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Old 02-12-2015, 01:18 PM   #1
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Is boating for the rich? Feeling dismayed

Now I am not new to boating and have been boating and cruising since I was 10 years old. (I am 50 now). I was always with my father until his death in 2014. Since he passed, sadly I can not tap into his experience and wisdom anymore so I have to ask here.

I have been researching cruising for a few years, doing lots of reading and investigating. For the last 3 months I have been reading about trawlers.

The one thing I am taking away from this is boating has become a rich man's lifestyle. What's changed? It didn't used to be like that.

My family was not rich. None of our fellow cruising and live aboard friends were rich (except for Burl Ives). Yet they all never had shabby boats, never were incapable of cruising due to break downs or needed maintenance. They were never forced to sell their boats or cancel a cruise because they could not afford a repair.

Yet reading this forum and other forums I am seeing people talk about $40,000 fuel tanks, buying a boat for $120,000 and putting another $200,000 into it just to make it cruise ready. $70,000 in electronics (if you need 70K in electronics to navigate you don't belong on the water).

No one I have known on a boat growing up ever had that kind of money and yet still had fine, pretty and well maintained boats.

So am I too poor to continue my great father's legacy and cruise until I am an old man? When I retire in 2 years I will have a $5000/month pension. In reality that puts my income at more than the vast majority of working American households with two incomes and it seems like I will never afford to own a live aboard yacht.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:28 PM   #2
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There are an awful lot of variables and generalizations in your questions/post. I think the vast majority of people on here could cruise on your budget with their present boat. I know I could and my boat is not paid for. I do not have a $70k electronics suite. I have not put hundreds of thousands of dollars in my boat. And I would be quite comfortable on my boat. Is my boat the perfect cruising boat....NOPE!!! But show me one that is!!!

Your questions are all very fundamental....like what is cruising to you??? How big of a boat do you need to be comfortable???....things like that.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:33 PM   #3
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Mick

What I have found with boats is that somebody always has a bigger, or a nicer boat.

You do not have to be rich to have a cruising lifestyle. That said, no matter how much money you have you can find a boat that will cost all of it.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:39 PM   #4
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There are an awful lot of variables and generalizations in your questions/post. I think the vast majority of people on here could cruise on your budget with their present boat. I know I could and my boat is not paid for. I do not have a $70k electronics suite. I have not put hundreds of thousands of dollars in my boat. And I would be quite comfortable on my boat. Is my boat the perfect cruising boat....NOPE!!! But show me one that is!!!

Your questions are all very fundamental....like what is cruising to you??? How big of a boat do you need to be comfortable???....things like that.

Cruising to me is shoving off and not planning to return home for months at the very least if not years. Bahamas, Caribbean, up the ICW through the Canadian Maritimes, things like that. Very few marinas, mostly anchoring and no time limits for anything. What's a comfortable size? In both sail and trawler I would put it at 35'.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:40 PM   #5
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A safe, comfortable and reliable cruising boat can be bought for under $100k, some pretty decent ones for under $50k. Some even less. There is a lot of expensive cr@p on most boats that really jacks the price. And that stuff is completely unnecessary for comfortable cruising.

Maintenance and repairs can be rather inexpensive if you are a hands-on type. Farm it out to yards, etc, and that is where the big money flows.

