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Old 10-05-2010, 16:57   #121
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Maybe the guy is off his rocker, but that doesn't mean you need to go ad hominem on his argument. The point is that it is entirely possible to cruise on $500 per month. I absolutely guarantee that I could do so and have a great time on my Haida 26', it has standing headroom and is a proven offshore design.

Annual budget: $6000

Clothes: $200
Medical: $400
Food: $2300
Fuel: $200
Haulout: $300
Antifouling Paint: $100
Rollers and brushes: $20
Drop Cloth and masking tape: $20
Running rigging: $100
Standing Rigging: $100
New Sails: $500
Outboard: $100
GPS: $50
Electrical System: $100
Moorage: $460

I feel that each of these budgets is realistic for a 26' in good condition operating in Puget Sound.

It would allow me to replace my sails at reasonable intervals, one new mainsail every 3 years. Or a new headsail every 2. Used sails, junk rigs, or sailrite sails could stretch the budget even more.

I would be able to motor a reasonable amount. Approximately 50 gallons at todays prices, which is around 60 hours at 4 knots in my boat. 240 nautical miles. If I sail 240 days of the year while cruising, then I get to motor one mile per day. A pair of sweeps may be an alternative, but would be the cause of many days of waiting, begging for tows, and unnecessary suffering and embarassment.

At $200 a year for clothes I would look like a pauper, but I would still be dry and warm. That is only ~17 per month.

Medical at $400 would not be a stretch for a healthy 22 year old male who has no health conditions and takes no medicine. That's me.

Food, the more you spend on it the less you will spend on medical care!

Moorage at $460 would get you annual moorage at some seriously cheap marinas, but would be better spent on the occasional docking with 110v and running water.

A new GPS unit every 2 or 3 years.

With a $100 electrical budget you could afford one new thing for the electrical per year. One new battery or a new VHF or a new solar panel or some new LED nav lights.

I am sure there are a few things I have looked over, but I feel I have demonstrated that with an able person on a 26' boat you could cruise on $500 a month.

If you were to choose a 23' you may be able to do even better. I don't think the engineless thing is really realistic in todays times, with really great seamanship it is possible, but running channels, entering harbors, and locking through would all require quite a bit of ingenuity.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:20   #122
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Hi Folks,

I like this thread. I have purchased my liveaboard boat on a hell of a budget - which nearly always means a greater spend on parts and upgrades, but I agree, much can be carried out on your own with a good manual, tools, and some common sense. It is nearly ready to go and I am now very interested in peoples costs whilst on their boat. Coming from the UK I find the prices in the USA much cheaper in everything (except compasses for some bizarre reason...) and as your general food servings are roughly twice the size of ours, eating out seems a very cost effective way forward (1 meal pretty much serves 2) whenever possible. But to get the price down even further, I think fishing and pulses etc are probably the best and healthiest way to go.
I would also be very interested in any others who have or are about to ditch their engine and go purist. I got my first lesson in steering by sail (without rudder) the other day and it made me realise how much more this to learn.
But for the record, I think if people out there are living on $500 then I am going to aim for that too. By the way, is that for 1 or more people...?
James
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:03   #123
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. . . By the way, is that for 1 or more people...? James
Obviously and realistically this is for one person who is male. And is in a sub-30 footer boat. Costs of maintenance and operation drop drastically as the size of the boat decreases. Less weight, less need for inboard engines (they just don't fit), and less automatic equipment to assist in the operation of a larger vessel. I have friends with a less than 30ft boats that are ocean qualified as they are extremely stable, usually double enders or have a very narrow stern and they use the same tiny outboard for the boat as they use for their "port-a-bote" dinghy or inflatable "toy" dinghy. Everything is small and compact which is both efficient as also self-limiting as to acquiring larger more complicated systems - they just do not fit in the boat.
- - They main costs are check-in/out fees and Tiki Bar tabs. And they are normally very "vegan" in diet with maybe a local caught fish now and then. Or canned meats and hams as they rarely have any form of ice-box or refrigerator and certainly no freezers - because - they do not have a powerplant that can generate the volume of electricity necessary. People currently in many 3rd world countries and historically have survived quite nicely without electricity and such dependent equipment.
- - So yes, you can cruise on $500/month as a single person if you use a small vessel. And comfortably also as you do not have to spend most of your time in harbor/anchorages repairing broken systems - if - you do not have those systems in the first place.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:05   #124
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Hi Folks,


