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Old 28-05-2013, 22:10   #1
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Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

Hey everyone,

I've been planing on attempting a world circumnavigation for many years now and am finally getting into the beginning of the preparation stage now! Although it's still many, many years away. Anyways, I'm trying to create an initial plan for the budgeting now, and I figured some of you could really help me!

I've estimated I could buy a decent 35-45 bluewater sailing yacht for around $75,000, given I invest enough time in the search. Does this seem accurate?

My primary question is, how much should I budget, per month, for time under sail? I suppose this includes food, repairs, fuel, mooring costs, international visas, etc. As I plan on making a really comprehensive trip around the world; how would these expenses change in someplace like French Polynesia vs. Continental Asia vs. Europe vs. Latin America vs. Africa and other locations?
I know it's very hard to come up with an accurate estimate for all these, but could anyone give me an idea based on their experience?

Thank you very much!
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Old 28-05-2013, 22:23   #2
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

Somewhere between $10 000 and $100 000 per year. Depends on you, the boat, your crew, location, etc.
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Old 28-05-2013, 23:37   #3
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

haha So you're saying it really depends on how frugal you are then? But $10,000 a year is really possible?

Thanks for the reply!
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Old 28-05-2013, 23:45   #4
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

A lot depends on what a "circumnavigation" means to you. You could just sail through the whole thing nonstop, or close to non stop, minimizing costs in a big way. Or you could spend protracted amounts of time in lots of places doing lots of things.

I don't think there's a way to answer your question to be honest. It's a bit like asking "how much do you spend from the age of 30 to 35?" The answer is completely dependent on what you do, problems you have, and your lifestyle.

Get the simplest, simplest, simplest boat you can if you want to keep costs low. Get a <30 footer with no engine, a sculling oar, and build your own self steering system. That would be cheap and will stay cheap.

It's completely dependent on what you want to spend and what type of experience you want to have.
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Old 28-05-2013, 23:47   #5
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

You need to answer some basic questions first:

- how many trips a year home
- how many people per trip
- can you do your own maintenance or do you have to hire mechanics
- will you have boat insurance
- will you be able to get out of the hurricane box during hurricane season if insured
- will you have medical insurance
- do you have the self discipline to not splurge on shore side meals, drinks
- will you be taking shore side excursions
- how many months a year will you be at a paid dock
- how technically complex is the boat
- how old is the technology

Are you sensing a theme here?

Each one of those questions can change your budet by $2000 - $4000 USD a year

We spent four years in Mexico at about $3,000 / month and lived very comfortably on a very complex boat that I maintained. We flew home once a year and had expensive boat and medical insurance.
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Old 28-05-2013, 23:51   #6
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

Some places are cheaper, some more expensive. A lot depends on what you do for medical and boat insurance--you can spend $10k/yr on those two items alone, or you can spend zero. When I left in 1992, I was spending $20-25k/yr for 2 on a 45 ft boat with trips home and some travel. If I was to leave today I would budget more like twice that, even though the inflation calculator says US prices have only gone up by 66%.
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Old 29-05-2013, 04:05   #7
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

Accurate figures are impossible because there's so many curve balls.

For example, the Australian dollar has fallen more than 10% over the last few weeks. So Aussies budgets now need to be cut by a full 10%!
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Old 29-05-2013, 06:10   #8
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

Add some dollars to load up on gear you will need like self steering vane, liferaft, etc... not to mention spare parts and tools to cover every situation you may encounter a long, long way form anywhere.

This won't come out of your monthly/yearly budget but will add quite a bit to the cost pre cast off.
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Old 29-05-2013, 06:25   #9
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

Expect on spending around $25,000 USD per year of sailing, especially if you intend on briefly visiting a pricey place like French Polynesia. Keep an additional $10,000 USD, in the bank, for emergencies; sudden flight home or for a major calamity. Insurance coverage is extra; boat and health insurance. Have fun! Mauritz
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Old 29-05-2013, 06:37   #10
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by walloon View Post
Hey everyone,

I've been planing on attempting a world circumnavigation for many years now and am finally getting into the beginning of the preparation stage now! Although it's still many, many years away. Anyways, I'm trying to create an initial plan for the budgeting now, and I figured some of you could really help me!

I've estimated I could buy a decent 35-45 bluewater sailing yacht for around $75,000, given I invest enough time in the search. Does this seem accurate?

