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Old 08-01-2012, 07:44   #2731
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Thread drift is the perpetual bane of any forum and CF is not exempt. When most everything of pertinence has been discussed or presented what is left is extraneous diversions. After 182 pages, IMHO we are long past most anything of pertinence to this subject.

"Cruising on $500 per month" suffers from the paradox of - is the refitting or outfitting of the boat included?

If you have unlimited or even significant resources to buy and/or equip a moderate sized boat then the question becomes what kind of budget is going to be required to maintain and replace all that stuff when it quits or totally fails? You are "theoretically" limited to $500 per month and if the broken or failed item costs $500 or more what are you going to have left to buy groceries?

Or are you just going to have to throw the broken gizmo over the side and go without. Then the question is why did you "waste" the money up front getting the gizmo when you could have saved that money for other things "down the road."

Fact of life when cruising - things break, corrode, and/or simply become useless - For instance, AIS is hardly justified in the Caribbean basin as you will most probably encounter only one AIS equipped Cruise-ship and 500 local boats and other cruisers who don't have it. Even in coastal areas of the USA how many minimalist budget cruisers operate frequently out of major seaports with major amounts of big shipping?

Electricity? - well, my experience is that long term cruisers are occasionally transiting or arriving/departing enough 1st world countries that having navigation lights is important unless your boat is under 16 ft (5m). But the battery and recharging system (usually solar PV) is minimal and dedicated to recharging your handheld VHF and operating your nav lights, HF receiver* (not a transceiver), and lapbook/netbook computer (you can cruise successfully everywhere without the computer, but realistically these days it seems folks are issued one upon birth).

The main issue with "electricity" is where/how are you going to get storage unit refilled. Recharging devices/systems are expensive and are a frequent failure item. So, IMHO, a group 24 or 31 lead-acid battery and a single PV panel hooked directly to the battery is about as minimalist as you can get. Sucking electrons out of that battery for purposes like cabin lighting and other purposes which can be served by "old fashioned" methods, leads to the need for more and more batteries and more and more re-charging systems. A costly upward spiral that can be avoided.

I think the reference to "hair shirt" living is totally negative thinking. I prefer "flannel shirt" which is more economical and does the job, and normally means the person wearing it is a "practical" man/woman. A good set of flannel pajamas can keep a person, especially a woman, out of all kinds of diversionary problems which end up costing lots of money.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:47   #2732
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by goprisko View Post
Rubbish!

I cruise extensively without all this crap. I'm still here. Kevin doesn't have electricity on his boat and he does the Maine-VI run each year. He's still here.

You guys need to lighten up. Go sailing. Learn how to manage at sea.

INDY
Um, WE need to lighten up???

Here's a clue... my post was <sarcasm> I guess you need an actual SARCASM sign or something?


And FWIW, your posts above are complete BS as well. You are going completely to the polar opposite, and beyond the rational. your posts: in order to cruise on 500 you 'must' have a small boat, no engine, and no power. That's completely BS.

I just bought a 36' steel boat with a newer Yanmar, all new stainless hatches, brand new $1,000 electric head, electric and propane heat, running water, for and aft electric windlasses, TWO auto pilots, dinghy w/8hp OB (3yrs old), complete sail inventory, and 1400 watts of solar....

for 6k.

Almost all of the items listed are brand new, in the box. NEW stainless stove, NEW stainless Fridge, NEW blue seas electrical panels, 10 NEW stainless portlights from NFM. two NEW stainless hatches, NEW thetford head, NEW macerator pump.

And that boat sat on the market for over a year. because people are afraid of steel, (and work)


Almost all of the 'old salts' simply say 'boy that looks like a lot of work'

yup

My cruising resume is not extensive... but I do have a paid-for boat, and a rental property earning $700 a month in income. so you telling me I can't do it is **JUST** as unreasonable as everyone else.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:07   #2733
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
. . . I just bought a 36' steel boat with a newer Yanmar, all new stainless hatches, brand new $1,000 electric head, electric and propane heat, running water, for and aft electric windlasses, TWO auto pilots, dinghy w/8hp OB (3yrs old), complete sail inventory, and 1400 watts of solar. . .
. . . My cruising resume is not extensive. . .
To continue the "sarcasm" theme - "old timers" will chuckle to themselves reading a statement like that above. The reason is that they were there once themselves - and subsequently found out the real costs involved in getting and maintaining all that stuff. It is humorous to see someone start off on the same path with the same blissful ideas. Nothing wrong with that, humans are always "re-inventing the wheel," it is human nature.

