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Money, money, money...

By Yifat Shamir from Sailing Trio
Published August 17, 2022

That is definitely the biggest question – how do we economically manage to live this lifestyle? What are the monthly costs and what is the primary sum one has to have to afford a yacht? Do we work while we live onboard? Is there a signal at sea?

Well, because of these questions this post was written. These are super important questions that you should ask yourself when you think about having this way of life.

So first of all, Tomer is 30 and I’m 29, and we started loving that way right after we both finished university. None of us had a big savings account to use. We were both students for about 5 years. From one hand that was the best situation to start- no obligations. We knew that if we would wait with that dream- we would start jobs and probably end by entering full power into the rat race- and it would be much harder to quit then. On the other hand- how do you make that move’ making your dream come true without having the money to do it? We did have our RV which was our home for the last two years. By living in it we managed to save some money aside, in addition, once we found our boat, we sold the RV which gave us a better start.

But… we still had no idea what we are walking into. We also didn’t know what’s our boats budget (or actually, we didn’t choose our budget yet)- which leads me to what I wanted to talk about with you.

A lot of people ask me: “how much a boat costs?” and my answer is always “how much does a car cost?” because it really depends on a lot of parameters- the boats model, year of make, is it brand new or used? What was it used for? Chartering or private? Did it had any accidents? What additions does it have, etc. Generally- you can find a boat on (most) budgets you’ll decide. And in this case, it is ‘value for
money’. We asked ourselves what do we prefer – buying an old, relatively cheap boat or spending some more money on a newer, better maintained one? In the case of an older boat we know we would probably need to invest a lot in refitting her and then we came to conclude it would probably end with spending similar amounts in both cases. Often, in the case of old sailing boats, you can drown with endless problems to fix that you couldn’t know in advance. And it’ll take all your money- so taking an old boat is quite a bet.

As for us- we started making decisions for ourselves. The first one was our budget. We had 72,000$ after all of the investments we needed to do on our boat- fixings, maintenance etc. Our boat costed us 54,000$. It is 1998 and looked very well preserved. Except for that, she didn’t had much- rigging were never replaced, batteries were dead, didn’t have strong enough electricity system and original sails. I won't get into details of the different costs (that is for another chapter) but I will say that we spent another 20,000$ for safety equipment, insurance, and registration.

Another important thing is day-to-day life. Most of our expenses are on food (not restaurants of course, but groceries). We live in a very humble way- and love that very much- but that also saves a lot of money. We spend around 1,000$ a month. Something very important we discovered lately is about credit card and conversion fees: We looked for the best way to manage with money while abroad- which actually means how we don’t spend all our money on conversions. After researching, we found a card (MAX) that takes a fee only of 1%.

And what about income?
We brought ourselves (with a little help from COVID) to work from home. Tomer works as a mechanical engineer and I do private lessons. We do it for quite a long time now and so for so good. Another post will take only about working online and the different options there are. Another awesome thing is collabs. Luckily, we found Ahoy! Insurance who help us and believe in our lifestyle 🙂

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