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Old 02-06-2010, 21:36   #331
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I just had dinner onboard with some friends I first met in Brazil. Small cat with 2 kids, 13 & 17. They left SA with ukĢ70 (just over $100) and a boat in good condition. Picked up work along the way and told tales of success selling doughnuts around the anchorage for extra cash. Very happy family.
My thoughts are this, if someone is planning to go cruising on a budget and tries to predict the future by planning every cent on a spreadsheet itīs likely to fail. They havenīt the right mindset to cruise like that. If someone gets a solid boat, a few dollars and an open mind then the chances of success are much higher. If the question was Can someone cruise with very little money then I think the answer is, yes, if you were born that way, lots of people do. If you were not made that way then no. Donīt look for the answer on a spreadsheet. Only one way to find out.
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Old 02-06-2010, 21:43   #332
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Angry Let's mention anchoring off

There's one major cost item that hasn't yet been mentioned: anchoring off vs. staying in marinas. Although marina fees are NOT listed among your expenses, which implicitly indicates that they are not a factor, I think this merits a little discussion.

I don't have any exact figures but, during our fourteen years and 60,000 n.m. of cruising from San Francisco to Ecuador, from Panama to Venezuela and Florida, I would estimate (conservatively) that well over 80% of the "cruisers" we encountered spend 95% of their time holed up in expensive marinas.

An investment in good ground tackle and some time spent learning the requisite skills and knowledge will pay for itself over time. Of course, if used regularly, anchor gear will need to be maintained and refurbished (= work & $$). For example, during the first ten years of our cruising adventures, we spent only three days in marinas, while getting by on about $600/month!

However, there's one serious caveat: During our cruising years, from 1995 to 2009, we saw anchoring off become more and more difficult. Take what's happened in Mexico, for example, which is also happening in most other countries:

In Cabo San Lucas, there is only a narrow shelf parallel to the beach which is shallow enough to be practical for anchoring. Over the years, the "local commercial interests" have gradually increased the number of private moorings, forcing anchor-outs to move further and further to the east. The last time we were there, it was at least a half-mile dinghy ride to the harbor entrance. The fees for tying up at the dinghy dock have also increased.

Puerto Escondido (just north of La Paz) used to be a tranquil, protected bay with plenty of room to anchor and a local, fun-loving collection of ex-pats. The bay has since been commandeered by a commercial marina; they installed mooring balls over most of the anchorage and now charge a fee even to anchor there.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle in Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarta area) was a favorite hangout for anchoring cruisers for many years. A couple of years ago, a breakwater and marina was built there which completely blocks off the only safe stretch of beach for dinghy landing. Initially, the marina operators designated a small dock area for dinghy tie-ups and charged $10 for each time you left your dinghy there. Mind you, NOT $10/day, but $10 for each and every trip into the shore! Fortunately, those fees have since been eliminated, but it is still a longer dinghy ride in from what's left of the anchorage, and you need to negociate locked gates surrounding the marina entrances.

More and more local authorities are beginning to consider cruisers an easy source of revenue. In several places we've been in Mexico and Panama, even if you are anchored near some of the more remote islands, you can expect local authorities to arrive soon in a panga and demand a fee. The ex-president of Mexico, Vincente Fox, even began a project to establish marinas roughly every fifty miles along the entire Mexican coast in order to tap into this source of revenue.

In short, anchoring off is a money-saver and, in our opinion, a lot more fun, but it's becoming more and more of a challenge as the years fly by.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:30   #333
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Provisions....

