I’m going to steal an idea from a fellow soon-to-be cruiser. Mid-Life Cruising added a new page a few weeks ago on pre-cruising expenses. Cost is often one of the biggest questions that most have about cruising. I have always used the 30-50% rule, meaning that you will spend 30-50% of the cost of the boat to outfit it to go cruising. In reality I just read that on a forum and other cruisers agreed with it. So I thought I would track some of our costs to help out others trying to decide if a cruising life style is one for them. Of course, this might backfire and the Bride might realize how much we are spending and start making me cut back.
Total Annual Costs
|Diesel Engine||Transmission Fluid||0.5||quart||Chevron ATF||$6.99||$3.50||West Marine|
|Oil||1||Gal.||15W-40 Marine Diesel (Rotella T)||$15.00||$15.00||Autozone|
|Oil Filters||1||Ea||Universal Part No. 300209||$16.80||$16.80||Hansen|
|Racor Fuel Filter||1||Ea||R20S||$24.99||$24.99||Defender|
|Primary Fuel Filter||1||Ea||Universal Part No. 298854||$14.60||$14.60||Hansen|
|Secondary Fuel Filter||1||Ea||Universal Part No. 48076||$37.00||$37.00||Hansen|
|Impellers||1||Ea||OB-6593K (1/2-in. shaft, D hole, 7/8 inch width)||$37.99||$37.99||Associated Diesel|
|Heat Exchanger Zinc||6||Ea||Universal Part No. 11885 (E-0)||$3.35||$20.10||Boat Zincs.com|
|Outboard||Lower End Oil||0.5||quart||$13.99||$7.00||Defender|
|Spark Plug||2||Ea||$5.00||$10.00||3A Marine|
|Carb Cleaner||1||16 oz can||$6.49||$6.49||West Marine|
|Rest of Boat||Running Riging Lubrication||1||16 oz can||McLube||$17.99||$17.99||Defender|
|Dodger Glass Cleaner||0.25||13 oz can||PLEXUS Plastic Polish||$14.99||$3.75||Defender|
|Window Cleaner||0.25||8 oz||Meguiars Mirror Glaze||$9.99||$2.50||Defender|
|Stainless Steel Cleaner||0.5||4 oz||Boeshield T-9||$13.99||$7.00||Defender|
|Boat Soap||1||quart||Starbrite Sea Safe||$8.99||$8.99||Defender|
|Bilge Cleaner||1||32 oz||Starbrite Sea Safe Bilge||$9.99||$9.99||Defender|
|Freshwater Filter||1||Ea||Shurflow waterguard in-line||$19.99||$19.99||Defender|
|Bottom Paint||1||Gal.||Interlux Pacifica Plus||$174.99||$174.99||Defender|
|Moisture Control||4||Ea||Damp Rid||$6.99||$27.96||Defender|
|Wax||1||32 oz||Starbrite Premium Marine Polish||$26.99||$26.99||Defender|
|Boat Soap||1||32 oz||Starbrite Sea Safe Hull Cleaner||$13.99||$13.99||Defender|
|Shaft Zinc||2||Ea||$6.00||$12.00||Boat Zincs.com|
|Marina||Winter Storage||31||feet||Haul, Pressure Wash, Stands, Relaunch||$55.00||$1,705.00||Hingham Shipyard|
|Summer Slip||31||feet||$110.00||$3,410.00||Hingham Shipyard|
|(10% discount for 12 month program)||1||-$511.50||-$511.50||Hingham Shipyard|
|Other||Fuel||1||Fueled twice in 2012 (15.1 & 16 gallons)||$143.45||$143.45||Misc.|
|Insurance||1||April 1st to December 1st in water||$850.00||$850.00||Admiralty Insurance|
|Boat Payment||12||Monthly||15 Years at ~3.75%||$375.00||$4,500.00||Pawtucket Credit Union|
The above cost are just for regular maintenance, storage and other costs. I tend to do at least one major project each year. Those cost are not included in the above costs and are shown below. As we become live aboards some of these items are bound to change.
As I mentioned above, I typically do a major project each year. This year it was painting the engine (including replacing the altinator and hoses) and upgrading the electrical.
