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Old 29-07-2015, 19:44   #16
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

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Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
No matter how much you have, it won't seem like enough, but there will be others doing just fine on less.
LOL, how true.

"Expenses always rise to exceed income."
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Old 29-07-2015, 20:13   #17
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

We are a family of four (kids 7&8) aboard a 41' monohull going into our third year of full time cruising. We easily and comfortably get by on $2000/month. In the Bahamas we are closer to $1000/month but we spend a lot of time in places where there is no place to spend money and leave Florida very well provisioned (Costco and Trader Joes). Right now we are anchored off Saint-Anne, Martinique where we've been for the last two weeks. Awesome baked goods and 3 euro bottles of French wine. Like others have said eating out is the enemy of the budget. We cook most meals aboard which is easier with kids anyway. It seems cruisers who are retired spend a lot of time in beach bars. When you look at active captain reviews of all these anchorages 90% of them talk about the quality of the bars or restaurants ashore.

We eat out when we want to but always look for the place where the locals are eating. When we were in Samana, Dominican Republic a hamburger in the marina was $12 but right outside the gate at a local place all four of us ate with beers for about $10 total.

Keep the boat as simple as you can. Our electronics consist of a chartplotter, depth sounder, autopilot, and VHF with AIS reciever. We had a wind instrument but that got struck by lightning in Green Turtle Cay 2 years ago and we see no reason to replace it. If we need to know what direction the wind is blowing we look at our flag or the windex. Very quickly you learn what the wind speed is and when it's time to reef.

If you spend a year getting your boat ready your major expenses when you get out here should be minimized. Our biggest expense was having a new water tank built in Oriental,NC.

Go sooner rather than later but not so soon that kid won't remember it. It is the best decision we ever made as parents and the time with our kids in all these beautiful places has been priceless. And tell all the naysayers to just F-off.
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Old 29-07-2015, 20:50   #18
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

Great post above based on experience....

I prefer a little more electronics but some good advice there (I suck at sailing and need all the help I can get, yay for B&G sailsteer!).
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Old 30-07-2015, 07:24   #19
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

Awesome PSA!!

That is some really good info and advice! The more and more we keep talking, the more and more I feel we may leave a lot sooner.

With the kids, what kind of insurance do you carry if any? Curious what a lot of the cruisers do with this since you are not in the US anyways.
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Old 30-07-2015, 07:37   #20
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

Its dependant on a number of issues... Style of cruising.
If you are just escaping from life you can hide behind an island in the Bahamas or Caribbean and swim every day but otherwise not get off your boat.
However if you are cruising to be a tourist the money adds up because tourism is basically land based... I am a tourist in New York city this summer. It would be stupid for me to waste time sitting on the boat instead of being out there seeing stuff... And that stuff aint cheap!

Today a Central Park walking tour! Yippee! Obviously I have walked/ridden Central Park before but paying for a tour gives a deeper history... You get what you pay for.
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Old 30-07-2015, 08:08   #21
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

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Agreed ken, but everyone needs a place to live, and stocks "always" come back. I am just living off of dividends and not too concerned if the stock goes up and down.
Then I have a Lucent stock certificate for twenty shares I purchased back in 2000 I'd like to sell you. I think I paid $1400... How's $700 sound?
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Old 30-07-2015, 08:17   #22
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

One time I ate out and it was veal, soup, salad, vegetables, rice and fruit. It cost me 90 cents. I think it really depends where you are. I spent $60 in the last month which is a bit higher than asia, but I ate a lot more expensive food than before.

In the sea my costs remain very low because I can at this point survive on the rain and what I can catch, but a bag of rice and a few cans help a lot. Typically I have one can per 3 days on passage.

At this point more than 90% of what I spend is food as the boat is virtually self sufficient without any cost for maintenance. For example, I lost my sculling oar but I am building a new one for free, and the one I lost was also free. The wood I'm cutting off of the oar to shape it is what I'm using to cook with in a high efficiency wood stove I built. One exception is it cost me $30 to do a bottom job, (it was really the cost of the paint), but now my bottom is perfectly clean for 12 months.

Unfortunately quarantine fees ($30 for 6 months) is a significant expense in this country, and other countries can as well be problematic, but so far I have avoided many of these.


