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Old 19-09-2014, 09:22   #46
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

I'll put in my 2 cents in my field of expertise:
Insurance for a catamaran (Lagoon 380 s2, 39, 400 or the like),: $250K - $500K:

"Boat Insurance: We're from the US, but we'd be in the Bahamas/Caribbean ... is $1000/year approximately what we should expect to budget for insurance? "
> NO, sorry it will cost more. Plan on 1% of hull value for US east coast, and 1.5% - 2% for the Caribbean. So a $250,000 boat would cost about $2,500 to insure for date restricted US East coast navigation. About twice that for the Caribbean. And that's for the low end of your purchase price; obviously if you get a $500,000 cat, the rates will be more (but not double).
The Med is actually a very inexpensive rate, but unfortunately trans-Atlantic runs about the same as the Caribbean. So you only get the low Mediterranean rate AFTER you have crossed the Atlantic, at your renewal.

"For major crossings (to Med or South Pacific) I'd likely pull in a crew and would purchase supplemental insurance."
> Depending on your experience, the insurance company may allow just the two of you, or if not very experienced, will require 3 experienced crew members on board. Coverage for the crew damaging your boat or liability for damaging another boat is not expensive at all, sometimes no cost. Coverage is also usually provided for up to $10,000 for injuries to guests on your boat. But you should insist that they have their own medical coverage if possible, as boat insurance is not designed to cover routine health maintenance. Above all refers to unpaid crew, the rules change if the crew is paid.

"Health Insurance: I'm a little baffled here, but we want to make sure we are appropriately covered. We've dealt with medical emergencies in the middle of nowhere in the past, and with kids we'd want to make sure we are well covered, including some level of emergency evac insurance: $3000/year "
> I can refer you to the IMIS site which will give you an instant quote. Hard to estimate, it varies so much. But yes, there are health plans that are designed for cruisers - as long as you're outside the USA for 6 months or more. And you're on the right track- boat insurance, even though it has medical for guests, is not designed to cover routine health maintenance for you & your family.
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Old 23-09-2014, 02:03   #47
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Re: Check my math? Family Cruising Finances

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Thanks! Any idea where I can find them and their spreadsheet?
Here is a list of boats who have published their cruising numbers online:

The Cost of Cruising ~ SV Estrellita 5.10b

Nice to have hard numbers from a variety of cruisers in a variety of areas.
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Old 23-09-2014, 11:01   #48
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

Thanks, SV Liberty! Your trip sounds amazing ... I admit that right now we're pretty torn between starting in the Med and the Bahamas. Originally, my thinking was to hold off on the Med until my family had some more experience. I'm intimidated by the expense and by reports of how crowded the Med can be. My sailing has been almost entirely tropical islands, other than our home base of San Fransisco Bay. The Bahamas seem like a perfect place to get my young kids used to life on a boat. Somehow the Med seems more ambitious -- but maybe that's because I've only sailed on the Med for a few day sails many years ago. So much to think about!
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Old 21-10-2014, 13:00   #49
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

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As an added bonus, I've seen what appear to be some very good deals on catamarans in France and Greece, for some reason.
I have monitored the market for about 4 years, with varying intesity. First to buy a boat, then to sell, then to buy again...

Many of the "french" deals I have seen are actually Caribbean boats located in the french islands.

Greece: These are with very very few exceptions charter boats. Can be good or bad, but most often you get what you pay for. Charter business was down in Greece lately, and many boats have not even left the dry storage for the 2014 season. For the lowest price you can get boats that haven't been used or maintained for a few years
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Old 21-10-2014, 13:14   #50
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

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On the other hand, if we're sailing in the med and get carried away with restaurant dining, we could burn through that budget in a big hurry. Our focus would be on "eating where the locals eat" anyway.
Restaurant prices differ significantly in "the Med". A family of four can eat out for $15 (simple Pita, beer and water for the kids in Greece or Turkey) or even less (Tunisia, Morocco).
You can also spend $400 on a 3 course meal in a normal french restaurant.
Or anything between, like a good meal in Greece for about $50-60. Roughly the same for Italy and Spain.



Marina prices can be shockingly high in the Med. But again this depends on location and time.
With a 45ft cat you can spend about 150-200 Euro / night in Mallorca or Zadar during high season. Even more in many Italian marinas.
The same hole in the water costs maybe 40Euro / night in other spanish marinas during high season and only 15 Euro / night in winter.
In greece you can spend somewhere between 0 and 15 Euro / night on harbour fees (there are virtually no Marinas in greece).

