Cruising Budgets

Sharing adventures, photos and our lives in general as we spend seven months actively cruising and 5 months at our summer dock, would not be complete without sharing just how damn much this lifestyle costs us.  Way back, when we first surfed the net in an attempt to figure out “the cost to cruise” we ran across an infinitesimal amount of data on the topic. The only cruising couple website (no blogs back then) we found with monthly spending by category was the now famously infamous Bumfuzzle folks- Pat and Allie.  At that time they were about 6 months into their circumnavigation and we’ve followed them ever since; from catamaran cruisers to road rally racers to VW bus travelers and now back to boat ownership (a monohull- gasp!) with their two adorable children.

As time passed we glommed on to more info via magazine articles and a Seven Seas Cruising Assoc webinar.  A hot topic on cruiser nets and one often hotly contested because guess why?  every experience is different; between where you are spending your money to what you like to spend it on to your type and age of boat to just how much you have or want to spend, this is a very personal decision and there’s no right or wrong. Believe me when I say it’s hard to compare one couple’s spending to another.  For example, we’ve met several full-time cruising couples about our age, some on a cat others a monohull.  Those who do not drink (more than you’d think) sure spend a heck of a lot less in the “entertainment” category than those of us who do.

Cruising in the U.S. and Bahamas is very pricey compared to other parts of the world.

The pages under this main tab contain data compiled from the Excel spreadsheets I keep for nearly every penny we spend. Would you expect any less from an accountant? I use more categories than you will see on the pages; have combined some for simplicity.

Not included are medical costs, both our individual coverage premiums (we have high deductible coverage for the 3 of us and an HSA) and our out-of-pocket costs.

Those of you who are planning, hoping, praying to join the rest of us in some form of cruising; I hope this helps you.  We spent more than planned during “Year One” mostly due to marina stays and fuel consumption.  Remember too that we still are three; while college tuition is not included here, the cost to feed our son over the summer sure is! – not to mention the few articles of clothing he agrees to purchase. Also included in our figures is airfare. We’d budgeted for our son to fly to us at Christmas as well as us possibly needing to fly to CT. So far, Russ and I have not flown.

Budget Bennies are: a Sailrite sewing machine to make cushions, curtains, misc repairs; baking most of our own bread beginning Feb ’12; sailing whenever possible; DIYers- Russ does nearly all projects and repairs- with his trusty helper of course.

Budget Busters are: booze- but at least much of it is cheaper in the Bahamas!; dining out more than twice a month (less only happens when there’s no place to dine out); summer dockage- even a mooring would be cheaper- but the 3 of us work so we more than cover the add’l cost of our great T-head spot. Laundry costs more in the laundromats in CT (our marina does not have washers and dryers), plus we’re laundering for three. Laundry also is pricey in the Bahamas, but we wear less clothing there.

More info often prompts more questions, so feel free to contact us with questions; we’re always happy to help.


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