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Old 27-01-2016, 17:04   #46
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

I'm new to this, almost finishing my first month here and I think my expenses so far can be useful to others so I'll give some insight. The answer "whatever you have" is very true in everything I've found, live-aboard included. If you want it to work, it will work.

A few disclaimers:

- Keep in mind I haven't been cruising down the coast yet, I'm in a marina taking the boat out as much as I can to practice sailing techniques before I head out. As far as I can imagine anchoring out surely is cheaper than a marina right?

- I'm young and used to roughing it. I've backpacked on parts of the AT and in foreign countries alike. Hitchhiking, camping, playing my chances with luck, the whole vagabond thing. I also have 1 year left before I have to switch to my own health insurance. For now I'm covered by my parent's plan at no great additional cost to them.

- I'm a curious individual and take delight in learning to fix everything myself. I haven't paid anyone to do any maintenance in this first month. And plenty was broken when I got the boat.

Alright so the details! You can definitely do it on under $1000 a month, no doubt about it. Be flexible and make it work for you. Stay aware of your spending and it won't be a problem.

My biggest expense is the marina, $370 a month.

I'm using shore power, so far it looks like I've used under 100 kwh since moving into the slip on Dec 29. I plan to install solar soon to eliminate the need to hook up considering how little electricity I use. That's what, $15 worth of electricity maybe.

I cook my own food and make cheap, healthy meals on the alcohol stove. I bought a $17 can of denatured alcohol fuel and have used about 3/4 this month. My groceries include flour, rice, pickles, vegetables, baking soda, juice, yeast, fruit, and pepperoni. The general average is about $15 a week, plus I've eaten out a few times so lets round up to $30 a week in food including the fuel. I'm an experienced angler and catch fish frequently for the main course. I've been making my own alcohol out of the yeast and juice.

Repairs are the second most expensive thing. I feel like I'm spending a lot on them this month, but I know that if you average out a year of repairs it probably keeps up with what I've spent well enough. Probably $100 on electrical supplies, $10 on plumbing stuff, everything else has been my own labor with whatever's lying around. $110 in repairs this month then.

I think my insurance is like $70 a month for four months. So that averages out to 23.33 a month.

Then here's a big bonus for this month - I'm still inexperienced and my outboard starter fell apart on a windy day after I went sailing. I stupidly didn't bring my tool box and couldn't take the thing apart to fix it. Such an easy fix too. Lacking the confidence to tack up a long narrow channel in 15 knots of wind to my slip, I called a tow with insurance. They paid half, the rest cost me $350.

Time to add it up. Shall we?

Yep, that's right - $638.33 this month,
add in the pricey tow and you've got $988.33
I don't usually like talking about my expenses but again I think it is useful information on this forum. Like I said, I'm new to this and have simply been living in a marina for a month. If you take that marina expense out of the equation and imagine me anchoring out, well that's ridiculously cheap. I remember the $500 a month thread and how many people said it was impossible. I feel like I'm living like a king on my little boat and did it for almost that.

I'll report back in 6 months if experience teaches me otherwise!
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Old 27-01-2016, 18:10   #47
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

Zhim, if you can spare $150 use it to get a towing policy. Good up and down the Atlantic and Gulf coast and might save you money in the long run, especially with an older boat.

Having said that, i've had a Sea Tow policy for decades and have only used it once. So monetarily i'm way behind the eight ball.
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Old 28-01-2016, 01:41   #48
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhim View Post
I'm new to this, almost finishing my first month here and I think my expenses so far can be useful to others so I'll give some insight. The answer "whatever you have" is very true in everything I've found, live-aboard included. If you want it to work, it will work.

Yep, that's right - $638.33 this month,
add in the pricey tow and you've got $988.33
I don't usually like talking about my expenses but again I think it is useful information on this forum. Like I said, I'm new to this and have simply been living in a marina for a month. If you take that marina expense out of the equation and imagine me anchoring out, well that's ridiculously cheap. I remember the $500 a month thread and how many people said it was impossible. I feel like I'm living like a king on my little boat and did it for almost that.

I'll report back in 6 months if experience teaches me otherwise!

