First of all, you should not worry too much about getting other opinions. Just wait until you get down to your boat and start doing things on it. The opinions will roll in like the waves!
I can give you a little bit of the cost side. You can eat out, you can cook in. You can go to movies, you can read books
. Much of the cost depends on the lifestyle you choose to live. Marinas
can vary from reasonable to outrageous. We paid about $700 a month for a slip in Hollywood, Florida
. We paid about $250 a month for a slip in New Bern North Carolina
While we were bringing up the boat from Florida, we paid up to $1.75 per foot per night as a transient fee. VERY expensive. We paid about $13 to fill up our 20 lbs. propane
tank. A tank last us about 3 months. We cook very regularly. Aside from the dockage cost, most things are the same cost as being ashore, with perhaps the cost of boat insurance
being another variable. We paid about $1300 for a year of coverage. But, we had to be out of the hurricane
area durring the season. We still have to pay for gas for the cars, food
, entertainment, no dry-cleaning, but we have to pay for laundry
mats now adays. We still have health insurance
cost, auto insurance
, we still buy gifts for friends and family
. All those things will tend to remain the same.
Maintenace and upgrades is probably going to be your biggest shocker. Boats can be awfully expensive!!
This is where you will have to be concerned. We have spent $$$$ every month on maintenace and upgrades, a couple of months it was $$,$$$. Be aware. Budget
closely and add 35% for all those misc items you need to install it with, make it work.
Mexico has recently, last couple of months, changed its rules. You no longer have to check in and out of every port. You can do it once. This has made cruising there a lot easier. I'd be slightly less concerned. I am partial to the islands, but I'd suggest following your heart and going where your fancy takes you. Isn't that the whole idea of the sojourn? Start from the heart, then plan to make it real.
Back to my first point. You are going to be DELUGED by opinions. It is often difficult to ascertain which is good and which is less good. Don't let it frustrate you too much!!!! You have to figure out what is right for YOU. There are people out there that have been sailing for years in boats with no motors and who use Kerosine for lighting
. There are people who have every bell and whistle imaginable and who have never been further than 20 miles from their home port. Both are right! if they are doing that which makes them happy.
Start out with shorter trips, don't get carried away with so many of the things that you just HAVE to have. Find out what makes you happy and add it when you have had a chance to define YOUR cruising style.
Well, back to determining whether I need that whiz bang new Pactor
Good luck, See you out there!