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liveaboard costs of your dream boat
Old 11-15-2007, 04:10 PM   #1
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liveaboard costs of your dream boat

in line with the dream boat thread and tied to retirement options iím considering, iíve been studying liveaboard costs. i thought cost information might be interesting also to landlubbers as revealing not only wide ranging watery lifestyles but especially financial attitudes of boaters both careful and carefree.

during this study, iíve found yet another option for me as i try to keep my life interesting with respect to growing, early on in my early retirement, my portfolio to make up for my initial paper losses in the bubble and in consideration of my health and abilities which will inevitably deflate as my youth crumbles.

previous options i thought available to me ranged from staying put with summer travel, to selling house & vagabonding, both with boating later in life given portfolio growth. but within these cost studies i have found a new option of moving onto the water and living overseas.

before studying costs i hadnít considered this option perhaps because i live in such an expensive area where boating is currently prohibitively expensive for me. just a liveaboard dock in my area would cost about $1,000/month while living in my house costs me only $600. but now i see that same $600 would get me good dockage in many other places (outside of major metropolitan areas stateside) and for up to half that i could live very well in developing countries.

of course living on the hook is often free so i could enjoy that peace and freedom. but, because i am single & concerned about socializing, for the lifestyle iíd budget marinas which can be a large expense of living aboard.

so far iíve found dockage even in beautiful (developed) auckland, new zealand under $600/month and half that in more exotic developing locations. haulouts and labor costs also decrease dramatically in the third world compared to stateside. so for the cost of summer travels while keeping my house, i could trade the house for a boat, pocket some nice change and live well an adventurous life on a reasonable budget which should allow for portfolio growth. it is amazing to have such options.

here are some links to cruising costs which might be of interest:

annual liveaboard budgets: http://tinyurl.com/3cgp8p

includes poll. i believe the figures quoted include the entire budget, not just the boating budget. more than 50% of liveaboards live "the dream" for under $25k/year. wow. if they can do that. then i can do it to (&, apparently, much more comfortably.)

Quote:
When we were remote - outback and beyond - we spent less than $500 a month.

When we were in more developed areas, we usually spent about $1000 a month unless we took tours. We didn't eat out or rent cars often.

I can easily live on $1000 per month as long as I stay away from places like Fort Lauderdale and the Mediterranean. It's a big world out there, and the best places in the South Pacific were nearly free.


boating budget breakdown: http://tinyurl.com/2tk7wv

this also includes a poll which shows relative costs.

Quote:
One thing I learned through my own research is that the answer is ultimately based on a lot of personal choices and preferences.


how much do you need to retire & go sailing: http://tinyurl.com/3a9jhv

youíre gonna just love this one considering that 23.59% respondents thought that less than $100k is all that is required (iím assuming the boat is paid for.)

Quote:
I voted and I'm going cheap and nasty,I suppose that would be defined as "Sailor trash"


three levels of cruising: Cruising Costs

Quote:
These boats cover the range of cruising options in the complexity of their equipment, the age and financial situation of their crews and the comfort level and lifestyle those crews wish to maintain while living aboard.
various liveaboard dockage costs: http://tinyurl.com/yrm4el

Quote:
Ft. Liquordale is one of the most expensive places around.


Quote:
A side tie slip at Mario's Marina on the Rio Dulce river in Guatemala is only $225.00 per month. This covers water, shore showers, and swimming pool.


cost info from a guy who retired onto sailboat and has documented his experiences & expenses: Costs Of Buying And Cruising On A Boat

Quote:
During our trip down the coastline from Ma to Fl (probably in 2000) we stopped in fourteen different marinas over sixteen days we encountered a range of fees. The high in NY was $2.50 per foot, the low in NC was $.75 per foot. Most were $1.00 per foot with exactly half charging for a shore cord and half not. As a rule the cost were lower in the area south of Va.
.

other related links:

the cost of cruising in 2006: Cost of Cruising Today 2006

costs taken from a circumnavigation: Noonsite: Lessons from a Circumnavigation Part III: Cost of Cruising

article on cost of cruising: cw_stories_9

the six-year budget of a cruising yacht: Cruising Budget
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:28 AM   #2
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Don't know if you've ever seen this website, but you might find it interesting.

file:///C:/SleepingWithOars/new_page_11131.htm
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Old 11-16-2007, 01:01 AM   #3
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I am going to assume you have the skills to operate your boat single hand and the knowledge to pick a suitable vessel.

Live-aboards who come in to my son's boatyard often have not factored in the cost of maintenance. A neglected boat costs more to fix and operate than one regularly maintained. Factor in a haul-out once every two years whether you think you need it or not. Find a yard that knows it's stuff and budget a month of land living while your home gets the attention it deserves. Book 6 months in advance.

Other: if you are usually in salt water stay a couple weeks in fresh once a year, and visa versa.

Beyond that, my sailing skills are limited to deft handling of a tray of beverages from the galley to the helm. "Lay off the side, I need to turn the bacon," is my mantra.
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:42 AM   #4
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I've known many live-aboards, and they seem happy with their lifestyle, at least when I'm with them. Most of the ones I've known have been single men who either wanted to live a frugal lifestyle or just loved boats. One of the most daring was a young couple, he was American and she was Norwegian, who lived aboard a 32 foot sloop with their 3 year old daughter and a dog. While there, they had another child and last I saw them were raising a baby as well. I was impressed with the precautions they took to make sure the child didn't fall in the water, but they did teach her to swim while a baby.

