FAQ’s


Getting on/off blog post notification
Mail Delivery and Bill Paying
Keeping In Touch
Our Favorite Cruising Area
Cost of Living Aboard and Cruising
Cruising Speed/Fuel Economy

Getting on/off blog post notification
You can subscribe to our blog using the options at the bottom of the page to get e-mail notification or notification via RSS.  Both options have unsubscribe options Many readers use Google Reader or other similar applications to follow multiple web sites or blogs.
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Mail Delivery and Bill Paying
We select a marina we’ll visit in about 10 days, call and confirm we can have mail delivered. We provide the mailing address to our forwarder who sorts out junk mail and sends the good stuff. Usually the mail is at the marina when we arrive. We only have mail forwarded every three months since personal communications go by e-mail and bills are handled electronically.
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Keeping In Touch
Cell phone coverage along the coast and most of the nation has vastly improved since we first started in 1997. We started using AT&T cell phones. They kicked us off their Nationwide Plan because we spent so much time off their main network. We now use Verizon for both our cell phone and data coverage.

For data coverage we use free Wi-Fi when it’s available. We also have a Verizon Air Card for areas where there is no free Wi-Fi. The Air Card is connected to a CradlePoint base station turning it into a local secure Wi-Fi hot spot so we can have both laptops and visiting friends all connected to the Internet through our Air Card.
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Our Favorite Cruising Area
Since starting in 1997 Lake Superior is still at the top of our list for favorite cruising area. During the 6 weeks we cruised the lake we encountered only 6 other cruising boats. Most of the time we had beautiful, remote anchorages to ourselves. The area has a raw, pristine, remote feeling we’ve only seen rare glimpses of since. Start with blog entry 3 and read through entry 6 for a feel of why Lake Superior still remains at the top of the list.
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Cost of Living Aboard and Cruising
Cruising and living aboard cost matches what you can afford or want to spend. Anchoring out or using free docks most of the time can minimize cost. Not eating at restaurants or nursing a beer at happy hour until free munchies are gone saves money.  Fishing is another cost-saver. Traveling slowly saves fuel. Sailing is even more cost effective. However  we motored 95 percent of the time when we had a sailboat as do most other sailboats.  At the opposite extreme there does not seem to be an upper limit

Marinas charge by boat length. Average daily per foot charges run from $0.50/ft up to $2.50/ft. Along the ICW we typically pay $1.50/ft. Many times electricity is extra at $3-8 per day. Discounts are available for staying a week; 5 days payment for a 7day stay is typical. Monthly fees run anywhere from $5/ft/month up to $40/ft/month. Nice places can be found at $10/ft/month. Electricity runs an additional $50-60/month. Some marinas have an additional live aboard charge running $50 to $150/month additional.

Where moorings are available they run $6 to $30 per day regardless of length. Most moorings are set up for boats 45′ or shorter but there are exceptions.

Diesel costs (02/01) are now running $1.50-1.90/gal. Fuel and oil to move the boat costs us roughly $1.00/mile.

Unanticipated first year maintenance/replacement/new equipment costs can be a surprise.  Now we budget $3-6,000/year for unplanned boat expenses. For those looking for annual numbers, the tight-budget cruisers get by on $20,000/yr or less. Comfortable cruising requires $30-70,000/yr.
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Cruising Speed/Fuel Economy
Simple answer for Odyssey, we run at 3300 rpm giving 14.8 mph and burn 8.0 gph. Table below has data we’ve accumulated.

Loaded Empty
RPM MPH GPH MPG MPH GPH MPG
1000 4.3 0.7 6.1
1600 7.1 2.0 3.6 5.6 0.9 6.4
2000 8.2 2.5 3.3 9.2 1.0 9.0
2200 8.8 3.5 2.5 9.6 2.4 4.0
2600 9.8 5.0 2.0 11.0 3.4 3.2
3000 10.8 6.9 1.8 14.4 5.6 2.6
3300 14.8 8.0 1.8 19.1 8.8 2.2
3600 17.3 19.5 10.6 1.8
3800 20.8 13.4 1.5

Empty performance measurements were made by Endeavour using Flowscan meters for instant readings on hull 5. Endeavour ran with a full fuel tank (300 gal) and an empty  water tank. Both boats have AC and generators installed. Two people were aboard.

We calculate GPH by running for an extended period at about the same speed. A stick calibrated to read gallons is used to measure fuel tank level before and after the run. MPH reading is from our GPS.
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We run loaded with everything the empty boat had, plus a washer/dryer, full tank of water (115 gal), half tank of fuel or better, bikes, spare anchors, additional shelves, small air compressor and all our personal belongings. We are hull 9.

The dramatic jump in speed from 10.8 to 14.8 MPH is the result of the boat coming up on plane.

Our sailboat Tranquility was easier. We ran at 3000 RPM at about 7.5 MPH and burned about 1 GPH for 7.5 mpg.
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