I added up these upgrades and purchases in a previous post and came to the total of $5,665.
|Electrical||12 Volt Outlet||1||Ea||USB plug style||$14.99||$14.99||Amazon|
|12 Volt Outlet||2||Ea||In Cockpit & Second below||$4.99||$9.98||Amazon|
|12 Volt Subtotal||$24.97|
|Battery Monitor||1||Ea||Victron BMV-600S||$184.25||$184.25||Compass Marine|
|Starter Battery||1||Ea||Group 24 Deep Cycle or dual purpose (600 cca needed)||$85.00||$85.00||John|
|Battery Box||1||Ea||For above||$7.99||$7.99||Defender|
|Battery Box Strap||1||Ea||For above||$3.99||$3.99||Defender|
|Automatic Charge Relay (ACR)||1||Ea||Blue Sea||$79.99||$79.99||Defender|
|On/Off Switch||1||Ea||Blue Sea||$32.99||$32.99||Defender|
|Negative Busbar||2||Ea||4 position 5/16″ posts||$8.26||$16.52||VTEWAREHOUSE.COM|
|Positive Busbar||4||Ea||5/16″ post, safety cover, 0.75″ cable entry.||$5.90||$23.60||VTEWAREHOUSE.COM|
|ANL Fuse||2||Ea||250 AMP||$3.31||$6.62||VTEWAREHOUSE.COM|
|ANL Fuse||2||Ea||80 AMP||$3.31||$6.62||VTEWAREHOUSE.COM|
|ANL Fuse||2||Ea||50 AMP||$3.31||$6.62||VTEWAREHOUSE.COM|
|Tinned Wire||4||Feet||Black -0 (Batt 2 & ACR to Neg Busbar)||$5.24||$20.96||Genuinedealz.com|
|Tinned Wire||4||Feet||Red – 0 (Pos Busbar #1&2 to ACR)||$5.24||$20.96||Genuinedealz.com|
|Tinned Wire||25||Feet||Green – 8 (Charger to ground)||$0.80||$20.00||Genuinedealz.com|
|Tinned Wire||25||Feet||Light Blue – 14 (Oil Pressure Sender to Gauge)||$0.33||$8.25||Genuinedealz.com|
|Battery Terminals||4||Ea||0 gauge, 3/8″ post||$1.27||$5.08||Genuinedealz.com|
|Battery Terminals||6||Ea||0 gauge, 5/16″ post||$1.27||$7.62||Genuinedealz.com|
|Battery Terminals||2||Ea||4 gauge, 5/16″ post||$1.13||$2.26||Genuinedealz.com|
|Battery Terminals||1||Ea||8 gauge, 1/4″ post||$1.13||$1.13||Genuinedealz.com|
|Battery Terminals||1||Ea||8 gauge,3/8″ post||$1.13||$1.13||Genuinedealz.com|
|Copper Bar||1||Ea||6″x1/8″x1″||$20.00||$20.00||Glenn’s shop|
|Adhesive Shrink Wrap||10||Ea||0-8 gauge||$0.50||$5.00||Harbor Frieght|
|Wire Crimpers||1||Ea||$10.00||$10.00||Harbor Frieght|
|Misc. Terminals||1||Ea||various sizes kit||$10.00||$10.00||Harbor Frieght|
|Refractometer||1||Ea||battery acid and antifreeze||$100.00||$100.00||Amazon|
|Charging System Subtotal||$686.58|
|12 Volt Fans||1||Ea||Adjustable, large [salon]||$89.99||$89.99||Defender|
|12 Volt Fans||3||Ea||Hella Jet Fan (White) [Galley, birth]||$20.99||$62.97||Defender|
|Buss Bars||6||Ea||4 wire||$3.99||$23.94||Defender|
|Crimp Connectors||1||Ea||25 count for 18-22 gauge||$10.99||$10.99||Defender|
|Engine||Engine Paint||2||Spray Can||$32.40||$64.80||Hanson Marine|
|Hose Kit||1||Ea||Replacement Hose Kit||$172.40||$172.40||Hanson Marine|
|Hose Kit||12||Ea||Additional 5/8″ hose||$5.99||$71.88||West Marine|
|Misc. Engine Parts Replacement||1||Ea||Hansen||$85.00||$85.00||Hanson Marine|
|Misc. Fittings||1||est||$32.40||$32.40||Hardware Store|
|Paint||1||Ea||High heat||$10.99||$10.99||Hardware Store|
|Custom Exhaust Riser Subtotal||$43.39|
|Teak Plywood||1||8’X4′||[will use for other projects too]||$180.00||$180.00||Somerville Lumber Yard|
|Teak Lumber||1||1″x6″x10′||$60.00||$60.00||Somerville Lumber Yard|
|Brass latches||1||2 in pack||$19.99||$19.99||West Marine|
|New Engine Bulk Head Subtotal||$259.99|
|PCV Valve Upgrade||4||Feet||Tubing||$4.00||$16.00||Hardware Store|
|PCV Valve Upgrade||1||Ea||Brass Fittings||$15.00||$15.00||Hardware Store|
