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Old 16-08-2010, 06:06   #706
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Tomorrow I will start my Sail from the Greek Islands to Lake Worth, Florida, I will arrive sometime in February or March, and I will keep Records , to see what this will cost, I am minimalist and am very careful about what I spend $ on- I will be singlehandleing the whole way likely- I almost never stay in marinas and I eat out once a week- , today I spent about $110usd on food-so I will see what it really costs to "cruise" -
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Old 16-08-2010, 06:25   #707
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Originally Posted by Dan Mosby View Post
. . . I am sad to see, however, NOT surprised mind you, that it seems to be the goal of most countries / jurisdictions to suck every possible dime out of the cruising community as is possible.
In the Caribbean at least that does not apply to the French Islands where both check-in/out and anchoring is free. However, food and supplies are not cheap. But wine is cheap and good and the baguettes . . . . . .
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Old 16-08-2010, 06:36   #708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Mosby View Post
Interesting and informative post...

Thanks to all who have contributed as it has certainly given me a greater insight on many issues:

Maintenance
Equipment selection
Route / country selection

I am sad to see, however, NOT surprised mind you, that it seems to be the goal of most countries / jurisdictions to suck every possible dime out of the cruising community as is possible.
Here is a dodge that may avoid some trumped-up "local taxes" in banana republics. The dodge has been done by a yachtsman who is a friend (I found him the boat with the aid of Google and after several shakedowns the boat is eventually coming good) Originally the boat had its name in LARGE LETTERS on both sides of the bow. These have been removed and replaced with the eye of Lorus. The boats name is now on the stern in letters of the minimum legal size (also the SSR number) Topsides are painted blue which makes the boat somewhat harder to see from the air. All this is perfectly legal. In some places the locals will claim that one has to pay "light dues" for a fallen down lighthouse or that one needs a "cruising permit". In parts of Cornwall one can be charged 5 just for dropping the anchor (the sea bed allegedly belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall and there are Water Bailiffs who try to extort money. With GPS and good charts one can anchor outside their jurisdiction for free) Allegedly in parts of Italy one can get suckered into paying for a "Lollo" - or is it a Bollo - basically they want your outboard motor to have a tax disc even when it is in the locker not being used! I have seen Dutch boats in marinas with no visible name at all - talk about keeping a low profile! Can't really blame people for not wanting to be ripped-off.
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Old 16-08-2010, 14:59   #709
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Working Your Way and Expenses....

Orissail makes many good points... I well remember having a drifter sewn in the Marquesas by a Frenchman who ran a loft aboard his boat.

Then there were the fellow yachtsmen who worked on boats in the Bay Of Islands....

I worked in China, Africa, New Zealand....

Starting a foreign business is not daunting... in fact, it can be simpler than in the USA... Key is a needed skill... then you need to obtain business registration, generally by registering with the tax men.

Seems that the easiest skills to take overseas are blue collar ones...

Regarding marinas and dockage.... I know that dodge.. have made it a point on occasion to be underway by 7am...

Though as I age, I don't bother with marinas much...

Yes, the budget is an annual budget, and there will be months where you spend more and those where you go off somewhere and hibernate.. a long sea voyage is a case in point...

We saw more turtles emerging today... a french Motor yacht which cruised north of us along the beach... squalls with 35 knots made the wind turbine sing...

Didn't stop in Nevis, or St. Kitts.. the anchorages are shelves next to the beach, the cruising restrictive, and a light SSE wind beckoned us east ward...

Fair WInds...

INDY
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Old 23-10-2010, 09:30   #710
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Cruising Exoenses

We have been down island several months now....

St. Martin's largest supermarket has excellent prices on tea, eggs, and sundries. Tea 1/3 the St. Thomas price, eggs diitto.

A small market in Antigua has chickens ( whole ) for 7 ECD each.

