Cruising Costs….

Finally, finally…. I spent some time this last week and entered our costs for 2013.  I wasn’t surprised; but they were high. You can see the details on my site but f0r ’13 it was close to 73k.  Over the 5 years we’ve been out now she averages a bit less than 50 k .Keep in mind we are two people with a 42′ monohull that we try to keep in tip – top shape. I’m sure there are those that would be able to shave a good bit off the total bill and then there are those that would add to it because they don’t have the skills or inclination to do the work.  I report all the expenses and don’t leave anything to the imagination or guess work. Since the costs are in my mind high I’m going to give a brief year summary:

First we spent some extra time in the states. My mom turned 86 while we were there and broke her arm /wrist a couple of weeks prior to her birthday.  She wanted to make some real changes in her home  and we felt it behooved W/ and I to stay and help. After all she only had one hand for awhile!

After the extra 2 months hanging in the states we flew to Panama with a great deal more baggage then we planned, transferred it all to the boat and then flew to Guatemala for Spanish school. There we met up with some cruising friends, rented an apartment, went to school in the day, studied most afternoons, treated ourselves with restaurants most evenings and found time to play tourist. That 2 months added to our cost and we do count that as  cruising cost because land travel is one item most cruisers indicate they want to do when they arrive in various locations.

Added to that is a safe place to leave the boat. We had it hauled in Shelter Bay Marina and paid for their secure storage yard.  The expenses just keep adding up.

After Guatemala W/ wanted to visit Peru (reluctantly I went along 🙂 ) . Other friends had used Maria as a Travel Agent and she beat every price they could find so we too used her. We flew from Panama to Lima and spent 30 days being escorted around Peru, stopping at Machu Picchu and then heading down hill again to Lima and back to Panama.

Once back at Elysium we began readying ourselves for the canal passage and found some surprises. While kids find surprises one of life’s joys; adults find them as holes needing to shove dollar bills into hoping to stem the flow. We blew out the exhaust elbow on the main engine, we replaced many parts on the generator and had to rebuild the Kubota, and we needed to  paint what Lyman Morris failed to do (see Dirk I got it in one more time 🙂  ) . Fortunately we had the marina and easy access (well, easy is relative to living in Paradise) to parts and supplies. What we couldn’t get in Panama; for an extra $100 we could have FedEx’ed  directly to our boat (which we needed to have done on a few ocasions).

We maximized our value at the marina by staying long enough to get the best rate and having the boat out of the water in storage for the best rate. But even as you end up with the best rate it cost money to stay that long and all that time dollars are escaping  from your pocket to anothers.

And finally, thanks to our US Mules; Dirk, Silvie, and Jenny, we could save more when they brought needed supplies down for the trip across the isthmus.

I’m looking forward to ’14, we have so many spares on the boat now we should have minimal expenses even with needing to use them this year. We won’t find many marinas in the Pacific so we can almost knock off 10 k right there.  We know that hindsight is 20/20 and no one knows what the future will bring; but I can hope. (Oops, did I say that 🙂  )

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long