16 Commandments for the Frugal Sailor

"Money's purpose isn't to buy you things, it's to buy you time away from making money..." Boy I wish I heard that piece of wisdom a few years ago.

With my limited budget I need to make every dollar I save for the trip to go a long way. I was browsing the Sailnet forums today and came across this good list of frugal tips while cruising. A lot of people can't fathom cruisng without a six figure+ cruising kitty. I'm a pretty earthy guy when I need to be, so most of these wouldn't bust my comfort zone. These are all discussed in my books but this guy put them in a nice little list for me:

  • Save your electricity, don't run anything unless you must (even nav lights ). Don't run instruments or gear you don't need at the time.
  • Save your water, don't use any fresh unless you must (definitely don't flush the head with it ).
  • Save your fuel, don't run your engine unless you have to. Sail even if it's at 2 knots.
  • Eat ALL the fish you catch even if it means eating the same meal 3 days in a row.
  • Take your sails down in a storm, don't risk damage.
  • Scrub the bottom by hand regularly if it needs it.
  • Row the dink ashore unless you really need an outboard to run (far, wind, current).
  • Convert your gas barbie. Burn driftwood, not bought fuel. Cook on it often, it's free.
  • Buy rechargable batteries and a cheap solar charger (AA, AAA, etc).
  • Buy lots when you find bargains, especially groceries. Learn to enjoy pasta if you don't already.
  • When you bake your own bread do as many loaves as you can manage at one time (costs money to heat the oven from cold).
  • Take only what you will consume when you visit other boats (but try not to be a mooch ). Don't be embarrased to take your "excess" stuff home again.
  • Try and charge strangers for knowledge/assistance/labour. Let them know up front.
  • Have boat clothes and shore clothes, don't wear out your good stuff while you're at sea.
  • Don't pay Baksheesh (bribes) to anyone. Let them know up front too. If they won't help you without a bribe, find someone else.
  • Trade if you can, don't always just buy.