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Old 29-02-2020, 23:51   #46
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Not saying it's not true, but I sure see a ton of YouTube channels with young folks sailing and Patreon support in the 1000s.
Even 20yr ago, youtube wasn't a thing...certainly not in the numbers we see today. The only widespread media was magazines and books. Now if you have a cell phone, you have a mobile media studio that can take, process and post content for free.

And of course, the 20-something girls in bikinis draw more views from the old sailors dreaming of their youth.
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Old 01-03-2020, 00:01   #47
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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I have posted 41 months of MY cost of cruising and living on the boat details.

Over the years there have been lots of threads and posts of people saying they cruise on $500/mo, $1000/mo etc. But there are never posting of any long details and it always the details are vague and full of “not counting”.

If you are a successful low cost cruiser please post your costs and breakdown of items for at least the last 2 years. Show me the error my ways with facts, not stories. I definitely would think people on lower $/mo budgets would know where their money is going.
Simple for me small (sub30ft) boat = cheaper maintance. Also dont drink booze or smoke.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:32   #48
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

SailorBoy we are not cruising but I can tell you fairly accurately what a dollar wise family of 4 (kids 9 & 13) spend every week in Queensland. Grocery’s are $200, boat maintenance, insurance is $80, if we were cruising I would expect my marina bill to halve so $50. Booze is $20 a week, entertainment is $60 which I would expect to go up if we cruised. We like to visit museums and attractions when traveling. Sometimes you get lucky and find things like Hong Kong has free museums on Wednesday’s so that helped the budget when we flew there last year. Then $15 for two cellphones and probably $40 for transport & extras.
So if we went cruising tomorrow I would expect to budget at least $450 a week for us. More like $500 a week I would think, it would be interesting to see.
We meet people who travel and see nothing because it costs money. That’s not our style.
We could probably cut down on marina costs, but it’s nice to step of the boat and have the washing machine and showers close by.
The internet if used wisely can save a lot of money.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:07   #49
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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Sailorboy..
Its not a question of can one cruise low budget.. its more a question of would you be prepared to make the sacrifices needed to do so.
Sure/maybe

But its about the details. I watched a sailboat with no sails get moved off a mooring here yesterday by being towed and herded by dinghies over to anchor.

Wonder if this “cruiser” started out in the “it costs what you can afford” mystery budget details before finding out “well no i guess it really costs more than that”.

Forum answers that are basically “I can do it, trust me” are doubtful in usefulness
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:45   #50
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

Before contemplating "boat" expenses , the first thing to add up is

"The Cost of Nothing."

Internet , cell phone , car insurance , health insurance and all the other expenses that drain the bank roll.

Then its time to decide on the lifestyle $5.00 a foot dockside to use the tennis courts , water slide and petting zoo?

On the hook 100% of the time is only realistic after the boat is 100% done and cruising spares and extra sails and anchors are on board.

Then you just have PM which is mostly labor .

Even food can be low cost or high cost , depending weather you prepare it or have someone do it for you.

Grind wheat to make flour and bake own bread ? or order Pizza?
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:31   #51
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

Part of the reality of low-cost cruising, or indeed living in general, is that you can't do it all. If you want to (or more likely, have to) live at the low end of economic spectrum, then you quickly learn that you have to make choices about where you go and what you can do. The fact is, you can't do, or have it all.

Of course, this is true at virtually all economic level. Unless you're a billionaire, you have to make choices about how to spend your limited financial resources. But those of us at the lower end have fewer choices available to us.

Many people view this as a negative, and in some ways it is. But in other ways this makes life a lot easier.

Of course, if you're below subsistence level, it is a very hard life indeed. But for people like me, who still eats and drinks well, who always has a roof over my head (even if it's not always my roof), and who is rich with family and friendships, it is not a hard life at all.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:49   #52
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

I doubt any of these peachy feely posts are really help to a wannabe cruiser looking for info to use in planning.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:39   #53
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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Originally Posted by FAST FRED View Post
Before contemplating "boat" expenses , the first thing to add up is

"The Cost of Nothing."

Internet , cell phone , car insurance , health insurance and all the other expenses that drain the bank roll.

Then its time to decide on the lifestyle $5.00 a foot dockside to use the tennis courts , water slide and petting zoo?

On the hook 100% of the time is only realistic after the boat is 100% done and cruising spares and extra sails and anchors are on board.

Then you just have PM which is mostly labor .

Even food can be low cost or high cost , depending weather you prepare it or have someone do it for you.

Grind wheat to make flour and bake own bread ? or order Pizza?
Stuff still wears out. When we return I’m looking at having to replace the battery bank. Choices range from $1 an AH for Sam’s Club flooded to $5.20 an AH for Firefly, if I were very budget constrained there would be no choice.
I also have to either get the main repaired where I tore a few ft of the bolt rope out and hand repaired, or replace it.
If I were strongly budget constrained it would be neither, it would be continue with hand repairs.
Seems on average there is a $2,000 to $3,000 item yearly and then of course all the nickel and dime stuff that’s constant.
But that’s a continual upgrading of the boat and not attempting to keep it afloat.

The “Cruiser” SB speaks of was most likely never a cruiser, most likely their dream was to move to the Keys and live the Jimmy Buffet life, they most likely never had any dreams of cruising, just living in perpetual Summer care free, and eventuality reality sets in.
It’s sad really as there seems to be an endless train of them that move down from up North and live in poverty, not care free, many return, but many stay.
It depresses me and is one reason I avoid the Keys.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:55   #54
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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From 1972 until 2002 we lived aboard while employed with seasonal cruising. In 1972 we made about $1,000/month; slip rental was $50/month; overnight slip rental was 10 to 15 cents/ft/day.

