I have read several interesting descriptions of micro-budget long-distance cruising and circumnavigation.
Many accounts describe getting by on 1000 USD per month and even less in some cases. Many of these accounts include detailed cost breakdowns illustrating how such a small budget can work.
However none of these accounts seems to mention the administrative costs i.e. Customs, Immigration, Clearance, Cruising Permits, Port Fees for entering, staying in and leaving a string of countries on a circum-navigation. I have looked at some examples of fees and costs for passing through a few countries and territories in the south pacific and south east asia (I am in Australia) and they seem to be quite significant, maybe between 100-250 USD for a 35 footer with 2 people aboard for 28 days per country. Most of these countries will not let tourists stay for more than 21 or 28 days so this will be a regular cost.
These costs probably sound insignificant to people used to travelling on a more comfortable budget but I am interested to know if any of our experienced micro-budget cruisers would agree that these administrative costs are significant and need to be planned for specifically?
Or am I not seeing the big picture?
It is very difficult to imagine life with out fees and charges, when one comes from the big city. My current experience in Brooklyn comes to mind.
For example, consider my recent experience refilling my propane tanks aboard Pegasus:
Because NYC prohibits LPG tank refills within it's limits, one company has the monopoly on LPG. Admittedly, this company is customer friendly, and provides excellent service. But this is not cheap. When all was said and done, it cost $430 to refill my two 30# horizontal propane tanks. The last time I filled them, in Cocoa, FL, it cost me $60, period.
This level of expense is endemic to large cities in the USA, and to a lesser extent, to large cities generally.
Can you manage on $1000/month? Of course! We do it all the time!
It will be much easier to do this with a monohull between 28-34 Ft LOA,
and virtually impossible to do this with a much larger boat.