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Old 03-04-2009, 05:26   #1
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Hello all, OK, I have a question. As I read these forums, I see a common theme. Just go cruise! Get out there and do it!. Don't wait, go now.OK. All well and good, but how do you pay for it? I can not believe that EVERYONE sold thier business (construction, landscaping, IT, software, gas station, widget building )and has enough money put aside to buy a new Cat or mono and just head out. Where do you really get the funds to keep on cruising after 1 year ( or 3-6). Outfitting costs, Eating costs, repairs cost, drinking costs, making your own beer costs, sightseeing costs, and it ain't getting cheaper. How are those of you who are out there on a long range cruise really paying for it? Please, no dancing around, I would like to know the real story, With the US market tanking, do you still have the funds to go further? Will it cut short your journey? Or do ALL of you stop and find work for awhile ? Hard data on paying for it is what I am looking for. I don't need the dollar amount in your accounts, round figures will do. How much did you start with and did it last as long as you thought it would? I mean, a younger to middle aged ( 25-60) couple. Did you all finance your boats or buy a junker and fix it up? and do you have an exit plan for when it all ends? Thanks
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:39   #2
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I slaved myself into an airline and after flying 14 thousand hours jets full of passengers I was able to save for my boat the costs for future expenses will be paid with an inheritance that should allow me not to work anymore so I think I am lucky. I will need to live with about 1000 to 1500 a month to make it thru but I think that is OK.

I think every case is very different, god question
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:10   #3
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I have been a CPA in the oil and gas industry since 1976. I have worked long hours, lived a couple of pegs below my income, and invested (with ups and downs) fairly well in oil and gas properties. My youngest son graduates from college next month and I will retire this fall. I have seen enough tax returns. My wife owns a beauty shop and worked long hours, invested etc. I have seen enough tax returns and my wife has seen enough fingernails and gray roots.

Don't get me wrong - if I knew the easy way, I would be all over it - I just don't know it.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:19   #4
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You will need enough money invested and earning dividends or interest to cover your expenses from year to year or earn money along the way.

I have been reading lots of threads about abandoned boats littering harbors and the waterways maybe some of them are from people who decided to "Just go cruise, get out there and do it, dont wait do it go NOW" and found they couldn't make it financially.

Good luck to you either way
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:39   #5
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Yep the Do it NOW theory is great but still requires planning on how to cope with a sustainable future...we all eat and the boat needs maintenance regardless how beautiful the beach is.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:02   #6
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A great question and I am sure you will get a range of answers.

I never planned for the costs of cruising. I bought my new boat in 85 when i had a good income and had made enough money for a 50% down payment and I took an affordable ship's mortgage and continued to work.

My parents passed I and got a small in heritence, but my business was tanking and I was living off savings YIKES This was untenable in NYC so I needed to do something. I was able to sell the "key" to my loft which gave me about $80k in savings so I decided to sail off. I was able to for 4 years without scrimping and continued to pay for the boat. I returned broke and went back to work which has not been as fruitful as the past. I was able to adjest because when you live aboard you live inexpensively. I've paid off the mortgage and own the boat and sail "week ends" with the occasional longer cruise. I am, like many carrying CCard debt as my income has not kept up with my expenses even though they are way down. I work for myself so one never knows where the next pay check is coming from.

I was lucky, in a sense. I had no children or a wife with a career when I decidede to sail off. Don't regret it a bit. Had I stayed in NYC I would have pissed the money away and did weekend cruising... or who know?
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:18   #7
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When I went cruising, I decided to get a smaller catamaran that was more affordable than larger ones that cost twice as much. I wasn't rich, and I worked along the way to pay my expenses. I will continue to work until I start the next adventure.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:56   #8
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This is a great question boatless. Its not asked much. How the money is obtained is indeed one of the realities of cruising.

I have worked and invested my pennies all my working life. My wife has done the same. My wife also owns some land in Romania which is her native country. With the demise of communism the land has had some pretty amazing appreciation. I also have a pension plan that I want to be fully vested in before retiring.

I have a son from my first marriage who is 14. I have decided it is best for him for me to wait until he turns 18 before I go cruising. His mother would never allow me to take him along and I don't think it would be the right thing to do anyways. I need to remain in the SF Bay Area so I can spend as much time with him as is possible and be a responsible father until he becomes a young man. I cherish the time I spend with him now more than I would cherish cruising. I also really enjoy what I do for a living...running a research boat. Cruising will have to wait.

So for my wife and I, its not so much the money, the time just isn't right yet.

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Old 03-04-2009, 08:21   #9
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Originally Posted by boatless 4 now View Post
but how do you pay for it?
Ah! the $64,000 (In 1957 dollars) Question.

Answer: Work, save, invest, live frugally and avoid debt.

