Now the trip complete we can conclude on that all important,
often asked but rarely definitively answered issue, the cost of cruising.
As a follow up to a previous post Costs of Cruising 1.0, we
now have the final accounting. From A to B and back to A over eleven months all
bills are in.
Overall it has cost just over $36K for eleven months, 6000 nautical
miles from Montreal to Spanish Virgin Islands and back. That's it! No "and" "if's" or "buts" about it. If you want to go cruising down to the Caribbean for a year this is what is costs! Settled.
As I said in the preliminary post these costs do not include
costs before leaving (ex. the cost of the yacht, cost of first dinghy,
etc.). Any equipment costs listed are all for things we picked up en route.
We were way under budget in some categories and over
budget in others. We were over budget the most in the Social Activities
category (+69%) mostly due to Eating Out. We were also slightly over budget in
the Provisions category (+36%) mainly due to Groceries. So eating has cost a
lot more than we expected.
While the Boat category came in on budget overall there
were some interesting sub-category variations; Diesel was overbudget by +43%
and Spares & Equipment was over by a whopping +600%. Spares & Equipment
was mostly impacted by a new dinghy ($1000), new batteries ($400) and safety
equipment ($1000)(Inflatable PFD’s, tethers, EPIRB, VHF Handheld with DSC,
etc.). Beyond these though I am surprised at just how much other Spares &
Equipment we bought, as evidenced by our now bursting storage space. It all
really adds up!
We also had some “exceptional” costs that other cruisers may
or may not have (ex. loss of aforementioned dinghy $1000, visit to Disney Land
$860, two trips back to Canada for weddings $1300)
On the positive side we were vey lucky not to have any significant unforeseen medical issues and insurance was a lot less than we thought.
I also must also admit here that the canine crew cost far less than I thought!(72% less). He gets to stick around.
If you’re comfortable with spreadsheets and want to see
the raw data or use it as a template you can find our final budget and full list of
expenditures on my google drive here.
- Cells highlighted yellow in
monthly / yearly budget tab indicates numbers are entered there,
non-highlighted cells are calculated from entries elsewhere.
- All amounts are in
either CAD or USD currencies (when we left, the currencies were at par but
during the trip they averaged about 5% difference, not enough to merit
calculating the exchange for every entry)
If we had had to budget again we would make distinct
entries for fishing equipment (now included in Spares & Equipment)
In conclusion, even though we had significant budget
exceedances in some categories we are pleasantly surprised that overall two
people (and a dog) could live this wonderful adventure for about $36K per year. I’m not
sure but I think this is likely equivalent or possibly less than living on
I would love to hear any thoughts, comments or questions you might have