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Old 14-12-2015, 17:13   #16
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

There's a huge difference between:

How much can I responsibly afford to spend?


How much do I need to spend?

Based on what you described as your resources, you can afford to spend a lot more than many happy cruisers.

But only you can decide if this is enough. And you won't know this until you try.


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Old 14-12-2015, 17:48   #17
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

You still meed to define you conception of "cruising lifestyle". As someone said there are people doing it on a 28' and $500/mo and completely happy. It goes up from there.

If you are single you need to consider physically how much you can handle... as a noob... sailing bigger is more accessible these days... but it's electric and electrics can fail and then it's back to basics.. life or die until you can get somewhere to fix it!

You likely can find a very lovely blue water boat for $250K... and not even have to put too much cash into her... maybe max at another $100K... The rest of your living expenses are fees, fuel, food, fixin' and fun. They vary.

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Old 14-12-2015, 17:52   #18
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

Originally Posted by Liam Wald View Post
I am guessing by this guys post that it wouldn't be very long at all before he is separated from his money no matter how much he has!

Troll alert!

Ditto. What kind of business is he in, again?

Lets see if we can get some credit card info.....
Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
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Old 14-12-2015, 18:00   #19
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

Hard to make sense about people who ask questions on web forums... unless it is a very technical issue... What happened to doing "research" and it's so easy to use google and follow links and learn... Why would anyone listen to a perfect stranger from the WWW anyway?
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Old 14-12-2015, 18:12   #20
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

Originally Posted by D-Vector View Post
What I’m trying to determine is the maximum amount I should consider spending on a vessel, including acquisition and restoration/refurbishing costs, if any are necessary.
Only you can decide that; but if you want a number anyway: max. $1.2M, since that is what you have in your bank account.

Spending more than you have would be irresponsible, less would be more responsible (personally, I'd never spend more than half my savings on a boat).

Use your $120K passive income to live on - 10k a month should be enough for a single-hander cruising around.
The average cruising family has a budget of around 1.5-2k a month, so 10k for one person should be enough for most. Only you know if it's enough for you, but you could always find a way to earn while you sail.

You could buy a very nice boat (for a whole lot less than 1M) and leave tomorrow, never to look back and without ever having to worry about money.

So I can't help but wonder ... why are you posting here, asking a bunch of strangers how to spend your money, instead of out there actually buying a boat?
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Old 14-12-2015, 18:30   #21
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

I can only give you an "if it was me" without knowing a lot more about you.

Given you annual income, you will be fine on almost any boat under 50' provided you do not either spend a ton of time in marinas at the daily rate, or spend thousands of dollars a month on restaurants/bars/shopping/plane tickets. Assuming $1,000 a month on restaurants/bars, $2,000 a month on flights, rental cars, tours, etc., and 5 nights a month or less in marinas at the daily rate; you will never be able to spend $120,000 a year cruising. I am assuming you have no fixed bills and the boat is your only residence.

For buying the boat, given your age I would take half of your savings and not touch it. That leaves $600k. I would buy a boat in good condition for $400k and keep it insured. The other $200k you can save for later upgrades and an emergency fund. Try to do all your maintenance and upgrades out of your annual income, which should not be very hard unless you spending is in excess of the above.

Most likely you will spend cruising about what you spend on land, minus housing and car costs, plus say $2,000 per month for the boat (maintenance, upgrades, insurance, marinas). I think people who spend $10,000 / month on land, tend to do the same on the water. People who spend $3,000 / month on land, the same.

Without knowing your on-land spending habits it is hard to provide better guidance.
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Old 14-12-2015, 18:38   #22
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

A lot of the terms you used in your question do not have standard definitions.

One reason there is such a wide range of answers on how it will cost to maintain a cruising lifestyle is because it means different things to different people. I have many friends I consider living the cruising life style who keep their boat on the hard during hurricane season, splash it in the fall, sail to the Keys, Bahamas, Cuba, and South, return in June or July; and then rinse and repeat. Other folks spend a year or two out of the US and only return for a major refit.

Even those folks have a big difference in that some of the have an admiral (in cruising lingo an admiral is a female significant other) while others don't. Sometimes the admiral and captain are well versed in sailing and others have volunteer or paid crew. Which raises the question of boat size. At some point even the best sailor will need crew to help sail a big boat.

