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Old 01-03-2020, 12:42   #76
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

We do keep an exact record of our expenses - we have been blue water cruising for 4 years now and have sailed a little over 25,000nm. We stay on the hook as much as possible (we're in hawaii now and have to stay in a marina) and have spent close to 1000 nights on the hook so far.

So costs: A goodly part of our costs (say 1/3) are boat insurance, health insurance, and about $150 per month for storage of some personal items we put away before we left. We sold everything we owned when we left.

Our monthly costs are just under $4000 of which ($1300) are the above mentioned items. yes, insurance is is expensive.

Looking at our spreadsheets, boat maintenance is a fair chunk. We fix most things ourselves - but spare parts cost no matter who installs them. Since we sail over 6000nm blue water per year, there (like Mike) usually is one big ticket item per year.

Right now we are looking a a new rig and that will blow at least $10 grand. Our rig is 14 years old and one strand of the one wire is broken - so we feel (especially since we will be sailing to Alaska) we don't want to take any chances.

We also do not go out to eat very often - maybe once every two weeks. We do not sit in cafes and drink sundowners. We do drink some wine every day for a sundowner, but it is cheap wine - our booze bill is about $250 per month.

Our cost are ALL our costs - I'm sure many will say - WOW you guys must live the high life, but we've spent 18 months in French Polynesia and everything is expensive there.

Costs are very dependent on where you sail - ordering any spare part into Nuku Hiva will cost at least $200 just in freight and duty (no matter how small or light it is).

We certainly have difficulty understanding those that say they live on under $500 per month - more power to them, but they must have very low maintenance and eat pretty much rice or similar each meal.

This is fine for them - but that is not a lifestyle we want. We don't eat steaks every day - but we do like to eat salads (expensive) and we do occasionally buy a steak or lamb chops or similar. Cheese is also a big part of our budget.

Fish was cheap in Polynesia, but expensive here in Hawaii.

To echo Robert Sailors posts - Potluck dinners amongst cruisers are becoming a thing of the past, as is great socialibilty amongst cruisers. Many seem to be more interested in using the internet than making cruiser friends
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Old 01-03-2020, 13:11   #77
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

Well my biggest takeaway from this thread is the huge difference folks have in their definition of cruising.

As an example I spent three months (my definition) cruising from BKH to DT and back. Never went inside a store or was at a marina the whole time. I did stock up at Publix and Winn-Dixie before I left, maybe spent $US200 on what I actually ate during those three months. I did spent lots of time in the Mule Keys anchored out and eating fish and lobster (drenched in the butter I bought at Publix). I have a Golden Access Pass so no entry fee at DT.

I also spend lots of time on a ball at BKH, cost was just over $US237 a month back then for access to dinghy docks, shower, work room, and TV room with wifi. Easy to walk/bike to Publix, Home Depot, and West Marine. I replaced the accumulator and water pump for the water system on the boat, total cost was maybe $US $US120. Also bought a new jib from Mack Sails for around $US1,000. Never spent more than $US200 on food. I never drink alcohol and seldom eat out.

Point is what I call cruising means you are almost always at anchor away from stores and have limited opportunities to spend money. Sure you have to provision before leaving but often you are buying things like beans, rice, Raman, and things that are not really that expensive. Unless you have an expensive boat you likely don't have enough freezer space to buy much meat because there is no place to store it. So cruising for me is cheaper than staying in a marina even if I am on a ball.

I have a huge solar array and big house bank that runs everything so I tend to start my Honda 200 once or twice a month just to make sure it works. I dive the bottom myself, or more accurately since my Seawind draws 3'5" I anchor in 4 feet of water and stand on the bottom to remove growth. The boat is powered by two 9.9 Yamahas in wells, I can change the oil and lower unit fluid myself. I just got a quotation on replacing them both at the next haul out for $US6,000. When I stopped in the marina at Clearwater a guy had an estimate of $US45,000 to replace his two Yanmars. Did I mention that since the Yamahas lift up I have no shaft, struts, or props that need to be protected by zincs. Also have a composting head which means no through hulls or associated issues.

Even if someone thinks keeping a boat in a slip and sailing it on weekends is cruising the location is a huge factor in costs. Next thing is what I call a smart boat. As I mentioned my boat was in good shape when I bought it; so it did not need much; and a lot of it I could do myself. Not to mention my life style of not drinking alcohol or eating out means a huge savings; along with what I call frugal eating habits and often catching fish or lobster for meals. There are probably other variables I have missed but this is why to me the answer to how much it costs to cruise is "it depends".
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Old 01-03-2020, 13:20   #78
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

Sailor Boy 1...first of all, good on you for posting all your expenses, I'm sure many on this forum have learned from your overhead experiences.

A person might be operating a larger more expensive yacht and their costs will be substantially higher. Conversely you might have a smaller cheaper yacht and your base boat expenses will be much lower.

If you decide to cross oceans your maintenance will be much higher.

If your a drinker or smoker your expenses will be higher.

If your boat systems are complex your costs will be higher.
If you can get by without health insurance or hull insurance your costs will be lower.
If you stay out of marinas, restaurants and limit flights home your costs will be lower.