Since provisions are the largest category of expense, I thought I'd share this weeks
menu and one of its recipes with you....
Weekly Menu

Day of the Week __Breakfast______ Lunch _______Dinner

Monday _________oatmeal _____Lentil Soup ____Salad & Crusty Bread
_____________w/ butter & milk __w/beer& rolls _______w/ wine

Tuesday _________oatmeal ___potato leek soup __Salad & Crusty Bread
___________w/ butter & milk ____w/beer ___________w/ wine

Wednesday ______oatmeal __squash apple bisque ______lentil chili
___________w/ butter & milk __w/beer ____________w/ rolls & wine

Thursday ______oatmeal _____eggplant marinara __Salad & Crusty Bread
__________w/ butter & milk ____w/tortellini & wine ____w/ SG&T

Friday ________oatmeal _______green risoto ______seafood rice salad
__________w/ butter & milk __w/salad & wine ________w/ SG&T

Saturday ___potato pancakes ___arroz con pollo __Salad & Crusty Bread
___________w/ sour cream ___w/salad & wine ________w/ beer

Sunday _____cinnamon rolls _____Uzbek pilaf _________tabolleh
______________w/ icing ____w/ fruit salad & wine _____w/ beer

SG&T = sundowner gin & lime juice & chilled water

Lentil Soup Recipe

1 med onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
1 can chopped / stewed tomatoes
1 bottle / can cooked beef, or 300 gm beef shoulder cut into 1 cm dice.
1 T lemon juice
1t black pepper( to taste )
1t salt
1t cumin
1T sugar
1t coriander
1T dried mint
1 1/2 C or 375 ml split red lentils
8 C or 2 L water
4 beef boullion cubes
2T canola oil
1/2 C or 150 ml brown/white rice

brown beef in oil if fresh
saute onion til translucent
into large soup pot add water, boullion, lentils, spices, lemon juice, beef,
tomatoes, celery, sugar, and onion.
Simmer on low flame for 1 1/2 hours or 10 mins in pressure cooker.
add rice
simmer 15 mins more for white rice, 30 mins more for brown rice.
serve in heated bowls, garnish with celery or cilantro and a dollop of sour cream


INDY
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:51   #334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ishipaco View Post
There's one major cost item that hasn't yet been mentioned: anchoring off vs. staying in marinas. Although marina fees are NOT listed among your expenses, which implicitly indicates that they are not a factor, I think this merits a little discussion.

I don't have any exact figures but, during our fourteen years and 60,000 n.m. of cruising from San Francisco to Ecuador, from Panama to Venezuela and Florida, I would estimate (conservatively) that well over 80% of the "cruisers" we encountered spend 95% of their time holed up in expensive marinas.

An investment in good ground tackle and some time spent learning the requisite skills and knowledge will pay for itself over time. Of course, if used regularly, anchor gear will need to be maintained and refurbished (= work & $$). For example, during the first ten years of our cruising adventures, we spent only three days in marinas, while getting by on about $600/month!

However, there's one serious caveat: During our cruising years, from 1995 to 2009, we saw anchoring off become more and more difficult. Take what's happened in Mexico, for example, which is also happening in most other countries:

In Cabo San Lucas, there is only a narrow shelf parallel to the beach which is shallow enough to be practical for anchoring. Over the years, the "local commercial interests" have gradually increased the number of private moorings, forcing anchor-outs to move further and further to the east. The last time we were there, it was at least a half-mile dinghy ride to the harbor entrance. The fees for tying up at the dinghy dock have also increased.

Puerto Escondido (just north of La Paz) used to be a tranquil, protected bay with plenty of room to anchor and a local, fun-loving collection of ex-pats. The bay has since been commandeered by a commercial marina; they installed mooring balls over most of the anchorage and now charge a fee even to anchor there.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle in Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarta area) was a favorite hangout for anchoring cruisers for many years. A couple of years ago, a breakwater and marina was built there which completely blocks off the only safe stretch of beach for dinghy landing. Initially, the marina operators designated a small dock area for dinghy tie-ups and charged $10 for each time you left your dinghy there. Mind you, NOT $10/day, but $10 for each and every trip into the shore! Fortunately, those fees have since been eliminated, but it is still a longer dinghy ride in from what's left of the anchorage, and you need to negociate locked gates surrounding the marina entrances.

