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Old 14-09-2019, 05:21   #1
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A penny for your thoughts?

I lived in freeport on a sailboat when I was a kid. My parents took us out of school, leased our home, bought a boat and away we went. It was a...I think...a 41 foot Gulf star center cockpit. Now that I am older, 46, and the kids are older at 17 and 11 I am thinking of doing the same thing.

The wife is always happy to try new things but has never lived on a boat. We have a 20ft searay open bow we use on our lake here in Canandaigua, NY. She likes going out on it and so do the kids. So, I am thinking of saving money to cover the mortgage and working at buying a sailboat and cruising the bahamas for a year and then going back to work.

My idea is to buy a boat on the east coast of Florida with the help of an agent to be sure the boat is in good shape and then take sailing lessons as a refresher before doing a shakedown in the keys. When we feel good, plan the crossing to bimini and points beyond.

Can we have a good time on 1,000 a month with reserve of 10k for repairs or emergencies or plan on spending more if we want a week a month at a marina? The idea being if we spend 700.00 a month on the hook, the 300.00 we save could be used the next month on a marina.

Thanks for reading my lengthy post and thank you for any advise you may give to an older man that remembers his childhood on a boat.

Ken
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Old 16-09-2019, 03:58   #2
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Ken.
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Old 16-09-2019, 04:37   #3
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

Hi Ken and welcome to the forum.


I think your budget of $1000 a month could be workable but doubt seriously that would allow any monthly marina stays, even occasionally.



I have a 42' boat and the cheapest marinas I have found in very out of the way locations in FL are in the $350-$400/month range. Although it has been years I since spent months at a time in the Bahamas a couple of short cruises the last few years I saw nothing even close to that. Figure double or triple, depending on where you are. As in the US, nice places close to town will be the most expensive.


Also be aware that food, fuel and most other stuff in the Bahamas is generally much more expensive than the US. Almost nothing is produced locally so all is imported which costs.



To get by on that budget would require strict control of spending with very few dinners out, living at anchor almost exclusively, DIY for repairs and maintenance and no large, catastrophic expenses like a blown engine..
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Old 16-09-2019, 05:51   #4
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

The plan only works if the meal plan is beans and rice and the definition of “having a good time” is swimming. Spend some like searching for budget info here and online blogs to see real costs.

IMO
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Old 16-09-2019, 06:12   #5
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
The plan only works if the meal plan is beans and rice and the definition of ďhaving a good timeĒ is swimming. Spend some like searching for budget info here and online blogs to see real costs.

IMO

Don't be so negative. That budget would certainly allow an occasional meal of spaghetti, as long as you aren't too liberal with the sauce. Also hiking would fit into the budget as well as swimming.
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Old 16-09-2019, 09:39   #6
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

ah yes, spaghetti

just skip the sauce and use a little olive oil, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder (this is only for us rich cruisers)

while swimming catch a fish in your teeth and while hiking pick some "greens"

live the life





BTW - this all in fun so everyone don't go crazy
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Old 16-09-2019, 10:02   #7
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

Don't laugh, I admit that it was way in the past, but at the time I met plenty of small boat cruisers down island that ate rice and fish, and if they didn't catch any fish, then rice it was...

No wonder they liked coming onboard the 51 footer (huge at the time), drinking cold beer and frozen rum drinks, taking endless hot showers, and eating bbq dinners (6 months of meat portioned, vacuumed packed, and brought down from the states in the freezer - we even did whole roasts in the bbq)...

But that's ok, some people actually like that type of living (some live at home like that) or for some it was a simple choice of cruise like that, or don't cruise at all.

Simple cruising is still better than the rat race for a lot of people

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Old 17-09-2019, 06:20   #8
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

Budget is important but before you think about moving your family onto a sailboat you (and they) need to get a better idea of it is something you would all enjoy, or at least tolerate well. You do not want to rearrange your life only to find out for example that your wife hates some significant aspect of your new lifestyle and is unhappy all the time. It could boil down to something like you or your wife never feel secure anchoring but with your budget that will be a necessity. You won't find that out without some experience. I would not consider buying a boat with the intention of moving my family onto it without "trying it out" first. The normal route for that is to charter a boat for a week. That at least gives you some limited real world experience to find out if it meets expectations.

Charter rates and your proposed budget don't mesh well, so you might need to be creative. Perhaps you can find someone who would rent you their boat on Lake Ontario for a week? Maybe drive to some of the yacht clubs up there and ask around.
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Old 17-09-2019, 07:07   #9
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropical2019 View Post
I lived in freeport on a sailboat when I was a kid. My parents took us out of school, leased our home, bought a boat and away we went. It was a...I think...a 41 foot Gulf star center cockpit. Now that I am older, 46, and the kids are older at 17 and 11 I am thinking of doing the same thing.

