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Old 01-03-2011, 15:13   #1186
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pirate Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega1860 View Post
A well equipped, cruise-ready boat can be had for US$12000, and by that I mean just bring groceries and go. Several have been sold recently for around that price. HERE are the listings on the American Vega web site. Since I have been living aboard and cruising one of these boats for more than twenty years, I can attest that they are quite suitable for two adults. The Vega is one of John Vigor's "20 Small Boats to Take you Anywhere". We don't cruise on $500 a month because we enjoy our restaurants and wine and because we don't have to, but we could.
Good On Yer....
and I mean that most sincerely folks....
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Old 01-03-2011, 15:39   #1187
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Re: Dinghies and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainAlf View Post
You forgot to mention James Cook and Christopher Columbus...and they did not use outboard engines either.

My point is, that in between James Cook and the Hiscocks is not a bigger gap in development than in between the Hiscocks and our days. The pace of development is still accelarating and propagating their outdated ideas from 50 years ago is like recommending horse carriages over cars.

The good ol' days are over and I definetely don't see the point why we should add the disadvantages of that time to the ones of ours. The cruising community has grown easily by a factor of 1000 since Hiscocks days. The boats on the market have changed as well and there are much more interesting boats and designs to the low budget cruiser on the market than tiny, heavy and slow long keelers with expensive conventional riggings...

INDY, I'm well aware that you've started this thread but you stated this one as well:
"Your comments and suggestions are welcome....."

But then you're coming up with this:

"This forum is for the practicalities of micro-budget cruising. Micro-budget cruising is defined here as that in boats less than 34 ft LOA. While we concede that frugality is possible in larger boats there are certain irrefutables that prevail."

Since I consider a budget of 500$/month as rather luxurious and managed myself to come down to 2500$/year I think I have something to contribute, even if my opinions differ from yours.

Of course you are right, if you absolutely refuse to make some money underway. Then you have to be one of the fortunate ones, who have the amount of 500$ as a steady income through assets or a pension and still have to lead a rather frugal lifestyle.
Since I started cruising at the age of 30, I'm not one of these fortunate ones. After purchasing Freedom Fargo I had about 40,000$ left, from which I used 30,000 up in the following 6 years, having the best time of my life.

In the beginning I used about 800$ a month, using less and less over the years with growing experience how to avoid costs and making easy bucks on the side. The last year of my cruising life, sailing from Brisbane to Thailand I managed the before mentioned 2500$/year budget. This was still a failiure, since my goal for that year was a budget of zero bucks, or in other words: Zero bucks vanishing from my bank account.
The 2500$ were the bill from Rolly Tusker in Phuket for my new sails. Apart from this I managed a 0$ budget just by hanging up ads "looking for crew" which I printed on the printer coming with my lap top and being reachable via e-mail and mostly via mobile phone.
(Please note, all the costs for lap top, mobile, Pactor modem, sailmail fee etc. were included in those 30,000$ for 6 years).

The Hiscocks had the huge advantage of unspoiled cruising grounds and their achievement of circumnavigating in those days cannot be questioned
but they didn't have the slightest chance supporting themselves underway without giving up the cruising lifestyle.
We've lost the unspoiled cruising grounds by growing populations and as well by the huge armada of yachts cruising around the planet (since you need only half the guts for doing so because affordable and reliable GPS systems are available since far more than 10 years).
But we have the chance to make the best out of it - there are always two sides to a coin.
I don't imply, that you need the funds I've had for a start, or a boat as big as Freedom Fargo. That's only important if you're a lazy bastard like I am but you have to open your eyes and ears to the opportunities the modern cruising times are offering.
And you won't see or hear them if you're listening to such great advice:

"My entertainment allowance is based upon potlucks.. inviting guests aboard for tea..
limiting drinks severely." or
"Virtually NO ELECTRONICS"

It's all about communication. If you don't mingle with the guys who can spend some bucks, how should they know that they can give them to you?

