Cost to Cruise: February, 2018

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

At what price beauty?
What price beauty?

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.

Once upon a time, when we were planning our trip, we thought one of the advantages of ending up in Mexico would be how inexpensive it is, as we were coming to the end of our funds.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

While it’s certainly possible to live cheaply in Mexico, we haven’t been doing it. There have been a lot of tacos, yes; but we’ve also blown more than expected on marinas, and of course we chose to spend extra to get our bottom painted in a convenient place.

Our numbers for February:

Marinas: $1036.55
Grocery: $355.50
Restaurant: $365.92
Education: $166.46
Booze: $20.96
Laundry: $26.21
Communications: $151.81
Fuel: $282.38, diesel; $69.71, stove fuel
Ice Cream: $20.62
Transportation: $49.16
Water: $21
Boat Parts: $462.52
Bank Fees: $43.37
Hotel: $241.29
Entertainment: $6.86
Licensing/Fees: $112.50
Boat Work: $1410
Grand Total: $4806.27
  • Marina fees include the fee for hauling out and storage on land while the bottom was being painted; the “boat work” category was what we paid to Sea Tek for the actual work, plus supplies. Bottom paint isn’t cheap.
  • Education was a pretty hearty category this month. It included the fees for the CPR course; some money we forced on Coqui for the tamale lesson; and an awesome graphic novel of the Black Panther in Spanish.
  • And speaking of the Black Panther…that $6.86 under Entertainment was what it cost the entire family to see The Black Panther in the theater.
  • Holy cow, is diesel expensive in Mexico! And we used a lot of it bashing north to Mazatlan. Hopefully, we’ll do more sailing as we cross to Baja.
  • We did not do an awesome job with the bank fees this month. Our money shuffling was in overdrive, as we’ve been organizing a house rental for our return to Madison and pulling out weirdly large amounts of cash to pay for the bottom paint job (netting us an 18% discount, so—worth it).
  • We have friends visiting us in March in La Paz, so we’ve dropped a bit more on boat parts to have some things hand-delivered. Just getting our girl into shape before we sell her.
  • We had to renew the boat registration, and Michu renewed his nursing license.
  • Hey, look! We spent money on stove fuel! We’d hoped to find some from Dr. Shukan, who helps out with organizing first aid seminars for cruisers in La Cruz (including how to suture); when he didn’t have anything above 70% alcohol for us, he went on a mission to find what we needed. Finally, a homeopathic doctor he knows came up with the source he uses for tinctures–a tiny storefront in downtown Puerto Vallarta. We asked the store owner what people used the alcohol for–medicine? Cleaning? Yes, she said–but also limoncello, various fruit alcohols…so it’s hootch. We’re burning straight-up hootch. Seems to be working great, though!

4 Comments on “Cost to Cruise: February, 2018

  1. So… the great adventure is coming to an end? May one inquire as to the why, how and plan? I am boat shopping myself, though in the “just looking around” phase waiting on several financial hoops that need to be jumped… But I have a place in me heart for the “First” line… and the 38 is a great boat… oh well. =]

    Been great follwin ya’ll… it will be missed when you take up lubbin around on land again.

    JD =/|)=

    • We budgeted for two years. We could probably squeeze out another year, if we tried, but the whole family feels like two years was a good amount of time for us. Thanks for following along!

  2. Another informative and entertaining log entry. Thanks,
    It’s helping us get through a Wisconsin winter. Let us know your apron. return to Madison

  3. It’s hard to understand why diesel is so expensive here in Mexico, and then they add the surcharges on top of that. Expect to pay 12% over the cost of the fuel in La Paz. If you stop in Cabo, you’ll pay 100$ just to pull up to the dock. We skipped Cabo altogether. Marinas, also expensive. I guess we missed the window of opportunity to travel in Mexico before prices started skyrocketing.

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