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Old 04-12-2018, 16:06   #1
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Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

As we were getting ready to cut the dock lines, I found Sailorboy's monthly posts listing his cruising expenses were very helpful as a real world example of the costs of cruising. In the interest of paying it forward, I thought I'd list our monthly expenses for those who are dreaming and planning as we once were.

As background, we are a middle-aged couple (I'm 49, Mr. cthoops is 59) and we are cruising full-time on our 1977 Bristol 29.9. This is our second boat and we've spent the last few years sailing her in the summer and refitting during the winter.

This month we finally entered the ICW upon leaving Hampton, VA and made our way south to Graham Creek, SC.

The cash outflow was slightly better than last month, but it skewed high due to the need to return to Connecticut for scheduled doctors appointments for Mr. cthoops. This meant that we left the boat in a marina while we were away, rented a car, etc. Fortunately the appointments went well and he doesn’t need to return for six months, assuming nothing changes.

We also decided to bite the bullet this month and buy a new iPad (we were using a second generation which is now our backup) and upgrade my iPhone which was on its last legs (it was an iPhone 5 that I bought used several years ago). If it’s not obvious from the age of our old electronics, we rarely upgrade so unless they fall into the ocean we won’t be needing to buy new ones for several years.

We’re hoping that December’s numbers will better reflect what we’d prefer to spend in a typical month. Here's what we spent in November, keeping in mind that Mr. cthoops has congestive heart failure so we don't drink alcohol (his cardiologist says no) and we eat out infrequently (because of his sodium restrictions):

Groceries: $426.57

Diesel/Gasoline: $133.28. This includes five gallons of ethanol-free gasoline in a jerry can for the dinghy.

Propane/Denatured Alcohol: $37.08. Eight cans of propane which we use for heat and the grill.

Health Care: $140.37

Cell phone and internet (2 phones, one iPad data plan, iCloud storage, and a Garmin inReach subscription): $164.39

Mail Service: $100. This covers future mailing expenses when we have the UPS Store forward our mail.

Laundry: $6.00. We did laundry on our trip to Connecticut and Belhaven Marina had free laundry which helped keep this monthly expense low.

Ice: $9.00

Showers: $2.00

Netflix: $11.10

Boat stuff: $114.27. This included tea tree oil, antifreeze, a heat diffuser for the stove, a box of latex gloves, replacement short-fingered gloves, and thick rubber anchor gloves.

Restaurants/Entertainment: $303.64

Uber/Bus: $30.32

New York Times subscription: $20.20

Marinas/moorings: $502. This is for two nights in Hampton after we returned from Connecticut (the other five nights are in Connecticut expenses); five nights in Belhaven where we were delayed by weather; five nights on a mooring in Carolina Beach where we were again delayed by weather; and one night in Georgetown, SC.

Clothing: $263.52

Connecticut-related expenses: $1,096.23

Random: $1,192.09. This amount includes the iPad and case, iPhone, a magnifying glass so I can read the charts more easily, hand and foot warmers, boat cards, and tips for marina staff.

Total: $4,552.06

September- November average: $5,152.29

I hope this is helpful.
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Old 04-12-2018, 16:55   #2
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

If it makes you feel better I spend $1350 on the boat today

It goes up and down, thanks for sharing
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Old 04-12-2018, 17:14   #3
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
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If it makes you feel better I spend $1350 on the boat today

It goes up and down, thanks for sharing
OK, what was it?
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Old 04-12-2018, 18:02   #4
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

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OK, what was it?
Not my thread
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Old 04-12-2018, 18:16   #5
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

$20.20 for NY times......LOL!!
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:44   #6
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Thanks for the post Cthoops

I always like to see what others are spending on cruising.

Jim
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:45   #7
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Great to hear from you and others about expenses and savings.
Concerning mail forwarding I put a short list of companies (charge is around $12 per month) by state and some extra useful info.
Hope it helps your readers.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::
FL
SBImailservice.Com
GoodSammailservice.Com
Amhomebase.com

TX
Escapees.Com/support/mail-service
Texashomebase.com
Usglobalmail.com

SD
MyDakotaaddress.Com. Out of business 7/2018 use instead... Dakotapost.Net
Myhomeaddressinc.com
Americas-mailbox.com : perso cell 605 593 4496
Yourbestaddress.Com ...certified mail ok

NV
JBmailroom.com ... out of business
Mail messages and more
Nvmailforwarding.com. 775 727 7311

