Voyaging on $500 per month - Page 73 - SailNet Community
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post #721 of 2782 Old 02-06-2014
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Re: First few days at sea on any budget

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Originally Posted by svzephyr44 View Post
Not only with money, but with sailing/voyaging/cruising in general. Since you have a boat that has been around the world you many actually have some of the "stuff" that is not on a typical "cruiser" as delivered from the factory. They say that "ignorance is bliss" but it can also be expensive. I was working with a new cruiser getting his boat ready. I helped him install solar panels and an autopilot. I said, "Before you go let me look at the boat and make some recommendations." I went away for a couple of days and when I returned the boat was gone. He called me and said, "I can't stand the cold so I headed south. I will see you in Key West." One of those "must have" items is a boom preventer. But he didn't know that. So off Cape Canaveral he set the autopilot and went up on the foredeck to check something. The wind shifted, the boat gybed, and the boom, solar panels and new dodger-bimini all went overboard. Fortunately he was not hit by the boom during the gybe or he would have gone overboard too. His first cruising "unexpected expense." Fortunately it did not include a trip to the hospital and he was able to motor into port.

Some of the things that I added:
  • Boom preventer,
  • Hard points - maybe 30 of them to tie everything inside down so it can't shift around,
  • Cockpit gate - the Catalina 42 has an open rear cockpit to the swim ladder. Amazing how much stuff floated off the stern,
  • Main Halyard pull down - a line to force the main sail to come down. They don't always want to in strong wind,
  • Cunningham - not strickly necessary but cheap and great for easy mainsail trim,
  • Heavy duty bucket on a line - the source for salt water for cleaning etc. underway,
  • Lazyjacks. I had them on the boat but with a racing crew we had taken them off. With 9 guys on the boat it was pretty easy to get the main down on the boom. With just me - well you get the point.

Another area was the loss of time sense. When you are living on shore you know what day of the week it is. You have a pretty good idea of time passing. On a boat not so much. I lost track of how long it had been since I did various checks on the boat. I ended up making a reminder list so that I would not forget. It is attached to my calendar.
  • Water level in batteries,
  • Fuel filter, drain the water from the bottom of the centrifugal separator
  • Water filters - particularly for the refrigeration system, if I had air conditioning I would expect that to clog quickly also,
  • Engine oil,
  • Rig - with particular emphasis on the cotter pins that prevent the clevis pins from coming out,
  • Running rigging - sheets and halyards - never a concern before, amazed at how they would shred or split,
  • Bilge pump switches - my boat is very dry - I did not know that one of the switches had failed (I have redundant systems) until I checked it.
  • Thru-hulls. I open and close them to make sure they are not frozen up. I learned that in very cold weather they tend to stick, as it warms up they get loose again.
  • Lubrication - on my boat the engine kill lanyard tends to freeze up if not lubricated on a regular basis.
  • Propane tank level - it sounds silly but... I have two tanks. One used to be the spare and the other ran the stove/oven. But now the second tank also runs the cabin heater so it is possible for both to empty at the same time. Not a good thing if you need to cook!
  • Storage lockers - I learned the hard way that the bottoms of storage lockers can get very wet. Usually this is from condensation. I open them up and empty them out. Everything in them is in plastic bags. I have thrown away more than my fair share of stuff ruined by sitting in a puddle of water for a couple of months.

I add to the list from time to time when I discover something I should be checking on a regular basis.

World Cruising Mods
Since you are retrofit mode let me add two items to your list should you expect to leave North/Central America and venture on.
  1. A 220 volt 50 cycle battery charger and "European" shore power inlet and cord/adapters. Many of the new chargers are 'world chargers." They will accept 90 V to 250 V and 50 Hz to 60 Hz power. My solar panels kept the batteries topped off but they were in dire need of an equalization charge after 6 months of just solar panel recharging. My particular favorite company is Victron Energy - Inverter/chargers - Inverters - Battery Chargers - and more There are two companies I would never buy from given my previous experience - Xantrex and Raymarine. Victron equipment is more expensive but is the brand of choice on high end yachts.
  2. Another solution rather than a new charger is a 220V to 110V transformer. Much less expensive. My problem was that the shore power voltages were just off enough that my 110V charger would not run because it read either low or high voltage.
  3. A butane tank adapter that can attach to your propane system. Not an expensive item but hard to find all the bits - metric to English - male/female etc. Many parts of the world use butane instead of propane. You stove will work - it will not be quite as hot. Better than not working at all.

