We’ve been tracking our expenses for many years before we started cruising, and we have continued to track our cruising costs as we sail.
Here’s a summary of our third year, covering from July 1st, 2017 to June 30th, 2018.
We are still tracking using Mint, and all prices are USD.
July 1st of 2017 we had just arrived in the Ha’apai group of Tonga. We spent the rest of the season in the South Pacific, especially in remote locations, which means we didn’t spend much money. In December we arrived in Australia, a country that has a cost of living comparable to, if not more than, the US. Also in this time frame is nearly three months at The Boat Works in Coomera near the Gold Coast. For a majority of that time, we spent 6 weeks traveling around Australia while Starry Horizons stayed on the hard.
We saw a significant decrease in our Repair & Maintenance expenses this year. Our first and second years were nearly identical at $16,500. This year outside of our battery project, we spent $13,000 dollars. This includes the haul out at the Boat Works and new bottom paint and a majority of the projects we tackled there.
If we’d chosen to just replace the AGM batteries instead of going to Lithium-Ion batteries, the cost for the batteries would have been roughly $4,500 instead of the $27,500 for our electrical refit.
We are still covered by Jackline for the Indo-Pacific region.
The biggest expense for customs was our Australian Visa and clearing into Australia. The visa was expensive because we had to travel to get our medical exams done. The clear in itself was roughly $400.
From July 1, 2017, to December 1st, 2017, we did not stay the night on a dock at all. There are just so few marinas in the South Pacific, and even if we wanted to, they were full. We stayed on moorings for a total of 14 nights in the South Pacific.
In Australia, being at a dock has become much more common. This category includes storing Starry Horizons on the hard during our 6-week Australia trip and storing her in a marina during an 8-day trip back to the states. While we tried to get a slip in the marinas near Sydney around the holidays, they were all full. If we’d been able to find one near the city center we would have paid roughly $200 a night. Instead, we anchored for free. Elsewhere, docking has cost us less than $60 a night, with the exception of Hamilton Island Marina, which was nearly $100 for one night.
We filled our diesel tank 6 times this year, three of which were in Australia. Part of this was our decision to motor in light winds (like from Lake Macquarie all the way to Southport) and running the generator more often (our watermaker was at half production for a while).
This covers our expenses for our satellite phone, our InReach tracker, and running our website and email for Out Chasing Stars. For a more in-depth look at communications expenses, check out our blog post Communications.
I have high hopes that our fourth year will be our cheapest year. Southeast Asia is known as having some of the lowest cost of living. We’re looking forward to the cheap food and lots of time on anchor!
We hope this helps you get an idea of what you would spend if you decide to follow in our footsteps. Feel free to ask questions and I’ll try to answer the best I can!