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Old 02-10-2018, 06:58   #31
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
The point I feel of these budget threads is just to put the numbers for others to use as a basis for planning. For me it was to provide a set of numbers that included all the “not counting” things that were always mentioned when tried to do my own planning.

What it isn’t is a contest or endless debates about what could be. For each person posting the info it’s just the “what it is” for them.

I bet even I could easily do it for under $1500/mo with a couple of changes and application of “new counting”.

Btw - when it comes right down to it the boat maintenance hardly takes much time. It was a lot harder to find time to do before I became a full time cruiser
Well said!!!
One should not have an "aha! I can do it for less!" reaction. To me this kind of attitude is illogical and I thank you guys for sharing reality.

I cruised extensively in the 90's (Azores, Spain, Brazil, Caribbean) for less than a thousand bucks a month, hard to do that now. I was a singlehanded and to this point, I assume that the budgets showed are for a couple - it does not help if you cut these figures in half if you are doing it alone, it does not work that way since the boat still needs the same amount no matter how many people are on board.


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SV Tatia,

Least expensive for us, no 5 star hotels or restaurants:
Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Madagascar, Guatemala. We use a Mastercard from Revolut, great service and less expensive ( better exchange rate ) than major banks.
Thank you -
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Old 02-10-2018, 17:40   #32
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

I just wanted to chime in and say thank you for the detailed list of expenses. It seems like these great and well intentioned posts about real world expenses turn into a “I would/could do better than you”.
Anyhoo, thanks again and look forward to adding your posts to the one that sailor boy does.
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:14   #33
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

Thank you you and all who share their expenses. It is invaluable helping our plans. We are starting to look at our "the boat" possibilities, but still cruise our Tartan 27 most weekends as work allows. We are on Long Island. If you need some shoreside assistance, let us know. We are about an hour away from Oyster Bay.
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:23   #34
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

The monthly expenses posts are always helpful. We are looking forward to getting all of our major maintenance and upgrade expenses behind us. I'd like to see a month of expenses that don't include major engine work, solar or new sails! We still need to replace 15 year old canvas and maybe add a CruiseRO watermaker.

Something that may be useful that I can add are upgrade/refit/repair numbers to get cruiser/liveaboard ready. It's on my to do list after get to Charleston and prep for hurricane Michael.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 08-10-2018, 16:15   #35
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

Well I don't cruise as much or as far as many on here ( I'm mostly just a live-aboard, but I do get out there from time to time) I try to budget myself to about $2k in the warm months and 2.5k in the cold months ( I don't chase the warm weather, as at this point I don't have the funds to not work )last thisth it came to about 1.7k which is a little high for a month spent mostly on the mooring but I ate out a few extra times and my necessities actually ended up costing more than the boats this month. Maintenance costs were a little over 200, mooring was 156 and change fuel was 44 for the boat and 25 for the dinghy, a repair to the engine took up another $343 and a new pennant for the mooring came in somewhere under 50 dollars. The rest was spent on food, clothes, and other entertainment type things...
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Old 08-10-2018, 19:10   #36
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

Wow! 30 years ago I could cruise the area including New Guinea, & the Solomons & north to about the equator for about $1000 a YEAR.


Of course if you don't go to towns inhabited by expat Europeans too often there is nothing to spend your money on. Most of the locals don't have much use for the folding stuff.


I could get most food I didn't catch myself in exchange for trade tobacco & fishing gear. All islanders want fishing gear, & it is hard to come by on an atoll.
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Old 08-10-2018, 20:12   #37
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

So does anybody besides us include amortized costs like:

- cost to re survey every 5 years to maintain insurance
- 10 year cost to replace sails
- 5 year cost to have sails recut
- 5-10 years to replace rigging
- 20 year cost to replace engine
- 15-25 year cost to repaint boat
- 2 year cost for new bottom job
- monthly cost to clean boat bottom

and so forth? Those items add up to quite a bit every year.
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Old 08-10-2018, 21:32   #38
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

Hi zboss, yep included those costs.
Mine were;
2 new sails in 19 years & 53,000 nautical miles. One main & a 3 Oz drifter, you need those near the equator. Mine were only uncovered when actually sailing, so lasted well.


My home sail maker taught me to recut my own, & I carried a machine for that. Did many for others too.


Replaced rigging when I bought the boat. Had heaps of problems. Replaced it again, & used it for 15 years trouble free.


Fitted a new engine before I started. 18 years later it had 650 hours on it trouble free. An old mate suggested when he fitted a new engine that it had X number of starts before it wouldn't start again, so he was going to avoid starting it. Made sense to me. I ran mine for an hour a month as a service requirement, but rarely otherwise.


Painted my timber boat, top & bottom every year, usually against a jetty & occasionally a slip. Cost 1 gallon of antifoul & 1 litre of gloss enamel.
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:50   #39
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

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Something that may be useful that I can add are upgrade/refit/repair numbers to get cruiser/liveaboard ready. It's on my to do list after get to Charleston and prep for hurricane Michael.