My primary question is, how much should I budget, per month, for time under sail? I suppose this includes food, repairs, fuel, mooring costs, international visas, etc. As I plan on making a really comprehensive trip around the world; how would these expenses change in someplace like French Polynesia vs. Continental Asia vs. Europe vs. Latin America vs. Africa and other locations?
I know it's very hard to come up with an accurate estimate for all these, but could anyone give me an idea based on their experience?

Thank you very much!
The other responses are correct. Are you planning on drinking champagne every night? or rainwater.

On the boat - I doubt if you can find a decent 45 footer for 75 grand. You'll have to spend a bunch to get something like that ready for a circumnavigation. I can tell you that I bought my 40 footer (only 6 years old and in pristine condition) and I will spend something like 50 grand getting her ready for a circumnav.

There are lots of threads on this site about exactly this subject - query around - there's enough for several weekends of reading
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Old 29-05-2013, 07:35   #11
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

Cost to refit seems like the cost to refit. Fixed number so to speak (higher than one imagines). That being said, the boat cost can vary greatly. I did not see 1 single boat that I would leave on when looking for boats. Looking at prices from about 5k to 65k. They all needed the same stuff replaced. Example. Sails, every one I would want to put new sails on. Boat, 5k, sails 3k total 8k or boat 65k, sails 3k, total 68k. All of them seemed to need the same stuff and what was in them in my opinion even if it was something I would want, I would want to do different. Solar would be a great example. Found a boat with solar and batteries. I would have run it all a bit different. I hate wires that are old and don't do anything, but are there simply because they were removed. I would want to redo all of the electrical.


What I'm really getting at is that it's all a compromise. My wife and I constantly remind ourself of that. I wanted to build a boat, but did not want to put that kind of time into it. Built some small boats/dingy's (up to 16 ft cat), in the past and know what kind of time it takes for something simple. I really like the idea of putting everything in myself. I compromised by getting a boat design I liked and I'm doing a refit, so a compromise on my building.

Got to figure out what you want. You will spend more than you initially thought regardless of what boat you buy. It's not an investment, it's what you want. Cant take money to the grave, might as well buy some priceless freedom with it.
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Old 29-05-2013, 08:03   #12
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

We spent a little over a $1,000 for a years cruise in French Polynesia back in the '70s. Accounting for inflation, that would be about $5,000 in todays money. The boat was thoroughly provisioned before we left. We lived simply, did a lot of free diving for protein in the Marquesas and Tuamotus. We bought an occasional beer, only ate out a couple of times and didn't frequent the bars. Never lacked for anything and didn't miss the trappings of civilization which can quickly and greatly increase the cost of cruising. We did stay away from Papeete and other commercial areas.

As soon as we got back to Hawaii, our cost of living went way up. Living in a Marina meant we had those expenses and the lure of Waikiki took it's toll. Still, our expenses didn't increase astronomically.

So what does it cost??? it costs what you spend. You have to be honest with yourself. Are you going to play marina on the right, hang out in bars, eat out every night, and otherwise sample the pleasures of a metropolitan lifestyle. Will you be content to stay away from the big cities, anchor out, and live reasonably. Was just talking with an experienced cruiser who bought a boat locally and are getting it ready to leave for the Right Coast. He was moaning about the money they were spending, not only to get the boat ready but just for living expenses in general. He says they spend very little money when they are out cruising. Can't wait to get out of the marina and resume the cruising life where living is cheap and more enjoyable.

Stay small on the boat. Don't try and get a 40 footer ready to cruise for $75,000. You will be able to find a boat for that money but getting it ready to cruise adds up real quick. Keep it simple. Things like refrigeration are expensive to install and even more costly to maintain unless you do it yourself. Electronics are basically toys once you go beyond GPS and a depth sounder and prone to failure. Do get good ground tackle and windlass, self steering vane, sails. Those are the things that will get you there and keep you safe and comfy once you are there.
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Old 29-05-2013, 20:42   #13
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

It sounds overly simple but you spend what you have to spend. A poor fisherman could do it for very little and the owner of an Amel would probably spend a bunch. Worring to much about this will keep you ashore.
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Old 29-05-2013, 21:18   #14
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Re: Budgeting for long term circumnavigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Accurate figures are impossible because there's so many curve balls.

For example, the Australian dollar has fallen more than 10% over the last few weeks. So Aussies budgets now need to be cut by a full 10%!
Bummer!
But glad we bought last year...

Vic
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Old 02-06-2013, 19:56   #15
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It sounds overly simple but you spend what you have to spend. A poor fisherman could do it for very little and the owner of an Amel would probably spend a bunch. Worring to much about this will keep you ashore.
I like this. "Worrying too much will keep you ashore"
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