Ok. I’m not gonna lie. We’ve been putting off this post for a while because, well, it took a lot of digging to try to accurately report just how much we’ve spent thus far on buying a boat and preparing to cruise as a family. Also, I didn’t exactly want to know how much we’ve spent…
It’s been about four years since we dreamed up this crazy life. Let’s see if we can add up our costs thus far…
Disclaimer: We’re guilty of not tracking where every penny goes. Yeah, we need to be better about this and I do think that actually blogging our costs and our budget will help keep us accountable. Fingers crossed…
Digging into Our Costs
Initial Preparation and Purchases
$6,000 — First sailboat and trailer, the Catalina 25 *later sold the boat for $3500 and trailer for $2000 so I’m only counting this as a cost of $500
$3,000 — San Juan Sailing School: week-long liveaboard ASA 101, 103, 104 courses *some of the cost of this was gifted to us from our parents (huge thanks), so I’ll only count this at $1500, not sure exactly how much we spent versus was gifted
$73,000 — Mosaic 1978 Fuji 40, cost calculated including flights & hotels to view the boat, purchase price, survey and haul outs, transport fees from San Diego to Portland (Actual sale price for just the boat: $57,500)
$9,085 — New Standing Rigging and Hardware
$1,060 — New Running Rigging: New Halyards- Main, Jib, Staysail, Topping Lift, and spare
$785 — New Chainplates from Specialty Metal Fab & Bolts
$7,075 — Boatyard Projects (bottom paint, new head thru-hull, pull prop shaft, repack stuffing box, new macerator, new transducer install, glass over un-needed thru-hull, service holding tank thru-hull, etc.)
$10,000 — Refinish Mast
Miscellaneous Costs to Prepare for Cruising
$2,765 — New Electronics through Navico (two Zeus 37 chart plotters/multi-function display, 2 Triton instrument displays, new 3G radar, new VHF and antenna, new windex, anemometer, depth-speed-and-temp transducer, misc. cables)
$640 — New Rocna Anchor
$850 — New Genoa Headsail from Bacon Sails
$1,600 — New Oven & Propane Line from Sure Marine in Seattle
$400 — Moisture Control: Hypervent for aft cabin and V-berth, Dehumidifier
$1,900 — New Zodiak Dinghy ($1000 deposit paid, dinghy is still on back-order at this point) from the Inflatable Boat Center in Portland
$1,624 — Miscellaneous purchases at local marine supply and hardware stores
Total Costs (so far): $116,609
Reflecting on the Costs of Buying and Prepping a Sailboat for Bluewater Cruising
So, I think that’s a pretty good representation of our expenses so far. I’m not going to go into too much detail about how we’re paying for this, but we had about $70,000 profit from selling our house in Washington in 2015. We took out a $10,000 loan for extra expenses when we were working on getting the boat from San Diego to Portland. For the refit, we’ve used a combination of savings, retirement funds, and other random income sources we’ve managed.
We’re also working hard to pay down debt but these last six months have been brutal. Could we have done it for less? Yes, I’m sure we could have. Could we have bought a different boat that didn’t need this extensive refit? Yes, absolutely. But this is where we’re at. We’re doing the best we can and gaining knowledge and experience along the way.
It’s expensive, but this is our home. I can’t stress that enough: THIS IS OUR HOME. We’re working hard to make it the best possible boat for us. The best possible home for us.
The list of jobs will never end. After two years aboard Mosaic, I know this. I understand that I won’t always accept that fact, but the opportunities that this home will bring to our family are worth the costs.
At some point, we will just need to decide that the boat is ‘ready enough’ and set sail for the horizon. After all we’ve spent on this, and especially with finishing up this major refit, hopefully we can get her ready and carve out an opportunity to take that first big leap and set sail for the Puget Sound.
So we hope you continue to follow along on our adventure. I plan to keep up now with monthly expenses and budgeting blog posts so that others out there planning and dreaming to join us on the water will have another resource to learn about the true costs for a family of four to buy and prepare a sailboat for bluewater cruising. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. And remember to follow along on Facebook and Instagram @mosaicvoyage. Thank you! ~Rachel