4.17.2016

Costs of Cruising



 
The standard answer when someone asks, "What does cruising cost?" is "Whatever you've got." Amusing, perhaps, but not very helpful to someone who's trying to figure out what it's going to take for them to be able to live this particular dream.  Fortunately, several bloggers have published what they actually spend, tips on how to save money while cruising, and their thoughts on cruising and money matters.  While this is incredibly helpful, you also need to know a bit about their life circumstances, location, boat type, style etc. as there's no "right" answer to how much it costs.

One approach to planning your own cruising costs might be to read numerous posts from different bloggers, so we've compiled a range here at The Monkey's Fist for you to check out. Let us know what you think – are people spending more or less than you thought? How does it fit in with what you currently spend or plan to spend out there cruising?
  

Dan and Jaye (Life Afloat) have a budget that came in middle-of-the-road (Cost of Living ... Afloat) with their numbers being remarkably consistent to today, but Jaye really wonders, How LOW (-cost) Can You Go?


Ellen and Scott (The Cynical Sailor and His Salty Sidekick) have been tracking every penny they spend in a series of posts (How Much It Costs) about their time cruising in New Zealand on their old boat and now living aboard their new boat in Florida.


Tate and Dani (Sundowner Sails Again) cut the dock lines in New Orleans in January 2015 and spent the next twelve months exploring Key West, Cuba, Mexico and Panama on their Westsail 32. They detail their monthly cost of cruising (12 Month Cruising Costs, Jan to Dec 2015), averaging only $1800 per month during their first year.


Bruce and Tammy (Things We Did Today) asked the question, How Much Does Cruising Cost?, and the answer for their first year was $50,674. They hoped that their cost of cruising would come in lower during their second year (The Cost of Cruising: Dos Libras' Second Year), but they ended up spending $62,874, in part due to some major upgrades that they did.


Verena and Mike's (Pacific Sailors) costs for cruising Mexico for 16 months averaged $2222 per month (Cruising Expenses) and they also very helpfully explained the steps they took to get their finances in shape to go cruising (How Can We Afford This?).
 

Dwyer (Voyage of the Rascal) doesn't describe his budget, but he does describe the process of How To Retire At 25 and Live the Dream.
 

Phil and Aimee (Sailing With Terrapin), along with their two daughters, are currently cruising in Mexico. They show a lot of variation month-to-month as they track their Cost to Cruise, which also includes costs associated with any overland trips that they take.
 

Matt and Jen (s/v Perry) have cruised in the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal and are currently in New Zealand, along with their two children. They share details of the costs involved in purchasing and refitting their boat, a 1992 Jeantot Privilege 48 catamaran, along with their cost of cruising (When You Add It All Up, It Seems Like a Lot). And they also answer the question everyone wants to know, Did You Win the Lottery?
 

Byn and Patrick (Oh Sail Yes), along with four teenagers, two dogs and one cat, are currently cruising in the Bahamas aboard their tirmaran. On their Cost of Cruising page, you can find details of the cost of buying their boat, refitting it, the cost of provisioning in the Bahamas for a family of six, and their monthly expenses.
 

Matt and Jessica (MJ Sailing) cruised for three years on a tight budget, taking their boat from Michigan, down to the Caribbean, and across the Atlantic twice. They detail every penny they spent, including the cost of getting their old boat, a Sabre 34, ready for cruising on this page, as well as their monthly cost of cruising on this page. They’re currently refitting an aluminum boat and will post those costs once the refit is complete.
 

Younger cruisers often get asked the question, “How can you afford this lifestyle?” Kate and Chris (Calm Seas, Gentle Breeze) share their thoughts on How They Afford to Cruise and Travel So Much.
 

Ruth and Duncan (Impetuous Too) share their expenses on their 10,000 mile journey from Guatemala to New Zealand. They're frugal sailors and in their post, Budget Bonanza, they share their expenses and how they saved money transiting the Panama Canal without an agent.
 

Deb and TJ (The Retirement Project) have been detailing their Monthly Cruising Costs since they cut the dock lines in 2013, including details of unexpected costs due to helping out family members with a boat purchase.
 

Michael (Log of s/v Del Viento and co-author of Voyaging with Kids) has been detailing How Much It Costs to Go Cruising with his wife, Windy, and their two children since 2010, when they purchased their 1978 Fuji 40.
 