I would object to anybody saying "you can't do it" as my motto is "never say never." It is just that the odds are not with you.

I would submit that the theme of this CF thread is about ways to shift those odds so they are favorable to the average "newbie" becoming and staying a long term minimalist budget cruiser.

On the positive side, there will be a lot of "education" gained along the way and a lot of skills developed that you did not know you had - or - you will sell the damn thing and go back to your previous life-style.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:17   #2734
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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To continue the "sarcasm" theme - "old timers" will chuckle to themselves reading a statement like that above. The reason is that they were there once themselves - and subsequently found out the real costs involved in getting and maintaining all that stuff. It is humorous to see someone start off on the same path with the same blissful ideas. Nothing wrong with that, humans are always "re-inventing the wheel," it is human nature.
I'm under no illusions about maintenance, I wouldn't have personally chosen an electric head for example. And personally I would have gotten a larger fridge... but it's there. this boat was being refit by an 'old timer' who had already taken her around the world and to Hawaii and back a couple times. The new stuff is an upgrade to the old stuff he used. HE also 'did it right' in that if you are going to do something, do it well. The stuff he got, is very, very good.

I will have to upgrade the new stuff sometime too, but not for many, many years.

But I don't believe you have to have nothing to do it successfully. ***maybe*** you could live without FLIR. Maybe
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:27   #2735
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Originally Posted by goprisko

It is apparent that we are straying from the topic of this thread.

The topic of this thread is micro-budget cruising. Postings illustrating how to go about this are welcome.

Those who prefer to troll here for the purpose of killing the cruising ambitions of the willing are not welcome.

For the record, I cruised world wide and have yet to encounter the conditions mentioned above, including the Malacca Strait and Singapore Approaches, not to mention Hong Kong and the Florida Straits. In each and every locale, there has been sufficient wind for steerage and avoidance. My personal closest call with a supertanker was just north of the line in the Arabian Sea, and I did not lack for steerage.

Those who go on an on about engines, are not sailors, they know nothing about sailing, they have no experience sailing anything except a computer keyboard.

If you disagree with the above, I welcome your cruising resume. It had better be very good. It had better include extensive experience in dinghies.

Now, go back to pp 28-37 and learn how it is done. Recognize the following important facts:

In 1970 when I returned from the war, Eric Hiscock and Hal Roth were exploring the oceans, soon accompanied by the Pardeys. They generally cruised on $300-400 / month. Apartments cost $75/month. New cars cost $3,000. Gas cost $0.30/gal Corn cost $1.50/bu. As a beginning teacher, I earned $14,400 /yr.

Today Gas costs $3.25/gal, new cars cost $30,000, and apartments cost $750-1000 / month. I f you want to cruise as the Roths and Hiscocks did, you likely need $3000-4000 / month.

That is not micro-budget cruising. If you want to cruise on $500/month something has to give, and that something is the engine. Also, you need to keep the boat between 28-32 ft LOA, and very simple.

If you can't stomach this, no fear, simply troll elsewhere, perhaps on the "Cruising on $4000 per month" thread.

If you want to comment here, I expect to see constructive comments pertinent to the topic, which advance the knowledge of the participants, and move everyone forward.

That is , I expect to see you using your intellect to bring to the fore ideas which make micro-budget cruising more enjoyable, and practical.

INDY
Contrary to your attitude you have not cornered the market on intellect nor sailing. I have asked you many times to post your current experience in areas of Asia and SEA.

I am still awaiting your response about free health care in China.

I think your thread is commendable as a discussion of techniques and possibilities but I have questioned many times that your information is woefully out of date. I reckon you have not cruised all the places you state in a small boat on a micro budget. Maybe you were in these places in the Navy in 1969 or something but your info is way old.

Secondly the world has rotated on its axis a few times. If you are still going to teach 1950 dogma, that is fine. Don't expect your "class" to by into it without question. The socratic method is alive and well on the marble and if you refuse to consider engines, electronics and electricity that is fine. A netbook, 10w of solar power to charge it and a suite of electronic charts (many free btw) is a very cheap and easy upgrade. In addition the computer can double as a weather gatherer, communication and entertainment tool. LED lighting for $30 for a pack of four is safer than your oil lamp as the risk of fire is greatly reduced.

The issue I have is that your advice could get someone in big trouble as you did with free cardiac care in China. Singapore, Mallaca, Malaysia and Indonesia are also vastly different places from when you apparently were there in 1970.

