Sunday, February 1, 2015

on what a VolksCruiser should actually cost...

Someone recently asked me what a VolksCruiser should cost and I had to actually think about it for a while before an answer came to me...

The whole premise of a VolksCruiser is that it's affordable to a section of people totally ignored by the Powers That Be. Of course, that leaves us with the somewhat slippery question of what is actually affordable. What's affordable to a guy making fifteen dollars an hour is very different to what's affordable to someone making $80K a year.

Then there's the problem of sustainability which is often forgotten in the mix because folks these days seldom take a long term view albeit it's the more crucial part of the equation.

An oft heard phrase for what it costs to cruise, that's always bothered me, comes to mind... "As much as you have". The reason it bothers me is it's just bad economics and, if building, rehabbing, or cruising a boat is using up "as much as you have", you're doing something seriously wrong.

Living frugally is actually pretty easy to do as is cruising on a small budget but, as anyone on a constrained budget knows, there's not a lot of margin for accidents, surprises, and getting stuff wrong. Since everyone has accidents, surprises, and gets stuff wrong it's important to keep it in the budget.

Back to the person who makes $15 an hour who, even working full time, is only going to have something like $20K a year in spendable income. Most of which will be used for just getting by without a lot to put towards a boat. Add that up and, just maybe, you have a working budget of $3-5K for that VolksCruiser.

Luckily, there are a lot of nice boats for sale in that niche but the more important question is whether or not one can afford and sustain a boat long term... more about that later. Next we'll tackle the really, really BIG question...

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