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Skippyman 01-20-2011 08:34 AM

$ Cruising ??
HI ! We are just beginning to contemplate this life style change of cruising. We are reading all over the place and have lessons starting in Spring. Can anybody give us an idea of monthly costs for a sailboat (paid) and cruising in Caribbean . We would be mooring on hook, probably for 9 months of year. My husband is somewhat handy in repairs, but we have no prior experience. Have $140,00 to work with purchasing craft - total ie updating etc. Thinking of craft with 35-40 ft range. I know there are costs for insurance and repairs, but we are having a hard time getting a handle on proposed costs ... etc. Another question, in that we are not old enough for Medicare, what does do for medical insurance ? US insurance companies, do they drop the ball, if you are out of States ? We are healthy BUT ... Any thoughts. I have seen some info on international insurance ?? Thank you so much.

PBzeer 01-20-2011 09:09 AM

It's a bit difficult to estimate costs, as there are so many variables involved. What I would suggest though, is that before heading out to foreign shores, you spend some time coastal sailing the US to get a better idea of what you find necessary to enjoy cruising.

PBzeer 01-20-2011 10:17 AM

Forgot to mention, it's almost a certainty that whatever you decide it will cost, it will cost more.

Don't mean to sound negative, just what to be sure you have your eyes wide open before jumping in.

Best of luck with your plans.

killarney_sailor 02-11-2011 03:46 PM

I agree that it is very hard to estimate costs for someone else since it depends on lifestyle choice and how much you have to spend on boat repairs - which is related to how well sorted-out the boat is to start out.

A few comments about our experience last winter in the eastern Caribbean. Our boat was well sorted out when we started (we had lived aboard for two years i NYC) but fairly complex (genset, watermaker, solar panels, wind generator etc). Not counting boat insurance (which we paid as a lump sum ~$4200) and health insurance which we do not have (we spent no money on health expenses in the year and were prepared to pay directly if need be - prices are much, much less than US, and we have coverage for 90 days after each visit back to Canada) - we spent around $1000 to $1200 per month. We could have cut this back to perhaps $800 a month but this would have meant no goodies like meals ashore and shore tours, etc.

Since you have a certain amount of money I would suggest you not spend too much on the boat purchase/upgrade to insure that you have a adequate cruising fund. Go with a smaller, simpler boat that you can afford to get completely ready than a bigger, more complex boat in iffy condition. We noticed that Europeans seemed prepared to cruise more simply than North Americans.

One of the nice feelings we had was that we could spend more if we had to - for example, if one of us got injured or there was an engine problem or something else we could not fix ourselves - of if there was a opportunity to do something special on an island.

Use the boat renewal process to learn how to fix as many things as possible on the boat. Nothing will ruin your budget faster than hiring someone to fix something that you could have/should have fixed yourself. In some places you can get someone to fix things like refrigeration or electrical system glitches. In other places you are on your own. It is a rewarding part of cruising to get something working.

richardb123 02-23-2011 05:48 PM

There is a vast range. The Pardey's still cruise on about $1,000 per month. Larry tells me there are young people out there doing it on $600. Annie Hill did it for years for about $3,000-$4,000 per year, but that was a pretty austere lifestyle.

Eliminate as many gadgets as you can (they all will break anyway), and at every possible turn simplify. Don't shop. Stay out of chandelries. Look for low cost alternatives. Do it yourself. Eat beans. Read everything written by the Pardey's and Annie Hill. Stock up in cheap countries.

The "solutions" sold and advertised for "safer" or "easier" cruising - fancy electronics, watermakers, digital this and that - all will consume huge amounts of cash. It is all a load of marketing BS. VHS radio, GPS and EPIRB are all you need.

My biggest costs and headaches have been engines, refrigeration and sanitation systems. I got rid of the fridge and put in a composting toilet. Much better. In the Carribean you could even go without an engine, if you have the skills.

Cheap cruising can still be done. With boats at rock bottom prices the time is now, if you can swing it.

richardb123 02-23-2011 05:56 PM

and add..
a depth sounder if your mate can't use a lead line!

paulk 02-24-2011 07:28 AM

Beth Leonard's The Voyager's Handbook would be a good resource.

Skippyman 02-24-2011 08:19 AM

Am currently reading it ... Great resource ! Things are starting to become a bit clearer ...

KnottyGurl 02-27-2011 02:51 PM

this could be considered way off base, but I think the principals are similar. My wife and I RV'd from Ontario to texas every year twice a year (her X lives in TX) and we brought the kids to see there Bio twice a year. We did the drive there 36 hours with small breaks along the way gas avg 600.00 to Dallas. We would stay in the area for 30 dys while the kids were visiting the father and RV parks some what like marinas charged for everything, site, water power, sanitation. some what free wifi. Given our vacationing practices during this time we rented a car a few times, friends lent us a car as well for a few weeks, we ate out, took in a few plays, shopped sight seeing, some retail therapy and then picked up the kids, our cruise home was more relaxing and only 8 hours behind the wheel to locations we had never been. Again we sightseeing tours, water parks, 7 flags and the like. Our total 2 month venture was usually in the 3k range for all the added activities. Our hard costs were fuel avg'd at 1600.00 for the month, rvparks were almost 1000.00 we stopped at walmarts and rest stops where allowable. we eat good food and cook 85% in our RV. When we change to boating this sumer it will be interesting to see what the difference will be in expense, also you need to know that my wife is a princess and such has been treated so, we live a very confotable life, have nice things, we hve adult toys, powerboat 22.5ft ATVS, RV, kayaks, tent camping, I do lots of hunting and for the most part the associated electronics to go with the adventures we do.
The biggest thing I see is the new learning curve to begin to simplify our comfort zone to where we can both accept and enjoy "life".
My plan is to begin cruzing extended weekends and into weeks at our home grounds of the great lakes, then next year doing a very extended tour of Lake Ontario, to Huron, superior back through Erie into Ontario during the summer. 2.5 months in our 25ft hughes. I relise it will be tight 2 adults 2 kids 11 & 13 but I am hoping that if we manage and reform ourselves here then upgrading to a larger boat will be most satisfying and we will have more insight to what we need, what we want and most importantly what we can do with out.
again I hope this is not to far of a side track and if so , please have moderator remove or repost.


bdietrich 03-20-2011 12:07 PM

Take a look at my web page
Costs Of Buying And Cruising On A Boat
at least for an idea of the categories of costs.
A lot of the numbers are out of date or variable.

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