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Old 03-05-2014, 09:17   #976
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

Been cruising for 9 years continuous and sporadically before that. There are some fine low budget cruisers, but too many are merely people sucking off others. They create problems for all of us since they create such a negative impression with the locals. Trying to scam them on purchases, sneaking out of moorages without paying, not checking into ports, begging beers at the cantina, and fuel at the dock, stealing things from other boats and dingies,
Certainly most do not do those things, but they are the ones who are remembered.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:24   #977
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

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Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
Good point. So this thread probably wouldn't apply to anyone wanting to sail your cruising grounds. It's also my opinion ( imagine that me having an opinion) that this thread is for people that have already outfitted their boats and if an engine needs replacing,sails need replacing or if you have major medical expenses it's not going to be in the budget
I have absolutely no idea why you are so irritated.
I refitted my last boat.
EVERYTHING was new or refurbished.
And then an impeller got jammed and it cost $5000 to fix.
So......... as far as a budget goes, its called an emergency or an accident.
Winds destroy sails as do rips and chafing........
I dont know ANYBODY that doesnt have to replace or fix something.

ergo, over 5 years, you had BETTER have it in the budget because its going to bite you whether or not you think you can measure costs only on a stress free year. If you dont have it in your budget, either your sailing life is over or it is seriously curtailed until you FIND it in your budget.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:29   #978
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post

I have absolutely no idea why you are so irritated.
I refitted my last boat.
EVERYTHING was new or refurbished.
And then an impeller got jammed and it cost $5000 to fix.
So......... as far as a budget goes, its called an emergency or an accident.
Winds destroy sails as do rips and chafing........
I dont know ANYBODY that doesnt have to replace or fix something.

ergo, over 5 years, you had BETTER have it in the budget because its going to bite you whether or not you think you can measure costs only on a stress free year. If you dont have it in your budget, either your sailing life is over or it is seriously curtailed until you FIND it in your budget.
You might want to read my edit- add on
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:38   #979
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

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Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
You might want to read my edit- add on
Fair enough.
Im wondering if $500 a month relates more to liveaboards in fixed locations and fixed incomes, than cruisers on the go.
I certainly know MANY that cruise cheaply.... I try to myself.... but as a realist..... the pricing I gave is what it will cost me.....
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:44   #980
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

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In the western MEd......... please try and find ANYWHERE to moor that is safe on the hook for long. I really would like to know........ and I do take this thread seriously, and it is a sailing vessel that Im basing my costs on. The MEd is not kind to Cats for into wind sailing... hence the cost of fuel.

it just doesnt relate to some places.
I think that's a key part of this discussion, and one that is well understood by those of us looking to live cheaply. Living on a frugal budget means making sometimes hard choices about what you sail, how you sail, and where you sail.

Clearly small in beautiful if you're going to live as frugally as possible. But there is a point when a boat becomes too small for frugal living. Finding that sweet spot is the key.

To live frugally you have to sail. The wind is on your nose, or there's no wind, or too much wind ... too bad. Go somewhere else, or stay put. Obviously there will be times when wind-by-Perkins is required, but again, it comes down to choices.

Finally, there are clearly some places that are outside the frugal cruisers budget. I would suspect this includes much of the Med. It also includes many parts of the Caribbean. To make this budget work you have to stay out of marinas, and stay away from western touristy spots.

And yes, shyte can happen. I think any cruiser, frugal or not, needs an emergency fund.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:20   #981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post

Fair enough.
Im wondering if $500 a month relates more to liveaboards in fixed locations and fixed incomes, than cruisers on the go.
I certainly know MANY that cruise cheaply.... I try to myself.... but as a realist..... the pricing I gave is what it will cost me.....
Cool. Just for the record me saying imagine me having an opinion was not being irritated but an admission to having strong opinions. I'm not saying that its possible to cruise on 500 for everyone but I'm very interested in the people that are doing it and how they're doing it. Ok maybe a little irritated at people that have a lot of money making fun of people trying to do it with what they have
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:21   #982
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I think that's a key part of this discussion, and one that is well understood by those of us looking to live cheaply. Living on a frugal budget means making sometimes hard choices about what you sail, how you sail, and where you sail.

Clearly small in beautiful if you're going to live as frugally as possible. But there is a point when a boat becomes too small for frugal living. Finding that sweet spot is the key.

To live frugally you have to sail. The wind is on your nose, or there's no wind, or too much wind ... too bad. Go somewhere else, or stay put. Obviously there will be times when wind-by-Perkins is required, but again, it comes down to choices.

Finally, there are clearly some places that are outside the frugal cruisers budget. I would suspect this includes much of the Med. It also includes many parts of the Caribbean. To make this budget work you have to stay out of marinas, and stay away from western touristy spots.

And yes, shyte can happen. I think any cruiser, frugal or not, needs an emergency fund.
Ok..... for a 30 foot boat, (or Cat), I can get a mooring in an ultra modern Marina near Barcelona...... Free water, Free Electric, Free showers, free toilet all for $425 a month plus a quarterly charge of $500 on top.
This is THE CHEAPEST I have ever seen. I wish, oh how I wish that the waterscape and land were more suited to anchoring and the people were more amenable to long stayers.