One of the problems with chartering a boat is that many boat makers have an owners version and a charter version; not to mention a lot of boat makers do not make a charter version. As a rule charter versions are not viewed as highly as owners versions and boat makers that do not make a charter version often are viewed as making higher quality boats.

The first thing I suggest you do is ask yourself if you will be sailing alone, with a significant other, more than one family/friend, or perhaps need a crew. Or in the alternative try and determine the size of the boat you want to cruise on and then figure out what size crew it will need. A lot of folks in your position will start with a 35-45 foot boat with a single significant other as crew. Any larger and you may well need additional crew.

To some extent the boat price and cost to maintain are linked. A cheap boat often will require a bigger budget to maintain and the converse can also be true. There are also some features a boat is designed with that can affect how much it costs to maintain. I have a Seawind that has two 9.9 Yahama outboards. These cost a lot less to maintain than inboards, but use more gas on long passages where you have to motor and don't have as much power in heavy seas, head winds, and strong current. As a rule a composting head may cost a little more to buy but is cheaper to install and maintain, with the down side that your guests can mess it up if they don't follow the rules to use it.

A big solar array with a big house battery bank can run your refrigeration and other needs while cruising and is often more reliable than a genset; not to mention quieter and cheaper. There are many options for refrigeration, stoves, and instruments; you need to figure out if you can live with what is on the boat you buy or you will have to upgrade.

Another important consideration is you don't seem convinced just where you will sail. A lot of folks buy a boat in Florida and cruise there, especially in the Keys and are quite content. Especially with a month or six month trip to the Bahamas every year. Just as an aside there always seem to be lots of boats in Georgetown at the South end of the Bahamas. This is where the sailing gets a little more difficult and you have to cross the Thorn Patch to go South. It is quite possible to keep a boat in Georgetown on the hard in hurricane season and fly there to cruise the rest of the year. Same goes for many places to the South if you go there.

Not sure what life style you are use to but with the resources you described you should be able to buy a nice boat and live/cruise on it with ease.
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Old 14-12-2015, 18:43   #23
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

Originally Posted by RainDog View Post

Most likely you will spend cruising about what you spend on land,

This is conventional wisdom advice that can be true. On the other hand I have been on my boat for a couple of months straight where I did not spend a penny. This was because there were no stores, bars, marinas, or any thing else to spend money on. On the other hand if you are at a marina, on a ball, or anchored but go to shore every night for meals and drinks, rent cars for sight seeing, and fly around to visit folks it will add up.

This is why there is such a wide range of estimates on how much it costs to cruise.
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Old 14-12-2015, 20:04   #24
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

Here's an idea
Give me 1/4 of your funds and I'll show you how to do it
What a problem!!!
All in jest my friend
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Old 14-12-2015, 20:23   #25
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

It sounds like burn-out is part of the trouble. I can relate to that.

However, cruising is not necessarily the long-term answer for you. In addition to the suggestions to charter more and crew more (good suggestions), there is also the option of pursuing different interests on land. There are MANY, more than on the water.

Just make certain you aren't running away from burn-out, but rather are really interested in the options that only living on a boat and cruising offer. Many of retire and cruise more, but have no interest in leaving our interests on land. It isn't fear of the unknown, it's knowing how nice it can be enjoying both.
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Old 14-12-2015, 20:58   #26
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

In answer to the question...I think you can afford to spend enough to have a cat that doesn't need upgrades or constant maintainance. I.e. A pretty new one. The question is what you will be happy with and new cats from 38' - 50' will range from 220K to 800K. Kind of like are you happy with a ford or does it have to be a BMW. There's also the question of how many crew or passengers you regularly have, but there's not a huge difference on the liveability of 38-50' cats, unless you regularly have more than 6 on board. My suggestion would be to put around 350-400K into a new 40ish' cat. Not have to worry about much maintainance for a few years and save the rest for investments, living expenses, insurance etc. You can always upgrade later if you think you've outgrown the boat. That's my personal choice. Everyone has different levels of acceptable risk. As far as boats, I'd be looking at the lagoon 39,400,42,450S,FP40,FPHelia, Bavaria open 40 and 46 and outremer 45. Again my personal choices in that price bracket (helia is a bit more) but good solid boats with reasonable service, comfort, sea keeping and resale values.
Others might suggest an older boat (they're probably more into maintainance than I am), or bigger or faster or more expensive or a different manufacturer. Recently at the dock in Grenada I was quite surprised to see a long queue outside island water word (chandler) on a Monday morning just before opening. Dinghies racing to the dock... I'm assuming they were there to solve, buy bits or shop for the weekends breakages, malfunctions and upcoming weeks upgrades and boat jobs. Not something I'm particularly into or enjoy, but different strokes for different folks. Some people love tinkering and fixing stuff.
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Old 15-12-2015, 01:42   #27
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

