The Cost of Cruising

Before buying our boat, even before seriously making any plans, we researched the financial side of sailing. We made a small spreadsheet with everything we thought we were going to need: boat, boat insurance, medical insurance, groceries, repairs, etc. For every theme we looked up how much it was going to cost and put all that together. We started following blogs, reading books and online articles about financing a sailing trip.

It was pretty difficult to come up with a number, because it also really depends on your lifestyle: some families with children manage to live off 500 euros a month and there are also retired couples spending as much as 5.000 euros a month. We expect to live frugal, just as we were already doing ‘at home’ because we were saving up money to do this. But when travelling, we also think there should be room in the budget for trips, entertainment and the occasional drinks at a nice terrace in town. We incorporated an ‘optimistic’ and ‘pessimistic’ monthly budget, respectively 1’800 and 2’400 euros – and hope to stay close to the optimistic scenario of course.

The month of June was the first month we could see if our estimations were right, so we were excited to make up the first balance (or at least I was!). And.. we were kind of accurate! We spent 2’000 euros in total, so we totally stayed within our budget. We expected to spend around 25% on groceries, 25% on repairs, and 5% on all the other themes (marinas, boat insurance, health insurance, fuel, repairs, customs, eating out, going out, washing/clothes, unexpected). This was very much off, but probably a good estimation if we look at our expenses over the next few months. June wasn’t a standard month because there were little anchorages and the fuel tanks and kitchen cupboards were empty to start with, etc.

What really surprised us is how much money we spend on eating out. All those gelatos and beers are counting up. That might be something to keep track of..


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