A few beers in the yacht club are well spent money, as long you connect with the right people. Let the hermit with the rowing dink count his pennies - it's good, less competition.
I don't want to say it's all easy, building up a reputation as a good and reliable worker needs time, but once achieved, this reputation will even travel with you...maintenance work on boats is IMHO the most reliable money bringer for people who do not want to take passengers or whose boats are too small to do so.

So, I hope I didn't offend too many people - just tell me if it's inappropriate what I'm posting - then perhaps I open a thread:

long term low budget cruising in the 21st century

Cheers

Alf
Sounds like a great thread topic Alf.
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Old 01-03-2011, 15:47   #1188
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Here's an obvious statement for ya; I bet there's many more people interested
in low budget cruising than high budget cruising. Anybody ever sell a book
called 'how to sail on a lot of money?'
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Old 01-03-2011, 16:41   #1189
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

I want to respond to 3 posts about building: why? Ballast? and oars?
When I got together enough money to buy or build, I wanted to build, since I have already built a number of boats from 8' to 35' and have the skills. but buying was so much faster [I thought]. I searched for two years, found a number of good boats I could buy. They were all FG and production built - which meant they had interiors I hated and were marconi rigged with ss rigging with factory fittings. So I decided to build. I get the interior I want, the rig I want, and everything aboard I can fix with these two hands. It is cheaper in money, far more expensive in time. But I play with my little boats, hike and backpack in the interim as well. My ballast is high tensile concrete poured around cast iron painted with Hammertite, with the ballast bolts molded in, the whole poured using the wood keel [deadwod] as part of the formwork. Simple, cheap, effective. I make my own oars. One 2X6 ripped into three equal sizes [1 1/2"]. the 2X6 has to be nearly clear, and these are getting harder to find in the stud pile at the lumber yard. Watch for one. I sometimes have to buy a 12' to get 7' of clear[ish]. Cut one of the pieces into 4 equal lengths. Glue two of these to
the business end of your two long oar looms. Watch the grain. I use titebond here. shape your oar and you are done, save for some finish everywhere but the handle. Cost is under 10 bucks and four hours of time. And they look really nice. When I am backpacking I run into kids in their 30s and 40s with a couple of thousand dollars worth of gear and clothing. Mine were not cheap - perhaps 350 bucks total. I have had the stuff for 20 yrs or so. It works great. Are those kids having more fun? Same thing happens on the water. Like cruising, getting your equipment means you will spend what you have to spend. Don't sweat the nickel dime ****. Just do it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 16:51   #1190
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Though you guys in the US have got it made... free NOAA Charts online of all shores that you claim...
Yep.
And it is free to all - the world over!
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:37   #1191
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchuck View Post
Sawat Dee Kraap CaptainAlf,
I know you can get pvc primer and glue in Thailand because I used it to install a hot water system in a house I lived in in Nakhon Si Thammarat. You've just got to find a Thai person who can figure out what you are talking about. I can't remember what they call it.
This thread must look a little funny from Thailand. I don't think I could have spent five hundred bucks a month if I tried when I lived there. Of course, I didn't have a boat then either.
Sawadee krap Woodchock,
would be a great thing to try, but like I mentioned it's all covered with epoxy already and I'm living on a " paradise island " - very difficult to get anything, even if you know how it's called. But thank you anyway.

To David: Thai wife is not really an option cause Thai girls are very rarely sea worthy...Just try to convince one to come on a boat or even live on one.

