Friday, October 10, 2014

Final Accounting – Costs of Cruising

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.
Drum roll please….


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.

Some notes on the file:
- 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 land. 

I would love to hear any thoughts, comments or questions you might have (click below).

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