Singapore is the busiest port in the world and big ships are routinely passaging at 20+ knots. That's a 40-50 knot closing speed as you cross the straits. I would not consider crossing the Singapore Straits without and auxilliary engine and I have crossed the Singapore Straiits more than a dozen times.

You clearly did mot watch the video of the engineless Skipper.

When the "teacher" refuses to learn, no learning takes place and it may be time for the teacher to retire.

Finally - everyone is tired of hearing about the infamous pages 28-37. This is the 1950 text book. Interesting for background but it needs an update for the21st century. To suggest that we cannot disuss emergent technologies is ridiculous.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:39   #2736
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pirate Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

The title of the Thread is 'Cruising on $500/mth..'
So being a bit of a dork thats what I assumed it meant... you've got your boat together to whatever standard/size suits one best...
Then you figure you can afford to go off cruising for 10yrs if you can keep your expense's below $500/mth... that involves food, fuel, entertainment, maintainance of self and boat to an acceptable standard for the duration....
Your as guilty as anyone else for Thread Drift when you started with your builda/buya boat for 6K...
If your Building/Outfitting a Boat... Your Not [Quote; FECKIN] Cruising....
The question is...
Can you sustain a Transient Lifestyle satisfactoraly on a boat on $500/mth...
Jeeeez....
I'm outfitting my boat... I'm not cruising... and it costs me more than $500/mth... storage for starters is $230/mth... and I have not been fulltime liveaboard more than 7 out of the last 18mths... and those were on OP's boats...
But when I am on mine and don't have the live on land expenses yes it can be done.. this is where the beer allowance is essential.. its amazing the money that can be saved sipping a beer in a locals bar and getting known... they take a shine to you and suddenly you find paint and antifoul is subsidised to fishermen...
Jotuns is good antifoul.... at 42euro/2.5 litres its fantastic...
Rope, netting, basic fittings.... help painting from an expert for a coupla beers and a sandwich because they like you and want to be involved..
Oh yeah... it can be done in a beautiful way...
Just need to do it with an open mind...
partiality to occasional fasting an asset...
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:51   #2737
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

So it sounds like if you want to cruise on $500/mo:

anchor out - need good USED ground gear and good dinghy
eat mostly pasta and beans - everything else is "seasoning" including meat
hope to catch a fish once a week, whatever it is you have to eat it
don't drink alcohol
don't sightsee if you can not do by either walking or taking the local bus
don't fly home you have seen enough of friends and family already
don't have boat insurance (no marina for you)
don't have health insurance (stay out of the US)
don't bottom paint the boat - better be good at holding your breath to clean the bottom every week (can not possibaby be able to afford divers or diving equipment)
IF you have electronics don't plan on fixing or replacing when they break
IF you have regrifation don't turn it on because you can not aford the power to run it (either with the engine or buying solar/wind)
drink ony water or something like unsweetener ice tea that is cheap to make
don't shower offen because will have to get water and either have to pay for that or put wear and tear on the dinghy to go get
speaking of dinghy - no outboard
don't go to too many places as this increases check-in and related fees
don't sail too offen, wears out the sails (only buy used sails)
have only 1 cooking pot on the boat otherwise cooking is going to get complex which equals money
dont hang out with other cruisers ......... unless they are buying
never put your boat in storage
don't have any lights on your boat, cost of the bulbs plus the power
don't have lanterns either because of the risk of fire
speaking of fire, do you really need a stove?

Sounds less fun to me than just going to work each day!
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:57   #2738
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I don't think it is possible to move much @ 500.- a month. Checking in in countries like Panama, Colombia, Bahamas etc. just cost too much. Living at anchor for $500.- a month is no problem in many places. Catch the daily fish, gather some veggies, herbs and fruits from the jungle etc. Buy some canned food to complement that.

Electricity is a must to power some lights, VHF, cell phone may be. Single solar panel and battery will do. I agree with OP that not much extra electronics is needed. Engine is required in some parts (even by law sometimes) but only needs to run very little.

