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Old 09-26-2013, 08:39 PM   #15
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In a recent article in, I think, Cruising World, Jimmy Cornell produced an updated version of one of his surveys which looked at the cost of cruising. If indeed one needs $50,000 per year to cruise in today's world, I need to sell my boat and go back to work.
...
Is the budget cruising sailor an anachronism; a quaint reminder of days long gone? Or are commercial interests driving an ever expanding market out of the reach of the thrifty, and firmly into the world of overt consumerism and colour matched foul weather gear, welcome mats and special, expensive little hooks to hold our fenders because, apparently, a clove hitch is no longer good enough for the job?
A good threat with good posts!
Thank you for that.

On our recent way southbound we noticed, that most yachts are 40 ft or bigger, not older than 5 years and carrying equipment the ship builders offer in their very long lists of extras. Including the washing machines, plotters, roller furlings, Gennackers, flat screen tv, you name it.
Buy and go!
Some of them proudly flying the flag of the upcoming Atlantic Rallye for Cruiser (ARC) - breathtakingly big boats!
And as Jimmy Cornell or his people interview these people, the outcome is clear: a 50.000$ budget is necessary to sail with Jimmy Cornell.

On our way out we so far met just ONE 28ft boat, (a young couple from Finland and the boat was built in1969!!) with just the basic equipment, butawfully happy to be on the way. Until then we thought to be the smallest (32ft) and oldest (built 1972) boat on the way.
That was different 20 years ago when we did the same cruise: Our boat was average size, most fellow sailors were on a budget cruise.

That is different today: It's not so much the Living on board, it is more a project of a year with crossing an ocean. The costs correlate to size of the boat and the big thing they are about to do. Big boat, big adventure, big money.

If something breaks, call the ship yard and they send the spare part (half around the world) and some specialist installs it. Lucky, if there is still a warranty on the brand new boat... otherwise it adds to the budget.

We were just in the need to get the forestays chain plate/anchor chain roll fitting welded, which showed fine cracks after four decades of use.
The care-free way to deal with this today would be: Make an appointment with the local ship yard, get the boat to the yard, they take down the mast, put the boat ashore, take off the part, weld it (or even build a new one), put it back in place an the boat back in the water, step the mast and after 3 days in the hotel you can move back on board and sail off with a professionally repaired bow-fitting and a bill of a several hundred Euros in the pocket.

But as we are not on a 50.000 $ budget, with some time to spare and with the help of local people we did it the do-it-yourself way: We took of the forestay, the mast is held by the inner forestay (modern boats dont have)., took off all the bolts and got off the bow fitting, brought it to the local metal workshop that usually builds and welds the most sophisticated parts for the local farmers, explained what the problem was and they did a perfect welding job! And at the end we paid 15 Euros! (We must admit, we worked on it for 4 days - but for us time is not the problem.)


Twenty years ago we were on a budget of about 6000 Euros that would be today 12000 Euros. Not much money, but we made it and we were happy. Not so many marinas, a lot of anchoring, but a car rental on some occasions (but organized together with other sailors to get the car full) and not to forget the restaurant here and there together with fellow sailors.

And as we are getting older, we are happy not to be tight to a small budget as we now live on board. But we are faaaar away from those 50000 Bucks. And Auzzee is right, if itd cost so much to sail and live on board, we must stay at home and work.

I think that Mr Cornell got his survey data from the participants of the rallies his company organizes and he did not interview the average blue water yachtsman who is still able to live on a much lower budged.
Maybe in the beginning of the rallies there were quite a view live-aboard blue water sailors participating but today the average rally-participant is not a live-aboard. He is on a rather expensive time-out that includes buying a big boat and sailing on a planned route on a planned schedule and once this is accomplished the boat is sold and that is it.

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Old 09-26-2013, 09:16 PM   #16
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Yes Uwe, gut gesagt!

What you say is perfectly true. In a way however this situation of big bucks driving it all does also help the little guys. Look at all that boat you can get for pennies on the dollar now. Certainly I could not have built my Linnupesa for what I paid for it. Nor maintain it at a megayacht location.

