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Old 18-05-2010, 09:54   #1
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So this Is the Plan - What Will it Cost ?

Ok, so I know everything always depends on lifestyle choices, etc.. but if anyone could help with the ball park figures, I'm trying to do a little cost analysis before we dive right in. So here's the plan, maybe yall can help us come up with some figures. We are complete newbies, it's just become a dream of our's to do this.
We will be taking our ASA courses 101/103, and then later 104 before buying the boat to make sure we will like sailing, and aren't diving into a dream without reality. So here's our plan, any ideas on what it might cost ball parking everything?

1. Buy an older boat that is 27-33' in moderate condition. I have some carpentry skills, but never worked on a boat, and figure that I can learn some of the basic boat repairs with some books and discussions. We were thinking of something in the 1985ish age. Our price range is probably around $20,000, any thoughts on this?

2. We plan on spending a year or so sailing around Florida, the keys, and the East Coast of the US. Later, we'd like to do more Caribbean sailing after some sailing experience.

3. We are backpackers, and so don't mind being minimalist at all. We don't need to eat out much, will likely rarely if ever need an overnight slip (unless of course necessary), but do enjoy exploring on land during the day.

4. I'm not worried about adding in costs of health insurance, life insurance and the other similar types of common bills. I'm just really interested in the cost of food, gas, docking, anything else I'm probably not used to budgeting for b/c I'm on land.

I'd appreciate any help.
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:12   #2
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Not sure if you've read any of the Pardey's books, but I'd highly recommend them. Amazon.com: The Capable Cruiser (9781929214778): Lin Pardey, Larry Pardey: Books

1) Your size and cost estimations are right on. I think you can find something in the 28' range for around 10K if you don't mind putting some work into it.

2) You'll have a blast.

3) I love backpacking! I don't know if you do the ultralight thing, but if you plan on doing backpacking trips from the boat you'll need really slimmed down gear.

4) Seriously, read up on the Pardey's books. I think you'll love their approach and it seems to fit what you're talking about.

(edit: others I'd recommend)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/096...SIN=0964603659

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/096...SIN=0964603675
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:21   #3
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Thanks, about to order the book.

I wouldn't say I'm ultra light, just "light."

Done a little backpacking with just my ENO hammock, stove, water purifier and food, but at the same time just got back from a two day trip w/ a ridiculous 50 lb. pack. Just depends on who is accompanying me and what we're doing.

I'd love to do some backpacking from the boat. I'm especially thinking of Acadia and some of the barrier islands along the coast. If I could score a boat for 10k, that would make my budget very easy.

I guess the cost of #3 is really what I'm wondering about?

I don't know anything yet about anchoring, docks, and the costs associated with these.
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:27   #4
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First, food costs are going to be similar whether at home, backpacking or sailing. Many items will be more expensive down island, some cheaper.

Fuel costs depend on how far you go and how much you use the engine. Small boat figure 1/2 to 1 gallon per hour. Fuel for boats gas or diesel is similar to land. Again down island expect to pay more.

Do you need refrigeratoration, autopilots or other power hungry devices? Then add the cost of running the engine to charge the batteries or the cost for solar panels or wind chargers.

Maintenance costs depend on how much you can do yourself. Like asking how much does it cost to own a car. Answer, not much until you have to rebuild the transmission, which doesn't usually happen often but you have to be ready in case it does.

Docking varies a LOT. Nice marina in a big city could be $1000 per month. Small place out of the way could be $200 per month.
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:32   #5
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Cruising on $500 / Month

Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Those are a couple threads that may help. I dont advocate the $500/mo principle but I do believe in saving money at every opportunity and also minimalism as a nessecity of living on a small boat. There are some good ideas hidden in those threads.

Good luck and dont listen to those who say you cant do it!
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:33   #6
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Docking?

As far as docking goes? I doubt I'll spend a month anywhere. How does all of that work day to day?

Knowing nothing, I may be way off on this? My hope would be anchor somewhere, and ride a dinghy in the for the day. Is that common or even possible?

If not, how would that be handled? I think the most I'd like to spend in any one place would be two weeks, but typically only a couple of days.
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:37   #7
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Docking for one night, same answer as by the month. Dock in downtown could cost you $100-$150/night. Dock in the boonies cost you $30/night. Note most places charge by the foot so bigger boat costs more per night.

Anchoring is common but regulated or restricted in some areas. Plenty of places you can anchor for free and dinghy to shore. But, then you have to figure out where to park the dinghy. At times that can be trickier than finding a place to anchor.
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:53   #8
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Anchoring

As far as anchoring and a dinghy goes, are there places in some of the major port cities where this is allowed? I'm thinking of places like Charleston, cities in Virginia and Boston?

If so, what is the cost of docking the dinghy for a day of exploring, and do sailors commonly leave their boats unattended at anchor for a day? I assume so, but just wanted to make sure.

I appreciate the book recommendations earlier. Do you have any book/map recommendations on places to drop anchor along the Eastern coast?

Sorry for all the questions, just trying to wrap my head around some of the basics of living aboard.
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Old 18-05-2010, 11:15   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernHiker View Post
1. Buy an older boat that is 27-33' in moderate condition. I have some carpentry skills, but never worked on a boat, and figure that I can learn some of the basic boat repairs with some books and discussions. We were thinking of something in the 1985ish age. Our price range is probably around $20,000, any thoughts on this?
Don't worry too much about the age of the boat, pay more attention to what condition it is in and what work may need to be done. There were many boats made in the 60s and 70s that would serve your needs. Alberg 30 and Pearson Triton to name a couple.