If I want to be there, I have to pony up. Thats my cruising budget of $500 gone right there....
bummer.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:31   #983
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

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Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
Cool. Just for the record me saying imagine me having an opinion was not being irritated but an admission to having strong opinions. I'm not saying that its possible to cruise on 500 for everyone but I'm very interested in the people that are doing it and how they're doing it. Ok maybe a little irritated at people that have a lot of money making fun of people trying to do it with what they have
I dont think its anyone making fun of you. We all dont have "money" but we have a realistic appraisal of costs.

Im a Dr. You come to see me. You sit down in front of me. My fixed costs are, let us example it at $300 an hour for staff, mortgage, insurance, supplies and everything else. 5 days a week 10 hours a day. (its actually more than this but it hurts me to write the figure) and I have cut down to the minimum requred.

I cant get away from this cost.

As a boater, the boat costs you whatever it costs, in whatever condition YOU the owner can afford and what you are willing to accept.

Gas still costs the same for you as for me.
Insurance still costs the same.
Sails cost the same.
food costs the same.
moorings when necessary cost the same.
Repairs cost the same.

It will be harder on a low budget, and believe me I am FULLY aware of having no money and making do.

But your BASE costs are the same. The only way to lessen them is to lessen usage of marinas, food, fuel and other things.

I admire anyone living their dream. And I really wish I could cut all my costs. Only I cant, not without leaving where I want to be and doing what I want to do. If I HAD to........ then I would have to think really hard about the choice to make.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:37   #984
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

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Ok..... for a 30 foot boat, (or Cat), I can get a mooring in an ultra modern Marina near Barcelona...... Free water, Free Electric, Free showers, free toilet all for $425 a month plus a quarterly charge of $500 on top.
This is THE CHEAPEST I have ever seen. I wish, oh how I wish that the waterscape and land were more suited to anchoring and the people were more amenable to long stayers.

If I want to be there, I have to pony up. Thats my cruising budget of $500 gone right there....
bummer.
I'm sure you're correct weavis. Sounds like it would be impossible there. I'm sure it's impossible in many places.

One thing though, I personally don't get fixated on the exact dollar figure. I see "$500/month" as aspirational. It's a way of opening and fostering discussion about frugal living on a boat. It's easy (or easier) to live with lots of $$$$. How to live with less, but still live well, is what I'm here to learn about (and to contribute to in my small way).
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:44   #985
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

There are some tricks to living on $500 a month.

First and most importantly of all, the boat has to be small with very simple systems. A catamaran is not that boat, if for nothing else then it has two engines. Pick the wrong boat and right there your needing twice or three times just due to the boat.

My 42 year old 34 Islander is right at the top end of the living cheap scale. But its a small 34' with solid glass hull and deck and very simple running rigging. 28-30 feet would be about right. Have a watermaker, TV, radar, windlass. System repair will eat all of $500 a month and then some. Small is key here. Pick the wrong boat and you can't get close to $1500, let alone $500 a month

Second, its location, location, location. I'm thinking the med, UK, OZ, etc are out. Things cost way too much to there. $200 a night for a marina is not going to work. I could spend a month a some marinas for just a hair over $200. There are three that I know of in northern Cali of the top of my head. But I could easily spend $600 a month too at most marinas in the area.

Third, you have to do all your own maintenance work. Bottom jobs, to rigging to diesel engine rebuilds.

Forth you make do. Need a new main sail, A new $2000 mainsail is so not in the budget of the $500 a month cruiser. Buy a lightly used nearly new sail for $300 or so. Yes you have a small kitty for extra's. I have a budget of $60 that goes into that kitty every month for future costs. Like haul outs, batteries, and that $300 mainsail.

My last haul out cost me $1100 total, including two gallons of paint, a cutlass bearing, and supplies. The yard bill was less then $600 for haul and lay days. That was 4 years ago. I'm hoping to get one more year out of the bottom. Still no hard growth, though soft growth is requiring cleaning. I pay a diver $20 every 6 monthish to replace my prop zinc. That's the only job I pay someone else for.


Food requires an understanding of food costs in different areas and what's a good deal at one location but not another. Sometimes that means buying bulk and splitting it out into smaller bags. For me, take Cat food, I buy in a large 16 lb bags that last about three months and split up into 1 gallon plastic ziplock baggies (10 baggies/$1 at the dollar stores). That one thing saves me $12 a month in cat food cost. BTW Pets are expensive. I've got my monthly cat costs down to $45-$50 a month, which is still 10% of my total monthly cost. It could be twice that easily.

health care is bandages and antibiotics.

My fuel cost is $40 a month. Need more diesel. then I'm waiting for the right winds. Internet is my one luxury at $30 a month for a mifi hotspot. It allows me to be connected way out in the boondocks. Even 5 miles off shore...

Food and drink for me is $180 a month. Mind you I'm a teetotaler so I've no booze in the budget at all. Nor bar tab. Restaurants is $20 a month. Repairs is that $60 a month that goes in the kitty. Some months I spend nothing on maintenance.

