Budget sailing to the Caribbean

This is our budget estimation we did before starting our sailing adventure, if you want to know what the actual outcome was, go to Cost for Sailing the Atlantic circuit

A big question-mark, but yet important thing when planning our sailing adventure to the Caribbean is what the budget will be. We have been googling a lot to get input on what it actually costs to go sailing. But it is hard to get a good answer since it depends a lot, what type of lifestyle you have, what kind of boat among some of the things. We have tried to gather some information and applied it to us, our boat and our lifestyle and thought we would share these thoughts here and in the future share how wrong it was, because it will definitely be… 😉

So, first some notes about us and the boat before going over our budget for sailing to the Caribbean and back to Sweden again.

  • We plan to be away 13 months, so that is the time plan we go for, more about where we plan to sail can be found under About->The Plan.
  • We have an old sailboat so maintenance for the boat is something that is probably needed, even though we are doing a lot of work right now to prepare the boat. We do all work ourselves and don’t pay extra for labor.
  • Back home in Sweden we don’t have a very extravagant lifestyle and usually don’t eat out on restaurants a lot, and we plan to keep it that way as much as possible.
Food & drinks
Monthly cost 7’000 770 665
Total 91’000 10’010 8’645

As said above we don’t usually eat out on restaurant a lot back home in Sweden, and we will eat most of our meals on the boat. But, we still want to eat good food, taste local meals or drink a beer or two at a beach bar so we will probably spend a lot of money on food anyway…

We will do our best to save money the best we can, by catching our own fish, buy a lot of food in places where the food is cheaper and cook as much as we can from scratch.  When calculating this budget cost, we tried finding price index compared to Sweden and thinking about how much we spend on food right now and an approximate of how much of the days we gonna eat out.

With this it is assumed that we would eat on a restaurant more than we do right now and with a pretty high monthly cost of buying food, hopefully we won’t spend this much on food, but time will tell… Worst case if we spend to much on food early on we just have to eat beans for the final part of the journey.

Boat MaIntenance

When searching on internet what the cost for sailing around the world is it is said on many blogs and websites that you should estimate to spend roughly 10-20% of you boats value on maintenance. We have chosen to set 25% of our boat value of maintenance. We have an old and pretty cheap boat so that’s the reason for adding some extra here. We will try save money in this budget post by doing all our work ourselves and also by doing a lot of work now, before we leave, and to bring spares from home. Hopefully we are wrong and our preparations and renovations before departure won’t mean that it will cost this much.

Monthly cost 2’615 288 248
Total cost 34’000 3’740 3’230

We will probably be able to use medical insurance from our current insurer in Sweden. And for the boat we will only have a third party, which is not so easy for us to find (more about boat insurance issues HERE), but as far as our research has been our insurance costs will be something like this.

Monthly cost 2’500 275 238
Total cost 32’500 3’575 3’088
Cruising fess & Marinas/Mooring

We will try to avoid marinas as much as possible, but for our time sailing through northern Europe there aren’t a lot of options except marinas. We will try to avoid the most popular, expensive ones if we can if we don’t really want to visit a specific place.

For northern Europe (north of Bay of Biscay) we will assume that we will stay in a marina basically every night (with a few exceptions; sailing during night and at some places along the east coast of Sweden) and after reading up a bit we have estimated that it will cost about 250 SEK/night for marinas. When we have crossed Bay of Biscay there seems to be a lot more options to anchor instead. But we still assume that we will have to stay in a marina most of the nights and maybe for a cost around 200 SEK/night as an average. After leaving the Canary Islands we will only go in to a marina if it absolutely necessary, but we still added in the budget some nights in marina after the Canaries. And at the way back we assume that when sailing in Europe again there will be a lot of nights in a marina.

The costs related to entering and leaving countries (and the Kiel canal and Caledonia Canal) are also estimated here. This estimation is based on internet searches (for example and will hopefully be quite accurate for the countries we plan to visit at this point.

Monthly cost 7’200 792 684
Total cost 93’600 10’296 8’892

Of course we will try to explore the places we visit by foot, or taking a local bus to save money. But occasionally we might want to rent a car or a scooter to go further, visit a fun museum, go diving or something else.

Monthly cost 1’500 165 143
Total cost 19’500 2’145 1’853

We hope to sail as much as possible, but some costs will go to fuel. Both for the sailboat and the dingy. We have big fuel tanks on Anne-Mon so we will also try to fill them up where fuel is a bit cheaper.

Monthly cost 1’600 176 152
Total cost 20’800 2’288 1’976

Other cost that we might encounter; laundry, some shopping or anything else. As we won’t be away for so long we may not need to buy so much new clothes and stuff, as they won’t get worn out that quick. This sailing journey will be about exploring and see new places, not shopping so we will not buy more than necessary.

Monthly cost 1’100 121 105
Total cost 14’300 1’573 1’359

And this is what we end up with for 2 persons for 13 months away. Apart for the costs related to sailing we also have some costs from home that won’t go away; student loans and costs for our other boat. So those costs we need to include as well. We will also have some extra money as a buffert that will cover unexpected costs.

Monthly cost 23’315 2’453 2’235
Total cost 305’700 31’889 29’043


budget sailing to Caribbean
Our budget for sailing to the Caribbean in a nice diagram

We will keep close watch on our costs while sailing, same as we do now with the renovation, and we will share them here on the blog later. And then we will see how wrong our budget estimation is.

If you want to read about our renovation and equipment costs before departure so far, you can visit the pages under Information about Bluewater Cruising.

Links to other blog posts about sailing costs:



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