Fair winds and following seas
Great ideas Roger... you the man! You should have your own sticky...
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post #722 of 2782 Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Regarding showers .... i've used the pump up sprayer on previous boats and found them adequate for the purpose. In sunny weather a solar bag or even just a hose left on deck will get probably too hot but it is cheap hot water. We would drain the solar bag or hose into the head sink, add some cold to bring temp down and drop a 12v pump with shower head attached into that. The thing plugged into a cigarette light socket. Now that worked wonderfully well. In winter same arrangement but we'd boil a kettle. I'm sure that a more permanent installation would make the whole thing more convenient to use, e.g a container with 12v pump installed in the base, said container perhaps located in head cupboard.
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post #723 of 2782 Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

For the pump sprayer to take a shower I was reading Hall Roth recommended using a sink rinse spray handle. The kind of plastic spray head you find on a home kitchen sink for rinsing the dishes. He had some difficulty finding a fitting to change the end of sprayer over. This puts out more water ?
This spray wand can also be used to cool off on a hot day we would use them at half time on the football < (soccer field ) The wand does not put out so much water that you are not to wet.

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post #724 of 2782 Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

It's all about expectations.

If you grew up making a banquet out of a cup of rice then living on 500$us/mo is not only easy that's living like royalty.

If you grew up going to the best restaurants whenever you wanted, not so easy.

If you grew up living in a small room without electricity, living on a boat with a solar panel is going to be amazing, you can actually listen to the radio!

If you grew up living in a mansion, powering down is going to be hard.

If you grew up washing with a cloth out of a small basin of water you carried from a creek, living with a small amount of water on a boat is no different.

If you grew up taking 30 minute hot showers every morning, it'll be a new experience you're probably not going to like very much.

If you grew up trading for parts and doing everything yourself, it can be easy.

If you grew up taking it to the shop and letting somebody else do it all for you, not so much.

It's not that 500$us/mo isn't enough money, it's that 500$us/mo isn't enough money for most people who grew up living the easy life in America, land of cheeseburgers and jiffy lube oil changes.

What are you pretending not to know ?

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post #725 of 2782 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

I'm not really sure what using a bug sprayer to take a shower has a lot to do with cheap cruising. Isn't that really about life on a boat with small water tanks for a long passage. Even in places that charge for water it is pretty inexpensive in the big picture and if you can go ashore and get water, you should be able to find a shower.

Still waiting for actual cruise expenses (without it depends some months answers) and proposed budgets. I would think that those planning on the $500/mo budget would be really interested in where they should plan their money to be be going toward.

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Last edited by Don0190; 02-07-2014 at 08:35 AM.
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post #726 of 2782 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

All I know is that the guy who says it can't be done, is not going to be the guy who does it, or the one to ask on how to do it.

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post #727 of 2782 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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All I know is that the guy who says it can't be done, is not going to be the guy who does it, or the one to ask on how to do it.
I'm just as sure that the guy who can not show a real budget that covers all areas wouldn't be able to stay within the budget.

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post #728 of 2782 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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Originally Posted by Lou452 View Post
For the pump sprayer to take a shower I was reading Hall Roth recommended using a sink rinse spray handle. The kind of plastic spray head you find on a home kitchen sink for rinsing the dishes. He had some difficulty finding a fitting to change the end of sprayer over. This puts out more water ?
This spray wand can also be used to cool off on a hot day we would use them at half time on the football < (soccer field ) The wand does not put out so much water that you are not to wet.
When I was setting mine up I was planning to replace the sprayer nozzle with a kitchen sprayer, but I was able to modify the existing bronze nozzle to allow for a descent shower. All I did was gently pry open the nozzle opening until it produced a descent flow (but still very fine). One of the great things with the sprayer approach is that you can produce high pressure with very small flow. Allows you to use very little water, and still take a satisfying shower.
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post #729 of 2782 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Most outboards have a small generator for charging batteries and or supply enough power for lights... I have the small generator on my outboard... why couldn't this power be used to run a 12V heating element for 10-15 minutes or so to heat up the water in a holding tank for warm/hot shower... I used to run the outboard to charge the batteries when away from the slip... don't see why it couldn't be set up this way...

http://store.mwands.com/dc-water-hea...eater-element/

Forgot to mention I also have the Honda 2000 generator which can also be used to run the heater in the hot water tank for several minutes... nice cozy warm/hot water sure beats cold water on a cool day...

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post #730 of 2782 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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Originally Posted by Don0190 View Post
I'm just as sure that the guy who can not show a real budget that covers all areas wouldn't be able to stay within the budget.
Maybe the person living on a $500 budget or less doesn't have the time to do budgets or keeping track since he is too busy voyaging to the next cheapest cruising grounds...
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