Anchoring is always free, in some countries you need a cruising permit but that amount is neglectible in the great scheme of things, unless you spend only few nights in each country.
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Old 21-10-2014, 13:22   #51
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

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The Bahamas seem like a perfect place to get my young kids used to life on a boat. Somehow the Med seems more ambitious -- but maybe that's because I've only sailed on the Med for a few day sails many years ago. So much to think about!
We did a 1year trip back in 2011/2012. We started in the Med and cruised to the Caribbean.
On our first week-long trips in the Med to get our feet wet the kids were age 3 and 4, when we started the trip they were age 4 and 5.
They did just fine. You just need to do some careful planning, but generally speaking you can cruise the Med with pretty short hops from anchorage to anchorage. Almost no multi-day passages, and pretty reliable weather forecasts so minimal risk if you stick to the weather windows. On the other hand you have little wind in many areas during summer


The major trouble to starting the trip in the Med for you will be finding the right boat at the right price and at the right time. We accidentally found our boat (a Lagoon 410) about 7 month before planned departure.
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Old 21-10-2014, 13:38   #52
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

To me it looks the OP has it all sorted out. Plenty of spread and plenty of factors. It should all cancel neatly out if some things are off either way.

Just keep an eye on the gauge and go.

b.
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Old 21-10-2014, 14:08   #53
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

We bought a boat in late 2010 for a 1 year sabatical trip. We started in July 2011 in the Med (Spain) and cruised to the Caribbean where we sold the boat in June 2012.
As to the lifestyle:
We are a family of four, with kids in the pre-school age back then. I did most of the boat maintenance myself, except for the messy stuff. We typically eat out once or twice a week, and hired a car every now and then depending on location (get a car in Union Island??).


We did not keep records, but we have a pretty good idea what we paid.


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1) The Boat: We're thinking a 38-40 foot production catamaran (Lagoon 380 s2, 39, 400 or the like), owners version. Most likely used: $250K - $500K
Huge range. This is where you can earn or loose money.

We paid way less for a 11 year old unchartered Lagoon 410 in good shape with virtually everything onboard, including AC, dive comperssor and other stuff. We had a few repairs, including one engine rebuild and a couple of upgrades.
The boat sold for just about the amount we put into her, including all upgrades, repairs, maintenance and docking / marina fees.

OK, we were lucky to find that boat. Took about 6 months and about 5k in travel expenses.

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2) Boat Insurance: We're from the US, but we'd be in the Bahamas/Caribbean ... is $1000/year approximately what we should expect to budget for insurance? For major crossings (to Med or South Pacific) I'd likely pull in a crew and would purchase supplemental insurance.
The Med is cheap. You should be able to get insurance for the Med at 0.6-0.8 percent of the hull value for the Med.
The Caribbean cost us about 4 times as much without storm coverage during hurricane season.

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3) Health Insurance: I'm a little baffled here, but we want to make sure we are appropriately covered. We've dealt with medical emergencies in the middle of nowhere in the past, and with kids we'd want to make sure we are well covered, including some level of emergency evac insurance: $3000/year
We paid about 1700 Euro per year for all four of us. Worldwide travel coverage (excluding germany, of course) including medical evac flights back to Germany.

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4) Life Insurance: $2000/year
What for? If I'm dying because of an accident, my wife and my kids are likely dead, too.
I suppose you have some money left in the cruising kitty when you die, plus they can sell the boat. Money is the last thing they will have to worry about in that situation.

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5) Maintenance: Depending on the age of the boat, I guess this can fluctuate, but let's say $30K/year. If we spend more to buy a newer boat, I would assume that the maintenance number could go down, while if we go older/cheaper on the initial purchase, that number will go higher. So -- for a $250K boat, $30K is more than 10%, but on a $400K boat it's less ... but if that's a 1 year old Lagoon 39, maybe it's still the right number?
Our Lagoon 410 was about 2000 Euro for haulout and antifouling (in Spain). Our Mahe is about half of that (in Greece), as there are more competitive yards to choose from because of the smaller beam.
Engine maintenance is best done by yourself, so you know where the impeller and the fuel filters and stuff are located. Any you know it has been done properly.

