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Old 17-11-2007, 16:18   #1
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Yearly Cost of Family Cruising

We are planning to permanently liveaboard a cat with two boys who will be about 10 and 13, we are trying to discover the overall cost of educating and blue water cruising per year might be for a family. We are worried about leaving too soon and not having sufficient money invested to produce income to live. We live in Australia currently. Any information or input would be so helpful.....thanks
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Old 17-11-2007, 17:12   #2
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Congrats! My wife and our two kids are planning to do the same, leaving hopefully in early summer 2009 when the kids are 10 and 6.

I think the most common response your going to get is "it depends". You can go cheap... or you can go expensive. Its up to how you want to cruise. Dave and Jaja Martin did it dirt cheap, it bet they didnt spend $15K a year. I could also see it easily costing $50K a year or more if you splurged on everything.

I am rough budgeting about $35K per year total. We will target to spend no more than $2000 - $2500 max per month while cruising and the rest to cover boat maintenance and such. We are really going to try hard to be frugal, self sufficient, and not in a hurry. The more successful we are at this, the longer we get to cruise!


Terry
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Old 17-11-2007, 20:27   #3
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thank you so much for your reply, I guess you right it does 'depend' though I have to admit the figure of $35,000 surprised us, and I'm guessing thats american dollars. Do you expect most of your cost per month to be for marina berthing etc? Is your figure based on others experience because I know we would have to wait a lot longer too leave...Is that cruising round America? Its so good to hear about others experience, because we don't know anyone who is leaving long term with kids to ask.... Thanks
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Old 17-11-2007, 20:53   #4
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Me, my wife and our two kids ,age 8 and 12 are living next November.
There is no answer to " how much does the cruising cost?. The same like i would ask you : how much does living in Australia cost . Being from Australia you have big advantage over States . You have the best home schooling program in the world, for free . The rest, you have to do the math yourself . We were thinking about going "low budget " , but ask ourselves if we are going to do that again ?, probably not , so go there, have normal life , without telling kids that we can't afford to do this, or that , can't take a bus , because cost money . Remember , everything X4 . That's why we are selling the house and have have fun .If you can't afford , you just simply can't . And we all have only one life.
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Old 17-11-2007, 21:35   #5
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I would also be interested in any advice that covers the kids education subject - it is difficult to uproot kids from schooling and friends - conversely, there is no education like travel . . wait until they're grown. . . or go now and possibly feel you're cheating them out of a solid education . . in different times, Sterling Hayden did not worry like me . . . check out his book Wanderer. . . is a solid education achievable afloat????
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Old 17-11-2007, 21:41   #6
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Thanks Henryk

Thanks for your reply, unfortunately home schooling is no longer free when you leave Australian waters but I agree its excellent, which is why we feel fairly confident to use it for high school. We too will sell our house but we feel a huge responsibility to have enough money invested to provide us a passive income to ensure we can stay on the boat forever if we wish. I guess its good to be told higher figures, you need to be realistic, but with one life ultimately we will still leave. Thanks
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Old 17-11-2007, 21:50   #7
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Hi Mickmul

I can only talk about my lenghthy discussion with the Dept of Education in Australia, they say if you can dedicate anything up to 6 hours for high school, the results have been spectacular. I would say this figure is high and would only be necessary on some days of the week. Chemistry is considered impossible on boats for obvious reasons but all other sciences would flourish. Primary school is possilbe to achieve with as little as 5 hours per week, which is a little sad considering we pack them off for 30hours or more on land. Home schooling can have projects tailored to where you are sailing and provide kids first hand information for a project. One comment by the Dept lady was the kids on the boats when they came back for end of year testing was they were the most mature, confident, relaxed and well looking kids she had ever seen....I have a terrible feeling home schooling works only as well as the parents self discipline to keep to a routine - which could be wonderful or a disaster!!!
In Australia which has private companies who sell distance education packages they fedex (courier) 6 months ahead of time all work for the kids with lesson plans for parents to any where in the world.
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Old 17-11-2007, 21:58   #8
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"how much does it cost?" is probably tied with "are you bringing guns?" as far as the top questions go. A lot of people on this board have written at length on the subject, but $1,200 a month is my range.

It's not that hard to figure out, since you basically take however much you spend now, and go from there. Your eating habits will be essentially the same, and your tolerance for anchoring vs. marinas will be the same. If you have tons of doo-dads on the boat, you'll spend money to maintain them, and the less you're willing to do your own work, the more you'll spend on labor.

But all of those costs are things you are in control of before you leave, so your budget (whether it's $500 USD / month or $5000 USD / month) is entirely up to you. People sail for both, and everything in the middle, frequently. Obviously the less you spend, the longer you can go.

Some people thinking flying home once or twice a year is a neccessity, and others are still paying their boat mortgage (and subsequent insurance) while cruising. With those two factors alone, you can easly cut $500 - $1000 off your price.
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Old 18-11-2007, 12:32   #9
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Giselle....


