Sailing on a shoestring. - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 38 Old 03-21-2012
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Re: Sailing on a shoestring.

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
But, if Newt Gingrich ever gets elected president, I am heading for the Carribean full time.

I love my boat... more than I like money...
lol.
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post #12 of 38 Old 03-21-2012
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Re: Sailing on a shoestring.

On the Dock, we specialize in living large while living small.

$500/mo budget is doable. TIIIIIGGGGHHHHT, but doable, if you're single, comfortable with remaining single, and comfortable living on the hook with NO frills, and NO budget for boat maintenance.

Learn to cook well, fast. On $500/mo, you're gonna find even cheap canned chili is going to stretch the budget and loses it's appeal, whereas shrimp ceviche and fresh biscuits are always mouthwatering... and cheaper
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post #13 of 38 Old 03-21-2012
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Re: Sailing on a shoestring.

I would have to say that, going by the comments on SN, most cruisers save enough money that they can go sailing for at least a few years b/f having to return to work to make more money. The only variable is how much loot you need to cruise in the way you want. And in the amount of determination and skill you have to make things work along the way. I would say my dreams of cruising fall into this category.
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post #14 of 38 Old 03-21-2012
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Re: Sailing on a shoestring.

More random thoughts:

There are lots of threads about this topic
Realistic Cruising Budgets

Read about Lynn and Larry Pardey.

I think you would have to consider a boat with almost no systems to repair. No reefer, and possibly no engine. Therefore, you would have to be very selective when, and where you sail.

... you know I was talking about refrigeration there, right?
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post #15 of 38 Old 03-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing on a shoestring.

Oh thank god you were talking about refrigeration, my dreams almost went up in smoke. The most complex system on my boat is my galley sink. I have been living aboard with no refrigeration for years. I figure it would be easier to add things I cant live without once I determine that I cant live without them. We actually eat very well but after loosing everything but my life I am determined to go now.
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post #16 of 38 Old 03-21-2012
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Re: Sailing on a shoestring.

I'm only lucky enough to be a veteran than still lives close to base with a marina. I rent Catalina 22 for $20/hr which is a steal compared to anywhere else. I like what was said above, sailing on a shoestring is better than wishing you were sailing.

I'm saving now for a sailboat soon...I hope. I'll trailer it since I can't afford a slip.
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post #17 of 38 Old 03-21-2012
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Re: Sailing on a shoestring.

I'm heading south from the upper reaches of Chesapeake Bay to Marathon Key, FL this coming October. My budget will likely be under $500 a month, at least until I get to the keys, where the cost of everything is high. Hopefully, I'll be able to find sufficient work ,and do some horsetrading, to support my mooring and dockage fees while there. I think that without the mooring and dockage fees $500 a month would be a piece of cake, even for a couple.

A big chunk of the budget would be for food. Well, at least for most folks. Hell, you're on the water and if the water's fairly clean, you can catch dinner most nights. Breakfast is cheap--some Egg Beaters, a slice of American cheese, a couple strips of turkey bacon (or the real stuff), an English muffin and a cup of coffee makes for a huge breakfast.

Lunch involves a couple slices of bread, a couple slabs of bologna (or any other lunch meat), a slice of your favorite cheese, some mustard or mayo and a cold drink.

Dinner can be pretty much anything that suits your fancy. If you're down in the sunny south, beer battered grouper fillets would be tough to beat, especially when served up with some fresh, steamed broccoli, some fresh-baked garlic bread and an ice-cold Margaretta. OH YEAH! Of course you could substitute the grouper fillets with fresh-caught lobster (when in season) broiled on your gas grill and served with drawn butter.

Grouper have a relatively short season these days, but there is no season on French and flannel-mouth grunts, which is a smaller member of the snapper family. I've caught them on a small strip of red cloth attached to a wide-gap hook and jigged close to the bottom along channel edges of the keys. The meat is snow-white, sweet and delicate.

If you get tired of seafood, which most of rarely do, you can always make a homemade pizza. All you need is some basic ingredients--flour for the crust, some spaghetti sauce, toppings, cheese and wallah, you're living high.

If you have a tight schedule, then fuel will be a significant expense--and it's gonna' get a lot more expensive in the very near future if the present administration has its way. However, if you don't have a tight schedule, and don't have anyplace in particular where you must be, then fuel doesn't play much of a role in your overall expense.

Repairs and maintenance will vary, depending upon your ability to fix things without the assistance of a repair facility. When I was young I was able to rebuild engines, leap tall buildings with a single bound, lots of neat stuff. Now that I've grown old I no longer feel comfortable going up the mast or squeezing my bulging frame into the engine compartment. Consequently, I leave those jobs to younger folks that hopefully will not overcharge me and know what they are doing.

There's lots of options for you to consider when setting up that budget and the best advice I have is to look at all of them carefully, then determine which items are necessities and which ones are just things you would like to have, but really don't need in order to be cruising.

Good Luck,

Gary
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post #18 of 38 Old 03-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing on a shoestring.

BreakingAwayFL Im sure you have seen this but... Cruising the Northwest Coast - A book by George Benson
My first boat was a Coronado 26 called a Sea Quest basically a 25 with a clipper bow. I sailed that boat so many thousands of miles I cant tell you. She was quick, stiff and tough as nails. Se came without an engine and I figured that's how all small sailboats were.

Gary, wow, you are making me hungry.
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post #19 of 38 Old 03-21-2012
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Re: Sailing on a shoestring.

To the OP

Jame Baldwin did several decades ago on what can only be described as a shoestring budget. Times have changed but if he did it then why can you/we do it now?
His website is;
Atom Voyages - Home

He was written a book about his adventures, available in print or online at;
Atom Voyages - Books

John
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post #20 of 38 Old 03-21-2012
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Re: Sailing on a shoestring.

When things get tight after major maintenance work, we head off and keep away from major centers until the bank balance gets back in the grey (fine line between red and black) We have to live on the credit card as you cant envisage all unexpected problems and I refuse to let the boat go into disrepair. I can live on noodles when needed but the boat gets what she needs when she needs it. The best times are when we get right away to some secluded anchorage and hang out, fish and enjoy some piece and quiet and don't need to spend a cent, and every thing is right with the world.
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Last edited by SimonV; 03-21-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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