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Old 11-12-2014, 08:59   #166
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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I have always believed that happiness is a choice, and your perception will become your reality.
I wholeheartedly agree that happiness is a choice for many (most?) people. Particularly if you have the basic comforts met - food, shelter, health (and health of those closest to you). The icing on the cake is love of family and friends, shared laughter ....

So many people think "if only I could achieve xxx I would be happy", but even if they achieve this they then just go and shift the goal posts .

And I disagree with those posters who have commented that if you have experienced certain levels of comfort on shore and become accustomed to these, that they need to be reproduced when cruising in order to be happy. I am not spouting "theories", just reporting being happy for 7+ years of life aboard despite few of the comforts/luxuries/possessions I had back home .
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:09   #167
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

I still get back to the point of

Your 15K engine just spun a crank bearing and your on a budget that it takes 90% of it to sustain life, what's your plan?

I know Sailor Chic did it, but how many of you can overhaul a Diesel? Plus thankfully she didn't have to deal with a spun crank bearing.

I think Hudson Force has the best idea of anything I've seen here, whatever your means may be, adopt a standard of living below that, he seemed to have a plan to deal with the inevitable.

Hudson, I hope you don't mind me quoting you, at least I think it was you.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:13   #168
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

All these threads eventually become "I can live and be happy with almost nothing" and that is fine, but the boat can't.

Seemingly none address the costs associated with the cost associated with continual travelling in a 40 ish ft boat. I believe a lot of the shoe string cruisers manage to do that by moving very little, they aren't what I consider "cruising", the people that cruise seem to be like the couple on BeBe (SuperMaramu)
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:09   #169
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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All these threads eventually become "I can live and be happy with almost nothing" and that is fine, but the boat can't.

Seemingly none address the costs associated with the cost associated with continual travelling in a 40 ish ft boat. I believe a lot of the shoe string cruisers manage to do that by moving very little, they aren't what I consider "cruising", the people that cruise seem to be like the couple on BeBe (SuperMaramu)
And my point was that if the budget you have does not allow for the maintenance of a 40'ish foot boat, and if you really want to go cruising more than anything then you can always downsize to a 30'ish foot (or whatever) boat that will fit into the budget that you have. That's the part about adjusting expectations.

I will be the first to admit that I could never in a million years live on SailorChic's budget, nor would I want to. As much as I'd like to cruise, to be perfectly honest, I would prefer to keep working and cruising part time in my time off than to live a life so restricted in every way by that kind of budget. (The fact that we didn't go many years ago is evidence of that.) Sailing isn't the be all and end all of life, as wonderful as it is. We need to also be able to spend time with family and have access to other activities we enjoy. That kind of subsistence budget in my mind just keeps a roof over the head and wards off starvation. We worked, and continue to work, to assure that we would have a comfortable retirement, both afloat and ashore when the time comes. The peace of mind that comes from knowing our future after cruising is secured is also a huge part of the equation for us. But there is a lot of latitude in budgets that would still leave the idea of cruising comfortably open to most people, even with limited means, just maybe not the posh idea of cruising that lines up with their dream image of what it should be. So then it just boils down to what's more important.

A64pilot, you are absolutely correct and Hudson Force is "right on the money" (pun intended). Planning for the unexpected absolutely has to be a part of the budget, so trying to maintain a boat and a lifestyle that consumes 90% of the budget you have probably wouldn't be the wisest choice. So you have to scale your expectations, your boat, and your lifestyle to the budget you have left after you factor in your emergency fund. With a $500 a month budget that might not be do-able, but with a $3K a month budget it certainly should be if you don't overboat, overgear, and over-spend on unnecessary stuff.

I guess Lance and I are truly blessed in that we both see things the same way in this regard. We had originally planned to do this on a Cape Dory 28, so the fact that we have a 33' now makes us feel like we have more than we ever needed. Our land camper is a teardrop trailer that we built ourselves, our dream home is a small cabin somewhere peaceful. We lived on a Bristol 24 for over a year and, honestly, if our resources were limited to the point that we had to do it on a boat like that I would do that in a heartbeat before I would give up the opportunity to have the experience. Maybe we wouldn't do it for as long or venture as far, but that would be preferable to never experiencing it at all. Many people would disagree and couldn't conceive of a weekend aboard a boat that small, let alone living on one. Not everyone would be happy living that modestly. Again, that's were expectations and personal needs and desires come into play, and how much of an adjustment you're willing to make to have the experience.