The list is a long one so it's nearly impossible for your costs to average the same as others unless you share similar sized boats and share the same style of cruising.

You can if you like... live the same lifestyle as cruisers did 50 years ago and your costs corrected for inflation would probably be close. You really don't need a fridge, water maker or any electronics although a hand held GPS these days is cheaper than a sextant. If your goal is to just get out there and do it remember Lin and Larry Pardee sailed around the world in a 24 foot woodie they built themselves, no electronics, no electricity at all and no motor....so if you have the desire and the balls to go with it it's there for the taking.
Cruising as it was done years ago is way more about drive and desire than money.
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Old 01-03-2020, 13:28   #79
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

To me it is normal for a cruiser to spend 3+ months slowly/or fast moving from one place to another. It is also normal to spend 3+ months in one place for whatever reason. I know a lot of cruisers that only travel between a few places.

To me me cruising isn't spending years in the same spot living on a boat. That to me is “living on a boat” . Nothing wrong with that and is part of why on my reports i note where i went each month as part of my costs.

If people living on a boat what to post their costs breakdown i think that would be great!!!! Just note such with the cost details.

Sure doesn't seem like it needs to be so hard. Even if you don't keep details I would think most people should be able to provide details of 75% their total costs.
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Old 01-03-2020, 13:34   #80
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

This forum covers both sailing and cruising .It would help if posters stated which they are doing. Can cruise in a sail boat . Cannot sail a cruiser. I have a sailboat-- never sail, mast is in storage W / sails. I cruise ---slowly. Lee
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Old 01-03-2020, 14:19   #81
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
...Even if someone thinks keeping a boat in a slip and sailing it on weekends is cruising the location is a huge factor in costs. Next thing is what I call a smart boat. As I mentioned my boat was in good shape when I bought it; so it did not need much; and a lot of it I could do myself. Not to mention my life style of not drinking alcohol or eating out means a huge savings; along with what I call frugal eating habits and often catching fish or lobster for meals. There are probably other variables I have missed but this is why to me the answer to how much it costs to cruise is "it depends".
Agreed. This is why I say it comes down to choices, with location and boat being two of the big ones. For example, I'm currently based out of marina where a seasonal slip costs $1200 CND (~$900 US), with everything included. My insurance runs less than $400 for comprehensive, including $2M liability. This seems cheap when compared to what others further south report. And of course I pay no healthcare insurance -- Canadian eh?

My boat is simple, solid and most of the systems are things I can maintain myself. Up here in the hinterland people still help people. Two seasons ago my transmission cooler sprung a leak. Was going to cost me a few hundred dollars just to buy a new one. My neighbour gave me his spare, and helped me install it. Cost: a couple of beers and a good nights yarn.

So yeah, it is possible to cruise on a low budget. But you have to make choices.
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Old 01-03-2020, 14:33   #82
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

One of the best " extra " spending each year is my $65 annual yacht club dues.
Just about every yacht club on the planet will give reciprocal moorage ( usually 3 free days dockage ( power not included)
you figure that against the daily transient moorage rate and one stay covers the cost .

And anyone can join don't even need a boat just an email address.

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Old 01-03-2020, 14:52   #83
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Nope! Even before leaving to cruise having and using the boat was pretty much the cost of having and using my house.

But the thread isn't about my costs etc. i have been 100% open about MY costs and where it goes.
I was just curious as many wannabees believe life afloat is cheaper than the life on land..
You prove it is not always so..
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Old 01-03-2020, 15:00   #84
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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I was just curious as many wannabees believe life afloat is cheaper than the life on land..
You prove it is not always so..
'thinking about this makes me think that those living for less on the land are the same ones that would live for less while aboard.
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Old 01-03-2020, 15:34   #85
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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'thinking about this makes me think that those living for less on the land are the same ones that would live for less while aboard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I was just curious as many wannabees believe life afloat is cheaper than the life on land..
You prove it is not always so..


Moving onto a boat rarely changes anyone's basic outlook. If you're a high spender on land, you're likely going to be a high spender on the water.

And if you've got it, why wouldn't you spend it. Nuthin' wrong with cruising at a high, medium or low budget. The point is, it can be done at a range of budgets. It just depends on the choices you're willing, and able, to make.
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Old 01-03-2020, 15:36   #86
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

H
Quote:
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I was just curious as many wannabees believe life afloat is cheaper than the life on land..
You prove it is not always so..
For me it’s quite a bit cheaper.
When on land it was in a 3500 sq ft house with a pool, and there were up to seven of us when we had our Daughter and our Grandkids living with us.
The power bill with washing four kids clothes and three adults and heating / cooling that large old house was quite high, plus the pool pumps.
Then she drove nearly 100 miles a day to work, there were four automobiles to maintain.

Now it’s just two of us, one cell phone bill, the boat Insurence is less than the cars were by quite a bit, no power bill, nobody drives 100 miles a day, but a large bill that is gone is property tax.