You can save many thousands by finding a boat that is in fundamentally good shape, even if cosmetically it needs work.

I would recommend Inspecting the Aging Sailboat by Don Casey for this purpose.

Most old boats will need some work, this can be a significant factor in the final cost to you.


Good luck!
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Old 18-05-2010, 11:17   #10
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Originally Posted by SouthernHiker View Post
As far as anchoring and a dinghy goes, are there places in some of the major port cities where this is allowed? I'm thinking of places like Charleston, cities in Virginia and Boston?

If so, what is the cost of docking the dinghy for a day of exploring, and do sailors commonly leave their boats unattended at anchor for a day? I assume so, but just wanted to make sure.

I appreciate the book recommendations earlier. Do you have any book/map recommendations on places to drop anchor along the Eastern coast?

Sorry for all the questions, just trying to wrap my head around some of the basics of living aboard.
Most harbors have a place for visiting boats to anchor or tie up, and a dinghy dock as well. Some charge you as high as a couple of hundred a day in a marina that can command that price, some places would let you anchor in a designated area indefinitely for free.

If you google the harbor in particular, you can find some references that might be able to help. I spent a couple minutes looking around for Boston, and found this: Boston Harbor Dinghy Dock Extortion - World Cruising and Sailing Forums

If you have specific places, you can make threads here or elsewhere asking for input. There are sailors on the Internet from all over the globe and since a lot of the info changes year to year, you want to stay as current as possible. Also, it's not suprising that a lot of cruisers tend to stay away from the heavily trafficed ports and aim for smaller and more rural ones. The water is cleaner, the people are nicer, the prices are cheaper, and you can probably find public transit to wherever you need to go.

Most places around the world are fine for leaving your boat for a few days; the bigger issues you'll have than security is making sure you're anchored safely so that if the wind changes it doesn't swing the boat around onto some rocks.

If you're interested in world cruising, and I promise this is my second to last book recommendation, I'd go with:Here's a guide on the ICW; might cover a lot of the areas you're interested in. ICW Facilities Guide
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Old 18-05-2010, 11:55   #11
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Post as many books as you like Rebel. I love reading, and will probably have the hardest time minimizing my book collection when/if we make the move to a boat. Until then, reading about sailing is all I really can do.

Hopefully I can find some places a little cheaper if I ever get to Boston. That'd be a place I'd want to stay for a few days.
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Old 18-05-2010, 12:30   #12
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Re: Boat

Thanks for all the suggestions you all. Sounds like I can get a boat a little cheaper than I thought, and may be able to go a little older, which begs the next question.

Where should I go to start looking? Georgia and Florida are my obvious states of choice since I live in Georgia, but where should I start? Should I just go to marinas and walk around? I've seen a couple of sites, but it seems like all the boats on them are a lot higher than I read about on here. Is there some network of boat sales I may not know about?
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Old 18-05-2010, 12:59   #13
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yachtworld.com has many listings, most of these are represented by brokers. The seller pays the broker fee, but of course they probably factor that into the sale price.

However the biggest savings you'll get is by looking carefully for a boat that needs the least amount of repair (that you can't do yourself) or refitting (sails, anchors, rigging etc.) So avoiding broker-represented boats may not save you much, and you might find more listings using such a service.

Walking around marinas and asking around doesn't hurt. If you do find a boat locally you may find it's a real help to have contact with the former owner if you can. Many owners are happy to offer advice/support/tips to the new owner.

Go and see as many boats as you can, you'll learn a lot about quality, design choices, and about what you like. That Don Casey book should train you how to spot most problems that you should be concerned with.

Here's a list of small seaworthy boats liked by James Baldwin. It might be worth looking at some of these models if you can find them:

Atom Voyages | Voyages Aboard the Sailboat Atom -* Good Old Boats List - choosing a* small voyaging sailboat
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Old 18-05-2010, 14:09   #14
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Log on here www.towndock.net click Classified Ads... then click Marine... you'll find a few there... also try finding other similar sites along the East Coast....

For Sale: 27' Albin Vega Many Upgrades
27' Albin Vega a great cruising boat and ready to sail away.
New main, roller furling jib, Navic self steering vane, Volvo MB-6B diesel rebuilt with less than 60 hours, anchor windlass, Bimini and Dodger, etc etc. Asking $12,500.00 Call John 910-545-6637




This 1968 Morgan 30 is a good sailing boat, but does need some cosmetics. This is reflected in the asking price. The boat has tiller steering, a 13 hp Yanmar diesel, aprox. 3.5 ft draft, aprox. 42' bridge clearance, and aprox. 6 ft headroom in the main cabin. Sleeps 6 with two full-length quarter berths. The boat "lives" under the bridge in Oriental, NC.
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Old 18-05-2010, 14:14   #15
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Sometimes boats that are for sale are not advertised publicly. A fellow at our sailing club has announced to fellow members that his boat is for sale and he currently does not plan on advertising it. Too much trouble, tire kickers etc.
Most clubs have a bulletin board with items for sale by owner and some even put out monthly 'magazines' that may have a classified section.
Then there are websites like: Sailboats for sale, Sailboat Classifieds, sailboat for sale by owners and dealers where owners can place free classified ads, craigslist and ebay. I would use yachtworld to find the maximum asking price for a given boat/model/year.
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