Cruising Equipment Costs

a friend died last weekend.  It’s a huge bummer.  But I have a catamaran under contract, and the clock is ticking.  So I’m pressing on…

Here’s a post that I really hope helps others out when they’re determining the “real” cost of a cruising catamaran.  This is a really tough thing to tackle, volumes have been written on the subject.   Here are my disclaimers:

  1. I used these numbers to “plug-in” to a spreadsheet I created with all of the cruising catamarans I was interested in.  I think that’s a necessary exercise when looking at multiple used boats, when you’re on a budget. Here’s an example:  

    Download (XLSX, 10KB)

  2. You may not find all of these systems necessary.  Or decide that you need more.  Many will likely be on your boat.
  3. I’m a novice, these prices are rough estimates that vary wildly based upon:  your personal preferences, the age of the equipment, and how you choose to install it (your labor, or someone else’s).  Don’t hesitate to tell me where I’m off (in the comments, or send me an email).
  4. My use case is cruising on a 38-40ft catamaran, full-time, with as little time spent in marinas as possible.
  5. Buy this book (The Voyager’s Handbook):
Cruising Equipment Costs

The best source for planning a sailing voyage

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s all the info I have (in no particular order).  I really hope it’s helpful, if you want to be conservative add 15-20%.

“Necessary” Cruising Equipment

  1. 12V fridge/freezer – $3,500
  2. Solar/Wind and controls – $4-5,000
  3. Radar – $3,000
  4. Chartplotter – $2,000
  5. AIS – $1,000
  6. Pactor III – $1,200
  7. Transducers Depth/Speed – $500
  8. 12V (midrange) watermaker – $4,500
  9. New sails – $10,000
  10. Rigging inspection – $1,000
  11. New rigging (pro install) – $10-15,000
  12. RIB dinghy – $3-3,500 (10-12′)
  13. 15 HP 2 stroke – $3,000 (outboard dinghy motor)
  14. EPIRB – $600
  15. 6 PAX liferaft – $2,000
  16. Sea anchor – $1,200
  17. Abandon ship bag – $1,500
  18. Handheld GPS – $500
  19. Folding props – $3,250

“Really Nice To Have” Cruising Equipment

  1. Hard top (very expensive, usually custom) – $10-15,000
  2. Spare autopilot – $6,000
  3. Sea kayak – $1,000
  4. Folding Bike – $250
  5. Solid fishing gear – $1,000

Other Cruising Equipment

  1. Spares (spare parts, plugs, filters, oil, coolant) – $10,000
  2. Tools  (everything to fix everything) – $1,000
  3. Spare Jerry cans – $200

Again cruising equipment costs can vary wildly, and will depend on your personal tastes (and use-case).  But hopefully this provides you some very rough numbers to determine what the real cost of a cruising boat will be.  I’ll post more as I learn more.

PS – the total of the costs above is $78,500.  So, yes, it’s very easy to dump $50,000 into a boat to get it “cruise ready” for an open-water voyage.   Here’s the spreadsheet I’ve made, again:  

Download (XLSX, 10KB)

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?  I’m interested to hear some feedback…

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Mike Reed – A Tribute

Mike Reed - A Tribute

Mike Reed

I took the jump into traveling and spearfishing before he did, but he took the jump into underwater photography before I did.  So we spent time bouncing ideas off each other.  If you were a friend of his on Facebook, you got to see his progression from complete beginner to talented photog.  In fact, every picture in this post is one from Mike Reed.

Mike Reed - A Tribute

Mike Reed

I know most people want to know what happened.  But it won’t change anything.  Mike is still gone, and we’re still here.  The world keeps turning, but we all have a Mike-sized hole in our lives.

Nobody knows how we’re supposed to process the death of a good, young guy.  When I got the text, it was a huge sinking feeling.  Then shock.  Then anger.  And finally, just sadness. Real sadness. The kind that you know won’t go away anytime soon.

But every one of us that dives, knows that we take risks. Sometimes big risks.  And that’s one thing that I liked about Mike.  It’s a special kind of guy that can take risks like this;  it wasn’t for money and it wasn’t for fame.

People called him crazy, but I just saw a guy living better than anybody else.   It helps to remember that we all die, and that a year’s worth of good living is more than most people ever get.  Mike got more than a year of good living, much more.

It’s those times when you put it all on the line when you are really living, Mike got that.

Mike Reed - A Tribute

Mike, living

Like everyone who knew Mike, yesterday was a rough day.  It was tough, and not any easier last night.  I’m sure you all went through all of your pictures, texts and remembered all of your phone calls.  I did.

Mike Reed

Big Plans…

Forever.  55.  That seems really far away now.  It didn’t just a couple of days ago.  That’s a harsh reminder of how short life is, and how important it is to live every day like it’s your last.  Because it really could be.  My most sincere condolences to his family and friends.  I can’t imagine the pain you’re all in.  I’m so sorry.

Mike Reed - A Tribute

Goodbye, Mike

What I really want to say, though, is thanks.  So, Mike, thanks.  Thanks for reminding us that there are good, generous people in the world.  Thanks for reminding us that what it means to live your life.  Most importantly, thanks for sharing some of your time with us – it wasn’t enough, but we’re glad we got it.

We’re really going to miss you Mike.

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