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Old 19-09-2015, 14:11   #1
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Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

Hello Cruisers, This is my first post, please be gentle. I've been an appreciative reader of this site for awhile.
My husband and I are exploring the possibility of living aboard a power boat to cruise the Bahamas and Caribbean. We currently live on the Chesapeake Bay, have owned a 23' Grady White for ten years, have rented 47 ft power cats in the BVI's several times, & have also several times rented 17-21 ft power boats in the Abacos for day tours between islands. Over the years we visited many islands, from the Abacos, Turks & Caicos, USVI's, BVI's, St. Kitts, St. Maartin, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada... We're divers, snorkelers, pretty fit for our mid 50's. We've also backpacked the Rockies several times - know how to live light when needed.
My inquiry is to get ideas from experienced cruisers for building a budget -- we would moor up more than we would dock at marinas. We're looking at power boats in the 40-50 ft range - make and model ideas welcome. Any experience with water makers? Also, any favorite places to visit?
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience!
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Old 19-09-2015, 15:36   #2
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Re: Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

OK -- Yes, I am a total Newb, I meant to post this in the general cruisers forum, rather than Provisions -- Help forum moderators, can I move this?
Forgive me, please don't throw me overboard yet.
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Old 20-09-2015, 07:03   #3
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Re: Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, SeaYote.

A well-discussed subject.
See ➥ http://cse.google.com/cse?siteurl=www.cruisersforum.com/forums/showthread.php%3Fp%3D1918169%23post1918169&ref=www .cruisersforum.com/forums/showthread.php%3Fp%3D1917820&cx=011403840172948218 620pdpkstleqm&ie=UTF-8&q=budget&sa=Go#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=budget&gsc.page =1
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Old 20-09-2015, 07:19   #4
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Re: Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

Thanks Gord! We're trying to enjoy the process of research while accumulating a folder of data pertinent to making a real choice. Factors for building a budget spreadsheet are where I am right now. We'll be chartering a few boats over the next year for short stints.
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Old 20-09-2015, 11:49   #5
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Re: Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

As has been asked, "How high's a Chinaman?" Budgets will vary more than the weather. A good rough estimate for those that have more financial resources than DIY experience is 10% of the initial cost of the vessel per year for everything including fuel. Again this is a rough baseline but one that can reasonably be expected for those who must rely on the "pros" to keep things running.

Welcome aboard CF. you've more questions than can be reasonably answered in one thread but the search function here will prove invaluable and a big help in keeping that future budget under control.
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Old 21-09-2015, 11:25   #6
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Re: Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

I will echo the previous replies. First, this is in the top three most asked questions so a little research on the forum will give you hours of reading.

Here's a couple of the longer discussions.

Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

And to go along with seasick's comment, the question is like asking how long is a piece of string. To put it in more specific detail, there are so many variables and your question is so open ended that an accurate answer is not possible. Some of the many things that can impact cost A LOT!!

1. Fuel. On a power boat how much will you be traveling and will you cruise at slow, displacement speeds (like 7-9 kts) or fast, planning speeds like 15-25 kts? At planning speeds the fuel consumption could 5-10 times more than you would use at displacement speeds. Based on typical fuel costs in the islands this would translate into $300-$400 in fuel for a day cruise or under $100.

2. Anchoring out will save a lot. For 40-50' boat a marina could cost $25-$250/night. Just like hotels, a room in a fancy hotel in a big city will be way more than a Holiday Inn on the side of the freeway in the middle of nowhere.

3. Food will be another big variable. Cook on board or eat out? Wine every day? Caviar or spaghetti?

4. Maintenance. Do it yourself or pay a marina? If you pay a pro it will cost. Day to day, week to week the maintenance won't be much: oil and filter changes, new belts, pump impellors, etc. Then there will be the occasional bigger expense like a new water pump, a new heat exchanger or manifold.

Then there's always the risk (small with a little bit of luck and if you checked out the boat carefully) of the big hit, like rebuilding or replacing the engine or transmission. The big hits you can't plan for but need to be ready just in case.

5. Insurance. What type of policy? Full coverage or liability only? What's your experience and where will you cruise? If you want full coverage for the Caribbean figure a few thousand/year.

6. Personal expenses like health insurance, taxes, etc will be similar to what you have now.
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Old 22-09-2015, 20:38   #7
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Re: Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

Thank you Skipmac & Seasick, I'm making the most of reading other entries -- I can say we are not looking for high living - don't go to resorts now, don't want to later. Yes, a certain amount of comfort on the boat, but we're fairly independent people, would prefer to moor up or anchor more than stay in marinas. Dining out is an occasional thing, we prefer doing our own cooking. Our overall goal is to experience living on the blue water before we are too geezerly to do so. I'll try to formulate more specific questions as get better informed. Thank you all for indulging me and pointing me to some of the previous posts. Cheers
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Old 22-09-2015, 21:54   #8
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Re: Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

I'll give you some actual figures from our experience. Figure that all of these numbers are within 20% depending on what you're actually doing.

Boat payment: $3000/mo. gets you a person with reasonable credit $500 boat right now on a 20 year mortgage. You can factor your payments proportionally from there.

Wharfage:
Slip: Figure $750/mo. +/- $250 in most cities for a 40 foot boat.
Mooring: $200/mo.
Anchoring: free.

Insurance: $1500/year for full coverage on a new boat, worldwide cruising, +/- $500 depending on restrictions.

Fuel: $20 per 100NM travelled in fuel costs, presuming you're going displacement speeds. Figure $1/nm if you're planning on planing on passages. Plan your routes with a navigation tool that will give you route lengths, and budget accordingly.

Maintenance: 10% of boat cost per annum.

Food: $20/person/day. This is an average for many boat days when you'll eat cheap and ashore days when you'll eat expensive. Some days you'll eat worse, some you'll eat better.

Other recurring costs are the same as on land.

You can eliminate the vast majority of these costs one line item at a time by:
buying a sound older boat
Anchoring routinely
Uninsured
Sail primarily
DIY maintenance
Eat bulk foods: Rice, beans, tinned meat, etc.

These are your extremes.
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Old 22-09-2015, 22:25   #9
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Re: Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

6 month cruising costs, Jan-Jun 2015 | Sundowner Sails Again

It's a sailboat, but the categories might help you from reinventing the wheel.

Good luck.
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Old 23-09-2015, 06:05   #10
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Re: Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

Mstrebe and Stu Jackson,
Thank you for detailed info -- We are currently planning for a power boat. Years ago we learned to sail, but got lazy and have not done so in ages. I love the idea of catching the wind to move you along, but have fallen for the convenience and less work factor...power vs wind has surely been debated and defended. I have seen a few catamarans with both... maybe we ought to revisit it.

One specific question -- Water making systems, are they reliable, safe, easy to maintain - any experience ? Seems to me it would make more sense to make your own rather than relying on someone else to be providing clean water (I may be a tad hyper-vigilant).
Thanks!
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Old 23-09-2015, 06:39   #11
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Re: Budget for Newbie Live Aboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
Insurance: $1500/year for full coverage on a new boat, worldwide cruising, +/- $500 depending on restrictions.
Is that figure based on your actual insurance? I was quoted as high as that for US only coverage. What company are you dealing with?
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