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Old 16-03-2009, 07:14   #1
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Budget needs and Cruiser suggestions

I have finally decided to move on a dream. This August, I turn 55 and can collect my pension, although I do not plan to buy my boat until next spring. However, my wife is 5 years younger and I will need to bridge to her pension year.

I will receive 4,000 per month. I this enough to live on in the Caribbean? I am particularly interested in marina fees, insurance costs, food costs etc.

In addition, what advice does anyone have re a cruiser. We have settled on 38 feet as big enough to live on but small enough to sail. We will be at a marina for most of the time but plan to tour the Caribbean and every other year travel further afield. I can afford 100,000 straight out so do I buy an older boat now and plan in five years to upgrade or do I borrow 100,000 and get a 200,000 (Canadian dollars) boat which will last me for my retirement years. I am looking at Hunter 38, Beneteau, Tartan and Etap. I like the Island Packet but they are too pricey for me unless I get a 20 year old one.

Your thoughts and opnions are welcome.
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Old 16-03-2009, 07:47   #2
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hi and welcome to the Cruiser's Forum.
If you search around through the forum you should find lots of information on boats around the size you are looking at. Buying early and refitting is probably a good idea, as it will take you a while to get ready. Sometimes buying a quality boat is cheaper in the long run, as a less expensive boat may take much more to get it ready to cruise. Price is often based on value however it is buyer beware. Do you have any sailing experience or have you owned a boat before? There is much opinion on the forum about buying and fitting out to get ready to go. It's all free opinion so you will have to sort it out yourself.

Welcome and good luck. Keep us advised of your progress.

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Old 16-03-2009, 07:52   #3
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Buy a fresh water boat that has not been cruised and buy quality. Do not be tempted by a "cruise equipped" boat as it likely has lots of equipment in questionable condition and by the time you are ready to leave all the electronics will be obsolete.
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Old 16-03-2009, 07:52   #4
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Welcome aboard, mparent!

I'll try to address some of your questions.

My wife and I cruised on our 38' Island Packet for two seasons, from the Spanish Virgins to Grenada and back. It was plenty big for two, and easy for me to sail single-handed, as the Admiral prefers to be a passenger only. The cutter rig on my IP was perfect for Tradewind sailing--I highly recommend it. When deciding on which boat to buy, look carefully at displacement. The Island Packets offer a generous amount of living and storage space for a given length. You might be happyier with an IP 35 vs. another brand 38' long.

Marinas. There are marinas on quite a few of the islands, mostly in the Leewards. IGY has bought up several of them and raised slip fees. Here are a few links that you can research for rates.
IGY Caribbean Marinas
Catamaran Marina, Antigua
Jolly Harbour Marina, Antigua

Food in the eastern Caribbean is more expensive than back home, other than local produce. I'd estimate 1/3 more than the States, on average. But the rum is cheap!

There are good chandleries on St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and Grenada (Budget Marine and Island Water World), and yacht services as well, which tend to be a bit more expensive than back in the States, but not outrageously so.

Although I didn't do any detailed accounting, I would say we spent about US$1,500 a month. We very rarely stayed in marinas, though.

Hope this helps. Note: when searching our archives, try the Google search feature in the "Search" pull-down menu up top. Most find it easier and more productive.
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Old 16-03-2009, 09:12   #5
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I'll agree with HUD, your cost for "stuff" would be around US$1,500 for an average couple. If you stay at a marina most of the time as you have indicated, your cost will be SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER. But.... why in the world would you even consider staying in a marina most of the time? These are fine for short stays to re-provision, get bulk laundry taken care of, have a nice long hot shower and visit some restaurants but all in all they are not representative of the Caribbean at all. They lack any of the flavor, are very over crowded, full of noise, very expensive, and often poorly located for winds and seas. Many have commercial traffic which is not conducive to Pleasure Craft. If you considering a docked Condo type boat usage... you may want to actually consider buying a condo and a smaller day sailer.

You can do it cheaper by always staying out of the marinas which will run you about US$100 to US$200 per night often plus power and water. Moorings run between US$25 to US$50 but free anchorages are usually available which is what I prefer not only for the lack of cost but they are generally more peaceful and better in general with cleaner water.
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Old 16-03-2009, 09:24   #6
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I assume since you quote Canadian dollars you are somewhere in the Great White North. You might find this interesting "Primer For First Timers Heading South".
http://www.pcmarinesurveys.com/Prime...t%20Timers.pdf
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Old 16-03-2009, 11:48   #7
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Aloha MParent,
Welcome aboard! You've asked the same question so many of us have pondered and answered ourselves.
Cruisers & Sailing Forum
The above is where you can type in any of your questions and get lots of good information.
I think you are right in looking for something in that size range but would consider a couple feet shorter if you can find a good one with diesel power and accomodations that you like. Of the boats you mentioned I'm only familiar with Tartan and I know that most of the older ones were well built. I think Hunter and Beneteau were built mainly to satisfy the charter market so will have lots of bells and whistles and space below but may not be suited for cruising distant waters (I could be wrong). I don't know Etap at all so won't comment.
Good luck in the never ending search for the perfect liveaboard cruiser.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 16-03-2009, 17:24   #8
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$4,000 is fine (even in Canadian!).
You will learn to live at anchor as thats the best way
We budget for 2 marina nights per month so we can do shopping and load water.

Most marinas are not what cruising is about... theres little wind in a marina and what there is does not come down into the boat because its lying the wrong way. At anchor the boat lies head to wind catching the breeze down our 13 opening hatches

When looking at boats count the number of opening hatches. The tropics can be warm for a Nova Scottian..... even for an Aussie!



