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Old 10-03-2020, 05:32   #331
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

People (the same one) keeps writing a story about how it depends on XXXXXXXX

Pretty sure I have written LOTS of time on the thread that the details need to be posted along with the numbers. It done those numbers now become 100% useful for a wannabe cruising planner.

I also agree there is a big difference between frugal and cheap. I wonder which category failed cruisers living on a boat falling apart at anchor who always have lots of alcohol to drink and cigarettes to smoke, but not to fix the boat, fall into.

BTW - this thread is now for amusement really. I seriously doubt any wannabe starting at the beginning of the thread hoping to learn something to help them with projecting their budget will read pass page 3 before moving on to voodoo forecasting
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Old 10-03-2020, 06:01   #332
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

Tell you what, in the next 6 months. I'll post boat names and possibly contact of all low budget cruisers I meet. We now have 2 children and probably going to spend 2k a month over next 8 months plus canal fees. You can reach out to them directly. Probably won't be very many these days.
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Old 10-03-2020, 06:34   #333
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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Tell you what, in the next 6 months. I'll post boat names and possibly contact of all low budget cruisers I meet. We now have 2 children and probably going to spend 2k a month over next 8 months plus canal fees. You can reach out to them directly. Probably won't be very many these days.
who are you talking to?

hope it isn't me as I'm not reaching out to anyone as I already know the answer for me

bet I have written that a few times now on this train wreck
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Old 10-03-2020, 06:49   #334
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

You want all the details, I'm offering you the opportunity!
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Old 10-03-2020, 06:56   #335
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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Mike, it's a lot less a mystery than that. If you read someone's list of expenses you can compare their situation with what you expect yours to be.

(oh, this guy has no refer and lives on a 27 ft boat always at anchor, we'll be spending more than that)

(or, this guy lived in Hong Kong and worked in finance and bought racing sails, we won't be doing that)

And with a little bit of data and a little bit of common sense a person can start to get an idea. Maybe they have to work for another five years.

Me, I had no idea. I somehow got the idea I could live on $600 a month while cruising (in 1996). I had no basis for that. If I'd been reading sailorboy1's thread I might have gotten a better idea. As it was I went cruising and spent all my money in 2 years. Dumb me.

And by the way, this is one of the good things about forums like this: You can ask a cruiser, face to face, how much it costs them and the answer is kind of too personal. Most folks won't really want to tell you that. But on a forum like this, many people will tell all. That is useful.
I don't think we're that far apart. Of course it is useful to see other people's costs. There is nothing new about this. Before these forums there were listserves, Usenet, and BBSs to share this kind of info. Heck, there were books.

When I first started thinking about the cruising life I understood where I was on the economic scale, so I sought out like-minded and similar frugal-types of cruisers. People like the Pardeys, Annie Hill, Fatty Goodlander, and a bunch more. These people all happily shared their costs, so I could get a sense of where I might be, or what was possible.

So sure, it helps. But it is most helpful if you can compare apples to apples. Someone cruising is a largish boat, between the US east coast and the Bahamas with a penchant for eating out, paying for entertainment, and spending lots of time in marinas or on paid moorings really doesn't tell me much about how much it will cost in my cruising life. It's a reference point, but as Jim said earlier, is only of limited use.


Of course, the BEST WAY is to learn for yourself. That starts by knowing thyself, and knowing what you need. If you need a big fancy boat, or you need to be in busy expensive places, then this will drive costs up. If you need to be away from the crowds, and can go with a more modest boat, that too will define many costs.


It all comes down to choices, and knowing what you need.


I've always said, and supported, SB and his posting of his financial data. Good on him. Most people don't monitor their expenditures so thoroughly , and certainly most don't publicize, so it's great to have. But it's just one data point that may, or may not, be particularly relevant to how other people cruise.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:11   #336
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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I've always said, and supported, SB and his posting of his financial data. Good on him. Most people don't monitor their expenditures so thoroughly , and certainly most don't publicize, so it's great to have. But it's just one
I don't really monitor it at all. 99% of it comes right off my credit card statement so I rarely note something down other than that. But really now, it hardly takes any time at the end of each day to input into a spreadsheet the day's spending and it isn't like it has to be perfect. I doubt I'm special in that cruisers have lots of available time to waste.

