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Old 20-10-2009, 09:14   #166
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I'm curious if anyone could help compare the maintenance (or total cruising costs if you're willing to make an estimate) costs for let's say 10 years between say...

1. Circumnavigation
2. cruising around the relatively protected waters (san juans, gulf islands, chesapeake, ICW) with an occasional stretch of ocean sailing to get between the places (maybe 2 times per year).
3. cruising entirely within protected waters (e.g. just staying in the san juans/puget sound/gulf islands).
4. sailing down to the caribbean and cruising there indefinitely.
5. sailing from the west coast to SE Asia and cruising there indefinitely.

From what has been posted, it sounds like #4 is about 5 times as expensive as #3? I only have personal familiarity with #3. I guess than that #1 would be as much as 10 times more expensive?

The cost of maintenance between sailors can vary incredibly but it seems like it should be possible to get some sort of multiplier or percentage difference between those different types of cruising/locations.
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Old 20-10-2009, 13:33   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm21 View Post
I'm curious if anyone could help compare the maintenance (or total cruising costs if you're willing to make an estimate) costs for let's say 10 years between say...

1. Circumnavigation
2. cruising around the relatively protected waters (san juans, gulf islands, chesapeake, ICW) with an occasional stretch of ocean sailing to get between the places (maybe 2 times per year).
3. cruising entirely within protected waters (e.g. just staying in the san juans/puget sound/gulf islands).
4. sailing down to the caribbean and cruising there indefinitely.
5. sailing from the west coast to SE Asia and cruising there indefinitely.

From what has been posted, it sounds like #4 is about 5 times as expensive as #3? I only have personal familiarity with #3. I guess than that #1 would be as much as 10 times more expensive?

The cost of maintenance between sailors can vary incredibly but it seems like it should be possible to get some sort of multiplier or percentage difference between those different types of cruising/locations.
We are operating on the premise that a circ is more economical than, say, the Caribbean because we will only rarely tie the boat to the shore, and will anchor out at every opportunity.

There's also the economies arising from being unable to spend money ashore when on passage. Water and fuel: if you make your water and buy your fuel in large amounts when a low price presents itself, you save money. If you sail conservatively, you preserve the sails and the rigging.

And so on. While your observations have merit, even in the Caribbean you can live parsimoniously...but it's getting harder to find places not oriented toward the extraction of cruiser/tourist dollars. But it takes research, and it takes a willingness to barter, to fish and to do odd jobs, and it takes various degrees of skill in several trades, so you rarely, if ever, have to call in an expensive pro.

If you were a carpenter who could sew, for instance, and you had oil lamps and no engine on an old wooden boat, you could probably sail for the rest of your life on the interest generated yearly by a quarter-million dollars.

But there aren't many people with those skills cruising in that fashion.
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Old 20-10-2009, 13:56   #168
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Get off the tour bus

As you get away from the U.S., tourists, civilization, and safety your costs will diminish accordingly. The quality of the experience will most likely improve. It is far easier to escape the high costs of cruising than most people realize. You just have to be willing to get off the tour bus.
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Old 20-10-2009, 14:33   #169
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Formula for the cost of sailing

X $100

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Old 20-10-2009, 15:15   #170
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I guess from this thread, especially some of the recent posts, it seemed like maintenance was a potentially astronomical cost that greatly increased when ocean sailing as compared to sailing in protected waters.

I can estimate the cost of food, marinas, fees, health insurance, and other basic living expenses pretty easily based on my current costs and what the typical slip fees and so forth are. There is plenty of information on the net for most of those things.

I also know enough about boats and sailing here in the NW that I can guesstimate maintenance costs and although there are certainly spikes (a diesel dying, an outboard dying, etc.) I can average that to come up with some sort of yearly budget pretty easily.

However, I have not been ocean sailing (any ocean sailing would probably be a long ways off for me and in small steps). From posts here it seems that the costs associated with ocean sailing are much higher than say sailing around the sound. I mean, it seems like people are talking about re-doing their entire rigging system every 5-7 years, replacing sails pretty quickly, and so forth. That's insane compared to maintenance for a boat on the sound which would be something like replacing a few pieces of the rigging every 20-30 years, sails maybe 10-15 years, rebedding stanchions probably never, etc. The biggest cost here is definitely the engine unless you're one of those people who wants to keep their boat in absolutely perfect condition or you are really into racing.

So was mainly thinking of trying to get something to compare the mainteannce costs. If the maintenance costs associated with ocean sailing compared to sailing in protected waters are really that high, I'd probably just skip the ocean sailing part as much as is possible. It woudl be amazing to bounce around SE asia some day int he future, but I'd much rather spend 5 years cruising in protected waters than 1 year over there or something like that.
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Old 20-10-2009, 15:43   #171
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If you looked at it as cost per mile or cost per hour of use, I doubt if the maintenance costs would be much different between offshore and inshore. A cruiser might put on 10,000 miles in year. A 28 day crossing to the S. Pacific would put on 670hours. A weekend cruiser around the San Juans might put on 100 hours a year. So the SP crossing might be compared to 6 or 7 years of local play.

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Old 20-10-2009, 15:45   #172
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The main problem, maintenance wise, with longterm cruising or long ocean passages vs staying at home is one of usage. If you're living on the boat 24/7, running the motor to charge the batteries, depending on the watermaker to furnish water, using the sails almost daily, beating the heck out of the dinghy/outboard, etc, etc. There's going to be considerable more time, effort, and money spent to keep everything functioning. Never leaving home or protected waters and living on shore or marinas, you're not going to need to worry about all that as much.
But then, we get back to that troublsome answer - It depends.
So yeh, the more you use something, the more it's going to cost.
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Old 21-10-2009, 19:35   #173
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I meant full-time cruising in protected waters, not just an occasional weekend.

