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kwaltersmi 09-20-2007 09:54 PM

Caribbean Liveaboard Costs
Let's say somone has a suitable liveaboard sailboat that's paid for. And let's say they want to live in the Caribbean, either on the hook or in a marina for an extended period (say ~3-5 years). I'd like to hear opinions about what sort of a minimum monthly budget you'd need to make this happen. I know there's a ton of variables, but give me some ballpark figures. I'm not talking about a liveaboard vacation, but rather living aboard as a way of life. Simple pleasures, simple needs. Living off the sea and the land as much as possible.

Have at it!

sailingdog 09-20-2007 10:21 PM

It depends on a lot of variables. The size of the boat is one major variable. The boat's ability to be self-sufficient is a second. A large boat with a water maker, solar panels and wind generator, may be able to stay out at anchor far longer than a boat without those abilities—making the costs of staying out lower in the long run. Staying in marinas will increase your costs quite a bit IMHO. A larger boat will have higher haulout and maintenance costs.

Also, where you're located in the Caribbean is going to affect your costs.

Without more information, I'd say it is almost impossible to give even a rough ballpark.

kwaltersmi 09-20-2007 10:45 PM

Ok Dog, let's say it's a 35 foot vessel without a watermaker that uses an anchor or mooring rather than a marina. What's your ballpark minimum monthly budget?

Melrna 09-21-2007 08:10 AM

Here is the figures that I have stored from reading tons of cruisers logs:
Minimum list needs: $300-500 per month
Average cost for most sailors: $700-$1200 per month
Luxury cost: $2000 plus

Like previous post depends on what one can live on, beans and rice everyday vs eating out 3-5 days a week. What those figures above don't consider is boat maintenance. As they say owning a cruising boat is fixing it in exotic places. The more toys on the boat the higher the cost. Can you fix the boat yourself vs having a mechanic fix it will greatly increase cost. Also health insurance is not in that cost either. Too many variables there. Inaddition, one of the biggest cost can be cruising permits,
As of 1 July 2003 the costs of a cruising permit for the Bahamas have risen. The new charges are as follows: - $150 for all vessels under 35 feet - $300 for vessels over 35 feet. - $150 for dinghys/tenders over 18 feet. Fiji, $1500 plus bond or plane ticket.

sailingdog 09-21-2007 08:38 AM

When did Fiji move to the caribbean??? ;)

sevseasail 09-21-2007 08:59 AM

here's an article on the subject...

Hope this helps....

camaraderie 09-21-2007 09:10 AM

Once you are at anchor in the Caribe, all you really need to do is eat and do laundry which costs about double what it does here in the states. You can do passive stuff for electrical needs when you outfit your boat. can get by really cheaply.
On the other hand, most people don't do that and Melrna's #'s look reasonable except you CAN go higher in the pricier areas, staying in marinas and paying very high prices for electricity.
A lot depends on how you live and what your other expenses are. Health Insurance, Boat Insurance, boat repairs etc.
If you are on the move, you need to account for customs/immigration fees and fuel for boat and dinghy.

sailingdog 09-21-2007 10:37 AM

I'd say, figure on about $6-8000 per year for "room & board". This doesn't include things like insurance, repairs, or maintenance-related costs—just keeping the boat there and eating. Also, it assumes that you've made some provision for charging the batteries that doesn't involve running your engine or a generator—either solar, wind or both. It also assumes that you're not staying in a marina most of the time and not bar hopping every night. :D

Freesail99 09-21-2007 10:52 AM

I would also have an emergency fund of at least $3000.00 to $5000.00 to help cover any surprise repairs or maintenance issues that may pop up.

sailingdog 09-21-2007 11:22 AM


Originally Posted by Freesail99 (Post 196002)
I would also have an emergency fund of at least $3000.00 to $5000.00 to help cover any surprise repairs or maintenance issues that may pop up.

Not to mention hurricane layup or medical evacuation.

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