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Old 06-10-2017, 06:59   #1
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Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

So I added up ALL my costs the past 12 months that we have lived and cruised on our boat. Now this is what it cost us to live on, and travel, by boat and not all is "cruising costs", but ALL are "costs while living on the boat". Some people seem to think there is a difference, but my bank account doesn't seem to care where the money goes.

We spend a total of $42,124.27 (+/- maybe $200) compared to a budgeted target of $36,000. The target budget really is met to cover the big ticket items, which means you can't really spend $3,000/mo each month if you are going to hit the target. Looking through the monthly expensive breakdown I find:

- our lowest cost months were in the Bahamas ($2387 & $2545). There just isn't a lot of places to spend money sometimes and you can go weeks. But a lot of deferred costs develop from the boat pounding and travel and the 2 months after jumped $1000/mo.

- our third lowest cost month was our first month even though we spent $600 on boat maintenance and $800 on eating out we only spend $2548. Guess we weren't "in the groove yet".

- our fourth lowest month cost is interesting because it was a full month in a slip with power, yet we only spent $2,638. We did that by less eating out and doing it lower cost places that weren't really trendy marina area places, and we didn't do a lot of higher end boat maintenance

- Our most expensive month was a month on a mooring. The mooring was only $171, but it was Christmas and we were staying on the mooring to visit family and that involved a month car rental. Plus we paid our yearly insurance, pay a maintenance fee on our time share, got charts etc for the Bahamas, did a big supply stock up, did Christmas presents etc. So that ended up being $7602

- Our second most expensive month involved the highest boat maintenance costs. That month we got new batteries and replaced the auto-pilot drive twice. That month cost us $7159 and over half were those items.

- The other 6 months generally are between $3000-3500 and mostly run $100-250 for marinas and the rest mostly with supplies and dining out with normal boat items mixed in, plus some entertainment and sightseeing. We don't really spend a lot on transient marinas and anchor out more offer than not, but we go into town to sightsee and tend to dine out while doing it. So where we are in transient moving every day or so we spend more on dining and when we stop we spend more on resupply and boat items, and probably still dine out some.

I'm going to do a yearly category break down later for myself and may post it. But this was the big picture [B]for us[B] and not a challenge to pick it apart as I will spend my money anyway I want to (it's MY money). It's for info for those in the planning stage to help with their plan.
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:16   #2
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

Thank you for your post. It does help for those of us planning and is appreciated.
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:52   #3
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

Thanks, SB. Your money, your way. Totally respect that. Seeing how others are doing it, helps the rest of us zero in on our plans.

I can't really recall... why did you have to replace your autopilot drive twice in one month? What happened?
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:00   #4
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnEasley View Post
Thanks, SB. Your money, your way. Totally respect that. Seeing how others are doing it, helps the rest of us zero in on our plans.

I can't really recall... why did you have to replace your autopilot drive twice in one month? What happened?
First replacement had a problem and it was going to be 2 weeks to sent it in and get back and we wanted to keep moving south. So got a second one, which again lasted 2 hours!!!!!!! So I opened up the first one and worked on it, something I didn't want to do because was worried about voiding the warranty, and got it working and it has been installed for almost a year now. Meanwhile I sent the other in and had repaired and am trying to sell it (it still has 2 years of warranty on it).
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:22   #5
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
So got a second one, which again lasted 2 hours!!!!!!! So I opened up the first one and worked on it, something I didn't want to do because was worried about voiding the warranty, and got it working and it has been installed for almost a year now. Meanwhile I sent the other in and had repaired and am trying to sell it (it still has 2 years of warranty on it).
Man, hate when that happens. Frustrating. Good you were able to get the first one working.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:07   #6
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

Sailorboy, What kind of boat are you living on?
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:18   #7
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

It's amazing how much money can disappear almost instantly when you are close to civilization. We avoid eating out and taking expensive tours as that vaporizes money faster than anything when we are cruising.

In sailing from Turkey to Trinidad, we stayed only one night in a marina in six months. Saved us lots of money.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:58   #8
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

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Originally Posted by gatorsailor View Post
Sailorboy, What kind of boat are you living on?
Looking at the left side under his name and avatar you will see the boat description..
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:01   #9
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

Good on Ya SB. We had our survey this past Mon/Tue and tracking down insurance now. If all goes well we should secure ownership in the next two or three weeks. As I've said before I plan to track our expenses as well and your info is very insightful. I may post ours in the hopes it will assist others in their planning.