Mick (Attainable Adventure Cruising) describes what it takes to Cruise on Less than $15,000 a Year, sharing his views on the “consumer cruiser” approach he sees some people taking when it comes to all things marine.


Steve and Tracy (Sailing Saga Sea) left Houston in 2014 and have since cruised to Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia. They detail their cost of cruising in their 2015 Spending Report and 2016 Spending Report.


Brian and Lauren (Sea Biscuit) have been sharing their Monthly Cruising Costs and their thoughts on the “financial burn” since they headed to the Bahamas and beyond in January 2016.


Liesbet (Roaming About) draws on her experiences leading a nomadic lifestyle (including eight years cruising in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands with her husband Mark) and shares her thoughts on whether Money Buys Freedom.


No matter how big or small your cruising budget is, finding ways to save money is important for all boat owners. Stephanie (SV Cambria) shares the Money Saving Tips she and her husband, David, have employed during their fifteen years cruising and living aboard their boat.


Insurance can be a major expense for cruisers. Keith and Nikki (‘Til the Butter Melts) discuss the risk assessment one needs to take when deciding whether to get full hull coverage insurance versus catastrophic loss for one’s boat.

Mike (This Rat Sailed)  shares his thoughts on Freedom Chips, which is how he refers to money, and the choices he and his wife have made to trade in their old lifestyle for life on a boat, and, in the process "buy" more freedom.

Stacey and Jesse (SV Smitty) share their Cost to Cruise the Bahamas, including some extraordinary costs, which caused them to say, "Holy Crap!"

Quinn and Ben (SV Wanderlust) share their costs for four months of "actual cruising" (meaning they weren't hauled out, docked or undergoing major repairs) in The Cost of Cruising: How Much Do We Really Spend?


Do you have a blog post about the cost of cruising that you want to share? Please post your link with a brief description in the comments section below and we'll add it to this list.

Already have a link on this page? Feel free to link back here so that your readers can find other posts on this topic. We have low-tech and high-tech instructions:

Low-tech instructions: Copy and paste this text onto to the bottom of your blog post:
Visit The Monkey's Fist to find other posts on this topic:

http://themonkeysfist.blogspot.com/2016/04/costs-of-cruising.html

High-tech instructions: Copy the code below and paste it into the html at the bottom of your post to give your readers a link back to this page.

The Monkey's Fist




4.11.2016

Bloggers Blogging About...Blogging


People blog for a variety of reasons such as documenting their transition from land life to cruising, sharing technical tips and tricks, recounting their adventures and misadventures, helping others who may follow in their footsteps, and staying connected to friends and family.

Many people are inspired by reading all of the wonderful sailing and cruising blogs out there and want to start blogging themselves, but don't know where to start. Other more experienced bloggers want to take their blog to the next level - perhaps by monetizing their blog, better leveraging social media, increasing their number of followers etc. - but aren't sure how to go about it.

No matter what type of blogger you are or how long you’ve been blogging for, you’re bound to find some great tips, tricks and inspiration from the folks below:

This topic's coordinator, Ellen from The Cynical Sailor, shares her thoughts on the things she wished she would have done differently when she first started blogging (6 Mistakes I Made Starting a Sailing Blog) and ponders what makes certain blog posts popular (What Makes a Blog or Facebook Post Popular).

Jaye shares how she started out blogging about being a liveaboard for a newspaper in Annapolis, transitioning those articles to her own website, Life Alfoat, and the benefits she’s discovered through blogging (A Blog Post about Blogging).


Thinking about setting up a blog before you head off cruising full-time? Check out these great tips and tricks on what platform to use, leveraging social media, how to monetize your blog and more from Viki at Astolabe Sailing (How to Set Up a Blog Before You Go Sailing!).


Byn from Oh Sail Yes describes how she uses Mail Chimp to send a newsletter to their subscribers which lets people click back to their website and explore topics which interest them in more detail (Mail Chimp for Bloggers).


Some people try to monetize their blogs in the hopes that they can make some money to fill up the cruising kitty. Mark from Cygnus III takes a humorous twist on the topic, telling us How Not to Make Money Whilst Sailing.


With his trademark humor, Pat from Bumfuzzle offers tips on How to Write a Cruising Blog, as well as providing a list of his blogging pet peeves.


Windtraveler is one of the most popular cruising blogs out there, so you know that Brittany is the lady to ask when it comes to Tips for the Cruising Blogger. Some great advice ranging from loving your readers, knowing you won’t please everyone and the importance of writing from your heart.


