant beat your rum drinks and fun island ppl out there!!!
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Old 10-03-2016, 14:19   #29
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

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Celestial, ive read your comments before and have found them inspirational. Love, love, love that Hayden quote. Good for you and the choices you made. And yes, you did get lucky. What are these jobs from june-november? I mean, really, what are they doing for work that pays well enough to be able to rent a place for a few months in the states or canada and after taxes enough to fund 8 months in mx? We only know ppl who have saved and taken off and when the money runs out, come back, not successful commuter cruisers.
Ps- if you are on the cheap would you buy someone's old pur35 watermaker (1-2gph)?
Thank you for the kind words. Up until this year, I needed to continue saving money to go sailing. I would stuff away $10K or so at my profession which is a Toolmaker/Engineer. My house is paid for and I was waiting until I could retire and get a snippets from Uncle Sam. I retired last month.
I'm a pretty handy guy, so things like glass work, cabinetry, rigging and so on don't phase me much. I was down these last few weeks getting the boat ready to launch the end of the year and have taken back my main for a few sail repair people to ook at. Destination Marquesas next year and I want to be sure i can get a few seasons out of the main or I will have to buy a new one to the tune of $2500. So yes, that will be amortized over the next 10 years.
When I was in La Paz, I decided to have dental work done. I took a slip for around $525@month for a few month and the dental work ran me $1100. So there was no fuel cost but slip fees and dental. Not much over $1000@month with food. Like I said earlier, I would see permenant boat fixtures at the docks with their owners carting down dockcarts teeming over with booze. The same folks as I walked the waterfront in La Paz, a lot of them in the restaurants. Like mentioned earlier, these people have money....I don't.
If you want to get down to it, there are people in Richardson Bay in San Francisco living on derelict boats for well under $1000@month but an unfair comparison.
With my cruising budget, I'll have a few whopper months. March of 2014, I bought a defunct Spectra water maker($400). Over the next 6 months, spent an additional $1100 restoring it to brand new condition. So thats around $200@month more. I have a lot of projects like that. Radar magnaflux ($200). New thru-hulls ($150) and so on. Upgrading the SSB was around ($150) in used and new parts. But over time it has less of a impact on the overall budget. Most folks would go to a yard and say..."do it". I can't do that and not work at the same time.
Times have changed over the last 30 years. Mostly due to electronics. GPS,AIS, Radar, SSB and the lot have allowed people to get out cruising where they could not have before. Hence, the marinas have quadrupled their prices and anchorages now charge. It's a whole new ballgame. Thanks to a few cruisers I run into, I still can find cheap places to get a slip or a street vendor selling fish tacos. I usually keep that information to myself because next thing you know, those places get mobbed and prices go up. There is a State run marina in Mx called Fonutur. They tried raising rates for their slips right out the window and the slips remained empty. Only now, have a few of them dropped their rate to a very comfortable amount in order to get them filled. Each Fonutar is different and charges differently. Fonutur Marina Puerto Escondido was just a formerly free anchor out that charged me $35 a night to anchor! There is really nothing there but a building to collect money.
So all in all, you can research, speculate and waste time on these forums. Or you can just get out there and see where you will fit in. When people ask me "how do you do it"? I just tell them that I lower myself to the occasion.
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Old 10-03-2016, 14:29   #30
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Re: Mexico cruising $1k/mo

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Tacoma, thats why I posted the most common question, it seems, on cf regarding just mexico. Having gotten to know the family I posed the question about, living aboard in the same marina, I know they are very frugal. More so then myself. And they stayed in SOC, where everyone says is the cheapest, nowhere to blow money.

Having recent numbers for comparisons goes a long way. I too have a financial background, so I appreciate your analogy.
Oh and we love our new fridge compressor too. We were patient, hauling ice for months and found a deal direct to the manu in poland, if we bought it here in theUS, $7/800, poland half. This large refit item will allow us to not need solar, but get by with a portable genny.

SM.....-
Thanks for sharing the shakedown budget breaker - ouch, thats a huge amount. I lived and cruised as a kid out there. Ive only done mx by land, but i do think one is more apt to need a slip out your way. To me its more squally in fl/carib. And further, like Zee says, tropical mx slips are cheaper than carib/east coast us. Panama and Guat being the exception. As she has said before on cf, her 41 Formosa is $400 at an awesome resort marina, during cane season. But you cant beat your rum drinks and fun island ppl out there!!!
Hopefully it won't be that bad for you, but I have never paid a mechanic to do anything on my boat -- so, the cost is with me doing the labor!
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