The dream of buying a blue water boat, cutting ties and heading over the horizon toward new and exotic landfalls is very real for a lot of us. In the end, though, our ability to go cruising depends in no small part in how much it costs and whether or not we can earn along the way to supplement the cruising kitty. The old adage is that going cruising will cost whatever you can afford and not a penny less. The boat is the big expense, of course, but we often forget to mention that getting a boat ready to sail across oceans and to be self-sufficient is also a major expense. Fitting out can cost anywhere from 25% to 50% of the price of the boat itself. Or more. But once the boat is bought and ready, figuring out what you will need to sustain the cruising life involves a lot of variables. There are young couples on smaller, older boats who get away to Mexico, the Bahamas or the Caribbean for a year and live a Spartan life on $1,000 a month. But most cruisers are retired older couples with disposable income and nest eggs behind them. This group spends what they can afford; in our recent experience, and not living lavishly but not scrimping either, we could get by fine on our 45-foot sloop in the Bahamas or Caribbean for $2500 and $3500 a month.
I know this is a personal topic, but I think many readers have valuable experiences that would be of interest to our whole community. If you would like to share your thoughts on the cost of going cruising, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org