|PCV Valve Upgrade||1||Ea||K&N Air Filter||$35.00||$35.00||Amazon|
|PCV Valve Subtotal||$66.00|
|Brass Shut Off Valve for Racor||2||Ea||$10.00||$20.00||Hardware Store|
|Shut Off Valve Subtotal||$20.00|
|Dodger Subtotal||$935.00||Building 21|
|Head Sail Subtotal||$500.00|
|Safety||Safety Harness||2||Ea||$25.00||$50.00||Marine Consignment|
|Rapid Ditch Bag||1||Ea||$20.00||$20.00||Marine Consignment|
|Life Jackets||1||Ea||4 pack of Type II||$25.00||$25.00||Defender|
|Handheld VHF Radio||1||Ea||Uniden MHS050-2 two-pack||$100.03||$100.03||West Marine|
|General||Anchor Locker Hatch||1||Ea||Custom Fiberglass||$510.00||$510.00||Custom Fiberglass|
|Anchor Locker Subtotal||$510.00|
|Stereo||1||Ea||WM with RF remote||$169.99||$169.99||West Marine|
|Buss Bar||1||Ea||$13.99||$13.99||3A Marine|
|Crimp Connectors||1||Ea||25 count for 18-22 gauge||$10.99||$10.99||Defender|
|Folding Wheel||1||Ea||Lewmar 32″ Folding Wheel||$450.00||$450.00||Defender|
|Autopilot Attachment Clamps||1||Ea||$20.00||$20.00||Defender|
|Folding Wheel Subtotal||$470.00|
|Anchor||1||Ea||Small folding anchor||$10.00||$10.00||Marine Consignment|
|Rhode||1||Ea||55 feet of 3 strand||$5.00||$5.00||Marine Consignment|
|Dock Lines||2||Ea||15 foot||$6.00||$12.00||Marine Consignment|
|Tiller Extender||1||Ea||$15.00||$15.00||Marine Consignment|
|Backup Anchor||1||Ea||22 lbs danforth||$50.00||$50.00||Marine Consignment|
Much to my Bride’s dismay, we have stepped up the spending this year. But we thought it was better than trying to wait and do it in a big chunk.
Potential Cruising Upgrades
|lock-n-lock plastic containers||36 piece set||$59.95||amazon|
|lock-n-lock plastic containers||egg container||$6.99|
|oxo good gribs||Ice cube trays (4)||$39.96|
|Hanging Locker in rear||hardware||$100.00|
|Watermaker||PowerSurvivor 40E||$3,500.00||Boater Barn|
|Extended Cruise Kit||$350.00||Boater Barn|
|Saltwater wash-down system||$125.00|
|Dodger Sides||$2,500.00||Building 21 Boat Top|
|Cordless Vacuum||Dyson Animal||$250.00|
|Single Handle Faucet||$150.00||Hardware Store|
|Cookware||7 piece stainless steel nesting cookware Magma||$99.00||West marine|
|Tank for grill||Propane Tank (Fiberglass)||$109.99||Defender|
|PSS dripless system||PSS system||$230.99||Defender|
|Solar Panels||Panels (Solbian CP125)||$1,640.00||Compass Marine|
|Controller (Genasun MPPT GV-10)||$165.00||Compass Marine|
|New 6 volt batteries||$400.00||Sam’s Club|
|GPS/Chart Plotter||iPad 3 or 4 32GB||$600.00|
|WiFi Antenna||PDQ Connect AllPro Rocket N Wi-Fi Signal Booster||$160.00|
|EPIRB||ACR GlobalFix PRO 406 MHz GPS EPIRB||$660.00||Defender|
|Fire Extinguisher B-II||Kidde Mariner 110 (twin pack)||$63.98||Defender|
|Sextant||Mark III Sextant||$72.98||Defender|
|Sails & Heavy Weather Gear|
|New Life Lines||Suncor Quick Attach Life Line Kit||$599.97||Defender|
|5/16″ G4 Hi-Test Chain||90′ pail||$372.28||Defender|
|boat||9-10ft hard bottom||$2,300.00||Defender|
|Engine||9.8 hp Tohatsu 2 stroke||$500.00||Used|
|Cordless Tools||Milwaukee M12 Red Lithium 12-Volt Cordless 2-Tool Combo Kit – Hammer Drill/Impact Driver W/ Bonus Multi-Tool||$200.00|
|Impact Screwdriver||1/2″ Drive Craftsman||$24.00||Sears|
|Total Refit Cost Estimate||$18,349.63|
Sooooo, this is no small amount of money. We do plan to live a lifestyle that is not “camping” and that does up the costs for some of these items. In addition I will be compiling a list of spares that I will want for the trip.