How to get mail on the road:
1 general delivery
2 The UPS Store
3 Local mail services
4 RV parks
5 friends and family
6 Charities that work with the homeless
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:41   #8
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Cheaper than living in the cities, staying out of Costco and Target twice a week is your major savings!!
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:55   #9
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Thanks.... except for the un-anticipated medical trip, it seems very reasonable comparing to a brick and mortar house expenses!
Keep us posted please.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:56   #10
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Thank you for posting your expenses. I know it takes time and it is personal information. I do appreciate the dose of reality it provides for my own future plans. At your current rate of expense it looks like your annual average will be $61,827.48 That is a significant large sum of money for the average retiree who is on a fixed income. I don't think I will be able to maintain a home and cruise at the same time on that level of expenditure (which is what I had planned to do). Are marinas on the East Coast really that expensive for visitor rates? I only ask because here in Alaska I pay $20 per day when I visit Seldovia for a weekend stay. There are no hook-ups at the transient dock, but they have nice restrooms and potable water. Good burger joint nearby too.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:25   #11
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

If you pull the CT expenses & the electronic purchases out of the equation that's around $2,200.00 for the month. Bag staying in Marinas whenever possible & this becomes a resonable number in my opinion.
Thanks for sharing your info!
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Old 05-12-2018, 16:11   #12
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
If it makes you feel better I spend $1350 on the boat today

It goes up and down, thanks for sharing
Ugh. I guess it never ends, right? Thanks for the encouragement.
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Old 05-12-2018, 16:13   #13
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yobird View Post
Great to hear from you and others about expenses and savings.
Concerning mail forwarding I put a short list of companies (charge is around $12 per month) by state and some extra useful info.
Hope it helps your readers.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::
FL
SBImailservice.Com
GoodSammailservice.Com
Amhomebase.com

TX
Escapees.Com/support/mail-service
Texashomebase.com
Usglobalmail.com

SD
MyDakotaaddress.Com. Out of business 7/2018 use instead... Dakotapost.Net
Myhomeaddressinc.com
Americas-mailbox.com : perso cell 605 593 4496
Yourbestaddress.Com ...certified mail ok

NV
JBmailroom.com ... out of business
Mail messages and more
Nvmailforwarding.com. 775 727 7311

How to get mail on the road:
1 general delivery
2 The UPS Store
3 Local mail services
4 RV parks
5 friends and family
6 Charities that work with the homeless
Thanks for this. We would love to use St. Brendan's Isle (and it would likely be much less expensive than the UPS Store), but we needed to maintain a Connecticut address for the health exchange which we've signed up for beginning on January 1st.
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Old 05-12-2018, 16:32   #14
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskaflyfish View Post
Thank you for posting your expenses. I know it takes time and it is personal information. I do appreciate the dose of reality it provides for my own future plans. At your current rate of expense it looks like your annual average will be $61,827.48 That is a significant large sum of money for the average retiree who is on a fixed income. I don't think I will be able to maintain a home and cruise at the same time on that level of expenditure (which is what I had planned to do). Are marinas on the East Coast really that expensive for visitor rates? I only ask because here in Alaska I pay $20 per day when I visit Seldovia for a weekend stay. There are no hook-ups at the transient dock, but they have nice restrooms and potable water. Good burger joint nearby too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by misfits View Post
If you pull the CT expenses & the electronic purchases out of the equation that's around $2,200.00 for the month. Bag staying in Marinas whenever possible & this becomes a resonable number in my opinion.
Thanks for sharing your info!
Misfits hit the nail on the head. Our average was skewed right from the start when I included paying for COBRA for three months (paid all at once) in September. That was a $4,700 hit right there, but one we had planned for. Take that away, and remove the unexpected $2,000 boat repair in October and the expenses related to our Connecticut trip, and we're down to $2,500/month which is more in keeping with where we typically expect to be. Believe me, if our average stays at $5,000/month this journey is going to come to an end much sooner than planned.

I thought about leaving the big three items out, but then it wouldn't as helpful for other people. The fact is, those are expenses that needed to be paid. I'd rather post our real world figures and let others subtract what wouldn't apply to them than post numbers that didn't accurately reflect what had to be spent. I've seen too many "what we've spent" articles where the author states up front that they didn't include boat payments, boat insurance, etc. I didn't want to do that. This is what we spend down to the penny - including the New York Times subscription!

I think $2,000-$2,500 is absolutely a reasonable and attainable number for two people our age with our size boat, but it's a good idea to have a nice cushion for those unexpected expenses (like unplanned boat repairs or necessary trips back to the home port for medical needs). I'd be starting to sweat if we didn't have a plump emergency fund.
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Old 05-12-2018, 17:48   #15
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Re: Our cruising costs - month three for a middle-aged couple on a modest boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthoops View Post
I think $2,000-$2,500 is absolutely a reasonable and attainable number for two people our age with our size boat, but it's a good idea to have a nice cushion for those unexpected expenses (like unplanned boat repairs or necessary trips back to the home port for medical needs). I'd be starting to sweat if we didn't have a plump emergency fund.
You've put a lot of work in to get things ready to go, so I bet you'll get things dialed in pretty quickly as the months go by.

Noticing as well here that your fuel/marinas/clothing expenses add up to close to a $1000, which to me indicates some cold blustery days down the ICW! Hopefully a one off
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