Just finished 4 years of cruising and living on the boat
and am reviewing the costs and major events
. The year was to me very expensive at $57,613 and $8802 more than last year that I also thought expensive. The year was interrupted by a broken shoulder that needed recovering time, and of course “The Virus”. To us it seemed we hardly moved at all and we spent most of it in waiting mode. But we did travel from Gulfport MS to the Florida Keys
, then to the Bahamas
, then back to Florida
. So where did the money
go and how might it help planners and wannabes in deciding their plans?
Our “General” living category was $13,156 and has been pretty consistent over the four years. It was $1,242 more this year and a lot of that is due to my wife spending 4 months at my daughter’s house recovering and she was buying food
there at same time I was on the boat
. This category includes food
and related items, sundries, clothes, haircuts. Basically, it is the things we would have spent just “living” and if an item does not fit in some other category it goes into this one. This category was 22.8% of the year’s total costs.
, repair and upgrades was a big category this year again at $19,856 and 34.5% of total money
spent. But it is probably worth breaking the maintenance/repairs and the upgrades apart some. In the maintenance
and repair part of boat costs we got a new mainsail
for $5800,had a engine
flange develop a crack that turned into a remove and take to a machine shop to get the bolts out project
that was about $500 total, replaced head
hoses using the expensive hose that was about $300, a new solar
controller $300, and did lots of those small everyday maintenance items that really add up if people were to keep track of them. In the upgrade spending we got a new electrical
$2300, a new electric
$1000, a used Spectra watermaker
that by the time it was all installed was around $3300, new refrigeration
unit to split out our freezer
spillover system that cost around $650 all total. Then there were things like a new BBQ grill
, a sewing machine
and material to make dinghy
chaps and sunshades ($500), nav chips for the chart plotter, new charts
, new handheld vhf
, a big canvas
tarp for a boom tent etc. etc. that sometimes are hard to decide if they are maintenance or upgrades. But overall can say that maintenance/repair were about $11,800 (half of that just the mainsail) of the boat costs and about $8,000 were upgrades that didn’t really need to be done but we wanted them.
costs are not worth talking about in the big picture. But spend $746 this year, which was $545 less than year because so much time was spend just sitting around.
Dining and drinking out dropped a lot due to the quarantine and we spend a total of $4500 (7.8% of total), which was $2384 less than last year. We aren’t happy about it really!!!
Entertainment was also way down as we didn’t vacation
due to the quarantine. This isn’t the way I would like to save money. We spent $1,306 this year on entertainment, down $2,924 from last year.
Communication costs were $2,548 for the year, up $1,220. The added costs this year were 2 new cell phones for about $300, a Garmin
inReach for $289 and its related costs for tracking and communication, and for an Island Wifi
unit and costs for while in Bahamas
. I will admit that family/friends feel better knowing where we are and we feel better knowing they know, and that we can get weather
, texts, and send SOS etc. when out of cell range with the inReach unit.
Marina costs this year were $4,322, which is $120 more than last year and was 7.5% of total costs. I bet we spent 10 months this year in marinas
or on a mooring
, but except for time in the marinas
in the Bahamas managed to always stay in a low-cost marina.
and dental were up a lot and was $2,387. Our health care
premium costs went up about $600 for the calendar year. But the big cost increase was a broken shoulder from falling off the boat next to the dock
. While the major costs of that were covered by health care
the copays for physical therapy etc. and the transportation related costs add up. So medical
and dental was up $2,206 this year.
Transportation was a big category this year and was $5,924. This was due to a few extra weekly car rentals, but the big cost was buying
a used car while in Jacksonville
. We think this will be a savings once the car is sold (that number will roll into next year’s numbers) or be so close as to have made the convenience well worth it to us. But, for the year the cost was up $3,700 and that is almost exactly the total cost of buying, registering, and insuring the car.
There are a couple of other categories not worth a lot of discussion but are listed below.
So, there you have it. That is how WE spent $57,613 cruising and living on a boat this year. We definitely are not living a high life, but we are living a good comfortable one. It is just an example for others to use as they wish to budget/plan and it doesn’t matter if others could do it for less, because even we could. I don’t make any attempt really to separate “cruising costs” from “living costs”, because my bank account doesn’t know the difference and all the money was spent during the year while we lived and travelled on the boat.
Spreadsheet attached with monthly spending, year comparisons, big cost items tracking. Yearly category totals are below.
General Living - Food, soda, alcohol, clothing
, sundries, other - $ 13,1556.46
Boat costs - upgrades, repairs
, maintenance - $ 19,856.72
(diesel, gas, propane) - $ 746.46
Dining and drinking out - $ 4500.80
Entertainment - $ 1306.81
- $ 2,545.32
- $ (365.89)
Marina - $ 4,322.27
- $ 189.80
Medical - $ 2,387.34
Transportation and travel - $ 5,923.63
Gifts - $ 1,426.85
- $ 80.00
- $ 217.50
- $ 1,307.00