April 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm
Great list! We didn’t include the costs of “future purchases” … we’re scared to add it up! LOL!
January 14, 2014 at 11:19 pm
That’s boating….BOAT = bring out another thousand! I bought my C42 in Marina Del Rey and sailed back to Australia, the amount spent to satisfy a safe Pacific crossing was about $20,000…SSB, antennas, !80amp alternater, spinnaker pole & track, liferaft….the list goes on and WARNING… it never really stops!
April 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm
Why did you need a new anchor locker hatch? Just curious..
April 3, 2014 at 5:17 pm
The hatch was wood cored and the hardware wasn’t bedded very well by Catalina. Some water got in there and the hatch delaminated. I could have done the work myself (separate the hatch, remove the core, recore, refiberglass) but I got a good price from the local guy and had some other work I wanted to keep my attention on.
December 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm
Hi Smitty! I’ve been following along for a while read your post about doubts. I couldn’t write a comment there so I came here …. since costs cause doubts! =)
I’d love to hear other folk’s feedback. We just hauled out our 1987 Catalina 30 the second time (first in 2010) to paint the deck and non-skid. Maybe it’s because we don’t know a whole lot about sailboats, or maybe because we didn’t get a survey … but we’re kinda freaking out now that our house is sold and we start adding up the costs of what needs to be fixed .. and what might need to be fixed that we have no idea about.
We’re both self-employed, so no built in retirement check. Interest rates suck, so not enough to make a living there. Maybe we need to get a survey, or even better, find a knowledge “friend” to take a look at our rigging, mast, etc. We can’t wait to cruise, but the financial unknown about boat repairs has got us scared. We don’t wanna blow it all on improvements. Hoping we don’t have hidden issues! Other than that, I think we’d be fine.
Best of luck!
December 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm
Thanks for commenting. I will have to look into why you couldn’t comment on the other post.
I would absolutely recommend you get a survey while Nirvana is out of the water. You would want to do it with the boat on the hard and you want to ask the potential surveyors if the do percussion sounding and use a moisture meter.
Most insurance companies will require you to have current survey every couple of years. We had to get one when we got liveaboard insurance even though our purchase survey was only 3 years old. You will likely need to have some minimal insurance when you travel if you want to go into marinas.
More importantly I use a good, quality survey as the base of my to-do list. We had a great surveyor for our purchase that used to build Cape Dory sailboats. He spent 8 hours going through our boat and identified maintenance tasks, a couple of minor design/construction flaws and some upgrades that made our boat more prepared. You want to be there with the surveyor and follow him around as he goes through the boat.
You want to make sure the hull and the rudder are percussion sounded and checked with a moisture meter. Especially the rudder. Spade rudders get a bad wrap with the blue water crowd due to failures but in reality those failures are more due to poor maintenance than anything. You can get your own percussion hammer and do it yourself if you know what you are doing. My recommendation is to get your own hammer before the survey and bring it with you so you can practice with the surveyor to show you how to use it. This is the hammer I have: Lyman Brass Tapper Hammer.
I think the survey gives you an unbiased, informed opinion on the condition of your boat. This could identify flaws in your maintenance program that can be corrected prior to any real damage. I also got a lot of helpful tips from my surveyor.
We are also going to have our rigging inspected by a professional in the spring. I inspected it myself in 2012 when we had the mast down for some other work we were doing. But I want to be safe and make sure I have taken the right steps to have the rig in good condition. From talking to others who have done this, the rigger has typically given them suggestions on better ways to set up the boat with less friction and other improvements.
I would bet the cost for both a survey without a sea trial and a rigging inspection would be under $1,000. That is what it would cost me up here but I am not sure about the Gulf Coast. Money well spent in my opinion.
I think you might be overly worried about budgeting for boat repairs and maintenance. From your blog it seems you are both pretty self reliant and handy. The biggest part of boat repairs is labor so if you can do it yourself it will reduce those costs a lot. The next way to save money is to find parts cheaper. With a Catalina 30 you have incredible resources to do this with owners groups and the Catalina Owners website. I was just commenting the other day that this is the best time to be a DIYer on a boat. There are YouTube videos, blogs, forums and online manuals that make finding out how to do stuff so much easier than anytime in the past.
Good luck and fair winds,