Voyage of Egret Forums

Colin Rae of Newcastle, Tyne and Wear GBR asks:
Have you kept records of your living expenses during your time
on board? It would be interesting for those of us who hope to follow in
your footsteps to know what it cost per month, all in. The good, bad and
the ugly! Everything from slip fees to car hire to maintenance. Many
thanks, best wishes for Christmas to all on Egret. Colin

Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Colin, We gave quite a lot of thought - as you are - about finances prior to retiring. It was a BIG first step in Egret's case selling all and going cruising. The best information after a lot of research is what we were told by a sailboater in Scotland while we were chartering. "You spend what you have". This is very good advice as well as being true.

Early on we tried to keep a list of expenses. After a relatively short time we gave that up and simply live a relatively conservative lifestyle. We have found to be true what we were told in a retirement seminar that compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. We are spending less than our investment income.

Egret's major expenses are dockage during our previous Med winters at about $5600/winter. Fuel is not a major expense unless you are traveling as we are now but we have no wintering expense, therefore offsetting fuel costs. Boat insurance is a fixed cost, Egret uses Al Golden's Jackline Program at IMIS Insurance, as is health insurance. We use an international health insurance company with a large deductible for catastrophic illnesses only. For normal doctor/dentist expenses we pay out of pocket. Flights home are part of cruising expenses as are the unexpected 'tings' that pop up. If you can do most of your own work yard costs are not much at all. All in all expenses are what you make them. By staying out of marinas and not eating out a lot make major differences in expenses.

Probably the biggest single hidden expense over your cruising life is the cost of your boat, cost of maintenance and resale. The difference is the single largest expense you will have. Choose wisely.

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