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Old 08-01-2012, 09:06   #2739
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas
So it sounds like if you want to cruise on $500/mo:

anchor out - need good USED ground gear and good dinghy
eat mostly pasta and beans - everything else is "seasoning" including meat
hope to catch a fish once a week, whatever it is you have to eat it
don't drink alcohol
don't sightsee if you can not do by either walking or taking the local bus
don't fly home you have seen enough of friends and family already
don't have boat insurance (no marina for you)
don't have health insurance (stay out of the US)
don't bottom paint the boat - better be good at holding your breath to clean the bottom every week (can not possibaby be able to afford divers or diving equipment)
IF you have electronics don't plan on fixing or replacing when they break
IF you have regrifation don't turn it on because you can not aford the power to run it (either with the engine or buying solar/wind)
drink ony water or something like unsweetener ice tea that is cheap to make
don't shower offen because will have to get water and either have to pay for that or put wear and tear on the dinghy to go get
speaking of dinghy - no outboard
don't go to too many places as this increases check-in and related fees
don't sail too offen, wears out the sails (only buy used sails)
have only 1 cooking pot on the boat otherwise cooking is going to get complex which equals money
dont hang out with other cruisers ......... unless they are buying
never put your boat in storage
don't have any lights on your boat, cost of the bulbs plus the power
don't have lanterns either because of the risk of fire
speaking of fire, do you really need a stove?

Sounds less fun to me than just going to work each day!
You pass the course, while I have to stay after class and clean the chalk boards. And probably summer school...

Now sell all your sh*t and get out there and start "livin'!"
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:21   #2740
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

+1 for "boatman61" & "s/v Jedi" - I also contend we need to post ways to do things "on the cheap" or more politely - frugally. And that also means accepting some "limitations" or finding ways around them.

That $500 back in 1950 is more like $5000 today. Look at that "$1000 brand new electric head" for instance - The pure electric Jabsco (which I have) costs about $400 in West Marine. So a "$1000" version must be seriously several notches up the scale of taking a dump comfort.

But anyway, my "economical" $400 Jabsco model breaks down about every 5 years or so. The replacement parts cost $300 at Budget Marine (major Caribbean boat parts house). For the manual version of the Jabsco MSD the part is about $85.

Initially in this thread I seriously questioned anybody successfully cruising long term of $500/month. I have seen guys do it during the last decade, but they were all in quite small, quite basic, and quite simple boats. And they were quite comfortable in their "micro-sized" world. They had more time to fish, swim, hike and explore while I was buried upside down in my bilge fixing this or that do-hickey and cussing at the cost of the repair parts.

"Cruising" the actual floating moving boat, not the daysailor or weekend get-away boat is in a totally different category, IMHO, than a boat that has been "out there" continuously for 5+ years. Although, thinking about it, the principle of "if you don't have/use it, you don't have to fix it" applies universally.

And when it comes to defining what "you have to have" then you will get 10 divergent opinions from any 5 people. Maybe it would be more fruitful to discuss how you can by "without" or how to acquire stuff without buying "retail" at whatever is your local version of West Marine.

"Doing without" is a negative direction of thought - what can I "do with" this or that to get to my objective of cruising the world is a better approach - in my opinion.

And actually "Don Lucas's" list is fair example of why "cruising on $500 per month" is not for everybody and not all that easy. Although a couple, three of his listed items are not valid. But the vast majority of the list is quite pertinent. So don't just think you can be a minimalist budget long term cruiser if those items on his list are of great importance to your lifestyle. "To each their own . . ."
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:44   #2741
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
You pass the course, while I have to stay after class and clean the chalk boards. And probably summer school...

Now sell all your sh*t and get out there and start "livin'!"

Didn't you read the last line? Working seems more fun!
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:15   #2742
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

So after some wheeling and dealing the boat is bought, winter storage in a diy yard, mooring for next season, and winter wet slip for next year. Total $2800. Some refit needs to be completed (bottom scrape/paint, maybe cutlass, maybe prop, zincs, topside paint), Nice winter project. We arent going cruising yet, just gunkholing around the Chessy but she'll (Westerly Centaur) fits the bill if we decide. So far as refit the thing sailed great on the ten hour trip up the bay, so we'll sail it this summer, see what we like, what we dont and go from there.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:19   #2743
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So after some wheeling and dealing the boat is bought, winter storage in a diy yard, mooring for next season, and winter wet slip for next year. Total $2800. Some refit needs to be completed (bottom scrape/paint, maybe cutlass, maybe prop, zincs, topside paint), Nice winter project. We arent going cruising yet, just gunkholing around the Chessy but she'll (Westerly Centaur) fits the bill if we decide. So far as refit the thing sailed great on the ten hour trip up the bay, so we'll sail it this summer, see what we like, what we dont and go from there.
Nice, that must be a Westerly with kim keels?