Cheers, RickG
Well a lot of this is in the eye of the user. I have a 2001 boat and didn't do a lot of stuff to it the 5 years I owned it prior to using. I maintained and improved the boat during those years, but didn't do a "refit. My boat still have it's original sails etc. and is doing fine. I have continued to upgrade and make living improvements the past 2 years while cruising and I include those in my monthly numbers.

In my opinion people spent too much time, effort, and money on pre-cruise refit and upgrades. I recommend that you just go and see what you need first, then you will learn what you will "need" over what you think you need based on a book or forum.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:53   #40
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

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The monthly expenses posts are always helpful. We are looking forward to getting all of our major maintenance and upgrade expenses behind us. I'd like to see a month of expenses that don't include major engine work, solar or new sails! We still need to replace 15 year old canvas and maybe add a CruiseRO watermaker.



Something that may be useful that I can add are upgrade/refit/repair numbers to get cruiser/liveaboard ready. It's on my to do list after get to Charleston and prep for hurricane Michael.



Cheers, RickG


Depends on you, and the Boat. A whole lot of my refit costs were original fit out, my boat was old, but had never had things like Radar and windlass fitted, no autopilot etc.
I got a good deal on the boat because of this, but of course had to buy, cause I’m not doing without a windlass.
I spent roughly 2/3 of purchase price fitting/ refitting. Funny thing is in three years and 900 hours on the motor, I haven’t put a nickel in it except for scheduled maintenance, and it’s 31 yrs old.
Watermaker is a personal thing and where you will cruise. I would buy mine again, I think it was worth the cost, others act as if it’s a waste of money, only fools buy them.

Only thing I bought that I wouldn’t buy again was the Wirie Pro, but there is logic in waiting to buy after you have left, just for me, that was after income took a big drop and I no longer had access to the tools, truck etc that make installation a breeze as opposed to an epic.
So for me, I think refitting before I left was good
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:06   #41
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

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Only thing I bought that I wouldn’t buy again was the Wirie Pro,
If that's a wifi booster, I'm writing using mine right now. It's not as useful as it was 2 years ago, but that may be because I'm using cell phone data more and using that for mirrorcast for Netflix etc. But right now I have fast wifi from a marina, but no cell signal really. so my booster has been worth the $300 I spend on it.

Meanwhile, I've never run out of water in 2 years so would really have gotten my money worth from a watermaker. In fact just running and maintaining a WM would be a waste of my time even if it was free.

It just shows that there's no "right" answer.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:43   #42
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

Your cruising location makes all the difference in what equipment you think is needed and how much your daily costs are. Cruising the US east coast you certainly don't need a watermaker. It isn't going to make much difference in your life. Cruise Central America where every time you load shore water, probably by lugging Jerry jugs, you wonder how much chlorine is needed in it. Or anchored in a remote South Pacific atoll and you have to plan your exit so you can get somewhere that might have water if you don't have a watermaker.
You aren't gonna spend money on marinas if you are in areas with no marinas......
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Old 13-05-2019, 10:33   #43
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Thumbs up Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

Bristol 29 cruise.
I've never before replied to this forum, but this cost report caught my eye. In 1979 (I realize this seems like ancient history, since most readers weren't yet born) my new wife and I set off from California in a Bristol 29 (best used boat we could afford at the time) with only 10G to our names. My ultimate goal was to sail into the S Pacific, having read Eric Hiscock and classic small boat tales. Our boat was basic and had no electrical system or VHF, except for a mast-head light and one small interior light - we did have a small portable radio receiver for AM/short wave stations, and added a tillermaster autosteering device after tiring of long days/nights of steering. Having endured serious storms along the Baja coast we stopped and recovered in Cabo San Lucas for a month on anchor, and agreed not to proceed into the S Pacific in such a small boat. We cruised the Sea of Cortez and northern Mexico coast, returning to California after a full year.

We were always swinging at anchor overnight (rarely sailing through the night) and ended the year having spent only a total of 5G. Granted $5000 went further then, but I was prompted to write because we had a fabulous second-year of marriage, never bored, reading books (we took 100 great books with us), visiting with each other and other cruisers, fishing, cooking, swimming/diving. We agreed to no more than one meal-a-day on shore to save money.

Our marriage grew and we are now approaching our 44th anniversary. It was sometimes rather hot and sometimes cold, but we made fabulous memories of cruising in our simple boat. A simple boat will likely have few problems. Now we charter bare-boat and are blown away by the luxuries like refrigerators, air conditioning, GPS, autopilot, radar, televisions, roller furling, etc, that so many cruisers seem to consider as necessities. Oh for the simple, less costly, good old times.
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Old 13-05-2019, 10:38   #44
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

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We were always swinging at anchor overnight (rarely sailing through the night) and ended the year having spent only a total of 5G. Granted $5000 went further then,
that's $32675.25 in today's money, just an FYI
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Old 13-05-2019, 11:27   #45
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Re: Our cruising costs - month one for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat

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that's $32675.25 in today's money, just an FYI
Hmmm, all the calculators I checked say it’s more like $17,500.

https://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/re...on-calculator/
Inflation Calculator: Money's Real Worth Over Time | Coin News
https://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inf...79?amount=5000

P.S. Great story Al. Thanks
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