I
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:10   #170
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

I bet a64pilot's view is a large part of the reason we hear about so many cruisers calling it quits before they even leave the dock. If we continually worry about the what ifs we will never be satisfied to cut the lines. At a certain point you have to just go.

If you blow a $15K engine (don't know what boat that would be on because Beta Marine has replacements for my 25 hp for under $5K), you find a way to make it happen. Either you figure out how to fix it yourself or find away to pay for it. Maybe you can do something in trade for someone that fix it. Maybe you have to take a hit on the cruising kitty. I don't have the answer but I won't simply not go because there are unknowns.

I just did a post this week about this struggle to leave. We are 39, make good money at professional jobs and are debt free. Our plan is to work 10 more months before heading out. But I admit to having some anxiety about leaving our secure existence for a life full of unknowns. Selling the house and our stuff to live on the boat was not hard. I didn't get this feeling then but we have already bought into the live simpler movement. It actually felt great to unburden ourselves from all of the stuff. I am positive I will have more mixed emotions when the time actually comes to quit our jobs but we still feel its the right thing to do for us.

This is a tough and very personal decision to make. But I think once you decide to go, figuring out how best to maximize the money will be a constant task. You can't simply set a budget several years out and think you are going only spend that exact amount every month.

Cap'n Fatty Goodlander has been cruising almost his entire life. He admits that there were years where he made less than $10K and yet they still found ways to cruise. He also says that in years when they made $50K they found a way to spend all that money too.

Good luck to all contemplating this life-style and I hope we all make it out on the water in what ever way suites us best.

Jesse


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Old 11-12-2014, 10:10   #171
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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All these threads eventually become "I can live and be happy with almost nothing" and that is fine, but the boat can't.

Seemingly none address the costs associated with the cost associated with continual travelling in a 40 ish ft boat. I believe a lot of the shoe string cruisers manage to do that by moving very little, they aren't what I consider "cruising", the people that cruise seem to be like the couple on BeBe (SuperMaramu)
The reason boat related costs are not addressed it that it depends on the boat and the time you expect to be cruising. Also the way you intend to cruise (staying at anchor as opposed to marinas, waiting for good weather to sail rather than motor etc),

You need to list all the items on board YOUR boat, and their likely lifespan. Decide how many years you want to allow for. Look at how old these items are and if they are likely to need replacing in the number of years you have specified. Then work out their total replacement cost and the cost per year (eg rigging, sails, engine/gen, watermaker, refrigeration, equipment, dinghy and outboard, canvas, batteries, upholstery etc) plus definite costs such hauling out and antifouling, insurance, engine maintenance. This will give a rough idea of yearly running costs. If some items are close to needing to be replaced, you need to allow surplus funds for that initially. Also allow for items you think you may want to add later.

The "running costs" as calculated above for a 30 footer compared to a 50 footer are dramatically different. As is a 15 year boat compared to one only a year old. Costs per year will also vary if you have a five year plan and do not expect anything major to need replacing in that time, as opposed to wanting to keep the same boat and cruise for a couple of decades where everything needs to be allowed for.

How much security do you need? You may be unlucky and hit with an unexpected repairs and a "slush fund" is necessary if you don't want to risk having to stop cruising due to emergencies. Also lots of boat repairs end up costing significantly more than expected, so it helps to bump up your estimates. If you want to take your chances and are happy to return to work if unexpected costs occur, then you can get away with less in the kitty.

So figures for other people's boat costs are pretty useless.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:44   #172
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
The reason boat related costs are not addressed it that it depends on the boat and the time you expect to be cruising. Also the way you intend to cruise (staying at anchor as opposed to marinas, waiting for good weather to sail rather than motor etc),... So figures for other people's boat costs are pretty useless.
Exactly:

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Context matters. These kinds of "how much does it cost?" threads are meaningless unless you can compare apples to apples.
  • Boat type, size, age.
  • Crew size, age.
  • Lifestyle norms.
  • Cruising location.
  • Risk tolerance.
  • Cruising goals.
  • Family needs/demands.
  • Other life costs; land home, boat loan, education costs, etc.
... and probably a dozen other factors all contribute to the question "how much does it cost?"