Hi D-Vector

I'm in a similar position to you although a few years behind you.
I'm also new to the forum.
What I'm doing, is working it backwards.
For instance, first work out how much you can comfortably afford on your and the boats annual running costs.
The accepted rule of thumb is that average running cost of any boat is 7 - 10% of the value of the boat.
Look at what you're going to spend on mooring, marinas, food entertainment, air fares, health insurance blah blah.
Add all the above together, deduct from your annual income.
Factor in something for inflation and Murphy's law.
See what's left and how much you are comfortable spending on the boat.
Work it a few times, massage it, knock it back 5% for safety. You got your price range for the boat.
Then start looking.

Well, that's how I'm planning to arrive at my answer to the same question anyway.

Cheers :-)
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Old 15-12-2015, 05:46   #28
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

Okay I'll throw my $0.02 in on this one since I went through a similar exercise. I assure you the question is not crazy, I just didn't bother asking because you'll get a ton of various responses...all of which are correct to the person giving them to you.

First off, congrats on creating such a nest egg and a passive income stream, that is awesome! I too came from an industry that although rewarding, definitely would grind on your soul...thankfully I saved up my pennies and made my escape earlier this year. There is no replacement for the freedom provided by escaping the rat race, its awesome and I highly recommend it! Couple questions regarding your passive income, (1) is this after taxes or before taxes (2) how secure/steady is it? Only you can really answer (2), but just something to consider.

Regarding how much to spend here is my rule of thumb. This is not an is a depreciating asset...a toy. Granted it is an awesome life changing cool as hell toy that you can live on, but don't mistake it for an investment or think of it that you can spend as much as you would on a house on land. My financial advice for a person our age (I'm 45) is that the boat purchase should not make up more than 10% of your total net worth (I'm actually going with a lower % personally). You mentioned you had other retirement investments and maybe the source of your passive income is real estate or a business that has value. Add it all up mark to market of what you could liquate today for and take 10% of that number. So let's say its $200k. You have a very nice boat, that won't get you in too much trouble (financially at least!).

If $200k means you get a 5 year old Lagoon 400, then that is what it means, or you could get a nicer Mono...but IMO that would be the range I would look at in your shoes. Also, it is okay to take things slow to make sure you make the right decision, but just keep making progress towards the eventual goal. Good luck and make sure to report back how things shake out for you!
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Old 15-12-2015, 06:33   #29
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

OMG...I just spit my coffee across the room after reading those numbers! We have been cruising full time on FAR less than that (FAR FAR). Two of us on a 40ft sailboat. So it can be done, it just depends on your standards. Change those and you can make it work.
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Old 15-12-2015, 06:44   #30
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Re: How much can I responsibly afford to spend?

Way I would look at it is, your 47. You most likely won't be doing this until you die, so be sure to leave enough that your assets will at least keep up with inflation, so that in five or ten years, you have as much as you do now for the next adventure.
I'm 57, and won't go for another year and a half, but my financial plan is based on cruising for five years, then buying a house and retiring, assuming boat has 0 residual value and an expected lifespan of 85 years.
Now that meant buying a much cheaper boat than I could "afford" and living on less than we can "afford", but one thing I have learned in life is that Murphy has a vote, and darned if things don't just happen, and darned if I want to go back to work because I have to. I've seen far too many Relatives basically work till they die, but have that nice new car in that expensive garage.

But with your assets and income, you can do all of that easily, and honestly is anything more than a mid to upper 30's Cat, anything but a liability to a single hander or a couple?

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