Let’s take a look at the real cost of live aboard cruising and have get some insights on how to budget.
You can try to research the cost of this kind of journey. But in most cases having no previous experience usually leads to precarious figures. Sure, it is easy to count some evident expenses such as the boat itself, insurance and other must-have belongings. However, it is quite difficult to get to know all the possible costs for fuel, groceries, repairs and maintenance when you are still on shore. So, monthly costs might seem obscure until the day to set off on journey.
The purchase of a yacht is the largest investment itself. Thus, a golden rule is to buy a vessel that you could afford to run in order not to limit yourself with too tight monthly budget.
A real-world story: a couple bought a fine 55ft brand-new, semi-customised catamaran. But after 18 months they had to stop cruising and return to work. This couple would have extended their adventure, if they had chosen less expensive and smaller boat (considering the insurance costs!) used the savings for the extension. The miscalculated expenses of monthly run cost the duration.
Most sailors must agree that the diet in Europe is a treat. Reasonable prices, fresh, healthy, high quality food and beverages can make provisioning costs low. Meanwhile, the shortage of anchorages can force to spend more money and time in marinas, which equalize the costs. Contrarily, the Caribbean and the Bahamas were enjoyable because of free and spacious anchorages. Meantime, the food was mainly imported and the bills of eating out are extremely high, higher than central London meal prices.
The South Pacific costs will be revealed in another post. But what we can mention about it is that the sailing in the area does cost a lot indeed. Nevertheless, Australia is one of the most expensive cruising destinations because of high provisioning and labour costs. Meanwhile, Asia gratifies visitors with ridiculously cheap expenses, just of course keeping in mind some exceptions like Singapore which is one of the most expensive countries for cruisers due to high provisioning and labour costs.
It is smart to have three main categories for budgeting:
– fixed annual costs such as boat insurance and health insurance (boat insurance generally is between 1.5% and 3% of the boat’s value);
– variable monthly costs such as groceries, marina/mooring fees, cruising permits, and fuel;
– discretionary spending like dining out, entertainment and excursions.
Even though all the costs depend on personal habits and monetary freedom, the monthly expenses are calculated between 1700 Eur and 2850 Eur on average.
In fact, there are people, who sail the world with much smaller monthly budget, seems it is not only about the money. It is more about determination: being organised, knowing tricks, meeting like-minded people and exchanging experiences & tips can help you save some money. Also, be aware, it might come to some important sacrifices and compromises. So, the determination and personal habits do the math.
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