The Cost

"How much does it cost to go cruising?" Is by far the most common question, whether expressed or not. The question is understandable, but kind of ridiculous too. The fact is, the answer is the same as if the corresponding question was directed at a land lubber: "How much does it cost to live on land?" Answer to both questions: "It depends." There are about as many variables to consider as cruisers. The most significant variables that will drive the spending of any cruiser are spending habits, locale, and boat size/condition.

What everyone really wants to know is how much it will cost them to go cruising. Of value is seeing the exact costs realized by real cruisers out there, hopefully living in the same manner you envision yourself living. I know of a few cruisers who provide just this kind of info: s/v Bumfuzzles/v Camilles/v Hotspur, s/v Third Day, s/v Wondertime, and m/v Viking Star. Also, Livia aboard s/v Estrellita 5.10b keeps a more comprehensive list here. All of this accounting is both diverse and helpful. We aim to build on this data with our own accounting, below. Please let us know if you are aware of any other cruisers documenting their expenditures and we will list them here.

Following are the costs (with notes) incurred by the Del Viento crew on their 1978 Fuji 40, beginning April 2010 and updated regularly (listed in reverse chronological order).



JAN 14
FEB 14
MAR 14
Moorage
19
n/a
n/a
Transportation
166
n/a
n/a
Boat Gear
461
n/a
n/a
Personal Gear & Health
77
n/a
n/a
Postage & Comm
245
n/a
n/a
Entertainment
108
n/a
n/a
Food
532
n/a
n/a
Other
28
n/a
n/a
$1,636
$ n/a
$ n/a


January 2014: Boat Gear includes boom repair and used kayak paddle.
February 2014: n/a
March 2014: n/a


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2013 TOTAL EXPENDITURES:  $37,476

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



OCT 13
NOV 13
DEC 13
Moorage
264
510
275
Transportation
267
799
155
Boat Gear
854
628
181
Personal Gear & Health
262
238
33
Postage & Comm
142
144
47
Entertainment
0
38
0
Food
637
968
274
Other
0
2543
172
$2,426
$5,868
$1,137


October 2013: Transportation includes only about $45 in boat fuel, the rest is parking fees and gas for cars we borrowed. Boat Gear includes replacement spinnaker halyard ($200), new continuous furling line and splice ($140), gallon-sized epoxy and catalyst and thickener, fiberglass, interior paint, boot stripe paint—all in prep for future work on boat in Mexico.
November 2013: Moorage includes 7 nights in Oxnard at $60 per night. Transportation includes about $300 for boat fuel, $275 for car rental, and the rest in car gas for our long Thanksgiving drive. Boat Gear includes two gallons of bottom paint ($500). Other includes annual family health insurance premium ($2,131) and Mexican liability insurance ($162).
December 2013: Other includes Mexico immigration fees and a mooring reservation for San Diego—for years from now.


JUL 13
AUG 13
SEP 13
Moorage
370
390
278
Transportation
378
437
537
Boat Gear
76
145
375
Personal Gear & Health
102
31
12
Postage & Comm
62
326
118
Entertainment
137
326
118
Food
1438
1239
1670
Other
17
0
85
$2,580
$2,782
$3,090


July 2013: Entertainment includes helicopter ride for Eleanor. Food includes two extra crew for week in Glacier Bay.
August 2013: Postage & Communication includes cost to mail outboard engine in for repair.
September 2013: Boat Gear includes new battery meter. Food includes extra Costco provision in Port Angeles, $800. Other includes credit card annual fee.



APR 13
MAY 13
JUN 13
Moorage
488
491
256
Transportation
20
80
548
Boat Gear
1296
515
66
Personal Gear & Health
546
356
50
Postage & Comm
0
276
88
Entertainment
98
45
107
Food
940
1880
619
Other
823
38
38
$4,211
$3,681
$1,772


April 2013: Boat Gear includes back-up iPad, propane heater, oil filters, Racor filters, 2 Polyform F5 fenders. Personal Gear & Health includes $280 for ECG and full blood work. Other includes $600 annual premium for boat liability insurance.
May 2013: Boat Gear includes oil, varnish, sink spout, 600’ spool of polypropylene. Postage & Communication includes $95 mistake in which I had something sent ExpressMail overnight to Canada. Food includes heavy provisioning for our trip north, done mostly in Port Angeles. Also, too many last dinners out in Victoria.
June 2013: Moorage, we paid for 5 nights during the month: Lund (2), Pender Bay, Gorge Harbour, Port Harvey. Transportation includes $525 for diesel.




