“How much does it cost to go cruising?” Anyone who has flirted with the idea of cruising has wondered (or obsessed) over this simple question. Us included. The most honest answer, though least helpful, was “as much as you have”. It is true, just like living on land it can be done within a widely wide range of budgets. Perhaps the better question to ask is “How much will it cost for us to cruise in a manner we will enjoy?”. Here the variables of type of boat, cruising ground, dining preferences, amenities (marinas), and land touring begin to get sorted out. Is “dinner out” sitting on a deck at a table draped in white linen, or is it an overflowing styrofoam container of local food that you eat on the curb in the parking lot? Does touring include rental cars, guides, and hotels or hitchhiking and maybe splurging on a scooter?
In our planning days I found the most valuable information from reading blogs by couples already out cruising and who graciously shared their costs. Here was were we were able to compare the differences between a $1000.00 per month budget to a $4000.00 per month budget and get an idea of which lifestyle most closely matched what we were envisioning for ourselves. Whew…we didn’t need $4000.00 a month!
So here is our little “Pay it forward” to all those blogs whose budgets I devoured and studied. We don’t have a monthly budget per se, as our costs can vary dramatically depending on where we are and what we are doing. Instead we try to find the balance between fun and comfort and stretching out our savings. The faster we spend, the shorter the cruise-at the same time the whole point is to be enjoying this experience to the maximum. I’ve included all of our costs, not just those related to cruising but did round to the closest dollar. So, here is how we did that this month:
So what were the major factors this month? Well, take a peek at the chart and you will quickly notice what category sent us over the edge this month! Our Mercury 9.9 4 stroke engine learned a new trick this month, it started making oil. Not a cute trick (and not nearly as profitable as it sounds). Keith did the obvious troubleshooting and repairs like replacing the fuel pump and such but after a few weeks of trying to work on it and having difficulties getting parts flown in we threw in the towel and followed in our friends footsteps and bought a new Yamaha 15 hp 2 stroke outboard from the local dealer. We kept the old motor and when we have access to parts Keith will get it sorted out, but for us a reliable outboard is an absolute necessity. We often go for miles in it, it has to get us home every time. Other factors that influenced the budget this month were the lack of spearfishing grounds and the close proximity to the grocery store and a few good take-away shacks. Other than that it was a pretty normal month.
FOOD AND BEVERAGES $346.00
PERSONAL AND MISCELLANEOUS-$5.00