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A Singlehander’s Cruising Costs

cruising costs

Our friend recently shared his cruising costs and trip statistics with us aboard his beautiful 37 foot sailboat.  He is a singlehander, which means he cruises by himself.  Below are his costs for 257 days cruising along the East Coast of the US and throughout the Bahamas. These costs were incurred after leaving and do not include- $15,000 or more spent on the boat or $1,100 on food provisions before leaving.

Singlehander Cruising Costs

Food = any food purchased except restaurants
Restaurant = food someone prepared for me
Tips = given to dock help,  tips at restaurants etc not in this number
Boat = maintenance along the way, insurance for Bahamas $1,400
Laundry = just fun tracking
MISC = did not fit anywhere, ex. T-shirts
Total = divided by 257 = $78/day or 30 x 78 = $2,340/mo

Bigger boats cost more, but it is the marinas that get you.

 

Trip Statistics:
257 days
70 days at marinas, 29 different marinas, avg. marina $60/night, avg. marina depth 10.6 ft.
123 days at anchor, 51 different anchorages, avg. anchor depth 10.7 ft.
31 days at Free docks, 15 days on moorings, 18 days on hard

531.9 Engine hrs., $1,768 diesel fuel, avg. $4.43 gal, diesel engine 4JHE Yanmar 44 hp, .73 gph
This trip makes 6 Gulf Stream crossings and thus far all uneventful.
Water prices per gal ranged from .20 to .40 per gal and some offered daily, week or monthly rates.  For the combination purchased $228.90 between December 26 and April 16.

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Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

The cost of cruising is always a hot debate.  The general rule is that the smaller you go, the less expensive.  Every foot of boat increases costs exponentially.  The Albin Vega is about the smallest one can go in, and we think our costs reflected that.

Many people are curious about these things, and we hope this is helpful for any planners out there. 

Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

Amelia has tackled the ominous mega-binder of everything Velocir to bring you a pretty fair outline of our costs.

Ways We Saved Money:

– Grant’s employee discount at Bacon Sails, so most of our budget was slashed 30%

– Buying a large portion of our materials and gear secondhand.

– Wedding gifts (tools, cookware, safety gear, SPOT, AIS etc)

– Lived with family and on Velocir while working

– Completed all installation and work ourselves

– Under age 26 (health care covered through parents)

– No debt to pay

– We were given hand-me-downs and many materials were lying around the family workshop

Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

Outfitting Costs:

How much do you spend before you even leave!?!  Many people, Grant included, are very wary of knowing the actual cost of outfitting Velocir.  Well, Amelia can’t calculate it 100% anyways because we didn’t keep perfect track. We’d also like to point out that we went above and beyond in preparation.  It was worth it for us, but many of these things certainly do not need to be completed before going cruising.  It was as much a journey as it was an education.  Velocir was not purchased to go cruising. Amelia got it with her Dad as a father-daughter project and completely re-built it from the hull up.  A budget-minded cruiser would probably buy an already outfitted boat to save time and money.  But then you can’t have it “your way” and know every inch of your boat. Ah, compromise.

Approximate Total Cost: $27,000 (without employee discount 30% more)

To see a slideshow of the work done on Velocir click here.

Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

To give a sense of our discount here are a few stats:

– Our New Sails: $2768 (Retail $5500)

– Our Chain: 85 cents a foot (Retail $3 afoot)

Cruising Costs:

Our cruising costs are 100% accurate.  Every receipt was recorded into a spreadsheet and reviewed monthly. Our goal was to spend no more than $1000 a month.  As you can see, the average cost per month was $920, and could have been less if not for our towing incident!  The total we spent during 8 months was $7421.  It turns out, once the boat is cruising-ready, it is the cheapest thing we can do.  (Not many lifestyles where you do not pay to sleep at night.)

Month 1 (Annapolis, MD to Wrightsville Beach, NC)

We are still working out the kinks, but focusing on sailing not motoring.

Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

Boat Items: cleaning supplies, hose fittings, fasteners, extra manual water pump, deck wash pump

Misc Items: surf wax, cleaning supplies, books, postcards, fishing supplies, fishing license, etc.

Month 2 (Wrightsville Beach, NC to St. Augustine, FL)

A new toilet takes a chunk out of the budget.

Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

Boat: new Nature Head composting toilet, hose, installation parts

Dockage/Mooring: St. Augustine

Misc: fishing supplies, leisure

Month 3 (St. Augustine, FL to Marsh Harbor, Abacos)

We stock up on food before the Bahamas, get snorkeling gear & pay customs fees.

Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

Boat: oil, fasteners, hardware, paint

Dockage/Mooring: Cocoa, FL

Misc: Bahamian Customs, snorkeling gear, fishing gear, rum

Month 4 (Marsh Harbor, Abacos to Governors Harbor, Eleuthera)

Off on our own, not buying stuff.

Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

Dockage/Mooring: Spanish Wells Mooring

Misc: rum, beer, taxi

Month 5 (Governors Harbor Eleuthera to Georgetown, Exumas)

By a grocery store again, enjoy fresh food!

Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

Misc: rum, ice, festival tshirts

Month 6 (Georgetown, Exumas to Morgans Bluff, Andros)

Get stuck in Andros with no anchorage, fill-up on fuel for crossing.

Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

Dockage/Mooring: Fresh Creek, Andros 3 nights

Misc: straw market, Androsia

Month 8 (Fort Pierce, FL to Morehead City, NC)

Towing incident, then resort to motoring to get through the ICW.

Cost of Cruising: Albin Vega Velocir

Boat: tow offshore, hoses

Dockage/Mooring: Fort Pierce, FL (towing related), St. Augustine mooring & NC

Misc: books, taxi to customs, local art

Month 9 (Morehead City, NC to Annapolis, MD)

Fuel: $56

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