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Old 17-09-2017, 10:33   #1
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Liveaboard Cost - Please Give Feedback

We have discovered the Live-aboard lifestyle and we are now in pursuit of making the dream a reality. We have minimal experience however we both have reasonable intelligence, we are strong, driven and balanced folks. “She” is 50 and “I” am 61. We are both retired.
In order to realize the dream, there are COUNTLESS things to learn, complete and do. One of the important elements is to establish a realistic financial plan (cost of entry, capital investment and the much discussed “live-aboard budget” or as pointed out, the question with infinite answers.
Realizing all live-aboard budgets are a reflection of the boat, the location, the individuals and the lifestyle, we must start somewhere. We have great respect for those on the site who have or are living this lifestyle and we believe we can benefit from your wisdom and experience.
We have put together our initial financial plan and we would greatly appreciate any feedback you care to offer. Thanks in advance for your help and support.
For the first year we plan to sail the Caribbean Jan – May and then sail to the Mediterranean for the balance of the year. We plan 2 trips back to the US (June and Dec) to visit family. In Jan we plan to sail back to the Caribbean and start over again.
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File Type: xls Live-aboard Budget Sept _17 .xls (57.5 KB, 167 views)
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Old 17-09-2017, 10:51   #2

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Re: Liveaboard Cost - Please Give Feedback

You've got it backwards. It is not a question of "What does living aboard cost?" but rather, what are you willing to spend on living aboard?
And then you figure out what can of lifestyle that will buy you. If YOU CHOOSE to dine out ashore every night and run up a bar bill while living in yacht clubs and marinas on a 58' yacht with three staterooms and "all mod cons"....five or ten grand a month could do.
If you chose to anchor out on a 34'er and cook your own meals without the bar bills...maybe $1500.
And of course that's ignoring choices like whether to have boat insurance, medical insurance, medevac/repatriation know, all those life choices that are totally separate questions.
You'll find plenty of threads already listing actual costs and lifestyles people have posted.
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Old 17-09-2017, 13:47   #3
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Re: Liveaboard Cost - Please Give Feedback

A CF member, "sailorboy1", has been detailing his monthly budgets since he started cruising. Put his name into a CF Google Custom Search (under the regular Search menu), and you should be able to find that.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 17-09-2017, 14:03   #4
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Re: Liveaboard Cost - Please Give Feedback

It looks generally reasonable. You probably won't burn that much fuel in the Caribbean unless you motor virtually everywhere. You might use more in the Med (the Motorterranean).

Some things might be more, some less, and which is which is going to be behavior driven. Nothing looks dramatically out of whack.
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Old 18-09-2017, 04:42   #5
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Re: Liveaboard Cost - Please Give Feedback

we have been out 10 years - sold everything and left - took our time and learned - for the past few years we have published our costs at this site on this forum

You do not state how much cruising/sailing experience you have or how the boat is outfitted - in our 1st couple of years we sailed the east coast of the usa a couple of times from Miami to Maine - and then spent the winter in the Bahamas learning about our abilities and our boat and what it took to do this and how well equipped we and the boat were to continue on. since then we have sailed both sides of the Caribbean, crossed in 2013, 3 years in the Med and 1 year sailing all the way around the Black Sea.
we will spend a couple of more years in the Med as this year was terrible and we did not get to see what we wanted to and had to many issues such as a broken prop - but take a look at our costs and they may help -
just our thoughts and opinions
chuck and svsoulmates
Somewhere in the Eastern Caribbean
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Old 18-09-2017, 07:44   #6
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Re: Liveaboard Cost - Please Give Feedback

We cruised in Mexico for 4yrs with a family of 4 on $1400 to $2000/mo total cost (two haulouts and bottom jobs). Then moved back to California and lived on a mooring in Morro Bay that we own for $99/mo. If we didn't own it the monthly cost could have skyrocketed to $300/mo...
Now are moving back to Mexico where living like a king aboard for under $2000/mo will be pretty easy. There are folks everywhere living and cruising on less than some cruisers spend on slip fees and dinners out per month.

The question really isn't how cheap you can go, but how much you HAVE to spend. Because unless you break free of the average American spending trap, you will be just like everyone else and spend every penny you have...either living aboard or living on land. It's more about your personal spending habits than anything else.
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Old 18-09-2017, 09:45   #7
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Re: Liveaboard Cost - Please Give Feedback

We are in parallel circumstances (ages, plans, etc) and after two comprehensive years of due diligence we are a month or two away from the purchase of a Catalina 42 MkII.

As I can't speak to your budget issue, I am obviously not able to assist with your question. However I have spent a considerable amount time researching an equally important issue that directly relates to the success of your cruising adventure and have an observation to share about your proposed itinerary.

We initially had thoughts of heading south to the Caribbbean then on to the Med in a counter-clockwise route. As a former military air navigator, I have extensively researched routes and routing. Based on a multitude of information, we have drastically altered our plans to travel with the prevailing currents and winds. For reasons that have become obvious, we have decided on a clockwise routing (Halifax-Azores-Gibralter) into the Med (for 5-6 years) returning via the ARC (Casablanca-Canaries-Barbados\Grenada).

Preferring wide open water, I am not a fan of the ICW. Having raced for 40 years (including 3700 miles of ocean racing), I have adapted well to the cruising life and can tell you I have little interest in bucking upwind and upcurrent heading south to ST Maarten. I also have no interest in the upwind trip against the trades from the Caribbean to the Canary Islands.
Nor the upwind trip from Gibraltar back to N America when the time comes.

We have selected the clockwise (predominantly downwind) route favoured by sail travelers for hundreds of years for the not insignificant issues of ease of passage and crew comfort (meal prep, sleep comfort, reduced stress on hull and standing rigging, the safety of following weather).

I hope my comments provide food for thought as you dream, plan and consider all the necessary actions to 'get out there'.
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Old 18-09-2017, 14:41   #8
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Re: Liveaboard Cost - Please Give Feedback

we pay 11 dollars a foot
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Old 19-09-2017, 05:44   #9
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Re: Liveaboard Cost - Please Give Feedback

I took a quick look at your numbers and I really cant tell you for sure but they do look adequate to me. I am doing the very same thing and have been in the Med on our Lagoon 570 since the first of May. We are a family of five on board and I budgeted about $4,000 per month. We really aren't keeping up with our expenses but I don't think we are spending more than this except that we rented a marina birth in Croatia for a year. Very expensive and not in the budget for us. $ 22,000 US for the year for our 57 ft Cat. We wish we hadn't but our friends convinced us that we needed a base to work out of and a lot of support from our new friends. Good advice and Croatia is a great safe place to learn to sail and the lifestyle. Berthing a big Cat here in the Med area (Adriatic Sea) is expensive and 1.5 times the cost of a mono. Good news is you have lots of places that you can anchor free or catch a moderate priced mooring ball. Other places in the Med like Greece are much cheaper. We will definitely move on when our lease runs out. You might do better on your fixed costs but it doesn't hurt to be conservative. Our boat, purchased the end of December 2016 was in great shape and we have spent very little on it. If things do need to be done they are pretty expensive. I used a great guy to get us going on the boat, sailed with us for a week and was very affordable. He is a good friend now and if you come this way I would be happy to put you together. Good luck and for me I would recommend going for this as soon as possible. By the way we are about your age. Wish I had done this earlier but always had to work.
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Old 19-09-2017, 06:01   #10
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Re: Liveaboard Cost - Please Give Feedback

Take a look at line 38 Food. I don't think you totaled your annual expense for that.
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