Cheers
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:59   #1192
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Whether you can successfully become a "Under $500/mo" cruiser or even just a "minimalist budget" cruiser, I think has more to do with your background and attitude than the boat and stuff you put in it.
- - If you are used to living on $500/week or more on land then most probably you will not be able to become a $500/mo cruiser no matter what boat you get. It will not take long before the "roughing it" and "doing without" gets old and you abandon the idea. Moving down the economic ladder is neither easy nor enjoyable once reality sets in.
- - However, it you have always been living, or for a very long time, been living in a "non-consumer or non-mass consumption" orientated life-style then $500/mo or minimalist budget cruising is very do-able. Your expectations of "quality of life" are not based on mass consumption of consumer goods but instead on the experiences of living with nature and not "subduing" nature.
- - So if you have the background or mentality to be happy/content with the "simple life" then cruising the world is only a matter of the right boat and equipment. As has be discussed ad-infinitum eliminating every possible "modern convenience" from the vessel is job-one. If you don't have it, you don't have to fix it or replace it.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:07   #1193
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Re: Dinghies and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Alf... you aint offended me.. there's things we agree on and things we don't but there's wisdom in your words... just down to the readers which bits they choose to use... I don't carry a sextant for one simple reason.. I've a good knowledge of my geography and that combined with my charts for a voyage is enough to get me safely anywhere should my h/hGPS crash... but I am aware that many don't have a clue about the layout of the planet... including 'World Leaders'
Pretty sad huh....
I didn't think I would have offended you, rather INDY, which wouldn't be nice since I think that guy has a fundamental knowledge about metal boat building which is an issue I'm completely blank. I just slightly disagree with some other statements he's made

About the deleted post: When I posted it I've seen that you just mentioned the Cm93 and I already mentioned before that the worldwide issue fits on two writable CD's...
You mentioned that you're hardly using them - The reason for buying my first lap top in NZ was exactly because they fit on those two CD's and I love them. As soon the GPS is hooked up with the computer it makes life so easy...Especially the track on function, since cm93 is in remote areas as far off as the paper charts. Eyeball navigating through some reefs with that function on is a wonderful safety back up. Your track goes over land and reef on the chart but it's the right one.
I did that in Fiji and a few days later I've got a phone call from a friend, who told me that there were some people looking to charter a boat in Vuda point marina, Viti Levu. The weather had detoriated in between and it was completely overcast, no way to navigate savely with eyeball navigation.
I took one guy on the boat to help me, zoomed in to 1:2500 and steered the boat below deck with the remote of the auto pilot, making sure that the boat on the screen does not leave the track by more than a few milimeters which means in reality not more than 10 meters.
Yes, of course I know that you should do something like that only in emergencies, but the 1 week charter I picked up in Vuda paid for 7 month cruising in Fiji.
On the other hand, nobody should trust them completely. The year before, when I sailed from Tonga to NZ, I went into North Minerva reef, 500 miles off NZ. I tried to contact some yachts for advice to get into the reef. I picked up some traffic, but too faint to understand, so i waited until I got closer, but strangely I could not reach anyone any more.
Later in NZ I've learned that all the yachts in the area were on a salvage operation for a american boat who plotted the course from North Minerva to the entrance of the Bay of Islands/NZ on Cmap which is using cm93.
Unfortunately the direct course leads over South Minerva reef which is not visible on cm93 or at least not visible if you zoomed out that much that you have NZ on the screen. They reached South Minerva after night fall, crashed on the reef and lost the boat.
After this I decided to buy a ham radio - only if you can communicate (or better overhear such communication) you get the chance to loot such a perfectly well equipped wreck

Now again I didn't write my post about low budget rigging...perhaps next time.

Cheers

Alf
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:49   #1194
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Dinghies...

I just cost out the two sheets of ply and 2X6 needed to build Chameleon.

$ 79. 00

Yep, $ 79.

Two 8/4 X6 8' long in ash is $5/ bd-ft at Madera 3C in San Juan. Trop Cedar is half that. So you can build a pair of ash oars for $160 or trop cedar ones for $ 80 If you use douglas fir $ 20.

A gallon of epoxy and 100 ft of GRP tape and 200 ft of bare copper wire
or monofilament fishing line plus a quart of epoxy primer and a pint of topcoat finishes off the boat.

12 ft of handrail for the mast, 9 ft for the boom, and 10 ft for the sliding gunter is the rig. Make the sail itself from 3 oz dacron.

About $500 should do the boat in style. It will last 20 years, costing $25/ year.

The RIB with 15 hp outboard costs $6000 and lasts 8 years, if not stolen, costing $750 / year.

So, which do you prefer....

