Cruising and $$ - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-29-2010 Thread Starter
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Cruising and $$

I would like to hear from full time cruisers about the financial reality of cruising. Apart from the initial investment in a sound boat & equipment, how much is needed for life (everything, incl the rum) aboard a well equipped 40 footer ( incl. maintenance and repairs) for a couple with a frugal attitude?
I am sure there will be quite a large range, depending on where you cruise, marina vs hook, eating out vs canned chicken but I would like to see where that range is.
P.S. Of course I am just asking this for a friend of mine, I would never personally consider such a bonehead move.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-29-2010
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Cant help you with how much a 40 footer would cost as we only cruised full time for 2 years in a 27 footer.As to how much you need ,the simple answer is however much you have.It cost us about $18000 CAN each year at a time when the Can $ was very low so $500 US cost us $750CAN.We anchored out most of the time first year stopped at marinas 30 times 2nd year only 8 times.Our idea of eating out was lunch once a month and an ice cream on a bench.We did not stint on the rum or wine to consume on the boat although we did have to curtail having guests at times.The amount includes health and boat insurance a new slar panel .We did all our own repairs and maintenance and carried a wide variety of spare parts and when one was used then we did not move until a replacement arrived.
Hope this helps you,the main thing is to decide what you are willing to do without and then just go for it for however long and as long as it is fun for all concerned.Remember as soon as you leave your home port you are already there.Enjoy it.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-29-2010
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for us on a 42',

slippage year round, to have a place to live no matter what $2K
taxes and Insurance $2K
boat bottom paint, yearly $1K
repairs, maintenance, replace $3K
monthly living expenses, food and juice $300
health insurance, yearly, high option $8K

those are the biggies, but we are quite frugal, eat aboard almost always, we do get a lot of fresh, local foods when we can. We are reasonably healthy. We already had the bicycles, scuba gear and tools.

We are in the Chesapeake now, but one or two trips to NC each year. If you stay transient marinas, you can really spend the $$...average last year was just under $2/ft per night, electric and shower included only...

Watching the stars every night, burgers on the grill, chilly mornings, good sailing, meeting new people, seeing places you only hear about, quiet time and time to read a book, listen to the ipod, walking, wildlife, generally offsets a lot of the $$. A healthier, less stressful life also is valuable to us.

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post #4 of 8 Old 01-29-2010
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Keldee added the factor of maintaning the vessel yourself. This is a very important cost factor. We're long term liveaboard cruisers that seasonally migrate from Maine to the Bahamas. Depending on your use of marinas and discretionary spending we would be able to do well on our 41' boat within a range of 1 to 4 thousand per month. I know this is a wide range, but we do fluctuate between these amounts and remain living well, far beneath our means. We also spend long periods anchoring out during our less expensive months. In addition, we own nothing ashore. There's a freedom and lack of expense that comes with non-ownership. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew

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post #5 of 8 Old 01-30-2010
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There was a very good, in-depth discussion of this topic on the SSCA website last fall. You may wish to go there, register, then in the SEARCH box at the top right of the Discussion Board, type in the following:

What does it cost to go cruising? The answer

Have fun!
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-30-2010
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The problem with this type question is that everyones opinion of what living and surviving is. Tons of similar discussions on half a dozen forums and they all boil down to "it depends".

Some say they could do it on $500 per month but that depends on where you are. In the Eastern Carib, I think two would need something like $1,500 a month to cover expenses not including boat and insurance to live well. Minimal moorings and almost no slip cost, know where to buy what and know how to eat local foods that are available. Those who can eat beans 3 meals a day do far better on the cost than I do... I really like some meat in at least one meal a day and I like to have Ice in my sundowner.

Everything is a give and take. For this you need to give up that or at least cut back. I think the cost between when I'm single handing and when my preferred sail mate is aboard is only about 30 to 40% more. With others it is more than 300% more and a real impact.

You need to learn to do most of your own maintenance on the boat... if you have to pay then WATCH everything they do and LEARN... those expensive lessons will pay off. Learn how to conserve power, water and other consumables of all types. Stay out of marinas and tourist areas except for special occasions.

Determine what living "good" is. I Personally do not wish to be in such a constrained status it resembles being in jail.

Make friends with other cruisers and locals..... last week I spend two days and nights in a home valued at over $5,300,000 with friends I had met a year before. Wonderful home with a service staff, multiple pools/ spas, kitchens and each bedroom section with independently located by elevated walks from other sections of the home... near total privacy and views few will ever see. From Tortola, I could see from Jost Van Dyke and St Thomas to St. Croix. As a rental my two days would have set me back thousands of dollars!

Odd opportunities will pop up if you make the attempt to connect with others and the fun and cost savings/ avoidance can be impressive. It all depends on the quality of live you want when cruising and what your willing to do.

I have another opportunity I'm looking at that will reduce my cost significantly simply by volunteering a couple of hours a week and will be tons of fun. It just popped up due to a chance conversation with other cruisers.

The key point is to just get out here and do it...

I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.... Jack London
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-31-2010
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Take a look at the bumfuzzles. bumfuzzle | sailing costs

Probably the most detailed cost/accounting over a long period done by cruisers on the web. Just remember, they had the boat paid off so no real boat note and perhaps not even insurance. And they lived cheap.

S/V Jendai
Beneteau 343
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-01-2010
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Accounting from SV Third Day:

A l'eau, c'est l'heure
s/v Estrellita 5.10b, Wauquiez Pretorien 35

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