Dani and Tate s/v Sundowner W32 - 12 month cruising costs

  • January 05, 2016 18:25
    Message # 3741726
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    (In case you missed their blog - here is their post about cruising costs.) 

    12 month cruising costs, Jan to Dec 2015

    05TuesdayJan 2016

    Written by Dani in Boating

    Happy 2016 folks! Wow what an incredible year it has been for Tate and I and in just one day we will celebrate our 1 year cruising anniversary!

    Yep…If you remember we cut the dock lines on Jan 6th 2015 in the Artic cold from New Orleans, Louisiana and headed straight across the Gulf of Mexico to Key West, Fl before heading to Cuba to smoke some cigars. After a while we shot straight across the Gulf Stream to Isla Mujeres, Mexico traveling inland to cool ruins and cenotes and then made the week journey to Providencia, CO where we hiked up beautiful mountains full of crabs and watched horse races on the beach. Next we trekked further south to the San Blas Islands in Panama and spent 3 months getting better at spearfishing and being chased by sharks.

    In total we have sailed a little over 2,000nm most of which was in open ocean. We haven’t had any major boat problems (knock on teak) and just LOVE our Westsail 32 Sundowner.

    Tate and I have been reflecting on our time the past 12 months and can say without a doubt that it has been the most incredible year of our lives to date! The amazing experiences we’ve had in just 1 year have made all of the hard work of the previous 5 totally worth it. Seriously if we went home tomorrow we’d have no regrets.

    So how much did this year cost us? DRUM ROLL PLEASE….

    $21,782 – total cost for 2015

    That’s an average monthly cost of $1,815.

    This year was a bit more expensive than we had hoped for ($1,500) but this includes $3,500 spent on spearfishing equipment and water sports accessories like wetsuits etc. There is also about $1,500 in items that we purchased from Amazon and had our friends bring to us to make the boat more comfortable like different clothes, electronic gadgets and kitchen ware. We feel this cost was well worth it and will give us many years of fun activities and eating well.

    During our first year we didn’t feel restricted in our budget or the amount of fun we had. Honestly we could have spent a good bit less, but alas we like our toys.

    I think others out there hoping to plan can cruise like we did for much less. It’s all personal preference.

    Check out the cost analysis of the first 6 months here and with WAY more detail on ourCost Page

    I tried to pick a variety of categories that would encompass anything we could spend money on and plan to keep these the same throughout the trip. They are sorted in a more logical order based on type instead of just alphabetically. I have added a few examples for each one to help give an idea of what is included:

    1. Alcohol – bars, grocery bought and sometimes restaurants if a large percentage
    2. Eating Out – restaurants
    3. Grocery – food or household items
    4. Books – kindle unlimited, ebooks, physical books
    5. Entertainment – tours, park entrance fees, horseback riding, movies
    6. Gifts – presents for family and friends
    7. Tobacco – Tate’s pipe tobacco and accessories
    8. Water Sports – snorkel gear, spearfishing gear, wetsuits
    9. Communication – Delorme InReach, internet, phone, postcards, blog hosting
    10. General – miscellaneous items for household
    11. Laundry – pay laundry service on shore
    12. Medical – doctor’s visits, dentist, medicine
    13. Travel – taxi’s, buses, ferries, planes, cars, hotels
    14. Cruising Fees – checkin/out fees, visas, permits, copies, insurance
    15. Fuel – diesel, gasoline, propane
    16. Maintenance – boat products, parts, labor fees, boatyards
    17. Marina/Anchoring – marina fees, mooring fees, dinghy docks

    Here is our cost breakdown each month by category for the year of 2015, Enjoy!

    2015 CRUISING COSTS

    Ports:
    Jan-Key West
    Feb-Marina Hemingway Cuba
    Mar,Apr,May-Isla Mujeres MX,
    Jun-Providencia CO

    Category 2015 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Total
    Alcohol 341 381 140 69 168 52 1,151
    Eating Out 631 293 368 173 392 225 2,082
    Grocery 180 56 178 303 290 198 1,205
    Books 20 10 135 101 10 10 295
    Entertainment 71 131 79 - - - 281
    Gifts 4 16 - - 218 - 238
    Tobacco 150 467 - - 259 - 876
    Water Sports 360 - - - - 152 512
    Communication 199 84 61 84 63 85 576
    General 20 - - 97 32 68 217
    Laundry - - 13 9 - - 22
    Medical - - - 14 - - 14
    Travel - 193 136 - 290 57 676
    Cruising Fees - 143 220 - 78 142 583
    Fuel 18 43 10 219 - 10 300
    Maintenance 28 - 4 112 47 - 191
    Marina/Anchor 54 280 - - - - 334
    2,076 2,097 1,344 1,181 1,847 1,008 9,553

    Ports:
    Jul,Aug-Providencia CO
    Sept,Oct,Nov,Dec-Panama

    2015 Category Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
    Alcohol 195 130 104 115 104 272 920
    Eating Out 181 39 26 32 44 279 601
    Grocery 399 332 266 79 427 457 1,960
    Books 10 10 10 10 110 10 160
    Entertainment - 8 - - - 35 43
    Gifts - - 305 - 20 52 377
    Tobacco - - - - 132 477 609
    Water Sports 1,410 512 - 554 74 464 3,014
    Communication 221 76 102 107 106 106 718
    General 31 206 6 304 282 946 1,775
    Laundry - - - - - - -
    Medical - - - - - 554 554
    Travel 10 - - - - 48 58
    Cruising Fees - - 370 60 - - 430
    Fuel - 30 106 - 30 12 178
    Maintenance 261 - 85 - - 358 704
    Marina/Anchor - - - - - 128 128
    2,718 1,343 1,380 1,261 1,329 4,198 12,229

    $21,782 – total cost for 2015 (average monthly cost of $1,815)

    We feel the expense of this year was totally worth it and while we were going to try to “make up the difference” by saving money in 2016 to cover the overages in 2015 we are just going to accept it and keep it in 2015 moving in a new, clean budget for 2016 with a more seasoned outlook on costs.

    We didn’t only spend the holiday season going through our numbers and playing with spreadsheets, we also (thanks to plane tickets home from Tate’s dad, THANKS Mr. Logan<3) went home to see our families!! It was COMPLETELY unexpected and the trip from our marina in the jungle by bus to the airport was an interesting one to say the least. The trip consisted of a hike through the jungle in the rain, 3 different buses, no English speakers or Gringos anywhere to be seen and 8 hours of travel time. What an adventure in itself. More details on this in a subsequent blog post. It was really nice to see everyone and we were sad to leave but an EXCITING year for 2016 awaits us and we are just getting started.

    Stay Tuned!


  • January 06, 2016 06:37
    Reply # 3742828 on 3741726
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I write about almost everything on my blog, but I draw the line on personal finances.  However, our experience pretty much confirms Dani and Tate's numbers.

    We estimate that living on board and cruising full time costs us 1/4 to 1/3 as much as if we lived on land.  We would not have been able to afford retirement with a conventional life.   However, there are two major caveats that go with that.

    1. The cruising life is instead of land-based life, not in addition to land-based life.  You have to shed all possessions not on board your boat. 
    2. Being healthy with near zero medical expenses is a prerequisite.

    However, I must confess that we are backsliding.  We bought a car this year after 10 years with no car.  That's a big expense.

    It may also be worth noting that we could move one notch lower in costs while still living a comfortable life. That would be to move to one of the many marinas on Rio Dulce in Guatemala.   Reports from other cruisers suggest that we could live there for 1/2 to 2/3 of what we spend now.



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