Overall I figure we used about 3k Euro for annual maintenance and stuff the Lagoon 410 without anything major like engine, sail, electronics.

A new boat does not necessarily mean no troubles. New boats have issues as well, which are theortically covered by the manufaturer but in reality you pay for them, too. Used boats don't necessarily have immediate needs for big items, even 10 year old sails can still be OK for a year of cruising.


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6) Food for four: $12K/year -- mostly shopping and prepping our own food, but we enjoy going out to fun restaurants maybe 1x/week. Plus we want to socialize at local watering holes, etc!
I'd say this is about right if you do some planning. We spent roughly 1000 Euro per month on food, typical supermarket supplies including eating out about once per week (more in the Med, less in the Caribbean).
Groceries are cheap in Greece, Turkey and Spain. Still OK in Italy, a little more expensive in France. That is based on the low cost of living in germany.
I don't know current prices in the US, so this may be cheap or expensive for you.

Some things can be very very expensive in some parts of the Caribbean.
For example we stocked up on light things like paper tissues, toilet paper and stuff while still in spain. Simply because we had a car available, knew where to get good stuff cheap and most importantly I did not want to spend my precious time in the Caribbean islands hunting for toilet paper and bringing it back to the boat in a wet dinghy. Prices for this in the Caribbean are around 4-5 times the spanish prices.
Same story for canned goods. Like 0.60 Euro for olives in Spain vs. 9 USD in the tiny shop in Union Island.
Different story for rum, of course



Quote:
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7) Fuel: $1200/year -- is this enough? I would want to use Solar and wind to reduce generator use as much as possible.
We used 720 liter of fuel over 11 months liveaboard cruising and 2 months holiday cruising. That is with 300w solar and using the genset every 3 days for making water.
Fuel cost is high in the Med at 1.50-1.70 Euro per liter.
Wind gen is useless in the Med IMHO. Too little wind.

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8) Communications: We would need to keep some part-time connection to our "real" business lives, plus our kids would require on-line access for school: $1500/year in some TBD combination of WiFi, cellular, SSB and sat phone charges.
We used prepaid SIM cards with data plans: 6 Euro per GB in Greece, 8 Euro per GB in Spain (that was in 2011).
An iSatPhone for emergencies runs around $1 USD per minute airtime. A 100 unit card was enough for passage weather and plenty of text emails during the crossings. In all other places we used 3G mobiles or Wifi (a Wifi Range extender like a Bullet can do wonders, like geting a stable connection over ten miles if the other side has professional equipment, too).

Quote:
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9) Travel: Enjoying some land-based adventures along the way, plus one trip back home/year: $6000
Our land based adventures were pretty much limited to rental cars in every location that warranted it. Use appropriate websites to get good rates. Cheapest car we had was new Opel Corsa for 4.50 Euro per day (OK, only during wintertime in Spain), most expensive was about 80 Euro / day in Guadeloupe.


Quote:
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10) Petty Cash: $4000/year
You won't use that much for souvernirs and stuff. Put it into the emergency beer fund.


If you have anywhere near your initial figures available I'd say: Go for it. Better to buy a smallish older cat and go now than to postpone it just one single day because of budget considerations.
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Old 21-10-2014, 15:32   #54
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

Great post, rabbi!!
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Old 21-10-2014, 15:39   #55
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

Thanks, Rabbi! Were you able to find/interact with other families cruising with children in the Med? It seems like the Bahamas is full of kids, but I keep hearing it's tough to find cruising families in the Med. Any truth to that?

Interesting that you said it was 1/2 the price to haul your Mahe vs. your 410. What is the beam limit for the cheaper yards?
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Old 22-10-2014, 14:28   #56
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

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Thanks, Rabbi! Were you able to find/interact with other families cruising with children in the Med? It seems like the Bahamas is full of kids, but I keep hearing it's tough to find cruising families in the Med. Any truth to that?

Interesting that you said it was 1/2 the price to haul your Mahe vs. your 410. What is the beam limit for the cheaper yards?
We actualy found very few kids in the med. The problem for us is that there is no homeschooling in Germany, so no german kids in the school agecan go cruising - at least not legally. There are a couple of french families but there was the language barrier for the kids and myself - my wife speaks french.
Anyway the kids found plenty of land locked friends living in nearby hotels.
For sure there are more families in the Caribbean. It helps to look for families on sailing blogs of your cruising grounds.

