Thanks Brian and Aaron! And thanks Christina for the long and informative email about the East Coast Moody's.
Since I'll just be supporting myself and the boat (at first anyway, never know who might end up joining), I'm assuming I can cut the numbers Brian spends by at least 2/3 since he's got 4 people (figuring in some economies of scale on his side).
It's those monthly fees that turn into the real deal killers, and insurance is looking to be an issue. $5000 a year is literally half my budget! For what amounts to nothing but the protection of some weak words on paper that apparently I'll need to get into a marina? Do I need that just to moore up overnight or is that more of a long-term thing?
Will have to check into that more closely. This could really push me to working & saving a couple more years, depleting savings and expecting to need to go back to work after a few years, or needing to work while I cruise, which isn't exactly part of my current dream, but I suppose sacrifices must be made. That comment about how earning just a few grand working is the equivalent of mass quantities of saved money was an interesting one.
Clearly I need to put some more thought into how I can generate cash. I know I could rent my house, but that would add risk and take some of the interest earnings away as well.
I speak w/ my financial advisor tomorrow, and I may find tapping my 401k will be a big hit to my numbers too.
If you cruise like I do, you will not cut your numbers by 2/3. That is just food. THe only other exception is Live Aboard fees. If you sign a L/T contract (non-transient), they generally hit you for $50 the first person, then $25 each person thereafter. That is per month. THis is more prevalant down south (Ft. Myers Beach and Keys) than further north. In Pensacola they couldn't give a crap and it was a lot cheaper. But up north, you get a "winter" (not to be confused with a real "winter"... snicker).
ANyways, the killers are the insurance. However, My boat values at 225ish (maybe 250, I cannot remember exact). So, you could see your insurance costs less. However, the couple I am quoting was for a trawler of 125-150 value. They were Canadian, so maybe that effected it? Also, was a trawler. However, they were very experienced boaters.
Now, some good news. We are also part owners (my pops boat) of a Tayana 42 Vancouver. Insurance coverage is 150kish. He pays 1400ish/year for PNW. Because I have been patron with BoatUS, they wrote him under me (and since I own part of boat... so yours might be more). However, the point is that the cost for PNW is quite a bit less than down south. I do not know your rates in Mexico or S Ca. Other might help. However, even in the PNW (Olympia - Swanstown Marina), he had to provide insurance. I think the days of avoiding insurance are coming to an end in the US unless you really anchor out all the time. Was not that way IIRC 10 years ago. They couldn't care less. Problem with the PNW is that you really only get about 4-5 months max for sailing unless you are a harbor seal. Even they head south for the winter. Also, when you get to the Baha, there simply isn't a lot to spend money on. Food (if you will buy it) is reasonable. People are super friendly. This last part is hear-say from friends of ours that spent 5 years there.
What is going to kill your budget is the marinas and breakage. They go about hand-in-hand. Major breakage is a marina or a yard. For example, our neighbor across the slip had to replace his lifelines on a Crealok 37. THey were aluminum and he changed to SS. That was $5,000. Would have been a month in the yard too. Just one of those will screw your budget for the year.
The trick to all of this is learning to do things yourself. Aaron has mastered that, but has grown up with it. Those that have not have a steep learning curve. Yeah, any moron can duct tape something together, but when you get offshore, that is when your duct tape will be tested - not the marina. SO learn to do things right, the first time. THere is a reason sailors do things the way they do and have done for hundreds of hears. The newer boats have a lot more systems and things to break, but the lesson is the same: Learn your boat and your systems yourself. Money has less to do with it than the reality that in some places, it is only you to fix it.
Now you may be thinking a lot of negatives. I hope I have not provided them. I am giving you my perspective on things. THere are a million things to learn about being a Mobile Live Aboard. That is what we all are. But I wake up to the sea and gorgeous sunrises. I am with my kids all day. I am in an atmosphere of people that will do anything for you. I have control over my own life. It really is what you are talking about - a great life and wonderful reminder of what living is all about. The only real caution is that once you come here, it is hard to ever go back to where you left.
Let me know if I can help with anything.