New to Part Time Cruising? Start Here!

Part-time cruising can be difficult to define because it means so many different things for different sailors.  But bottom line, if you leave your boat … for the weekend … or for several months at a time, you join the ever growing ranks of part-time cruisers.   Commuter Cruiser has over 550 posts (and growing), specific to part-time cruisers, overall cruising as well as destinations and experiences.   Scroll down for clickable posts of specific interest to part-time cruisers, such as leaving your boat, returning to your boat, maintenance issues specific to not using the boat, marinas where we’ve left s/v Winterlude, hurricane preparedness, and more…   

One of the first things we realized when we started cruising was that if we returned to home port every season, we could never reach the San Blas Islands in Panama which were my ultimate cruising objective.

So what to do… we were definitely not full-time cruisers.   We decided to try leaving our boat wherever we ended up at the end of six months, returning to our “other lives”, then rejoining the boat to continue cruising.  We made it from Annapolis, MD to Cartagena, Colombia and back … over 15,000 miles under the keel to date.

It turned out to be one of the best experiences of our lives.   Your part-time definitions may be different, but if you’re new to part-time cruising or trying to decide if it would be right for you, we hope some of these posts may be of help!

What Does Cruising Cost

Including tips and costs for calculating your part-time cruising budget.

Leave the Boat

What to do with the diesel?  How to set the lines?  Chafe Gear?  How to keep out critters & bugs? NO MOLD or mildew?   There’s an entire section on Hurricane Preparedness below, so if you’ll be leaving the boat in a hurricane zone during hurricane season, scroll down. 

On the Hard or In the Water?

Which is best, on the hard or in the water?  There are no right or wrong answers, but there are lots of considerations.


What we look for in a marina to leave our boat for six months while we return to the Midwest. Also some of the marinas we've left s/v Winterlude in from southwest Florida to Colon, Panama.

Hurricane Preparedness

Maintenance Specific to Part Time Cruisers

While most maintenance topics apply whether you leave the boat for the weekend or six months, some are more specific to commuter cruisers.

Misc Posts for Part-Time Cruisers

And last, but far from least — look at some of the cruising locales we’ve explored and enjoyed … six months at a time!

Destination Experiences … from Annapolis to Florida, Mexico, Belize, Rio Dulce, Guatemala; Bay Islands, Honduras; Vivorillos Cayes, Honduras; Providencia & San Andreas, Colombia; Bocas Del Toro, Rio Chagres, Panama Canal Zone, Portobello, Linton, San Blas Islands, Panama; Cartagena, Rosarios, San Bernadinos and Sapzurro, Colombia; Exumas, Bahamas and most of Southwest Florida, 10,000 Islands and the Florida Keys.  The world is your limit!  Go for it!




  1. Hi!

    I just found your website yesterday and immediately shared it with my wife. You have a really excellent site with great information. I have spent about two hours on your site already and feel I am just breaking the surface.

    While my Bride and I are not planning on doing part-time cruising, most of your information is great for all cruising. We plan to leave the Massachusetts area in June of 2015 and travel south down the ICW, eventually ending up in the Caribbean via the thorny path. The type of information you give on your site is great for us as we make decisions on the outfitting of our boat.

    Thanks. Can’t wait to read more.

    Fair winds,


  2. Greg lesley says:

    Nice meeting you today and really looking forward to seeing you all in the fall. Let’s get together when you get back to Florida. Have a great summer-taunya and Greg Lesley

    • Hi Greg & Taunya! We enjoyed meeting you too! Your boat is great, you’ll have so much fun with it! We’re a bit jealous of the shallow draft. We’ll look forward to getting together this fall — you know where we are! We should be back early October. Have a great summer! Cheers! Jan & David

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