Friday, August 15, 2008


People are curious about how we're going to "afford" cruising. Frankly we're a little curious too, but there's a plan.

Here's how it works: cruising is C-H-E-A-P. A poll of 208 cruisers on "cruisers & sailing forums" (yeah, boring to YOU) has 77% of full-time cruisers living for less than $36K/year and 58% of those on $25K or less. Based on our research and wishful thinking, we think we can live comfortably on $25K/year give or take a few planes trips home and a random boat repair. And that's for BOTH of us.

Why so cheap? As soon as we cut land ties, our fixed expenses go down to almost nothing. No mortgage, mortgage insurance, cars, car insurance, car maintenance, gas, utilities. When you think about it, we spend tons of time working to support things, houses, cars, furnishings, clothing. Not any more.

We'll retain health insurance, income tax, food costs and add in boat maintenance, which can vary greatly; charges for entering foreign waters (minimal), sunscreen.

It's not lost on me that when we cut our land ties, our income will also go to nil. And no, we're not independently wealthy. When we sell the house and business, we will be able to put a tiny nest egg away to hedge against our elder years and see the kids through college. Otherwise, we hope to feed the cruising kitty with cleverness and a bag of crudely honed skills. (Please send money.)

Really though, we only have to come up with $200 each per week on average.

The cleverness comes into play as we think of ways to be as self-sufficient as possible. We'll use solar power to charge the batteries, a water maker to turn saltwater into drinking water (powered with solar energy). We'll use the wind to drive the boat except in extenuating circumstances, limiting our use of diesel fuel. We'll eat low on the food chain and cook all of our meals. Neither of us shop, so the danger of running up credit cards on plastic trinkets and leather pants is not a concern. Where possible, we'll do our own boat repair. We'll anchor instead of paying for mooring balls or, worse, docking. In other words, we're vacationing in the 1800s.

It's not retiring on a yacht in white clothes with a steward bringing martinis to me while I'm watching tom cruise movies on the plasma TV. On the other hand, we will have rum drinks.

--150 grit sanding on the toe rails and 85/15 varnish. second coat just in time for tonight's rain.
--found out after the $800 boat "repair" that the problem was like a spider web in the intake.
--sanded the hatch in preparation for another round of varnish

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