BoBeep has it right when she hints that the spirit of adventure is lacking a bit these days. The 1% crowd can invest ( ? Noooo! ) in the boat-show bleach-bottle cruiser on a one-off basis and have fun doing it. They do think that security is something that can be purchased, like the (get this, if I read it right, UNDERWATER location device) that the America cup sailors just got to wear, including their spare-air bottles and crash helmets.

The good thing is we do not ALL have to buy into that mindset. Standing on my ( yes, a bit rust-stained anchor platform, so get over it BoBeep! ) I find I can enjoy the dolphins in the bow curls just as much as the guy sitting behind his lap-top on the passing 2-Mill Hatteras.
All except that he's plugged into shaving a little deal in stocks or other speculation, to fuel and drive his dreams. To each his own.

To the aspiring cruiser I say, yes you can do it. Be careful, be smart about it and it is possible. Do not get snowed by the Cornells of the world but read how Moitessier and others did it. Very primitive by these new AIS, radar and GPS standards and very much "a good eyeball" approach, yet they did it. Most actually survived it as well, lived to write the tale too.

Courage, mes enfants!

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Old 09-29-2013, 06:10 AM   #17
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Don't think those days are gone, whats gone maybe is your willingness to rough it a bit and dinghy over for yur rum. I only a little of the pacific coast of Oregon and California so I am no expert.
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:57 PM   #18
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It seems to me that the whole point of sailing is to escape this commercialized world of necessities and excess. I truly believe that if you are doing this correctly, you come to shore a more balanced person realising the true importance of life. All things have a place, but very few things belong at sea.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:04 PM   #19
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When I sailed to the Antipodes in the mid 70's, there were no fees for anything. Anchoring in Russel or Opua was easy, was unrestricted and fish plentiful. The wharf in Opua was covered in mussels and Bernard Moitessier and I ate Mussels Provincial, which he cooked, several times a week together. Entry into the country was free; no visas required.
We had a free slip in Tutukaka at the sportfish club and a free slip in Auckland. Beer was good, and cheap, as was food and so many Kiwis put themselves out taking us on tours of the island in their cars.
Australia was much the same; no fees, visas or regulations. Whether anchored in the river in Bundaberg or off the fishing pier in Mackay or off Cairns; no fees and warm hospitable people, park your dinghy anywhere. A week anchored out on the reef without anyone even coming within sight, let alone water cops hassling us. Lizard Island, a private resort in those days, also welcomed us and nary a word about money.
Fish were plentiful everywhere in Oz, where we could trade a 30# box of banana or tiger prawns or a bucket of scallops for a pint of duty free whiskey (about 6 bucks), with the fishermen. There were no tour boats, dive boats or water cops anywhere from Bundy to Darwin; only the sport fishing boats from Cairnes that traveled out to the fishing grounds beyond the reef, and the occasional scallop or prawn boat.
Cooktown to Darwin took about two months and we never saw more than a handful of sailboats after leaving Thursday Island until we arrived in Darwin. We hunted roos, walaby and even took a small boar, never mind more lobster than we could eat at Cape Wessel and a few other spots.
From reading the posts on here it seems all that has changed and I mourn for the freedom and ease with which one could cruise the Antipodes in those days.
Capta,

You could probably lunch out until the ends of your days on that story of Bernie Moitissier cooking mussels for you. This is the stuff of which legends are made, for us newcomers.

We must have passed by each other within spitting distance in 1973, at which time I was in Cairns working at a boatyard manufacturing some of those sport fishing boats you mentioned. Well, mostly sanding the two-pack in fact, but if that's what you could get paid for you just did it. Myself and a kiwi mate had traveled up from Sydney to get away from the city madness and we lived in an old pink FB Holden sedan, bought at a car dealer in Parramatta Road for $100.00

The multitudes of cops and visas and regulations are a nuisance, I agree, but the multitudinous hordes of Asians trying to get into the country these days make it a necessity. And yet the essence of Australia and New Zealand is still alive, you only have to read my recent tale of needing a trailer wheel off the beaten track to realize that Aussies and Kiwis are, at heart, generous and friendly people.

