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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > $3000/mo cruising budget
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Topic Review (Newest First)
57 Minutes Ago 05:11 PM
Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

One of the great things about being old is all those fond memories.


1 Hour Ago 04:44 PM
Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Chef Boyardee ?! Gary, you're dating yourself.

We called that Purina Bachelor Chow in the 70's, but the kids eat Ramen Noodles now.

They're too naÔve to realize they can buy the same noodles, less a lot of slat and fat, for $2 for two dozen bundles in the oriental markets, then just add a shake of freeze-dried soup or veggies if there's nothing better around.

Bachelor Chow. UGH.

Do like the Viet Cong, ten pounds of rice will keep you alive and burn minimum fuel for most of a month. No can opener needed.(G)
1 Hour Ago 04:19 PM
Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

If you're a marina to marina sailor, run the engine a lot, you will easily drop $100 a day into the dockage fees, electric and fuel bills. However, if you spend your nights in a quiet cove, on the hook, cook your own meals, nothing extravagant, and sail every chance you get, the bill goes down considerably.

TV dinners are a couple bucks apiece and those that I've tried lately have been pretty darned tasty. Some of the new canned stews, soups, Chef Boyarde stuff is pretty tasty as well. I know, everyone wants filet mignon and lobster for dinner, but lets be realistic, no one in their right mind eats that stuff every day and lives to a ripe old age.

The booze bill can also eat up a big chunk of the budget. I have a fully stocked bar on the boat, but most of it was purchased at "Cheap Charlie's Liquors." Instead of Midori melon liquor that sells for $30 a bottle, I buy the $6 a bottle stuff, which IMO, actually tastes a lot better. Same goes for coconut rum and tequila. I keep some Bacardi Oakheart onboard as well as some Jim Beam Honey, which I really enjoy. Not real expensive, but pretty darned tastey.

There are a lot of days when I get lucky and catch dinner while sailing relatively close to shore along the eastern seaboard. Bluefish, dolphin, small yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, and when anchored, sea bass, grunt, porgy, snapper and an occasional keeper size grouper. All these are skinned, filleted and packaged in zip-lock bags filled with fresh water and frozen. They stay fresh tasting for months on end.

That cruising bill, obviously, can vary substantially, depending on your method of cruising, and your dietary preferences. If I blew $3000 a month cruising, I would not be cruising for very long. Not only would I wipe out my bank account, but before that happened, my wife would wipe me out. Like I said earlier, I'll check my quicken account and determine exactly what I spend each year. If it's above $500 a month, including slip rent and winter storage, I would be very, very surprised.


4 Hours Ago 01:54 PM
Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

if you are going to be a marina to marina sailor its going to be expensive.
4 Hours Ago 01:12 PM
Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Marc, I haven't had a car payment in 40 years and will never have car payment if I can help it. I know folks that pay $500 and more for their car and often wonder why.

Our power bill is always fairly low in comparison to our neighbors that have children at home, we're on septic and well, so no payments there either. There are some distinct benefits for those of us that live out in the sticks, but to be honest, I would rather live aboard full time. My loving spouse, however, has a different perspective on that, though.

All the best,

5 Hours Ago 01:01 PM
Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

I guess the real point happy. If you aren't, do something else. If someone can be happy spending much less than me, they are the fortunate ones! I just want enough for my wife and myself enjoy our lives, cruise safely and not burden others. That amount could be smaller but, given our particular circumstances, it is unlikely to grow.
The nice thing about this discussion is that you can see the variations in peoples approach.
Our primary goal was to get onto the water and we made that happen. That does not mean that someone with less resources couldn't do the same thing. They simply need to follow a different route. To be sure Gary, $2000 is a good chunk. We don't pay that anymore! Nor power bills, or water or property tax or car payments or even close to what we used to pay for fuel in those cars.
5 Hours Ago 12:30 PM
Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Wow! I couldn't imagine paying a $2,000 per month mortgage. I'm really showing my age now. Back when I had a mortgage, which was many, many years ago, the payment was $150 a month for 3000 square feet of home on 5.5 acres of land. My how times have changed. When I get home again, I think I'll take a close look at my boating expenses over the past decade, just to get an accurate figure on what I really spend on cruising. I suspect it's a lot less than most folks, but I could be wrong. My loving spouse of more than a half century says I spend way too much of my income on boating. Who knows, she may be right, but I wouldn't tell her if she was.

9 Hours Ago 08:29 AM
Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Originally Posted by chuck5499 View Post
Keep going on the expenses and see what the longer term cost is IF you wander farther than the Bahamas. The East Coast of the USA and Bahamas are no expensive. But if you start wandering farther away the cost does add up.