OK, so miles or hours of usage are of the primary importance. That makes things a lot easier to calculate. Thank you folks.

So if I was planning a really long low budget cruise with tons of sailing I should seriously think about a junk rig made with cotton and bamboo?

Do people move around that much cruising? I had always envisioned it as anchoring at one place for a week or two, or until you need to go to port to stock up on provisions. Then moving a little bit and anchoring out for a while again. I don't use practically any electricity and not sure if a watermaker is really necessary (unless someone on board wanted a daily shower) so maybe a little honda generator at most. I dunno, I guess I'm low budget.
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Old 21-10-2009, 19:45   #174
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Unfortunately a lot of this still "depends" - If you are cruising close to the US getting parts is probably not as big a deal is if you are in a remote part of Indonesia. OTOH - If you don't do the work yourself labor can potentially be a lot cheaper.

The biggest deals are the rig & sails and the engine - If these things are in good shape for a 5 year cruise you can decide to not factor that cost in or in my case I would build in a maintenance reserve for that eventual day when I need sails, the rig falls down or the donk sucks a valve.

I have seen one case where the donk turned a cruiser into a vagabond. He was stuck in one place basically "existing" until he could drum up enough cash to fix the engine. It was over a year.
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Old 21-10-2009, 20:42   #175
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I dunno, I guess I'm low budget.
Long term offshore, world cruising for 5 to 10 years is different from a couple of years in ones own country.

Here in Asia we have quite a number of people who left Europe and USA 5 to 10 years ago. Few stay in marinas for long. Remarkably in this marina - which is free as its new - there is between 4 and 6 boats without showers at all. As there are no bathrooms at the marina these folks have been having a shower from the dock hose. We sure can't snorkel or swim here - we can do a JC and walk on the water!

Using the dock hose as a shower might be fine a few times... or even for 1 year........ but for 5 or 10 years????????????????? Sea Baths and swimming is fine, too, but for all the time for cleaning?

The thread: "What Women Want" is similar to this. Yes you can go cruisng on a tight budget. But is it a desire to have one meal out per month for the next 10 years? And for each of those 1 meals per month to be done without a shower?

So its good that people on this thread are realising the difference between local cruising and long term cruising. Rigging doesnt need to be replaced every 5 years but sails might and the prices are not low:

Quote:
Beneteau 393

I 16.42: J 5.55: P 14.54: E 5.20:

Mainsail Fully Battened Offshore US$

140% Roller Furling Genoa Offshore Total $6119

[I deleted the detail, but full quote available for anyone that doesnt believe me]
(From a thailand sail maker! WITHOUT freight)

Thats basically $1,000 per year 10% of anual budget at $1k per month... if they last for 10 years thats still $500 per year, 5% of anual budget. I assure you I don't account well enough to put away extra money each month for these long term necessities.

So yes, people can go on a tight budget. But you need to work out your level of desire.

I fully appreciate I was wrong to say: "$1,000 per month doesn't pay for the tissues to cry into!" However I think people ought to really look hard at it if they are going world cruising much under $1k per month, or expect to live the next 5 to 10 years without a propper shower.
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Old 21-10-2009, 20:55   #176
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I have seen one case where the donk turned a cruiser into a vagabond. He was stuck in one place basically "existing" until he could drum up enough cash to fix the engine. It was over a year.

One solo guy here suicided recently.
His engine in parts all over the saloon.
His son has it for sale.
The marina towed it out of here 2 weeks ago and sits on the other side of the bay, forlorn. I can see it now with the binoculars.
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Old 21-10-2009, 20:55   #177
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Mark - Is that for both sails?

There is a Quantum dealer at CSC. Probably won't be cheaper but he's a good bloke and we bought our Genny from him. Got quoted in Aussie dollars as well. Felt good to convert to yanqui money - although not lately - LOL...

Have you considered used sails? May not be much better but could tide you over another year or two.
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Old 21-10-2009, 21:02   #178
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If I was thinking of cruising indefinitely, I would certainly give up long hot showers (there's always sun showers), buy a smaller boat that was less maintenance, and so forth, in order to set off potentially many years earlier.

From the cost of maintenance, it almost sounds easier to buy a cheap old sailboat with a masthead rig advertising 4-5 spare headsails, then return in 5 years when the rigging is starting to wear a bit and you've gone through a sail or two and trade it in for another cheap old boat with spare sails...
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Old 21-10-2009, 21:58   #179
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Mark - Is that for both sails?

There is a Quantum dealer at CSC.
Have you considered used sails? .
Yes for both sails. Qunatam was higher.
Wrong country for second hand sails... they are mostly in the USA.
Theres life left in the genoa for a few years till back in the Caribbean but want new main for Red Sea and Med, then Atlantic crossing

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I would certainly give up long hot showers ..
trade it in for another cheap old boat with spare sails...
Yes but you wouldnt give up all showers. (I hope! LOL)

Theres very few countires with a liquid enough market to do that, but also the point is that one can't determain when these diffiernt maintenance issues will pop up. The sails might be fine for 15 years or one blows next week, the same week as the donk does whatever it does with an injector and when you are driving it to the mechanic in the dinghy you run over some coral....

And then what happens if you suddenly find some damsel in distress on the beach and she wants .... well.... .....




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Old 21-10-2009, 22:16   #180
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Sure...just as on land you could be driving to an important meeting and get in a collision with an uninsured driver...and your boss fires you from missing the meeting...which puts you on unemployment insurance that isn't enough to cover the house payments so you put the house payments on the credit card in hopes of finding a job and saving your finances...but then your wife has it and leaves you, leaving you to liquidate your retirement funds to survive the divorce and debt...which leads you to drinking and living off the street...

**** happens no matter where you are...
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