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:
Here is our cost breakdown each month by category for the year of 2015, Enjoy!
Feb-Marina Hemingway Cuba
Mar,Apr,May-Isla Mujeres MX,
$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.
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.
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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