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Old 07-02-2019, 15:13   #1
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Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

As we were getting ready to cut the dock lines, I found Sailorboy's monthly posts listing his cruising expenses were very helpful as a real world example of the costs of cruising. In the interest of paying it forward, I thought I'd list our monthly expenses for those who are dreaming and planning as we once were.

As background, we are a middle-aged couple (I'm 49, Mr. cthoops is 59) and we are cruising full-time on our 1977 Bristol 29.9. This is our second boat and we've spent the last few years sailing her in the summer and refitting during the winter.

We really slowed down on the boat this month, spending the entire time in Florida.

The cash outflow was, frankly, painful. However, we knew that it was going to be a very high-cost month. After debating over the course of a few months, we made the decision to switch from our hank-on jib to a roller furler. One of the reasons we debated it for so long is because we were knew just how expensive it was going to be to make the switch. It represents just over 50% of what we spent this month. We also spent a lot of money preparing for the trip to the Bahamas by stocking up on groceries and extra boat maintenance parts. Finally, we rented a car and took a trip to the west coast of Florida to visit family and friends which was an atypical expense.

We are consoling ourselves with the knowledge that our time in the Bahamas should be extremely low cost, helping to bring the monthly average down to something that is actually sustainable.

Here's what we spent in January, keeping in mind that Mr. cthoops has congestive heart failure so we don't drink alcohol (his cardiologist says no) and we eat out infrequently (because of his sodium restrictions).

With a deep breath, here we go

Expenses:

Groceries/Non-food Groceries: $956.28

Diesel/Gasoline: $64.91

Propane/Denatured Alcohol: $44.00. *Two gallons of denatured alcohol for the stove.

Health Care: $176.55.*

Life Insurance premium: $220.75

Cell phone and internet (2 phones, one iPad data plan, iCloud storage, and a
Garmin inReach subscription): $142.66.

Mail: $19.57

Laundry: $8.00.

Ice: $8.50

Netflix: $11.10

Amazon Prime: $12.99

Miscellaneous annual subscriptions: $123.47

U.S. Coast Guard Documentation Renewal: $26.00

Boat stuff: $5,465.60.* The majority of this - $4,433.40 - was for the furler, its installation, converting the headsail, and related costs. We also bought an SSB receiver, spare engine parts (i.e. filters, belts, zincs), Fluid Film, Loctite, diagonal wire cutters, an oil filter wrench, Far Bahamas Explorer Chart, extra cotter pins, 2 Luci lights for anchorages, a propeller shaft zinc, reflective mast tape, a spotlight, a diesel fuel funnel filter, two squeeze bottles for diesel, an extra 5 gallon diesel jerry jug, and an extra 1 gallon gas jerry jug.

Restaurants/Entertainment: $90.03

Uber/Bus: $29.34

New York Times subscription: $20.20

Marinas/moorings: $312.98.* This is for 23 nights at Vero Beach City Marina.

Sarasota/Bradenton trip expenses: $415.66

Random: $316.50.* This includes a haircut for Kimberly, fishing gloves and a small mirror for Jeff, navigation lights app, batteries, a cable and lock for the dinghy, two plastic cutting boards, a bag for our hatch boards, water repellant spray, an extra 5 gallon collapsible water jug, and a marina tip.

Total: $8.465.09

September, 2018 through January, 2019 monthly average: $5,263.78

I hope this is helpful.
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Old 07-02-2019, 16:45   #2
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Well you have exceeded my highest month ever.

On the plus side my months in the Bahamas even some of the lowest cost month. Have a good trip.
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Old 07-02-2019, 17:17   #3
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Well you have exceeded my highest month ever.

On the plus side my months in the Bahamas even some of the lowest cost month. Have a good trip.
Fortunately there arenít any other upgrades we felt we needed, so January should definitely be a one-off.

If these first few days in the Bahamas are any indication, the budget will definitely get a break over the next several months - thank goodness!
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Old 07-02-2019, 19:15   #4
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

A one time $5K expense really isnít bad at all. You can easily blow that out of the water if you need a new engine or any number of other larger repairs, and or how much you spend on sails / rigging for instance.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:07   #5
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

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A one time $5K expense really isnít bad at all. You can easily blow that out of the water if you need a new engine or any number of other larger repairs, and or how much you spend on sails / rigging for instance.
Very true - thanks for helping me put it in perspective!