A snazzy outboard powered runabout costing $ 750 / yr

OR

A snazzier sailing dinghy with varnished oars, costing $ 25 / yr
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:09   #1195
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Budgets...

An earlier post asserted that he cruised for nothing, yep nothing. Reading between the lines we find that not to be so. He did have expenses, which he failed to mention, except for the new sails, of course. He did have income which he failed to mention. He did mention that he takes paying guests. He is chartering, albeit casually.

Again, and again I have asserted that the boat organized so it can be operated on an annual budget of $6000, (including sails ), gives the crew many options regarding earning sufficient funds to keep going. I have also asserted that the micro-budget cruiser will earn as he goes and that yes a cruising kitty of $12-18 k is desirable, because it gives flexibility to the work program. But it can be done with less if necessary.

I also asserted a budget of $ 25k for the boat and $15 k for outfitting same. CallMeCrazy has found a boat for $2600, and I found Pearson Vanguards for $15k. The secret to a really cheap boat seems to be finding a charity trying to unload it.

However,

All these cheap boats are cheap BECAUSE THEY ARE WORN OUT.

I repeat...

CHEAP BOATS ARE CHEAP BECAUSE THEY ARE WORN OUT.

They can be brought back, given sound construction in the first place, by dint of much effort and money.

Regardless, when finished, you will still have an old boat.

So, should you build?

If you build you have a new boat. You don't have to pull and replace fasteners, you don't have to redo thru hulls, mast steps, hatches, etc.
You save countless hours removing worn gear and refurbishing same. You get the interior you want, You get the amount of tankage you want. You get the draft you want, the rig you want, and countless other things you may want.

This is all well and good if you have experience and know what you want.

This is all well and good if you have a place to build, can work with tools, don't mind getting your fingernails dirty, and have time available. But then you need those things to restore an old boat, too.

For a good look at the thinking behind one man's building his boat go to:

About Me

There Glenn discusses how he developed his budget, his thinking and many other details of how he got his boat to the Caribbean.
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:21   #1196
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Lapwing....the project...

Since a picture is worth a thousand words. Consider Lapwing....



INDY
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:30   #1197
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Re: Dinghies...

Quote:
Originally Posted by goprisko View Post
I just cost out the two sheets of ply and 2X6 needed to build Chameleon.

$ 79. 00

Yep, $ 79.

Two 8/4 X6 8' long in ash is $5/ bd-ft at Madera 3C in San Juan. Trop Cedar is half that. So you can build a pair of ash oars for $160 or trop cedar ones for $ 80 If you use douglas fir $ 20.

A gallon of epoxy and 100 ft of GRP tape and 200 ft of bare copper wire
or monofilament fishing line plus a quart of epoxy primer and a pint of topcoat finishes off the boat.

12 ft of handrail for the mast, 9 ft for the boom, and 10 ft for the sliding gunter is the rig. Make the sail itself from 3 oz dacron.

About $500 should do the boat in style. It will last 20 years, costing $25/ year.

The RIB with 15 hp outboard costs $6000 and lasts 8 years, if not stolen, costing $750 / year.

So, which do you prefer....

A snazzy outboard powered runabout costing $ 750 / yr

OR

A snazzier sailing dinghy with varnished oars, costing $ 25 / yr

All valid points... however, For a lot of cruisers, like us, a large part of "the point" is "seasteading", and freediving for several hours a day, (to catch dinner, or photos).

Ribs are much better dive boats! They also allow us more privacy, because we frequently anchor MUCH further from town, the dinghy dock, etc, than we could with a rowing dinghy. (sometimes miles)... We go on 10 mile foreys to reconnoiter the next cove over, or even the other side of the island, to see if we want to move over there. We also pay less for land transportation in some cases.

By using a light weight single floor RIB, an 8 HP motor gets the two of us, and a scuba tank, on plane just fine.

Our RIB & motor set up is 11 years old now, and we expect to get pretty close to 20 years out of them both, (with ongoing maintenance & repairs). I guess time will tell.

I have built and maintained all 3 of my cruising boats, and about a dozen dink size boats. Personally I find my RIB every bit as repairable, because I know how... YES, I have done a lot of repairs to this one!