This is why we get such a wide range of responses. It's why the only general answer that makes any sense is: it costs what you have. For those who need a meaningful answer, why not start a thread where you clearly define your personal context. That way you can get info from people with comparable situations.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:07   #173
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

Seaworthy,
See that's just it, what is the life span of a windex, a depth finder, a bilge pump, a chartplotter, a radio, upholstery? My boat for example, almost all of that is 27yrs old and most of it near as I can tell is in excellent shape, Upholstery if fine, but the foam is shot, bottoms out really easily. You know it seems as if a lot of this stuff will outlast me.
I've heard standing rigging every 7 yrs, mine is 27 and passed survey, yes I will replace it before I go, but you get the point.

Oldrag,
You need to determine the costs of ownership, or you can't make a rational decision as to boat size.

JK,
I'll go you can be sure of that, but for instance, you sure you can replace your Diesel for <5K ? That is not what I've heard, but admit prices I've heard may be checkbook prices. Generator for instance, I got a turn key quote for over 10K, I'm paying a little less than 7K for the gen and doing it myself.
At 39 you can come back and work if needed, I'll be close to 60 and when I go, I'm gone.
I just like a plan, I can control most costs like marinas, eating out, ground transportation etc., but boat upkeep is a pay me now or pay me more later, I've made my living in maintenance, I know that much.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:09   #174
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

See I'm thinking one of the biggest expenses and the one you really cannot control, is the one that seems to be ignored, that doesn't make sense
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Old 11-12-2014, 13:35   #175
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

We're doing a total refit right now pretty much stem to stern so we will leave with everything new aboard, sails, electronics, cushions, canvas, rigging (standing and running), almost everything. Our systems will be very simple so there won't be that many things to go wrong. (Yes, I have heard of Murphy.....) Due to our ages we doubt our full time cruising life aboard this particular boat will be more than 5 years so we don't expect a lot of major repairs or replacements to occur in that amount of time, but we will set aside part of the monthly budget for them just the same. The only exception is the engine because we are only doing a rebuild on the engine rather than a replacement this time so we will allow for the fact that it will likely need to be replaced at some point during our ownership of the boat. There will be money in savings for that before we leave so that even if it happened on day two of the cruise we will be prepared for it.

Insurance costs and boat mortgage payments, if you have them, shouldn't be hard to get and your personal costs (health insurance, groceries, cell phones, blah blah blah) are more than likely going to stay in line with what they are now. We visit our kids in California a couple of times a year. We know what that costs more or less since we've been doing it for 11 years now. A lot of other costs are controllable to a certain degree based on whether you anchor or stay in marinas, eat out or not, rent cars, and all the rest as had been already covered ad nauseum in this thread.

Seaworthy Lass covered it very well. If you have owned your boat for awhile you should already know what you spend on routine maintenance items like yearly haulouts and such. It seems you have a pretty good idea of the things that could possibly need replacing. Of those things how many are essential pieces of gear and would actually put a stop to the cruise (rigging, sails, engine, steering,, essential navigation instruments...) and how many are nice to have items that you would want to fix at some point but certainly wouldn't landlock you for lack of them (refrigeration, pressure water, and such..).

I would try and make sure that the essential things, the ones that would actually put a stop to the cruise if they went out, were covered, or replace them before you go.... then set aside a certain amount monthly for the less essential stuff and for upgrades and then go. There are no guarantees with life anyway.
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Old 11-12-2014, 14:14   #176
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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Seaworthy,
See that's just it, what is the life span of a windex, a depth finder, a bilge pump, a chartplotter, a radio, upholstery? My boat for example, almost all of that is 27yrs old and most of it near as I can tell is in excellent shape, Upholstery if fine, but the foam is shot, bottoms out really easily. You know it seems as if a lot of this stuff will outlast me.
With 27 year old items on a boat I would budget to have just about everything replaced during the first five years cruising full time (a lot depends on previous maintenance and usage). Sure, some of the items may outlive you, but full time use is punishing and many items could fail.

Odds are that your boat maintenance expenses per year for say the first five years for a boat 5' larger than oldragbaggers' one (where all major expense items apart from the engine have been replaced), are likely to be substantially higher, even if you cruise in a similar manner (and the manner of cruising eg mileage covered, how hard you push the boat, sail vs engine use, marina vs anchorage stays will affect your costs dramatically as well).

Unless you can match most of the variables in Mike OReilly's list, knowing other people's boat expenses for anything much else than marina costs per year is pretty meaningless.
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Old 11-12-2014, 14:22   #177
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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All these threads eventually become "I can live and be happy with almost nothing" and that is fine, but the boat can't.

