my VolksCruiser Want List part three

I’ll get this out of the way from the GetGo… Affordable IS important.

So, back to the list:

  • Affordable to build or buy
  • Affordable to cruise and maintain on a tight budget

The hard part when the word affordable comes into play is it means different things to different people. What’s affordable to a person making $100K a year and someone making $50K are quite different things and not a lot of rocket science involved to figure that one out. Simple.

Where the hard comes in, is that society is relentless in telling everyone that they need to consume in a way that has nothing whatsoever with one’s actual financial state of affairs… Hence, when I open up a copy of a new yachting rag it’s mostly about telling me I need stuff that is silly expensive and the sort of boat I really should have costs $850K…

What’s worse for those who can’t afford an $850K boat is the relentless pressure to conform. So whatever boat they get should emulate said $850K boat in terms of systems and accoutrements, resulting in the sort of silliness that accounts for the word McMansion (or, should we say McYacht?).

That said, it doesn’t tell you what is an affordable sailboat for you and what you should budget for sailing off into the sunset, now does it? As it happens I’ve been looking for some cunning formula that would tell me what I should pay for a boat and how much I should spend to actually cruise for decades and, while I hate to say it, I’m still looking.

What I use at the moment is flawed but is as good as any… I start with the amount I feel I could comfortably cruise on and then work backwards towards what a boat should actually cost me.

  • Affordable to cruise and maintain on a tight budget

So, here’s something a lot of people don’t realize …

Just about everyone I know cruising is actually living on a tight budget.
From my observations, the reason for this sorry state of affairs is just about everyone is living that little bit beyond their means. The bottom line being that the guy cruising the rehabbed Down Easter 38 with a budget of $1000 a month is in exactly the same boat as the guy on a $3000 budget with an Island Packet 370 in that they are both spending 10-30% more than they can really afford.
The easy fix, that I most often hear, is to simply wait until you have more money before you get a boat… From where I sit it might be an easy solution but, like most things easy, it doesn’t really work. With more money the guy with the  Down Easter would instead buy a 42 foot something or other and the guy with the Island Packet would be out and about in his Island Packet 460 and their new upsized budgets of $1300 and $3900 would still be in that 10-30% too little zone. 
Well, that’s my opinion…
The hard answer is simple as well but it involves getting honest with yourself, lifestyle change, and getting off the consumerist-keeping-up-with-the-Jones-treadmill. The first step, and yes dear reader, a painful one for most, is to downsize from a want to need level…
More on this soonish.

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