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Old 08-09-2012, 10:11   #1
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Cost of Cruising Rising?

The other day at the book exchange, I picked up a 2002 Cruising World with an article on the cost of cruising. While the basic advice, it costs as much as you have, seems to still hold true, I've heard a lot of reports that cruising is getting a lot more expensive, particularly in places that used to be off the beaten path, because of the today's high food prices (global food crisis) and higher fees.

We've been tracking our expenses for the past year at Purser’s Ledger | Picaroon Blog, and SV Estrellita has a great roundup of other bloggers' budgets at SV Estrellita 5.10b: The Cost of Cruising. I'd also like to welcome Katie and Mark of Controlled Jibe to the brave club of folks willing to lay bare their budgets (and souls, to some extent) to the world; they have started posting their expenses as well. First installment here: SV Estrellita 5.10b: The Cost of Cruising.

I'm curious if others who've been out for a while are finding that costs are rising more than expected?
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:13   #2
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

Yes, yesterday we paid 35 cents per egg here in Bora Bora!

And today there are no more eggs left on the island. Bring your own chickens next season!
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:23   #3
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

So many of these blogs/websites that post monthly or annual costs of cruising are not very complete or accurate. Lots of them leave off the cost of health insurance and boat insurance. Some leave off the 'one-time' costs that 'really shouldn't count' like flying back for family issues, boat capital expenses like major boat projects, some leave off hauls, many post the first 1 or two years where the boat still has all kinds of supplies, spares and new gear that was put on at great expense just before leaving.

So take the I cruise on XXX a month with a grain of salt.

Our single biggest cruising expense is catastrophic health insurance. The joys of being from the US.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:27   #4
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

IMHO, there's no doubt that cruising is becoming more expensive.

And, it's not the cost of food in far out locations.

It's the cost of the boat, it's equipment, it's mooring options, and it's upkeep and repairs. Prices in these categories are rising at an astronomical pace, particularly if you're talking new.

The only way to reduce these costs, unfortunately, is to let the condition of the boat progressively deteriorate. This is a condition which is found much too often in cruising boats these days, and even more prevalent in "pleasure" boats. Maintenance costs are high, no matter how your calculate them.

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Old 08-09-2012, 12:29   #5
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

Paul,
We, like many cruisers, don't have health or boat insurance. Any one-time costs are also in the Picaroon lists, like travelling home, replacing computers, etc. The only thing not in there is student loans and our house mortgage, as those aren't cruising costs. All boat refit and repair and maintenance are there, too, and we didn't start with a lot of new gear but 10-year old stuff inherited with the boat. So it's pretty accurate...
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:51   #6
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherbrie View Post
Paul,
We, like many cruisers, don't have health or boat insurance. Any one-time costs are also in the Picaroon lists, like travelling home, replacing computers, etc. The only thing not in there is student loans and our house mortgage, as those aren't cruising costs. All boat refit and repair and maintenance are there, too, and we didn't start with a lot of new gear but 10-year old stuff inherited with the boat. So it's pretty accurate...
Heather
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I don't doubt that your listing is accurate for you. Having health and/or boat insurance is a personal decision based on the risks you want to take. We have too much of our total net-worth tied up in our boat to feel comfortable with no insurance. No matter how careful and seamanship like you are, there are those risks that end in total boat loss. Also, the number of boats hit with lightening that we have been around in the last two years is pretty high. These hits put a pretty big kink in the cruising budget if not covered by ins.

As far as health insurance goes, in general you can get excellent care at very reasonable prices outside the US. We had good experiences in Panama. Many US cruisers are in early retirement age and at an age where they are at real risk of something big on the health front before they get to Medicare age. Cruisers from other countries don't face the risk of bankruptcy due to medical issues. It is a very US centered thing - you know where the politicians spout the nonsense that 'we have the best health care in the world'.