In 2002 we made about $9,000/month; slip rental was about $450/month; and overnight slip rental was about $1.50/ft/day

During 2017, our last year of 15 years of full time cruising, we were making about $10,000/ month; slip rental was available at about $600/month; and overnight slip rental was often about $2.50/ft/day. While full time cruising we often anchored out, but sometimes took something like a $65/day mooring at Nantucket.

During this year, living ashore due to my wife's loss of mobility and our boat sold, we live in a 1,300 sq. ft apartment for $1,282/month; however, no maintenance cost, still no property tax and a utility bill of about $100/month.

During all these phases of our lives we have lived on between one-half or two thirds of our income. Our greatest amount of saving was during our fifteen years as full time cruisers.

I know this is not the detailed account that the OP was asking for, but it is a valid summery. We also recognize that we did almost all self maintenance on our vessels and have inexpensive tastes.
This is typical of the "low cost" cruising posting. There is nothing wrong with what is posted, it is all reasonable, but what is missing is, to me, glaring. There is NO discussion of the cost of maintaining the boat!

We spend most of our time at anchor, so our marina costs are quite small. We maintain a larger, complex boat, and it costs a mint to keep her in the kind of Bristol condition we prefer. This is by far the largest cost line item in our lives, mostly because everything else is so cheap.

No judgement on the poster here, but I do know there are a some "low cost" cruisers who treat their boats as "disposable." They do almost nothing to them until they are junk, then they are done. The cost of new sails every 8 to 10 years, or new rigging, never occurs.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:59   #55
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I doubt any of these peachy feely posts are really help to a wannabe cruiser looking for info to use in planning.
Well for a start I do my own sail repairs...
Okay maybe not as pretty as a machine stitch and the odd blood spot from stabbed fingers but performance wise as effective.. service my own engine, do my own underwater work dried out at a jetty, antifoul, prop, anodes etc..
If I want new rigging I would not hesitate to use coated galvanised wire, stronger, longer life and 1/2 the price.
Same with gel coat repairs..
Low budget for low budget boats..
But not peachy feely boats..
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:55   #56
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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I doubt any of these peachy feely posts are really help to a wannabe cruiser looking for info to use in planning.
First, it's awesome that you've been posting detailed cost breakdowns. I haven't been following it closely, cos it looks like long-term cruising/liveaboard is probably not in the cards for us (I'm just 50% of the decision-making body, family obligations, etc) , but I just grabbed your spreadsheet now. Thanks for sharing that.

So I can appreciate your frustration that not many have posted similar, that might offer you some ideas for further economies.

In defense of the 'feels' crowd, I think that the huge differences between boats (age, condition, etc), and their owners' abilities and expectations for maintenance, means that it will always be near impossible to make meaningful comparisons of boat expenses. Of course sharing that info will help others have more realistic expectations of the costs, and where they could possibly save with DIY.

Boat costs aside, all 'budget' cruisers benefit from the advice about reducing living expenses - insurance, anchoring vs moorings/marinas, eating in vs out, other ways of economizing.

Taking all that into account, the newbie cruiser can set a budget, and if their resources will cover that, they can cast off. They will then gain experience pretty fast, and hopefully they will later chime in with their tips.

I don't know if one should expect any more than that...
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:14   #57
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pirate Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

SB... As a matter of interest is life aboard proving cheaper than life on land.. excluding of course the cost of funding your boat before your liveaboard life...
Annual marina fees, haul out, maintenance etc.
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:20   #58
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

We have met several severe budget cruisers. One guy was hauling backpackers 4 at a time between Colon and Cartegna on his 25' glass mono. Still decided the canal at $600 than was too much so sailed to Jamaica, Azores, Canaries I believe then Brazil and around Cape Horn to return to Australia. This was 2006, he had a 8 HP outboard and said he never carried more than 3 gal of petrol.

You don't want to believe the possibilities because you'd never be able to hack it. Coincidentally, that was his boat name.
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:28   #59
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

A big part of it is how you start out I think. I always seemed to start out with a well rebuilt boat, so maintenence expenses were nil for years. If you start with a needy boat, it could get real expensive fast...
However, I had friends I met in the Caribe that bought a less than aesthetically pleasing boat, with warped teak decks, but a good engine etc. Heavy built. They just ignored the non critical things that many of us would obsess over. They cruised 3 years and only bought a mainsail. (as far as big items) Then returned to Florida and sold the boat "as is" for about what they paid in the first place.
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:35   #60
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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We have met several severe budget cruisers. One guy was hauling backpackers 4 at a time between Colon and Cartegna on his 25' glass mono. Still decided the canal at $600 than was too much so sailed to Jamaica, Azores, Canaries I believe then Brazil and around Cape Horn to return to Australia. This was 2006, he had a 8 HP outboard and said he never carried more than 3 gal of petrol.

You don't want to believe the possibilities because you'd never be able to hack it. Coincidentally, that was his boat name.
This pretty much hits the nail on the head.

SB1 is on a sort of retirement cruising vacation which he seems to enjoy.

He seems to want to compare his expenses with other low cost cruisers, but the problem is many of them are on a cruising adventure not a cruising vacation.

They don't track medical costs, haircuts, alcohol, nor every penny spent on maintenance.

Many vacation cruisers pay top dollar for their boats, refits, boat maintenance, and electronics whereas others with a bit more boating experience can get by with much less

Also the guy that is on a cruising adventure would only want to sit around at a marina or at anchor to rest and resupply otherwise it would get old very quickly unless he/they were exploring the local area on a bike or on foot

Point is that it's hard to make a direct comparison unless the cruisers are doing similar things
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