i didn't mean to get to class warfare.
I'm just a hillbilly from Appalachia who doesn't believe anything is free.
Someone always pays, and i was always taught to pay my own way.
my comment was directed at the "free" things many people do not include in
their cost estimates or reports when cruising on $500/month. Its like living in the big subdivision while your parents pay the mortgage and preaching to everyone else
they just aren't trying or working
hard enough or they would be there too. Other cruisers are metaphorically paying
the mortgage for some of these cruisers.
It is just misleading to someone who
is honestly trying to plan a budget and take off.
Especially if they have too much pride to seek the freebies some of which, as i listed them, are just plain stealing. (see previous post)
I have seen too many victims of their own dreams destitute in a strange port because of unrealistic expectations. People i loaned and helped and worried about.
From the ones in annapolis
who pawned their sails
to live then couldn't afford to retrieve them to innumerable young french families who were told all their life they can sail away to the carribbean on their homebuilt boats and live carefree.
Many end up on the dole in st martin/martinique/guadelope for 6 months then off
trying to scrape together a living or a plane ticket home after their time expires.
They beg for odd jobs or bake bread to live.
are the ones that break your hearts. Out looking for odd jobs
to support the family
or looking wistfully at your gadgets till you invite them below to
play the stereo, watch a movie
, or play games on the computer.
As much as i cringe when i hear the truly rich discouraging potential cruisers by explaining how you must put aside
$400 per day to cruise the caribbean
(no kidding, i have heard that figure),
the consequences of handing out misleading advice on the low end of the budget can
just be tragic.
So my plea is merely for honesty. At $500/month, even a five dollar bill
is 1% of your month budget. if you steal wifi
instead of pay the $5 or buy a
drink in the cafe that provides it, you are supplementing your budget by 1%.
A free ride instead of a cab or bus or walking with your groceries can be another 2%. And that free laundry
from a friend another 5%. Drop off a bag of garbage at
a marina when visiting a friend instead of paying to dispose of it a couple times and you have another 1%.
Do all this once a week and you are
understating your budget by almost 50%. Take all the stuff on just my short list
and that $500/month quickly becomes $1000.
None of the budgets I have seen account for even one simple health
In many foreign ports
or the US even a bad tooth can run into months of cruising budget to fix.
Or a damaged rudder
, or stolen dinghy
, or even a parent at home who falls ill and
needs help or a deathbed visit.
I understand rates have gone up in the past 2 years substantially, but
we kept detailed lists of everything we spent in 10 years of cruising.
After an initial investment getting the boat ready, all the materials needed,
and ensuring our own health
, we found in general four budget ranges of cruising in the carribean (eastern, western, and south america).
And let us not forget, part of the purpose is to enjoy the trip and the local culture.
$500/month - shoestring - what we are discussing here. most cruising time is spent on meeting basic needs of self and boat.
$1000/month - low end - basic living, rarely tours/trips and meals
out, reasonable diet, health care
only when needed, conservative engine use, occasional low end marina stays in out of the way ports
$2000/month - just for comparison, this is the poverty level in the US.
$3000/month - quite comfortable - good diet, meals
out often and trips weekly, preventative as well as emergency health care
, engine use, marina stays in hurricane
and gadgets, flights home every year. Most boat repairs
within range and able to hire local workers for some boat chores. A major health or boat catastrophe will still stop you short.
$5000/month and up - The upper class of cruising. No worries till you get to the Med
where you are now back to the shoestring class.
I tried to be a fascist, but it conflicted with my anarchist core
and my propensity
to adopt stray puppies and cruisers.
i welcome your letters.