The wife is always happy to try new things but has never lived on a boat. We have a 20ft searay open bow we use on our lake here in Canandaigua, NY. She likes going out on it and so do the kids. So, I am thinking of saving money to cover the mortgage and working at buying a sailboat and cruising the bahamas for a year and then going back to work.

My idea is to buy a boat on the east coast of Florida with the help of an agent to be sure the boat is in good shape and then take sailing lessons as a refresher before doing a shakedown in the keys. When we feel good, plan the crossing to bimini and points beyond.

Can we have a good time on 1,000 a month with reserve of 10k for repairs or emergencies or plan on spending more if we want a week a month at a marina? The idea being if we spend 700.00 a month on the hook, the 300.00 we save could be used the next month on a marina.

Thanks for reading my lengthy post and thank you for any advise you may give to an older man that remembers his childhood on a boat.

Ken



No one but yourself can tell you how much you need to live, but if you want to know what others spend, there is a lot of information on here if you search the archives.


SailorBoy1 posted I think a year of detailed information on his expenses, which is really useful.


I will echo what others have said, however, and say that looking down on the question from 35,000 feet -- all food other than very basic local staples is quite a bit more expensive in the Caribbean than in the U.S., and I guess $1000 a month would just about cover food there, and nothing too fancy. I would certainly not want to try to cruise the Caribbean on such a budget. It might be doable with extreme economy and no marinas, lots of beans and rice and no restaurants, but how much fun would that be?
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Old 17-09-2019, 07:33   #10
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A penny for your thoughts?

No, you canít.
Youíll need at least twice that, and only if you forget Marinaís totally, which isnít a bad thing. No need for them at all in the Bahamas in my opinion, only the wealthy and power boats are in Marinaís. Power boats because they often are not self sufficient.
There is nothing in a Marina that you need, no advantage in one.
However you should not be in the Bahamasís in Hurricane season in my opinion, so thatís pretty much half the year you need to spend somewhere else, and in the US a Marina is more desirable.

Food and sundries cost in the Bahamasís is three to five times the cost of the same thing in the US. So you take everything you can with you.
There pretty much are no or very little fish on the banks and that is where you will be, so forget fishing pretty much.

Now if it were just two people and you already had all your food, then yes you can get by on a grand pretty easily.
However even water for four people is going to be tough if you donít have a watermaker, your going to have to jug every bit of it, and sometimes buy it.

Then when the boat breaks and something will, youíll most likely have to have the part flown in, and if your lucky it will only cost twice as much by the time you pay for everything.

However if you only plan on going to George Town and staying at anchor and not moving for months, and you bring most of your food with you, then you can likely get by on $1,000 a month.
Everything is at least twice as much in cost, fuel is $5 a gl. For instance.
Itís apparently going to cost you $600 for an entrance ticket now, so you have to amortize that in too.
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Old 17-09-2019, 07:35   #11
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

Can't suggest a budget but can share a couple expense items that have been larger than I expected. Government Fees. In the Bahamas your 40 foot boat will cost you more than $300 to enter. If you stay, plan on $600. Mexico seams cheap, but costs add up - TIP, individual FMS. Documentation, MMSI, DOT sticker etc in the US. Nightly rates at a marina. While monthly rates might be $500, both in Mexico and the Bahamas you may be looking at $100-$200 per night. You imply the $10,000 is your emergency fund so maintenance cost are assumed by me to be in your monthly budget. Marine parts, even if you do the work yourself, are expensive add up. Bottom paint, for example, will cost you $400 for 2 gallons, enough for two coats on a 40 footer, but don't forget the thinner, the rollers, the protective gear. The good news is that most of the forms you get by the governments are tasty and depending on what breaks you might be able to eat that too.
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Old 02-10-2019, 15:44   #12
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

Lol, this is an eye opener and thank you all for the replies. I see that I am going to need to adjust my budget. Dont get me wrong..I like my pasta but I prefer lots of sauce. Doing a charter seems like a smart idea to,get a feel for boat living with regards to the wife.

I have to be honest. I thought things would be a lot easier than I thought. Haul out and bottom paint costs as well as fixing everything on my own? Food for thought. My parents dealt with that when I lived there!

I really appreciate the response I have got from all of you. I will continue to do more research on this and any other advice anyone may have, feel free to share. I got a,chuckle out of how innocent my plan seems.

Thanks,

Ken
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Old 02-10-2019, 16:35   #13
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Re: A penny for your thoughts?

Also, the kids would be part time on the boat. The ex and I share time with them. So it would not be 4 of us all the time. But I get what everyone is saying. We need to,save more for a better budget as we would want to spend a week here and there in a marina to take advantage of amenities.

Someone mentioned about escaping the rat race..that's what this is about. I started reading the forums here while bored one day and it lit a spark in me of adventure. The thought of getting away from reports and targets is VERY exciting! However, I do not want to do it and nkt be able to enjoy it fully.
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