And it's only "one" because people would want to argue about it instead of doing it.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:12   #337
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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You want all the details, I'm offering you the opportunity!
I don't really want the details or care what others are spending. But someone else may.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:14   #338
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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I don't really want the details or care what others are spending. But someone else may.


Yet you start a thread named “ low cost cruising details” and your first post asks for the details.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:55   #339
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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...And it's only "one" because people would want to argue about it instead of doing it.
No, it's because people are different than you. That's all. Not better, not worse. Different.
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Old 10-03-2020, 08:41   #340
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

Anyone wanting to really cut down the costs to a " low budget " level like me and several others .
Look for a book called "sailing the farm "
Or you could send me your email in a pm and I will forward you a Pdf of it .
It will cut at least 10% out of your optar budget.
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Old 10-03-2020, 08:52   #341
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

There are two very distinct and different cruisers needs as far as figuring expense.
First is a younger person or couple that has X amount of money and wants to know how long it will last, they will return to work when it’s done. How much really only determines length of cruise between work.
Then you have the person or couple that plans on Retiring or is retired and very often on a fixed income, who can’t or really doesn’t want to have to return work, they need a sustainable number which is far harder or more difficult to determine.
Some burn bridges and sell the house etc. we did but don’t pretend that we will live on the boat until we die, house was not really rentable due to size etc., and not what I could live in when was truly old, so we sold it to invest the money, not finance the cruise, but some do to finance the cruise, which may be a mistake but a better topic for a different thread.

In my opinion it can be done for as little $1500 a month, actual cruise that is, not live on a boat in a bay at anchor. Location of cruising ground very much drives cost as does the boat.

Assumption is boat is paid for.

So you need a few things first to determine how much will it cost, what boat, condition and equipment list.
Where will you cruise, and are you honestly willing to only visit a Marina for fuel.

Where you are, and in what boat, and lifestyle will drive costs. What it cost me is only a data point, your costs may be different.

Just exactly like on land, if you require a 5,000 sq ft house in a posh neighborhood and a new Lexus SUV, latest clothes and eat out every night at a fancy place, that will cost orders of magnitude more than a single wide mobile home, an old car and McDonald’s occasionally.

So what does it cost to cruise? Average folks assuming boat is paid for somewhere between $1,500 and $10,000 a month, now it can go higher, much higher of course, but I would say about $1,500 is about min for a couple in a nice boat that is kept up, but minimally equipped and they do ALL the work, bottom jobs included.

Less than $1,500 isn’t in my opinion sustainable long term, unless there is significant bartering being done

Our costs last month in the Bahama’s was only about $500, but that has a whole lot of “doesn’t count”
Boat didn’t break anything and most of the food we brought with us, so it was phone, eating out minimally, fuel etc. we didn’t buy any clothes or other necessities that have to be bought.
Boat didn’t break but it will, and I’m nursing a dyeing battery bank, that’s going to cost around $2,500 to replace with the batteries I will likely use, but could be as low as $600 if went with the cheapest solution.

So anyone can cherry pick good months and say how cheap it can be done, but you really need to amortize in those new batteries, sails, dinghies etc.
That’s what is the budget killer and what is the difference in my opinion between cruising and living at anchor on a boat, cause if you just live at anchor you can scrape up others old cast away batteries, you don’t have an inflatable dinghy and don’t really need sails, and you don’t get bottom jobs cause you can’t afford them.


