I've lurked for years, picked up the bug, and am posting
for the first time to see if some of you can help with a problem that I haven't really seen covered here.
First, a little background. We have sold our house and we are fortunate enough to have two boats, a 45' center cockpit
(our liveaboard), and a 29' aft cockpit
(for when we want to sail but don't want to prep the big boat). "We" are my wife and I, plus our infant son. We are comfortable sailing/docking/anchoring both boats, although the 45' is certainly more work (and about 8x more space/comfort!). We are planning a cruise
within the next few years that will take us from Ventura, CA (our home port) to the PNW, then down through Mexico
to the Carib, and at some point over to Europe
. We won't be in a hurry, and plan on spending anywhere from 3-? years on the trip.
I'm an engineer
, and have spent plenty of time trying to understand the tradeoffs between the larger vs smaller boats, esp as far as cost goes. I have a good handle on what it would take to fit out each boat, and what a reasonable budget
would be for spares for either (based on systems installed). What I DON'T see much of is the relative costs of actually traveling/ in the different sized boats. For instance, I've noticed on noonsite that there's a couple of marinas
that charge a flat rate, regardless of boat size. Score one for the larger boat! On the other hand, there are other places in Europe
that charged based upon square footage (length*beam), which means I'd be paying much more for the bigger boat. In Sardinia's Porto Rotundo marina, for instance, my 45' would cost me 76 Euro/night on June 1, vs 33 Euro/night for my 29'. Maybe we should go small? On the other hand, the difference between prices in Cork, Ireland
, is almost insignificant.... This is important for us because, once we dump the day jobs and push off, we'll be on a fixed monthly budget
, where every dollar will count. We are cruising for the experience, enjoy anchoring
, but want to be able to get off the boat and see the sites in the places we are visiting.
What I'd like some help with is what people have seen in the real world regarding disparities in cruising costs based upon boat size. In the Carib, we've heard that there are places that are actually charging
. Has anyone seen this, and if so where? Are the charges based upon boat length?
What I don't want is the same old advice about larger boats = larger rigging/bigger sails
, etc. I have read it, I have lived it, and I get it. What I really need help with is the blanks around AFTER we push off, what and where would we find differences in costs based solely on size of the boat.