Cost to Cruise: August


Note: This post was written in Atlantic City a couple of days ago. Since then, based on our own observations and the advice of a long-time cruiser, we have chosen to run up the Delaware Bay in advance of Hurricane Hermine, and are safely tucked into a marina halfway up the C and D Canal, waiting for the storm to pass.

Boilerplate disclaimer: this is not what it will cost you to cruise.

The little red lighthouse at the foot of the George Washington Bridge
The little red lighthouse at the foot of the George Washington Bridge


People’s constant advice, discussing cruising finances, always seems to be: It’ll cost what you have. We did not find this helpful in our planning, however true it may be. What we’re trying to show is the cost to us, more or less, for one month to go cruising. We’re going for monthly expenses, because they’re easier for us to track; so you won’t see the boat insurance amortized, you’ll just see that expense when we pay it. It won’t be what you’ll spend, but it was the kind of information that helped us out when we were trying to wrap our heads around that magical number for our cruising kitty.

Well, we knew it was going to be a brutal month for boat expenses. Boat work—like taking down and putting up the mast for the canal—plus time in the big city was going to put a dent in our finances. We decided not to let it worry us too much, and make it up in the future. Here’s the skinny:

Marinas: $485
Grocery: $938.27
Restaurant: $366.86
Supplies: $18
Booze: $25
Ice Cream: $46
Laundry: $40
Transportation: $191.50
Communications: $103.60
Entertainment: $209
Pump Out: $14
Boat Parts: $388.54
Fuel: $193.35 diesel; $34 stove fuel
Boat Work: $821.38 (includes an upgrade to our boat insurance south of the George Washington bridge)
Grand Total: $3874.50. Ouch.

We actually did pretty well for marinas, considering we spent 14 nights either at a dock or paying for a mooring ball. I have no idea what happened in the grocery category, really, but here are two theories: one, we were right near Zabar’s at our NYC spot—always dangerous; and two, we got a lot of rides to the grocery store. Nothing like free transportation to a major grocery store to make you splurge on fancy food. Transportation this month included a whopping $37.50 for our pass through the Erie Canal, plus a bunch of subway and cab fare in New York. Our diesel costs surprised me, since we spent almost the whole month motoring; I guess going really slowly pays. We upgraded Michu’s cheap phone, and spent shamelessly on data—wifi was spotty most of the month. And, of course, the boat work and boat parts categories were predictably grim.

With one notable exception, everywhere we stayed this month was a dollar a foot or less for dockage. We are now completely spoiled, and struggling to justify the $3/foot being asked in our current location. At the moment, we’re sitting pretty in a calm, free anchorage in Atlantic City, while the rest of the boating world pays $3-$6 a foot for the right to exist in space. Maybe they get a discount at the buffet? I don’t know, but we’re not paying it. September goals: get back on our frugal game.

3 Comments on “Cost to Cruise: August

    • We didn’t see any effects from Hermine; we were too far north and we’ll protected. Mostly we hung out at the pool.

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