Boy, we are busy now that we're back living on land again. The kids are both in soccer, Leslie is teaching dance, and I'm working full time during the week and on the weekends to make ends meet.
Don't let anyone tell you cruising is expensive--at least not compared to land life! When we go cruising we get rid of cars, car insurance, repairs and maintenance for the cars, registrations, inspections, lessons, after-school activities, repairs to the house, winter clothes, boots, snow shovels, colds, and endless little drains on the checkbook that add up to a big drain on the finances. One of the questions we are always asked is how we could afford to go. Now I wonder how we can afford to come back.
Cruising costs really do vary by how much you have to spend. In other words, you spend what you've got. But, I can guarantee you that it can be much less expensive than your land life--maybe half as much or less. That's what we found. Plus, we were able to eat out a lot more, go to more interesting events, and visit fabulous places that would normally be out of our vacation budgets. In Colombia it was probably cheaper for us to eat out than it is to eat at home here in the U.S.!
So, don't let money worries hold you back. You don't need a $200K boat to do it. Our boat cost around $55K and then we put a lot of hard work and some money into it, but we could have done it for less than half. The expensive stuff is all the modern gizmos that you don't really need. Approach any new piece of equipment like it is a possible thief--stealing your time and money. Some people like fixing stuff and having all the toys, but I don't think they have any more fun because of it.
I always think the ones having the most fun are at the low end of the economic ladder. The little old boats are the ones that seem to always be on the move with smiling faces onboard. Maybe it's because they tend to be young, but we met some older folks on small boats who were really happy. A lot of the folks on bigger more luxurious boats only kept going for a few years, before they sold up and moved on to something else. I think worrying about a $200-$300K investment that is not very secure is too much for many people. Go small, go now!