The one caution on expenses, make sure to get a newer or refurbished older boat, especially the engine. One engine replacement, or major repair job could ruin your budget.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:18 AM   #5
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Find the name of the Surveyor the boat brokers avoid.

I would be more concerned with the hull than the engine but trouble with either isn't cheap (and can be dangerous).
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:47 AM   #6
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gee, i don't know brat. should i learn how to sail first or should learn to speak spanish before i move aboard in guatemala? this is a whole new world.

i've lived aboard (motored vessel), so i know i'd like that. i've sailed only little boats, which i loved, so i think i'd like sailing big boats. i've never lived overseas (outside of u.s. possessions) so i don't know if i'd like that. i do enjoy a day in miami so i figure guatemala can't be too far off. still, i've got a few years ahead of me to figure out my likes and what skills i might obtain before jumping ship. would take that long just to sell this house anyway.

i hoped to gain sailing experience crewing with others but that might not pan out so well as i'm not easily placed being older, gay, vegeterian without much experience. so i will get what experience i can: pay for schooling, charter, crew where possible and then, if i take to the craft, expect to live aboard and sail locally until i am comfortable enough for offshore.

good advice on budgets, survey & maintenance for the proper boat. i am well aware of all that. i can afford an older cruising type vessel of good bones and mechanics and i'd have a budget for both initial & continuous upgrades & maintenance. so far i've got about four boats in mind, all world-capable, one i love especially but rarely comes to market though i've recently fallen in love with another and currently two of those are for sale.

a guy fortunate enough to have bought a third sistership recently gave me a tour and i can not get that boat out of my mind. fourty feet of gorgeous and set up to single hand even with a (reasonably low profile) pilothouse.

i'd prefer a smaller boat but i'm a little spoiled and so require separate shower compartment, generator & generous tankage. also an extra cabin makes sense for going offshore when crew would be required for both safety and to keep insurance legitimate.

thanx for link, trek. i am familiar with that liveaboard's site. has some good info. he's got a real nice boat but if you noticed his boat stats, he pays to dock almost 50 feet of boat which only has 38 ft of living space (marinas charge by overall length). and i thought i was being extravagant by adding 3 feet for a shower.
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:31 PM   #7
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I would recommend a sailing school to get a better handle on larger sailboats. We have taken one to get our bareboat charter license, even though we used to have a 33 ft sailboat. Not only was it fun, we learned some useful tricks concerning docking and boat handling under power. Here's a link for ASA schools, page down some to see East Coast schools.

Sailing Schools (Charter)
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:41 PM   #8
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thanx for the link f-one. will check it out. i've looked into similar. found some interesting but pricey cruise as you learn opportunities. sort of teaching charters. your idea of getting a captain's license is excellent. charter biz could be fun. maybe i could do nude charters. for that i might be willing to come out of retirement. finally i found my calling.
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:14 PM   #9
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Maybe because my son was once on the cover of Latitude 38 I have an opinion about the sailing life style. I know that to sail safely skill and knowledge are prerequisites

Some may think that I send up caution flags too often, but as a parent of a sailor I have heard enough to know that it isn't as easy as it looks.
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:52 PM   #10
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I would concentrate more on the life style choice and less on the cost. Once you decide this is the life style you want you can find a boat to match your budget and plans. My wife and I have lived aboarded for the last 2 years up near Seattle. Weíve traveled from San Diego, where we bought our current boat, to Juneau AK, and next year plan to head south to Mexico and Central American. 5 year plan includes Venezuela and the Caribbean.

To keep costs down you need to be able to fix most things on your boat. If your not mechanically inclined your going to have to spend a lot more money to hire people and that will blow your budget. Donít plan on making money by being a charter boat captain. Getting a captainís license takes experience, 360 days at sea to begin with and there's a lot of competition for those positions.

On the positive side, if you truly believe you want to do this then go for it. We love living aboard and cruising and everyone we know that lives aboard loves it. Itís a lot of work but everyday is an adventure.

To add a rather long quote -


In his book "Wanderer" Sterling Hayden gave us all quite a few words of inspiration, without which many of us may not have begun our journeys amongst boats, nor possibly ever gone boating...! He has written well the following taunt... shall we listen:

"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

"I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer?

In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life...?
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Old 11-22-2007, 02:10 PM   #11
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I agree with AFloat. Living aboard is a life style decision. To do it economically (and safely IMHO) you need to be able to maintain your vessel yourself and know when it needs more care than you can handle.

If you want to live on a sail boat it is absolutely necessary that you have a lot of sail boat handling experience. Even experienced sail boaters make mistakes - knocked off by a boom has happened to the best.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:47 PM   #12
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brat, caution appreciated. i was raised by very careful yet fun boaters, both active in coast guard auxiliary and mom was even communication officer for her very busy chapter. i hold extreme respect for nature even on a calm day and i truly recognize that what i'm considering is a new world for me requiring new sets of skills and experience to be acquired. this could very well be the undoing my lazy motif.

afloat, i think you have it made. not being partnered gives me pause in this endeavor. or should i just live the life regardless of partner or finance? i'm studying the prospect of single handed sailing but as to money, i could never throw that much caution to the wind. while romantic fiction makes for good sales, a good sail for me involves a seaworthy craft, hopefully crew but definitely secure funding.

if i am going to dream, even if it winds up being just a dream, at least it will have been a dream i can afford. i would hate to waste perfectly good dreaming on something i can't.
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:09 AM   #13
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:38 PM   #14
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Just a small plug for New Zealand - I'm currently living in Auckland, and it's paradise .
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