Interesting -- we have had a more than few months where we spent less than $100usd, in a row, but then again we have had months where we spent over $4,000. You did not say big your boat was or what equipment you have on board or where you are or where you are headed.
This year alone I have to bottom paint, paint about 4,000TL or $1,300 USD, pull prop and rebuild, sand and paint bottom, reseat 3 windows, total rebuild of an alternator, add a solar panel, replace some wall covering in forward cabin, add a shaft line cutter. That is just a few items -- Oh yea and just got a note from the insurance company that they want a survey. And remember the haul out and about a week on the hard at XX cost per day on the hard.
Going to be an expensive year for us - but then again our summer should be fairly inexpensive I hope as where we are planning to sail is very inexpensive.
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Old 28-01-2016, 09:45   #49
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Zhim, if you can spare $150 use it to get a towing policy.
Totally planning on it now. I didn't know much about it until people saw me getting towed into the marina XP

@chuckr

Boat is 22 ft, I have a typical tool set and all the required safety equipment on board. Currently in Texas and haven't gone anywhere. My longest sailing time was about 2 hours, so not a great judge of the real costs!

All of those major expenses you're talking about, well I have nightmares of when they will happen! As always I'm trying to learn how to do as much as I can myself. I've got some friends who might have connections to a cheap haul-out when the time comes...I hope!

It's encouraging to hear you've done months under $100. I'm challenging myself to try to cut my costs in the next two months to where minus the marina, I'm spending around $200.

BTW I should mention I'm not avoiding costs out of any kind of desperation. I work online as a freelancer so the more I save the less I have to work! It's a good life Whenever I need more money, I give myself more hours, that's what makes this lifestyle possible for me.
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Old 28-01-2016, 14:35   #50
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
Interesting -- we have had a more than few months where we spent less than $100usd, in a row, but then again we have had months where we spent over $4,000. .
Bet some of those $100/mo were setup up by $4000/mo. I've read posts where say they spent $X that was low, but didn't mention the money they spent on the ship stores the month before. Lets of the low $/mo people have "interesting" accounting math.


PS - I know that's not you Chuck as I've read your spreadsheet
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Old 29-01-2016, 01:33   #51
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

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Originally Posted by Zhim View Post
Totally planning on it now. I didn't know much about it until people saw me getting towed into the marina XP

@chuckr


It's encouraging to hear you've done months under $100. I'm challenging myself to try to cut my costs in the next two months to where minus the marina, I'm spending around $200. .

Zhim -- if you are really a writer you need to brush up on your edit skills -- yes we did spend let's say $100usd a month but did you also note the $4,000? As sailorboy put it the $!00 was set up by all the prep to get there not to mention the post when more prep is needed.

When we crossed the Atlantic we spent nothing for 21 days and almost nothing for the 9 days preceding that so for 1 month we spent nothing -=- Of course in Horta we left a lot of USD on repairs - nothing major but still - and of course reprovisioning and marinas.

then again as I said earlier we are hauling this year and I am negotiating now for when and what work - but I know my paint will be at least $1,300 not including the prop pull and rebuild, the week on the hard, normal pm on the reefer unit (has not been touched in 3 years) help in reseating my windows, regalvanizing 150' of chain, rebuilding a 150 amp alternator, just to name a few items - some I could do myself but at 70yo just takes a longer time and you have to pay for yard time - and some I do not have the skill for. And I do not have weeks and weeks to get it done -- we are leaving early May for a summer sail that looks like 2,500miles and probably 50 ports of call in 6 months in fairly isolated area and will again spend not much money but leading up to it we will spend a ton and keep our fingers crossed that nothing breaks

If you have not gotten the idea cost is a long term issue in this lifestyle.

