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  #1  
Old 01-29-2014
just ducky
 
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$3000/mo cruising budget

Determining a cruising budget and trying to find out if it will work seems like one of the most important parts of cruising, yet is one of the hardest to find any answers on. Before I got into sailing I spent 2 years researching the cost issues and in the end kind of just gave up and placed myself on a path to cruising anyway.

The question frequently becomes all jammed up with "it depends" and "it costs whatever you can afford to spend" answers. Which are true, but of little value for planning. Planning becomes even more important for those not so young when the decision to stop working and go cruising equals an end to a career and little chance of returning to work at anywhere near the level they were when they sailed off. The goal becomes balancing leaving while young enough to get the most of of cruising, while working long enough to not run out of money.

But I'm becoming more and more job burnt out and more and more caught in the dream, so find myself looking for the answer. To do it I spend lots of time reading though blogs looking for what people are spending and comparing it to what they are doing. I read things like the "Interview with a Cruiser Project", waste my time on the various forums, and just plain taking a guess based on what it costs me to live on land and maintain my boat now and have a budget in mind.

The budget I'm currently planning for is $3000/mo, which has to cover basically everything. Now this isn't a down and dirty budget, and it isn't a live high budget. But it is expected to be a comfortable budget that allows sightseeing and not eating out of a can budget. And as an average amount is one that I could cruise on till I no longer an able (that $3000/mo, $36,000/yr budget becomes $52,500 when I'm 75 at 2% inflation).

If you are in the cruise for $500/mo group this isn't a thread for you. But if you are in a similar position for cruising on $3000/mo I would love to see comments on what you expect this to mean far as your cruising plans.
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2014
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Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Don, I'm right there with you. Burnt out from working, eligible for retirement, have some savings but don't want to run out of money. The whole inflation thing gives me the heebie jeebies. I know I can survive barring anything drastic happening but want to do more than survive and wifey is not interested in constant camping. So you see I've been reading a couple of the active threads concerning cruising on a budget here and do believe $3K per month would be pretty good. I have the dream to do the great loop, seeing as many of the sights along the way as we can so I know it will take a little money to do it what with hitting a marina regularly and other sight seeing and travel. I have yet to decide on a boat to do this with but am leaning toward a smaller sail boat 27'-32' as I also want to do the Bahamas and Carribean eventually. I'm also very drawn to smaller trawlers too especially for the Loop. Another possibility I have considered is a trailer sailer. Something like a Hunter 26/260 would be very economical and if we decided to do our cruising in seasonal legs we could trailer quickly to where we wanted to go and trailer back home if a hurricane or very cold weather threatned. I know with any of these options we could keep our cruising expenses at $3K per month under normal conditions. What has me nervous is whether we can do it and keep the house. Guess I'll have to sharpen my pencil up some more and do the math. If it was just myself I would go this year but I have to keep in mind the family responsibilities.

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Old 01-29-2014
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Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

What is the 3000 meant to cover...

boat payment?
Health care?
Home mortgage?
Home maintenance, taxes, utilities?
Alimony or child support?
Etc.

To summarize, is the 3000 just cruising expense money?
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Old 01-29-2014
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Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by xort View Post
What is the 3000 meant to cover...

boat payment?
Health care?
Home mortgage?
Home maintenance, taxes, utilities?
Alimony or child support?
Etc.

To summarize, is the 3000 just cruising expense money?
It is to cover everything. But I wouldn't have a boat or home payment/expenses.
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Old 01-29-2014
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Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Our buget is based on a monthly outlay of around 5K/ month when we start our long term cruising. Our boat is 65' on the deck so boat associated costs are significantly higher and we have kids. I would think that your $3K will serve you well. There a lot of factors, not the least of which is where you intend to cruise.
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Old 01-29-2014
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Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

I should also mention that our budget is for the total cost of crusing... no land based costs are included in that number ie house, etc. The budget does include all insurances, mainenance, food, fuel, fees of all kinds, excursions, upgrades, airfare etc.
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Old 01-29-2014
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Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

A lot depends on where you want to be. If you're not on Medicare, good medical insurance can still cost you $1000/month. Depending on your health and any pre-existing conditions, there's room for a lot of variation in that. And if you're outside the US, the whole picture changes again. Changes from year to year, too, as some countries are now requiring that you have your own insurance rather than burden them.

Then there's where you stay at night. Let's say a 35-foot boat, and marinas easily ranging $2-5 per foot per night for transients. $70-175 per night? Split the difference and say $125 per night, and five or ten or is it fifteen? nights at a marina can rip your budget up.

I think the bigger question is not whether anyone can cruise on any particular budget, but whether you can cruise in the style you want, in the places you want to go, at whatever may be a realistic budget for that.
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Old 01-29-2014
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Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Just re did a spreadsheet with the finance guy to figure if we should own the boat totally or leave part owned by the bank. In short figured will sail until 80 and have resources to buy total boat from bank when we want which is why we did analysis. Figured in flights, all insurances, all living /boat expenses and hanging on to house for the first few years. For our 46' boat you're looking at ~50k/yr as base for the boat and living on boat.Figured in replacement schedule for sails/rigging/through hulls/ batteries etc. If you add in holding onto house/cars etc. you're looking at more. As TC says depends on boat size,age of boat and cruising ground. Realize you may need additional health insurance if your stateside insurance wouldn't cover you out of country. Many things are trade offs. Have watermaker- don't buy water, Need to service watermaker. Have wind/sun don't burn diesel for electricity- need initial outlay. Do a spreadsheet with an outside partner. Makes it all very real. Also thought 3k/m was realistic. Still think quite do-able but want "play" money to sight see. Now as we edge into the life find may have underestimated expenses.
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Old 01-29-2014
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Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

I did a retirement spending thing with my finance guy a few weeks ago and he said my plan worked. Of course all the really means is that if I spend $3000/mo my money lasts as expected.

But since my finance guy is older than me and still has to work I don't really believe he knows anything more than me. And of course he knows nothing about the boat side of the question.

Far as keeping the house and paying off the boat loan, this all is betting that you can do better with the money that the interest getting charged. Hard to say, the only real asset is cash in hand (not invested in stocks, just cash)
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Old 01-29-2014
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Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
A lot depends on where you want to be. If you're not on Medicare, good medical insurance can still cost you $1000/month. Depending on your health and any pre-existing conditions, there's room for a lot of variation in that. And if you're outside the US, the whole picture changes again. Changes from year to year, too, as some countries are now requiring that you have your own insurance rather than burden them.

Then there's where you stay at night. Let's say a 35-foot boat, and marinas easily ranging $2-5 per foot per night for transients. $70-175 per night? Split the difference and say $125 per night, and five or ten or is it fifteen? nights at a marina can rip your budget up.

I think the bigger question is not whether anyone can cruise on any particular budget, but whether you can cruise in the style you want, in the places you want to go, at whatever may be a realistic budget for that.
The two biggest budget busters when we were cruising were marinas and airline tickets to and from the US. We spent a lot more nights in marinas than we should have, just because we had the money, and we liked the convenience for shopping and eating out. But, I bet we dropped about a $1000 per month average on airline tickets.

I own my boat, too and our medical is only $440 a month with boat insurance around $150 per month. I think we would have done fine on $3000 a month if we just spent more time on the hook and didn't fly home so much.

As it was, I was dropping around $4000 to $5000 per month, and it ended up cutting my trip short.
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Last edited by Group9; 01-29-2014 at 06:49 PM.
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