There are still places down here where you can make that sort of life, and witness to that is my recent purchase of an old shack on 1/3 acre in Wairoa (NZ North Island, east coast) for NZD15,000 with easy access to a river and 3km from the coast. Like the bloke who gave me the needed wheel, the town is renowned for being "just like New Zealand used to be" which is a good enough recommendation for me. I plan to sail over there and set up my retirement home, then go off and see the South Pacific and all stops beyond before I get too old.

This is what drives me from one day to the next. Live the dream - if it's still alive within you, it's still out there.
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:50 AM   #20
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" I still don't see the equipment being the big thing that eats up cruisers' budgets though. It's the flights home to see family, rental cars, side trips, eating out, clothes, hefty bar bills, diving trips/equipment, and a variety of other costs that nibble away at the cruiser's budget until there's not much left. The boat often gets substandard equipment while the local entertainment and bar-tab is huge. That's my observation of where some of the money goes in cruising these days."

One reason we are enjoying Alaska so much, besides the beautiful scenery, I have not heard of any anchorages being charged for and certainly no permitsare required with the exception of Glacier Bay. Almost every town has a state float and half of those are free. Moorage is still very reasonable in most towns, but that is changing. Sitka's Eliason Harbor saw a huge increase in transient rates last year and a few more state docks will start charging next year, Baranof Warm Springs for example.

We have spent the last seven years cruising and honestly feel we have more freedom and cash left in our pockets to enjoy cruising life here. We paid $700.00 p/m to keep our 27' boat in Honolulu in 2012 and we are paying under $200.00 p/m in Petersburg plus about $70.00 p/m for electricity during the winter. Generally our largest expense is food, we eat out maybe once a week. We have no other monthly expenses, own our boat and have zero debt. That took some doing.... How much does it cost to go cruising? Simple, as much or as little as you want to spend.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:03 PM   #21
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" I still don't see the equipment being the big thing that eats up cruisers' budgets though. It's the flights home to see family, rental cars, side trips, eating out, clothes, hefty bar bills, diving trips/equipment, and a variety of other costs that nibble away at the cruiser's budget until there's not much left. The boat often gets substandard equipment while the local entertainment and bar-tab is huge. That's my observation of where some of the money goes in cruising these days."

One reason we are enjoying Alaska so much, besides the beautiful scenery, I have not heard of any anchorages being charged for and certainly no permitsare required with the exception of Glacier Bay. Almost every town has a state float and half of those are free. Moorage is still very reasonable in most towns, but that is changing. Sitka's Eliason Harbor saw a huge increase in transient rates last year and a few more state docks will start charging next year, Baranof Warm Springs for example.

We have spent the last seven years cruising and honestly feel we have more freedom and cash left in our pockets to enjoy cruising life here. We paid $700.00 p/m to keep our 27' boat in Honolulu in 2012 and we are paying under $200.00 p/m in Petersburg plus about $70.00 p/m for electricity during the winter. Generally our largest expense is food, we eat out maybe once a week. We have no other monthly expenses, own our boat and have zero debt. That took some doing.... How much does it cost to go cruising? Simple, as much or as little as you want to spend.
Well said. But what the other poster was referring to was the so called "cruisers" that fly to the location of their boat then go off for a week or two maybe sailing to another port then fly back home for a bit, back and forth. In my opinion these people are not cruiseing even though they would have you believe they are. To me these are the same as the weekenders that go out for a day sail or overnight. There are among the same group those that consider a circumnavigation via this method, which may take many years, as the same as a circumnavigation all in one shot with stops only for provisions and repairs.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:46 AM   #22
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Well said. But what the other poster was referring to was the so called "cruisers" that fly to the location of their boat then go off for a week or two maybe sailing to another port then fly back home for a bit, back and forth. In my opinion these people are not cruiseing even though they would have you believe they are. To me these are the same as the weekenders that go out for a day sail or overnight. There are among the same group those that consider a circumnavigation via this method, which may take many years, as the same as a circumnavigation all in one shot with stops only for provisions and repairs.
Hey there. I think I'm the poster you're referring to. Those aren't exactly the folks I was talking about. Not at all. I'm talking widely about folks who are spending quite a bit on flights to "visit" family or extensive in-country travel that can really add up to a hefty bill. Similarly, some folks cruising aren't on a tight budget for entertainment, eating out and bar bills. Those folks can spend quite a bit on consumables never to be seen again
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:37 PM   #23
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Hey there. I think I'm the poster you're referring to. Those aren't exactly the folks I was talking about. Not at all. I'm talking widely about folks who are spending quite a bit on flights to "visit" family or extensive in-country travel that can really add up to a hefty bill. Similarly, some folks cruising aren't on a tight budget for entertainment, eating out and bar bills. Those folks can spend quite a bit on consumables never to be seen again
...chuckle....But you know after a long passage one does sometimes find a need to get out on land and stretch ones legs a bit and see the sights so to speak. I guess " cruising on a budget" needs defining in order to really determine if something falls under "
cruising under a budget" or not
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:46 AM   #24
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'Cruising on a budget' and 'budget cruising', have separate meanings. If I have $100k per annum to spend on cruising, I am cruising on that budget. Budget cruising, as in my original post is a different animal:
"The DIY sailor, with an old boat kept together with love, spirit and knowledge...and with just a little bit of money was once able to sail the seven seas free of exorbitant anchorage fees, free of hideous entry and exit fees, and free of the shackles placed upon the sailor by the evolution or more and more powerful, and expensive, technological 'necessities' ".