Don't get discouraged, good boats are out there that you can afford to buy and run.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:47 PM   #6
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I hear ya Mick. When I was growing up it was more like camping on the water and now it seems that your boat is inadequate if you don't have a flat screen with surround sound. Don't get discouraged, there are still boaters out there that value the simplistic lifestyle that boating can offer. They're not tied up strolling up and down the docks in the latest yacht club attire, they're out on the hook in a quiet cove, barbecuing the catch of the day. As I get older (same age as you) the keep it simple mentality has become more of a draw. Keep looking, sometimes it takes years to find the right one.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:48 PM   #7
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The question is how much do you have saved to buy a boat. There are many retired boaters doing fine on $5000/month and less, but their boat is generally paid for. With a lot it's selling their big home, buying a smaller condo and a boat. I wouldn't say boating requires wealth, but it does require some saving in advance.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:55 PM   #8
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Ski, I caught you surfing instead of working again. I guess I'll bring my boat back up there to give you something to do. My beef is marina cost. Sometimes in the middle of the summer, its good to get a little air conditioning and cool off a little. Especially when the wind isnt blowing. The small little cool towns are nice to explore as well. To do this, the marinas charge an arm and a leg just to tie up for the night. I just wanted to spend the night, not a fortune (as Tom Bodette, model 6 would say). Forget the cost of fuel, the price of marinas kills us. Thats why we anchor out as much as possible. We are on a budget for sure.
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:01 PM   #9
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The question is how much do you have saved to buy a boat. There are many retired boaters doing fine on $5000/month and less, but their boat is generally paid for. With a lot it's selling their big home, buying a smaller condo and a boat. I wouldn't say boating requires wealth, but it does require some saving in advance.

I will be able to pay $60000 cash for a boat upon retirement. I have 2 homes in Tampa. The rent I get for one pays the mortgage on both. But I will probably sell at least one of them as managing a rental home from agar is not doable. Pretty much I wont have many bills and I wont finance a boat.
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:01 PM   #10
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Wether you have to be rich to cruise depends on you. If you need a new 65' Nordhaven with all the bells and whistles, then I would say yes or be so far in debt that you did not have time to be on the boat because you were working 80 hours a week. If you are happy with a 35 year old leaky teaky that you enjoy tinkering with then the answer is no you don't have to be rich.
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:02 PM   #11
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You are asking what has changed in 40 years to make it seem like boating is for the rich?

Here are a few things that might make it seem that way:
1. Higher price for a barrel of oil and other commodities
2. The revaluation of currencies (dollar down, others, specially Asian currencies up)
3. Added costs of Government regulations such as EPA mandates
4. Higher international labor costs
5. Growing populations competing for fixed resources such as water front property
6. Declining US real income and standard of living
7. Changing climate and higher insurance rates caused by increased occurrences of natural disasters

In summary, there has been a decline in our standard of living.


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Old 02-12-2015, 02:24 PM   #12
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Wether you have to be rich to cruise depends on you. If you need a new 65' Nordhaven with all the bells and whistles, then I would say yes or be so far in debt that you did not have time to be on the boat because you were working 80 hours a week. If you are happy with a 35 year old leaky teaky that you enjoy tinkering with then the answer is no you don't have to be rich.
Thats doable. If you run low on money you can eat Spagetti with mike on his boat like we did at anchor in Boot Key. It doesnt cost that much to cruise. 5K/month is plenty. Just do it dept free though. Thanks again Mike for the dinner.
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mick Scarborough View Post
Now I am not new to boating and have been boating and cruising since I was 10 years old. (I am 50 now). I was always with my father until his death in 2014. Since he passed, sadly I can not tap into his experience and wisdom anymore so I have to ask here.

I have been researching cruising for a few years, doing lots of reading and investigating. For the last 3 months I have been reading about trawlers.

The one thing I am taking away from this is boating has become a rich man's lifestyle. What's changed? It didn't used to be like that.

My family was not rich. None of our fellow cruising and live aboard friends were rich (except for Burl Ives). Yet they all never had shabby boats, never were incapable of cruising due to break downs or needed maintenance. They were never forced to sell their boats or cancel a cruise because they could not afford a repair.

Yet reading this forum and other forums I am seeing people talk about $40,000 fuel tanks, buying a boat for $120,000 and putting another $200,000 into it just to make it cruise ready. $70,000 in electronics (if you need 70K in electronics to navigate you don't belong on the water).

No one I have known on a boat growing up ever had that kind of money and yet still had fine, pretty and well maintained boats.

So am I too poor to continue my great father's legacy and cruise until I am an old man? When I retire in 2 years I will have a $5000/month pension. In reality that puts my income at more than the vast majority of working American households with two incomes and it seems like I will never afford to own a live aboard yacht.
The others who have commented above have it right on.

