The Cruising Life, by Jim Trefethen, and Cruising Financials - Page 19 - SailNet Community

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  #181  
Old 03-16-2009
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Since we are talking about creating some cash for either leaving or the plan to leave, now is the time to consider putting money to work.

The Federal Reserve is in great hands, the economy will bounce back and if you are ballsy enough doing some buying now will create some wealth later. Although many may not believe it, but the opportunity is now. Just be cautious and use common sense. The decisions made today will allow a great standard of living later.
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  #182  
Old 03-16-2009
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You're missing some of the context of cell phones these days. For many customers, the cell phone is actually cheaper, more powerful, and more flexible than a landline phone and in fact, younger customers often no longer have landline phones at all. Cell phone with unlimited local service is $50/month in many cities. Landline phone? $20-30 and that's without ANY services or features beyond incoming calls. Voicemail, call forwarding, callerID, outgoing calls...all extras on the landline. And when kids shift from high school, to college, to their own first "home", to the next job or marriage or out of town, the one cell phone stays with them.
Who needs landlines? (That's a rhetorical question.)

Some folks say all sailors are rich. Some sailors disagree. Well...from some points of view, it doesn't matter how slim your sailing budget is--it isn't a necessity, and that makes it a luxury, and by definition that makes anyone who sails a rich wastrel ripe for the picking. To some.
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  #183  
Old 03-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sequitur View Post
When we head out in August for a few years, it will be in a two-year-old boat that is fully paid for, fully fitted-out and with three years remaining on its warranty. Because of the newness and the warranty, repair and maintenance costs will be low initially, and I'm estimating $5,000/yr until the end of the warranty period.
Careful there. That warranty is 5 years against hull blistering. Most everything that actually might go wrong with your boat will have a one year warranty (engine, genset, electrical system, plumbing, steering, etc.). I'm not suggesting that a newer boat won't have less maintenance costs, but it won't be zero, particularly if you are cruising full time.

I also think some of your numbers might be low, but I don't know for certain. It all depends on what you want to do. True, if you are going to sail harbor to harbor, drop a hook, and spend money on nothing but food and drink that you cook yourself (the food part that is), you probably are right. BUT, if you want to explore inland at all, if you want to eat out every now and again, if you want to socialize in town, if, if, if, then you likely are going to have greater expenses. Again, this is my opinion; I do not proclaim to be an expert in this (though I hope to be soon enough!).

I actually thought Architeuthis' post was pretty good, and I took him seriously. You can argue around the margins for sure, but I think the thrust of his point is that if you are the type of person who goes out to eat twice a week, goes to two movies per week, and stuff like that, it's not particularly realistic to think that you will stop doing everything you like to do just because you now live on a boat. No doubt, many things will change and you will enjoy many things that now will be free (sunsets, swimming, fishing, gamming on the beach), but I think it might be a bit romanticizing to think you will go from the quintessential suburban consumer to a minimalist.

I do hear the criticisim that if you don't maintain a shoreside home cruising should be at least somewhat less expensive. I bet that's probably true for the time you are out, but what about when you come back? I think that's his point too. Getting yourself back into the mainstream, on whatever level you plan to come back, costs money too. If you sell your house to go cruising, cruise for 10 years (just to pick a number), and then come "home," you will need to buy/rent a place to live, and that equity you had in your house will be gone. So getting back ashore is a cost to consider.

I think it certainly is possible to cruise less expensively than it costs to live ashore, but I suspect that in the end, for most people who actually go, that's not the case. Soup to nuts, all in, take two families from the same socio-economic bracket. One steps out of the mainstream in the middle somewhere and takes a 5 or even 10 year cruise, and the other just works and lives "traditionally" straight through till the end. I bet the total amount of money they spend before they die probably does not vary all that much (and the one that did not go cruising probably has more money in the bank at the end, even though the happiness tank might not be nearly as full).