To me, the budget cruiser is the sea borne equivalent of the backpacker who wants to spend a year or two travelling the world with limited financial resources. This doesn't necessarily include the paupers who live aboard an unseaworthy vessel, anchored up a creek and moored to the bottom by ever strengthening vegetation and moored to civilisation by a multitude of conspiracy theories.

It's the ordinary people who have worked, have a few dollars, like to eat in a restaurant occasionally and who had the knowledge to navigate a boat before forward looking sonar, air conditioning and an entertainment station became de rigueur.

It's me.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:46 AM   #25
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Well said and that is what I thought you intended from the start. But how about ordinary people who don't know what "de rigueur" is?
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:07 AM   #26
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Posh for 'trendy'.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #27
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Well said and that is what I thought you intended from the start. But how about ordinary people who don't know what "de rigueur" is?
Once upon a time, cruisers were pretty much ordinary people who just wanted to take off and sail to different places near-and-far. They may or may not have had bundles of money; they may or may not of had any opinions at all about what was absolutely required for the success of their voyages. They were lucky enough to be "before" the non-cruising world had any sort of opinions about cruising or equipment and outfitting for the successful voyage.

Those were the "good old days" because people just did what they did and the world at large wasn't opining upon it.

Today, there are too many opinions about boating, skill, gear, and what one chooses to do with their time cruising. The cruising world is getting quite crowded with all the opinions.

I do think that cost-creep and present thinking on what is "minimal" is now so high a hurdle that some people will never go cruising with what they are able to pull together. Is that sad? No, not for me. It just means there will be more room in the anchorages for me, me, me ! Please encourage every potential cruiser that he/she/they cannot possible leave the dock until they have the following:

New electronics including but not limited to broadband radar w/huge screen, AIS, the latest-greatest chart plotting equipment and programs, don't let them forget the FLS that integrates into their fancy chart ploter; they must have a Pactor/SSB/HF radio that a serious HAM would be proud of, the latest and greatest SAT phone/email, too. Tell them they need at least 3 GPS systems (and your IPAD or a mouse doesn't count), two identical brand new laptops (one to be kept in a Faraday box with their other spare electronics), at least three camera systems including an underwater camera and housing a freelancer for National Geographic would be thrilled with and a GoPro Hero III so they can share all their exploits on YouTube...

Remind them that they must have at least two complete autopilot systems along with an overbuilt wind steerer installed. They also need to have spare parts for every system aboard. Oh, and while they're at it--they must take apart their engine and make sure all the spare parts fit since sometimes they don't you know Put the fear of god into them on this one--they'll lay awake at nights wondering how many spares are "enough" and how many of those spares they need to pre-install, just in case. This thing alone could set them back a couple years in their plans of cruising. Ah, more space in those anchorages for me, me, me