Leader Price in Marinique has German beer for 10 euros / keg
Baguettes for Euro 0.49 each
Wine for Euro 2.68 / bottle
Turbot fillets for Euro 2.67 / kilo
Octopus for Euro 2.75 / kilo
Shrimp for Euro 5 / kilo
Butter for Euro 1.45 / 250 gms
Canned chopped tomatoes for Euro 0.49 each
Canned mushrooms for Euro 1.05 per 8 oz can
Orange juice for Euro 0.89 / liter
2% milk for Euro 0.50 / liter
Whole chickens for Euro 3 / each ( 1200 gm )
or
for Euro 2.20 / kg ( 2 kg )


Casino has ....
Swiss cheese for Euro 5.50 / kg
Ham for Euro 7.50 / kg ( hard smoked and boneless)
Lamb for Euro 14 / 5 lb leg

Carrefour has......
Ham for Euro 18 / 7 lb leg

Grapes for a fifth the price in St. Thomas

Eggs for Euro 5.00/ flat of 30

Excellent cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, onions potatoes etc of much higher quality than in St. Thomas, and best of all, un refrigerated, so they keep well.

Prices in Marin are the same as in Fort de France, and either place is yacht friendly.

Fair Winds,

INDY
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Old 23-10-2010, 11:38   #711
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You're in for an adventure Ram!

The Med crossing is a fun time and once you leave Gib well astern, the time at sea gets better. Have a safe voyage.
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Old 23-10-2010, 16:48   #712
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Economy shopping is a matter of learning where to go in each place. Normally, you will find two levels of grocery stores - the fancy, tourist, "upscale" North American/European food places - and - the local markets where the ordinary local inhabitants shop. The selection of foods is more restricted in the local's food stores but the prices are much lower.
- - In some islands like Dominica there isn't any other choice than the local's markets. In places like St. Martin; French Islands, St Lucia, Grenada, and Trinidad you will find the two different places.
- - We generally get our "basics" from the local's stores and only buy our "special" North American/European foods from the upscale food markets. Prices differences can be up to double between the local's and upscale markets especially where beer and soda is concerned. Usually you can find a local beer/soda distributor who will sell case lots to cruisers for the same price they sell to restaurants and hotels.
- - We found a wine distributor in little industrial area east of Marigot, St Martin where great French wines were 1Euro to 2Euro a bottle but you had to buy a case (mixed was okay). Same in Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe over in the "industrial" side of the city.
- - Asking other cruisers who have been in an island more than a few times where to go for the best prices can save significant money.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:32   #713
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Trinidad.....

Hi,

Just a few comments regarding our experience in Trinidad to date.

KJ welding supplies offers welding supplies and gases, and delivers.

Chag Fab seems to do lots of small jobs for cruisers, at a reasonable price. They are doing our solar panel frames.

Diesel is available from the Fishing Coop just west of the large floating drydock at TT 6.80 / imperial gallon. Diesel at the petrol station is TT1.50 / Liter.

Groceries are not a bargain with the exception of veggies. I would not plan on stocking up here.

It rains most days, for most of the day, torrentially... Very difficult to get
painting and other outside projects done.

Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Assn (TTSA) is an excellent choice for an anchorage. The club does offer temp memberships for USD $100/ month, and this includes day use of the docks, water, tv, WiFi, a safe place to leave the dink, proximity to bus service.

Solar panels do make a difference. We just got our two 60 watt panels mounted on our hatches, and operating. They not only kept up with the power demands of our 60 qt Engle Fridge, but charged the batteries too.

From this, I can recommend that a micro budget cruiser, mount Maurice Griffith's Double Coaming Hatches, probably at least two, given most configurations, and instead of covering them with plexiglas or lexan, cover them with a solar panel. Based upon our experience, two 8-D deep cycle batteries, will absorb the power, and the rig should run an Engle box, LED nav lights, and LED interior lights, while leaving the deck uncluttered, and obviating the need for an expensive arch.

INDY
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Old 08-01-2011, 16:01   #714
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I am looking at $1K per month when I go this summer. That includes all, local markets for fresh, trying to catch all my fish, line and diving. Columbia 45.
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Old 08-01-2011, 17:05   #715
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I am looking at $1K per month when I go this summer. That includes all, local markets for fresh, trying to catch all my fish, line and diving. Columbia 45.
I think it's still doable, but it's getting harder. My lady and I cruised for over 14 years on a budget of under $1000/mo. Here are some of the things that allowed us to do that:

1. Our boat was paid for. No mortgage payments

2.) We carried "liability only" insurance, no hull insurance.

