Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-09-2015, 18:10   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 33
Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

Hello All,

My name is Dustin. I have been lurking around these parts for several years. Like many of you my dream is to live aboard a cruising cat. I have been researching and plotting my escape from the "civilized" world for almost a decade. I know these things have been beat to death on some of the online forums but I was hoping someone would be so kind as to indulge my questions.

I am 34. I graduated college with a 4.0 gpa and three degrees and was all set to become a dentist, but instead followed my heart and got involved in real estate investing (I am not big on the 9-to-5 thing). My girlfriend is 24 and is about to enter pharmacy school. We are not so sure that material wealth matters as much as most people seem to think it does. We aren't really interested in having children, although that may change. And we have agreed that if we could maintain an interesting albeit frugal lifestyle we would leave our little home in the suburbs and head for the sea.

I have to stress that I AM NOT one of these half-cocked dreamers that think they are going to sell all of their worldly possessions and sail away into the blue yonder. I understand the sort of sacrifices that must be made in order to sustain a lifestyle such as this. I am very mechanically inclined. I've rebuilt engines etc. and would like to think that with enough time and textbooks I could fix anything that could be broken. Neither of us is afraid to get our hands dirty, sweat in the sun, or live on a diet of pasta and canned vegetables.

I've visited around 40 countries and I'm just not convinced the typical way of life in the US is really the best use of my next 50 years. Which leads me to my question... two questions really which I will preface with this:

I have figured out a way to afford a 250k dollar boat and maintain a fixed income stream of $2500 a month. This is obviously a very modest amount of money for a couple to live on, but by the time a number of my 30-year mortgages are paid that number should be nearly $10,000 per month. I will be in my late 50's by that time and feel pretty confident about retiring on that amount. All of these calculations don't take into consideration social security, by the way.

And finally my questions:

1. If you were in my shoes, would you choose to purchase a boat for 250k (we really like 420s and 440s but feel a 380 is too small) and attempt to live aboard on a monthly budget of $2500 for a couple?

2. Is it possible to live aboard a 40+ foot cat with a budget of $2500 for a couple?


*insurance, maintenance, etc. plus all other expenses will need to come from the $2500


I realize it wouldn't be wise to leave with absolutely no money saved for emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. Our intention is to purchase a boat and work for a year or two in a coastal city while we refit it and build up some reserve dollars, all the while getting nice and familiar with the vessel and sailing her.

I apologize for the long post, but I don't know where else to turn. People in my circle think I'm crazy. But I don't have any interest in working just to buy a house with more rooms that I will never use, or a slightly newer fancier car.

To me life is experiences. My less cautious, 25-year-old self would have already been out on the water somewhere...

Thanks so much for the input!

Dustin
__________________

__________________
dustinp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 18:21   #2
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Martinique
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,717
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

Me thinks you asked this question in another forum and will get similar answers here....

Although I'm a little shocked by the fact you think the 380 is too small for a couple. There are families of 4 that live on those. I guess each to their own!
__________________

__________________
travellerw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 18:21   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Diego
Boat: Pearson 39-2 "Sea Story"
Posts: 1,109
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

My first impression: I doubt the ability of anyone who can't make do with a 38' Lagoon to otherwise live frugally. Have you tried living within that budget on land?
__________________
SV Sea Story adventures
Greenhand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 19:27   #4
Moderator
 
sailorchic34's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Boat: Islander 34
Posts: 4,812
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

LOL, that $2500 a month would go a lot further on a monohull. Why, Well cats, big cats which a 38 to 44 is have two engines and most likely two sail drives. Maintaining two engines costs a bit. Every time you buy a part for a 40' cat it's going to be spendy. The care and feeding of a 40-44 cat will cost a bit.

Now $2500 in a 40' monohull, which is a big boat BTW, or even a trawler is doable. First the slips will be in most cases cheaper as the boat is narrower. Only one engine so much easier maintenance wise. You still get a nice cabin and two or even three staterooms. No not as much space as a cat, but your not paying to dock the cat either.

The $2500/month is doable, I'm just not sure it's doable with a cat. A 40-44 trawler would be light and airie and half the price of a cat.
__________________
sailorchic34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 20:25   #5
Registered User
 
Dulcesuenos's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Florida Keys, Bahamas Bound
Boat: 38' French Cat
Posts: 2,828
Images: 4
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

The difference in cost varies from cat to cat. Our 38 fp Athena's standing rigging costs half of what our prior Leopard 38 did. Those types of things and haul out, paint, maintenance and fuel and ins is higher on a larger cat. Id go slightly less exp cat and bank some more and live a little easier. Besides a 38 cat isn't that much smaller than a 42, and it's not the boat as much as the trip etc. We've traveled the bahamas a bit I. 3 different cats from 32 to 38 ft and can honestly say we never felt the bigger boat made it better or worse, aside from draft.

