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Old 07-01-2019, 09:48   #1
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Our cruising costs - month four 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.

This month we made it to Florida, starting the month near Georgetown, SC and ending in Cocoa, FL.

The cash outflow was significantly better and much closer to what weíd like to be spending. We already know that January will be another very high expense month, but thatís a story for next month.

Here's what we spent in December, 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):

Groceries/Non-food groceries: $544.07

Diesel/Gasoline: $94.95

Propane/Denatured Alcohol: $44.50. Four cans of propane which we use for heat and the grill, and one gallon of denatured alcohol for the stove.

Health Care: $258.24. This includes paying for our full yearís 2019 premium in advance on the health exchange.

Cell phone and internet (2 phones, one iPad data plan, iCloud storage, and a

Garmin inReach subscription): $216.41. This went up as we were experimenting with the right combination of hot spot data and inReach plan. It will decrease quite a bit beginning next month.

Laundry: $12.00.

Ice: $8.00

Netflix: $11.10

Boat stuff: $437.91. The majority of this was for an ATN Mastclimber so I can climb the mast when needed. Hauling me up in the bosunís chair is beyond Mr. cthoops' stamina given his CHF, so some research turned up the Mastclimber. We also bought an extra snubber hook for the chain, 2 packages of step-down connectors, a gallon of oil, 5 oil diapers, a dinghy light so we would be compliant in Florida, a small amount of chain and line for our dinghy anchor and a bag to hold it all in, some rubber gasket, and a strip of teak to replace the one that broke on our companionway sliding hatch.

Restaurants/Entertainment: $226.57

Uber/Bus: $30.53

New York Times subscription: $20.20

Marinas/moorings: $401.78. This is for four nights on a mooring in Beaufort, SC (a storm kept us there for two extra nights), three nights at the Isle of Hope Marina near Savannah so we could visit relatives, and seven nights on a mooring in St. Augustine, FL (we were going to stay for five nights but were having fun so decided to stay for two extra nights).

Clothing: $25

Random: $75.67. This includes a haircut for Mr. cthoops, hand warmer packets, a Kindle book, a $1.99 game for the iPad (I was going stir crazy with the weather), hangers, a box of cloth rags, AAA batteries, and marina tips.

Total: $2,406.93

September Ė December average: $4,465.95


I hope this is helpful.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:09   #2
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Very helpful!

Continues to confirm the suspicion that roughly $2k on the average month is possible (not considering major events like repowering) and that most of the cost for most people outside of that $2k range is eating out.

We don't liveaboard, but we like to eat out too: that is where most of my cost goes, actually, living on land. Oh well.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:40   #3
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Were you moored near the bridge in Vero a few days ago?

Cheers,
Jeff
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:58   #4
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
Were you moored near the bridge in Vero a few days ago?

Cheers,
Jeff
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Yep! That's us. We're still there, enjoying the warm weather and how easy Vero makes everything for cruisers.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:05   #5
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Have fun, don't get too stuck in Velcro Beach.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:49   #6
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Thanks for the thread. Great reading about normal people cruising in a normal boat.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:43   #7
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Thank you. If you have time to, can you break down your cellphone/in reach costs a bit more. I'm in the process of deciding what to do about that.

I have an inreach already and cell phone costs plus in reach are close to $100 a month. At that point, a sat phone starts to make sense.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:10   #8
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Thank you for posting! Very informative for us, as we are still in the planning stages. Life events would indicate that I move our planning a little faster, so info like this is very important for us. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:03   #9
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthoops View Post

I hope this is helpful.
Good to see you having more "fun" type expenses. But you are now also a week further south than me, so slow down as you are in a good "section" now
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Old 08-01-2019, 21:36   #10
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

More good information....thank you
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Old 09-01-2019, 17:53   #11
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Great info!! We all appreciate it very much.
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:33   #12
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

I would suggest to count annual subscriptions pro rata/month to give a true picture of monthly costs. Yours is a cashflow picture. Of course you have to include these in every subsequent monthly calculation.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:03   #13
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
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I would suggest to count annual subscriptions pro rata/month to give a true picture of monthly costs. Yours is a cashflow picture. Of course you have to include these in every subsequent monthly calculation.
Everyone wants the "reporters" to track and report their money different. They are cruisers not financial accountants and all their checking account knows is the cash that flowed out.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:28   #14
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Nice budget.

$2500 a month you can generate with $850,000 in investments using a 3.5% withdrawal rate (which should actually cause the money to last 40 years or more).

We are outfitting our PSC34 for cruising as a couple, but our "boat stuff" category is more like $5,000 a month by itself right now. I sure hope that goes down!
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:12   #15
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Re: Our cruising costs - month four for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt Mark View Post
Thank you. If you have time to, can you break down your cellphone/in reach costs a bit more. I'm in the process of deciding what to do about that.

I have an inreach already and cell phone costs plus in reach are close to $100 a month. At that point, a sat phone starts to make sense.
We've been fiddling with it a bit, but I think we're dialed in beginning with next month's report. T-Mobile is $85 for two cell phones including 20 GB of high speed hotspot data, we've reduced the inReach plan to the recreational plan for $24.95, unlimited data on our iPad through AT&T is $29.99, and we pay $1.00 for our iCloud storage. Total beginning next month is around $140.

It feels like an exorbitant amount of money, but we aren't willing to make the needed changes to reduce it (i.e. one cell phone, no iPad data, reducing the inReach plan further).
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