I would also be very interested in any others who have or are about to ditch their engine and go purist.
I came up from Suriname to Trinidad via Tobago engineless last year, obviously possible as I did it but stressful close to land, offshore not such a big deal. Next big refit Ill fit a bracket on the transom for the outboard so at least the boat will move even if only barely. Took me 3 attempts over a week just to get out of a bay. Engines are nice things to have working. But if yours is completely bust then an outboard may be an option. Downside is exploring up rivers becomes much more difficult. People do it but cant think of any Ive met. Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:15   #125
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Interesting stuff Conachair, thank you. I don't think an outboard is going to cut it as my boat weighs 27 ton unloaded. My actual thought process at the moment is whether to change the engine already there. It is only 38hp - about one third of the size of what it should be for the size of vessel. It moves me in and out of harbours at about 4 knots with no headwind - I don't think it would cut much way in a storm! leaving it be provides electricity (and I don't have refrigerators/water makers/TV's etc either) so it is enough, but I have read many articles from folks stating it is unrelaistic to go cruising without a serious iron tops'l to move you? I am also wary of that many people pushing the no or low power engine angle actually aren't out there doing it!? All serious advise on this one would be appreciated.
PS - I will look to see just what the extra cost of owning alarger boat (54) is when still trying to make a very low living budget. Again, any comments would be good.
James
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:35   #126
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Interesting stuff Conachair, thank you. I don't think an outboard is going to cut it as my boat weighs 27 ton unloaded. My actual thought process at the moment is whether to change the engine already there. It is only 38hp - about one third of the size of what it should be for the size of vessel. It moves me in and out of harbours at about 4 knots with no headwind - I don't think it would cut much way in a storm! leaving it be provides electricity (and I don't have refrigerators/water makers/TV's etc either) so it is enough, but I have read many articles from folks stating it is unrelaistic to go cruising without a serious iron tops'l to move you?
OK, you might be asking a little too much of a little outboard But Im not that different in that Im over 10T with an inboard which was 20hp back in 1983, I think many people have stronger engines then me strapped to their dinghys! More of an inconvenience. Any kind of headwind (any kind of seas stop me dead) I have to motor sail or beat, not much fun against some current but you get there in the end. I would dearly love a bigger engine but cant afford it so it is what it is.
I have a 1Kw honda genny which is great for charging when the engine was bust and also great for doing boatwork at anchor. Off the beaten track can sometimes be better for this, back street fabricators can do some great stuff very cheap though paint and good stainless may be harder to find. 6 months in Brasil I got a lot done and you can live well for very little.
27t on a budget? Good luck mate, youre going to be busy then
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:40   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyMarauder View Post
I have read many articles from folks stating it is unrelaistic to go cruising without a serious iron tops'l to move you? I am also wary of that many people pushing the no or low power engine angle actually aren't out there doing it!? All serious advise on this one would be appreciated.
Hi James,

I wonder if its legal to enter some ports without an engine? Certainly it would preclude going into marinas for water. Jerry jug it alL?

If you have an engine now then it would be benificial to keep it, wouldn't it? Even if you only used it now and again. At least its there if the need arises.

We have never seen or heard of a boat cruising the circumnavigation without an engine. For a start they would have to miss Panama and Suez as the tow cost are prohibitive.