Now if we cut back and got a small as in sub 1,000 sq ft house, had no car, kept the one cell phone, I still don’t think we could live as cheap as we do when cruising in the house, there is an electric bill, a water bill, garbage, and property tax, and realistically a car.
But mostly because there is shopping and eating out etc, a yard to care for which takes lawn tools, and HVAC systems, water heaters, roofs, septic tanks, driveways etc need maintenance / replacement too, windows, painting the house etc.
In other words I think the boat and a house maintenance wise is a wash, but certainly when you include a car, cause you pretty much have to have one.
But you don’t have all the other bills like power etc., and you don’t go shopping nearly as much and just simply buy spur of the moment “stuff”.
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Old 01-03-2020, 15:46   #87
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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The point is, it can be done at a range of budgets. It just depends on the choices you're willing, and able, to make.
When trying to decide to Retire I agonized about it, I didn’t want to live the rest of my life poor, cause I didn’t work for just a few more years, but of course once those years are gone, they are gone. Wait too long and your not physically capable.
Years ago we went on a live aboard dive cruise on the Aqua Cat, I can remember looking at the boats anchored out at Staniel Cay then, thinking it took Millions to do that, and it was simply above my pay grade.
Then I started looking into costs, and a whole lot of reading on this forum and reading every single “how much does it cost thread”.
I finally came to the conclusion that you stated, it can be done quite inexpensively, or cost quite a lot, just like living on land, if you have to live in the most expensive neighborhood, drive a new expensive car and wear all the latest clothes etc, well $10,000 a month won’t nearly cover it, but you can live comfortably on much less.

Cruising on a boat, depending on what you define as cruising, is very similar in that to a great extent, you can control costs.

You will be fine, just like you are on land so long as you live below your means, but try to live above them, and you will be in trouble. Just like on land.

So the argument of you can’t live on a boat on a low budget is somewhat meaningless, just like can you live on land on a low budget.
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Old 01-03-2020, 15:47   #88
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

Quote:
Just about every yacht club on the planet will give reciprocal moorage ( usually 3 free days dockage ( power not included)
This shows that I'm REALLY out there cruising, for I have yet to see this offered in the many yacht clubs we've visited over the years. Thus, I'm cruising on a different planet, and should be eligible for some big award from the CCA.

Many of the yacht clubs in the world don't have marina docks or club moorings or, for that matter, even real club houses. The quoted post does not reflect reality as we have seen it.

There are other reasons to join a YC, of course, and I'm not dissing that practice... we even belong to the one here in Port Cygnet.

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Old 01-03-2020, 15:55   #89
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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Thomm, at least he is “out” there
Out there? Are you folks all beginners?

It appears SB1 is at a marina along the highway to Key West, FL

This is total tourist territory.

It's not out there at all.

If so, I was OUT THERE today also at my boat (reinstalling my dodger) which is at a marina at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay which is a tough place to sail when things get sporty
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Old 01-03-2020, 16:06   #90
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Re: Low Cost Cruising Details

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If Beach Cat ever decides to step away from the security blanket of his job and the Chesapeake and actually gets out there full-time (even if it’s “just” cruising the ICW and the Bahamas as he would put it), he may look back at his old posts and realize how foolish they sound to those of us that are actually doing it. Of course I would not place money on that happening.
Funny.

I have responsibilities.

I have to maintain a home for family members otherwise I'd have been sailing/cruising at least a few months a year for the past several years.

I say a few months because I couldn't spend much more than that stuck on a boat full time

I'm happy that you folks are enjoying yourselves but you are total beginners also

You spent like $75,000 to refit a boat to sail to the Bahamas! Really? After paying $15,000 for the old boat you have

I have maybe put another $10,000 in my boat which I purchased for $2,000 and it can easily sail to the Bahamas

And btw, your boat doesn't have the best looking Capsize Screening Formula which indicates maybe not the best AVS so be careful and watch the weather

Please get some experience before attacking those of us that have grown up on the water

This is my goal.

I plan to retire at 70. Before I sail away from my dock to cruise maybe to Bermuda first, I want to run 3 miles. Before the run I want to do 25 push ups and 6-8 pull ups.

The above is my true goal not the sailing.

The sailing/boating is second nature to me. I've been on boats since maybe age 5 crossing the Chesapeake Bay on the ferries my Dad worked on after he stopped farming.

Plus I have already done most of what many vacation style cruisers do while I was living on the Gulf Coast

This not counting the other 12 boats or so I have owned myself since age 16

And as for the beach cat reference. I spent 15 years racing them against some of the best sailors in the US. I owned 4 of them two new. Two with spinnakers. One a single hand boat with a spinnaker

We raced from February to November most every weekend. Mostly buoy racing but with the yearly 100 miler, and several 20 to 30 mile races.

When racing you tack and gybe more in the prestart than most cruisers do over 100's of miles

You can lose a race simply by starting on the wrong side of the start line, mast prebend slightly off, wrong battens, or your sheeting is too loose or too tight not to mention mast rake plus tons of other stuff

The best though (the toughest actually) is holding your boat still for a minute or two without crossing the start/finish line when only 15' from it with boats on either side of you within 1-2 feet with wind anywhere from 5-21 knots.... and not fouling anyone or going OCS early
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