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Old 16-03-2009, 19:06   #9
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our 13 opening hatches

That must look like a fire drill if you aren't paying attention before the rain starts.
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Old 16-03-2009, 19:47   #10
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That must look like a fire drill if you aren't paying attention before the rain starts.
Its a bit stupid at 3am when a tropical shower goes over... we jump up shutting all the hatches... by the time we gewt back to bed the rain has gone! Suxs big time! LOL Actually we just keep the 2 above us open and the forward head. With a tarp that covers the forward 2 hatches we sleep dry and cool

Ahhhhhhh We loved making that discovery!
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Old 17-03-2009, 05:57   #11
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Its a bit stupid at 3am when a tropical shower goes over... we jump up shutting all the hatches... by the time we gewt back to bed the rain has gone! Suxs big time! LOL Actually we just keep the 2 above us open and the forward head. With a tarp that covers the forward 2 hatches we sleep dry and cool

Ahhhhhhh We loved making that discovery!
You should post this one in Nicolle's "My favorite things aboard!" thread, Mark. We made the same discovery after a couple of months of 3 am fire drills closing hatches. I had a sailmaker in Bequia stitch up a Sunbrella tarp shaped to cover our forward cabin overhead hatch and the overhead hatch in the head. One of the best little things we've done, comfortwise!
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Old 17-03-2009, 08:12   #12
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back on topic - mparent i can only tell you my experience and it may or may not help - i started sailing in 2000 after i got to old for rock climbing and mountaineering - my sig other and i took asa sailing courses and bought my first and only boat - a 40' jeanneau ds40 - in 2003 - a lot of folks told me i had to start small and build - i did not have time to do that nor the finances as boats always depreciate and i would lose money and not be able to financially get what i wanted - i also opted for a new boat in that i knew little about rebuilding boats nor did i have the time to do so nor did i want to correct other peoples issues - we spent a lot of time learning to sail the boat and when i lost my job at age 60 - in 2005 - decided to quit work and retire - was not completely ready but did it anyway - it took a while to sell my house but it is gone and i left, single handed, last may i sailed from miami to woods hole mass and back - the admiral decided i am having to much fun and quit her job effective end of march and we are outbound again in april -
first - a new boat breaks less and is a bit easier to maintain - i did break a few things and a few things failed and i repaired along the way -
second - including insurance it cost me around $1,000 a month last year to cruise for 7 months - i do have a deal with the insurance to stay out of the hurricane zone from june 30 to nov 1 but i am ok with that as it was a good shake down cruise for me and will be for the admiral this year as we will eventually head to maine this year-- there are 3 things that run up costs
staying in marinas
eating out a lot
driniking out a lot
i did none of these as in 7 months i was in a marina a total of 7 days and on moorings 4 days - the rest at anchor - i also ate out very few times and learned to drink less and nurse beers longer at bars -
this year we are planning on $2,000 a month and will have to take more moorings as in maine we understand that anchoring sites are almost gone and replaced with mooring fields
third - take your time to find the right boat - a quality blue water boat - my dream boat was a caliber 40lrc but finances took me to a jeanneau 40' and i am very happy with the choice
fourth - it takes a while to provision and get all the stuff on board - took me about a year - not that i worked that hard on it - but i used an outfitting list from pam wall of west marine in ft lauderdale that she passed out at the miami boat show a couple of years ago - i thought it was overboard until i looked at it a couple of days ago and found i have most of the stuff and some stuff she did not put on her list
fifth - keep an inventory of everything and where it is - we did a worksheet and up date it as we make changes
i hope this helps
fair winds and see you out here
chuck patty and svsoulmates
ki4sry
on a mooring in rickenbacker marina - outbound in 14 days - eastbound
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Old 17-03-2009, 08:33   #13
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Chukr

How about posting your outfitting list.
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Old 17-03-2009, 15:49   #14
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Hi Markj and first mate,

Wow, 13 hatches. I have a Beneteau First 305 and just counted in my head and only have 7. Your boat must be like a greenhouse...lol. Anyway, just wanted to pick your brain and ask you about Beneteau as far as being capable of offshore cruising. My husband and I bought ours in 2007 and am pretty sure that it is a stock model. Is your boat a stock model or did you have it built special and beef up the hull etc. There was a couple (don't remember their name) who circumnavigated in a Beneteau First 40foot (13 years ago) with their 2 kids. They were gone for four years and from what I just heard, are still living aboard the same boat. But they had their boat built to their specifications. I'm pretty sure that we are going to have to beef up the rigging but is the hull capable. SkiprJohn thought that Beneteaus may be only adequate for Caribbean sailing (tho he did say that he was not sure). Any info you give would be greatly appreciated.....oh, please don't mention how warm the weather is where you are......I'm already jealous enough..lol...and freezing my butt off on Vancouver Island with -4C and snow again last night.

Regards Linla60
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Old 17-03-2009, 16:23   #15
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The biggest problem is the flat bottom, when working to windward in bad weather, they tend to pound badly. In really bad weather this can get to the point where the hull flexing can destroy the furnishings inside the boat.

They are also rigged for light winds, which gives them great performance in light winds, but can create problems, especially when the hulls flex as well. This can lead to mast pumping and eventual rig failure. I know of one which ripped out the bow forestay fitting inmid atlantic. By great good fortune the skipper was able to get the genoa halyard and spinnaker halyard rigged as an emergency forestay and save the rig.

Given luck and great care there is no major problem, but dont push hard in bad weather.

Personally a bene is a nice boat, but it is a bit short of the correct number of hulls
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