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Old 20-02-2014, 21:07   #1
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1st Post, and 1st Step into our Journey to Realize our Dream

I am the type of person to try to plan ahead and figure out things in advance before I dive into anything, so I'll be asking plenty of stupid questions. Right now I'm trying to wrap my head around a realistic, but conservative budget while living/cruising aboard a sail cat. So many questions:
1. I'm guessing cooking will be propane, what does this run you monthly?
2. How do you, or do you manage connectivity? Emails, etc? Cost?
3. I saw a budget for someone, and food costs seemed crazy! If you fish as your primary protein food source, what's your food budget aside from catching fish?
4. Is it realistic for me to think that several solar panels, and a wind generator can run the fridge, freezer, some lights at night, water maker for 2, and a few hrs of the laptop everyday?
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Old 20-02-2014, 21:18   #2
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1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksieminski View Post
I am the type of person to try to plan ahead and figure out things in advance before I dive into anything, so I'll be asking plenty of stupid questions. Right now I'm trying to wrap my head around a realistic, but conservative budget while living/cruising aboard a sail cat. So many questions:
1. I'm guessing cooking will be propane, what does this run you monthly?
2. How do you, or do you manage connectivity? Emails, etc? Cost?
3. I saw a budget for someone, and food costs seemed crazy! If you fish as your primary protein food source, what's your food budget aside from catching fish?
4. Is it realistic for me to think that several solar panels, and a wind generator can run the fridge, freezer, some lights at night, water maker for 2, and a few hrs of the laptop everyday?
Do a search on this site. Plenty of excel spreadsheets showing different budgets. Depends depends depends. $2200 to $3400 a month is the average. So you should have $25000 to $34000 in the bank per year to draw on. Times that by how many years you want to cruise. So 3 year cruise cost you $100,000 plus $150,000 for the boat is $250,000 cash.
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Old 20-02-2014, 21:28   #3
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

That's a great idea, I had not thought of searching budget spreadsheets, but you did not answer any of my specific questions? Solar panels, propane, communication, etc.
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Old 20-02-2014, 21:29   #4
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksieminski View Post
I am the type of person to try to plan ahead and figure out things in advance before I dive into anything, so I'll be asking plenty of stupid questions. Right now I'm trying to wrap my head around a realistic, but conservative budget while living/cruising aboard a sail cat. So many questions:
1. I'm guessing cooking will be propane, what does this run you monthly?
2. How do you, or do you manage connectivity? Emails, etc? Cost?
3. I saw a budget for someone, and food costs seemed crazy! If you fish as your primary protein food source, what's your food budget aside from catching fish?
4. Is it realistic for me to think that several solar panels, and a wind generator can run the fridge, freezer, some lights at night, water maker for 2, and a few hrs of the laptop everyday?
Generally speaking and 40ft cat should be able to fit 750w solar panels which should cover in most conditions your refrig, spectra watermaker etc.
Personally I would prefer 1kw soar rather than a wind generator where I cruise in tropics.

Check out this thread for the best type of solar install.

Lagoon 450 Modifications
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Old 20-02-2014, 21:37   #5
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

Specifically

(a) Not much - similar to a house

(b) Within sight of land - same as mobile phone
Out of sight HF SSB or Satphone - Expensive

(c) Similar to your food budget now - relying on catching fish is folly

(d) Yes

Also if you want to be conservative add depreciation, maintenance to the costs mentioned - 10-15% per annum
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Old 21-02-2014, 01:28   #6
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

I can get Net coverage well out of sight of land Chris. I use a telstra elite wifi thingy, I used to put it in a bag and run it up a shroud on a halyard, but got around to putting a 3G ariel on the spreaders, works a treat, No problem in getting coverage at Lady Musgrave for example. In fact haven't lost coverage for most of the Queensland coast in the last few years.

