Cost of Cruising 2014


We are detailing every penny of every purchase we make while cruising.  So after you’ve checked out the other cost page and have seen how much it cost to purchase and outfit our boat for cruising, now you can also find out how much it cost to maintain a cruising lifestyle. Our cost is broken down into eight sections.

Dockage/marina covers any time we stay at a marina, have to pay for a dock or tie up to a mooring ball, or pay to use a marina’s facilities.

Diesel is any fuel we take on our boat, in the tank or in the jerrycans we strap on deck.

Boat Maintenance includes anything related to the boat.  Spare parts we order, cleaning products, hardware, electronics, basically anything that is related to the boat itself.

Boat insurance  is  what we pay each month for full coverage on the boat, should anything happen to us.

Groceries/general covers anything we’d purchase at a grocery store.  Food, toiletries, bed sheets, anything you could pick up at a Walmart or Target.

Eating out/Entertainment is for any food or drinks not purchased at the grocery store (we love our fast food) and whatever we spend money on to entertain ourselves.  Could be movie tickets, museum tours, or whatever floats our boat. (Ok, maybe that would fall into boat maintenance)

Cell phone/Wifi:  is for any prepaid phone card we purchase, or data plans including internet and wifi.

Other is anything else we can’t fit into the categories above.  From laundry or clothing purchases to subway passes; customs fees to local trinkets; or the five bucks you hand to the homeless guy on the street, should we ever feel that generous.


January 2014

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Marina/Dockage: $0.00

Diesel: $0.00

Boat Maintenance: $56.60

Boat Insurance: $140.00

Groceries/General: $230.16

Eating Out/Entertainment: $95.34

Cell Phone/Wifi: $0

Other: $32.31

Total: $552.42

Jan 2014

February 2014

Isla Mujeres, Mexico & Florida (Key West, Miami)

Marina/Dockage: $29.00

Diesel: $20.50

Boat Maintenance: $54.57

Boat Insurance: $140.00

Groceries/General: $340.30

Eating Out/Entertainment: $176.78

Cell Phone/Wifi: $0

Other: $83.68

Total: $844.83

Feb cost '14

March 2014

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Marina/Dockage: $0.00

Diesel: $78.30

Boat Maintenance: $568.26  ($248.10 to replace water maker housing and membrane)

Boat Insurance: $140.00

Groceries/General: $734.40   ($465.25 for provisioning trip at Walmart)

Eating Out/Entertainment: $332.72

Cell Phone/Wifi: $0

Other: $289.47   ($228.58 for new android tablet to serve as charts for the Mediterranean)

Total: $2,143.15

march cost

April 2014

Florida & The Bahamas

Marina/Dockage: $5.00

Diesel: $176.96

Boat Maintenance: $218.82

Boat Insurance: $140.00

Groceries/General: $253.87

Eating Out/Entertainment: $74.96

Cell Phone/Wifi: $35.00

Other: $494.09  ($260.00 for blood work for cat, $150.00 to clear into Bahamas)

Total: $1,808.70

april cost

May 2014

The Bahamas & Miami, Florida

Marina/Dockage: $0.00

Diesel: $0.00

Boat Maintenance: $582.69   ($234.00 to repair back-up autopilot)

Boat Insurance: $0.00

Groceries/General: $258.83

Eating Out/Entertainment: $22.61

Cell Phone/Wifi: $0.00

Other: $29.55

Total: $893.68

may cost '14

June 2014

Miami, Florida; Atlantic Ocean crossing, & Bermuda

Marina/Dockage: $0.00

Diesel: $77.69

Boat Maintenance: $484.34  ($194.04 for new backstay)

Boat Insurance: $0.00

Groceries/General: $402.39

Eating Out/Entertainment: $42.50

Cell Phone/Wifi: $0.00

Other: $286.17  

Total: $1,293.09

june cost

July 2014

Bermuda & Atlantic Ocean crossing

Marina/Dockage: $0.00

Diesel: $172.00

Boat Maintenance: $0.00

Boat Insurance: $61.67

Groceries/General: $17.50

Eating Out/Entertainment: $18.93

Cell Phone/Wifi: $0.00

Other: $36.00

Total: $306.10

july cost '14

August 2014

Atlantic Ocean crossing & Horta, Azores

Marina/Dockage: $434.13

Diesel: $0.00

Boat Maintenance: $2.47

Boat Insurance: $61.67

Groceries/General: $370.82

Eating Out/Entertainment: $125.50

Cell Phone/Wifi: $0.00

Other: $121.46  (We found cheap prescriptions in Europe!  Time to stock up)

Total: $1,116.05

August cost

September 2014

Horta, Azores & Ponta Delgada, Azores

Marina/Dockage: $370.57

Diesel: $0.00

Boat Maintenance: $2.67

Boat Insurance: $61.67

Groceries/General: $292.32

Eating Out/Entertainment: $60.52

Cell Phone/Wifi: $0.00

Other: $162.35  (More prescriptions.  And clothes.)

Total: $950.10

September cost

October 2014

Maderia, Portugal & The Canary Islands

Marina/Dockage: $371.07

Diesel: $70.20

Boat Maintenance: $35.75

Boat Insurance: $61.67

Groceries/General: $339.27

Eating Out/Entertainment: $113.39

Cell Phone/Wifi: $10.00

Other: $136.89  (You can get where this is going.)

