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Old 08-05-2011, 12:09   #1
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Cost to Cruise

I am attempting to develop a plan to purchase a blue water worthy catamaran that can easily be single handed during shore cruising. Once I develop the skills and confidence to cross oceans, i will likely find a crew member to assist. I am going to need to rely on my social security and investment income to support myself once I become eligible for SS in about 3 years. In the meantime, I plan to purchase a boat to slip and live on during weekends as I travel viturally 100% of the time for my work. During the next three years I will use the boat only for shore cruising and small hops to Catalina Island and other nearby ports while learning all I can about operation, maintenance, and everything else. My sailing experience consists of owning a Sabot when I was a boy and sailing it around Alamitos Bay in Long Beach all summer long. I've sailed up to 14' boats but nothing larger than that. Obviously I have a lot to learn before pulling up anchor permanently. Right now i am particularly interested in what I could count on as a reasonable monthly cost range to cruise on an extended basis once I retire. I will have to use my somewhat meager investments to purchase the boat which will only leave me a small balance (for emergencies and reserve) along with ss income to live and operate on. I am not interested in starving or eating only beans, but I think I would be able to live fairly frugally and still allow some dinners out in port, etc. The cats that seem to interest me the most are the Lagoon 380 owners version and the Manta (I really like this one, but I know they are no longer in business). I would like to buy a well equipped, used boat and hope to stay in the $150 - $250 range. I am interested in any comments, advice, etc. from any of you who have either done something or are now doing something similar. Especially concerning boats I should stay away from, how old of a boat is too old, size, etc. I would love to throw in the towel and just go for it, but I don't think I can swing it without an additional source of income such as SS. Thanks for the input.
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Old 08-05-2011, 19:07   #2
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Re: Cost to Cruise

Check out the cruising on $500 a month thread: it costs what you have.
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Old 08-05-2011, 19:32   #3
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First things first-

Go to yachtworld.com and try to find a well equipped bluewater catamaran for under 200K. Find many? If you did, you'll have found old models, so plan on at least 50-100 K to refit the boat- new engine x 2, new sails, equipment, refrigeration, etc.

Your plan is nice, but if you are on a true budget, buy a monohull. You can go smaller with monohulls and retain bluewater capability IMHO.

Don't fall into the trap of spending all your investments on the biggest/best boat you can afford. Boats, even new, are not like a Honda, where you can just drive it and change the oil. Any used boat always needs ongoing major expenditures to keep it going. The bigger and more systems heavy, the more you will spend every year.

People who cruise on a budget, like under 1K per month, do it on small, simple boats, usually monohulls. You don't just cruise cheap by cooking your meals and fishing. You also have to start with a solid, but simple and small cruiser to keep your overhead low.

And yes, the price tags above assume you are doing the labor. But unless you can fabricate bronze fittings from scratch, make sails, or construct an engine, refrigeration system, or battery- you'll be spending a lot on an ongoing basis. Many people cite 10% of the boat value per year as maintenance expenditure.

Just my opinion, but I would be surprised to hear many tell you differently.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:28   #4
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Re: Cost to Cruise

Malbert - thanks for the reality check, although the 10% maintenance figure seems high from what I've been reading. for a $250,000 boat that would be over $2,000 per month???
I do only want the minimum I need and that will be safe and dependable but I must admit I don't really want to be "camping" all the time. May have to go to smaller boat but I am pretty sold on CATS (don't like the idea of living on a heel all the time). don't really want to go the retrofitting route either unless I can get a really super deal on something. Buying a well equiped, safe and sound boat from an experienced sailor (who as done the trial and error thing) seems more attractive to me if I can figure a way to make it work. Anyway, I have a lot of research to do. Thank you for the input.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:56   #5
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Re: Cost to Cruise

K.Bob,

There was a young cruising couple on the boat Bumfuzzle, you may have heard of them. They posted a detailed cost list that showed monthly costs over time. Sure, they went a little overboard sometimes, but perhaps this is still a good reference for some of the non "overboard" costs:

bumfuzzle | sailing costs

On a sailing cat, I think you're looking at a bare minimum of $1000 a month in upkeep, gas, customs fees, etc.... and that doesn't seem to include moorings/marinas/eating out/entertainment with the occasionally high months for your normal maintenance, haul-out, etc....

I think you'll be hard pressed to find a suitable bluewater cat that either comes with, or can be retrofitted to desired needs in the range you posted, but perhaps you don't care about the same level of comforts, etc... that I do.

