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The Cost of Cruising

Although they are anything but wealthy, Allen and Kate have managed, thanks to periodically working along the way, to cruise since ’93. They are now “retired” and economically cruising the Caribbean.

Mendocino Queen
©2011 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With a new class of cruisers preparing to head south this fall, a lot of hopeful members of that group are interested in getting a handle on what it really costs to cruise. We put the question to Allen and Kate Barry of the San Francisco-based DownEast 38 Mendocino Queen, who are currently cruising the Caribbean. Wait a minute, let us amend that previous statement. It’s getting hard to say the Barrys are San Francisco-based, because they left in ’93 and haven’t been back since. It took them 11 years to get around the world to the East Coast, where they were able to sort of cruise and work in Florida and the Northeast for the next six years. Last year they "retired again," and are now cruising the Caribbean.

"To give you an idea of our ‘cost of cruising’, we’ve spent about $1,500/month for the last six months cruising in the Caribbean," they write. "However, it’s important to understand that we never stay in marinas, and only eat out occasionally — usually inexpensive lunches. But we are having lots of fun and think it’s a great way to retire."

Never stay in marinas and only eat out occasionally? Gee, where have budget-minded cruisers heard that before?

If you’re out cruising and keep track of where your money goes, and wouldn’t mind sharing that information with other cruisers, we and our readers would love to hear from you. It would be helpful is you noted whether your ‘costs’ include prorated boat expenses, health insurance, and other major expenses such as airfare back home.

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