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Old 12-02-2014, 07:20   #1
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Truth about Sailing on a Budget

Okay I get ask time and time again about how much did your last trip cost? There are so many factors that go into that question, location, did stuff break, did the wind help?, did I drink to much at the bars?

Okay location... Bahamas 300 bucks just to get in. Sail, fuel 5.85 a gallon now.
I want to give some of you pounding away in that cube of a office space some real advice.
LEARN, LEARN all you can, a marine tech gets 105 dollars a hour and 75 just to come to your boat here in Miami, Florida.
I saw a guy pay 485 bucks for repair he could have done himself for 50 bucks.
Join a sailing club, read, watch someone esle work on a item.
I spent 21 years in the Coast Guard so was lucky enough to learn there, but I am alway learning because things are alaways changing.
Learn to sew and paint these are two big things you need to know, get some basic mech skills, I can change almost everything on my boat. Learn how to use a multi meter this one will really help trust me.
KNOWLEDGE is KING
let's face it it is costing us more and more to live the dream but alot of thing you can do on your known.
If its going to happen its going to happen out there Capt Ron is right but thats just a movie, it is going to happen out there and be ready for it!
I didn't get rich serving in the Coast Guard and I will never be able to get that shiny Lagoon 44, here I'm out here on my old Prout Snowgoose and I am having fun and meeting alot of great people.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:31   #2
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

Crazy Cat, well said.

My mom used to say that one either needed to make enough money to pay the plumber or to marry the plumber. She married someone who made enough money to pay the plumber. I became the plumber....
I mean that I learned how to fix things. My daughters have figured out how to do a lot following my example.
When you are cruising any amount of time, things will break. It's possible that the engine won't run. Maybe some critical sail control jams or breaks. You need to develop a skill set to deal with these problems, but also the attitude that all is not lost. You can sail without a motor. Easier some times than others, but you can do it.
We broke a propeller blade once just beginning a 50 mile crossing. The prop could push the boat a up to 2 knots before the shaking from the imbalance became too much. There was little wind. The GPS gave an arrival date of 2 days hence. So what? We had good conditions, food for weeks, and enough beer. We made it just fine.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:40   #3
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

I know what you mean I had a bad fuel problem a few years back had to use the kicker and sail in to ports at times, freaked out the old guy on a 60 foot cat cause I had to single hand sail in, drop hook run back to cockpit. He told me later that night he thought I was crazy.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:47   #4
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

And if you can't do it yourself.....or don't want to.

Then recognize your costs are totally different. While power boaters and not sailors this still applies. We don't do any of the maintenance on our boats ourselves. So we have to pay for those services. We don't paint, don't repair engines, don't do carpentry. And if those things were a requirement for boating then we'd not be boaters, not even as much as we love the water. Now, if like us, you better be prepared for an entirely different budget. See, that's one thing about the word "budget". It's often used to imply a small budget. No, it's your budget, whatever that might be.

It's very important then to factor in all the needed maintenance, both routine and repairs. If you haven't a budget adequate to cover it all then soon your boat won't be the one you love and it will be letting you down and then you'll pay even more.

Now that's not to say we have no skills. They just aren't related to maintaining a boat. And if it was necessary I can take one project and in a week could make enough to pay someone for a couple hundred hours of service. Doing it myself would actually be a poor use of my time and skills compared to doing other work and paying for this.

Just saying that there are more than one kind of boater. We share our love for the water. But we might not share a love of working on our boats and equipment. So our budgets will be very different. We're not all self sufficient.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:00   #5
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

Well put BandB....
the guy 3 slips down has a 1/2 million dollar CABO, he is a Doctor and can not and does not have the time to work on his boat, probably makes 400 a hour why not paid 105 a hour to have some one work on it for you?
But for the average Joe that is working away trying to get on the water (most) doing it yourself is the way to go.
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Old 12-02-2014, 16:26   #6
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

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Originally Posted by crazycat View Post
Well put BandB....
the guy 3 slips down has a 1/2 million dollar CABO, he is a Doctor and can not and does not have the time to work on his boat, probably makes 400 a hour why not paid 105 a hour to have some one work on it for you?
But for the average Joe that is working away trying to get on the water (most) doing it yourself is the way to go.
If you know what you're doing you can find you a few of those doctors and start you a little side business doing preventative maintenance for them on a low monthly retainer.