Just my uninformed thoughts on the subject.
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Last edited by danielgoldberg; 03-16-2009 at 12:49 PM.
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  #184  
Old 03-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielgoldberg View Post
I actually thought Architeuthis' post was pretty good, and I took him seriously. You can argue around the margins for sure, but I think the thrust of his point is that if you are the type of person who goes out to eat twice a week, goes to two movies per week, and stuff like that, it's not particularly realistic to think that you will stop doing everything you like to do just because you now live on a boat. No doubt, many things will change and you will enjoy many things that now will be free (sunsets, swimming, fishing, gamming on the beach), but I think it might be a bit romanticizing to think you will go from the quintessential suburban consumer to a minimalist.
I mostly agree with this.

My limited experience with this, being a person who is still trying to downshift a few gears in lifestyle, is that it just takes time. We are so accustomed to convenience that it does take some effort to cut some of that out and learn to live another way, but I haven't found it to be terribly uncomfortable or anything, so long as it happens one step at a time.

The first time i was out on my boat for an extended period of time it was a huge initial shock for me. Suddenly I wasn't able to just run to the refrigerator for a drink, hop over to the drive-thru for a burger, and all the rest, and I had to start cooking for myself or starve. In the beginning I guess you could say I was starving, sort of, I wasn't cooking enough to eat and I completely crashed, I got really tired, lost my appetite completely, got confused, etc, and it took me a few weeks to actually get back on track. I lost a huge amount of weight, rapidly, but once I finally start getting into the groove it became much easier and I was able to straighten myself out, though I never did cook enough to gain the weight back.

It takes more effort to cut out some of the convenience, that's why they call it convenience, because it is convenient. But it can be done. Besides, what else are you going to do with your time, put puzzles together for the rest of your life ? You leave work and you are out on a boat with essentially nothing to do all day, you can't take 30 minutes to cook some breakfast, or stitch up a sail that gets ripped ?
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  #185  
Old 03-16-2009
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Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
I just mention that because I don't agree with the idea that you have to have 30k$us/year coming in or you're going to be eating stray mice and scraping the bottom of the boat with shells you find on the beach. Learn to freaking cook, pressure cook some beans with ham bone in it for G's sake, anchor out once in a while.
I have to laugh at some of the assumptions I hear at times. Take food, for example: I saw an item on the news about a couple who spent $250/week on groceries who lost their jobs and now have "cut back" (no prepared meals or luxury tidbits). Our household is two adults and a child and our total grocery bill is about $100/week. We don't do what we would do on a boat (powdered milk, more "from scratch" cooking, food prep geared to minimizing refrigeration) and so I think that boat living should be cheaper, particularly if we can snag three or four pounds of fish a week, which I find a reasonable prospect. "Snagging" in this case also means trading a couple of cans of beer with local fishermen.

We do enjoy wine with meals and that will require some rethinking. Fragility of bottles and the simple fact that I drink very little when in charge of a boat means that the 1 litre TetraPaks made sense, but then you have to dispose of them in ways other than chucking a glass bottle over the side (which I consider "habitat enhancement", by the way...the bottle eventually becomes sand again.)

I think the combination of careful food prep, opportunistic purchasing in bulk and less reliance on processed foods (making our own breads, for instance) means we can keep the "ship's food bill" at $5K or less per year, leaving enough for the occasional shoreside treat of a restaurant meal or getting steaks or something.
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  #186  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielgoldberg View Post
Careful there. That warranty is 5 years against hull blistering. Most everything that actually might go wrong with your boat will have a one year warranty (engine, genset, electrical system, plumbing, steering, etc.). I'm not suggesting that a newer boat won't have less maintenance costs, but it won't be zero, particularly if you are cruising full time.
Dan,