Total: $1,38.24

October cost 1

November 2014

The Canary Islands

Marina/Dockage: $90.06

Diesel: $51.30

Boat Maintenance: $0.00

Boat Insurance: $150.00

Groceries/General: $246.36

Eating Out/Entertainment: $49.94

Cell Phone/Wifi: $6.67

Other: $64.85

Total: $659.18

Nov cost 1

December 2014

The Canary Islands & Atlantic Ocean crossing

Marina/Dockage: $42.50

Diesel: $96.25

Boat Maintenance: $433.27

Boat Insurance: $150.00

Groceries/General: $350.77

Eating Out/Entertainment: $195.67

Cell Phone/Wifi: $18.34

Other: $32.40

Total: $1,319.20

Dec Cost

2014 Total

Marina/Dockage: $1,322.38

Diesel: $743.20

Boat Maintenance: $2,439.45

Boat Insurance: $1,106.67

Groceries/General: $3,859.39

Eating Out/Entertainment: $1,308.86

Cell Phone/Wifi: $70.01

Other: $1,769.23

Total: $12,619.19

25 thoughts on “Cost of Cruising 2014

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  3. I’m amazed at how low your eating out bill is. I would have thought sampling of local cuisine would be part of the adventure.

  4. I love these posts. Thanks for taking the time to detail and document your finances. Can you imagine? A thousand bucks a month to live. So unbelievable and unimaginable on land. Missing you guys and boat life bunches <3

  5. I’ve been following several sailing blogs who have been cruising the Caribbean and Europe hoping to learn what it costs to cruise in those waters compared to where we are now (the Inside Passage). Thank you sooooo much for the info! It’s brilliant!

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. My wife, Kimberly, and I are just now planning on a boat to eventually sail it from San Francisco to the Caribbean for long term adventuring. The cost is Kimberly’s main concern. We can easily, with plenty of income left over, meet these amount so this helps put her mind at ease.

    This has been a lifelong goal of mine, we’ll 35 of my 52 years, and we can do it now. So, within a couple of years we’ll be out there.

  7. Nah Jorge, we like to keep the money in our pockets so we can enjoy these views for even longer. Plus my cooking has really come a long way, and buying local items in the grocery store can be just as fun. 🙂

    Ha, I should make that a disclaimer though! *We rarely go out to eat or drink. That is how you attain a $1,000/month budget.

  8. Good day! Thank you for sharing. I hoping that we can come in under $2k each month and I am happy to see that it is feasible.
    s/v Smitty (currently getting buried under another 2 feet of snow in Boston harbor!)

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  10. Thanks for sharing. I hope to add a similar page to our blog once we are able to cut the docklines and get out of Lake Michigan. It’s always helpful to see some numbers to help reenforce the dream.

  11. Thanks for sharing your budget. Btw, your math for April was added wrong. It’s actually lower than posted. 🙂

  12. You don’t mention customs fees for entering and leaving a country, can you please add those if any. The Bahamas has two fees one for boats under 35′ and a higher fee for boats larger than 35′.

  13. Jay, I do try to mention customs fees if they are over $50, but they usually end up in the ‘Other’ category. If you check out April for 2014 you’ll see we have this shown: Other: $494.09 ($260.00 for blood work for cat, $150.00 to clear into Bahamas). Hope that answers your question!

  14. wonderful trip!thanks for sharing ur story and let us dream!hope everthing goes well with ur trip.

  15. A personal question……why does your insurance vary like they do ??? My wife and I are preparing to retire in a couple of years…..nice to know you can live so nicely on a limited budget…..thanks for sharing and enjoy your time exploring…..we have much admiration for both of you…..and the cat as well…

    John & Nancy

  16. I noticed you didn’t spend anything for marina costs in Fort Lauderdale. Where can you anchor there?

  17. Nick, we spent almost a month anchored in Lake Slyvia. It’s a tight area though and I don’t know if they passed those new laws in Florida so I don’t know for sure if it’s still an option.

  18. John, our insurance costs show as varying because we bought our insurance for the Med beginning in August of 2014 and paid one lump sum, but I tried breaking it down into an even monthly cost. When we decided to turn around and head back to the US I knew we’d need insurance when we arrived in March, so I had to take the remaining part of the lump sum and try to divide it out between the remaining months I had until that point. Thank you for following!

  19. I just came against your blog today. I live here in Grand Rapids, Mi and you guys free spirit and adventure life style sounds wonderful. Best of luck in where the waters take you. I love the way you have outlined your expenses.

  20. Great & helpful blog! How do you keep your boat maintenance so low? I’ve got a 42′ late model Jeanneau on the Chesapeake. Two or three trips to West Marine each month are usually about $200 and that’s not counting the big costs when I need to hire a mechanic or similar.

  21. Hi Steve! When we sailed on Serendipity, our maintenance cost was so low because we had spent 2 years before our departure outfitting the boat with everything she needed and fixing any problems that arose. So once we did leave it was only minor things we needed to stay on top of. You can find a cost spreadsheet of everything that went into the boat before we left if you click on the Cost tab on our page.

  22. wow! excellent breakdown. I have been researching variations – and even if I consider conversion rates (I suspect you’re using USD – while I’ll be using CDN/EUR dependent on tour) this is totally doable! I don’t drink alcohol so that’s a huge saving for me, and prefer to cook – though I suspect my dining costs will be dramatically higher, as there is no way I’m going to NOT try food from any location where I anchor lol.

    From my pov – considering what rents I’ve paid in the past to live in resort locations – I am relieved! Thank you so so so much for your breakdown. Even with cost of living increases and inflation, I do believe this is completely doable without having to worry as much as I was worrying – about money 🙂

    what a relief!

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