More and more local authorities are beginning to consider cruisers an easy source of revenue. In several places we've been in Mexico and Panama, even if you are anchored near some of the more remote islands, you can expect local authorities to arrive soon in a panga and demand a fee. The ex-president of Mexico, Vincente Fox, even began a project to establish marinas roughly every fifty miles along the entire Mexican coast in order to tap into this source of revenue.

In short, anchoring off is a money-saver and, in our opinion, a lot more fun, but it's becoming more and more of a challenge as the years fly by.
An excellent discussion of the current situation on the pacific coast of Mexico..
The Caribbean coast is much less developed, however development has encroached on much of the beach just south of Cancun.
We have not used a marina since NZ, where we spent a month in the one at Opua. and that was 8 years ago.

Many of these marina developments will go belly up during the current deflationary depression. Some of the practices alluded to.. especially in Mexico and Panama are illegal, BECAUSE all beaches up to the High Water Mark are Public. Of course, folks go cruising to get away from overbearing officialdom. So what to do?

Regarding Cabo San Lucas.. it is a convenient place just inside the Sea of Cortez.. but most certainly not the only one.. would seem the solution is to move north to another bay, and enjoy the solitude.

Regarding the rest of the coast... It is my understanding that virtually all these anchorages are open roadsteds and rolly, would seem best to provision up and to either beeline for El Salvador, or find a place in between.

We have a similar situation here in the Virgin Islands. The CMES at UVI promotes emplacement of moorings for the avowed purpose of growing turtle grass. As a degreed oceanographer, I can tell you that is rubbish. Turtle grass does not grow in zones where high turbidity and wave scouring occurs. The Park Service mandate to anchor outside their mooring field mandates the anchoring yacht anchor on tutrle grass, admittedly turtle grass in deep water, but tutle grass nonetheless. So we use bays outside park jurisdiction, which are just as nice, but without the regulatory hassle. Same for the BVI.
This is why you need good pilots and proper charts.. All the anchorages of any merit are discussed in the BA pilots, including most not used by yachts. Most of them are shown on the BA charts, but not on the US charts. The US charts were devised for the Navy, which is not interested in waters less than 6m deep. Hence the lack of inshore detail on most of the US charts.

INDY
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:01   #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
I just had dinner onboard with some friends I first met in Brazil. Small cat with 2 kids, 13 & 17. They left SA with ukĢ70 (just over $100) and a boat in good condition. Picked up work along the way and told tales of success selling doughnuts around the anchorage for extra cash. Very happy family.
My thoughts are this, if someone is planning to go cruising on a budget and tries to predict the future by planning every cent on a spreadsheet itīs likely to fail. They havenīt the right mindset to cruise like that. If someone gets a solid boat, a few dollars and an open mind then the chances of success are much higher. If the question was Can someone cruise with very little money then I think the answer is, yes, if you were born that way, lots of people do. If you were not made that way then no. Donīt look for the answer on a spreadsheet. Only one way to find out.
The major premise of this thread is the boat must be put on a diet. This means it must be less than 34 ft LOA, and its gear must be simple and robust. We have shown through analysis that a boat so equipped can have the following items and can be run on about $ 1000 / year:
LAVAC head
2 sinks with hand pumps
120 watts of solar panels
2 Gp 31 deep cycle batteries
Electrical system
LED Navigation and Interior lamps
Hard Dinghy with oars and sailing rig
Long oar to propel big boat through calms and into harbour
2 Burner LPG galley stove w oven
Bag shower for use on deck
Hank on sails including 2 mains, 2 yankees, 3 staysails, cruising chute
ENGEL fridge/freezer

Should the cruiser want an engine, we have shown that this item will cost him $2.50 for each hour it is run, assuming he powers at speeds no faster than the Sq Root of his LWL in knots, ie for a boat with an LWL of 25 ft, this means 5 knots.

No one should simply go off hoping for the best, when a little figuring will show where funds must be spent and how much must be spent to survive. Knowing this will permit you to evaluate options for providing necessary income to sustain your voyage.

