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Old 26-07-2007, 11:26   #1
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Sailing Costs from a Different Perspective

Ookay...

So there's been a ton of posts here of "How much does it cost to go sailing..." and the response has been, "Well... everything you got..."

I would like to look at it from a different perspective.

What ideas do you sailors have to cust costs while sailing long term.

I think some common ones would be

1. Purchase the smallest boat that your sailing group could live in without driving each other crazy.

2. Don't stock up on non-perishables when you are visiting islands: leave that for when you hit a main-land.


Are there sailing skill-sets that one can have that can make cruising cheaper? I've always gathered that money (attempts to) even out the sailing learning curve, in particular when purchasing electronics.

Is one type of sailboat cheaper than another (to operate)? Full Keel, Ketch vs Sloop etc.

All information is greatly appreciated,

Thanks,

--Dave
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Old 26-07-2007, 12:27   #2
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The best way to reduce cost when cruising is to do everything you can yourself. All your maintenance. The next best way is to keep sailing... you spend money when you go ashore. Lifestyle determines your cost, obviously the more simply you live, the more economical it becomes.
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Old 26-07-2007, 14:59   #3
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I agree 100% with number one. It's also the first thing that a whole slew of folks disregard. They buy in to the 'get the most you can afford' theory and then wonder why they are miserable because something broke and they don't have a clue and the repair person wants and arm and a leg to repair, WHEN they can find this person. If you can't go sailing/crusing without all the comforts of home, stay home.
KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid). IF you want to cruise as cheaply as possible you must be able to handle ALL repairs and maintenance on you vessel. If you don't know how it works, or how to trouble shoot it when, NOT , if it fails, either keep it off the boat or bring lots of cash. There's a world full of boat repair people just waiting to part you from your hard earned money.
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Old 26-07-2007, 15:35   #4
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Dave,
You seem to be coming into this with more consideration than conditions and that is not always the case. All too often someone will post a "How much does it cost (as long as...)" thread. These will sometimes include some unusual criteria that most cruisers never face.

The long and the short of it is that no two cruisers, cruises or cruising boats are the same so the comparison is difficult. I can stay out on my little boat for a couple of months on a couple of hundred dollars but for me cruising is camping. The best general answer so far is that is costs about what it costs to live shoreside. I agree with Rick and Randy that sailing simple and sailing most of the time will keep the budget under control. And the cheapest type of sailboat is one that you own outright.

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Old 26-07-2007, 16:14   #5
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Aside from the acquisition costs which was mentioned above... the cost of cruising consist of... maintenance and repair, food and fuel... and activities ashore.

Maintenance costs can be reduced by having low costs spares you keep in ship's stores as opposed to buying local and importing. Doing the work yourself instead of using marine mechanics wherever they are is another way, but you need to know how to repair and have the tools.

Preventative maintenance will save the cost of repairs and breakdowns due to neglect. Take care of your investment.

Don't buy things like books... get into trading, exchanging and bartering. If you are an expert at something you can make some money doing canvas work for example... or electrics or refrigeration repair and barter your expertise for something you need.

Collect water and buy as little as you can. Water costs in the Caribbean.

Buy local lower cost foods when possible and catch fish if you can to put a meal together.

Do your own laundry as often as possible.

Don't waste your money in bars.

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Old 26-07-2007, 17:56   #6
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Many of these suggestions are very good. But I have to wonder why someone would go cruising and make every effort to avoid going ashore. Yes, it may cost a little more, but I always thought the point of cruising was encountering other people (incl. other cruisers) and other cultures. If it's just about sailing, then you could go for extended sails in your home country and not have to worry about having sufficient spares, etc. Have I missed something?
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Old 26-07-2007, 18:16   #7
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Harriet,

Yes by all means go ashore and absorb the local culture, but there are ways to do it without spending lots of cash. How about using a folding bike instead of renting a moped? Or hiking and taking walks through villages and trails, instead of shopping in malls and gambling in casinos?

The local culture in many desirable cruising destination is often poor aside from the EU and places like Japan or the USA and there are no really pricey activities as you find in 4 star seaside resorts. Bermuda is an expensive place anyway you cut it... but many destinations aren't.

