06 July 2018

Cost Of Cruising & Living Aboard A Sailboat | May & June 2018

We track and report every penny we spend living aboard and cruising on Tickety Boo, our Moody 346 sailboat for a couple of reasons.

1 - It helps us see where our money is going, helps us make informed choices about where to spend our money, which in turn helps us stretch our money further so that we can keep adventuring longer.

2 - We found it really useful to check out other people's cost of cruising when we were starting out, so we figure we can return favor by sharing ours.

We're currently at Indiantown Marina in Florida. Scott is working overseas so the costs are lower than if he was here. He'll be back in the next month of two and then costs are going to skyrocket as we start work on the very long list of boat projects that we have to do.

You can find links to other cost updates from ourselves (on Tickety Boo, camping across the States, and our previous boat in New Zealand) and others on this page, as well as on The Monkey's Fist.

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Cost of Cruising & Living Aboard | May & June 2018

Overall, we spent >>$2,339<< during May and June.

When you look at the nitty-gritty details of what we spent below, here are a few things to keep in mind:

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 costs.
(b) 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, whether you get subsidies etc. In case you are curious, while we're back in the States, we do have a high deductible/high out-of-pocket expenses insurance through the health insurance marketplace (aka the Affordable Care Act), primarily to protect our assets and cover us in case of a catastrophic medical condition.
(c) I haven't included any expenses related to my writing projects (e.g., editor, book cover design, publishing expenses, author website).
(d) Scott was in Scotland during the past two months, so our expenses are a lot less than they would be if he was here.

3 - I've included any shipping and taxes we've paid in what we report - Florida has a 6% sales tax.

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GROCERIES | Total = $372

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.

Although we don't budget (you can read more about that here), I'm happiest when we keep our monthly grocery spend per person under $200. So that means a spend of $X for the past couple of months for just me made me very happy.


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 = $177

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.

My entertainment over the past couple of months has involved quite a few meals out while I was in Atlanta and back here in Indiantown (can you say Taco Tuesday?). I also saw Solo and splurged on overpriced pop and popcorn. I don't know why Solo didn't do better in the box office. I really liked it.


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

BOAT FUEL | Total = Nil

Tickety Boo has been sitting in her slip so we haven't needed to get any fuel.

PROPANE  | Total = Nil

We have a propane/LPG cooker on our boat, which we need to replace as the stove no longer works and replacement parts aren't available. While we're at Indiantown Marina, we use an electric hotplate and a crockpot for cooking, so we haven't had to spend any money on filling our propane tanks.

MARINA COSTS | Total = $1,355

Keeping Tickety Boo in a slip is one of our biggest expenses, and the rates went up in January. The new monthly cost of a slip with electricity at Indiantown Marina for a 34' boat is $657. The guys at the marina will also come pump out our holding tank on demand - $10 for each visit.

BOAT STUFF | Total = $68

This category is for all the stuff we buy for the boat, as well as  repair and maintenance costs. I had to buy a new tarp to cover the boat and a few other bits and bobs. I also bought some stuff off of friends who are selling their boat - courtesy flags and water jerry cans.

TRANSPORT | Total = $28

This category is for costs related to our vehicle, mostly for gas to 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. I have not idea what the $2.22 was for - maybe allergy pills?

OTHER | Total = $233

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, Amazon Prime, presents, computer parts, postage etc.

I spent some money on clothes - most on leggings (so comfortable) and flip-flops, which is kind of may daily uniform. I also found a great deal on a solar shower at Aldi and we can always use a spare one of those. Perhaps my fave purchases was one of those lap desks so that you can work on your computer while you're lounging in bed.

Any money saving tips to share? What do you spend the most on each month? Are there any areas you're trying to cut back on?

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  1. Low cost months for you. Too bad you guys couldn't sail it to Scotland.
    I think it's sad Solo hasn't done better. I enjoyed it.

    1. I'm disappointed Solo didn't do better. I would have liked to have seen a sequel to that one.

  2. It makes a lot of sense what you leave out of your expense reporting to the public. You must miss Scott. ~hugs~ If you don't mind my asking, what does he do for work there? And is that his birth nation? Sorry if I'm being nosy. Be well, my dear. And Happy Writing!

    1. I do miss him, but he's often worked away from home, so we're kind of used to it. A bit like being a military wife. He's a commercial archaeologist. And no, he's American, from North Dakota.

  3. I've wondered the same thing that Darla is asking. I would hate being apart from hubby even one night. I'm sure you both have great reasons for him working abroad.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ♥

    1. It's just kind of the way it worked out and we're kind of used to it by now.

  4. $11 for personal? Wow, we probably spend $20 a month on TP and Kleenex alone.

    1. I know what you mean - my allergies are acting up so you may see a huge increase in kleenex spend next month :-)

  5. It sounds like living on a boat is not that expensive if you don't ever want to sail it anywhere. That, of course, is not the point.

    1. And it'd be even cheaper if we were anchored out instead of at a marina. But then of course things would break and there'd be those costs :-)

  6. Well done on the grocery expenses again. And, I'm glad you spoiled yourself a bit eating out. That usually means fun times. I'm hoping to do some once I'm back in New England with friends and family.

    Flip flops I can understand in Florida, but leggings? Not too hot?

    We always had a spare sun shower on our boat. Sometimes they last forever, but as many times, they rip at the most inconvenient times.

    I'll have to look into one of those lap desks, as I enjoy hanging out in bed when being online, which now has to happen on the iPad.

    1. Because I always have the AC on, my legs often get cold, so leggings work perfectly :-)

  7. Admiration here, for maintaining a personal budget. Thanks for sharing!
    Total envy that you live on a boat.
    Total agreement on withholding vital booze expenditures.

    1. There are good days and bad days living on a boat, just like on land :-)

  8. it's interesting to see the expenses of living on a boat. A couple of mystery series have the main character living in one because it's cheaper but it looks to be about the same as a one-bedroom apartment. At least in Arizona but we might be cheaper than coastal cities.

    If you go sailing to up the coast or across the ocean, do you still have to pay for the marina? Or you only pay when you stay there so that when you travel, you only pay for the spots you stay at along your trip? For traveling that would save a ton of money if you don't have to keep paying on the marina spot because it would be like being able to take your apartment with you and not having to pay for a hotel.

    1. When we're out cruising we try to avoid staying at marinas and anchor whenever we can which is (usually) free. It's like a floating RV in that way - you take your home where ever you go.


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