Not exactly "settled", according to Baldwin, himself.
Originally Posted by Chattcatdaddy
Leave for a cruise with $1000 and see how far they can go?
Didn`t James Baldwin of Atomvoyages.com leave with $500 on his first circumnaviagtion? So I guess thats settled.
2. How much does it cost to go cruising?
➥ Atom Voyages | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
“ ... The short answer is: as much as you've got. I've met people cruising on every conceivable budget
and I do not think the enjoyment they got out of cruising had much to do with how much money
they spent. Actually, I did not meet any people cruising on a high budget
that looked like they were getting anything near the priceless experiences of some people who know how to make the most of life afloat. People ask "Can I afford to go cruising?" when they should ask if they can afford not to go. With careful choices it costs less than half as much to voyage around the world as it does to maintain a typical Western lifestyle ashore. We can calculate the dollars it costs, but how do you count the value of a life not fully lived?
I left on my first circumnavigation in 1984 with just $500 in savings. That got me across the Pacific in five months without noticeable hardship. When the money was nearly gone, I took a job for three months at a boatyard in New Guinea, the proceeds of which carried me across two more oceans and back home a year and a half later. Since then, tremendous inflation in costs associated with cruising, such as the 1,000% increase in fees for the Panama Canal and various extortionate government rip-offs for "cruising fees" (the $150-$300 fee per boat for entry to the Bahamas is becoming typical nowadays), mean these days you'll need to spend much more than when I first began cruising.
Also, when I started earning and saving more money, I sometimes was tempted to buy more optional boat gear
and spend more money on all manor of things.
As of 2003 we spent an average of about $800 a month for the two of us
, including all travel, food
, entertainment and boat expenses. This does not include the very occasional but unavoidable big expenses
like replacing sails
or major overhauls to the boat. We could spend less if we needed to and easily spend more if we're not careful. The "average" cruising couple spends at least double that, particularly when you factor in all their various insurance
and marina expenses. I find when I have more money available I'm tempted to spend it on "optionals" and when I have less, I tighten my belt, so to speak. During most of my cruising years I've kept my spending down to the point where I need only work an average of three months a year. I've never worked longer than about two years at a time without stopping for an extended cruise and have gone up to three years without earning any money other than a few small payments for articles. Not that I'm particularly lazy, but life is not all about work and wages. Another benefit of a small boat, especially an older boat like the Triton, is that your investment is small enough that you can more easily replace the entire boat if disaster strikes.
Part of how much you spend depends on what the cost of living is in the areas you cruise, but an even larger portion depends on the choices you make. Will you stay at marinas
out? Eat at restaurants or onboard? Travel by plane to visit relatives or wait to see them until you finally sail home? Buy insurance
for every conceivable threat or take your chances? Have a boat full of electronic gadgets that require frequent repair and replacement or become self-sufficient and choose only equipment
that is essential and learn how to maintain it yourself? Will you buy imported foods that you are used to or learn how to use cheaper locally produced foods? Will you buy a new budget-busting inflatable dinghy
every third year or knock something together out of plywood
? The list of choices goes on and on, even to the little things like the crew giving each other haircuts to reusing washcloths for cleanups instead of buying
paper towels. Mastering the art of frugal cruising means you have found how to live aboard independently and happily and perhaps even indefinitely.
This brings us back to choice of boat. A big boat is likely to cost so much that you feel compelled to buy boat insurance. A smaller, less expensive boat can be sailed without insurance and be replaced if needed through modest savings kept in reserve. For example, say I had 40K to get started cruising today. I'd rather self-insure by putting 20K into a bank CD and use it to buy another Triton-type boat if I lost
mine than to buy a 40K boat and stay home working to pay for the insurance to replace it. My point is not to criticize those on bigger boats that have found a way to make it work for them. They're doing it and that's fine. My goal is to give the beginner - the undecided and inexperienced cruiser - another viewpoint to consider before getting in over his head
financially. You did say you want to sail, not work, didn't you? ... “