Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sailing on a Budget

Here are our top tips for cruising and sailing the world on a budget.

1. Before you take to sailing and boating make sure you are as proficient as you possibly can be on doing your own maintenance. Take courses, read books and search the internet. We do pretty much all our own work on Alianna. If we are uncertain about which way to proceed we research the subject thoroughly on the web, talk to other cruisers and gather as much information as possible.

2. Wait for the right weather and remember you are a sailing yacht. You will save heaps on fuel. Reef early and save stress on your boat.

3. Have a planned maintenance schedule i.e. change the engine oil when it’s due and check the rigging often. Preventative maintenance is always cheaper in the long run.

4. Think about the area you are going to be cruising in and try and have a reasonable stock of repair materials on board rather than be forced to by expensive materials in out of the way places.

5. Rather than carry a whole heap of paper charts go to electronic charts and just keep a paper passage chart of the area you are cruising for planning purposes. Even if you don’t have a chart plotter there are plenty of programs out there that you can interface on your laptop.

7. Avoid marinas and moorings that charge. Buy a decent, good quality anchor to ensure a good nights sleep. It is much nicer to swing on the hook and let the breeze blow though your boat than to be stuck, cornered in a windless marina.

8. Eat on board and avoid fancy restaurants. Or eat out in the cheaper more local places.

9. When in Rome… like the locals. Buy local produce and avoid items that have been imported.

10. Buy reasonable stocks of things when you see them cheaper. And buy them when you see them, chances are if you wait until the next day they will be gone.

11. All sailors like a drink and a yarn but try and stick to happy hours and to whatever the local brew is.

12. Catch your own rain water. Some places can charge as much as $0.50c a gallon.

13. Row your dinghy and save on outboard fuel. Or buy a dinghy with a sailing rig. Definitely on our wish list.

14. Be as self sufficient as you can afford to be in terms of energy. Have solar panels and wind generator. Our solar panels were one of our best investments.

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