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Old 04-10-2015, 15:48   #1
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Carrying money.

As I continue to prepare for my future cruise, many topics come to mind. As we finish tackling provisioning food, I thought about provisioning money.

I haven't nailed down exactly where I will be going, but it will be somewhat off the beaten track. Even Mexico I heard people bring loads of cash.

What!?! Ok, I insider stand if you are going across the Pacific, to destinations unknown, a lot of places don't take you debit/credit card, so what choice do you have, but say you are going for a long time? Do you really bring like 10-20 thousand dollars with you?

What is the situation like? Am I horribly mistaken? It just seems very unsafe, one break in and your life is screwed!

Do boats not get broken into in extinct tropical locations? Are you pretty safe? Lol, do you need a safe, bolted down to the boat ? Where do you put the cash?

Are there any alternative forms of currency to use?

Say you were planning a year long trip to Polynesia or Micronesia, what would you do?
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Old 04-10-2015, 15:51   #2
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Re: Carrying money.

Oh, and doesn't your boat get thoroughly searched upon arriving at most countries? Wouldn't an unscrupulous official say they found nothing while pocketing your money and ere would be nothing you could do about it.

I have only been to Canada and back, but coming into America they opened cupboards, drawars, I don't really know, I wasn't allowed on board while this took place. But I'm wasn't worried about this stiff American homeland security lady stealing my stuff, plus I didn't bring much cash to Canada, but in Vanuatu of PNG! I would be worried.
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Old 04-10-2015, 16:05   #3
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Re: Carrying money.

Most places have ATM's and if you get a Schwab cash card, no fee's. I would carry about $1,000, maybe $2,000 for those places that don't have ATM's, hide it VERY well and then use the ATM. I could tell you some really good places, but then I would need to find a new one.
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Old 04-10-2015, 19:15   #4
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Re: Carrying money.

This is the funniest thread in the world as just on Friday the USA has introduced the use of.credit cards with computer chips not the obsolete magnetic stripe.

Now the USA can use an ATM like the rest of the world has for the last decade!

When you get out of the US you will see how much easier it all is.

Yes, even the systems used in 3rd world countries are assesable.
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Old 04-10-2015, 19:55   #5
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Re: Carrying money.

When you are so far off the beaten track that there is no way to get money there will also likely be very little to spend money on. If you are in an area where you can do significant reprovisioning there will no doubt be a way to get money.

I would suggest you read Orca by John Pennington. I think I paid $2.99 for a Kindle copy. He and his girlfriend Kara circumnavigated on a Cape Dory 30. This would be a great book for you in a lot of respects, not the least of which is the fact that their boat is pretty much the same as yours with a couple extra feet of cockpit.

He talks frequently about experiences with money and paying for things, fees required to clear in and out of different countries, where the provisioned and with what. Their particular style may not suit you but surely you will pick up a tidbit here or there that you can use.

The thing I found interesting is that apparently because of the way they invested their cruising funds prior to leaving they actually had more money in the bank when they returned 3 years later than they had when they left. It's been while since I read the book so I don't remember the particulars of how they did that, or even if they went into great detail about it. But they were not roaming the seas with thousands of dollars on board. They were extremely frugal and lived a very simple lifestyle, which their boat almost demanded.

You're going to figure a lot of this out as you go, and as you meet people along the way who mentor you. Your excitement is almost contagious and we wish you the very best of everything as you embark on this great adventure. Be safe out there!!
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Old 04-10-2015, 19:57   #6
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Re: Carrying money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
As I continue to prepare for my future cruise, many topics come to mind. As we finish tackling provisioning food, I thought about provisioning money.

I haven't nailed down exactly where I will be going, but it will be somewhat off the beaten track. Even Mexico I heard people bring loads of cash.

What!?! Ok, I insider stand if you are going across the Pacific, to destinations unknown, a lot of places don't take you debit/credit card, so what choice do you have, but say you are going for a long time? Do you really bring like 10-20 thousand dollars with you?

...

Say you were planning a year long trip to Polynesia or Micronesia, what would you do?
There are going to be ATMs at whatever port of entry you use in any new country and at all other major population centres. I don't know of a single country in Polynesia/Micronesia that doesn't have them. (Even Wallis and Futuna have one at BWF and that's as small and remote a country as you will find)

They all accept Visa/Mastercard/Discovery etc. Just make sure you have a Visa/Mastercard Debit or Credit card from your own bank and draw enough local currency to meet your immediate in-country needs.
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Old 04-10-2015, 20:02   #7
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Re: Carrying money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
...