I don't know your full financial picture (nor do I want to know), but I would think you've probably underestimated the costs of owning, maintaining, and living on a decent cat as you've seemed to allude to the boat and lifestyle, but maybe I'm reading too much into what you've wrote. While I definitely agree on the desire to own a cat over a mono, I've personally come to terms that this is going to cost me a helluva lot more, and am already looking ahead to get my funds way way up in the future years.

Take my thoughts with a grain of salt, as I've never even sailed a boat, just done alot of research for "some day", and my figures just seem to come in a little higher than you've described.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:40   #6
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Re: Cost to Cruise

I’m new to this forum, having been off the boat (a 44’ cutter) and living in the mountains of West Virginia for the last 12 or 13 years. But, last time I was in the NW Caribbean you could live quite happily on a boat (if anchored out most of the time) in Honduras or Guatemala for around 10-15% of the cost of living in even the less expensive areas of US. In fact, up the river in Guatemala there were expat’s living “high on tha hog” on Social Security alone. Of course all of this might have changed a lot since then. I don’t think the two of us ever spent over $500-$600 per month (excluding occasional trips back to the US to visit family) in the 6 years we were out-of-country.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:21   #7
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Re: Cost to Cruise

My brother just bought a 22ft trimaran at a county auction for $10,000.

The auction was held online so he didn't even have to go to the county courthouse to view the info. I think this is pretty common. He also bought a 2 bedroom house boat for even less... but it was in disrepair. My bro is an experienced boat builder though so it was a wise investment for him.

If you are looking for a deal and live near the coast (especially now when so many boats are being repossessed or confiscated) check out a county near the water and see what they have up for auction... even if you have to go to the court house and bid old-school like.

If all works out, he's gonna pick me up on the LA and we're going to go up the Pacific Northwest to Victoria BC where I have a seasonal employment opportunity at a local hotel. We'll see how it goes, he just replaced the trampolines and has some minor fiberglass repair to do... time-wise this is gonna be tight, but it will be one hellava trip. I've been looking at mooring opportunities off some places in the Pacific Northwest, but we have options once we get to Vancouver Island.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:52   #8
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Re: Cost to Cruise

Look at Wharram cats. THEY are simple, and inexpensive. If you start out with a good boat your expenses will be less. Also one off can be as good, or better. Not to mention worse than a production boat. Keep an open mind, and get a survey. The cost will depend on how you want to live, and if you will learn, or already know how to do your own repairs......been there & done that........i2f
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Old 09-05-2011, 20:40   #9
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Wharrams are great boats. However, the poster stated he did not want to camp, and used Lagoons as an example of what he'd like to get.
I agree with him, that there is great comfort to be had in such a boat, compared to monohulls and boats like trimarans and wharrams.

However, I can guarantee, that as much as there are great deals to be had on used boats, the well found, cared for, well equipped boats are not where the deals are. those boats fetch top dollar, with good reason.
For the price range of the poster in catamarans, he is looking at a post-charter trade beater which will need some significant refitting.

Don't like to be a downer, but if you are such on a budget, you can buy a nice sound 40 foot mono with great liveability for 100K and spend away to your hearts content to make it bulletproof, like new engine, sails, fittings, lines, cushions, heads, hoses. Ie all the stuff that wears out on any boat.
You'll still be under 200K, with the leftover 50-80k of your budget for upkeep and unexpecteds.

instead of being stressed over repairs, upkeep, dockage fees (which are huge for cats), you'll be relaxedly enjoying sunset after sunset on your mono knowing that you upgraded all of the majors.
i spent only 1/2 of my buying budget on my current boat, and it already had a new diesel. The rest of my budget is being spent year by year on intelligent quality upgrades..... I almost got sucked into the "biggest boat I could barely afford" trap, but I'd never leave the dock if I had probably.

Mind you, I would love to liveaboard on a multihull, but the price difference is huge right now. There just arent enough good used ones out there yet, and the older ones suffer from not having all of the more recent design innovations IMHO.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:21   #10
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Re: Cost to Cruise

I did not read anywhere where he typed he didn´t want to camp. He typed je didn´t want to live on beans.

You can make a Wharram more plush with some simple tricks. Not looking at the nterior of the hull is one. My gallery has an example of how simple it is to make a boat lovely. A few stringers, and some doorskins varnished make a lovely interior.

