Cruising Budget!   

The best part of the cruising budget is the wind is free, and we are sailors so cruisers prefer to use their engine as little as possible.  But to calculate the cost of cruising there's more to consider!

The Cost of Fuel:

Entering and departing anchorages or at times marinas there is minimal use of fuel.

If coastal cruising and its necessary to make a destination before night fall or against current and wind the motor can be used to get in before dark.

My diesel inboard motor runs on the smell of an oily rag. The other two fuels we have to take into account are dingy fuel and cooking gas, neither should put much of a dent in the budget.

When planning your fuel cost take into account the distance you are traveling, if you are going blue water sailing consider the cost of fuel in the areas you travel.

Based on cruisers I’ve talked to your total fuel budget can range from $20 to $50 a month on average if most of the time you spend sailing or at anchor.


Mobil phones and the internet for most of us are a necessary part of living and keeping in touch.

Prepaid phone cards help you keep your call in a set budget and that too depends on the individual it can be $20 to $50 a month.

Satellite phones will keep you in touch anywhere in the world and have many added features ... look at the cost and build it into your cruising budget!

There are internet café’s all around the world if you don’t have the facilities on board.

There is also Sail Mail for off shore sailors with SSB radio, it can be hooked up to your computer and costs around $200 per month.

Cruising Budget for Clothes:

This depends where you sail; the tropics or a colder climate. In the tropics minimal clothes are needed and washing and drying them is easier. Winter woollies and heavy fleecy clothes cost more and are harder to wash and dry.

It’s often better to wash and dry them ashore in a washing machine and a dryer; they do not dry very well when washed in salt water. So laundry cost will have to be put into the cruising budget.

Ones own style and values and how often there are shore trips and what kind of entertainment is enjoyed will also dictate the type and cost of clothes.

I personal like to have some shore clothes set aside and ready to go! Sailing clothes can sometimes look creased or get stains from your last meal tossed on them when you miss your mouth hitting a wave.

So the cost? ... This is as individual as it is on land! 


Travel a few hundred miles or over seas and part of the enjoyment is getting out there and exploring the sites, natural wonders, history and all that the culture has to offer.

Cruising budgets can be guess’termated according to the destination.

A lot can be seen free; walking, hiking, snorkelling or scuba diving, and beachcombing.

Some museums and cultural events can be free. Cinemas and local café’s need not break the budget, but a good concert may cost us a little extra.

Entertainment aboard is different between cruisers. Most read, listen to CD’s also watch DVD’s, there are also electronic games and board games and cards.

None of these things will cost much and books , games and DVD’s can be swapped between sailors and marina laundries are notorious for having a large range of books left for the next person to read. 

Hobbies like writing journals of the places travelled, or painting are enjoyable too. Some play musical instruments and sing.... great at pot-luck parties or bar-b-que’s on the beach; entertainment for everyone!

What about a Blog or web site on your travels .... like what I am doing here.  And as a bonus this can give you an income to fill up the kitty and give you extra spending money for a few luxuries!

Medical …. Dental …. Optical & Insurance:

This varies in different countries and the individual’s health. In Australia there’s Bulk Billing Medical Centres which are free and dentists if you are on a pension and join the free dental waiting list.

Magnifying glasses can be bought at a chemist for reading. That doesn’t discount going to an optician.

Health Insurance can be a protection in cases of emergencies, some have it, some don’t; this is no different to when you’re on land.

Other Costs .... you may have to consider things like fishing licenses, prescriptions and souvenirs and flights home.  Extras that will occur ... like keeping cool and need of fans or other gadgets to make life comfortable.

Maintenance and upkeep of your yacht, boat insurance.

These things are all individual and things like Customs and Immigration fees for off shore travel must be considered.

So what does the cruising lifestyle cost?

What should your cruising budget be? 

It's not simple!  How longs a piece of string?

Some cruisers can live on $5,000 a year if an extremely frugal cruiser with no luxuries. Others say they live on around $10,000 a year on a pretty strict cruising budget and from there it can increase according to values and the way one likes to live.

You can spend whatever you have and live extremely well when the budget reaches $20,000 to $30,000 a year. For most people they can cruise for less than they can live on land. 

What ever your cruising budget you need to plan what you are going to eat and drink, so how do you provision a yacht? 

A lot of stuff to think about!! A lot to calculate and weigh up when looking at your cruising budget!

And good news! You won’t have mortgage payments or rent, electricity bills, car payments and fuel for your car and all the land based costs that eat into your finances very heavily.

The other big bonus is your vacations and travel, which are endless are all taken care of too! No hotel or transport to pay for!

All you need is a desire and a spirit of adventure!

So can you afford NOT to cruise if this is your dream?

It is possible to make money while enjoying your passion, while living your dream anywhere in the world  ...

.................Thousands are doing it right now!

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