Seemingly none address the costs associated with the cost associated with continual travelling in a 40 ish ft boat. I believe a lot of the shoe string cruisers manage to do that by moving very little, they aren't what I consider "cruising", the people that cruise seem to be like the couple on BeBe (SuperMaramu)

The cruising budget thread topics get a lot of trashing by people who say they are "cruising" but who are are just living on a boat. Nothing wrong with living on a boat somewhere inexpensive, but if you have been in the same low cost country for 2 years etc it isn't cruising.

If I wanted to live cheap on the water I would buy some land and build a small house somewhere, which was my plan before I decided to look into boating.

In my definitions cruising means travel. And travel means seeing stuff when you get there as otherwise I would just go back to small house in the Dominican Republic.


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Old 11-12-2014, 14:32   #178
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

As a caveat to the adage that you can't go cruising without some emergency money in the bank, it's hard for me to believe how many people operate on land with no emergency money in the bank. But, they do, and most seem to make it somehow, emergencies and all.
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Old 11-12-2014, 14:47   #179
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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I wholeheartedly agree that happiness is a choice for many (most?) people. Particularly if you have the basic comforts met - food, shelter, health (and health of those closest to you). The icing on the cake is love of family and friends, shared laughter ....

So many people think "if only I could achieve xxx I would be happy", but even if they achieve this they then just go and shift the goal posts .

And I disagree with those posters who have commented that if you have experienced certain levels of comfort on shore and become accustomed to these, that they need to be reproduced when cruising in order to be happy. I am not spouting "theories", just reporting being happy for 7+ years of life aboard despite few of the comforts/luxuries/possessions I had back home .
Psychology doesnt really bare much of that out.

Unfortunately few people know about Maslow and the old hierarchy of needs... But its all pretty true. True to such an extent all school children ought be taught it.

Some of us have worked a whole life time to obtain a certain style of living. Its just not fun to give all that up, as well as some of the other Factors (like all your friends).



So lets have a look at this particular pyrimid. What does a female cruiser (often) or male (less often) lose from a year cruising?
Lets start from the bottom
On passage they lose warmth, rest and food they are used to,
At sea and at anchor They lose the security they felt in their own home and the safety it garnered to a less seucre and less safe.
All their friends are left behind in the USA, UK, Aus etc, all their kids, grandkids, neices, cousins uncles, aunties, the WHOLE family is discarded.
Sure you,ay get the feeling of acomplishent but one of the needs is Prestige. I.e. Who do you share that feeling of acomplishment with?
Yes you acheive some creative outlets, but you dot get as many, or the diversity of creativity as at home.
And self actualization.... Do you achieve it? Thats about the only one thats a feeling that you can evoke... But really its one that settles quietly upon you when all the preceding are accomplished.

Please read up on it. Because some psychology is real
Maslow's hierarchy of needs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Old 11-12-2014, 15:12   #180
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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As a caveat to the adage that you can't go cruising without some emergency money in the bank, it's hard for me to believe how many people operate on land with no emergency money in the bank. But, they do, and most seem to make it somehow, emergencies and all.
How right you are!!! I know people who operate all the time on such a narrow margin that something as simple as needing to replace the tires on their car derails their budget for months.

We plan to "cruise" Sailorboy, but the definition of cruising can differ so drastically from person to person. And, again, that is another part of the difficulty of trying to figure out what your budget will be by asking others what their budget is unless they are doing EXACTLY what you plan to do, in the same place, during the same season (as prices for many things are seasonal in a lot of areas), have the same vices, eat the same way, enjoy the same types of recreation, and on and on.

Our cruising will be coastal and will not amount to much more than a series of day sails during (hopefully) mostly ideal weather. Any "passages" would likely never be more than a few days. The only difference between our retirement cruising and what we do now is that we'll end up in a different place at the end of the day instead of returning to our local marina at the end of the weekend. So we won't be putting our boat under the same kind of stresses that the "bluewater sailors" do which will no doubt further decrease our maintenance and repair costs over what they would expect.

We plan to carry folding bikes for sightseeing. Our idea of a great time is a nice hike. We both love to read. I love to cook and am looking forward to having the time to do a lot more of it so whether or not we can afford to eat out in restaurants is not an issue with me. Being vegan, eating out is not that easy anyway. Most of the things we enjoy tend to be on the cheap side or free.

Our budget would probably be pretty meaningless to most people unless they are completely likeminded.
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