Most essential of all... having the discipline to stick to the budget..

INDY
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:05   #336
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Tomato Salad Recipe

Tomatos (Sliced)
Olive Oil (Extra Virgin )
Black pepper (Ground - as in dispensed from a pepper pot)


Use a bowl. and be generous with the Olive Oil Can also mop up with bread (recipe to follow ).

BTW the original recipe had some herbs in it. I can't remember what But I forgot to put them in But tastes good to me without
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:05   #337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ishipaco View Post
During our cruising years, from 1995 to 2009, we saw anchoring off become more and more difficult. ...More and more local authorities are beginning to consider cruisers an easy source of revenue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ishipaco View Post
... you can expect local authorities to arrive soon in a panga and demand a fee. ....

but it's becoming more and more of a challenge as the years fly by.


Developing countries are certainly under pressure to invent more marinas. One problem is the developed countries are generally in the cooler areas and have hiugher standards on development and screwing the environment.

Over the next decade I would be thinking your 15 years decrease in anchorages will continue. The number of cruisers will rise exponentially as more affluent folks cut out of the rat race in their 40's instead of 60's.

But lets not look at the $500, but a more realistic budget of $1,500 per month. Well, if the budget is being done now to go now for 5 years then in year 5 you would need $1733 per month.
In 10 years you would need $2048 per month

(Even the $500 per month mob needs $700 per month in 10 years. So again the $500 is a pipe dream)

These figures using an Australian calculator for the last 5 years and 10 years. Find an inflation calculator on the net for your own country/currency.

Those figures are just normal inflation. Now add to that the increases ishipaco is talking about and the increases over a few years could be substantially larger.


Go now... but with increasing revenue each year. Now thats difficult!


Mark
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:09   #338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
I have been around this planet more times than I care to remember. I have been dirt poor and had more money than I can spend. Now I am very comfortably moored in Trinidad enjoying the Cafe de Mar's pastries and cafe de jour while reading the London Times. I prefer the best that my budget can afford.
- - That last statement is also extremely true for the under $500 per month guy. The best his budget can afford is more attuned to Mother Nature and mature social interactions than conspicious consumption. So the quality of life is the same even if the nature of the life is totally different. What do they say - "Different strokes for different folks."
- - I am happy in my lifestyle and I am friends with cruising folk who are happy in theirs that costs 1/6 of mine. Of course they are hemmed in by financial limits that I do not have. They have to forgo the fancy and luxuries that I take for granted - but do they really need them? or want them?
- - The question of this thread comes from - can you expect a middle class lifestyle on board a cruising boat on a $500/mo budget? The unequivical answer is No. But do you need that lifestyle? The answer has to made by each prospective cruiser.
- - - I cannot figure how this discussion drifted to the cruising ranges of South African boats, but here in Trinidad there are significant amounts of them. Some even settle and start running businesses in the boaters areas. They are very interesting to talk to and hear their experiences "escaping" and such things. Of course all of that is free for the price of some drinks.
The premise of this thread is Cruising on $ 500 per month....

There is no premise of any particular life style, middle class, working class, or aristocratic class.

The only criterion for this thread is that contributions concretely assist wannabees select, refurbish, and outfit their boats in a manner consistent with cruising on $ 500 per month, and assist everyone by providing information that makes cruising on $500 per month more interesting, rewarding, and fun!

I'd like to express my thanks to those who contribute to this thread !

INDY
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:10   #339
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Wait one moment... you will also need to calclate using the regional inflation rate of where you intend to cruise, not just the rate of the country where your investments are based.

Australian Inflation rate current: 2.9%
Mexico Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.6% (2009)
6.5% (2008)
USA is about 2.5% at the moment
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:26   #340
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
This is something we all need to remember. Sailors and their needs are as varied as their boats.

My concern about advice being given in this thread is that much of it appears dated (1980's experience) or theoretical (here is a list of how you might go about it) - sure would like more input from someone actually doing it today but I suspect they can't afford a computer or an internet connection.