Do you have a blog post about blogging that you want to share? Please post your link with a brief description in the comments section below and we'll add it to this list.

Already have a link on this page? Feel free to link back here so that your readers can find other posts on this topic. We have low-tech and high-tech instructions:

Low-tech instructions: Copy and paste this text onto to the bottom of your blog post:

Visit The Monkey's Fist to find other posts on this topic:
http://themonkeysfist.blogspot.com/2016/04/bloggers-blogging-aboutblogging.html


High-tech instructions: Copy the code below and paste it into the html at the bottom of your post to give your readers a link back to this page.


The Monkey's Fist





1.24.2016

Waking Up, and Back on Track! (Admin Note)



(photo from here)
Apologies for the long silence; many of our topic coordinators have been too busy out having adventures to write about them. But we have several new topics in development (see box in upper left), and some exciting new bloggers/topic coordinators.  So stick around -- and by all means, if you have a topic idea you'd like to coordinate, or a blog post to contribute to a developing topic, post it in the comments or contact us!

4.10.2015

Atlantic Crossings from a Cruiser's Prespective

The path of Starry Horizons.



Making the big leap across the Atlantic is pretty nerve-racking.  All circumnavigators have done it, and it helps new sailors calm their nerves by reading stories – good and bad! – about making a crossing of that size.


  • This topic's coordinator, Amy, Crossed the Atlantic Ocean on Starry Horizons, a 44' Helia catamaran, from Las Palmas to Miami, leaving Christmas morning, 2014.

  • Monkey's Fist Topic Coordinator Jessica recently crossed the Atlantic eastbound from Florida to the Azores, the first of several posts on their crossing explains why she now believes you should Never Leave for a Passage on Thursday the 12th.

  • Pacific Sailors' Verena recounted a trip in 1987 that resulted in a rescue from a super-yacht and brought up how Fear is handled and how we prepare for it.

  • Captain Liz Made It to Spain while crossing the Atlantic from Antigua as crew on a private 116ft yacht.

  • Tumbleweed Adventure left St Helena for Salvador, Brazil from March – April 2014 over 14 days on their 42’ Manta Catamaran, March 26th, 2014: The start to our Atlantic Ocean Crossing.
  • Kewl Change posted a series of videos on their Atlantic Crossing from Cape Verde to Newburyport, USA in July-August 2013. 

  • The crew of Chocobo crossed the Atlantic in November – December 2011from Cape Verde to Antigua over a period of 14 days. They finished their circumnavigation just a little bit later! 

  • Taru and Alex of World Tour Stories crossed the Atlantic from Las Palmas, Canaries to Cabo Verde to Barbados in January – February 2011. 

  • Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost crossed the Atlantic in December 2010-January 2011 from San Sebastian, Spain to Antigua for a total of 19 days. 

  • Of Butterfly and Barnacle crossed from South Africato Brazil (with St Helena in between). They made the crossing in 30 days aboard their 45’ Fastcat in March – April 2009. 

  • The Bumfuzzles crossed the Atlantic in November - December 2006, from Tenerife (Canary Islands) to Granada on their 35’ Wildcat Catamaran in 22 days. 


Where ever you are crossing from and landing, a lot of prep work is involved.

Hi blogger! Do you have a blog post about your crossing that you want to share? Please post your link with a brief description in the comments section below and we'll add it to this list.


Already have a link on this page? Feel free to link back here so that your readers can find other posts on this topic. We have low-tech and high-tech instructions:

Low-tech instructions: Copy and paste this text onto to the bottom of your blog post:

Visit The Monkey's Fist to find other posts on this topic:
http://themonkeysfist.blogspot.com/2015/04/atlantic-crossings-from-cruisers.html

High-tech instructions: Copy the code below and paste it into the html at the bottom of your post to give your readers a link back to this page.


The Monkey's Fist










1.30.2015

Beauty and the Boat

This quad stands up to the heat (from MJ Sailing)
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest sailor of them all?

Whether you are living exclusively on the hook or are a slave to the marina facilities, it is likely that living aboard has had some sort of impact on your beauty routine. Before I moved aboard I would don a full face of makeup every day as I headed to the office. You can say that things changed once I moved aboard. Granted, I was no longer working, but a formal face just seemed unnecessary once I was out exploring tropical waters each day.