3.) We didn't frequent marinas. In fact during the first ten years, we only spent three days in marinas. We anchored and used our dinghy. Granted, this has become increasingly harder to do.

4.) We rarely went to restaurants. Instead, we shopped at local fresh food markets and neighborhood "taco stands," which are ubiquitous. When we did go to restaurants, it was usually a local, small, family owned establishment. We looked for places popular with locals.

5.) Our entertainment was reading and hanging out with locals. As a musician, I often got free meals and drinks in exchange for playing a set or two.

6.) We sailed everywhere instead of motoring, unless we were unable to do at least 1 knot. We didn't set rigid schedules for passages. This was true during ten round trips from Santa Barbara, CA, to mainland Mexico over the years, including the return passages known as the "Baja Bash."

Our cruising years were from 1995 to 2009. During that time we recognized that many of these methods were getting progressively more difficult to follow. But, I think it still can be done. Most of the time our expenditures were about $7-800/month. Good luck.
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Old 08-01-2011, 17:37   #716
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Basically that is what I got. I am still up in the air regarding only liability insurance though. I figure to get my OUPV and that will cut my rates down the Ins Co told me. I am retired Mil so Medical is a nice situation. I like seclusion and quiet. The 'Cheap Mex' seems to have disapearred. Some places are still not too bad but it seems that the ports are getting very hungry. Least that is what I get from people who come back and those who go every year. But, 'It IS, What it IS'.
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Old 08-01-2011, 17:51   #717
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$1K a month is extremely extravagent . It has never cost me more than a fraction that amount to cruise.
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Old 08-01-2011, 18:09   #718
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I'm looking at spending all of it.
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Old 08-01-2011, 18:38   #719
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<snip>


The food budget assumes meat is a luxury<snip>
We've taken to using meat as a condiment. Cheaper. Less to clean up. Little to no long term storage problems. No short term problems. Did I mention cheaper?

Fry up some hard sausage; flick in some beans and make a nice spag bol-but-beans...

If you just gotta have your meat as a main...After awhile it's kind of boring. You just burn through the money quicker.
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Old 08-01-2011, 20:48   #720
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Anecdotes

LOOKOUTNW:

The cruising community is rich in anecdotal stories about everything. We could really use a "Snopes" website for cruisers! Here are some thoughts on some of the comments recently posted:

First, Brent Swain asserts:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
$1K a month is extremely extravagent . It has never cost me more than a fraction that amount to cruise.
"Extravagant" for him perhaps, and more power to him. But not extravagant when the needs and wishes of average cruisers are considered. Here are two of my related anecdotes for your consideration. BTW, since you appear to be leaving from the west coast, I assume you'll be heading for Mexico, at least initially.

(1) Before leaving Santa Barbara on our first voyage, we also wondered, like you, what our day-to-day expenses were likely to be. We sought out the only person we knew of in the harbor who had spent a couple of years in Puerto Vallarta and asked him. Without hesitating, he told us that we wouldn't be able to survive on anything less than $2K/month. That surprised and depressed us, but we sailed anyway. A couple of years later, while hanging out in Banderas Bay, we learned that our informant kept his boat in the main Puerto Vallarta marina, was a serious alcoholic with a passion for expensive wines, and ate all his meals at the finest restaurants near the marina. Go Figure.

(2) About twelve years ago, I was giving a seminar on watermakers at a West Marine cruisers event in Catalina. At one point I gave the audience a ballpark estimate of daily water consumption: I mentioned that my wife and I used about 5 gallons per day, on average.
Standing right behind my wife in the audience was an old curmudgeon who is well known for selling a package of detailed charts of the Sea of Cortez. When he heard my estimate, he was heard to exclaim, rather loudly: "Hmmph! That fellow wouldn't last long on my boat!" This fellow was also known for not having any electrical devices or batteries on his boat, for not using running or anchor lights, for always anchoring off the stern of his boat, and a number of other atypical habits.

Bottom line: different strokes for different folks, eh?

============

Food: In general, we found that "meat" is cheaper in the third world countries, and often tastes better than the same items in the U.S. For example, I love bacon. Wait until you try Mexican bacon! It's much better than anything I've ever bought in the U.S.

