24 March 2017

Cost Of Living Aboard Tickety Boo | February 2017

It’s time for our regular cost of living update, which I've been doing every two months. We've been tracking how much it costs to live aboard our Moody 346 sailboat, S/V Tickety Boo, at Indiantown Marina in southern Florida, where we were initially laid up during last hurricane season and where we're currently living while we finish up some boat projects before we head off to the Bahamas for the season.

Because we headed off cruising in March, I'm closing out this series of posts with our expenses from February. I'll then do a round-up of our cost of cruising in Florida and the Bahamas once we're back in the States for hurricane season.

You can find links to other cost updates from ourselves and others on this page, as well as on The Monkey's Fist. If you want to know the details of how much we spent over the past two months, have a look below.

Cost of Living Aboard | February 2017

Overall, we spent $3,653 during February which is a lot of money, but isn't all that surprising given our long list of boat projects.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of what we spent, here are a few things to note:

1 - All costs are in US dollars.

2 - Not all expenses are included - here's what we've left out:

(a) We don't report how much we spend on alcohol. I remember reading some horrible, judgy comments in a blog post a few years back about how much someone spent on booze, so I left it out when we first started tracking our cruising costs back in New Zealand. For consistency's sake, I've continued to leave it out when tracking our cruising and RV costs.
(b) We haven't included costs related to storing our Scamp travel trailer ($21 per month) because we track the cost of our RV and cruising adventures separately.
(c) We've also left out our costs for medical insurance. We didn't think it made sense to include insurance costs as they can vary so widely depending upon your nationality, where you cruise, what level of coverage you want and can afford etc. In case you are curious, while we're back in the States, we do have insurance through the health insurance marketplace (aka ACA/Obamacare), primarily to protect our assets and cover us in case of a catastrophic medical condition. We renewed our policy for 2017, but as things are up in the air following the election, we'll have to wait and see what happens with coverage this year.
 3 - I've included any shipping and taxes we've paid in what we report. Florida has a 6% sales tax. Boo.

GROCERIES | Total = $763

This category includes everything we put in our bodies in terms of food and drink (excluding booze) that we prepare ourselves. It doesn't include things like paper towels and ziploc bags, which I know some people would classify as groceries. Sure, you could probably eat them, but they wouldn't taste very good.

This is a lot more than we usually spend each month, but we did a final provisioning run before heading to the Bahamas. We found groceries to be really expensive last time we were there, so we're trying to stock up on as much as we can.


This is the category where we include household things (like paper towels and ziploc bags) and personal hygiene items (like soap and shampoo). We also capture items for the "home" here - like bug spray.

ENTERTAINMENT | Total = $122

In terms of drinks and eating out, this includes everything we don't prepare ourselves, even if we get something to go and eat it back on the boat. We also track how much we spend on books, magazines, DVD rentals and going to the movies in this category, as well as the occasional lottery ticket.

One of the great things about hanging out in Indiantown is that there really isn't all that much to spend your entertainment dollars on. But since Scott has been back, we have been going out to eat a bit more. Plus there have been a couple of times that we've been so tired from working on boat projects that we've gotten a pizza instead of making dinner ourselves.


Our cell phone is actually one of our biggest non-boat related expenses. We have a $60 monthly GoPhone plan with AT&T which includes 8GB of data and unlimited calls and texts.

BOAT FUEL | Total = $68

We spent $28 on diesel for our inboard engine and $40 on gas for our outboard engine and our generator.

LPG | Total = $14

We use LPG (or propane) for cooking while we're out cruising. We filled up both of our tanks before heading out.

MARINA COSTS | Total = $593

Keeping Tickety Boo in a slip is one of our biggest expenses. The monthly cost of a slip with electricity at Indiantown Marina for a 34.5' boat is $572.40. The guys at the marina will also come pump out our holding tank on demand - $5.30 for each visit.

BOAT STUFF | Total = $1,791

This category is for all the stuff we've been buying for the boat and repairs and maintenance costs. During February we continued with our spending spree and bought a freshwater hand pump, a new bilge pump switch, some 3-strand nylon line, an auto pilot drive clamp kit, an auto pilot belt, an impeller for our outboard and lots of other bits and bobs.

TRANSPORT | Total = $62

This category is for costs related to our vehicle, mostly for gas to keep it going and drive into the nearby "big city" of Stuart for errands.


This category includes medical expenses outside of our monthly insurance premium (which aren't included here - see section on exclusions above), like over the counter medications, prescriptions and things for our medical kit. It also includes the costs of doctors visits and medical tests which aren't covered by our insurance.

OTHER | Total = $102

In this category, we break out how much we spend on clothes and travel expenses. We also include a catch-all miscellaneous group for stuff that doesn't fit neatly anywhere else - things like laundry ($3.25 for a wash and dry at Indiantown Marina). One of the things I bought last month was a new hat with a string on it to keep it on my head when the wind is blowing.

Are you surprised by how much we spent last month? Is it more or less than what you would have expected? Do you track your expenses?

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  1. Considering all of the projects you've listed this past month, that really wasn't a lot of money. Think of doing similar projects to one's house all in one month and the cost would be a lot higher.

  2. Despite the fact you spent so much, I think you've down an awesome job keeping personal expenses down. It seems to be the Marina expenses that got you. Too bad it's so much. Good luck finishing projects and getting down to the Bahamas!

    1. Staying at marinas definitely is expensive. It's been nice to be anchored out for the past couple of weeks - so much cheaper.

  3. You've done very well with all the projects I've been reading about. Very well. Good for you.

    I always chuckle about the alcohol. There are too many judgemental people out there. They should mind their own business. What you drink is none of their business.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

    1. There definitely are some judgy people out there. Thankfully, we don't run across them too often.

  4. I think those judgy people need a cocktail!

    Food struck me as high, but I guess if you are stocking up for 3+ months, it is actually kinda low.

    Thanks for the rundown. It will prove useful to many who are planning to 'get away'.

    - Lisa

    1. Hopefully, it is helpful to other folks thinking of doing the same thing. We found it helpful to read other folks' cost of cruising.

  5. Your grocery cost is not high at all for doing a big stock-up! Costs will only go down from now. For a little while at least... :-)

    1. That's true...costs will go down for a while but once we eat through everything, they'll go right back up.

  6. Sailboats would be so cheap if you just didn't have to pay for everything.

  7. It would give me a headache to ad all that up.

    1. I'm one of those strange people who enjoys spreadsheets :-)


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