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Old 28-10-2014, 09:10   #16
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Sailorboy, not trying to hijack your thread, just believe what will work for you , may well work for me, I'll just be two years behind you is all.

I think we are even the same age, I turn 65 in 2023
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Old 28-10-2014, 09:18   #17
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

The problem is that it really does "depend" - Comparing one persons budget to another persons is often not useful. People do different things based on thier own personal norms.

Maybe if we were able to narrow down the biggest factors we may have a shot at some reasonable scaling.

My brother for example is living quite nicely on about $3500AUD. Predominantly in Malaysia with runs to Thailand. He is on a 40ft ferro boat.

So key factors -

- Location - Cost of Living
- Boat - size / complexity
- number of people
- Cruising type - Off grid, marina, combination
- Insurances - medical, boat etc.
- Emergency/Home leave - personal reasons
- Visas, fees and documentation
- Entertainment - shore based activities, eating out, bars/nightclubs
- Tourism - self guided, formal tours
- exit strategy reserve?

What else?

A lot of people think it is a contest to see who can do it the cheapest and there are folks who can do it very cheaply.

Maybe another way is to set a budget - say $3,000 and try to describe what one can afford on that budget and more importantly where one can afford it.

But realistically, there are lots of people on CF who are already out there doing it. The Cruising on XXX threads are full of real life examples.

For SB it is hard but it probably really is about making your personal best estimates and then making the leap of faith.

I haven't done any numbers but for the places I want to cruise I am absolutely sure I can do it on <$4,000/mo and have a blast doing it. My strategy is a comfortable retirement home/boat and then find interesting places with extremely low costs of living to spend my time in.
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Old 28-10-2014, 09:25   #18
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Big difference though between 3K and 4K.

Said another way, do you living expenses on land roughly equal those on a boat?
Mine I see as being a whole lot less?
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Old 28-10-2014, 09:44   #19
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

No Taxes, No utilities. no vehicle insurance. Wind is free if you're sailing. Motoring, you pay for fuel at home.
Look at the not requireds on the water.
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Old 28-10-2014, 09:46   #20
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Don,

There are two big ticket items and you can get the exact cost for these
boat insurance
health insurance

Refits and maintenance on the boat depends a lot on how hard you sail it. Someone once remarked that a 3-4 week ocean passage puts as much wear and tear on a boat as a weekend coastal cruiser sees in 10 years. That might be an exaggeration, but certainly it has some truth to it.

Check your maintenance expenses now and average them out over 5 years - add 50% and you'll probably be in the ballpark.

Meals etc - If you and your wife eat lobster and drink champagne every day now - so will you while cruising. If you drink 40 year old scotch today, so will you while cruising. If you like to go out to eat 2-3 times per week - so will you like when cruising. The prices may change and be cheaper - but your habits will probably remain the same.

Clothes etc - if you're cruising in warm climates - this will cost very little.

Like you, I've worked through our potential budget. $3000 is also the number I come up with.

We like to eat out on occassion and not just pizza. We like good wine and we're fond of G&T's. I'm a pretty good amateur cook - so we eat very well and with great variety.

If you fish, like to eat fish and are good at it - this will reduce your food budget.

I know quite a few cruising couples and they all say that their habits have not changed in the long term, unless dictated by geography or local customs.

Yes, you'll spend more on sight-seeing and some on car rental - but you can control these expenses.

hope that helped

carsten
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Old 28-10-2014, 09:50   #21
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

I think $3K a month is a pretty generous budget for cruising, ours will be about the same and we have no qualms about it whatsoever. (We only have a 33 foot boat though, and will be starting out with all systems new which should make our maintenance expenses low the first few years, and with your larger boat your costs for any given thing will be more than ours.) However, I knew a family of 4 that did it on a 50' wooden Kettenberg (think constant maintenance) for less than that for almost 5 years. The cruising part wouldn't be the part I would be questioning.

I would be questioning whether that amount would be adequate to also provide for a comfortable transition to, and lifestyle after, you have to return to land if you have not already made provisions for that aside from your stated cruising budget. We can make all kinds of lifestyle adjustments afloat to accommodate a budget, but I think it's lots harder ashore where so many costs are high and fixed. The more flexible you are about the "where" ashore the better of course, if you don't have strong ties to any geographical area that you feel you have to return to.

