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Nethos 04-09-2008 06:04 AM

Expenses of Cruising?
Hey all...
I wanted to post a query (I hope this is the right place to do it). I am totally new to sailing but my ultimate goal is to ditch the land life (call it retirement I guess).
Trying to plan ahead to making this change I was wondering what costs people usually run into once they have started their cruise.
Insurance? Slip fees? Common maintenance and consumables costs? That kind of thing.
Oh...and unexpected costs--what was the most money you had to spend on emergency repairs etc. The more info the better!

sander06 04-09-2008 06:23 AM

Google this one. There is a ton of info on the internet about the cost of crusing. The answer is usually "How much you got?".

ehmanta 04-09-2008 07:32 AM

Have you searched this site for old responses to this?

SURV69 04-09-2008 08:11 AM

This could be an on-going conversation.

Any numbers in cruising might be meaningless, if you were going to spend a lot of time in Georgia, on the hook.

Numbers would be meaningless, if provisions almost doubled in price because of fuel costs.

My brother went "Thoreau", about 20 years ago. He got rid of almost everything he owned and had a ceremonyous(sp), burning of his other things.

He then lived in a 16' trailer for the next 20 years, until his death(cancer) . . . I've always tended to be much like him and I'm contemplating the day I can get rid of basically E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Except, I hope top live on a 26' boat and not see too much of the marinas, after my retirement(in about 3-1/2 years).

Till then, I plan on "practicing", for my retirement and attempting to keep track of expenses to see if such a live is viable on the pension I'll be getting.

This particular subject is so subjective . . .

speciald 04-09-2008 10:08 AM

Cruising World magazine did a nice series on this topic a few years ago. Search their archive.

sailingdog 04-09-2008 10:24 AM

A quick search would lead to several recent threads on this very topic.

Basically, there are too many variables to say what your costs would be. It depends on the boat, the tastes of the crew in terms of lifestyle and food, cruising region, your skills and self-sufficiency level.

if you stay on the hook and eat simple, low cost foods on a small, easily maintained boat, your budget will look one way. If you stay in marinas, on a large boat with complicated systems and eat at restaurants every other night, your budget will need to be considerably larger.

If you have a fairly self-sufficient boat and are able to do most of the maintenance on it yourself, your cruising costs will be far lower than if you need to constantly go into the marina to re-charge your batteries and replenish your water supplies, and have them do the basic maintenance on the boat.

Your boat's size will often influence costs. The larger the boat, the more expensive it is to maintain, haul, repair, dock, etc. A 40' boat will cost two-to-three times as much to maintain as a 30' boat. It is also almost 135% larger than a 30' boat, not the 33%, since it is larger in length, depth and width.

The way your boat is setup will often influence costs. Do you have enough of a battery bank and passive charging capacity to not have to run the engine or use shore power to recharge your battery banks? Electricity costs money--either in passive charging systems, fuel or dock rental. Same with water. A boat with solar panels, a wind generator and a watermaker can avoid using marinas for a long, long time.

Beth Leonard's book, The Voyager's Handbook, has some costs for three different types of boats, a very basic cruising couple with small boat and modest needs, a medium level for a family of four, and a burn-through-money-like-water budget. However, the book's examples won't take into account the price increases caused by the extremely high fuel costs over the last two years. The cost of diesel and gasoline has basically doubled in many areas, and the costs of transporting all goods has been affected, causing increases in the price of food, manufactured items, etc.

Nethos 04-10-2008 07:23 AM

Awesome info guys, thank you! This site is a wealth of info. And thanks for the tip on the Beth Leonard book--I will pick that up!

wantokex 04-10-2008 01:32 PM

I would have to second Beth Leonards "The Voyager's Handbook" one of the three books that does not leave my desk top as we do our re-fit.


ebs001 04-10-2008 08:12 PM

Sailnet use to and may still have in the articles archives that will give you all kinds of information on just about anything you want to know about cruising. There were at least two articles on budgeting. Go to and go to "articles" at the top and search out the topic(s). Here's one for example

sailingdog 04-10-2008 08:20 PM

Be aware, as the articles get older, the costs related in them are less and less accurate. :)

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