That doesn't mean theres none out there but currents can flow through or over a reef so I would think the tropics would be out?
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Old 11-05-2010, 13:55   #128
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Outboards are a very viable solution to auxiliary or emergency power for boats from canoes up to 60 ft's like mine. I have a small outboard mounting block on my swim platform where I can attach my 15hp Yamaha Enduro should the main engine fail to function. It will get me into and out of a harbor/bay just fine albeit rather slowly. Of course you could hang a 25hp outboard back there if you wish.
- - Below 30 ft having an inboard diesel - IMHO - is more trouble than it is worth. Whereas a 15hp outboard (some efficient sailboats use 9.9hp outboards) can power the boat quite nicely. In fact a lot of little cat's and tri's use an outboard in a built-in box rather than having inboard engines.
- - It is not illegal, per se, to enter any harbor without an engine and as a little sailboat it is not that difficult. What is illegal is to get in the way of large freighters, container ships and other vessels that cannot deviate from the main channel nor stop or slow to avoid you. So you might find yourself charged with reckless endangerment by the coast guard or local officials if you attempt to enter a busy commercial harbor without a means of positive propulsion that does not rely on wind (e.g.. an engine or outboard).
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Old 11-05-2010, 15:44   #129
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Engineless is easier with higher performance under sail.
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Old 11-05-2010, 16:08   #130
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Medical Insurance

When I left the US in 97, I subscribed to the PADI travel insurance Platinum Plan. at that time $200 covered me world wide for a year, I just looked and can't find this plan online, but did get two independent quotes for two people at $1200 per year..

I said long ago that I needed treatment for an infected coral cut in NEW CALEDONIA, in 2003 and at that time there was no payment mechanism at the clinic I visited... I also needed treatment for kidney failure in China in 2003 which cost USD$125.

I was asked if this meant Clyde could go to Martinique and get free treatment for an unknown condition. I asked Clyde to state his problem, his location, and his nationality which apparently created quite a stir...

Given a name of Clyde, is he perhaps a Brit? If so why doesn't he go to a UK territory where he can use his own country's social medicine scheme? Is Clyde in the Atlantic basin? If not, why not go to RSA? Namibia? Spain? or another venue much closer??

This thread is focused on minimalist cruising on boats having displacements between 5-9 tons.

In no case did I recommend removal of a working roller furling system.. and the decision to keep one must consider the costs of maintaining one..

But I will recommend you budget $1200 while preparing to go and put that sum in your health insurance fund... to pay expenses along the way...
And...

I will remind US citizens that Medicare does not cover them overseas.. if they expect to use that or another US scheme, they will need travel insurance with a repatriation feature.

As for things I recommend you add beyond the bare essentials...

Snorkeling gear tops my list...
I am specifically recommending you get a good outfit including mask, fins, and snorkel..
I just cleaned the bottom of Pegasus that way, and we are going down island for our first haulout since HongKong in 2005. Our SeaHawk bottom paint is still working where it still covers the bottom, and the rest we scrape off using a drywall knife.. you may want one of those too...

Exactly where I am going is no secret... I am going to cruise the west indies in Pegasus.. on a minimalist budget.. as I have been doing since 92...because I knew when enough was enough...

If you want roller furling, a water maker, refrigeration, an engine, solar panels, a wind vane, SSB radio, computers. pressure water, a washing machine, microwave, and other items by all means have them... and if like my friend at the Ft. Lauderdale YC, you set the condition that you cannot set off across the Gulf Stream unless all are working.... and try as you might one or another fails just before departure.. you too can consider buying a slip at Las Olas...

But....

If you want to go .... NOW.... and have limited means... PRIORITIZE !!!

KISS your boat...!!! and go!!!

Regarding GPS and electronic charts... GPS is a wonderful thing... until the US begins it's attack of Iran and shuts it off.. or.. it fails.. then what??/

Electronic charts are a wonderful thing... a complex thing... requiring faultless transliteration of the data in the original paper chart onto a computer matrix...and a computer... that works... which requires a house electrical system.. and means to charge it...

So...

