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bell ringer
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just finished 4 years of cruising and living on the boat and am reviewing the costs and major events. The year was to me very expensive at $57,613 and $8802 more than last year that I also thought expensive. The year was interrupted by a broken shoulder that needed recovering time, and of course “The Virus”. To us it seemed we hardly moved at all and we spent most of it in waiting mode. But we did travel from Gulfport MS to the Florida Keys, then to the Bahamas, then back to Florida to Jacksonville. So where did the money go and how might it help planners and wannabes in deciding their plans?

Our “General” living category was $13,156 and has been pretty consistent over the four years. It was $1,242 more this year and a lot of that is due to my wife spending 4 months at my daughter’s house recovering and she was buying food there at same time I was on the boat. This category includes food and related items, sundries, clothes, haircuts. Basically, it is the things we would have spent just “living” and if an item does not fit in some other category it goes into this one. This category was 22.8% of the year’s total costs.

Boat maintenance, repair and upgrades was a big category this year again at $19,856 and 34.5% of total money spent. But it is probably worth breaking the maintenance/repairs and the upgrades apart some. In the maintenance and repair part of boat costs we got a new mainsail for $5800, had a engine flange develop a crack that turned into a remove and take to a machine shop to get the bolts out project that was about $500 total, replaced head hoses using the expensive hose that was about $300, a new solar controller $300, and did lots of those small everyday maintenance items that really add up if people were to keep track of them. In the upgrade spending we got a new electrical start outboard $2300, a new electric flush head $1000, a used Spectra watermaker that by the time it was all installed was around $3300, new refrigeration unit to split out our freezer spillover system that cost around $650 all total. Then there were things like a new BBQ grill, a sewing machine and material to make dinghy chaps and sunshades ($500), nav chips for the chart plotter, new charts, new handheld vhf, a big canvas tarp for a boom tent etc. etc. that sometimes are hard to decide if they are maintenance or upgrades. But overall can say that maintenance/repair were about $11,800 (half of that just the mainsail) of the boat costs and about $8,000 were upgrades that didn’t really need to be done but we wanted them.

Fuel costs are not worth talking about in the big picture. But spend $746 this year, which was $545 less than year because so much time was spend just sitting around

Dining and drinking out dropped a lot due to the quarantine and we spend a total of $4500 (7.8% of total), which was $2384 less than last year. We aren't happy about it really!!!

Entertainment was also way down as we didn’t vacation due to the quarantine. This isn’t the way I would like to save money. We spent $1,306 this year on entertainment, down $2,924 from last year.

Communication costs were $2,548 for the year, up $1,220. The added costs this year were 2 new cell phones for about $300, a Garmin inReach for $289 and its related costs for tracking and communication, and for an Island Wifi unit and costs for while in Bahamas. I will admit that family/friends feel better knowing where we are and we feel better knowing they know, and that we can get weather, texts, and send SOS etc. when out of cell range with the inReach unit.

Marina costs this year were $4,322, which is $120 more than last year and was 7.5% of total costs. I bet we spent 10 months this year in marinas or on a mooring, but except for time in the marinas in the Bahamas managed to always stay in a low-cost marina.

Medical and dental were up a lot and was $2,387. Our health care premium costs went up about $600 for the calendar year. But the big cost increase was a broken shoulder from falling off the boat next to the dock. While the major costs of that were covered by health care the copays for physical therapy etc. and the transportation related costs add up. So medical and dental was up $2,206 this year.

Transportation was a big category this year and was $5,924. This was due to a few extra weekly car rentals, but the big cost was buying a used car while in Jacksonville. We think this will be a savings once the car is sold (that number will roll into next year’s numbers) or be so close as to have made the convenience well worth it to us. But, for the year the cost was up $3,700 and that is almost exactly the total cost of buying, registering, and insuring the car.

There are a couple of other categories not worth a lot of discussion but are listed below.

So, there you have it. That is how WE spent $57,613 cruising and living on a boat this year. We definitely are not living a high life, but we are living a good comfortable one. It is just an example for others to use as they wish to budget/plan and it doesn’t matter if others could do it for less, because even we could. I don’t make any attempt really to separate “cruising costs” from “living costs”, because my bank account doesn’t know the difference and all the money was spent during the year while we lived and travelled on the boat.

Spreadsheet attached with monthly spending, year comparisons, big cost items tracking (not attached here email svrubberducky 'at' gmail.com if you want it). Yearly category totals are below.