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
Dulcesuenos is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 20:30   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Hailing Minny, MN
Boat: Vancouver 27
Posts: 751
Images: 1
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

$2500/mo is a pretty good lump! A couple thoughts:

You don't need to live on a diet of pasta and canned vegeminatables regardless!

Would you be getting the biggest boat you feel you can afford? Could you be happy on something smaller?

Insurance for an unexperienced captain on a $250k boat will be substantial.

Is it sustainable for if/when the market tanks again?

Just free thoughts here Definitely not meant to be in any way negative or dissuasive.
__________________
laika is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 20:39   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 33
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

Thanks for the replies everyone. I really appreciate this!


travellerw - If I did ask a question similar to this it was several years ago when I was much less informed on the subject. This is the only forum I have ever posted to.

Greenhand - It's not that I couldn't make due with the 380 it's just that I anticipate this being my home for the next 20 years or so. I would only be able to afford this assuming I leave behind my mortgage and make this boat my home. A home for $250,000 doesn't even exist where I live. Also, I was under the impression that a slightly bigger boat would significantly safer.

We have routinely taken 20 mile plus hikes, lived in a tent for days off Cliff bars, purified stream water with iodine... I could live off a few hundred dollars a month if I absolutely had to, maybe even less.

sailorchic34 - I do realize a mono would save a bit of cash in the way of initial investment and also maintenance but I have never liked the heel or the dungeon feeling I get below deck. I apologize, not trying to offend anyone. I have thought REALLY hard about a mono but for us a cat makes the most sense.






I am looking for that person that will come by and say, "Yes, do it NOW... best thing I've ever done... don't need a lot of money if you can roll with the punches" or "You better think long and hard about this... operating budget for a boat like that will be xxxx.xx per month, plus you should have xxxxx.xx in savings" or "Don't throw away the ability to make tons of money for the ability to basically camp out on a boat on peanuts"...

I'm open to any advice any of you may have for me, pertaining directly to the operational costs of the boat or otherwise. I can't find many people close to my age that will even entertain such thoughts, let alone afford to. It seems you may have been lumped in with this group.

I don't mean to sound full of myself, but I am someone that, had I chosen a different path, would have been a doctor right now. A profession that if very demanding and not easily attained. All I am saying is I am willing to focus all of that drive into achieving THIS goal.

I need help from people like you that are more knowledgeable in this arena. I really want this and I'm coming from an informed place for the most part as far the lifestyle choice. I just need to get some advice regarding the broad strokes.

If $2500 isn't enough, what is?

A better question in my previous post may have been how much of a monthly budget would be required for a couple living aboard a 40-44 foot cat assuming one of them was a marine mechanic and the other was an expert in marine electrical/plumbing/HVAC systems as well as a professional sail maker?


We plan to make this our career if that makes sense. I would rather be working on my boat if that's what it takes than the alternative.

Thanks again for all the advice.

Dustin
__________________
dustinp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 20:47   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 33
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
The difference in cost varies from cat to cat. Our 38 fp Athena's standing rigging costs half of what our prior Leopard 38 did. Those types of things and haul out, paint, maintenance and fuel and ins is higher on a larger cat. Id go slightly less exp cat and bank some more and live a little easier. Besides a 38 cat isn't that much smaller than a 42, and it's not the boat as much as the trip etc. We've traveled the bahamas a bit I. 3 different cats from 32 to 38 ft and can honestly say we never felt the bigger boat made it better or worse, aside from draft.

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Thanks for the reply. I do like the 380 a lot I was just under the impression it wouldn't be quite as safe in blue water. We aren't trying to sail it to Antarctica but for the most part I would like to have a vessel that is capable of going where we want it to. Also, I figured we may weight a smaller boat down a bit too much.

We aren't trying to live like we are aboard Royal Caribbean but we want room for our things and guests and tons of solar etc. without feeling like we are camping. We were on a 420 in Greece... felt like the right size, but maybe smaller is better in this situation.

So are you saying that if we saved another 100k that we could then live on the 42 month-to-month the way we could on the 38 now? I don't want to be so tight on cash it ruins the fun but my ultimate goal is to cross oceans in this thing.
__________________
dustinp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 20:50   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada
Boat: 53' Amel Super Maramu
Posts: 219
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