Thanks for taking the time and putting forth the effort to help all of us plan as well as have an idea of what to expect.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:07   #10
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

That's really great information. It sounds from your description if you were really budgeted constrained you could have easily maintained your expenses within your 3k/mo budget or at least been very close to it.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:13   #11
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorsailor View Post
Sailorboy, What kind of boat are you living on?
Hi, if you glance at the left hand side of his posts, you'll see what type of boat.

Thanks for sharing the details, SB. We purchased half-a-year ago and in that time we estimate we've spent $40k (US$20k?) or more on the refit (and we still have to replace those batteries!). Was your boat already in 'as new' condition?
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:11   #12
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

We had out boat for 5 years before leaving. So we had done some upgrades etc and the boat was in good condition (I probably still have my "what the boat costs to own" spreadsheet). It definitely isn't in "new" condition and I have no intention to ever try to obtain such a condition. I try to keep everything in good order as to prevent items from causing an issue or getting worst.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:45   #13
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

Adding up lines isn't my skill set especially when the layout isn't all the same, so it appears we really spend $44,513. I put it all into a spreadsheet and it tells a lot of info. Like that even though we didn't do any any haulout and yard type work or replace any sails, the boat still was over 18% of our costs. Also even though I don't feel we stay all that must in marinas it still averages out to $500/mo because all stops in transit are very expensive. I'm going to try to paste and attach the file (wouldn't allow the spreadsheet so I'll type the line items, totals, and percents)

Food, soda, alcohol, clothing, sundries - $ 11,068 = 24.9%
Boat upgrades, repairs, maintenance - $ 8,291.39 = 18.6%
Fuel (diesel, gas, propane) - $ 1,546.09 = 3.5%
Dining out - $ 7,665.58 = 17.2%
Entertainment - $ 2,299.27 = 5.2%
Communication, storage, shipping - $ 2,992.97 = 6.7%
Other Fees – $ 67.97 = 0.2%
Marina - $ 5,121.75 = 11.5%
Electric - $ 156.66 = 0.4%
Medical - $ 426.43 = 1%
Transportation - $ 1,780.43 = 4%
Daughter moving - $ 288.88 = 0.6%
grifts - $ 1,084.34 = 2.4%
water - $ 71.61 = 0.2%
Boat registration - $358 = 0.8%
Boat Insurance - $1,293 = 2.9%
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:35   #14
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

SB, when you check into the Bahamas or other countries where do you spreadsheet that expense? Is it in there?

Thank you...and as I said in one of my previous replies to one of your monthly postings...it is a good dose of reality to check the pie in the sky tendencies many of us newbies are infected with.

SB, how is your wife hanging with the life as a vagabond? I ask, because I wonder how my wife will hang with it. My boat is more of a coastal craft and shallow water explorer. So our plans are not very ambitious...still almost 20 more months of torture at the employment.

I will post up my expenses when I finish my renovation. I think many people have no idea what it takes to take off 30 years of glass and paint and redo it.
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:44   #15
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Re: Cost of First Year Living On The Boat

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Originally Posted by alansmith View Post
SB, when you check into the Bahamas or other countries where do you spreadsheet that expense? Is it in there? Its in the fees, which included bank foreign transactions,
custom decals, Bahamas cruising permit, and the cash back I get from using my credit card. The cash back almost paid for all those other items


Thank you...and as I said in one of my previous replies to one of your monthly postings...it is a good dose of reality to check the pie in the sky tendencies many of us newbies are infected with.

SB, how is your wife hanging with the life as a vagabond? I ask, because I wonder how my wife will hang with it. She is sitting across from me so I asked her and she said to tell "My wife is low maintenance and only requires that she get a couple of new pair of sneakers and a few haircuts a year." My boat is more of a coastal craft and shallow water explorer. So our plans are not very ambitious...still almost 20 more months of torture at the employment.

I will post up my expenses when I finish my renovation. I think many people have no idea what it takes to take off 30 years of glass and paint and redo it.
Advil is a real friend at my age. Smile.

BTW - those haircuts aren't always a good value
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