I believe many that live on boats in derelict anchorages start out cruising, but financial realities put them in that derelict anchorage.
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:51   #342
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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Yet you start a thread named “ low cost cruising details” and your first post asks for the details.
you win
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:54   #343
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

We've been doing this cruising thing for a lot of years and these discussions are just about the same as they were 35 years ago, I'm not kidding it really is same old, same old. There is one thing that few of you are talking about and that is age. As a person gets older they lose a lot of muscle mass as well as flexibility and just want more comfort and less hard work. Boat jobs that used to be fun start turning into chores and the short discomforts of turning yourself into a snake to make certain repairs all of a sudden turn into long periods of major back pain. I still do this stuff but I'll have to admit it's not as much fun as it once was. I now am starting to look at some jobs that I can put off and hire out later. So as we age our cruising costs will increase to some degree.
Younger cruisers are comfy in small boats, small boats are cheap to cruise in. Small boats tend to have less complex systems and are cheaper and easier to maintain. Engines are smaller and cheaper to run. Sails are smaller and easier to keep in good repair ...rigging is lighter and cheaper, list goes on and on...small equals cheap.
If you stay out of marinas and off paid mooring balls it really cuts your costs down. If you provisioned for a few months and live on the hook it's pretty hard to spend money if your hanging out in the islands. I've seen these kids get 5 or 6 years out of hard bottom paint as in the last few years they are scrubbing the bottom every couple of weeks and think nothing of it, they are in good physical condition and a small bottom to scrub. They don't have water makers and hand bomb all their water from shore side if needed, they wash and do dishes in salt water and never look back.People who cruise like this have just as much fun or more than the rest of us, don't kid yourself.
You can not take your so called average cruiser sitting in their 40 something sized cruiser in the Caribbean with all the bells and whistles that is too overweight to fit into half the spots you need to get into to make repairs with a young cruiser on a small boat. It's hard for your mind to even envision how these kids live and spend money.

Years ago We ran into a young american couple who had bought a boat in Scotland and sailed it to North America. I was very interested in hearing their stories especially because I knew they were living on a shoe string. He told me when they were provisioning the boat they were near broke because they had over spent on boat repairs before leaving Scotland. He said he found a heck of a buy on corned beef and sardines. So they had a few eggs, enough ingredients for bread, corned beef and sardines and water and they set out to sea. They both laughed when I was laughing like crazy and said to this day they don't want to eat either choice. She laughed and said she tried to prepare it in as many different ways as possible but in the end just gave up. Both were leaner on arrival than when they set out. So how many of you folks out there would cross an ocean in a 26 foot boat loaded down with corned beef and sardines? Answer..None! My point is don't take your current situation and project it on others because others do things much differently than you do and if they only have a few bucks they manage to make it work out. Youth has its advantages.
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:13   #344
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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you win


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Old 10-03-2020, 11:09   #345
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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...So you need a few things first to determine how much will it cost, what boat, condition and equipment list.
Where will you cruise, and are you honestly willing to only visit a Marina for fuel.

Where you are, and in what boat, and lifestyle will drive costs. What it cost me is only a data point, your costs may be different.

Just exactly like on land, if you require a 5,000 sq ft house in a posh neighborhood and a new Lexus SUV, latest clothes and eat out every night at a fancy place, that will cost orders of magnitude more than a single wide mobile home, an old car and McDonald’s occasionally.

So what does it cost to cruise? Average folks assuming boat is paid for somewhere between $1,500 and $10,000 a month, now it can go higher, much higher of course, but I would say about $1,500 is about min for a couple in a nice boat that is kept up, but minimally equipped and they do ALL the work, bottom jobs included. ...
Well said A64. Seems about right to me. If you want to know what it will cost YOU to live and cruise on a boat, then the first step is to determine what your cruising will look like. No different than living anywhere.

Robert, the aging thing is one I ponder, perhaps more than I should . I love talking with you, and folks like Ann and Jim Cate who have a lifetime of experience and who are living the changes.

In some ways I've been, ahem, blessed with a physical body that in many ways is decades older than my actual age. This is thanks to a major accident in my youth. Most of my adult life, and indeed all my cruising life, has been spent with limitations and accelerating decay. It's one of the reasons I (we) have pushed to get going sooner, rather than later. There may not be a later...

I don't really know what to do, or think, about this reality, other than to talk to people like you and the Cates, and other older friends who are on the same path. It just heartens me to see you folks still out there, doing it.
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