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Old 09-10-2020, 06:57   #1
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Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

September was our 25th month of cruising full-time on our Bristol 29.9.

In September we started working our way south for our third warm winter. We had hoped to be able to avoid hauling out for another year, but the bottom paint we used last year did not do as well as we had hoped so we had some high costs related to hauling out and repainting (fingers crossed we won't have to do it again for three years now). We also had to drive to Connecticut for medical appointments.

Knowing it was going to be an expensive month with unavoidable costs, we tried to rein in the other categories to ease the pinch.

Here we go:

Groceries/Non-food Groceries/Alcohol: $361.21

Gasoline/Diesel: $33.59

Propane for heat: $22.20

Medical: $52.26

Cell data, iCloud storage, and Garmin inReach subscription: $190.37 (this was higher because our internet provider had to suspend service due to a legal dispute with AT&T, causing us to sign up for a different plan)

Laundry: $2.25

Restaurants/Entertainment: $57.54

Non-owners auto insurance: $52.95 (semi-annual premium)

Subscriptions: $125.67 (annual VPN subscription, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.)

Maintenance: $1,654.05 (haul out fees, bottom paint, quart of barrier coat, bootstripe paint, diesel oil, oil cloths, replacement zinc, tape, buffing cloths, coveralls, anchor gloves, paint rollers and brushes, paint tray and liners, box of rags, bucket, Starbrite rust remover, spring line (remnant), epoxy syringes

Connecticut-related expenses: $803.50 (storage for boat, rental car, gas, tolls, parking, Uber to and from Enterprise, etc.)

Random Items: $82.75 (coir, ukulele strings, etc.)

Total: $3,438.34

2020 Monthly average: $2,805.88

2019 monthly average: $3,457.97

2018 monthly average (September December): $4,465.95

Monthly average since starting to cruise: $3,384.50

I hope this is helpful.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:56   #2
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

Thanks for sharing. To what would you attribute the annual decrease in monthly costs over your three annual averages. 2018 was more than 2019 and 2019 was more than 2020. What is the secret to your savings? Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2020, 06:52   #3
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

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Originally Posted by JimmyDarci View Post
Thanks for sharing. To what would you attribute the annual decrease in monthly costs over your three annual averages. 2018 was more than 2019 and 2019 was more than 2020. What is the secret to your savings? Thanks!
You’re right that the annual average has been decreasing, although 2018 was only a four month year so it’s likely that it wouldn’t have been as high over a full twelve months.

In 2019 we had a few large upgrades as we decided what we really wanted to make our cruising life more comfortable. Those were one time purchases so 2020 didn’t have those. We have also spent much less money in marinas than when we first started out as we have become more comfortable anchoring in all kinds of weather conditions. Finally, we didn’t fly to the West Coast to visit family in 2020.

Off the top of my head I think all of those things have contributed to the average decreasing each year, but I’m planning to study it a bit more closely after the New Year because it HAS been a pretty substantial drop between 2019 and 2020.
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Old 10-10-2020, 07:06   #4
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

The more you study the costs the more you think to yourself "it is going to be a lot less going forward because we wouldn't have the big $X thing this year". But as time goes by you find the the $X thing is just replaced by the $Y and $Z things later.

Of course that may just be me with "well not counting this it will be a lot less going forward".
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Old 10-10-2020, 09:44   #5
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

Your meticulous record keeping and experience over time would seem to show a regression to the mean of approximately $3,500/month. There will be outliers high and low, but a budget of $3,500 should be reliable. That said, a contingency fund is important sleep insurance against the potential for an extreme outlier expense. Building a fund equal to 3 to 6 months expenses would seem prudent.
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Old 10-10-2020, 10:07   #6
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

Love it, especially the ukulele strings . I've been learning to play for the last couple of years now. Just bought myself an mid-range tenor uku.

Now we really want to get together ... someday, hopefully .
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Old 10-10-2020, 17:30   #7
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

I would hope you continue to cruise further S where costs for haul out, bottom coat, repairs are a lot cheaper in Trinidad, Curacao, Cartagena, Rio Dulce Guatemala......... Covid permitting.



I encourage you to continue cruising

Life can be short..........enjoy life when you can
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Old 11-10-2020, 16:43   #8
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

Big thanks for maintaining this rolling report-out, gives many of us a real world look into ongoing costs and expenses.
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Old 12-10-2020, 10:01   #9
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

Thank you again to you and the others who post expenses! It is immensely useful to us in "getting ready" mode. About a year and a half ago we acquired the boat we hope to get out of here on. Now that we have it and are getting it ready, the expense reports come into a new context. We are also finding now that we have it, the vision is becoming clearer, and more urgent. So thanks again!
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Old 14-10-2020, 17:04   #10
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Love it, especially the ukulele strings . I've been learning to play for the last couple of years now. Just bought myself an mid-range tenor uku.

Now we really want to get together ... someday, hopefully .
Mr. cthoops has a basic tenor but has been having a lot of fun with it. I do hope that someday well share an anchorage.
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Old 14-10-2020, 17:06   #11
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caravela1986 View Post
I would hope you continue to cruise further S where costs for haul out, bottom coat, repairs are a lot cheaper in Trinidad, Curacao, Cartagena, Rio Dulce Guatemala......... Covid permitting.



I encourage you to continue cruising

Life can be short..........enjoy life when you can
Well keep doing it as long as were having fun. Where we will go is still an open question. Its hard to beat the beautiful color of the water in the Exumas - it keeps pulling us back!
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Old 14-10-2020, 17:08   #12
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtprettyman View Post
Big thanks for maintaining this rolling report-out, gives many of us a real world look into ongoing costs and expenses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fred4936 View Post
Thank you again to you and the others who post expenses! It is immensely useful to us in "getting ready" mode. About a year and a half ago we acquired the boat we hope to get out of here on. Now that we have it and are getting it ready, the expense reports come into a new context. We are also finding now that we have it, the vision is becoming clearer, and more urgent. So thanks again!
Im glad its helpful!
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Old 14-10-2020, 17:12   #13
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Re: Our cruising costs - month 25 for a middle-aged couple on a 30' boat.

Thank you for this - the expense threads are awesome ... we are on countdown and it proves it's practical with what I started thinking years back ...
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