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This couple cruises on their sailing catamaran for cheap

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Many people wonder how much it costs to sail around the world, and one couple in Europe is managing to live and travel on their sailing catamaran on the cheap.

Elena Manighetti and Ryan Osborn try to stick to 500 British pounds per month while cruising on their catamaran, which is about $660 USD, and $8,000 per year! It’s simply amazing that the cost of cruising can be so low.


This goes to show that cruising on a catamaran is cheaper than paying rent/mortgage for a house or an apartment, and allows you to travel and see the world in your own tiny floating home. I don’t know what could be better.

How Elena and Ryan ended up on a sailing catamaran

Elena and Ryan stand on the deck of their sailing catamaran
www.sailingkittiwake.com

Elena and Ryan are sailing onboard their 26′ Heavenly Twins Catamaran, which they bought for under $12,000 in August of 2016. According to their website, Sailing Kittawake, they chose the boat because she is a strong and sturdy sea boat.

[You might also like: 13 things I can’t live without on the sailboat]

The two met in England and decided to move onto their sailing catamaran as they approached 30 years of age.

“We thought there was more to life than working into our old age to pay for a house and cars,” Elena said.”We wanted a life of adventure and travel where we could work less and spend more time doing the things we love to do. Ryan is from south-east England and I’m from northern Italy, near the mountains.”

Their plan so far is to sail their catamaran from the United Kingdom to Malta, filling their days with snorkeling, hiking, rock climbing, free diving, camping and scuba diving.

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The cost of cruising on their catamaran sailboat

Ryan eats a meal on the deck of their sailing catamaran in the Mediterranean sea
C: www.sailingkittiwake.com

The couple’s goal is to travel on their sailing catamaran on 500 pounds per month. If they work or make any extra money, they allow themselves 650 pounds per month to pay for things like catamaran upgrades and eating out.

They keep costs down on their catamaran boat in a number of different ways, which they talk about in a post called, “9 tips to sail the world on a budget.”

Here are some of the tips they share on how to live on a catamaran on a budget:

  1. Anchor instead of using a marina when traveling by sailboat
  2. Get a simple boat. Elena said: “Go for a ’70s or ’80s heavily-built fiberglass boat, which will be more forgiving of your mistakes. There’s plenty out there in the low price range and it’s really easy to get a good simple cruiser. The cost of a surveyor is easily made back by negotiating on the faults they find – it’s the best money you can spend on a second-hand boat. They’ll also show you any show stoppers.”
  3. Work while you’re cruising on your monohull or catamaran
  4. Research the cost of living of the countries you plan on visiting
  5. Eat and drink in. “When you’re on a sailboat in a beautiful anchorage, you don’t feel the need to go out much, so we only go to restaurants occasionally. We’re not huge drinkers, but we usually stick with canned beers, which are super cheap,” said Elena.
  6. Fish and forage
  7. Sail rather than motor
  8. Get a good cell phone plan
  9. DIY maintenance “As we do all of our boat maintenance ourselves, we tend to keep maintenance costs down and we try to put aside a bit of money for the winter, when we get most of our jobs done,” said Elena.

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Elena said there aren’t really many disadvantages of cruising on their catamaran a budget, except for one: “We can’t spend money on attractions or renting cars, which sometimes prevents us from exploring on land.”

But the best is this: “Our sailing catamaran is always anchored in stunning places.”

How they afford their life on their sailing catamaran

Ryan and Elena are seen on deck of their catamaran boat
www.sailingkittiwake.com

Both Ryan and Elena work on the go while living on their catamaran sailboat. Ryan is concentrating on the journey and videos for their website, while Elena is doing online marketing work. She said she’s busier than she’d like to be, and Ryan plans on finding some design and boat work in the future to help supplement their income.

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She said its really important to know sailing on a budget is possible.

“Sailing on a budget opens up the possibility of setting off into a more adventurous way of life when you’re still young enough to make the most of it,” she said. “Many people plan to wait until they’re older and better off, but life gets in the way of their dreams. Sailing on a budget also makes this way of life possible for people who are retiring early or retiring on a smaller income.”

She said the best advice she heard is summarized by the famous sailing couple, the Pardeys: “Go small, go simple, go now.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Go small, go simple, go now.’ – sailing couple the Pardeys. #sailinglife” quote=”‘Go small, go simple, go now.'”]

The cost of cruising is millennials’ biggest hurdle

Elena at the helm of her catamaran sailboat
www.sailingkittiwake.com

Elena and Ryan have figured out how to travel on their catamaran sailboat on the cheap, something many millennials don’t even know is possible.

According to a study by Boat US, sailboat ownership among young people is way down, and one reason is that they are afraid of the cost. A lot of time, it’s assumed that cruising is something only retirees and the super rich can do, with visions of fancy sailboats or gigantic yachts.

But the good news is this: Cruising is accessible to anyone.

Elena said there are so many things that make her life on her sailing catamaran worth it.

“We love warm evenings at anchor with a beautiful sunset, we love the moment the sails fill and you turn the engine off to be silently pulled along the calm ocean, we love dark star-filled nights with bioluminescent dolphins shooting around Kittiwake’s bows like torpedos, we love being free to explore the world around us at our own pace. Most of our favorite places are islands, as they always have a special feeling to them.”

Elena jumps into the water from the deck of her catamaran sailboat
www.sailingkittiwake.com

 

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12 thoughts on “This couple cruises on their sailing catamaran for cheap”

  1. Great post! I’ve cruised off and on for over 30 years and never had such a high budget! Several great books I can recommend on the subject that have stood the test of time are:
    1. Sensible Cruising, the Thoreau Approach, by authors Casey and Hackler
    and
    2. Champagne Boating on a Beer Budget, by Jim Beerstecher (that’s me, not so much making a plug for my book but for the value of what’s in the book.)

    Also, I invite everyone to come an check us out in our Facebook Group, Champagne Boating on a Beer Budget. We post tons of boats for a fraction of retail value. You can save tons buying and equipping a boat!

    Hope y’all don’t mind me butting in, but just thought we should be working together… the best part of cruising on a shoestring.

    Best,
    Jim B

    Reply
  2. This is such a cool idea. I’m loving these cool stories your posting lately! My boyfriend likes the idea of getting a sailboat, but I’m absolutely terrified of water and everything that lives in it. However, I love lifestyles that are completely opposite of the norm.

    Reply
    • Hey Alexis, thanks for reading! I am probably stupidly not afraid of the ocean or water at all, haha! But I also really trust my captain as he’s retrofitted the entire boat himself and can fix anything on the fly. That being said, there is an element of danger but I can’t wait to go cruising. If you and your boyfriend ever find yourselves in the SF Bay Area and want a sail, let me know! 🙂

      Reply

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