Unless you already have a paid for house waiting, or unless you think the value of your boat (paid for I assume?) would be adequate to purchase a home you would be comfortable living in, or unless you have an investment account waiting somewhere that isn't a part of your cruising budget, or children with an in-law suite that has a "welcome home dad" sign hanging on the door....... I personally would not be comfortable not knowing how that part of it was going to work. The idea of cruising forever sounds wonderful, but I wonder how many people actually experience that as their reality. The Pardeys, the Hiscocks (Susan at least), the Roth's, all moved back to shore later in life. I suspect for good reason.
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Old 28-10-2014, 09:55   #22
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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Like you, I've worked through our potential budget. $3000 is also the number I come up with.
I base my $3k/mo a lot on cruiser blogs. This allowed me to see what type of boat they have, what they like to do and their general lifestyle. When I first got interested in cruising my planned budget was a lot lower, but I had to rid myself of some delusions.
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Old 28-10-2014, 10:07   #23
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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I base my $3k/mo a lot on cruiser blogs. This allowed me to see what type of boat they have, what they like to do and their general lifestyle. When I first got interested in cruising my planned budget was a lot lower, but I had to rid myself of some delusions.
Don

You'e absolutely right - there are a lot of delusions that need to be swept away. Having said that - the 3 grand is not all that far off (my apologies here to those that cruise for $500, $1000 or other such number - we like comfort and we like a bit of high living).

Further up someone pointed out that you'll need at plan B for when you get too old for cruising. That is an appropriate comment and one we shuold think about.

We will be selling our home when we go. When we come back - we will not buy. Our plan is to live on our boat in Denmark during the summer season, cruising the Baltic to our hearts content. In the winter we will rent, short term, apartments in places like Rome, Barcelona etc. Short term rentals of 6-8 months are frequently not all that expensive.

When we get too old for that - we'll rent an apartment somewhere and look at the pictures of all our marvelous adventures
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Old 28-10-2014, 10:10   #24
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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It's the boat expenses I can't get a hand on, other things like food, entertainment, marina's etc. can be controlled, but how do you handle boat maintenance like bottom jobs, etc., put $100 a month, $200, $300 what?
Or just save heavily for a couple of months before and just deal with it?
How much set back for a catastrophe fund? Engine, tranny, dismasting?
Why not attack this problem like you would maintenance on an airplane? Not saying it will be easy or quick to figure out but definitely doable. In fact it will probably be a little mind numbing at times.

I figure go talk to a sail maker and ask him what annual repair costs may be and how often you may have to replace sails entirely. add 10% for caution and then divide by how many months. i.e. he says 200$ per year to repair divide by 12 = $16/month then if he says replace sails every 5 years figure however much for sails divided by 60 months and add that to the $16/month.

You can go through this process for engines, standing rigging, running rigging, hull repair, and so on. It might not be super accurate but will get you with in the ball park to save for.

Then if you allocate the money on a spread sheet you can track each part of your budget. If you don't spend any money 1 year on sail repair you can credit that towards the next year or re-purpose it somewhere that may be lacking.

Really a nerd, an accountant, and a researcher would be the best team for this but it can be done.
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Old 28-10-2014, 10:26   #25
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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Care to share? Not specifics maybe if you don't want to, but what were the surprises, what expense were you not prepared for, how do you make up the 30%?
Of course we wanna bees fear coming up 30% short, without the money to fill in the 30%.
Boat repairs/maintenance and more time in marinas than planned. We have a 10 yr old cat and things are just getting to the point of wearing out.
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Old 28-10-2014, 10:40   #26
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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To go or not to go; comments, stories, real examples (not from 30 yo backpacker type cruisers)
Sailorboy...I know you don't want to hear this but after 8441 posts here on Cruising forum if you still need more info on what it will cost to go cruising then you are WAY over-thinking things and one more thread about the issue isn't going to help. It isn't that hard trust me. This cruising Bozo cruised with a family of 4 on roughly $1200-$1500/mo and lived like kings and did all the boat maintenance and had full hull coverage on the boat. We didn't play the "what will it cost per month game" we just did it and found out. Of course when people ask us what we spent they look at it (every dollar posted up on our website) and then tell me how I really couldn't have done that in comfort...ha ha ha...but what do they know...they haven't BEEN cruising yet but here they are offering advice left and right.

If the money would have ran out before our 4yr time line we had when we left, we just would have come back early...what's the big deal? For us we were able to cruise on 1/2 the budget we though we would need...why...because once you get out of this lifestyle and into the Cruising Lifestyle all the **** you think you know now you realize was bogus, so you readjust. What's the saying...the war plan is changed after the first shot is fired or something like that.