I applaud goprisko for encouraging critical thinking and out of the box ideas. I don't agree with a lot of it but that's my choice.



This is, for me, the crux of this conversation. For anyone planning to take up the $500 a month cruising lifestyle there is a cost of buy in (the boat and getting it ready to some standard) - which is a nest egg of some sort.

However the big deal is deciding what life you want. If you currently make $80k a year and decide to chuck in the rat race and live on $500 a month I have only one suggestion.

Chuck your job, chuck your lifestyle and live on land for $500 a month for a year to see how you personally adjust to it. Better yet keep the 80K job and bank the $42k (after tax) you should have.

When I was a young graduate A&P (airplane) mechanic one of my first jobs was at a glider port. Glider ports are in the desert - this one was in Hemet, Ca. My mom financed a Datsun pick up (yes it was Datsun then) with a cab over camper and I lived in that camper for over a year. I looked at some of my pay stubs from then and I made like $125 a week. There were a couple of instructors in similar circumstances. We had a water tower and hauled water. We showered under the tower. We cooked frank and beans & kraft mac&cheese. We BBQ'd in the fire pit. Friday's were great! We'd go to town and shower at the RV park and head out to Art's Restaurant for a great dinner of ribs and fixin's. I don't remember having much left over at the end of a month.

I had a blast! Would I do it again? Hell no...

According to one inflation calculator $125 in 1979 is $365 today.
Thank you very much for sharing.... some valuable insights...

Early on I recommended that any wannabe buy a Rhodes 19 as his first boat, and go cruising in it... yes, this is boat camping... but my suggestion agrees completely with yours, except I'm suggesting he do his experimenting on the water.

Also, early on, I suggested that any wannabe join his local boat/yacht club. go sailing with their club, and participate in club activities. again my suggestion agrees with yours, except I'm suggesting he do his experimenting on some one else's boat, by crewing for races, and regattas.

AND

I don't think the guy making $ 80K will be interested in cruising on $ 500 per month, rather the guy making $ 30k or the down and out college grad who cannot get his first job, or a recently discharged vet, who needs time to chill out, or a recently redundant 55 something who just lost his big pension because his city, county, or firm went bankrupt, or a recently foreclosed young family, who don't want to live under a bridge, and managed to scrape together enough for a modest boat.

These are the audience of this thread..

INDY

PS: I'm on social security, I'm 63, I arrived in Namibia with $ 10 in my pockets, and a contract. I'm the guy the WBYC sued because they neglected Pegasus, yes sued for damage to their boats.. and I'm the guy who fought them into the ground, personally in the High Court of Nambiia, without an Advocate, using the law, and proved that their boats dragged into Pegasus and damaged her, not the other way around. And I did all that on a $ 50 per month budget for legal expenses, including travel from Outapi to Windhoek, 1000 km one way. So, I have been there, done that, and am still doing it.

I began cruising in canoes, yes canoe camping. I cruised MacGregor Bay for 2 weeks in my current dinghy. I cruised the Great Lakes for 5 years in a Tartan 27, including 3 trips to the North Channel, which meant a 330 mile slog from Indiana Harbour to the Straits of Macinac, up and down. Everything I advocate here is something I did, or do.

I am not theoriziing.. I am doing....
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:39   #341
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Anchoring

Many of the gems in this thread get lost to recent arrivals by the flaming responses.
A key item of the cruising boat's equipment is it's anchoring gear.
One respondent commented that he was uncomfortable with leaving his boat at anchor
while he dinghied into the marina, or port for shopping etc. This man is not confident of his anchoring gear.

It is essential that the boat be euipped with robust, effective, easily used anchoring gear. I recommended that a boat between 28-34 ft LOA use a 20 Kg Bruce as it's bower, together with 5/16" hightest chain, because this combination will keep the boat anchored in winds up to 60 knots.