I do have solar and a 120V fridge which works fine on the hook. My cost for solar and fridge was less then $500 or less then 1/2 the cost of 12V refrigeration alone. Plus I've had zero maintenance on the fridge in 7+ years.

But by far the one thing that makes it possible to live on $500 a month is picking the right boat. Ideally smaller, with just basic systems. Never a power boat, BTW due to fuel and bigger engine maintenance costs.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:48   #986
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

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As a boater, the boat costs you whatever it costs, in whatever condition YOU the owner can afford and what you are willing to accept.

Gas still costs the same for you as for me.
->Which is why you have to sail, not motor. No schedules, smart choices.
Insurance still costs the same.
->For the most part gotta go with limited insurance, or liability-only.
Sails cost the same.
->Frugal living means taking care of the boat and rigging. Avoid taxing the equipment, and buy used whenever possible. There are lots of good used sails out there.
food costs the same.
->Yup. Hard to avoid this one. Eat local, avoid expensive touristy locations, stay out of restaurants. Probably eat vegetarian, except for the fish you catch.
moorings when necessary cost the same.
->Mooring and dockage will kill the budget. Gotta anchor out to make this work.
Repairs cost the same.
->Again, treat the boat gently to limit breakage. DIY is a must.
I agree with you. It's not easy on a small budget, but some of these costs (not all) are controllable if one is willing to make the necessary choices.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:49   #987
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I dont think its anyone making fun of you. We all dont have "money" but we have a realistic appraisal of costs.

Im a Dr. You come to see me. You sit down in front of me. My fixed costs are, let us example it at $300 an hour for staff, mortgage, insurance, supplies and everything else. 5 days a week 10 hours a day. (its actually more than this but it hurts me to write the figure) and I have cut down to the minimum requred.

I cant get away from this cost.

As a boater, the boat costs you whatever it costs, in whatever condition YOU the owner can afford and what you are willing to accept.

Gas still costs the same for you as for me.
Insurance still costs the same.
Sails cost the same.
food costs the same.
moorings when necessary cost the same.
Repairs cost the same.

It will be harder on a low budget, and believe me I am FULLY aware of having no money and making do.

But your BASE costs are the same. The only way to lessen them is to lessen usage of marinas, food, fuel and other things.

I admire anyone living their dream. And I really wish I could cut all my costs. Only I cant, not without leaving where I want to be and doing what I want to do. If I HAD to........ then I would have to think really hard about the choice to make.
I didn't say it was me they were making fun of, or you are saying anything wrong. But if you read the thread there are definitely some obnoxious people here. I just wish the thread could get back to people that are doing it and how they're doing it. +1 to what Mike said
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:55   #988
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

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I'm sure you're correct weavis. Sounds like it would be impossible there. I'm sure it's impossible in many places.

One thing though, I personally don't get fixated on the exact dollar figure. I see "$500/month" as aspirational. It's a way of opening and fostering discussion about frugal living on a boat. It's easy (or easier) to live with lots of $$$$. How to live with less, but still live well, is what I'm here to learn about (and to contribute to in my small way).
And none of the contributors to this thread look down upon or demean ANYBODY for living the frugal life.

I tire of the the amount of people who think I am rich because of my profession. Europe does not pay the same as the USA for salaries for Drs, and even in the States, it takes a long time for a Family Dr to make 100K a year.... a long time.

A large part of my work is unsalaried because it is my choice to work in some countries to help out. I have enough to live and a little saved, but believe me, I do know what having literally NO money is.

My clinic manager earned more than me last year and she wants a raise!

I see your point Mike about the figure being "aspirational" as opposed to being literal. That makes sense.

I am choosing to aspire to living on a boat full time. I have worked out what it will cost me for where and how I want to live.

Believe it when I say I live very cheaply, because I will cut down on my budget everywhere and not spend just because I have to.

One motor cruiser friend of mine can burn through 50 gallons an hour and think nothing of it when going out for a day cruise....... and he does, AND he thinks he is doing it cheaply because his buddy burns about 80 an hour!. Ive done that...... and it really hurt me at my income level. ALL my money going on fuel. Silly.

We do what we can.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:00   #989
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

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Ok..... for a 30 foot boat, (or Cat), I can get a mooring in an ultra modern Marina near Barcelona...... Free water, Free Electric, Free showers, free toilet all for $425 a month plus a quarterly charge of $500 on top..
At the $500 a month level, living month to month in a marina is out of the question. So its on the hook in locations that allow anchoring and good protection. Its that location, location part. Oddly even Tangers marinas are more expensive then most SF bay marinas. $425 is not a bad price for a marina, but it does not work on the $500 a month lifestyle.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:06   #990
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Re: Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

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At the $500 a month level, living month to month in a marina is out of the question. So its on the hook in locations that allow anchoring and good protection. Its that location, location part. Oddly even Tangers marinas are more expensive then most SF bay marinas. $425 is not a bad price for a marina, but it does not work on the $500 a month lifestyle.
You can get a Cat with an outboard too you know?

But thanks for your breakdown of costs.

I guess for me, I would only go to the cruising life where I wanted to be. Even though I love the water, I dont want to live somewhere I dont want.....
I have that choice, and I hope others have it too.
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