How Much Does It Cost To Go Cruising

How much does it cost to go cruising?  We all know the answer to that… exactly as much as you have.  But that is not very helpful, now is it?  I’m going to simplify this question and tell you how much it costs myself and my husband to go cruising.  We have been cruising for seven years, far and wide, so I feel I can give you an accurate report.  Then, you can take my information and plug in your own numbers, because it is different for everyone.  For example, the boat might cost $30,000 or $300,000.   Cost of Cruising aboard Puff…Boat:  $50,000Equipment and Gear (self-steering, new sails, fishing and diving gear, inflatable dingy, etc.):  $30,000  (spread out over several years as we acquired new stuff)Yearly Maintenance  (including annual haul out and bottom painting):  Average $4000 (how I got this average: some years this is around $2000 if we have no major repairs and some years it can be higher, like $12000, if you have major replacements or repairs like the engine.)Dockage, slip fees, marinas:  $1500/year (Explanation:  We live out at anchor while we are cruising or island hopping through paradise, but 5-6 months out of the year we live in a marina in the USA while we work, we have paid anywhere from $200 – $750/month for marina rent)Mail Forwarding Service:  $10 – $14/monthCharts and Guidebooks:  $30 – $50 for a guidebook or cruising guide; $100 – $300 for paper and/or digital charts of each area.  (We attended a Seven Seas Cruising Association Marine Flea Market and bought paper charts for the world from a guy who had just completed a circumnavigation for just under $3000)Provisioning:  $1500+ for a 6 month cruise  (This is all dry goods, rice, flour, canned food, nuts, seeds dried fruit, spices, etc.  We do it cheap, of course.  You can buy gourmet or organic everything or lots of sodas, liquor and beer and spend 5x as much.)  Grocery and Eating Out Allowance:  Ours is quite small, $30/week.  We don’t eat out except maybe once a month, very cheap burgers or something, and we work hard to catch our own food almost every day, fish or lobster.  We buy fresh local produce every week from local farms.Water:  $30 – $60/month (Usually, when you are cruising, you pay for freshwater to fill you boats tanks, .10/gal to .50/gal.)  Diesel/Gasoline:  $200/month (And that is being generous.  We sail all we can and try to use the engine sparingly.  We do use gas for our dingy a lot to go fishing and diving, and of course it is our only vehicle while cruising.)Medical Supplies:  $300/year  (We stock  up on basics like antibiotics, suture kits, emergency medical supplies about once a year so we are prepared while cruising.  We had our doctor show us proper procedure for everything.)Licensing and Documentation:  $150 one time fee usually (Make sure you get proper documentation for your boat in your country of origin or you could be facing fines and legal penalties)Customs and Entry Fees:  $0 – $300/per country (This depends on what country, your best source for current entry fees is Jimmy Cornell’s site, I’ve probably forgotten some things, so I may have to do a part two of this article, but all the basics are here.     


10 responses to “How Much Does It Cost To Go Cruising

  1. Well I thought I would go ahead and send you all a response. I think this is one of the biggest questions about cruising there are….”how much does it cost”. You guys did a good job breaking it down. Im actually in the process of buying a 41′ CT which my brother and I are set to start sailing around Feb – Apr of next year. Heres a question for you…… HOW DO I GET MY GIRLFRIEND TO She’s “not sure” as of now.

  2. She needs to like camping, be fairly minimalistic, easygoing, and low maintenance… And, of course, willing to quit her job and leave family and friends behind… I did this for the first time 8 years ago, and would do it again in a heartbeat, the adventure and beauty of living in what I call “the real world,” our natural world is worth it, and it’s also addictive. For me, I can’t imagine not living the cruising life. But if she doesn’t want to do it, nobody wins if she’s pressured into it. If you each do what’s right for you, everything will work out for the best.

  3. I’ve camped in the woods of canada for weeks and loved it. Now I want to leave shore and sail for a few years. I’m not looking for pampering but I do want to see feel and live a life worth living. I have never sailed before am a retired vet and am somewhat fit. How long should it take before I could leave without being a danger to the rest of you. Oh I want to single hand cir too am I a nut?

  4. Sounds great, Joel! I say, go for it!

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  6. Excellent blog on the costs of cruising. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Pingback: Cost to Live on a Boat and Cruise? | The Crazy Chronicles: 5 Kids and a Boat

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