I'm retired Navy, my monthly pension check is going to be our only sure source of income. Fortunately, we have planned for this for a decade and have reserves to augment it without hitting the principal on those reserves we figure to have 3 times what Eric is planning for income.
We'll also have medical care in just about any U.S. port - and help in most overseas places as well.
We really don't want to be 6 months in and have a engine crap out with no way to replace it. Frankly that's the thing I see wrong with the minimalist budget plan - no reserve.
Maybe we just need to get on the boat and go already.
ON the other hand, that bad word 'outfit' does need to happen on a a lot of boats, and it can indeed run to 30-40k. Boat bucks add up.
We bought a very gently used Irwin 38 CC, it has no auto pilot, no solar, no water maker - in short not a dang thing that wasn't on it when it slid into the water in 1987.
50K buys a GOOD hull, not a well outfitted boat with reliable gear.
That stuff adds up and some of it you can't do 'on the way'.
If someone out there has a surefire way of hitting 5% on investments with no risk, send me a PM.
A few weeks back, we had a dock party. Our neighbor next to us showed up and was stumbling. We all thought he was drunk, but that was a bit out of character for him. Didn't see him the next morning. Turns out he had a stroke. His boat is soon to be up for sale. He is done.
About two and a half years before that, had another dear friend who was planning out his retirement and cruising. He was an avid sailor and even ran a small charter for a year in the carrib. His wife and he were absolutely awesome. We stayed out that night having a few drinks and a great time (his wife was out of town). Went to bed (his boat was a few down from mine). Woke the next morning and did not see him walking the dog as usual. Shrugged it off. Figured he was hung over. By noon, his dog still barking, I began to have second thoughts. Dad and I knocked on his boat to no answer. I didn't like it so sent dad to tell the marina and I proceeded to break into his boat. I found him dead beside his vberth. Heart attack. I dearly miss that friend and still wear an old shirt he gave me which I will never get rid of.
Don't let it happen to you. When your boat is perfect, your body may not be. I don't totally agree with the advice of just going, but I do believe that you should be cautious about overloading the boat with all the things you think you will "need" and turns out they are nothing but a PITA and you don't use them much.
Understand that I am not Aaron or Mark (both of whom have given great advice). I raise my kids on my boat and I have a higher level of comfort which I expect. But there are things on my boat I would not buy again and some I wish I had that I have just found work-arounds. There is no shortage of things you can buy for your boat, as you will see!! But in the end, when you are anchored, all you really need is a good set of ground tackle and a boat that doesn't leak (from below the waterline at least!!). The rest you will figre out for yourself. Hang in West/South Florida to check out all the places (there are a LOT) and enjoy the cruising life here while knowing a yard is close by. Figure out what works here, then try the Tortugas. Go to the keys and anchor out for a week(s). THen push off further. You will be a lot happier you did that than being another year or two older and having a bunch of stuff you may not even need, or wish you had spent it on other things that you really do.
Just my opinions as a friend.