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Old 07-10-2009, 03:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
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I"m new here (obviously) and will have some really basic questions for all of you experienced "live aboarders." My husband, Jon and I are in the infantcy stage of researching the possibility of first, learning to sail! Neither of us have learned before...we've been on motor boats etc. but never a sail boat. We're obsessed with this idea now and are spending hours upon hours of time reading, reading, and reading more trying to quench this thirst for knowlege of all things sailing and living aboard. Our plan (so far) is to eventually sell everything we have and buy a boat & live aboard while coastal cruising to our hearts content. We're both in our mid & late 40's and have a grown son.

I'll try to space my questions out and not bombard y'all with everything all at once.

Question of the day...

What are some typical expences that we will incur on a daily, weekly, monthly, etc. basis that maybe we don't know anything about at this stage? I'm not asking for specific dollar amounts, although, that would be nice to know. I'm just asking for maybe a list of things that require income.

Thanks in advance!


Jon & Phyllis

Lathrop, Missouri
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:08 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

Hi there, again

If you haven't picked up the Pardey's Cost Conscious Cruiser and Annie Hill's Voyaging on a Small Income, you might do so now. Both talk about budgeting, etc. Both focus on ways to voyage with only the income one can make while voyaging--so they are quite focused on smallest boat possible and recognizing the sorts of things that can break your budget if you're not careful. If you will have a nest egg, retirement income, etc, you can evaluate your own situation differently, of course.

Further, the link I gave you earlier to the Bumfuzzle adventure is good because that couple included a wonderfully detailed budget for everything they did as well over a four year period.

I've read in several places that you won't spend less than what you spend on land for food, alcohol, eating out, etc. Some folks budget about 30% more than their land-based food costs. We're still in the US, and can't speak to what other folks do here or internationally. We do happen to spend less when we're staying on the boat for extended periods but that is because there's no eating out at those times.

When you get a boat, a good surveyor can assist you in understanding the maintenance requirements of the particular boat. Many folks throw out numbers stating that if you do a good job keeping up with your boat maintenance (sails, engine, hull, systems, everything) that you'll spend x percent of the boat's initial purchase price in maintaining it. I've heard 5% frequently stated, and I've heard numbers from 3% up to 10%, so I think it depends on the boat size, materials, fit-and-finish and expected state of condition throughout your ownership of it. Also, if you're a DIY type person vs having everything done by professionals.

Fair winds,

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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Old 07-11-2009, 08:19 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Home Port: Puerto Montt
Vessel Name: Westerly Serenade
Posts: 115

Gday Cowgirl,

I spend 6 months of the year living on my boat. The other 6 months she normally spends in a marina with a typical cost of $US6 (Chile)-$US10(Argentina) a day.

Sailing coastwise in the US I think you may find marina costs substantially higher.... and it will be directly related to size of boat. Annual cost will depend on how much time you spend at anchor

My annual budget is a bit like this....

Airfares getting too and from the boat twice a year $US4000.... not applicable in your case

Insurance ... allow maybe 1% of value pa ... unsure what you would pay in the US... rates for me are more in the order of 2% cos of where I sail...

Vittling..... about the same as I would spend living ashore for food and wine. That varies a lot from boat to boat... people have differing lifestyles...

Maintenance ...

Hauling and antifouling once a year... I don't know what US costs are...

Overhauling and replacing broken stuff... depends on the condition of the boat when you start but I spend about $US 2000 a year on general maintenance.... even if you reckon she is in good order you need a fighting fund to allow for the unexpected....

What sort of boat are you thinking of buying?
= Chile,
I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: Chile
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