After you have sailed thousands of miles it's not about the journey but about getting to the destination safely so you can enjoy it.

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Old 26-07-2007, 21:53   #8
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Old 27-07-2007, 08:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harriet
But I have to wonder why someone would go cruising and make every effort to avoid going ashore. Yes, it may cost a little more, but I always thought the point of cruising was encountering other people (incl. other cruisers) and other cultures. If it's just about sailing, then you could go for extended sails in your home country and not have to worry about having sufficient spares, etc. Have I missed something?
Harriet,

Some people go cruising because they like to escape the harsh winters and love sailing. Also we prefer the much easier, simpler, and sometimes challeging life afloat to the mindless shoreside living in a condo someplace warm. That's why we cruise six months a year. For us the destination matters not as much as the lifestyle. Having been around the world (by sea) more than a few times, sightseeing and local attractions and different cultures no longer have the appeal they once did when they were a novel experience. I understand there are many who wish to see the world through cruising but for those like us, cruising is not a means to see the world. It's a pleasant way to spend the winter and, after six months on a sailboat, it brings new meaning and appreciation to "flush toilets".
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Old 27-07-2007, 11:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineCub

I would like to look at it from a different perspective.

What ideas do you sailors have to cust costs while sailing long term.

I think some common ones would be

1. Purchase the smallest boat that your sailing group could live in without driving each other crazy.

2. Don't stock up on non-perishables when you are visiting islands: leave that for when you hit a main-land.
My 2 cents............

a) Having a budget.....and trying to stick to it.

b) Preventative Maintenance - do it - DIY as much as possible

c) Brew your own beer?

d) have a means of refrigeration - downside is one more thing to go wrong - upside is a reduction in food costs and more choice of food.........which leads me onto.......

e) buy some cook books - and learn some decent recipes, eating out does add up, but no reason why you cannot eat like a king onboard - especially given you often will have the time to serach out fresh / local ingrediants.

f) Find out where the locals shop - beyond that picturesque village their is often a supermarket or hypermarket used by the locals!

g) Buy a phrase book and learn some local lingo - the locals do tend to know stuff (see f) and in any event talking is cheap to do!

h) have cheap (no boaty) hobbies, ie Snorkelling or hill walking NOT flying helicopters

i) Learn to fish! not just from the boat - also a good way to meet some of the locals in a "Non commercial transaction" environment.

j) Buy a car Well, depends where you are and how long you will stay in the area - but if you were based in one place (or around one area) for 6 months or a year then a cheap runaround will make yer shopping bills less expensive (that hypermarket is in reach) as well as more conveniant - also extends your "cruising range" Inland where life may well also be cheaper.

K) Failing that, learn the local bus network

l) think in LOCAL currency. Yes I know stuff is often cheaper than chips in "real money", but things do still add up - in any event why pay twice the price for something just for fun / because you can? (apologies to anyone using USD's ).

m) go for a longgggggggggg trip Why?, because many costs are often fixed (that GPS is still needed whether you go for 3 months or 3 years) and also with a longer trip their is no need to rush from place to place and you have time to learn where you are. IME the most expensive part of "Travelling" (no matter what sort of transport) is being new somewhere, you don't know where and what cheap is.


Boat wise, IMO you have hit the nail on the head regarding the smallest you can live with - but I would suggest at least considering that depending on your cruising ground that having a vessel that is capable of taking the ground would be useful in mooring in places that others cannot access....due to the water dissapearing twice a day . Also makes keeping the boat ashore less of a worry.....both when onboard and when back "home" (albeit for different concerns!).

If folk were heading for Europe I would suggest a boat that was capable of going through the canals, usually mooring is free, and IME a great way to travel and still see stuff. Cheaply What does this mean boat wise? Depends what canal system (lots of them!) and what time of year - but I would suggest draft of under 4 foot and prefer 3 1/2 foot or under - and also take care with the height of any fixed wheelhouses for low bridges (masts of course come down!).........of course stuff that does not always fit in with Transatlantic..........
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