Just sayin for all those cruising on a tight budget.

If you can obtain a skill you can really make the dream come true. Obviously this has to be a cash business.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties and before I went into commercial diving I worked in the bahamas doing bottom jobs and I was making close to $3000 per month just charging a low monthly retainer to insure the bottom of their boat was always good to go and doing other small things when they needed it done. I always kept about 25 - 35 clients at all times and was working about 25 hours a week.

It was a nice life for a couple of years. You have to make friends with the officials and fly really under the radar to make it work though.
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Old 12-02-2014, 16:46   #7
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

Quote:
Originally Posted by satdiver View Post
If you know what you're doing you can find you a few of those doctors and start you a little side business doing preventative maintenance for them on a low monthly retainer.

Just sayin for all those cruising on a tight budget.

If you can obtain a skill you can really make the dream come true. Obviously this has to be a cash business.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties and before I went into commercial diving I worked in the bahamas doing bottom jobs and I was making close to $3000 per month just charging a low monthly retainer to insure the bottom of their boat was always good to go and doing other small things when they needed it done. I always kept about 25 - 35 clients at all times and was working about 25 hours a week.

It was a nice life for a couple of years. You have to make friends with the officials and fly really under the radar to make it work though.
So that means you charged the each about $100.00 month? How long ago was that? Love to find a guy like that in SEA. Someone to do basic maintenance in the off season.
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Old 12-02-2014, 16:55   #8
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

cruising on a budget...is exactly what i do all the time all year long...
so my engine decided to be major project..it just takes a lil longer time to fix as you save the money to fix it with..... there is nothing wrong with sailing on a tight budget..even if boat isnt all perfect when you leave--is cheaper to do things to boats down here than north of border.
as you go you learn where stuff is and where the place for this or that is..then you utilize your knowledge when you need it..
oh yeah, btw..i am no longer able to use my hands in such manner as to repair much anymore...i hire folks to do the work, and i am still ok.
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Old 12-02-2014, 17:03   #9
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pirate Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

[QUOTE=satdiver;1466791]If you know what you're doing you can find you a few of those doctors and start you a little side business doing preventative maintenance for them on a low monthly retainer.

Just sayin for all those cruising on a tight budget. QUOTE]

But then your not cruising.. you've got a day job..
Mind.. depends on your definition of cruising I guess
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Old 12-02-2014, 17:06   #10
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

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Originally Posted by undercutter View Post
So that means you charged the each about $100.00 month? How long ago was that? Love to find a guy like that in SEA. Someone to do basic maintenance in the off season.
It's been a long time but if I remember correctly I was charging $100 month for the bottom, through hull inspection and prop cleaning and $150 to add general cleaning and checking up on systems. I would have cleint send me money via western union each month.

If I found something seriously wrong that needed some attention I would alert the owner and help them deal with the issue remotely whether they used me or had me source someone more knowledgeable and I'd handle overseeing the work being done and report the progress and bills to the owner.

It worked out great actually. I never had any complaints. I've heard it's gotten tougher in the islands to get away with doing work like that since you are competing with the locals. But nothing $20 or $100 here and there did not take care of when I was doing it.
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Old 12-02-2014, 17:12   #11
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

[QUOTE=boatman61;1466813]
Quote:
Originally Posted by satdiver View Post
If you know what you're doing you can find you a few of those doctors and start you a little side business doing preventative maintenance for them on a low monthly retainer.