We set out on our "Delphys adventure" 15 years ago with a hard dink, that my wife had to help turn over. It caused a lot of domestic problems... Switching to a small, light, RIB, was a great move for us!

I'm not disagreeing with the point. A simple hard dink is cheaper. I just think that the cost/lifespan comparison is a bit off. People on a budget don't usually have 15 HP motors on a 12' RIB, and they last way more than 8 years...

The real decision maker is about weather you like anchoring close in and don't dive much, or weather you use your dink as a long range taxi, and dive every day.

Yep, RIBs are more expensive, just not THAT much. At least that was our experience.

Mark
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:38   #1198
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Re: Budgets...

Quote:
Originally Posted by goprisko View Post
An earlier post asserted that he cruised for nothing, yep nothing. Reading between the lines we find that not to be so. He did have expenses, which he failed to mention, except for the new sails, of course. He did have income which he failed to mention. He did mention that he takes paying guests. He is chartering, albeit casually.

Again, and again I have asserted that the boat organized so it can be operated on an annual budget of $6000, (including sails ), gives the crew many options regarding earning sufficient funds to keep going. I have also asserted that the micro-budget cruiser will earn as he goes and that yes a cruising kitty of $12-18 k is desirable, because it gives flexibility to the work program. But it can be done with less if necessary.

I also asserted a budget of $ 25k for the boat and $15 k for outfitting same. CallMeCrazy has found a boat for $2600, and I found Pearson Vanguards for $15k. The secret to a really cheap boat seems to be finding a charity trying to unload it.

However,

All these cheap boats are cheap BECAUSE THEY ARE WORN OUT.

I repeat...

CHEAP BOATS ARE CHEAP BECAUSE THEY ARE WORN OUT.

They can be brought back, given sound construction in the first place, by dint of much effort and money.

Regardless, when finished, you will still have an old boat.

So, should you build?

If you build you have a new boat. You don't have to pull and replace fasteners, you don't have to redo thru hulls, mast steps, hatches, etc.
You save countless hours removing worn gear and refurbishing same. You get the interior you want, You get the amount of tankage you want. You get the draft you want, the rig you want, and countless other things you may want.

This is all well and good if you have experience and know what you want.

This is all well and good if you have a place to build, can work with tools, don't mind getting your fingernails dirty, and have time available. But then you need those things to restore an old boat, too.

For a good look at the thinking behind one man's building his boat go to:

About Me

There Glenn discusses how he developed his budget, his thinking and many other details of how he got his boat to the Caribbean.
met someone like that once he spent 10 years building the boat,profesysing,etc,took it sailing once shat him self and sold it!!!!
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:13   #1199
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Lapwing

For our example, we have budgeted $ 40,000 for the boat, complete and ready for sea. We will build in aluminum, ordering 3500# of material in one go. We will do the hull as a presto sharpie, to eliminate the $10k design fee. This can work for us because we bought skene's and did our research on presto sharpies, including Chapell's "American Small Sailing Craft".

The presto sharpie hull approximates Lapwing's design, with somewhat firmer bilges, and we have chosen to go with a radius chine design too. Were we somewhat in a hurry we could choose a multi-chine version such as that used by Ovni of France, however this would cost us lots of storage space in the interior.

