Posts Tagged ‘Cruising Costs’

Doin’ Nothing

Friday, August 17th, 2012

One would think that hanging out on the boat we end up going brain dead. It may well have been I started out brain dead but on the boat we always have something to do. And doing something is what I’m becoming quite good at. Lately I’ve been working on the website. I now have all our finances up on cruising costs through the end of June and I’ve been working on updating our personal product evaluations of gear we’ve used cruising and living aboard.  Currently there are 103 evaluations with detail on 29 items.  I’ll try to keep updating and adding to those evaluations as I can and as I see a need. Thus most of the effort is going towards the website and the blog will slow down. I only have so much time during the day and have no wish to spend all day on the computer. W/ already thinks I spend too much time on this electronic brainless piece of hardware anyway. 🙂

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

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I’m Not Dead Yet!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

I know it’s been a bit since my last post. Sorry. I’ve gotten wrapped up in a long tomb of books; the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Each book in this damn series is 300k  + words long and there are something like 14!  I’m on book 13 and the good news / bad news is that the last one will not be published till Jan of ’13!

Besides that we’ve been struggling with the refrigeration system. For those bored with sitting at a desk and want to see what real world problem solving is like they can read the discussion.

And while I may have a bad compressor I’m still learning about the system and will know more when this issue is finished. Maybe I’ll end up as our friends on  Infini did and just switch it all out for two simple evaporator plate systems. Who knows. But I hate, HATE, HATE, admitting that I made such a grave error in outfitting the boat that we’ll end up discarding this “Gold Plated” holding plate system from Sea Frost and switch. The other option is to get  really large evaporator plate from Dole and replace the smaller one in the freezer with some dead space under it. Then the inside wall of the freezer would all be holding plate and maybe, just maybe, I could get down to running the generator once / day. Maybe!

Speaking of; while evaporator plates are much simpler and demand much less peak energy to run although close to the same daily amount,  they tend to have electronic modules that can be harmed by close  lightening strikes. So as in all things yachting. There are compromises.

Two projects I”m working on to share with the boat community and friends: 1) Awnings, and 2) Costs.  I hope to have them completed sometime this month and posted. Cruising costs are always available on my website and usually don’t end up more then 4 months behind.

Anyway, W/’s been working on bulk photos and has put them up on her  Facebook photos. They are:  Sapzurro Colombia, Spring Summer 2012, , Isla Pinos, Hike with Lisa, Tigre Revolution Reinactment, Grouper Tail, and Carti to Panama City. Those are for public viewing so you may check all out that your heart desires.

And while we hang out here in Puerto Lindo we do have much easier access to the civilized population areas of Panama and a 3G cell phone network which we’ve enjoyed. It’s almost like being in a modern Westernized Country. Almost…..

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

Addendum: Received and email from svReach concerning the lightening and refrigeration systems. He’d been struck last year; with a great deal of elecrtrical damage and yet had no damage to his refrigeration system. Further several boats here on the N Coast of Panama had been struck and only one had a refrigeration issue. Mark (from svReach)  had indicated that about 10 years ago the manufactures all switched to using the Danfoss system and the Danfoss control boards. Those boards are in a grounded Aluminum box and thus maybe better able to handle  Electrical Magnetic Pulses better then any of the old styles. However;  he also indicated that he carries a spare board just in case!

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Legal…. Again in Panama

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

We’ll; we’ve done it. We had to move to Sapzurro for political reasons. Yep, not every country is as friendly as the US. Panama said one year was enough. Well; come to think of it, most countries are friendlier then the US. The US is so bureaucratically cumbersome that had we been in the US as a foreign national with a cruising boat moving  from one harbor to another a nightmare.  I personally  know of other cruisers that have avoided visiting the US with their boat because of the undo burdens put upon them by our government.  A foreign national with a boat is expected to check in with the authorities whenever they move the boat from one port to the next. And our government doesn’t even know it’s own rules or follow them very well. I’ve spoken with one cruiser that toughed it out and cruised the US. When they call,  the officials are sometimes standoffish and wonder why they called, then other times the official chewed them out because they hadn’t called promptly. What is ironic is that the same people could fly in, rent or buy a car and travel 10 times as far in one day and no one in the government would be the wiser or even care.  Why the US  has this weird affinity towards harassing  foreigners with small boats I don’t know.

