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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-11-2017 06:48 PM
Re: Caribbean Liveaboard Costs

Originally Posted by sailnetone View Post
You also need medical insurance to be safe. A medical emergency can cost you a fortune. or your life. If you are a USC and already have it in the US, or have Medicare (65+) then you are OK on any US island. If you have EU citizenship you get free healthcare on most European islands but need to sign up.
I don't know how old you are, but at my age medical insurance for someone sailing in the Caribbean would only be affordable if one had won the lotto.
However, medical care on most of the independent islands isn't that expensive. It's pretty good too, except the USVI. Medical care in the USVI is so bad that the hospital there was (and may still be) unaccredited for many years. When I lived there we flew to PR for our medical care rather than see a doctor or go to the hospital on the island. A half a day more in anguish was infinitely preferable to almost certain death (well almost, almost).
Save your money and self insure. For me, the last quote was around 7k a year. 6 years down here would have been around 40k. So far, other than medications, which are much cheaper than in the US, I'd estimate my medical bills at under 2k and most of that was dental.
04-11-2017 06:28 PM
Re: Caribbean Liveaboard Costs

You also need medical insurance to be safe. A medical emergency can cost you a fortune. or your life. If you are a USC and already have it in the US, or have Medicare (65+) then you are OK on any US island. If you have EU citizenship you get free healthcare on most European islands but need to sign up.
03-23-2017 07:06 PM
outbound Running ~~$2k anchor 100% of the time when not in bvi and 30% in Bvi eat out 3-5/wk. have people on boat for drinks hors dorses 1-2/wk buy$100/m chip for hotspot and phone. Rest etoh
03-23-2017 03:51 PM
Re: Caribbean Liveaboard Costs

I've been a full time cruising live aboard for 24 years - and the critical 'cost factor' is "what does it cost you to live and maintain your happiness and current lifestyle right now? I mean aside from your home and car and on land associated expenses - what does your 'lifestyle, comfort zone, and happiness cost you now? That's what it will cost living on your boat.
For example - I consider my boat as my "travel and lodging". On average, (sailboat) it costs me near $7,000 a year. That's what I spend for ALL my boat, fuel and boat related expenses - including marina fees, canal fees, Permit fees, etc. HOWEVER - I spend 5 times that on me and my lifestyle. That's food, beverage, ice, toiletries, clothes, eating out, rental cars, and being a tourist at all the wonderful destinations along the way.
People that tell you that you can 'do this' on very little money and no income or huge savings are smoking seaweed. You can't live on the fish you catch, rice, beans and pasta for very long and be happy. It can be a very 'frugal' life on a 'frugal' boat, but leaving the US you need a Passport, if you stay longer than 90 days, you need a Visa, On arrival in the Caribbean you have $300 Entrance Fees, Cruising Permit fees, Fishing permit Fees, even a Departure Tax. Cruising America's Great Loop may in fact be a better option, it will for sure prepare you for cruising the Caribbean.
10-31-2016 01:15 PM
Re: Caribbean Liveaboard Costs

9 year old Post, but still a good read....
10-31-2016 12:49 PM
Re: Caribbean Liveaboard Costs

Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
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!
Most marinas down here have published their prices online, so you don't need us for that. However keep in mind that the rates are seasonal, so in season rates will be higher, possibly much higher.
As for day to day living expenses, those will depend on how you want to live. If you require steak 3 times a week and American food, your budget will need to be a lot bigger than if you eat like the locals. Many liveaboard residents down here spend a good part of their budget on 'happy hour'. If you are going to run a generator, as we do, then consider that roughly equivalent to paying utilities back home, with oil changes and maintenance. Of course, if you are in a marina you will be paying for both water and electric, also posted on their web sites.
Resident fees (cruising permits) can range from zero on some islands to us$300.00 for every 6 months in the Bahamas, or ec$75.00 a month in Grenada.
Moorings can cost from us$60.00 a month to over us$200.00, but I wouldn't trust ANY West Indian mooring and NONE are insured as far as I know.
Rather than trying to get a handle on something with so many variables from afar, it might be best to come on down and try to live within a budget similar to that which you have at home now. The majority of the savings on transportation and housing at home will surely be absorbed by repairs and up grades to the boat, dinghy and ground tackle expenses if at anchor.
10-31-2016 11:37 AM
Re: Caribbean Liveaboard Costs

One last note on the liquor front - we kept an arsenal of rum to share and, when it's real use was discovered, for trade. Came in handy a number of times with outlying customs officials, repair or fuel trade in small villages, booking someone to pick up mail from a post office that was hard for us to reach, or gifts having dinner or staying the night on land at new local friends' homes.

We generally bought it from the big rum factories that are still waterside throughout the Caribbean, and found in time that they were often happy to gift a bottle or two just for the novelty of a private sailboat pulling up to their docks
10-31-2016 11:30 AM
Re: Caribbean Liveaboard Costs

My parents' low-use low-cost strategy also allowed us to spend long periods at non-inhabited islands. Beautiful and peaceful, but you're on your own as far as resources go that don't come from the ocean or land.

We also sailed long passages without touching down on land and I don't remember it being too much of a struggle. They'd make sure the tanks and galley were stocked beforehand and it generally worked out alright.
10-31-2016 11:26 AM
Re: Caribbean Liveaboard Costs

I spent a handful of childhood-to-teenage years on a liveaboard in the Caribbean with my family and we spent very little. This was in the 90s so times, so adjust the advice for times changing.

We were always on the hook and the electronics we ran were mainly for the instruments (no TV, computers) and low volt lights. We never ran the fridge because we went on land often and would pick up the next days' food from markets on our way back to the boat, baked bread every few days, etc. We fished a fair bit, usually a ways from the coast.

Unexpected repairs were our biggest expense, followed by diesel, and fuel for the dinghy outboard as needed.

My sibling and I entertained ourselves with swimming, diving, exploring the areas we were in, and books. It was inexpensive and a good way to live.
09-23-2007 02:14 PM
sailingdog Not just you... pretty much the rest of the country too.... I actually feel a bit sorry for her, since it is obvious that she had an answer all prepared for a totally different question...and that her mind froze up under the unexpected pressure of having a totally different question from what she was expecting.

Originally Posted by Lancer28 View Post
Holy crap, I think I just got dumber watching that clip...
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