Here is our 6 years of cost data

6 years of cost data
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Old 29-01-2016, 05:55   #52
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

Timeguy;
I assume you are intending to live aboard year round. You said what you have is what you have but also mentioned your house, is your intent to sell it to contribute to the cruising pot or renting it for perpetual income? Renting gives you income plus the option to go back to land living if you need a change or try and build up the pot again, or decide the live aboard life is not for you.
I've sifted through as much info as i can on this topic to try and prepare what we will need when the time comes, so can appreciate the question of wanting a hard figure to budget with.
Based on all the advice given here there are too many variables, maybe a ball park range and that is questionable.
For us, I believe keeping our house and renting will be the best option to help fund the dream.
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:04   #53
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

I own my house and plan to just sell it (it still costs me almost $500/mo in taxes and insurance). I don't need to have a house for "later" as I can get another. Unless someone has enough cash to live on renting the house doesn't provide enough money to cruise on (for my $3k/mo budget). I need the cash more than a house to worry about.
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:28   #54
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

Sailorboy1; Yes each situation is different, its what works for you. Our taxes here and what i figure other costs to be are far below what I can get as income and therefore suplement our live aboard way of life. And maybe it may prove too much and selling is best, looking forward to finding out!!
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Old 29-01-2016, 08:17   #55
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

Hey no worries man, I get that there are bigger long term expenses. My post up there is only an account of what I spent in my first month and I think that's pretty straightforward. Like I said lets see how I feel in 6 months of it. I'm open to anything and can only work towards a target budget.

I'm not a writer. I never really saw online forums as much of a literary outlet either...more of a communication and information platform. Thank you for the advice though, I will work on my editing and try to be better understood.

Mad respect for you crossing the Atlantic by the way. Best of luck to ya in your maintenance this year!
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Old 29-01-2016, 10:52   #56
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

I think we burnt thru like USD 20k in our first, 3 years long trip rtw, (2003-2007 or thereabouts).

This makes about USD 7k a year (per two and the boat).

In our 2012/2013 West Indies stunt (about 8 months out) we used about USD 450 a month (again: two of us and the boat). You may need a bit more than 50% of that if going solo.

What is not included:
- initial purchase of the boat,
- haul-outs and pre dept boat preps.

What is included: all the fun we had.

So you can do it at any budget. Basically, what you have is what you will spend.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 29-01-2016, 11:31   #57
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

Re: How much is enough.....$$$$


I never understood this kind of "questions", for me, that is the same like someone asking how big boat I will/should buy... I know person who are spending 200 ($300) a month just for dried fruit and nuts. for others that amount of money will buy a month food for two, plus have some spare change...other one that I know, can not live if he do not have 4 or even 5 bottles of Bushmills a month, each one cost around 35. for others just that 35 will be enough to buy monthly drink.

....that depend on each individual life/sailing style and/or pocket.
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Old 29-01-2016, 11:42   #58
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

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I can only agree with your last word of advice and that is, just do it!!
Some say risk nothing, try only for the sure thing,
Others say nothing gambled nothing gained,
Go all out for your dream.
Life can be lived either way, but for me,
I'd rather try and fail, than never try at all, you see.

Some say "Don't ever fall in love,
Play the game of life wide open,
Burn your candle at both ends."
But I say "No! It's better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all, my friend."

When many moons have gone by,
And you are alone with your dreams of yesteryear,
All your memories will bring you cheer.
You'll be satisfied, succeed or fail, win or lose,
Knowing the right path you did choose.


William F. O'Brien
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Old 29-01-2016, 11:44   #59
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

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Originally Posted by seaward 42 View Post
Re: How much is enough.....$$$$


I never understood this kind of "questions", for me, that is the same like someone asking how big boat I will/should buy... I know person who are spending 200 ($300) a month just for dried fruit and nuts. for others that amount of money will buy a month food for two, plus have some spare change...other one that I know, can not live if he do not have 4 or even 5 bottles of Bushmills a month, each one cost around 35. for others just that 35 will be enough to buy monthly drink.

....that depend on each individual life/sailing style and/or pocket.
Well stated!
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Old 29-01-2016, 11:52   #60
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Re: How much is enough.....$$$$

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdoster View Post
Some say risk nothing, try only for the sure thing,
Others say nothing gambled nothing gained,
Go all out for your dream.
Life can be lived either way, but for me,
I'd rather try and fail, than never try at all, you see.

Some say "Don't ever fall in love,
Play the game of life wide open,
Burn your candle at both ends."
But I say "No! It's better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all, my friend."

When many moons have gone by,
And you are alone with your dreams of yesteryear,
All your memories will bring you cheer.
You'll be satisfied, succeed or fail, win or lose,
Knowing the right path you did choose.


William F. O'Brien
Great quote.
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