cheers,
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:24   #2744
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

And here I thought we already established that "cruising" on $500 a month was certainly doable (as mentioned, again, above), so we then moved on towards how to make it happen. Clearly I was wrong, but I can post whatever I feel is appropriate as well as anyone else

Doing without everything is certainly the quickest way to make it happen, the second quickest way is to buy a boat that already has most things, and keep the purchase price as low as possible so you can afford to outfit the way you want, and still have money left over to go cruising... Todays market makes that a very realistic possibility, and the cost of gear, gizmos, and everything else is cheaper today than it ever has been before. Account for getting things dirt cheap and you can easily surpass the 'do without' crowd in their attempts to procure antique equipment for their false sense of security.

As for this whole elctronics battle... I have a 2 battery house bank and a single solar panel, that means I can't run most of the 'fancy gizmos', but it doesn't mean I have to do without (and it also doesn't mean I can't sail the boat without them if "the lights go out")... For the price I paid for those two batterys and all the LED lights on the boat (11 of them, plus a spare for each averaged around $5 a bulb) it would cost about the same as 2 brass lanterns and a year's supply of fuel. For the price I paid for the solar panel and charge controller, you might be able to get a decent alternator or generator and the fuel to charge that minimalist single battery every other day after running your navlights and charging your handheld VHF, SSB receiver, etc... A solar power is essential for self-sufficiency, so why not take advantage of it? 2 batteries obviously costs more than one, but the beneficial increase is substantial, and $300 over the course of 3 years (minimum 3 year replacement?) is less than $10 a month...maintain them well and that cost is cut in half with a 5 year replacement average.

When you make purchases wisely, and pay less than 50% retail (sometimes MUCH less), you can outfit your boat however you wish, whether it's oil lamps or LED's is completely up to the individual. But, most marine electronics don't just die as soon as you leave the dock. The depth sounder on my boat is 37 years old and still works fine. My vhf is probably 20 years old, works fine although it's a bit outdated (no dsc and doesn't get all the channels) I've seen many other boats with extremely old electronics still ticking away just fine...old Loran plotters that are over 15 years old, radars that are 10+ years old, 15 year old battery chargers, etc..I shouldn't need to replace anything for several years, and most things for 10+ years, and none of it is brand new!

So yeah, you might have to replace things every once in a while, but it's not going to be every year, and it might not even be every 5 years. Replacing 2 wetcell batteries every 3-5 years is still cheaper than buying a gallon of kerosene every other month for the same amount of time.

There are ways to keep keep things 'cheap' and still maintain a high level of reliability and simplicity.

Now if we could get past the differing ideologies, we could actually talk about how to procure cheap gear, and maybe even revisit how to lower actual cruising costs instead of going on about replacing gear that'll probably outlast most of the people on this forum or attempting to define what actual 'cruising' is...

My expenses are less than $800 a month, in a marina, with a car, cell phone, and insurance! Now if someone can explain how cruising is more expensive than what I'm doing right now, I'd like to hear about it. It definitely does not cost more than $200 to enter most countries, water and fuel costs more, but those can be minimized and supplimented. Food will change (a little) but probably will be either cheaper or about the same, and can still be supplimented much easier in a tropical anchorage than it can around here...

Maintenance seems to be the big issue, but it's pretty difficult to tell how realistic other people's maintenance costs would translate to my own. I already have a bucket full of good hardware, extra sails that I won't need until the current ones blow out, and minimal 'parishable' goods on the boat itself. Certainly don't need that coat of varnish every 6 months, etc...

This discussion hasn't moved forward in over a year because people can't accept that there's always more than one way to skin a cat. Either that or we just have a pension for killing dead snakes
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:28   #2745
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
So it sounds like if you want to cruise on $500/mo:

......

Sounds less fun to me than just going to work each day!
That sound horrific does anyone live like that?

Though thinking back... doesn't everyone anchor all the time anyway? And why get shunted round an island's tourist traps in an air conditioned minibus when you can get lost on the local buses and have a bit of an adventure meeting some real people. Give the bottom a scrub now and again as you have your morning swim round the boat, sail quicker & longer between haulouts. Eat well shopping down the local market talking to real people. A decent squall will half fill the tanks with fresh rainwater.

Etc etc, Point is, you can live very happily on not much wiithout having terrible hardship.

Beats working.

I'm working. To fill up the kitty and pay for a bit of a refit then off again.
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