JAN 13
FEB 13
MAR 13
Moorage
535
528
513
Transportation
23
237
507
Boat Gear
256
895
0
Personal Gear & Health
868
278
326
Postage & Comm
12
137
100
Entertainment
358
27
110
Food
1089
1449
1092
Other
16
354
219
$3157
$3905
$2867


January 2013: Boat Gear includes raw water pump rebuild. Personal Gear & Health includes $522 for girls' drama class, $145 for new camera. Entertainment includes $280 for rock climbing membership. Other includes propane.
February 2013: Transportation includes several bus and ferry rides. Boat Gear includes $220 for Yanmar parts, $540 for heat exchanger and oil cooler service, plus spending on fluids and tools. Other includes two nights at a Vancouver hotel and a donation to the BCSPCA.
March 2013: Transportation includes rental car and ferry to visit Portland, OR. Other includes $200 donation to Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2012 TOTAL EXPENDITURES: $71,239

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 



OCT 12
NOV 12
DEC 12
Moorage
538
529
532
Transportation
169
133
6
Boat Gear
369
809
0
Personal Gear & Health
3053
542
536
Postage & Comm
397
157
13
Entertainment
119
74
274
Food
1374
1061
1149
Other
576
84
362
$6595
$3389
$2872


October 2012: Transportation includes $110 for LA rental car. Boat Gear includes $312 for two new reading lights. Personal Gear & Health includes $1685 for our family’s annual health insurance premium, $875 for gymnastics classes for the girls. Postage & Comm includes $176 for early termination of our US data plan. Other includes $287 for increased boat liability insurance, $105 for Seattle hotel.
November 2012: Transportation includes $100 for ferry to Port Angeles. Boat Gear includes $740 for 5 new cabin lights.
December 2012: Personal Gear & Health includes two doctor’s visits, computer repair, and $50 for showers and laundry. Entertainment includes $209 for IMAX passes. Other includes $236 for gifts.







JUL 12
AUG 12
SEPT 12
Moorage
405
143
325
Transportation
529
608
560
Boat Gear
779
405
66
Personal Gear & Health
138
155
283
Postage & Comm
126
160
30
Entertainment
62
91
93
Food
984
1002
1466
Other
516
135
163
$3539
$2699
$2986


July 2012: Transportation includes $129 in fuel for cars we borrowed. Boat Gear includes $450 for new aft cabin hatch. Other includes cost of KKMI Sausalito haulout.
August 2012: Transportation includes $88 in fuel for cars we borrowed. Boat Gear includes $196 for new radar cable and parts. Other includes donation to Matt Rutherford's CRAB cause and credit card annual fee.
September 2012: Transportation includes $320 in airline and ferry tickets for quick trip to Los Angeles in following month. Personal Gear & Health includes warm clothing. Other includes donation to wildlife support groups and credit card annual fee.










APR 12
MAY 12
JUN 12
Moorage
403
810
807
Transportation
1138
2152
305
Boat Gear
193
17374
2129
Personal Gear & Health
48
673
379
Postage & Comm
135
55
216
Entertainment
14
80
235
Food
753
1371
1274
Other
518
0
200
$3,202
$22,915
$5,545


April 2012: Transportation includes Eleanor's plane fare to D.C. ($511) and diesel for the Baja Bash. Other includes annual premium for boat liability insurance for the U.S. and Canada.
May 2012: Transportation includes Windy's plane fare from San Diego to Thailand ($1487) and a month's car rental in San Diego. Boat Gear--WOW!--includes the Portland Pudgy ($5900), new mainsail cover ($430), new v-berth mattress ($987), new windlass gypsy ($293), new coaming boxes ($391), new instruments ($1497), new radar ($1886), Torqeedo outboard ($2110). Personal Gear & Health includes a camera repair ($225) and some new power tools. 
June 2012: Boat Gear includes a new forward hatch ($430), new propane tanks ($400), and a radome mount ($249). Other includes the dinghy impound fine from Dana Point.










JAN 12
FEB 12
MAR 12
Moorage
181
580
447
Transportation
82
463
143
Boat Gear
247
2060
8606
Personal Gear & Health
10
1387
540
Postage & Comm
39
175
63
Entertainment
10
57
68
Food
779
701
736
Other
55
25
43
$1,403
$5,448
$10,646


January 2012: Nothing remarkable with regard to expenditures.
February 2012: Transportation includes Windy and Frances's trip to San Francisco. Boat Gear includes welding work to add an attachment point at the bow rollers for the foil-less furler, cost to test and rebuild the turbocharger, and new Yanmar injectors. Personal Gear & Health includes U.S. medical care for Frances's eye infection. 
March 2012: Boat Gear includes a new main sail and a new Facnor foil-less furler, and new Code 0 light-air sail. This also includes over $500 spent on three separate and frustrating attempts to have a UV cover sewn to our jib. Personal Gear & Health includes four teeth cleanings and a new crown.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2011 TOTAL EXPENDITURES: $47,925