We have 6 years of cost data on an excel spreadsheet that we will share with anyone and put it on other forums. give me a pm with your email and i will send it to you.
I have no doubt that costs will rise as we move further away. Airfare, fees and fuel being some of the biggest. Some costs will decrease however. In any case, we continue to shelter a portion of the budget for those contingencies. I have met so many people that have such varying lifestyles yet manage to get out and sail. Some very well may be at that $500 level and some are obviously over the $5000 a month point. Most seem to be in the $2000 range. That is what I used to pay in mortgage! We are quite happy with the way our projected expenses have worked out. Last year we ended with a tidy surplus that can go into the contingency fund. Nothing is completely predictable and change is inevitable. Everyone must find their own way to make their dreams come true. However, if you don't take the chance, they certainly won't.
14 Hours Ago 03:28 AM
Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Originally Posted by windnrock View Post
An update on my previous post - My wife and I have been full time cruising for the past year and a half, went to New England for the summer of 2014 and are now in the Bahamas. We have a 41' Bristol (1981) that we restored and upgraded. We have traveled about 4000 nm. With food, fuel, replacement parts and repairs as well as occasional outings and dining out we are managing to do about $1500 per month. Fees entering the Bahamas, when spread over three months is about $120 per month. Anchoring everywhere is free, the wind is free and the fish are free. Sure, we will need to do some haul outs, get new parts and even replace batteries at some point but with 400 watts of solar, wind gen and a watermaker we are pretty self sufficient. A 10 lb. bottle of propane lasts about 2.5 months because we use electric whenever we can with the inverter. We have no mortgage, no electric or water, no property tax and no cars to maintain. The trick is to conserve a portion of the "monthly" expense to build a kitty for future expenditures. With our initial budget of $2000/mo., we will have about $3000 for haul and refit every 6 months! While I do virtually all the work on the boat, I also know every inch of her. I would be doing work around the house and mowing the lawn or shoveling snow too. Sure I do repairs in exotic places, but then again, here I am in exotic places! $3000 is way good to live on! Someone with a smaller, less complex boat could do better than us and easily live on $1000 to $1100 per month. It all depends on the individual and the lifestyle. We also have a large deductible on our Boat Insurance and keep a savings account to cover that and the Health Insurance deductible. That helps keep those amounts down.

"Fair wind and smooth seas!"
Keep going on the expenses and see what the longer term cost is IF you wander farther than the Bahamas. The East Coast of the USA and Bahamas are no expensive. But if you start wandering farther away the cost does add up.

We have 6 years of cost data on an excel spreadsheet that we will share with anyone and put it on other forums. give me a pm with your email and i will send it to you.
1 Day Ago 05:37 PM
Re: $3000/mo cruising budget

Originally Posted by Don0190 View Post
Determining a cruising budget and trying to find out if it will work seems like one of the most important parts of cruising, yet is one of the hardest to find any answers on. Before I got into sailing I spent 2 years researching the cost issues and in the end kind of just gave up and placed myself on a path to cruising anyway.

The question frequently becomes all jammed up with "it depends" and "it costs whatever you can afford to spend" answers. Which are true, but of little value for planning. Planning becomes even more important for those not so young when the decision to stop working and go cruising equals an end to a career and little chance of returning to work at anywhere near the level they were when they sailed off. The goal becomes balancing leaving while young enough to get the most of of cruising, while working long enough to not run out of money.

But I'm becoming more and more job burnt out and more and more caught in the dream, so find myself looking for the answer. To do it I spend lots of time reading though blogs looking for what people are spending and comparing it to what they are doing. I read things like the "Interview with a Cruiser Project", waste my time on the various forums, and just plain taking a guess based on what it costs me to live on land and maintain my boat now and have a budget in mind.

The budget I'm currently planning for is $3000/mo, which has to cover basically everything. Now this isn't a down and dirty budget, and it isn't a live high budget. But it is expected to be a comfortable budget that allows sightseeing and not eating out of a can budget. And as an average amount is one that I could cruise on till I no longer an able (that $3000/mo, $36,000/yr budget becomes $52,500 when I'm 75 at 2% inflation).

If you are in the cruise for $500/mo group this isn't a thread for you. But if you are in a similar position for cruising on $3000/mo I would love to see comments on what you expect this to mean far as your cruising plans.

I plan on

when my children graduate college (maybe before) I am selling this larger home I have for the family and buying a teeny tiny house/town home/condo for cash.

no debt.

As few monthlies as possible hopefully NONE.

Buying a boat for cash. One that has most of what I want.

27-32 footer 10-15K No loans. proven traditional design (albin vega pearson etc..) So I can go anywhere I want if I choose to.

Small and simple without a ton of expensive whiz bang doodads.

As few thru hulls as possible. (Simpler)
water maker

Anchor out as much as humanly possible. (free)

Prepare my own meals as much as possible (cheaper). I've eaten in tons of restaurants so I know I'm not missing much.

Basically insurance for the boat. Maybe NONE since its so cheap (not monthlies)
I'm not circumnavigating so its doable.

The wife can come if she wants or she can meet me there.

But I will be sailing long before that time.

36 grand is a huge yearly budget. at least to me. I plan on 1000 or less a month
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