Monday, June 07, 2010

The $500 a month cruising budget...

Over at Cruisers Forum there is a very long winded discussion about cruising on a $500 or so budget...

What scares me is that this is just the sort of discussion that never ends. Way back when we were building our first boat (Reagan had just become president...) the discussion often turned to just how cheaply one could cruise. Not that I have anything against cruising cheaply but simply that over thirty odd years it does not seem like anything new has come into the discussion.

More often than not the discussion gets hijacked by people who think you should spend more money and others with throwing-money-at-the-problem sort of schemes which may even make sense on the surface... but look a little deeper and maybe not!

For instance, there is the guy who recommends in general practice that you replace your keel bolts "just in case" as down the line when you are cruising it will be insurance that you will not have to run up a big yard bill "out there". Of course logic would indicate you'd be running up a big yard bill here and now where the cost of getting boat work done is higher than you'd pay out cruising. Not that I am advising not replacing wonky keel bolts but if they don't need to be replaced it's not money well spent.

The fact is, you will never be able to cruise on a $500 a month budget by spending money to do it, as it's like spending your way out of debt and it simply does not work... If you do want to cruise on a $500 a month budget the first thing you have to abandon is the urge to spend money when you don't need to and the knee-jerk reaction of throwing money at problems... which is not so easy around boats!

There are a whole lot of people cruising quite happily on $500ish+ budgets and most of them are not too vocal about it as they simply have learned that if they were to mention said budget they would set themselves up for various  lectures on how impossible it all is and how miserable they must be and as they are neither miserable or finding it impossible they tend to keep their budgets to themselves. Truth is a lot of the cheapseats cruisers we have known over the years seem to appear anything but cheapseats if they are doing it right and over beers at some beach bars the only ones who seem to complain about their money problems are the ones spending more rather than less... Think about that!

For those who need to see stuff in print that it is possible the Pardey's "Cost Conscious Cruiser"  is both a good read and a solid investment.