Our experiences over the past almost 2 years of full-time cruising have led us to the following opinions:
- Your budget the first year out will be much higher than you expect as you get away from the dock and get the boat 'dialed in' for full time cruising. You'll quickly find all the weak points in the systems when they're getting used daily now and away from the dock.
- Your anchor and chain are probably the most important item to reduce your budget. If you want to be in marinas all the time for whatever reasons, expect your spend rate to drastically increase.
- Where you cruise has a huge impact on your budget. The Eastern Caribbean was surprisingly expensive for everything. The Western Caribbean, Columbia and Panama are WAY cheaper for everything. We're now finding that the South Pacific is surprisingly cheap but mainly because you spend so much time on crossings or remote places where there's nowhere to spend money. Our percentage of 'No-Spend' days are way up in the South Pacific. That's probably coming to an end as we reach New Zealand though.
- Cruising budget variances are massive between cruisers and I think largely come down to what compromises people are willing to make (anchoring/side travel/public transport/eating out, etc, etc,) and where they want to cruise. Until you can answer those I don't think anyone can tell you if your budget is realistic. Two early choices you're leaning toward though (>40' and catamaran vs mono) suggest your willingness to compromise your lifestyle decisions will push your budget up. No offence intended, just my opinion. There's a lot of couples (and some families) out here comfortably cruising in 38' cats (and smaller......see PDQ 32 for sale | Zero to Cruising! for one that's for sale) and there's a lot of people out here on mid-30' monohulls.

Good luck either way.....it's a decision we've never regretted.
Regards,
Mark
__________________
Hobie_ind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 21:29   #10
Moderator
 
sailorchic34's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Boat: Islander 34
Posts: 4,812
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

Hum, Have you and your partner actually sailed before, or cruised for a week or two in a cat, or mono. Going to weather??. If you have experience, great. If not, you might want to charter or heck go charter with the Zerotocruising folks.

(facebook https://www.facebook.com/zerotocruising?fref=nf )

While they have a mono now, they started with the PDQ32 and then with a big Cat. They would be really good folks to ask questions of. They have a fairly good blog too. They already did what your thinking of.

Good luck to you.
__________________
sailorchic34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 21:57   #11
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Martinique
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,717
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustinp View Post
I am looking for that person that will come by and say, "Yes, do it NOW... best thing I've ever done... don't need a lot of money if you can roll with the punches" or "You better think long and hard about this... operating budget for a boat like that will be xxxx.xx per month, plus you should have xxxxx.xx in savings" or "Don't throw away the ability to make tons of money for the ability to basically camp out on a boat on peanuts"...
Then here you go.. Your budget is not crazy, many couples have done it for less. In fact, there is a great blog (sundownersailsagain.com) where they are out there on $1500/month. Yes they are on a monohull, but the cost of an ancherage on a monohull or catamaran is the same. Personally I think sailorchic exagerated the cost difference between a mono and multi.

You absolutely can do it on the budget you have listed... but.. my advice would be to look for a cheaper cat and use the savings to pad your living budget a bit. There are many other brands than Lagoon and some of them may surprise you with how big they feel for a smaller boat. Personally I would shoot for a $175K boat (ready to go), even if I had to make some exceptions (i.e. smaller boat).
__________________
travellerw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2015, 22:23   #12
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virgin Islands
Boat: 1999 Leopard 45, 45 foot cat, 1980 Hunter 33, 33 foot monohull
Posts: 405
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

I first moved aboard at the age of 33, about what you are. Since then, approaching 34 years ago, I have lived aboard for all but four of those years...sort of what you are thinking about. This has included living in marinas working at "regular" jobs, cruising, and working in the marine industry. I have lived in marinas and at anchor. Living at anchor is much more fun, but it's actually quite hard to combine with a "regular" job, for many reasons. For the last ten years I have operated a charter cat in the BVI. I started on a monohull and am now on a 45 foot cat. Rarely have I every regretted my lifestyle choice, and then it was almost always associated with the fact that not many women choose the sailing lifestyle. But you seem to be well sorted there, so congratulations.

For all of that time, I always loved to see young people or couples get the "bug" to go do what you are doing. Few ever regret it, although even fewer find themselves able to return to the world of "real" employment, so consider that. Far too many people find every logical reason to delay getting into the lifestyle or getting into it at all, and live lives governed by society and material things. I understand all that, but love it when someone choses to do the different thing.

As to all the cost issues, it does take a good bit to keep a big cat purring, and I do lots of my own work, too. I actually think that two engines, if they are powerful enough so that you are happy cruising on just one at a time, rather than both, makes maintenance easier. That's because of redundancy. But, there are some things you are going to butt your heads against: First of all, insurance. Are you going to insure or "self-insure"? If the later, will you be able to afford to lose your boat, if it comes to that? This, in my opinion, is the biggest reason to have a smaller, less expensive, boat. Will you even be able to get insurance to cross oceans as a twosome? Some heart to heart talks with an insurance guy would be time well spent. Will you be happy entertaining yourselves and refraining from eating out? That's where lots of money goes. Perhaps you should go a month (on land) without ever spending any money "going out" and without eating a meal away from home. Sounds easy until you do it! Think through your eating and drinking habits. Do you enjoy walking or bicycling? Perhaps try putting away your car(s) for a month. Will you be living at anchor? Think that one through as it's actually a job to do that, although a job many, including myself, really like. But, everything, absolutely everything, is harder. It's realistic to plan on taking a slip on a regular basis, say once every couple of weeks, if they are available, but add that into the budget.

