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Old 17-03-2017, 05:39   #1
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Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

This past month we traveled from Green Turtle Cay to Glass Window Eleuthera Bahamas. Most of the time we spend at anchor, but we did spend a couple of days at Green Turtle and 6 days at Great Guna Cay in marinas for weather issues (we have spent at least half the time we have been in the Bahamas hiding from fronts).

We dined out some for dinner and some just for lunch/snack stop. Our dining money doesn’t go as far here as in the States

Entertainment expenses were for some Kindle books, and a couple weeks’ worth of Bahamas WiFi that became real nice to be able to watch Netflix while we were anchored in Marsh Harbor during a gale.

March Harbor has about anything you want and the prices are much better than in the out islands, but still not cheap. A case of beer at Green Turtle was $62 and at Great Guna it was $71, but in Marsh Harbor it was $41. So, if you are going to drink beer stock up. Soda was also expense but we got a couple of cases at $17/ea. anyway. And we restocked at Marsh Harbor and the freezer and probably has a month’s food.

I still use my credit card mostly instead of the supply of cash I brought. The Bank charges me 3% for this, which becomes 2% as I get 1% back. I figure ATM fees would probably add up to about the same.

Had an autopilot problem that I traced to the flux compass. Turned out I had a spare on the boat from a couple years ago, when I replaced the computer and didn’t install it. But it turned out it wasn’t the compass, it was the wiring and became a long PITA to replace and most of the months’ boat maintenance expense is a soldering iron for those damn small wires.

We don’t have a water maker so now there are water costs. When I get back this year I will have a better feel whether it makes sense to install a water maker since even with showers I know we can last 3 weeks on our tanks (when it rains here it POURS and it wouldn’t take much work to be able to fill tanks during it).

The total was $2,545.48 as follows:

Food, soda, alcohol, clothing, sundries - $ 1,015.18
Boat upgrades, repairs, maintenance - $ 78.71
Fuel (diesel, gas, propane) - $ 211.43
Dining out - $ 593.95
Entertainment - $ 86.98
Communication, storage, shipping - $ 171.12
Bank Fees - $ 42.87
Marina - $ 291.02
Medical - $ 22.27
Water - $ 31.95
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Old 17-03-2017, 05:52   #2
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

Yikes sailorboy, I am glad I rarely drink! Thank you for the update. Are you still having fun?
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Old 17-03-2017, 05:57   #3
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

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Are you still having fun?
I've been wondering the same myself, is it becoming boring yet, just another day in paradise?

On the watermaker, I don't think you can justify one from a financial perspective, I see one as a luxury item, and for me if we get to where water has to be jugged, I will get to skip that manual labor part, but as long as its available from a hose that can reach the boat, tough to justify one I think.

How big is your tank?
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Old 17-03-2017, 06:08   #4
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

How do you find food and grocery supplies? Good selection? Produce reasonably fresh?

When I spent a couple of years cruising the Bahamas back in the (good?) old days that was the biggest problem. If you wanted any kind of fresh produce you had to be at the market the day the mail boat arrived. Even then the lettuce was often a bit limp.

And yes, are you still having fun?
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Old 17-03-2017, 06:09   #5
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

I like it! Given our lifestyle I was, in my tiny little brain, thinking in the $2500 range a month in the Bahamas, at least when we start. This is somewhat of a confirmation. Once we wind down and acclimate a little I figure it may go to less than $2000, but not much. Some things we won't give up since we don't have to, i.e. eating out a little and booze (of course).

Not trying to thread drift here but this rainwater catchment system you're speaking about. Any health concerns? How long does it take the bird poop to wash away before you get clean water?
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Old 17-03-2017, 06:16   #6
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

Thank you for posting this breakdown of expenses.
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Old 17-03-2017, 07:16   #7
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

Thank you for posting.
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Old 17-03-2017, 07:19   #8
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

Have you considered opening a bank account at Charles Schwab for a zero fee ATM card? Zero foreign exchange fees. Zero international fees. Zero ATM fees. You should be able to open an account by mail. You can link it to your current bank account and just transfer $1,000 at a time. It is just like a checking account, you don't need to do any investing. Really ought to be worth the effort. $40 will be a big hit month after month!

I really don't know what to do about this beer issue. $40 to $70 a case?! For light stuff too, I bet. Maybe I should start getting use to rum drinks.

Thanks for posting. I'm but a few months behind you (and on a slightly lower budget, I hope).
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Old 17-03-2017, 08:07   #9
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

Oh, I forgot to mention I am a member of Navy Federal Credit Union, zero foreign transaction fees with their cards. If you can find a way to join..
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Old 17-03-2017, 08:19   #10
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

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Not trying to thread drift here but this rainwater catchment system you're speaking about. Any health concerns? How long does it take the bird poop to wash away before you get clean water?
I don't know if the OP has a filter on his drinking/food/consumption water tap, but if you install one, this won't be a problem. That and if you treat the water tanks with chlorine (which the water tap filter will remove).
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Old 17-03-2017, 09:51   #11
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

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How do you find food and grocery supplies? Good selection? Produce reasonably fresh?

And yes, are you still having fun?

Marsh harbor has a well stocked US style supermarket. As long as you aren't looking for yuppie style stuff, it's great. Lots of fresh stuff. The smaller abaco island are less stocked

Rich
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Old 17-03-2017, 10:32   #12
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

"fallingeggs
Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

I really don't know what to do about this beer issue. $40 to $70 a case?! For light stuff too, I bet. Maybe I should start getting use to rum drinks.

Thanks for posting. I'm but a few months behind you (and on a slightly lower budget, I hope). "

I too am leaving for the Bahamas in a few weeks, and was wondering about the cost of decent red wine. Just buy it there or bring a large cache?
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Old 17-03-2017, 11:16   #13
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

Absolutely bring your own wine, mostly just not available. Hard spirits are available in Marsh Harbour at prices not much different than US. Don't know why beer is so expensive but it is ,foreign or home brew.
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Old 17-03-2017, 11:33   #14
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

Thanks for sharing your budget info. We are still a few years out from beginning our adventure, but have already started planning and trying to get a grasp on expected costs.

Not to get too personal, but what are your boat loan and boat insurance costs?

In our cost formulas we've got several options based on different boat values ranging from being able to pay cash to the $1mil boat. The loan and insurance ranges vary, but obviously impact what we can afford and have leftover to live on.

For anyone else, we would appreciate your input and experiences as well.

Thanks!
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Old 17-03-2017, 12:11   #15
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Re: Month 6 Expenses & Costs of Cruising

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I too am leaving for the Bahamas in a few weeks, and was wondering about the cost of decent red wine. Just buy it there or bring a large cache?

While I am not there, I am sure you aren't going to find decent* red wine in the Bahamas. You won't till the French islands, at least for a comparable/reasonable price.

*I know, subjective.
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