...Do you really bring like 10-20 thousand dollars with you?

...
No, not unless you want to risk getting sideways with Customs/Immigration. Most countries limit how much legal tender you can bring in without declaring it. Usually its about $10K. Under that you should be OK.

Its unlikely you would get busted, but a guy in Belize did have his boat impounded a few years back for being WAY over.

ATMs are surprisingly wide spread and where they are not, guess what, there are few ways to spend money. If your next stop is remote with no ATMs then stock up on cash before departure...and ět will last a long time.

For example, we've spent the last several cruising seasons in the San Blas islands of Panama. No ATMs. We were there for about 4 months last year, brought about $3K and had a little money left over. Provisions, fuel (not much), fees (about $60/mo) were our only expenses.
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Old 04-10-2015, 22:26   #8
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Re: Carrying money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
This is the funniest thread in the world as just on Friday the USA has introduced the use of.credit cards with computer chips not the obsolete magnetic stripe.

Now the USA can use an ATM like the rest of the world has for the last decade!

When you get out of the US you will see how much easier it all is.

Yes, even the systems used in 3rd world countries are assesable.
While the systems have been moving towards chips, magnetic stripes are still working fine in every ATM we've tried.

Also, they didn't send out half a billion cards last Friday. This is a process that started a couple years ago and won't be finished for a year or two.

To the OP: You got bad advice. Stashing a few hundred maybe as much as a couple thousand is OK. I might take it out of hiding or move it to a different hiding spot while checking in but be open and honest with customs officials if they ask about money. Otherwise, just use ATM's as you need money. As someone else said, if there is stuff to buy, they probably have the means of making sure you can get cash.
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Old 04-10-2015, 23:26   #9
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Re: Carrying money.

Not a problem, don't have any money. :-/
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Old 05-10-2015, 00:03   #10
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Re: Carrying money.

Automatic bank machines are everywhere, we don't carry any cash. Pay mostly with credit cards for everything.
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:16   #11
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Re: Carrying money.

Most countries ask, when entering or departing, if you have more than 10,000 USD or equivalent on board. It is ok to have it, but you should declare it. This obviously has some security drawbacks, so unless you are a super yacht with 10 paid crew on board who need cash salary packets each week, you should not carry more than that.

But in all the years we've been cruising, we've never had more than a few hundred bucks in cash, except when making a major purchase where cash got a favorable price. Then for a short while we might have more on board. You don't have to announce this to the authorities then... only when clearing in or out.

Cash machines are indeed ubiquitous, even in the Island Pacific. And many of them are far more sophisticated than the typical Yank one, for they will give you an assortment of bills, not just a huge stack of 20 dollar bills. Gotta love them!

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Old 05-10-2015, 01:27   #12
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Re: Carrying money.

Libya is the only country that I know of that doesn't have ATM's. And there are only a couple in Iraq. I doubt if this will be part of your cruising plans.
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:45   #13
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Re: Carrying money.

In the last year and half the only places we've been that didn't have any ATM's or banks to get money at when we cleared in were the San Blas Islands in Panama and Palmerston Island in the Cook Islands.
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:56   #14
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Re: Carrying money.

A few hundred $US for 'just in case' works for me. Also have several unlinked cards so if one is lost or nicked you still have the other.
Never take a wallet ashore.
Only take the cash you need or a single card ashore.... only take the card if you plan to use it.
Let your bank know you will be using your card in BongoBongoLand.... its a real pain when they put a stop on your card.

Don't ask how I know all this stuff......
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:30   #15
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Re: Carrying money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
In the last year and half the only places we've been that didn't have any ATM's or banks to get money at when we cleared in were the San Blas Islands in Panama and Palmerston Island in the Cook Islands.
Just a note on clearing in on Palmerston Island from Noonsite:

"Palmerston Island is not an official port of entry for the Cook Islands, however they do have some dispensation to clear yachts under certain conditions, for example yachts unable to enter into Aitutaki or because of weather conditions they are unable to make landfall in Aitutaki/Rarotonga and have continued on to Palmerston; or have called in to seek shelter and rest. There may be occasions entry maybe denied by official intervention from Rarotonga (without explanation). This has happened once in the past, this is rare. Generally, the Administration is accommodating in clearing visiting yachts."
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