Friday, July 4, 2014

Cost of Cruising, Cost of Living Ashore

Regulatory Cost:
One of the interesting things about life ashore is regulatory cost.  Living ashore involves an awful lot.  Electrical, plumbing and building changes repairs and installations all have a regulatory component.  Afloat, one is more self reliant and also assumed to be so.  The building inspector isn't visiting every once in a while when you least expect it... and then not to be found when you need him to sign off on a job.

When we lived in Medford, outside of Boston, I asked the city building department about having some work done in the kitchen.  Short answer, everything needs to have an inspector involved.  Technically, I was not permitted to remove the cover from a light switch or wall plug much less change one out without hiring a licensed electrician and scheduling a building inspection at cover removal and before the cover was re-installed.  Three days minimum!  Before landscaping, the "digsafe" guy has to come by and make certain all the underground stuff is identified and located.  I get it, a lot of stupid stuff is done by incompetent amateurs.

In the voyaging world, the group self-selects towards competent if not down right expert.  Incompetent gets sorted out pretty quickly.

Living aboard involves no such costs in time or personnel.

One regulatory cost of cruising is customs and immigration.  Or, as my South African shipmate used to say, comedy and irritation.  The regulatory cost is safety equipment is another.  Some places, like the USA are very minimal.  Others, I am told, are very rigorous.

As I explore the difference between living ashore and living aboard, regulatory delays and costs become apparent.  Ashore, regulations are pervasive.  Afloat, regulations are seem almost remote.

July 2014

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