Tell them they also need brand new anchors--and they need all chain rode, too of course. At least 300 ft, maybe 600 ft, yes. Oh, as well as a couple 600 ft reels of high tech floating line for the times they might possibly want to look like they're prepared to anchor in the fjords off Chile; never mind that they'll never go there, that's not the point. Oh, while we're at it--make sure they sell their perfectly good mid-80's era fiberglass boat and pick up an aluminum hulled vessel that will be able to handle a tangle with an iceberg. It doesn't matter that they'll never sail to those high latitudes--tell them they need to "be prepared" for anything. Tankage--they need to be able to carry 400 gallons of water, 500 gallons of diesel and since you've talked them into a nice RIB with a 25 hp motor, they really need 50 to 100 gallons of gasoline aboard. Get them in touch with a great stainless steel welding guru to make davits that will cost about the same as a new car to help carry that awesome RIB. They also need new hefty stanchions made to support the weight of all the jerry jugs of gasoline on deck.

Supplies--put the fear of god into them about how they might run out of TP or their favorite chocolate in the middle of the Pacific. Make sure they have MRE 's aboard for a crew of 10 as well as enough frozen meat in the freezer for 6 months.

On the rig--whether or not they dumped that old boat and picked up the new aluminum one, they really need to make sure and re-do all the standing and running rigging to an ocean racing capability. They must purchase all new sails--and please tell them they can't possibly make do with cheap Taiwanese sails--they must go to a top sail maker with reputation for outfitting long distance cruisers for epic travels like those which show up on the Discovery channel or on the lecture circuit associated with the boat shows. They need two of everything and an entire suite of light wind sails to go with their entire suite of storm sails. Don't let them forget the drogue system while they're thinking about storms.

Ah, and they must attend at least a dozen boat shows, buying every little gadget that comes into view before they're ready to even contemplate an overnight sail to a nearby anchorage. At the boat shows they can find wonderful high prices on things they really need to have aboard like a 70 gallon per hour watermaker, a spiffy MOB system, new electric winches, a crew watch system, professional ocean-racer quality foul weather gear, oh, a dry suit, a wet suit, a dive compressor system, and don't let them forget to buy the most awesome new refrigeration system on the market. While at the shows, they can have new space-age cushions made and don't let them forget the Froli system for ventilation under the mattresses.

Introduce them to the canvas makers and stainless steel welders who will be able to design and make the most awesome cockpit enclosure for them. Explain that they must have something with loads of Eisenglass. Don't forget the entire boat awning system for those hot tropical climates, either. They must have it all.

While they're at the shows, they can also learn about the 1200 watts of solar panels they really must find a way to fit on top of their brand new dodger/enclosed cockpit system. The solar won't fully support the new boat air conditioning system they installed so they'll need to get two wind generators installed, a towing (water) generator of the sort the ocean racers like, and a diesel gen-set of, oh maybe 8 kW or more. Just in case..

Thinking of things that spin...tell them they really can't make it w/o a spare prop. Oh, and that fixed blade prop they have--just won't do--they need a variable pitch prop at a minimum. Perhaps they'd even like to go with a controllable pitch prop. Why? well, that prop walk can be really dangerous, you know...

The good news is if they listen to this advice, they'll never go anywhere because their boat won't have enough freeboard to leave the dock. More room in those anchorages for me, me, me
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:58 PM   #28
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'Cruising on a budget' and 'budget cruising', have separate meanings. If I have $100k per annum to spend on cruising, I am cruising on that budget. Budget cruising, as in my original post is a different animal:
"The DIY sailor, with an old boat kept together with love, spirit and knowledge...and with just a little bit of money was once able to sail the seven seas free of exorbitant anchorage fees, free of hideous entry and exit fees, and free of the shackles placed upon the sailor by the evolution or more and more powerful, and expensive, technological 'necessities' ".

To me, the budget cruiser is the sea borne equivalent of the backpacker who wants to spend a year or two travelling the world with limited financial resources. This doesn't necessarily include the paupers who live aboard an unseaworthy vessel, anchored up a creek and moored to the bottom by ever strengthening vegetation and moored to civilisation by a multitude of conspiracy theories.

It's the ordinary people who have worked, have a few dollars, like to eat in a restaurant occasionally and who had the knowledge to navigate a boat before forward looking sonar, air conditioning and an entertainment station became de rigueur.

It's me.
That pretty much along the lines of how I would define budget cruiser. Seems to me cruising on a budget and budget cruising are synonyms,
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