Or he can have a boat built in the Phillipines to his own liking for the money he wants to spend........i2f

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Old 10-05-2011, 13:51   #11
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Re: Cost to Cruise

IMHO Malbert 73's advice is good. Cats are more expensive to buy and to operate, period. For starters, there are two engines instead of one. They are wide and therefore more expensive to haul. The list goes on...

It sounds is though you are on the West Coast. If so, buy a decent used Cal 39 or S&S Tartan 37 for 65K or thereabouts, spend another 65K to fix it up and it will take you anywhere in comfort. Invest the remainder and use the income to maintain the boat.
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Old 10-05-2011, 14:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-bob View Post
I am attempting to develop a plan to purchase a blue water worthy catamaran that can easily be single handed during shore cruising. Once I develop the skills and confidence to cross oceans, i will likely find a crew member to assist. I am going to need to rely on my social security and investment income to support myself once I become eligible for SS in about 3 years. In the meantime, I plan to purchase a boat to slip and live on during weekends as I travel viturally 100% of the time for my work. During the next three years I will use the boat only for shore cruising and small hops to Catalina Island and other nearby ports while learning all I can about operation, maintenance, and everything else. My sailing experience consists of owning a Sabot when I was a boy and sailing it around Alamitos Bay in Long Beach all summer long. I've sailed up to 14' boats but nothing larger than that. Obviously I have a lot to learn before pulling up anchor permanently. Right now i am particularly interested in what I could count on as a reasonable monthly cost range to cruise on an extended basis once I retire. I will have to use my somewhat meager investments to purchase the boat which will only leave me a small balance (for emergencies and reserve) along with ss income to live and operate on. I am not interested in starving or eating only beans, but I think I would be able to live fairly frugally and still allow some dinners out in port, etc. The cats that seem to interest me the most are the Lagoon 380 owners version and the Manta (I really like this one, but I know they are no longer in business). I would like to buy a well equipped, used boat and hope to stay in the $150 - $250 range. I am interested in any comments, advice, etc. from any of you who have either done something or are now doing something similar. Especially concerning boats I should stay away from, how old of a boat is too old, size, etc. I would love to throw in the towel and just go for it, but I don't think I can swing it without an additional source of income such as SS. Thanks for the input.
Do you smoke... do you drink... do you live to eat or eat to live...
the age of the boat is as relevant as the age of a woman... if you love her it don't matter... especially if well preserved..
For your kind of money you should be able to get at least 3 or 4 nice liveaboard boats... but I'm a basic kinda guy...
others may say just one and you'll need another $50K to get her together...
Once you know the questions you want to ask the answers come quicker... think about it...
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Old 10-05-2011, 14:18   #13
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Just caught up with the posts... maybe forget the Lagoon... this will do you just as well................
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Old 10-05-2011, 19:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic
I did not read anywhere where he typed he didn´t want to camp. He typed je didn´t want to live on beans.

You can make a Wharram more plush with some simple tricks. Not looking at the nterior of the hull is one. My gallery has an example of how simple it is to make a boat lovely. A few stringers, and some doorskins varnished make a lovely interior.

Or he can have a boat built in the Phillipines to his own liking for the money he wants to spend........i2f

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Pinoy Boat Services - your yachting partner in the Philippines!

Here´s a quic google of PHILIPPINE BOATYARDS


See yesterday's post May 9 at 04:28. He distinctly mentions not wanting to camp.

My point is that if you like Lagoons, you like elevated saloons, galley up, expansive cockpits, and luxury. Who wouldn't want that, but the cost may be the issue. Nice as Wharrams are I am told, and they are more my style, they are much more spartan than a modern luxury cat. Much more like my monohull, with lower, smaller cockpits and cabins. No comparison to what he is looking at.
And as much as I am for living your dream, sunsets look the same regardless of what cockpit you are sitting in.

I just can't reiterate enough for folks not to spend more than 60% of their budget on the purchase price of their boat, and to save the rest for refits and upgrades. Even if buying new, I would guess most folks need another 10-20% over the next 1-2 years to equip and customize....

I'd love to hear dissenting opinions based in reality which may give me hope of someday purchasing one of my dream boats...
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Old 13-05-2011, 23:52   #15
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Re: Cost to Cruise

Boatman 61. Is the wildcat same as the wharram that some are refering to?
Does any one know anything about Gemini 105mc?
Seen several of those available at reasonable prices.
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