Just sayin for all those cruising on a tight budget. QUOTE]

But then your not cruising.. you've got a day job..
Mind.. depends on your definition of cruising I guess
I was cruising, I would work several islands at a time. I had to move around to keep from getting in trouble with the local workers or officials. Thats what I meant by flying under the radar. When a island got to hot I would alert clients that I was no longer servicing that location and move on. For the most part the locals were pretty accepting since I would also recommend them for some jobs that where out of my area of expertise.
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Old 12-02-2014, 17:40   #12
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pirate Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

[QUOTE=satdiver;1466816]
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post

I was cruising, I would work several islands at a time. I had to move around to keep from getting in trouble with the local workers or officials. Thats what I meant by flying under the radar. When a island got to hot I would alert clients that I was no longer servicing that location and move on. For the most part the locals were pretty accepting since I would also recommend them for some jobs that where out of my area of expertise.
Here in the Med its known as guardianage... and its usually N Europeans based in marinas.. only time they cruise is when everyone vacates the marinas in High Season...
My trick was free diving for lost winch drums.. bottom cleaning, mast cleaning and sneaky day charters.. then I discovered deliveries.. by accident.
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Old 12-02-2014, 19:25   #13
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So that means you charged the each about $100.00 month? How long ago was that? Love to find a guy like that in SEA. Someone to do basic maintenance in the off season.
I have been up and down Phuket to Singapore. There are usually a few yachties/shipwright or expats who lives locally who will move among the boats either in marina or near the cafe near a landing for dinghies. Just ask around or keep your eagle eyes widfe open.

The rates vary. I used to pay SGD$200 (USD$ 175) a month for thai boat boy to clean the side/deck/cockpit once a week and clean the bottom once a month with his diving gear.

Some people paid SGD$ 600 ( USD$ 520 ) monthly to clean the boat every week and start the engine. One Philippine boat boy would dive to clean the bottom for SGD 150 ( USD 130) each time.



In Langkawi, I know a couple who will check your boat and start engine for RM 100 ( USD$ 34 ) each visit.

Back in Port Klang, I paid one local boat boy RM 200 ( USD$ 67) for one dive to remove rubbish stuck in the rudder/prop. Some keep him on retainer

These are full time people and not to mention fellow yacthies who are on mooring looking out for extras.

I try to fix things on the boat and there is always one more to add to the check list. When my cruising kitty runs out, I will grab my snorkel and do bit of work for my keeps
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Old 12-02-2014, 19:54   #14
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

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Originally Posted by ericoh88 View Post
I have been up and down Phuket to Singapore. There are usually a few yachties/shipwright or expats who lives locally who will move among the boats either in marina or near the cafe near a landing for dinghies. Just ask around or keep your eagle eyes widfe open.

The rates vary. I used to pay SGD$200 (USD$ 175) a month for thai boat boy to clean the side/deck/cockpit once a week and clean the bottom once a month with his diving gear.

Some people paid SGD$ 600 ( USD$ 520 ) monthly to clean the boat every week and start the engine. One Philippine boat boy would dive to clean the bottom for SGD 150 ( USD 130) each time.



In Langkawi, I know a couple who will check your boat and start engine for RM 100 ( USD$ 34 ) each visit.

Back in Port Klang, I paid one local boat boy RM 200 ( USD$ 67) for one dive to remove rubbish stuck in the rudder/prop. Some keep him on retainer

These are full time people and not to mention fellow yacthies who are on mooring looking out for extras.

I try to fix things on the boat and there is always one more to add to the check list. When my cruising kitty runs out, I will grab my snorkel and do bit of work for my keeps
For younger people wanting to cruise before starting a career this is really good information I'm going to share this thread with my nephew.

I always wanted to write an article on how to get a free boat in half decent shape I got my first boat at 16 which was an S&S 34. After a Hurricane in NC I was out surveying damage in my dads tender and found her washed up on a shoal. I got on her and found the owners info and he said he had already filed a claim and if I got her off the shoal I could have it.

Other than minor fiberglass damage, some water intrusion and wrecked rigging she was structurally sound. A summer job and a little help from the parents to store her for the summer I saved up enough to buy everything I needed to fix most of the major issues. The guys that worked the yard were even nice enough to show me how do the work myself and gave me advice just because they liked to teach their skills.

It was a pretty cool experience in my life. She is also the only boat I sold and ever made a return on investment.
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Old 12-02-2014, 23:03   #15
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Re: TRUTH ABOUT SAILING ON A BUDGET

> I got on her and found the owners info and he said he had already filed a claim and if I got her off the shoal I could have it.

And what did the insurance company have to say about that? How did you establish ownership when you sold it?
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