But as I was thinking of this response, I understand where you are coming from.
When i first started thinking of this life style, for the first year, as I read everything about Trawlers etc, that was also my impression: Big bucks for rich folks.

Now, i had not found Trawler Forum and wouldn't for a few more years.

When I ran out of the books about power boats crossing oceans, they were virtually all Nordhavns by the way, with 18 redundant features for every nut and boat on board, I was a bit stymied.

Then, out of desperation, I started to read stories of sail boats cruising, etc.
I was never interested in a SV, but after a while, I did see that 90% of what they were doing was applicable to trawlers and they had much more of an attitude of getting it done, without a lot of BS or expensive gadgets.

That pretty much helped to frame our model, that we applied to the Krogen.,
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:39 PM   #14
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Unless you can do all your own maintenance and repairs, yes, it's an expensive hobby. If you are handy, then not so much but still up there. Your own oil change, $100. Mechanic doing oil change, $400.

Simple example, a single sheave Japanese stainless block for my flopper stoppers is $100, 1/10th of a boat dollar. Doubles are $150. I have 6 singles and 4 doubles and I should replace the remaining 4 wood ones with 2 more of each. However, I only used $2000 of fuel last year and I still have half a tank. Haul out zincs and paint, $4000. They painted. I did zincs. If the boat is large or not new, expect to be very busy. You must love working on a boat. Or be rich.
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:42 PM   #15
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I don't consider myself poor or rich. I have a 40 footer that I live on and cruise. One thing I can say for certain.....I could not be doing the yachting I am doing if I didn't do most of the maintenance and repairs myself.
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post

The others who have commented above have it right on.

But as I was thinking of this response, I understand where you are coming from.
When i first started thinking of this life style, for the first year, as I read everything about Trawlers etc, that was also my impression: Big bucks for rich folks.

Now, i had not found Trawler Forum and wouldn't for a few more years.

When I ran out of the books about power boats crossing oceans, they were virtually all Nordhavns by the way, with 18 redundant features for every nut and boat on board, I was a bit stymied.

Then, out of desperation, I started to read stories of sail boats cruising, etc.
I was never interested in a SV, but after a while, I did see that 90% of what they were doing was applicable to trawlers and they had much more of an attitude of getting it done, without a lot of BS or expensive gadgets.

That pretty much helped to frame our model, that we applied to the Krogen.,
Sailors read Latitudes and Attitudes to encourage casting off.

Powerboaters read Passagemaker to discourage casting off.
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:58 PM   #17
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Thats doable. If you run low on money you can eat Spagetti with mike on his boat like we did at anchor in Boot Key. It doesnt cost that much to cruise. 5K/month is plenty. Just do it dept free though. Thanks again Mike for the dinner.
Are you going to make it to Boot Key this winter? I thought about you guys the other day and wondered where you were.
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Old 02-12-2015, 03:04 PM   #18
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Sailors read Latitudes and Attitudes to encourage casting off.

Powerboaters read Passagemaker to discourage casting off.
Now that's funny...but true!

I still get more usable info out of Cruising Outpost ( L @ A) than I do from PM! Them sail boaters are the real deal.
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Old 02-12-2015, 03:12 PM   #19
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Perhaps what you need to read Mick is the "rest of the story"...

Here is a link to one of my all time favorite blogs. It is written by a woman who has been there, done that for decades. Janice aboard Seaweed, trawler cruising on a nickel budget... She wouldn't know what to buy first given your budget and is a poster to this forum. Read her blog and then try telling me you have to be rich to do this thing.
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Old 02-12-2015, 03:17 PM   #20
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Are you going to make it to Boot Key this winter? I thought about you guys the other day and wondered where you were.
Sorry its off the subject, but maybe its not. I start work at the St. Lucie Nuclear Power plant next week. We left the boat at the Ft. Pierce city marina $600/month over the Christmas Holidays. The admiral needed to tend to some family affairs. We plan on heading back to the Carolina's in May. So ya see, we work, live and cruise on the boat and we are happy as clams with the life style.
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