We have the following major expenses:
Welding machine______________________$1200
Argon gas___________________________$450
Welding wire_________________________$ 250
Acetone_____________________________$200
9" grinder____________________________$100
Skilsaw______________________________$200
Tablesaw____________________________$500
Router______________________________$200
Drillpress____________________________$125
Jointer______________________________$500
1/2" drill_____________________________$150
3/8" drill_____________________________$100
Hand tools__________________________$1000
Aluminum 3500#_____________________$7000
Butternut for ceiling 400 bd ft__________$800
WC________________________________$ 120
Electrical panel_______________________$ 80
Navigation Lights (LED)_______________$500
Cabin lamps (4 LED)__________________$200
Engle fridge (60 qt)__________________$1200
Cherry for furniture 500 bd ft__________$1000
Teak for trim and accent 200 bd ft_____$2000
Sails (used from Bacon)______________$ 3000
Solar Panels 200 watts_______________$ 400
Chameleon dinghy___________________$ 500
12 1/2" bronze rigging screws_________$1200
24 closed bronze capels______________$600
300 ft of 1X19 1/4" SS wire rope______$1000
400ft of 7/16 yacht braid_____________$550
Navigation tools_____________________$200
Sextant___________________________$400
Charts____________________________$2400
Pubs______________________________$200
Pilots_____________________________$1000
Epoxy paint 10 gals__________________$2500
Antifouling paint 2 gal________________$500
TBS decking________________________$ 500
Polycarbonate for hatches____________$200
Tempered glass for hull windows_______$200
Lead ballast(scrounged wheel weights__$1400
Cooker 2 burner with oven____________$1000
Sink______________________________$ 100
Plumbing___________________________$300
Traveler___________________________$200
Mast and boom_____________________$5000
Anchors, chain, and pawl_____________$1600
Winches 2 halyard, 2 primaries, 2 secondaries $4000
Master Welder 100 hours @ $25 = $ 2,500
TOTAL $ 60,000
LESS: Trade Discount $20,000 (obtained by getting a sales tax ID)
NET: $ 40,000

We will budget 24 months for the project. We will need $ 1600 per month to finance the project. To complete the project and have $ 15,000 in the cruising kitty we must set aside $2400/ month

Note: an engine has not been included in this analysis because it is assumed one will not be installed.

Look at the above list again... the cost of the project before trade discounts is $ 60k, of that $ 7K is the aluminum and $3.5K is welding.

Can these numbers be reduced? Yes, if salvaged items are used.

Before you go to the scrap yard, a caution. Buying used items like winches and cookers is a mixed savings. If the item no longer has parts available, it is not worth bothering with. Remember, you are building your future, this boat is to carry you into the future. Use your trade discount mercilessly, save money there.

INDY
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:23   #1200
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Virgin Islands
Boat: Pegasus 45 25 Tons, "Pegasus"
Posts: 531
Dinghies

Again, I'd like to bring the discussion back to topic.

To Atoll: Glenn finished his boat on time, and went cruising. His organization was key to successful completion.

To Mark: I spent 15 years studying the coral reefs of the world, in doing so, I traveled as necessary to passes patch reefs and other interesting spots in my 12 modified whitehall rowing dink. Yes, I used the 2HP Honda for the longer runs, BUT mostly I moved the big boat to nearby and jumped off directly onto the area of interest. Since I was photographing my sites, and usually came complete with two cameras and strobes to match, I had a lot of gear to lug. Since I was singlehanding, I had to do it all alone. The dink sufficed just fine.

Regarding your comment about using your dink to go 10 miles to check out the next cove and seasteading. A micro-budget cruiser is not staking a claim to a plot of seabed. His boat must be agile, easily handled, and sufficiently weatherly to go anywhere he wants to go. Which means he will up anchor and explore that cove in the ship, towing the dink behind. He will have a boat of modest draft, < 4ft, that permits him exploring the most intimate gunkholes. He doesn't have to anchor close, because the sail on his dink carries him effortlessly to and fro. He doesn't have to worry about spark plugs, two cycle oil, gasoline, heavy chain to deter theft, repairing holed tubes, and other expenses. With the money saved, he enjoys a beer under a palm tree, while the RIB man scours for parts.

I have seen a lot of dinks in my 20 years traveling the world, and all the RIBs have large motors on them, and spend a lot of time zooming everywhere. That is fine, but it is not cheap.

This thread is about FRUGALITY. FRUGAL IS CHEAP. FRUGAL means using a $25/ yr dink instead of a $750/yr dink. BECAUSE the frugal guy wants to use the $725/yr on something else.

If this doesn't make sense to you, perhaps you might hang out at the "Cruising on $2000/month" thread, where such folks live rather than on this "Micro-budget Cruising" thread.

INDY
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