I have a plan to build a boat for $1000 or less that can cruise at 15 knots in trade winds, and can beach everywhere (so anchor and ground tackle isn't used) It is of course self steering, unsinkable, self sufficient and easy to repair. It can easily be transported across isthmuses (such as panama) over land. Or it can be sunken in a secluded location to be retrieved later. There are no chemicals or paint needed and the bottom will remain perfectly clean as it is out of the water often, but also has a spare skin which can be used in an emergency but also added and removed or reversed to inside-out every few days later on longer passages to prevent growth.
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Old 30-07-2015, 08:44   #23
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

Mark,

We want to be able to do a little of both. Escape when needed and see some things also. Enjoy NYC!, even though I live in NY, I have still never been other than flying in and out.

Ken,

I have never heard of Lucent, so sorry I'll stay away for now..haha. I have been sticking with companies like Coca Cola, ATT, PG, JJ, etc. Companies that have been around and will most likely be around for some time. Do you use investing to keep up the kitty, or do you just keep it in the bank? Curious how most cruisers "store" their kitty.

Alexandra,

I am hoping we can find those types of places to keep our costs down for food. I am sure we will eat out at some nicer places once in a while, but we want to immerse ourselves with the locals as well. If it was just me, I would probably live a much more simpler life closer to what it seems you are, but not sure I could go that far. With a wife and kid, I wouldn't want to even try for now. Good luck on that project! I would be nervous about sinking a boat and coming back later to retrieve only to find that someone else found it.
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Old 30-07-2015, 09:05   #24
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
... escaping from life you can hide behind an island in the Bahamas or Caribbean and swim every day but otherwise not get off your boat.
However if you are cruising to be a tourist the money adds up because tourism is basically land based... I am a tourist in New York city this summer. It would be stupid for me to waste time sitting on the boat instead of being out there seeing stuff... And that stuff aint cheap!
That is the crux. On one hand you really want to get off the boat to see things!

There are ways to optimize your dollar when you get off the boat.

My wife is an expert at finding deals online to visit sites, clipping coupons, and such. So, you really need to go out of your way to find the good deals and do lots free things. It doesn't cost anything to visit Central Park if you huff it. Good deals on off-broadway shows abound. Discounted tickets for attractions. New York City Pass, free friday nights at the MOMA, etc...NYC pizza is cheap!

I think though, you really need to plan your cruises to take into consideration the costs of the places you are visiting. If you know you are going to NYC (for example) pre-plan all your activities before you get there so you can budget appropriately. Its not hard these days, having the internets and all!

Balance expensive days with an extensive smattering of days hiding behind a Bahamas island, which is what we did after visiting "the triangle" in the Abacos.
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Old 30-07-2015, 10:36   #25
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

Travelers health insurance for foreign countries is often much cheaper than what we pay in the USA.

Also, once cruising your income drops to very little or zero so you become eligible for very cheap insurance in the USA now that our system is changing. The last few years I had free insurance from Massachusetts and now I pay a dollar a month in California.


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Old 30-07-2015, 11:10   #26
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

With the time horizon set so far, you cannot say how much money you will need for this or that. Prices may change, relationships may change, interest rates may change, etc. Too many variables.

You will basically want as much as you use up any given year now. Simply some costs will drop off you and new ones will step in. So, in very broad terms, count your present day annual expenses multiplied by the number of years you want to be out.

If you want to allow for 'welcome back to reality' funds in the process, this is actually beyond of the scope of the cruising kitty. You may sell off the boat (unless it sank uninsured) and use these funds towards re-entering the Babylon river again. It won't be much (unless the boat is a beast) but it may be enough if you can develop your present professional skills as you are cruising.

Cheers,
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Old 30-07-2015, 16:22   #27
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

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Originally Posted by Crazcarl View Post
...

Ken,

I have never heard of Lucent, so sorry I'll stay away for now..haha. I have been sticking with companies like Coca Cola, ATT, PG, JJ, etc. Companies that have been around and will most likely be around for some time. Do you use investing to keep up the kitty, or do you just keep it in the bank? Curious how most cruisers "store" their kitty.
...
Ken's point is valid. Lucent was a spin off of some ATT organizations including Bell Labs. Bell Labs that created so much including UNIX which begat Linux and OS X as well as C. Lucent was a high tech company that was highly valued because of it's patents, technology and promise. Bad leadership, one could use stronger words, sent the stock price into the gutter and the company eventually merged with Alcatel.