I think the key here for the hope-to-be $500/month group is that itís important to have a separate cushion that can be tapped when needed. I believe Donís thread mentioned a ďsock.Ē Of course this was a (debatably) discretionary expense, but our emergency haul out and repair after we hit that damn dike in Delaware was not. If we didnít have a cushion Iíd be sweating more.

Now to enjoy the Bahamas and some low cost months to help plump up the cushion again!
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:40   #6
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

We have been averaging $3,200 a year for 9 years then last year we had a bad year that is expected on a 15 year old boat that has been underway for 11 years - the monthly average was $6,300 for year 10.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:59   #7
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

ouch! Thanks for posting up. I was surprised at how low your costs were for 23 nights was that a mooring ball situation? If so, that works out to be about 15 bucks a night. How did you find their facilities as to cleanliness and availability?
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:37   #8
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

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If so, that works out to be about 15 bucks a night. How did you find their facilities as to cleanliness and availability?
People call Vero Beach "velcro beach" because cruisers get to it and get stuck It's pretty much the average municipal marina/mooring and compares well to St Augustine/Fernandina/Marathon for as the marina part goes. Vero's big plus is the free bus that comes to the marina.

To OP - I'm sitting at the dock waiting to get hauled out. maybe I picked up mu dodger that I dropped off way back in Nov $695.50. I will admit that I went 2 years past when I planned to take the dodger in and just flipped the center up so I could see, so I guess I didn't HAVE to spend that money
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:55   #9
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

thank you very much for posting. it is so reassuring to have spending reference points along with the stories that go with them.

this is very useful to me as i'm moving into a similar scenario:
-a smaller-ish boat to maintain (even though each boat is different and everything depends),
-not so much eating out or alcohol...

am hoping you will post regularly as it would allow us to cross-check your info with that of Sailorboy. much appreciated!

Enjoy the Bahamas!
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:07   #10
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
We have been averaging $3,200 a year for 9 years then last year we had a bad year that is expected on a 15 year old boat that has been underway for 11 years - the monthly average was $6,300 for year 10.

$3200/mo or year?
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:28   #11
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

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$3200/mo or year?
I'm sure that's for a year, you should quit work and head out
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:08   #12
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

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Originally Posted by alansmith View Post
ouch! Thanks for posting up. I was surprised at how low your costs were for 23 nights was that a mooring ball situation? If so, that works out to be about 15 bucks a night. How did you find their facilities as to cleanliness and availability?

I concur with everything Sailorboy said. Weíd stop there again. Itís very convenient for provisioning with the free bus, and it has a nice vibe.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:12   #13
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgal View Post
thank you very much for posting. it is so reassuring to have spending reference points along with the stories that go with them.

this is very useful to me as i'm moving into a similar scenario:
-a smaller-ish boat to maintain (even though each boat is different and everything depends),
-not so much eating out or alcohol...

am hoping you will post regularly as it would allow us to cross-check your info with that of Sailorboy. much appreciated!

Enjoy the Bahamas!
Iím glad itís helpful. Iíve been posting within the first week of each month since we began in September, and will definitely keep doing it.

Good luck with your preparations!
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:54   #14
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
We have been averaging $3,200 a year for 9 years then last year we had a bad year that is expected on a 15 year old boat that has been underway for 11 years - the monthly average was $6,300 for year 10.
(if i am thread drifting, please forgive me)

Chuckr, wow!

how did you spend less than 600 a month (on average) for two, for 9 years?

i imagine that you:

-bought a boat in top (near top) condition
-when cruising: anchored out mostly: 25 out of 30 days a month or so?
-when not cruising: found a cheap spot (on the hard)?
-cooked on the boat
-traveled to less expensive countries
-fixed most everything yourselves (which skills were the most useful?)

did you actually spend about 72K on year 10?

please tell
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:04   #15
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Re: Our cruising costs - month five for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgal View Post
(if i am thread drifting, please forgive me)

Chuckr, wow!

how did you spend less than 600 a month (on average) for two, for 9 years?

i imagine that you:

-bought a boat in top (near top) condition
-when cruising: anchored out mostly: 25 out of 30 days a month or so?
-when not cruising: found a cheap spot (on the hard)?
-cooked on the boat
-traveled to less expensive countries
-fixed most everything yourselves (which skills were the most useful?)

did you actually spend about 72K on year 10?

please tell
I think you will find he meant $3,200/mth....not per year. From my experience this seems to be approximately what most cruisers spent.... give or take.
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