The cost of sailing?
Don''t forget theat you DO have to clear in and out of each country which can be cheap or expensive depending on the country and/or the mood of the customs guy. Suggest you read some of the articles on Sailnet, perhaps subscribe to the Seven Seas Cruising Assoc bulletin (or purchase their CD of back issues) wherein actual cruisers report on actual locations re: costs, services, navigation, etc. (www.ssca.org)
FWIW We plan to cruise on $1000/month for two adults and a child in a 39-ft boat (Caribbean, Central/South America, Atlantic). If you DON''T spend a lot on booze, eat at restaurants, or need to make a lot of repairs to your boat; and if you DO know how to eat cheaply (fish you buy direct from fisheren, rice & beans on board) and can make your own repairs yourself, I''m sure you can spend a LOT less than $1000/month.
There are LOTS of books on cruising simply/cheaply that you can find (try used bookstores online like www.bookfinder.com) such as anything by Lin and Larry Pardey (esp The Cost Conscious Cruiser). Have not read this, but there''s one called Voyaging on A Small Income.
Also you should get Nigel Calder''s Cruising Handbook as a good early-stage book to read. It is JAM PACKED with really useful info on choosing the right boat, outfitting it, gear, sails, navigation, etc. After you get the boat, his Boatowner''s Mechanical and Electrical Handbook is invaluable when stuff breaks. He also a wrote a Cruising Guide to the Northwest Caribbean, and if you are doing the east coast of Mexico, Belize, etc. on your way south, you should pick it up. Could not tell if you were talking east or west coast Mexico. Nigel Calder cruised out of Louisiana, I think, so has lots of good info on that side of the Caribbean.
See you out there!