Since the published 'How much it costs' blogs are primarily focused on letting people who are not cruising but planning to soon, I think its important to understand what isn't in these numbers. If I took your numbers as a base, I'd have to add in the two biggest single costs for us, health number 1 and boat number 2 insurance to get a good picture for our type of cruising.
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Old 08-09-2012, 17:55   #7
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

$1,000 today was worth ~$770 in 2002.

You can't just compare then year dollars.

So yes - stuff is 25% more expensive on average.
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Old 08-09-2012, 18:40   #8
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

Costs go up everyday! Thats the way of the world !! always have been always will be ! But ya can still keep costs down if ya want to !! ya need to read up on how folks lived and ate 70 or 80 yrs ago !! if ya do you will be suprised how much ya can save if ya don't mind the extra work to live this way !!We have been canning and cooking simple one pot meals for years ! we read how much folks buget for food costs liveing aboard, and we have to laugh!! cus we did not spend that much even with 4 kids !!LOL What we save on our food costs, more then pays for the added diesel for the genny we run for comfort in the heat !! ya can save a bunch if ya really want to but be informed, it takes a lot of extra work to live this way !! we don't need to anymore, cus it's just us 2 now ! but we like it so we continue to do it !! Just sayin if ya don't eat out (except in mexico LOL) ya can save a bunch of money !!and all the ins we carry is Liabilty!(we own our boat no mortgage) Ive never carried hull ins,never needed it as yet !! And we keep in touch with our family by SSB and e-mail, they fly were we are not the other way around LOL
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Old 30-09-2012, 15:37   #9
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

I keep hearing about the costs of insurance both boat and health. Isn't it possible to get insurance outside the United States cheaper? Like through a reputable company in Brazil or Argentina for example?
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Old 30-09-2012, 19:55   #10
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

Cruising is becoming more expensive in dollar terms, but in real terms, the increases are not massive and in some cases are offset by the lower cost of capital equipment. Second hand boats, particularly in the US as a result of the mess that was made of the economy and the slow rate of recovery, are probably the cheapest in the world.

It is not hard to save two or three years cruising budget by buying in the US. Oddly enough the same can't be said for Europe which has its own severe economic problems. This of course only works for people coming into the lifestyle and works against those who are trying to sell their boats.

Increasing costs are not much of a deterrent to those who continue to work. In most countries wages and profits are keeping abreast of inflation. New equipment has always been expensive but if you buy right, there is no need to continually update and, therefore, pay a premium for new technology. My first GPs, which I bought in the very early 90s, was a Magellan which referenced three satellites and was on a boat show special, reduced to just $3999.00 from $6,500. That same money would now buy me 40+ GPS' with similar, though better, functions

If you are intent on voyaging (I'm crossing the South Pacific in 2013) and stop working all together, you need investments which are linked to CPI at least, otherwise you mark time financially while the rest of the world marches onward through inexorable inflation. Perhaps the answer to rising costs is the Pardey solution of 'go simple-go now'.

Having said all that, I would hate to have to keep a detailed ledger. To me, it is that sort of exersize which would keep me attached to the very things I wish to avoid.
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Old 30-09-2012, 20:27   #11
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

Well my boat insurance just went up $200. Of course Hurricane Irene did make a direct hit in the area last year. But, only one boat in the harbor ended up on shore. So the increase seems a little steep to me. That kind of increase may have me looking around at other insurers in the future. But, then I would probably need a new survey which will probably be $500 plus bucks alone. Damned if you damned if you don't.
Boatyard expenses creep up every year it seems too! Though the $900 I spent for new anchor chain looks like it will have a good return on investment. With some mooring fees hitting the $50/per night mark it will take less than three weeks anchoring for the chain to pay for itself in avoided mooring fee costs.
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Old 30-09-2012, 21:43   #12
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Re: Cost of Cruising Rising?

heatherbrie - thanks for the cost of cruising blog. readers just have to understand what it is. if you need health insurance or boat insurance you can just call your insurance broker - no real world blog needed for that. same as starting out with brand new gear or ten year old gear - only you know the condition of your gear.
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