I'm sorry for you that the warranty you have is so short and so restricted. I opted to pay for an extended five year warranty, which covers the boat and all of its fitted equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielgoldberg View Post
I also think some of your numbers might be low, but I don't know for certain. It all depends on what you want to do. True, if you are going to sail harbor to harbor, drop a hook, and spend money on nothing but food and drink that you cook yourself (the food part that is), you probably are right. BUT, if you want to explore inland at all, if you want to eat out every now and again, if you want to socialize in town, if, if, if, then you likely are going to have greater expenses. Again, this is my opinion; I do not proclaim to be an expert in this (though I hope to be soon enough!).
Our tastes do not run to socializing and drinking in town with all the other tourists; we much prefer to stay well away from the touristed areas and blend into the local scene. During the six years we had the canal boat in France, 2000-06, our monthly expenses rarely hit $750 per month for food, drink, butane, diesel oil, moorage, electricity, travel and entertainment. On that budget we dined very well and we explored extensively along the Saone, the Centre, the Loing, the Loire, the Seine, the Marne, the Doubs, the Burgogne, and so on. We visited most of the cultural and historic sites and we got to know most of the cities, towns and villages along the way. We certainly could have spent much more, but we simply can't stand sitting in bars swapping tales with the tourists.
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  #187  
Old 03-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielgoldberg View Post
... I'm not suggesting that a newer boat won't have less maintenance costs, but it won't be zero, particularly if you are cruising full time.....
Dan,
I didn't have the costs estimated at zero:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sequitur View Post
... Because of the newness and the warranty, repair and maintenance costs will be low initially, and I'm estimating $5,000/yr until the end of the warranty period. .... As the boat ages, and its repair and maintenance fees increase ....
While I think $5,000 per year is reasonable for the next two or three years, I am fully prepared for the repair and maintenance costs to then start moving upwards toward the often-quoted 10% of boat value.
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  #188  
Old 03-16-2009
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Not tryig to be argumentative, but as I have always owned new boats (with maybe one exception), I would say that most people do not purchase an extended warranty and pretty much all boats do in fact come in at 12 months with the exception of the hull.

I have also found that almost everything that is going to break, breaks within the first 90 days or so. After that, it nicely stayed together through the 12 month period (smile).

Also, I find warranties of little use when something breaks 100 miles offshore from nowhere. At best you get the part for free. But are they going to pay for all the related shipping charges? And... can it even be shipped???

I doubt Hunter is going to hop a helicopter to the middle of the Pacific to get you a new charger. As such, isn't that warranty really worth unless you are tied to a marina within a telephone call from your dealer? Let's also not forget that seamanship dictates carrying a nice amount of spares, from alternators to belts, to water pumps, etc. They are not going to supply you with a spare. Thus, you will be out of pocket as much (or should we say more because you paid for a 5 year warranty) as anyone else going offshore/cruising.

Just my thoughts. I really am not arguiing with you. I am simply giving my perspective. And as a LA, our costs were significantly higher than the numbers you mentioned... but I did have a child with us.

Brian
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  #189  
Old 03-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sequitur View Post
Dan,

I'm sorry for you that the warranty you have is so short and so restricted. I opted to pay for an extended five year warranty, which covers the boat and all of its fitted equipment.


... we simply can't stand sitting in bars swapping tales with the tourists.
I've not seen an extended warranty like that for boats. Good on ya if you can make that work! Just for kicks, feel like posting the terms of the extended warranty? I'm just shocked to hear that a boat manufacturer would agree to warrant things like batteries, water pumps, lights, engines, windlass, roller furling, etc. for a 5 year period. Most of that stuff is not even built by the manufacturer, so I'm really surprised to hear that Hunter would warrant, for instance, a Jabsco head. Very cool for you if they actually did that.

And as to the second point you quoted, sitting in a bar swapping tales with tourists might be my favorite pasttime.
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Old 03-16-2009
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I think the thrust of his point is that if you are the type of person who goes out to eat twice a week, goes to two movies per week, and stuff like that, it's not particularly realistic to think that you will stop doing everything you like to do just because you now live on a boat. No doubt, many things will change and you will enjoy many things that now will be free (sunsets, swimming, fishing, gamming on the beach), but I think it might be a bit romanticizing to think you will go from the quintessential suburban consumer to a minimalist.
If you're living in the city then you're partly right. I formed my opinion based on the thread topic which is cruising. I know that where I would commonly be cruising, cinemas and fancy restauarants will be thin on the ground.

That said, the costs that I alluded to which are associated with home ownership are still extensive and the money spent in the city on the entertainment elements you mention is small potatoes compared with the rest.
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