Voyaging on $500 per month - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2014
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Voyaging on $500 per month

I've been reading through cruising budgets here and elsewhere and am shocked by how much money people are spending on their cruising budgets. I'm setting off again in a few months with a reasonably well stocked boat and hoping to live quite well on $1,200.00 for a the full six months I plan to cruise this year. When I started my voyage last year I was penniless with a half stocked boat and found finding work here and there to be quite easy although I am sailing in US waters as my dog refuses to go to sea.

My end goal once I'm free to head offshore is a $6,000.00 per year budget. I haven't suffered at all with my limited income and actually have gained weight since setting out. My 22' boat is small and simple but safe and easy to maintain to a very high standard.

I know there will be naysayers but what I'm really looking for is positive experiences of voyaging on a budget.

Art Of Hookie | Will work for food or money.
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Old 01-03-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

The Pardee's have a chapter on this in their book. Their formula is to figure you will spend about the same on the water as off once adjusted for the obvious things that are going to change like a car and business cloths etc.

Their main lesson was that people that spend a lot on land will spend a lot cruising and those who spend a little on land will spend a little cruising.

IE people don't change.
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Old 01-03-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Right now I'm living off $350 per month average but I have to say I'm living quite extravagantly. No car, phone, debt ect. I am however still refitting the boat as I will be for some time so whenever I get a windfall payday it all goes into the boat. I only add the highest quality when doing upgrades so I'm paying now but expect a very reliable boat for years to come. I also do 99% of my own maintenance so that really keeps costs down.
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Old 01-03-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Keep posting you have my interest. I am not sure what dollar amount is needed. This subject gets beat upon and I have not seen a clear picture just a lot of it all depends on variables. I want the one doing it to outline it so I can decide.
I am still in the learning stage. I am day sailing and a camping out. I have been reading many books. One was about your location ! One you might want to look at (Simply Sailing) This book goes after the style of low cost live aboard. Lin and Larry Pardee touch it in a book they did with three levels of cost.
The $500 seems like the magic number that comes up all the time. My opinion is it will take more. You might go for a month on less but then you will go above later. I do not think I can live on land for $500 a month unless forced to do so. It would not be fun for me to urban style "sleep under the bridge and dumpster dive for food" county style "sleep in fields and woods poaching food. Each style is a very gray legality.
Each person must look at what the comfort needs and level of skill challenge needs to be balanced to make sailing fun,safe and legal.
Good day, Lou

Last edited by Lou452; 01-03-2014 at 09:51 PM. Reason: name change
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Old 01-03-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

You can let your kitty control your cruise, or your cruise control your kitty. I like the idea of low-budget cruising, going small and going now, living the low-wake life, and I like the fact that you are willing to follow the adventure with little in your pocket. But, let's not overstate the virtue here and risk getting reverse-elitist. Logically, if you set to sea with X number of dollars and, as you imply, will work as necessary to supplement your budget, then aren't you simply pointing out that you CAN'T cruise on the budget you set? if you could, you wouldn't be commenting on the ease of finding work.

I like the dinghy you bought, but I'm curious- if your budget is tight, why spend $600 on a dinghy when you could build a D4 for half of that? Money not spend is money you don't have to work to earn.
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

I guess the simple answer is that I prefer not to work anymore than I have to. I've done the whole work, mortgage, debt thing,no thank you. I have an aging dog who is the center of my world so I wont be crossing any oceans till she goes to that big field in the sky. As far as the dingy I don't have the knowledge tools or space to build but more importantly I've wanted a Hess dingy for 25 years and just couldn't turn it down or didn't want to. I did work two months last year and intent to do the same this year. My post is because like many the plain truth is that this can be very scary and I'm seeking positive reinforcement that I'm not insane or at least seeking other with the same mental capacity who can give me examples of what they have done abroad. To take it a step further its cold and dark out and I have nothing better to do and I love learning. This is a great place to share and learn so here I am
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Dude, you're not insane. Just do what the budget allows and don't live like a monk. just live. money may not buy happiness, but it does buy off a crapload of stress, worry and unhappiness.
You don't have to have it all, but don't live with a self-generated constraint that may turn out to be unrealistic, simply because your ego won't let you exceed your budget...

...Because, make no mistake about it, under $500/month is TIGHT- there is no margin and no cushion. I've done it, on a boat, with a dog, and there were times when it wasn't really fun. Like pawning some of your tools to be able to buy groceries and hoping you didn't pawn ones you might need to do the job that will get you the money to get your tools back from the pawn shop- it can get a little stressing, but it is really great when it all works...and it all works most of the time.
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Last edited by bljones; 01-03-2014 at 11:03 PM.
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

I haven't pawned any tools but I sure have lost my fair share over board. The dog eats really good dog chow, I buy 250 lbs at a time and get a discount, its all natural and she loves it. I tend to shop for things on sale so if I find my favorite peanut butter on sale for example I buy half a dozen jars. We eat really well but do fish and forage for some of our food. I love being at the dock from time to time but prefer to anchor out most of my time. During July August September and October this year I think we spent $200.00 total but like I said the boat was fairly well stocked. I'm not super rigid on the budget but I really like the challenge of living simply. I'm always looking for people with the same mindset. I recently came across a couple living very well on $2,000.00 per year, Very impressive. I'm always trying to learn to be more resourceful. My days left on this earth are extremely limited and I prefer to spend them in nature not a cubicle
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Old 01-03-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

My dear departed father had a saying that always come to mind in these matters "The only thing money can't buy is POVERTY! You can rent all the other stuff." Now, when I traveled down the ICW, $500 would have barely covered two weeks of gasoline cost. However, with favorable winds offshore and the ability to inlet hop down the coast, you COULD make it on $500 a month for food and a smattering of booze.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Old 01-03-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

As long as you ask you are not insane. I like this thread
You can go! $500 for a month go with more or less money and time or maybe it works out just as planed It is good to set a goal just do not let it consume you. Ahab wanted only the white whale.
What I have gained as good advice is ; break it down small enough for your comfort. This could be a week at a time or three years for other folks.
Good day, Lou
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