Most cruisers I know (me included when I get away) dont rely on catching fish, but usually we get enough to heavily supplement the pantry

On the energy budget, my two panels run the boat and have done for the last 4 years, I dont have shore power and i never turn the fridge and freezer off. I do carry a 1kva gennie when cruising but have never used it.
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Old 21-02-2014, 01:53   #7
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

Andrew

You got me on a technicality but you know what I mean. At some point in the Coral sea your Telstra thingy will fail to work.
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Old 21-02-2014, 02:22   #8
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

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Originally Posted by ricksieminski View Post
That's a great idea, I had not thought of searching budget spreadsheets, but you did not answer any of my specific questions? Solar panels, propane, communication, etc.
We have 600W of solar panels. When it's sunny they run our fridge, freezer, lights etc, plus our watermaker (2 people) and also a breadmaker (for 2).

A 9kg propane cylinder lasts us around 10-12 weeks. That's cooking and hot water'

Internet costs will depend on where you are.
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Old 21-02-2014, 03:00   #9
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Rick.
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Old 21-02-2014, 05:10   #10
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

welcome aboard --
we have been cruising full time for over 6 years -- we have over 500w of solar, water maker, ect --
we have published our cost of cruising for the past 5 years at 5 Years of Cost Data -

good luck in figuring it out
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Old 21-02-2014, 05:47   #11
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

Great help, thanks for all the help!! Lots to think about!

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(c) Similar to your food budget now - relying on catching fish is folly
Why is it "folly"? Are you a bad fisherman? LOL Trolling in my current boat, I don't think that I have ever been skunked, of course this is the local waters off the coast of FL, maybe the other waters are more challenging. I can't imagine if I didn't get anything trolling between hops, that floating over live bottom and dropping a line would not be productive?

Chuckr, thanks I'll check that out!!
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Old 21-02-2014, 06:51   #12
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

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(c) Similar to your food budget now - relying on catching fish is folly


Really? why do you say that? I mean... there are plenty of fish in the sea, right? and I would think that there would be nothing better than fresh fish.. right from the ocean. I can understand it not being your SOLE source of protein.. but certainly you should be able to eat alot of fish to supplement your food..
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Old 21-02-2014, 07:38   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksieminski View Post
I am the type of person to try to plan ahead and figure out things in advance before I dive into anything, so I'll be asking plenty of stupid questions. Right now I'm trying to wrap my head around a realistic, but conservative budget while living/cruising aboard a sail cat. So many questions:
1. I'm guessing cooking will be propane, what does this run you monthly?
2. How do you, or do you manage connectivity? Emails, etc? Cost?
3. I saw a budget for someone, and food costs seemed crazy! If you fish as your primary protein food source, what's your food budget aside from catching fish?
4. Is it realistic for me to think that several solar panels, and a wind generator can run the fridge, freezer, some lights at night, water maker for 2, and a few hrs of the laptop everyday?
1 Propane lasts me about 3 months for a 20 pound tank but I don't use my oven very often and mostly use a pressure cooker or a frying pan

2 standard smartphone data plan unlimited. If I was sailng outside the US I think I would just look for wifi spots.

3 it depends where you are. the only place on the US East Coast and both coasts of Florida I've been able to really contribute to my food budget was in Key West. you can also harvest when certain species are running if you have a large freezer. If you're going to the Bahamas learn how to prepare conch.

4. It depends on how much electricity your fridge and freezer uses but I think you should have no problem with 500 watts I also really like idea having both solar and wind because even though the solar produces more on average the wind produces at night and on days where my solar panels are not producing so they work very well together. Unless you have a huge battery bank you still need to run the engine or generator once in awhile.

The problem with fishing is most of the places that are great to anchor at are fished out on the US east coast.
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Old 22-02-2014, 08:53   #14
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

Other places don't have the abundance of coastal fish that we have in FL? If you can't catch them with hook and line, how about spearfishing?
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Old 22-02-2014, 09:08   #15
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Re: 1st post, and 1st step into our journey to realize our dream

Fish caught on the open ocean are normally safe to eat. Fish caught near coral reefs are often poisonous, and there is no way to tell if they are or not. I had friends that relied on local advice and got very sick. It took months to get over the illness. I would not count on a lot of fish in the tropics. Just another 2 cents worth. _____Grant.
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