Computer $ 650
Batteries $ 1000
Wiring $ 1000
Engine with alternator $5000
OR
Generator $4500
OR
Solar Panels $1200
Wind Turbine $1500

Charting Program $1000
Charts $ 1200
TOTAL $ 7500 - $10,000

Paper Chart Copies for a cruise from Florida to NZ...
BA charts for Bahamas $ 150 OR Explorer Charts $150
DR $ 79
PR and USVI $ 173
West Indies $163
Spanish Main $ 322
Galapagos - $ 32 (BA Chart)
Coasts of Colombia and Ecuador $ 119
Polynesia $ 178
Vanuatu to NZ $302
TOTAL $ 1518

IF you add the cruising guides as follows:
On and Off the Beaten Path
The Exeuma Guide
Cruising Guide to the Caribbean
Yachtsmans Guide to the Virgin Islands
Guide to the Leewards
Guide to the Windwards
Guide to Trinidad and Tobago
Guide to Venezuela
Guide to Panama
Guide to the Societies
Guide to Fiji
Guide to NZ
Adds about $250

Toss in the radio signals pub, the tide tables, the 4 BA pilots covering the route
Adds about $ 250 more

TOTAL $ 2000

AND...

IF you get the chart indicies for the US and BA.. and choose carefully you can halve the chart inventory and bring the total down to $1200..

SO..

If you want to go NOW... and must budget... and can get over your pride...

PRIORITIZE!

Treat your funds like precious GOLD... spend them on essentials FIRST !!

Go on short cruises thus equipped... add judiciously...

BUY ONLY WHAT YOU FIND ESSENTIAL !!!

KEEP THE REST FOR YOUR CRUISING EXPENSES !!!!

INDY
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Old 11-05-2010, 16:22   #131
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To Engine... OR... Not to Engine...

I am retired USCG.... yea..... USCG...

It is not against regulations anywhere to enter port under sail...

Yes, commercial and other traffic constrained by its draft.. including other yachts have
the right of way... but most channels have margins yachts can transit, that the big boys cannot.. and you can tack around them if you must...

I have had to sail Pegasus at 45' and 25 tons up to her dock.. when the muffler blew out.. and we were engine less, and I routinely sailed the old boat 27' and 4 tons on and off her mooring... and did so in this one for many years...

You can too.... you just need practice... and as Dana mentions engineless boats sail better...

It is a good idea to have a long oar to scull the boat into tight places.. and these cost but little..

If you are on a really tight budget... eliminating the engine eliminates the following:

Engine $5000
Batteries $ 1000
Spares $ 1000
Wiring $ 500
Fuel tank $300
Fire Extinguisher $ 30
Fuel Costs $ 30/ month or more...

PRIORITIZE !!!

Get a boat that sails well..... avoid going for a floating condo....

PRIORITIZE !!!

INDY
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Old 11-05-2010, 16:26   #132
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Thank You TAGER !!!

RIGHT ON !!

INDY
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:00   #133
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Ok, it didn't take much convincing to stop me spending $10,000 on a bigger engine, especially as I have (a somewhat underpowered) one at present. I like your approach. I agree, I don't think you actually need much of the electronic/electrical kit that folks seem to haul about everywhere; I go sailing to get away from it all (although these bloody iPhones are pretty smart at navigation/anchor alarms/weather/bouy data/learning aids/shipping info/compass etc - scary). On the budget front, I am looking at along voyage later this year, and to help with the budget I am charging 10 a day from the crew towards food/marina's etc. They still get an incredibly cheap adventure, and I get a hand towards the costs. anybody any experience of running a yacht this way?

James
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:43   #134
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Gathering (Harvesting?) anchors from the seabed reminds me that one of our marina has an underwater camera that's driven of a laptop. He charges beer money for hull, prop inspections but it does have many other uses for those that are keen to exploit the seas various resources.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:44   #135
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All of this only works if your boat is already ready to cruise. I think the idea is that if you can get $6000 per year of passive income, you can cruise for a long time. If you hit the link at the very very bottom of this page, you will find a nifty calculator that can help you figure out how much capital you need in order to generate $6000 per year.
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