Get out there....stop the over analyzing and go before you get cancer and have to sell the boat for heavens sake. Running out of money isn't your problem...running out of Life IS! I honestly don't know how we could have spent an extra $1500/mo without just tossing if over the side of the boat to feed the fish. (Ok..actually I found out...come back to California and live aboard with two kids in High School...there goes the extra $1500/Mo PLUS)
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Old 28-10-2014, 10:45   #27
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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Don,


Meals etc - If you and your wife eat lobster and drink champagne every day now - so will you while cruising. If you drink 40 year old scotch today, so will you while cruising. If you like to go out to eat 2-3 times per week - so will you like when cruising. The prices may change and be cheaper - but your habits will probably remain the same.

Clothes etc - if you're cruising in warm climates - this will cost very little.

Like you, I've worked through our potential budget. $3000 is also the number I come up with.

We like to eat out on occassion and not just pizza. We like good wine and we're fond of G&T's. I'm a pretty good amateur cook - so we eat very well and with great variety.

If you fish, like to eat fish and are good at it - this will reduce your food budget.

I know quite a few cruising couples and they all say that their habits have not changed in the long term, unless dictated by geography or local customs.

Yes, you'll spend more on sight-seeing and some on car rental - but you can control these expenses.

hope that helped

carsten
I think that is a really good point. Couples who are kind of thrifty and who spend little on eating out and lavish shopping on land will probably keep those habits on their boat. And, those who fix their refrigerator, washer/dryer, fences, and other home repairs, themselves, will quickly adapt to fixing things themselves on their boat, even if they don't have those particular skills when they set out.

Likewise, those who eat out a lot, shop a lot, and call repairmen to fix anything they own that breaks, will probably continue that style of living on the water.

My personal experience mirrored that. I called a repairman to fix one thing on my current boat in the first three years I owned it, and paid $250 for a five minute re-flashing of my generator. Since then, except for a $450 dollar A/C repair bill, I have done everything myself (and I have been studying up on A/C repair since that day). It's amazing how many people make videos of themselves fixing stuff in their houses, and on their boats, and then post it on you tube, and how much you can learn by watching them.

A lot of stuff on boats is pretty simple. We have a center console, too. The transom needed replacing, and I was given a quote of $4500 to do it. I ended up learning how to do it myself for about $800 and I am very happy with the result.

And, we have an emergency fund at home, and on the water. If you make it without an emergency fund with your house, I guess you can make it on the boat just as well without one.

Food: We eat out now about 2-4 times a month. We enjoy cooking our own food. We enjoy eating at other people's houses, and having them over to eat at ours. Same with the boat. That didn't change when we were cruising. It won't change the next time we go.

Two other huge, but adjustable, costs on our cruise were: a. flying home, b. staying in marinas.. We didn't have to do either of those, but we did both of them when we had the money and felt like it. Our cruise would have been just as enjoyable, at least to me, without the money to spend on those two items.

The problem with all of these threads are that I can write a very realistic budget for myself and my wife, because I know us, and I know our habits, our likes, our dislikes, and our current outlook toward spending money and dealing with problems that cost money. It's a lot harder to do that for somebody you've never met.
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Old 28-10-2014, 11:12   #28
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Helmuth Von Molke, Prussian Chief of Staff

No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.

Said simpler, only the first part of a battle can be planned, beyond that the enemy has a vote too, then you go into a plan that consists of different options, you pick the best option of course. Need to maintain a stance of being "rigidly flexible"

Maybe biggest reason the first Gulf war went so well for us was it didn't last very long
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Old 28-10-2014, 11:15   #29
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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Helmuth Von Molke, Prussian Chief of Staff

No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.

Said simpler, only the first part of a battle can be planned, beyond that the enemy has a vote too, then you go into a plan that consists of different options, you pick the best option of course. Need to maintain a stance of being "rigidly flexible"

Maybe biggest reason the first Gulf war went so well for us was it didn't last very long
Exactly. The only way to plan for anything breaking is to either tow a spare boat behind you, or have enough money to buy another one and start over. People who cruise who are not somewhat self-reliant, and good at handling their own unexpected problems, better have a lot of money in the bank.

On my cruise, despite all of the advice to do so, I didn't carry a spare starter. Because, I have fixed so many starters, on boats and cars, that I just didn't worry about it (in high school, I drove a truck for a month where I had to jump the solenoid with a screwdriver to start it because I couldn't afford one). The day mine did quit, I took it off and fixed it in a couple of hours (bendix needed lube, one hours 58 minutes to take it off and put it back on, two minutes to fix). It hasn't broken since.

It's a mentality, not just a skill set.
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Old 28-10-2014, 11:23   #30
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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Running out of money isn't your problem...running out of Life IS!
Most insightful nugget of information for this and many other posts on the forum!
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