To borrow a phrase from Patrick Henry - I know not what course others may take - but that is what has been working for me.

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Old 03-04-2009, 08:28   #10
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It really depends on what kind of cruising you want to do. What life style your shooting for.

I'll agree with Soft Air's input. With the type cruising I think we probably do, $1,000 to $1,500 per month, would be enough for day to day living expenses and some time you could do it for much less and others a bit more may be needed.

This amount will NOT generally cover "Other" cost you may or may not have. Such as insurance of various types, major maintenance/ repairs and other extraordinary expenses. A reserve is best but many don't have it and "enjoy" the freedom... I would probably just worry with out it.

While you could.... and many have simply jumped on a rickety old boat with a dollar in the pocket and "successfully" cruised for years.

I think you will find that many more of us use the financial resources with "slaved" ourselves to for many years to gain... often at a high personal cost.

You will find two basic types of cruisers, those who plan in significant detail for events and those that are willing to take more risk in various aspects of cruising.

Depending on which group you affiliate with... will drive your "basic" requirements.

I can tell you,I find it is usually much easier to do with some financial resources than without. I've seen many exceptions on both sides.

I think what most people are actually saying when you hear "Go Do It Now" is actually don't delay by over planning, delay by many minor "what if's", delay due to family and friends who have no idea what cruising is about but have strong objections to it, and the KEY, don't delay so long that your not physically capable of undertaking the adventure in a reasonably safe manner.

Lots of people just can not pull the trigger on many things, buying a house, a car or even which hat.

Another discussion about cruising is what is considered to be cruising..... what is full time and what is not and is their really any difference.

I personally cruise between 5 and 6 months a year at this point. I'll probably move it up to about 7 to 8 months in the next few years. I consider myself a cruiser but some purist do not since I do have a land base I can return to when ever I wish. Many "Cruisers" do not live aboard 24/7/365 for years at a time but are still cruisers. Some take long voyages across large bodies of water while some live on a boat tied up to a dock. Both consider themselves to be cruisers/ liveaboards or what ever.

You simply have to make the determination on what you feel is right/ best for you. It may take sacrifice or it may not (probably will). But you need to determine what your goals are and what time frame and fully understand your resources.

One thing is always true... You Will NEVER have enough money...
I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:30   #11
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Simplistic answer: Live below your means, invest/save the surplus thus generated.

This not only generates some capital, but gets you used to some of the less celebrated aspects of the cruising life, ie living small, being self reliant, and so on.

Worked for us...


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Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II, back in Cygnet for the last days of summer.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:54   #12
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A Straight Answer

You said you were looking for data. I'll tell you where we are at and what we plan. We still have a mortage, no credit card debt, decent retirement savings and a paid off 20 year old Catalina 34. I wanted to sell the house, sell the boat, buy something in the Carribean and go cruising. Tracey liked the go sailing thing, but wasn't sure about selling house or going indefinitely.

So we are taking what we have and going to Mexico for one year. Total resources available - $140,000. $40,000 is going into refit and gear. We will have new rig, new rudder, new radar, kick ass ground tackle and some nice comfort perks like an acre of solar panels, water maker etc.

Rent on the house will cover most of the mortgage, but we will still have storage costs, insurance etc. We will likely burn through another 60,000 over the course of the year once all costs are considered and come home with 40,000 left.

All figures are in CDN $. Some would say this is extravagant. Some would say it's realistic. But hey, if we are going to cruise the coast of California, Foster will have to go to Disneyland.

If we like it, maybe we will go two years. And if we really like it, maybe we will sell the house and seriously think about living within the investment return of the retirement funds...
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:54   #13
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For us we were lucky enough to sell our house right before the marked crashed and that allowed us to purchase the boat in full. We basically put every penny that we made on the house into the boat (something that I would probably not do again).
Our 401 took a big hit like everyone else but we decided we just don't want to wait any longer so we will have about 130k in there when we leave in the fall.
The thing that we are really counting on is my husbands government pension from a 30 year career with the fire department. It will come to a little over 3k per month. It is not a lot and we will have to be very careful with our funds but we will be able to go at a relatively early age (51 and 48).
I would say after running the numbers over and over that without the pension we would not be going cruising for many years.
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Old 03-04-2009, 14:37   #14
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Yes, its funny that its all 'go now' by seemingly poor people.

There is about 1 thread that binds us all... we all have a boat worth a lot of money, equipment that is worth a lot, and the income we have where we don't have to actvly work for it was very hard gotten.

Nicolle missed out on a lot of resturant dinners and dresses in our fight to get here. And a fight it has been... and continues to be....
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Old 03-04-2009, 15:46   #15
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I admire MarkJ for his accomplishments as a sailor but I admire much more Nicole for being able of coping with him haha

Keep it up Aussies...
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