So, what’s your bottom line? A long, long time ago I think it was Lin Pardey who coined the $500-a-month-budget as a passing reference of the “Some people do it for as little as…” example. Back in the late 60’s, $500 was a doable, if tight, budget for cruising but today, according to a handy inflation calculator, to have the purchasing power of $500 in 1969 dollars would be equivalent to $4,055 today.
I’ll let that sink in for a moment…
I’m pretty sure if you’re reading VolksCruiser that it’s safe to assume that a $4,055 monthly budget is not what you signed up for. Which gives me a chance to show you one of my favorite movie clips.
Now, while I can think of any number of marinas I’d love to take a shotgun or M79 to, I’’ll admit that while it might be cathartic, it’s a bit more anti-social and somewhat problematic to the cruising lifestyle. Hell, with my luck, I’d wind up with a roommate who’s a MAGA droid named Bubba.
What’s a poor boy or girl going to do?
Lucky for us there are any number of ways to get by with less money if you’re so inclined to cruise outside the consumerist bubble. For instance, simply quit getting stuff you don’t really need and and get off the recreational shopping bandwagon. Sure it requires a bit of mindset adjustment and the learning curve is a bit steep but it’s nothing you can’t do if you want to get going to some nice anchorage.
Speaking of anchorages have you heard the news about Bonaire?
Bonaire’s a great place. It has some of the best diving in the world, the powers that be are Eco-conscious and doing their bit to keep it nice, and it is a kiss off the beaten track so it’s more Caribbean like than you can find in the Caribbean proper. So, what’s not to like?
Since the locals care about their waters, it’s a moorings-only situation and as most all of Bonaire is a park you have to pay to be there. This year moorings have shot up in price to $35 a day (it used to be $10) and the park fee is $40 per person (good for a year). Which in real terms means if I want to stay there for ten days it’s going to cost a minimum of $430 for the two of us. Which is not bad when you consider it but it starts adding up really quickly and it’s not a place you’re going to hang out longer than needful. That said, it’s still a lot cheaper than staying in a marina anywhere that has a developed yachting scene which is frelling anywhere in the Caribbean these days.
So here’s the good news/bad news if you want to cruise on a budget these days. The good news being that it’s doable and the bad news is that, for the most part, you’ll want to minimize all the normal milk run destinations.
Lucky for us is that it’s a big frelling world and there are still a lot of great places to cruise where folks on boats are not looked at as floating ATMs. You might want to add “Hors Piste” to your manta jar.
More needful stuff for getting control of your cruising budget on Friday…