In the Check list I recommeded as follows:

ANCHOR:
Chain regalvanized, and end for ended as necessary, or replaced as necessary.
Pawl installed or serviced.
Anchor chock modified so it is closed, or can be closed.
Anchor roller removed, inspected, refastened and rebedded as necessary.
Spare anchors properly chocked on deck and below

Regarding Anchors I recommended as follows:
















The boat should be able to anchor in 20 m of water or less, hence 200 ft of chain.
The boat should be anchored using chain, all chain, and nothing but chain
The boat should be equipped with a pawl to control the chain
The storm anchor should be a Paul Luke 3 piece 70# anchor
The kedges should be 2 standard danforth anchors of 25#
The bowers should be 2 44# bruce anchors, ( one is a spare)
Two nylon rodes at least 200 ft long must be fitted with end splice and eye splice with thimble to fit the kedges

This gear is meant for daily use.

INDY
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:51   #342
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Converting Forclosure into Cruising on $500 / month

From Mish Shedlock

"
One and a Half Years of Not Paying Rent

The average length of time for the foreclosure process in Florida and New York is over 18 months. For Mr. Tsiogas who stopped paying $2,500 a month, that comes to $45,000 in found money.

That's quite a chunk of change to spend at Walmart or better yet to save up for a few year's rent when you finally do lose your property
"

That is enough to pay for a simple boat of the size recommended, to outfit said boat, and to cruise for 3 years. If you convert the non paid mortgage into those items...

There will be thousands if not millions in these straits..

INDY
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Old 03-06-2010, 16:39   #343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goprisko View Post
From Mish Shedlock

"
One and a Half Years of Not Paying Rent

The average length of time for the foreclosure process in Florida and New York is over 18 months. For Mr. Tsiogas who stopped paying $2,500 a month, that comes to $45,000 in found money.

That's quite a chunk of change to spend at Walmart or better yet to save up for a few year's rent when you finally do lose your property
"

That is enough to pay for a simple boat of the size recommended, to outfit said boat, and to cruise for 3 years. If you convert the non paid mortgage into those items...

There will be thousands if not millions in these straits..

INDY
Indy,

So, it seems that you are suggesting that one should fund your cruising dream by stealing. 'Cause that's what ripping off the bank really is... I'm not very happy with what the banking system has wrought upon us, but what you suggest really sticks in my throat.

Might as well suggest sticking up 7-11's...

Jim
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Old 03-06-2010, 16:42   #344
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Indy,

So, it seems that you are suggesting that one should fund your cruising dream by stealing. 'Cause that's what ripping off the bank really is... I'm not very happy with what the banking system has wrought upon us, but what you suggest really sticks in my throat.

Might as well suggest sticking up 7-11's...

Jim
I'm just gonna steal a 50' Bene. If it wears out in 5 years I'll just nick another one
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Old 03-06-2010, 17:14   #345
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Post #342 is going a little out there and beyond both this thread and the whole cruising integrity/morality issue. I brought this up many, many posts ago where currently there is a growing problem with the "under $500/mo" cruising boats stealing water, supplies and motors/dinghies/bicycles, etc. from other cruisers and landside cruising support establishments.
- - I was under the impression that we were assuming we were talking about how to actually cruise morally and with integrity for under $500/mo. To suggest stealing to make $500/mo possible blows the whole purpose of this thread out the window.
- - First and foremost is the "needs of the cruiser" as perceived by the said cruiser so that a budget of under $500/mo is practical and possible. Obviously stealing/embellizing money to add to your cruising kitty is not how to actually cruise on under $500/mo. That is cruising on $1K/mo with half the money coming from illegal sources.
- - I alluded to this in a recent post where I talked about the mentality of the $500/mo cruiser being able to be happy bypassing the "higher" cost locations and avoiding the temptations of the boat "candy" items like electricity, inboard motors, and refrigeration. Let's talk about how to realistically and honestly cruise on $500/mo.
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