Interestingly, many poorer people in other countries eat avocados as a substitute for meat. I'm not a nutritionist, but it's my understanding that avocado is a pretty good nutritional substitute for meat. Further, it's not considered "green gold" in other countries; i.e., they're cheap. If you like avocados, you're in!

=============

Insurance: There was no way we could afford hull insurance while cruising. However, we always carried liability, which cost us only a little over $100/year. Not only is this a good idea, but it's becoming a requirement in many marinas and ports (e.g., Zihuatenejo). When we considered getting hull insurance, we found it was expensive (e.g., $1000 extra for a one-way passage from California to Hawaii), required us to take on a third crew member and provide proof that all three of us were competent sailors, and was not valid, for example, in Mexican waters after June 1. We decided that, if we were to lose the boat, we were likely to be lost ourselves at the same time and, in that event, collecting insurance wouldn't do us much good. Yes, that thinking required a bit of rationalization, but it worked for us for our many years of fulltime cruising.

One other problem with U.S. insurance in other countries: if you ever have to file a claim, many of those countries insist that the surveyor or damage inspector be a local. Understandably, many insurance companies won't go along with that requirement, and your claim could be in trouble. One alternative is to purchase a short-term policy from an agent in each country you visit. Port authorities can recommend such agents. I can't verify how well this works, having never done that. In general, however, past experience has made me distrustful of ALL insurance companies, whether in the U.S. or elsewhere. They are eager to receive your policy payments but, when it comes to honoring any claims, it's like pulling teeth. That's just my personal opinion, based on real-life experience. Caveat emptor!

=========

Medical: If you have adequate medical coverage, great! However, don't think that good medical treatment in any other country is as expensive as it is in the U.S. In fact, the only reason I was able to afford to return to living in the U.S. is because I have VA coverage, which is excellent! Even if you don't have insurance, most medical issues can be paid for in other countries with out-of-pocket money, without breaking the budget. Here are a few examples of that from my own travels:

1.) 3-root root canal in Puerto Vallarta: $150.

2.) 3-tooth bridge with 2 posts, post and crowns on two other teeth, a root canal, a cleaning, and a couple of cosmetic fillings in Venezuela: about $1000.

3.) A friend had a hernia operation involving installing a mesh and several days in the hospital in Ecuador: $200 for everything.

4.) A complete eye examination, with all the latest equipment and whistles and bells, in Panama: $40.

5.) My wife had a bone density test in Venezuela: $35. Similar charges for a mammogram and cholesterol test.

6.) We always carried two doses of Cipro antibiotic for emergencies. You can buy it over the counter in Mexico. As I recall, the cost was about $30 for enough tablets for two doses.

7.) I developed a staph infection on my leg in Costa Rica. A local pharmacist looked at it and prescribed both oral and topical antibiotics. The treatment worked, even though I'd had the infection for several months--certainly long enough to become worried that it hadn't healed and, in fact, was getting gradually worse. The medications were so inexpensive that I don't even remember what they cost; it was trivial. BTW, it is quite common for pharmacists to diagnose and treat many common ailments in these countries. But, ask around and shop around; there are also many doctors in those countries who are attracted to us "rich" gringos and will charge prices comparable to, or even higher than, the U.S. norms.

If more U.S. citizens knew about the quality and affordability of medical care in other countries, they would realize how terribly broken the U.S. health care system is. What a shame.

======
Expenses in Mexico: Yes, things are clearly getting more restrictive in many places in Mexico. It was Fox's grand plan to put marinas along the Mexican coast every fifty miles! During our cruising years we saw marinas take over the anchorages in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Banderas Bay, and at Puerto Escondido, Baja Sur.

In La Cruz, for example, the new marina enclosed the only reasonable stretch of beach where one could safely land a dinghy. Initially, they "generously" provided a dinghy dock inside the marina, but then charged $10 for each trip to the dock ( not per day, which would have been bad enough). To their credit, the marina owners hired a new manager and, at the time of our last visit, provided the dinghy dock for free, but I seriously doubt that will last forever.

"Revenue boats" now patrol the islands north of La Paz, Mexico, which are diving paradises. They demand fees for anchoring offshore. Similar things are happening elsewhere.

My lady and I like to think that we cruised back in what are rapidly becoming the "good old days." I'll be interested in reading your posts about how things are now, when you get to cruising.
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