When I say we are budgeting $35K per year... that does not mean we are guaranteed to spend that much! When I itemize up budgeted items like food, fuel, supplies, some mooring and slip fees and such... it sure seems a budget of $1500 a month would work just fine and not confine one to a "subsistence" lifestyle.

I am a pessimist. I figure it is prudent to plan for the worst and strive for the best. We plan to have our boat outfitted such that we can anchor out as much as possible. I do not want to pay for slips and moorings and such if is a choice. We also will fly home from time to time and I am figuring on boat maintenance and insurance and such plus we will do some extended shore excursions. So there will no doubt expenses that pop up from time to time that are far over the normal budget. Thus.... allowing extra funds into the budgeted plan.

We are certainly not doing this purely on passive investment income. I certainly hope to have our investments cover some of the expense... but we will also be "blowing our retirement". So what. I have no expectations of living forever and the idea of living some elderly sedentary life of leisure has no appeal to me. I hope to be doing something productive to pay my way when I am 95... otherwise why not be dead?

As to home schooling... I view the education the kids are going to get as BETTER than what they would get in private schools here. From all the research I have done the home schooled cruising kids seem to enter life better educated and far better overall prepared than "typical" kids. But it will no doubt be work. Still... that kind of work has to be the most rewarding there is.


Terry
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Old 18-11-2007, 13:42   #10
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This is a *really* good discussion over on the ssca board. http://ssca.org/DiscBoard/viewtopic.php?t=2526

Essentially they got the letter from their folks saying "we think you're an irresponsible idiot who is putting your own enjoyment ahead of your children's future and education."

Totally hilarious. But there's some good comments there from people who are soundly refuting it.
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Old 18-11-2007, 15:12   #11
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Quote:
we are trying to discover the overall cost of educating and blue water cruising per year might be for a family
If you said you were living in a house on land the question wouldn't be easier. How you live on land is the best indicator of how you will live on the water. My neighbors live really cheap on land and on the water they live cheaper still. I could not do it the way they do. It's rare, but for them it is how they choose to live and yet they enjoy it and prefer that lifestyle. They live aboard just a bit less than half the time. The key is - it is supposed to be fun. Define what having fun is and then define what you need. This becomes the basis for finding out how much money you need for your family. If you end up not liking the lifestyle then the cost is too much.

There are a great many places to get home schooling information. It is possible to do this with great success. I work with a fellow that lives on land and he and his wife have educated 5 children at home. It's the way they live not the cost that is the issue. Formal education is still important but you can do it if you can learn how. It would be foolish to assume that cruising alone would give a child a proper education or you the ability to create one without preparation. But it would be equally foolish to say how you choose to live can not include a solid education.

If you can honestly define how you prefer to live then you can come up with more accurate numbers. If we took an average cost from many people we would still be faced with "How average are you?" and "What does how happy were they have to do with how happy would you be?"

The amount of money matters only to the extent it will meet your needs. It may meet your needs yet fall short of your expectations.
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Old 18-11-2007, 17:03   #12
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Hi Gisele welcome to our board.

TSpringer, Giselle, RH I am working on getting my boat to Mexico. She is in Oregon right now. The plan right now vascilates between Baja Ha in late October and then flying back to finish the kids soccer season or leaving San Diego in Dec and gunkholing down the coast. I too will be travelling with children an 11 year old girl and a 8 year old boy. Unfortunately we will be commuter cruising. Leaving the boat and then going home to pick up life after a few months of cruising. I'm trying to get the family to agree to sailing full time and I think that Mexico will help that with surf and warm water. After a couple of seasons I hope to have the boat on the East coast and then maybe over to the Med. The Admiral is not up for a SouthPacific crossing so we need to ease into this.

We have taken friends on board for a a week at a time and we found that we would adjust our spending habits according to the budget of the family that we were with. The best times we had were when our spending level was on par with the people that we had onboard. Beth Leonard has written a good article on thethree different cruising budgets. I believe it is an old issue of Cruising World and it is in her Cruiser's Handbook. Our budget will be similar to yours TSp. $35k a year. That will work fine as long as I can get the house paid off in the next 3 or 4 years. To do that we will need to live in a very frugal manner. But it will be worth it.
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Old 19-11-2007, 02:00   #13
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There’s a wealth of valuable information available on Beth Leonard & Evans Starzinger's home page at bethandevans.com/:
Welcome to Beth Leonard & Evans Starzinger's home page

Including:

COST OF CRUISING ~ Beth A. Leonard & Evans Starzinger
This article was written in 1997 and since then costs have about doubled for ‘moderation’ and ‘highlife’, while ‘simplicity’ has stayed about the same. Fully updated numbers are in the new 2nd edition of “Voyager’s Handbook”.
Goto: Cruising Costs

Other articles by Beth & Evans: Articles
Faqs: FAQs

Beth has written three books: Beth's Books
“Voyager's Handbook“
"Blue Horizons"
“Following Seas”
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Old 19-11-2007, 03:41   #14
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Henryk, thanks for the info!! Fair winds!
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Old 19-11-2007, 05:17   #15
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of course there's always the advice that if you think too much about what it will take .. you will never go.
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