There are plenty of companies that have been around for along time then went away which is why I don't own any single stock.

Later,
Dan
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Old 30-07-2015, 16:29   #28
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

While we were in the States cruising we had catastrophic plan through Aetna that cost around $200/month for the four of us. When we left the country we went with IMG which is travelers insurance (no coverage in the States) that costs $1800/year. Our son just got some dental work done in St. Kitts that cost us $37. It would have been $500 at home. For anything minor we would just pay cash at a local doctor and we have a very complete first kit aboard.

One of the things we did to move toward our goal of cruising was to ask ourselves before every purchase "does this get us to the boat quicker?" or "can we use it on the boat?" It made it feel real, like we were on our way to casting off the lines. We didn't buy our boat until 5 weeks before we left but I don't recommend that plan if you can swing it. I worked on the boat non-stop during those five weeks and we still left without refrigeration. The boat was in Lake Erie and we needed to get through the Erie canal before it closed for the season so we just took off and I would work on stuff when we anchored or tied up. By the time we got to Marathon that first year we had installed wind,solar and a water maker and had the boat pretty well dialed in for self sufficiency. The whole thing was a huge adventure and worked out great for us. We even built our own hard dinghy while in St Augustine for a month.

Our boat problems have been pretty minor compared to others we know. Our motor only had 800 hours on it and we installed new refrigeration,new stove and propane system, new fresh water pump, replaced both heads, removed the air conditioning and installed fresh batteries. We did every bit of work on the boat ourselves which saved a tremendous amount of money and the local West Marine gave us Port Supply pricing on everything once we told them how much we were going to spend. Of course none of this is included in the $2000/month budget.


Hope this helps to motivate. We just had another wonderful day in Martinique and are opening our 3 euro bottle of wine. Cheers
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Old 30-07-2015, 17:13   #29
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

Crazcarl

Hi, we building our cruising kitty too. Sounds like you have some good ideas going on to make it happen though. I'm thinking between 500-600K is the right number for us but we have 4 kids too.

Prosper and Lending Club both make decent returns. I can't do it in my state so I use Vanguard ETFs. Very excellent way to build a portfolio and extremely low cost.

I think long term yields in LC and prosper are around 11% which is great but it does require some minor management. It's getting harder to make the higher returns out of those now that hedge companies are routinely investing into them. The highest yielding loans get bought asap by those guys.

I ran across an idea called Early Retirement Extreme a few years ago that put me onto the path to financial independence. There is an interesting site by Mr Money Moustache (google it).

Anyway for a way to plan your expenses and drawdown rates google FIRECalc. Its a great FREE tool. Runs a monte carlo simulation using your inputs. You can run many different ways. If you put 0 in spending you can see how your portfolio can grow or you can enter your monthly spending and see how long your money will theoretically last. It was built to work with index stocks, and vanguard etfs but you can change all the parameters. Unfortunately, it may not work very well trying to simulate Lending club investments or individual stocks but you should def check it out.

Justin
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Old 30-07-2015, 23:44   #30
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Re: Total Cruising Kitty

PSA,

Wow, you went right by me in Buffalo. I am hoping to do something similar but have the boat for maybe a year before. The engineer in me cannot wait to break it all down and rebuild better than before the way I think and want it to work. My wife has really been using that same approach. She almost stopped at a Tim Hortons (coffee) and then said "coffee? Or boat?" And then drove right passed. I bag all my lunches and get the free coffee at work. It feels really good to have that goal to strive for. Thanks for the additional motivation. Thanks for the insurance info as well.

Justin,
Thanks for the sites. I will look into and see what I come up with. I have money in a few different places to be safe. With Prosper, I have it set up automatically so there is very little hands on and I get the ones that meet my criteria right away. The only problem I know of will be that I will have to plan when I want to start using that money and turn off the automatic investment so it accrues in my account and not reinvested back into more notes. It's only a small portion of my money at the moment, but deciding if I want to put in a little more. Thanks for the tips!

Keep the advice coming!
I should be sailing a different boat this weekend. Pearson 26. Something new to try and learn on.
Enjoy, as many of us wish we could be there with you.


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