General Living - Food, soda, alcohol, clothing, sundries, other - $ 13,1556.46
Boat costs - upgrades, repairs, maintenance - $ 19,856.72
Fuel (diesel, gas, propane) - $ 746.46
Dining and drinking out - $ 4500.80
Entertainment - $ 1306.81
Communication, storage, shipping - $ 2,545.32
Fees - $ (365.89)
Marina - $ 4,322.27
Electric - $ 189.80
Medical - $ 2,387.34
Transportation and travel - $ 5,923.63
Gifts - $ 1,426.85
Water - $ 80.00
Registration - $ 217.50
Insurance - $ 1,307.00
 

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bell ringer
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4,865 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
what?????????????????????
 

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bell ringer
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Discussion Starter #5
Thats a lot of money for water
Does it come with bubbles
$80 for the year? Have you lost your mind as I know you have been to the Bahamas.

$0.10/gal at Marathon Marina, $0.05/gal at Book Key Marina, $10/day at marina in Nassau Bahamas.
 

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What about depreciation? How long will you keep the boat and what do you think you will get for it (net of fees, taxes, etc.) relative to original cost? I'm guessing most boats depreciate 5-10% annually. It depends on the model, the age, level of maintenance and the economy. It is only possible to put a range on it but it seems most unlikely to come out to be <$1k annual. For the average boat owner (keeps boat at marina, sails some weekends), I would expect depreciation to be in the top four costs - in with marina, maintenance, insurance, etc. Note that you can hide from any of these other three (to an extent - skimping maintenance and insurance) but then depreciation / loss may catch up on you in compensation.
 

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bell ringer
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Discussion Starter #8
What about depreciation?
What about it.

This is cash accounting. Far as my finances i assume the boat is worth $0. But based on recent sales prices my 2001 boat that I have owned for 10 years is worth about 75% of what I paid for it.
 

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That is an impressively low rate of depreciation. It looks like you are in a zone between 10 and 20 year old boat where the initial rapid depreciation has passed but the boat is not yet dropping off as eventually unavoidable in all but collector type boats.
That would still be about 3% annual (0.97 ^ 10). You never mentioned the original cost. If it were $100k, that would still be $3k annual. I will guess your cost about half that so still over $1k annual.
Of course there is immense variability in this estimate - for example because the seller's idea of the value frequently doesn't match that of a buyer and what the buyer is willing to pay is highly variable based on their knowledge, the local market and national economy etc.

In any event, my point is not so much what this costs you but to make the point that for the AVERAGE boat owner, depreciation is likely an under appreciated and practically unavoidable reality. Notably, skimping on maintenance (which is tempting for the owner trying to cut annual cost - clearly not the case for you) will likely end up with higher depreciation because a properly surveyed boat will catch this. People can save a thousand here and there on marina, maintenance and perhaps insurance but can they avoid depreciation? They can until they sell. Having the mindset that the money is gone (as in your case) is wise because it gets you over the pain of depreciation up front.

It sounds like you are getting very good use out of your boat - the ideal situation. This is different for the AVERAGE owner - where the cost per hour sailed is high and that cost, logically, must include all costs constituting greater than trivial.

I would welcome anyone else commenting on what they think their depreciation is over whatever term - be it 1, 5 or 10 years. For a well maintained boat, maintenance is probably still higher than depreciation.
 

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Gifts - $ 1,426.85
I think your "Gifts" are a bit light on and you should probably consider me something nice. Diamonds are a girls best friend... but in these modern days I am wavering to my feminine side, hint hint.

This Covid year has been difficult for cruisers. For some being stuck in an marina all year instead of a free anchorage will have a vast budget difference. Many boats have had to move cruising grounds disrupting long term plans. All these thins cause cost differences. Many to the higher.
For many its just been damn boring "waiting".

Mark
 

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I would welcome anyone else commenting on what they think their depreciation is over whatever term - be it 1, 5 or 10 years. For a well maintained boat, maintenance is probably still higher than depreciation.
I paid $30k for my 1985 Cal 33 11 years ago. Current listing prices of this model are mostly upper 20s to mid 30s. I am sure I could sell quickly in the low 20s, so less than $1k depreciation per year. I do spend more than that each year on maintenance and upgrades.
 

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bell ringer
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Discussion Starter #12
Anyway, back to cash in hand. I hope for a few things for my 5th year. 1 - it costs a LOT less. 2- the world opens back up. 3 - no one gets hurt. 4 - Mark buys me some diamonds and actually gives them to me. 5 - the US Presidential election ends and I don't hear about it anymore. 6 - We make it the caribbean.
 
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