Originally Posted by Don Lucas
This thread has been alive a while and I haven't really seen much answer to the $500/mo cruising in a while.
So what is the opinon here after all this. Is it possible to cruise on $500/mo in a way that is not the "back-packing life". . . .
As other have stated, if you are looking for something other than "back-packing life" - style cruise the answer is - No.
- - I suggested the proper name for this thread should be "minimalist" budget
cruising. That better describes that - yes, you can set out in a definitely "small," definitely simple boat that is seaworthy
and cruise the world for considerably less money
than those with larger, fancier, electrically and electronically over-endowed yachts.
- - Cruising in your home country's waters considerably reduces costs. Primarily for boat parts
; currency differences; and living costs when you don't easily have the "local knowledge" of where to find bargain foods. And outside your home country the local foods are most probably not very palatable to folks used to their own foods they have been eating all their lives. So buying
"imported" foods is a lot more expensive.
- - The big unstated qualification to the budget
amount being $500/mo on average or $5000/mo is - what are you including in that budget? To be "minimalist" you need to strip out all land-side obligations like retained homes on shore; travel to visit kids
or grand-kids or travel to take care of periodic medical
needs; medical insurance
; boat insurance
; eating out; taking paid tours; shopping
for souvenirs; and hundreds of other "little things" that we piss away money
on over time. The boat needs to be also a "minimalist" cruiser with few, if any, whizz-bank electronics
, refrig/freezer, a/c, a/v home entertainment centers, etc., etc. If you don't have it, you don't have to fix/replace it.
- - Young folk with good health
and no obligations beyond themselves can easily cruise on a minimalist budget. They have not accumulated the tons of "baggage" older folks have accumulated over their lifetimes that they are not willing or able to cast off. They can eat simple and endure a lot more physical abuse that is comes with a "pocket" sized cruising boat in the big oceans.
- - Last week in Dominica
we anchored next to such a "pocket" sized sailboat (about a 28 foot cubby cabin
type) with 4 people onboard - 2 young men
, probably in their 20's; one young woman and her toddler. All seemed happy and full of the thirst for adventure that you won't find in the older cruisers. Older cruisers prefer to "sip" their adventure in nicer crystal glasses while sitting on a deck
with comfortable chairs eating tidbits. Just a metaphor that points to the different points of view about what is "roughing it" that changes with age.
- - And of course, the real biggie - physical stamina and strength is inversely proportional to age. We damage easier and recover slower.
- - Bottom line, a couple of decades ago, Cruising World mag did a survey
and article on cost of cruising for full time cruisers who jettison all land-side assets. It came out you could take your existing total living on land costs and cut them by 2/3rds by becoming a full-time cruiser. I suspect now-a-days that is you can cut your costs by about 1/2. So a young person living on $12K on land can easily cruise on $6K a year. Those of us who had land-living costs in the $50K to $100K/year would more likely see full time cruising costs in the $2500 to $5000/month bracket.