Join Date: Oct 2002
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Read your post re: cruising costs. Everyone is right that it''s nearly impossible to give cost specifics but I will share what we learned. We are getting ready to leave for a cruise to the western caribean and beyond. We are sailing a 39 foot fiberglass sloop built in 1981. We are doing a MAJOR refit this year, and doing all the work ourselves. This is important to our cost projections because we will be intimately familiar with all of the boat systems (also my husband is a mechanic) and able to do all but very major repairs ourselves. Also, many of the systems on the boat (i.e. the entire electrical system from battereis to wire to solar panels) will be brand new. We are having a moderately complex boat in terms of systems: 12 volt refrigeration, windlass, GPS, etc. but NO air conditioning, watermaker, electric winches, bow thrusters, TV/VCR, large inverters, etc. This all has to be taken into consideration since, as I am sure you know, a larger and/or more complex boat will have significantly higher maintenance costs, especially if you are not a handy D-I-Y-er. Also boat material: my parents'' aluminum boat costs twice as much in yearly upkeep than our fiberglass one, adjusted for size.
OK, then you have to decide how you want to live. We feel that the lifestyle we want cruising is similar to what we have at home. That is, fairly simple. We don''t eat out at restaurants very often, never go to movies, we enjoy cooking good meals at home and a bottle of wine and a book. Cruising, we will eat at restaurants only if they are the less-than $5-per meal type, maybe a couple times a week at times, but not regularly. We have budgeted for only for very infrequent marina stays: we''ll anchor out. We won''t be staying in resort areas and hitting the bars every night. We won''t be renting cars or taking island tours unless by local chicken bus. We will choose our cruising destinations largely on the cost of living.
We''re getting our ham licenses so that we can use free ham email. This reduces long-distance phone calls to relatives.
Given the above considerations, our plan is: We will have $10,000 emergency fund for major repairs, medical emergencies, etc. We will carry travellers/major medical insurance and boat insurance (these costs are paid for, not part of the estimated monthly expenses). For our cruising kitty, our estimated monthly expenses (to include each county''s fees, food & household expenses, fuel, maintenance, incidentals) is $1000 for the two of us and our young daughter.
I hope that this is of some help, although I realize it''s all conjecture as we''re not out there yet. However, I have done a lot of reading and research and spoken to other cruisers and i feel that this is doable.