There is no magic width threshold, but the 410 was 7.15m wide and there are few yards that can lift that. A Lagoon 380 is just below 7m and small enough to fit into most lifts, and the Mahe is just 5.9m and fits virtually all travel lifts.
However there is a magic threshold in length. For the med i would try to stay just below 12m length. Many marinas have charge bands and 11,9m is often way cheaper than 12,1m. Also there are some taxes that apply only for >12m boats.
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Old 22-10-2014, 16:15   #57
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

This is an interesting thread and as an American family of four (ages 8 and 6) who are about to head out again I wanted to add a few things based on our experience.

We cruised, pre-kids, for three years. We bought the boat in Malaysia and sailed to Barcelona, crossing the Indian, Red Sea and the Med. Now with two children we will be crossing the Pacific.

I would not suggest sailing in the Med, for two reasons:
1) There is no wind. (Lots of motoring = lots of diesel expense).
2) There are few anchorages.
And, as another post pointed out, most of the things you want to see are inland which will require leaving the boat in an expensive marina and renting an overpriced car and filling it with ridiculously priced gas. You will then have hotel costs on top of that if you go any distance. You could camp, of course, which would require bringing all that gear on the boat to start with. NO THANKS.

Europe is amazing. I was born there and have traveled it for months and months at a time by train, by motorcycle and by boat. It would be no exaggeration to say I have seen far, far more of Europe than most Europeans. Remember: "One if by Land, Two if by Sea"? Your first choice in seeing Europe, especially with children, should be by land.

Your maintenance costs over time will average 10-15% of the value of the boat if you keep her in reasonable shape. We found, and you will like this, that number doesn't kick in until the second or third year. The reason is, again if you are reasonable, your boat will be in working order before you leave.

Get off the beaten track and explore places that aren't jammed with cruise ships and hugely annoying package tours. Your costs will drop as fast as your positive experiences will rise.

Hope to see you out there.

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Old 29-10-2014, 11:43   #58
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

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I would not suggest sailing in the Med, for two reasons:
1) There is no wind. (Lots of motoring = lots of diesel expense).
2) There are few anchorages.
And, as another post pointed out, most of the things you want to see are inland which will require leaving the boat in an expensive marina and renting an overpriced car and filling it with ridiculously priced gas. You will then have hotel costs on top of that if you go any distance. You could camp, of course, which would require bringing all that gear on the boat to start with. NO THANKS.
I can only agree on the wind issue. well sort of, see the areas around the Gulf Du Lion or the Greece aegaean island, which often have more than enough wind...
The Med is a complex land/sea area with unreliable long-term weather forecasts. So you only have relatively short weather windows, but the distances aren't huge either.

Anchorages are plenty in some areas (Croatia, Greece, Balearics) , few in others (like Costa Blanca in southern spain). There are plenty of cruising guides to help you here.
So far we have never spent a night in a marina, except our "home base" and when passing southern spain.

Harbours / Marinas are anywhere between free (long-term unfinished Marinas in greece), cheap (Greek city harbours, southern Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal), expensive (Croatia, Italy, Spain near the Balearics) to super expensive (Monacco, Mallorca, Ibiza, French Riviera).

Rental cars are reasonable, especially if you bring your own insurance. During the off-season cars are are dead cheap in some areas (cheaper than a short taxi ride).

Gas is ridiculously expensive but is only a very small fraction of living costs for a family on a sailboat.

Hotel prices are IMHO reasonable (unless at the sea during high season) , but in most cases a day trip will do so no hotel cost at all.


All this should not stop you from cruising the Med, which has many very nice areas, and lots of history and culture.
Plus in the Med you are not cruising an area of poverty, and all the issues that can go along with this.
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Old 12-11-2014, 18:41   #59
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Re: Check my Math? Family Cruising Finances

Your math seems a pretty good ball park to me. I'm doing math for a trip next year and came in around $42000 for 3 of us. I'm on an older monohull that's paid for. $30000 seems high for maintenance to me. But I'm cheap about maintenance and do all but the most technical stuff myself, that and I'm not trying to keep $200 000 boat looking like a $200 000 boat. Which brings me to my point, I know others have mentioned it, but why such an expensive boat? Not that I want an answer for me, but just something for you to ponder. You have a good sized monohull now, even if she's a little rough, she won't be after putting $50 or $60 k into her. Save that extra money for a potential year 3 or an easier landing when your trip is done.
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