Voyage of Egret Forums

Tim Morris, Torquay, DEVON GBR asks:
I have been following from the beginning. I wonder how much this whole trip will have cost by the end. (Will there be an end!!) Fuel, provisions, books(!), servicing, crew, weather, etc. It's just so I can be absolutely sure I can't afford it. Take care....

Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Tim, First of all we intend to cruise until we simply can't. What could possibly be more rewarding? By shedding all dirt dwelling 'stuff' with its attached financial responsibility, having your boat paid for, you spend what you have. We all adjust our budgets to our ability to spend. We have friends on a no refrigeration sailboat who have lived for years on $400 a month. Egret's budget is a bit more. Your biggest single yearly expenses are boat insurance (about 1% of the insured value), marina costs in the winter if you cruise the Med (about $6000), health insurance and flights back home. If you live on anchor, don't eat out a lot and take it easy you can cruise remarkably inexpensively. Fuel is not a big cost. Normal US east coast cruising or west coast cruising you buy less than two tanks of fuel a year and there are no wintering marina fees. If you are on a tight budget you need to learn to do your own work. Mary and I have painted the bottom on every boat we have owned, every time. Since buying Egret we have paid a total of one hour's labor for repair. We did have a boatyard sand the bottom to gel coat once. The Naiad stabilizer electronic upgrade was expensive as was adding paravanes but most of that will return on the back end. What is really important is you buy the right boat. The single biggest long term expense is what you pay for the boat, its maintenance, and its resale.

Keep saving, stay focused, reduce your present unnecessary extras and your day will come. There is a simple test. For one month, without adjusting your lifestyle, write down EVERY dollar/pound you spend for whatever. At the end of the month evaluate what you HAD to have, what you did not have to have. Next subtract all expenses that directly are spent to live ashore. (Include mortgage payments, 1/12th of ALL insurances, car expenses, etc.) You will be amazed at the figures. We were. We live comfortably on a small percentage what it used cost to maintain two paid for houses, a few cars, and no debt.

You keep saving, you'll make it. We'll keep cruisin' n' writin'.

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