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OCT 11
NOV 11
DEC 11
Moorage
520
807
442
Transportation
59
86
234
Boat Gear
2826
2674
219
Personal Gear & Health
159
62
1916
Postage & Comm
285
59
151
Entertainment
15
34
143
Food
708
702
797
Other
121
50
0
$4,693
$4,474
$3,902


October 2011: Boat Gear includes all of the stainless work we had done on the bow pulpit, anchor roller, dodger, aft stanchions, davits, and upper chain plates. Other includes a charitable donation.
November 2011: Moorage increased dramatically with the season change. Boat Gear includes the 2 stainless steel water tanks and 4 lower chain plates we had fabricated. Other includes a charitable donation.
December 2011: Personal Gear includes an 11-foot rigid kayak we bought from fellow cruisers and $1,278 annual health insurance premium. Transportation includes $162 charge for diesel.



JUL 11
AUG 11
SEP 11
Moorage
400
400
520
Maintenance
0
0
0
Travel
1454
26
44
Outfitting
12488
2055
1074
Personal Gear
665
238
140
Postage & Comm
273
 135
478
Entertainment
87
121
0
Food
890
817
867
Other
1863
2000
85
$18,120
$5,792
$3,208

July 2011: Other includes $660 for partial month villa rental and about $1,200 for Mexican car/boat liability insurance and taxes paid at the border crossing. Outfitting includes all of the boat stuff we boat in California, all of the boat stuff we bought in PV, yard fees for haulout, and the cost of hiring labor. Travel does not include food prior to arriving in PV, just gas and lodging.
August 2011: Other includes $2000 for monthly villa rental. Outfitting includes $1090 for reupholstering the interior cushions. 
September 2011: Moorage is the monthly cost of our new slip at Marina Riviera Nayarit. Other includes a credit card annual fee. Postage and Comm is high this month due to using an iPhone in Mexico. Outfitting is strictly retail purchases for the boat.




APR 11
MAY 11
JUN 11
Moorage
400
400
400
Maintenance
120
60
60
Travel
0
0
3763
Outfitting
0
0
0
Personal Gear
0
0
445
Postage & Comm
115
  128
172
Other
0
0
0


$549
$588
$4,820
April 2011: Postage & Comm is new this month reflects a $15 set up fee and $100 deposit for our mail forwarding service.
May 2011: Postage & Comm includes lots of mailing of heavy boxes to California for later pick up on our trip.
June 2011: Travel includes $1,665 for food, $442 for entertainment, and $1,556 for fuel and lodging.




JAN 11
FEB 11
MAR 11
Moorage
400
400
400
Maintenance
120
120
120
Travel
0
0
0
Outfitting
30
0
0
Personal Gear
100
89
0
Other
0
0
0
$650
$609
$520


January 2011: Outfitting is $30 at Apple App Store for Navionics software. Personal Gear is $95 for the medical kit supplies and $5 for a HAM radio license test application.
February 2011: Personal Gear is $89 for butane hot knife/soldering iron.
March 2011: n/a


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2010 TOTAL EXPENDITURES:  $77,644

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



OCT 10
NOV 10
DEC 10
Moorage
400
400
400
Maintenance
120
120
120
Travel
0
0
820
Outfitting
4,270
406
32
Personal Gear
680
0
0
Other
0
0
0
$5,470
$926
$1,372


October 2010: Outfitting and Personal Gear is money spent on boat stuff at Annapolis Boat Show (see full list here).
November 2010: Outfitting includes boat items we bought at West Marine: set of stainless steel fasteners and miscellaneous; oil filter and impeller online; and a hand-held vaccuum cleaner, FoodSaver, P-Touch labeler, and $150 in first aid kit supplies.
December 2010: Travel costs are for Windy's trip to Puerto Vallarta. Outfitting cost is for file folders bought at Staples to organize boat manuals/etc.






JUL 10
AUG 10
SEP 10
Moorage
400
400
400
Maintenance
219
120
120
Travel
0
0
0
Other
0
25
0

$619
$545
$520
July 2010: Maintenance fees began this month--$60 each for our boat minders and bottom diver. $40 extra to minders to buy dehumidifying agents at Home Depot, as needed. Also included is $59 dollars to diver for spare zincs.
August 2010: Other includes Western Union charge to wire money to bottom diver (Danny of Sparkle Dive Service). 



 

APR 10
MAY 10
JUN 10
Moorage
400
430
400
Maintenance
0
0
0
Travel
0
1,755
0
Other
99
65,110
0

$499
$67,295
$400
April 2010: Found a private slip on the Puerto Vallarta Craigslist, began paying on the 15th ($400/month). Other is HELOC closing cost.
May 2010: Travel is cost for Eleanor and I to Mexico to check boat out and sea trial. Other is cost of boat ($64K, no sales tax!) plus survey, rigging survey, and haulout. Moorage includes prior owner's slip per diem before we could have the boat moved.