Clearly I hit a nerve that I didn't intent to. As I said, thank you for publishing your cost data, I really mean that. It was a real help for my wife and I while we were trying to develop our budget.
My point was to show that not everyone needs to spend at the same level to enjoy cruising. In an ideal world would I like to cruise
on a $4-5K a month budget? You bet, but that's not my reality or the reality of many who are trying to make this choice now. It could be that in your reality you were able to buy a house, build equity, save for retirement
with a return over 10%, maybe have a pension or health insurance
from a former employer, etc.
Many of us today didn't have those same opportunities. We had to choose between college debt and retirement
savings. Our houses lost
equity or remained stagnant for 10, 15, 20 years. Wages haven't kept up with inflation and benefits have gone down significantly. My point being that everyone has a different set of things they need to balance and different decisions to make.
As I said before, we don't envision any time when we would be able to fully retire and live a lifestyle similar to our parents or grandparents despite making good wages, controlling our debt, etc. A larger portion of our income
just goes to the cost of living, especially if you live near and work in a large city.
So we have the choice to live very cheaply now while working hard for 50-60 hours a week. Saving every cent we can for the next 20 years so that maybe we can retire at 60 and try to go cruising then. We would have to watch every cent and try to make that money
last because I doubt we will every see any money from social security
. Plus they keep talking about increasing the age for use of money in 401Ks and IRAs. So that could also play a significant role in how much we can spend making us continue living cheaply.
Or we could go now. Go in a smaller boat. Plan to work along the way when we can find it. Live cheaply. Enjoy our lives and see something of the world other than the inside of a box (cubicle or office walls).
To quote someone who often contributes to this forum "your boat, your choice".
So now I will answer a little of what you posted below.
Originally Posted by chuckr
Jesse -- I am wondering why you are coming out here? First we only took dockage in the early years when we had to and later to keep our insurance. Now maybe you are not going to take insurance so that clears that up. But SoulMates is the only property we have and if we were to lose her we would lose everything so it is prudent for us to take insurance to protect our investment.
Again, choices. I am not even sure you could get insurance that would cover the Caribbean
for an older Catalina 36
. We also live on our boat and it is our main possession. At some point it becomes a cost/benefit analysis. If you are paying $10K a year for insurance and dockage, what boat value is worth that cost? A $40K boat, definitely not. You would be better off just saving that money for a new boat if anything were to happen. A Jenny 40 DS, probably valued at over $100K might be a different story.
But I also know plenty of other people that don't average over $300 a month for dockage (over $500 a month for the last year) who have insurance on boats in the Caribbean
[/quote]Second - budget shopping? We provisioned at dollar store, big lots, dollar general ect and in miami
presidente which is a low cost hispanic grocery.
Third - I assume you must not consume alcohol.
Sure I drink. But $160 a month is a lot of cocktails. That's over 120 Captain and Cokes. Going to no premium booze and you are talking a lot of drinks. For instance, just going to Trader Joe's Rum now you are talking 200 cocktails for that same price. That's 3 drinks a day each for a couple.
And $250 a month for groceries for a couple is high. Sounds like you cut some corners but there could still be plenty more you could reduce. But if you have the money to cruise that way, why eat ramen noodles when you could have something better.
Fourth - if you are not going to sight see then why come out here. You plan on just sailing into an anchorage and sitting in the water and going no where and not experience what the new location is all about?
Fifth -- non boat transportation? How do plan to get around once off the boat. We walk a lot but sometimes it is just to far. No we do not have bikes as in a lot of locations they simply do not work well or at all. So again i assume you plan to just pull in to an anchorage and walk around the anchorage location and not see the rest of the island or country. Why come out but then again we came out to experience the cultures, the people and the way of life of the places we visit. We are interested in learning
and understanding not just sitting in an anchorage with a lot of other boats doing little or nothing and there are a few out here who do that never making it out of the port area, but that is their choice.
Again, if you have the money that is certainly the way to do it. But the attitude that if you don't do it that way you should just stay home is complete bulls#!t. You are better off getting out there and exploring the areas you can access than wasting your life away in front of a screen, IMO.
I must also assume that you are not going to leave the boat someplace and travel to visit family
. If you do plan on doing so that is called non boat transportation. And one reason we took dockage is to provide a safe place to leave the boat when we are off her and not on an anchorage as we do not want to take the risk of something happening when we are gone for a couple of weeks. Oh and we do not trust someone looking after our boat. [quote]
OK, but this is still discretionary. You could simply not travel back to see family. I am not saying what we will do. But that is a legitimate choice.
Sixth - SoulMates is actually a Jeanneau DS40 and a great boat. We should have less maintenance on a new boat vs a 25 year old boat and i am not sure what you mean by more systems? I mean are you going without a chartplotter or autopilot? Maybe you do not need radar but we find it useful not just in see other boats and land but storms. The only real fancy system that we put on was the watermaker and we added that after we left the usa east coast/bahamas.
Good luck on the budget.
While the perception may be that a new boat has less maintenance, I would say that this is just deferring maintenance. Regardless of age you still need to wax, wash and care for the boat. Blocks and winches that will require lubrication and greasing (every couple of months if your follow the manufacturer's recommendations). Many people ignore these things on newer boats. Newer batteries do not mean that you ignore proper watering, equalization
, etc. Be it 40 years old or 5 years old, a boat still needs a bottom job every couple of years. If all you do is slap new paint
on old you are deferring the real cost of this job.
I always find this newer boats need less maintenance argument funny
. Can you name one regular maintenance task that you have to do on a old boat that you don't have on a new boat? There are items that have some longer term windows but standing rigging
needs to be replaced typically every 10-15 years if the boat is 2 years old or 30. It's an item you should be budgeting and planning on. Unless your plan is to dump the boat onto someone else with this deferred maintenance. If your hardware
is bedded with polysulfide you need to redo it every 5-10 years. You could do it with butyl tape and probably be done with it for the life of the boat. But when people defer this maintenance that's when you get wet decks and other problems that cost more money and effort to deal with. So unless you only plan to keep the boat for say 5 years and then sell it, you have the same maintenance tasks. And of course what you are doing is just defer that cost until you sell the boat. A 10-15 year old boat where none of the typical maintenance items have been done sells for less than one where they were done.
You mentioned electronics
like chartplotters, autopilot, radars,etc. These are nice to have but certainly not mandatory. They can all be replaced by good seamanship. And again, these have a 5-10 year useful life before they need to be replaced to maintain the value of your boat. My boat is a 2001 and had all of those bells and whistles installed by the PO when he purchased the boat. In 2010 when we purchased the boat those items had a value of next to nothing. Who wants a gray scale chartplotter/radar that requires expensive cards for maps when there are color chart plotters that you download updated charts
onto from a computer for under $2K?
As far as more systems the things I meant were things like your heads. Your boat has two full heads. That is twice the plumbing
, twice the joker valves, twice the seacocks that should be lubricated annually. It has an inboard diesel
, something that requires far more maintenance than an outboard
or no engine
Again, I did not mean to insinuate that you were doing something wrong. Just point out for the OP that your way isn't the only way. And identify some areas that could help him budget more realistically for his situation.