2018 Cruising Costs

It can be hard to get real numbers for what people actually spend cruising full-time.  Sometimes items are left out like a monthly boat payment or a mortgage on the house.  Maybe annual boat maintenance doesn’t get included.  Incomplete lists aren’t very helpful when you’re trying to figure out how much it costs to cruise.  That’s why, before we cut the dock lines, we decided that we would have a page dedicated to our monthly costs down to the last penny.

Hopefully this will be helpful for any readers who are wondering whether they can afford to go cruising, but obviously you’ll want to make adjustments for your own personal circumstances.  In other words, YMMV (your mileage may vary).  For example, our costs for eating out are very low and there isn’t any category for alcohol.  That wouldn’t be the case for most people, but Jeff’s congestive heart failure means that he needs to limit his salt intake and (for now) he can’t drink.  Eating out is challenging with a low-sodium diet, so generally when we do go out it’s for breakfast where sodium is more easily controlled.

Now that the caveats have been dispensed with, here we go:


Groceries: $297.98
Diesel/Gasoline: $14.00
Health Care: $4,726.23 – this amount is a one-time Cobra payment covering October – December.  We will sign up for the Health Exchange so the cost will go down dramatically beginning in January.
Cell phone and internet (2 phones, one iPad data plan, iCloud storage, and a
Garmin inReach subscription): $110.99
Last pro-rated internet bill from the apartment: $9.99
Mail Service: $121.75 – this includes a $100 deposit to the UPS Store which they will draw from when we have mail forwarded to us.
Laundry: $26.00
Ice: $13.00
Showers: $9.50
Netflix: $11.10
Boat Insurance: $90 – this is a flat amount to account for the increase in our premium when we added a rider for the Bahamas and increased Pegu Club’s declared value.
Boat stuff: $318.19 – this amount is for 2 handheld VHF radios, supplies for our water catch, a 12v plug inverter to recharge the computer, carabiners and lines to make a dinghy hoist, ten oil diapers, a 5 gallon collapsible water jug, a chain hook, two velcro wraps, electric cable anti-chafe, two fuses, and a 9v battery for the multimeter.
Restaurants/Entertainment: $79.60
Uber/Bus: $30.83
New York Times subscription: $20.20
Marinas: $58.49
Auto Insurance: $51.36 – this is the difference between the refund for cancelling our policy when we sold our car and the premium for our non-owner policy which will keep us out of the high-risk pool should we purchase another car in the future.
Annual subscriptions: $82.79 – This is a one-time annual payment to upgrade our PredictWind app and a one month upgrade for our SailFlow app.
Random: $17.08 – this amount includes dominoes game, a tea kettle to replace the one that broke, and other miscellaneous amounts

Total: $6,089.08


Groceries: $415.65
Diesel/Gasoline: $151.79.  This includes a can of TruFuel (non-ethanol gas) for the dinghy which is $20 a can.  Moving into states that sell non-ethanol gasoline at the pumps will help a lot with this.
Propane/Denatured Alcohol: $24.81.  Two propane canisters for heat and the grill, and one gallon of denatured alcohol for the stove.
Health Care: $84.47
Cell phone and internet (2 phones, one iPad data plan, iCloud storage, and a
Garmin inReach subscription): $165.61
Mail Service: $10.60.  The UPS Store charges $5.00 to have mail delivered and held.
Laundry: $31.75
Ice: $9.00
Showers: $2.00
Netflix: $11.10
Shenny annual dues: $550.  We decided to maintain our membership for another year to keep our options open for returning to our slip in Groton next summer.
Boat stuff: $2,445.09.  The repairs and a power wash to Pegu Club’s bottom cost $2,188.36.  The rest is for a ditch bag, zincs, extra cotter pins, spare bolts for the windlass, a 5 gallon diesel jerry jug, disposable gloves, 2 hanging dehumidifier bags, and some hose to make oil changes easier.
Restaurants/Entertainment: $181.84
Uber/Bus: $16.00
New York Times subscription: $40.40 (gets billed every four weeks)
Marinas: $301.  This is for one night on a mooring in Port Washington, two nights at a slip in Delaware City, and four nights on a mooring in Annapolis.
Life Insurance: $220.75.
Random: $153.88 – this amount includes new v-berth sheets (the cotton ones always felt damp), a Kindle book and a real life book, a write on/wipe off board, a collapsible push cart for groceries, two Mega Millions tickets, AAA batteries, anti-skid for the galley cupboard, two DVD’s, and tips for marina staff.

Total: $4,815.74


Groceries: $426.57
Diesel/Gasoline: $133.28.  This includes five gallons of ethanol-free gasoline in a jerry can for the dinghy.
Propane/Denatured Alcohol: $37.08.  Eight cans of propane which we use for heat and the grill.
Health Care: $140.37
Cell phone and internet (2 phones, one iPad data plan, iCloud storage, and a
Garmin inReach subscription): $164.39
Mail Service: $100.  This covers future mailing expenses when we have the UPS Store forward our mail.
Laundry: $6.00.  We did laundry on our trip to Connecticut (thanks, Rebecca!) and Belhaven Marina had free laundry which helped keep this monthly expense low.
Ice: $9.00
Showers: $2.00
Netflix: $11.10
Boat stuff: $114.27.  This included tea tree oil, antifreeze, a heat diffuser for the stove, a box of latex gloves, replacement short-fingered gloves, and anchor gloves for Jeff.
Restaurants/Entertainment: $303.64
Uber/Bus: $30.32
New York Times subscription: $20.20
Marinas/moorings: $502.  This is for two nights in Hampton after we returned from Connecticut (the other five nights are included under Connecticut expenses); five nights in Belhaven where we were delayed by weather; five nights on a mooring in Carolina Beach where we were again delayed by weather; and one night in Georgetown, SC.
Clothing: $263.52
Connecticut-related expenses: $1,096.23
Random: $1,192.09.  This amount includes the iPad and case, iPhone, a magnifying glass so I can read the charts more easily, hand and foot warmers, boat cards, and tips for marina staff.

Total: $4,552.06

September- November monthly average: $5,152.29