The single biggest determiner of safety is size. So, yes, a 42 foot boat is a bit safer than a 38. But, that doesn't mean that a 38 isn't safe. The crew is actually more important in all of this. Probably no cats have made more circumnavigations than the Privilege 39 or the Prout 37. You will find that you fill almost whatever space you have, whether you get a 32 or a 52 foot boat. You will also spend just about every dime that is available, whether it's $1000 a month or ten times that. You probably won't have as many visitors as you think, and you will probably be grateful for that. I say this as someone who loves to have visitors, and for whom the 45 foot cat provides way more of these opportunities than my old 33 foot monohull. But it's just the way it usually works out. These are truisms that many, many people can confirm!

To me, $2,500 sound doable, but barely, with the above issues (especially insurance) being the key things. It sounds like your income is going to rise, so it may be just a matter of skimping for the first five or ten years. By the time you get remotely close to that $10,000 a month, you will be living in luxury. So, it's the near term that is the concern. If you worked for a (VERY) few years more, perhaps you could plan on spending a bit more at the outset. Or get that smaller boat that, in hindsight, will turn out to be plenty big enough.

Bottom line is you can do it, maybe, and if you can, you will never regret it. If your lifestyle choices put you even a little bit over budget, however, fights and misery will be around the corner. And it's only a few dollars that separate those two scenarios. So tread carefully!

Best of luck to you both,
Tim
__________________
contrail is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-09-2015, 05:08   #13
Registered User
 
Dulcesuenos's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Florida Keys, Bahamas Bound
Boat: 38' French Cat
Posts: 2,828
Images: 4
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

I'm only 43, am giving up my dream career w a substantial income to cruise now while the wife and I still can, aboard a 38 athena. We leave this coming Feb, Our budget is 1700 month. This allows us to still save enough each year to cover haul outs and ins etc. Our hope is to never work again. My investments will never reach 10k month but in 15years We should be able to upgrade to a newer cat. If we do need "want" to work, I hold a 100ton capt ticket, and am a roving tech for spectra Watermakers etc. The wife is a killer seamstress / canvas girl and can make or fix almost anything. My advice to go now if you can afford to. You will never regret it. And when your investments peak, you can always move up. Just a ps, we have lived aboard 2 years now, and Sometimes miss the smaller cat.:&#128541

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
Dulcesuenos is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-09-2015, 06:05   #14
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,032
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenhand View Post
My first impression: I doubt the ability of anyone who can't make do with a 38' Lagoon to otherwise live frugally. Have you tried living within that budget on land?

I agree with this, while $2,500 may be do-able, I plan on having more, in a much less expensive boat.
Gut feeling is if you feel you need such a big expensive boat, your going to need a lot more than $2,500 a month.

But I also believe you don't have any experience either, a big boat is a lot of boat when the Wx turns on you, they don't have small sails etc.. Living space wise, I don't think we need the space a 38' mono has, I plan on the aft stateroom being storage. I'm sure we would have no need for a 40+ cats space, and from an older persons perspective, you never have the number of visitors you think you will, never.

I'd tell you to buy a smaller mono, say 35 to 40 to gain experience with and with the intent to sell in a year or two. Buy a popular boat, one that won't be hard to resell. If nothing else I assume the insurance costs on a much more expensive boat will be very high with no experience, so get some experience.
Plus I feel sure that when you spend some significant time in a boat, that your beliefs will change, lots of things you haven't even thought of will become very important, and things you thought important, won't be.
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-09-2015, 08:26   #15
cruiser
 
Trim50's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: West of SE Asia & North of Indonesia
Boat: Crealock Del Rey 50 Cutter
Posts: 492
Images: 23
Re: Am I crazy?! Cruising budget 400, 420 or 440?

34 and still quoting your gpa? May I recommend returning to finish that dental school...when you're 50 you'll understand why.
__________________

__________________
Trim50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
budget, cruising

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Want To Buy: Lagoon 440, 420 or 400 LivingWhale Classifieds Archive 3 26-09-2015 19:02
AC72....Crazy Cool and Cool Crazy Ocean Girl General Sailing Forum 6 30-08-2013 06:22
420: Lagoon 420 or 440 ? M&M Lagoon Catamarans 105 25-02-2013 17:52
Want To Buy: Lagoon 420 or 440 forrestc Classifieds Archive 0 12-11-2011 10:24
440: Lagoon 440 or 420 ? Wellington Lagoon Catamarans 3 22-05-2011 08:27



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:30.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.