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One year and 11,046 miles on a catamaran — all the costs

Updated: Nov 25

(Article originally published by hans-ruedi.medium.com)


How much does it cost to live on a boat?


It is a question that fills page upon page of Google search results with answers that usually begin with on average and it depends on you. My friend Matt and I lived aboard our 40 foot catamaran for the past 14 months and since we were splitting every expense, each was recorded in detail. I would like to share the real-world cost of buying and living aboard a catamaran in the hopes that others may also find that their dreams are more affordable than they think.


We purchased a 2011 Lagoon 400 catamaran in Lefkada, Greece in June of 2019. We paid $275,146 for the boat and had $41,000 in boat-related expenses over the following 14 months before selling the boat in Florida.


Of the $41,000 in expenses since purchase, $20,000 were annually recurring expenses like fuel, marina fees, maintenance, insurance, customs and immigration while $21,000 were one-time expenses like solar panel upgrade, wire transfer fees, survey fees, secondary anchor, US import taxes and a satellite phone.


Both Matt and I were working remotely during our year aboard so we were spending more than was required on the boat. If we were on a tighter budget we could have spent less than the figures below. After reviewing the expenses line by line I believe we could spend as little as $15,000 annually including $4,000 of insurance and $6,000 of maintenance.


Our route took us from the Ionian Sea in the west of Greece north to Montenegro and Croatia then west to Italy, south to Malta before heading back northwest to Sicily and Sardinia. Then we went further across the Med to Mallorca, Ibiza, and then mainland Spain.


Next we spent some time in Gibraltar preparing the boat for the Atlantic crossing which saw us sailing 5 days from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands, then 7 days to the Cape Verde Islands, followed by a 13 day journey due west across the Atlantic to Saint Lucia. Once in the Caribbean we sailed south to St Vincent and the Grenadines then the island of Carriacou in Grenada.


Next we made our way north to Martinique, Guadeloupe, Antigua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin, Anguilla, the BVI, Puerto Rico and the Spanish Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, the Out Islands of the Bahamas, and then to the Florida Keys with a final destination of Tampa Bay, Florida where we put the boat up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.