Fortunately other countries aren’t like the US in how they treat visitors. In Panama we  fill out some paperwork and are given a cruising permit good for one year at a cost of  $193.00 US.  Then as a cruiser you can get a marinerer’s  immigration stamp.  We checked in in Isla Porviner and paid $100 to immigration for their service and then $5 extra per person. This is $110 bucks more then last year when we checked in.  Additionally, this time when I went into immigration I was informed I had to go back to the boat and pick up W/.  Traditionally the boat captain travels to the necessary offices and acquires the necessary passport stamps for the boat’s occupants.  Last year I went in alone and took care of everything. Since then Panama has changed their policy and all boat occupants needed to present themselves at immigration. Maybe that’s the sign of the times to come. Remember! We had to both go in to Immigration in Sapzurro, Colombia too.  However;  once in the Immigration Officer’s office there was a new added step, they finger printed us. I’m guessing to identify us if something untold happens, then they’ll have the correct body identified. I don’t really think they’ll feed the fingerprint into any database. Not in Panama. Not at this time.

In the end we made it through all the formalities and on a Friday morning to boot, both glad the officials hadn’t decided to add an extra day to their weekend. As westerners and America’s I’m not sure I’ll ever get use to the elastic time in Latin countries. I wonder how time is viewed in the other end of the world and if luck will  have it we’ll know soon enough.

With $303 dollars less in our pockets we can now legally “hang out” in Panama. And with the changes in policy I’m reminded of what Heracles said, “Nothing is permanent in the world except change”.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

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Cruising Costs

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Mike always said “It costs what ya got”!  Dirk called us “High Rollers” (I guess cause there are times we use marinas? .  Don’t know where exactly we fit in the group of cruisers we see around here. I know there are yachtsmen  here that spend in a week what we’ve spent in a year.  Of course; no one would say they’re “cruisers”; except maybe, the superyacht owner. 🙂

Everywhere you see costs debated on the cruising boards; how much can I get away with, what boat do I need, etc?

I completed a first full year expense analysis for our boat and our lifestyle  and it came out to $48,554.38.  You can check our website for details on where much of it went and during what months. Please keep in mind this doesn’t count any cost of purchase or depreciation of the boat as we cruise. Salesmen like to call that the cost of ownership!  🙂

We started out in the Bahamas for the last calendar year. A great deal of our low cost stores had been depleted and we love to eat out – mostly lunch – but some dinners. We then moved to the Chesapeake where we had planned on purchasing a new hard top dodger which we did from Canvas Creations. We stayed at a Annapolis Landing Marina (which we thoroughly enjoyed) which was also Annapolis priced. We also added a great deal of supplies to our boat there; two new computers (one to run the Pactor Modem and one to be a ship’s back up for navigation), we added AIS, new stabilizing binoculars, some custom SS stuff and more track for our head sails. It all adds up. We also hauled the boat there, fixed a potential sinking problem and cruised the area.

From there we sailed offshore to the Virgin Islands where we damaged our furler and a sail; fixed that in the VI’s and then began our trek south of  the hurricane belt for the next hurricane season.

So there you have it; our expenses for the first year ( I may be a thou shy as I know there are some expenses we missed. Keep in mind this is on a big 42′ boat and covers two people.

One thing that has helped our budget is the ability to put away money for a rainy day fund. In condo’s in Florida they call it a reserve. We’ve been doing that to the tune of $1,100.00 / month so when we have an issue I draw out of that fund. Now I’ll be able to see if I’ve budgeted that correctly or need to add more. Would be nice to reduce the amt but I doubt the boat will let me. 🙂

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

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