Number Crunching

So yesterday I started crunching numbers to figure out if I was going to be able to meet my target leave date of next September. I tried to be conservative and do the ‘worst case’ scenarios for everything, and I’m posting it as I found it helpful reading other peoples finances when cruising. I also assumed I wouldn’t be making any money while cruising (I don’t think I really qualify for a patronus thingum). Everything is in CAD.

Outgoing first:

42k – Amount needed to pay off last remaining debts and get enough savings for a multi-year circumnavigation, and still have some cash remaining when I return to set myself

1k – new lifelines

5k – arch, lithium battery pack, more solar, inverter

1k – liferaft recertified

1k – chainplates

1k – more anchor chain

2k – misc pre-trip upgrades

= 53k

Now, maximum savings I can get from my various different jobs in 11 months is


= 45k

BUT that includes  background work for a new netflix sci-fi TV show as background- if I get this it’ll be 3k for 2 days work – because i’ll be nude. Also millions of people will see my genitals (cross another thing off the ol’ bucket list, am I right). So def not guaranteed.

Shortfall – 8k.

Now, there are a number of ways I can reduce this (getting a bar job for one) and I only need to make an extra 800 a month to hit the target. I’m also considering anchoring out ALL summer, which would save around 2,500. Of course, I could not get a bonus, not get the netflix gig, get fired…. but as it stands, I think this is eminently doable by my target date (autumn 2017), and 100% doable by the backup date (spring 2018)

So, looking good!



  1. I don’t know your boat first-hand, but I see a few things it seems like you could cut if you’re willing to do without non-essentials.

    – More electricity – inverter is only necessary if you want to run AC products that can’t be run off DC. Not sure lithium batteries are a necessity.
    – New lifelines – if your current ones aren’t actually broken, this one might be debatable. If you’re singlehanding, you should be tethered anyway, so lifelines don’t matter.
    – More anchor chain – how much do you have now? If you have 100′ or so, extending past that with rope rode is cheaper and just about as good.
    – Chainplates – are they actually compromised or you just want to replace pre-emptively? I found your rebedding post; hard to tell from the pictures though.

    • Hey Patrick

      Yeah, honestly if I had to ditch anything the inverter would probably be the first to go as I could survive without it – I have a small one I plug into a 12v socket and most of my stuff is 12v anyway. It’d just be nice to have my AC sockets work underway.
      – My lifelines are not broken, but they are plastic covered with rust stains visible. Not good.
      – I only have 60 foot. I am going back and forth on this a lot but you may be right about that. I also have found even 60 to work really well
      – chainplates look ok, I just wanna replace them. I can probably do it a lot cheaper for 1000 (they are all the same size and rectangular) though

      Thanks for the comments!

  2. Vis a vis the Patreon thing, you could probably add a “buy me a beer” button. Yo never know, I might just buy you a beer.

    I saw a boat in Morro Bay that had replaced all the lifelines with AmSteel (dyneema). That might lessen the cost a bit?

    But I envy you, being so close.

    • Thanks Bruce! I’ll probably do that eventually, but I feel right now I’ve kinda stagnated creatively as I’ve done most major upgrades. Maybe when I leave and have interesting stuff to write about again.

      I looked at the synthetic lifelines (also for rigging!), and they have advantages and disadvantages for sure. I think I’ll probably move that way eventually, but for now the standard SS ones have a lot of info about them. I could save a bunch of money just by getting thinner ones!

  3. Hi Matt,
    I’d rethink the Lithium battery stuff for the moment being. Lithium batteries start to pay of after 5 years or so, so it might be cheaper going with well-sized AMG.
    I don’t know what kind of alternator and charger/regulator you have, but for Lithium you would need to redesign the whole setup if you really want to get the qualities out of LiFePO4.
    In case you didn’t get around this excellent site I strongly recommend inhaling this stuff:

    • Some corrections:
      1) pay off, that’s what I meant.
      2) AMG should read AGM, of course. Please pardon my legasthenic attacks 😉

    • Hey Ernest,

      I thought a lot about this, and I want to go lithium to reduce space/weight, they handle not going to 100% totally fine unlike traditional batteries and I’m a HUGE electronics nerd, so I like the idea of being ahead of the pack! And designing the system from scratch is really fun. My alt is only 20amps, and I do plan to change out my charger for a decent one so I can correctly set the charge. That’s a great site – that and the lonnnng thread at CF really helped!

  4. As someone who has lived off grid with lead-acid batteries for 20 years, I STRONGLY recommend going with the lithium-ion batteries. Lead acid batteries,which agm are just don’t work that great and require HEAVY and regular maintenance. If you manage to do everything right at best you have about 1/2 the rated amp-hours of actual usage and they are heavy, heavy too. In short they suck, really.
    Lithium batteries are so superior in every way I personally think they are well worth the extra cost in overall performance & toleration of the inevitable situations where you may not be able to maintain them like you’d want for a few days..
    FWIW I’m leaving for florida next sept. to buy a boat & begin the life myself. I’ve gotta say it looks like you’re doing a great job of getting it together. good luck & maybe I’ll see you out there someday!

    • Thanks Dave – I agree about the suckiness of LA batts. The sticker shock and system redesign needed are the main disadvantages of lithium for sure

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