Preparation Costs

What is the preparation costs for bluewater cruising? In this page we will share the preparation costs for long-distance sailing that we would have liked to know about. As said everywhere, the costs are quite individual and depends quite a lot.

A little note about us and our mindset when renovating and buying equipment for our sailboat.  When it comes to the renovation we do all the work we can ourselves, which saves us a lot of money and at the same time we get to know our boat, its flaws etc and if something breaks on the way we can fix it ourselves. When buying equipment we keep an eye on second hand sites and a lot of the equipment we have bought is second hand stuff. We also search on internet to find good prices and if there is a bigger sale we ry to take advantage of that.

One thing we have learned so far, the “Other” costs while renovating are always bigger than first expected, it all the really small costs (screws, sanding paper, paint brushes, hose clamps etc etc) but bunched together they make up for quite a lot. If there is someone else out there looking to do something similar, our best tip so far is to make a really good estimation of what the renovation will cost and then double it!

Here is an overview of our costs:

Sailboat Purchase 90’000 9’189 8’398
Sailboat Renovation 184’009 20’241 17’481
Sailboat Equipment 113’382 12’472 10’771
Other Equipment 65’692 7’226 6’241
Total 453’083 49’839 43’043
preparations costs bluewater cruising
Our preparation costs for our bluewater cruising adventure.
Sailboat Purchase

We bought an old, relatively cheap sailboat which was in need for some renovation. More about our boat can be found under About-> The Boat.

Sailboat Renovation

As said earlier we do all renovation ourselves and that is an easy way to save money. The renovation that we actually do we try to do properly so that it will last for a long. Therefore the costs for certain renovation (such as some interior work for example) below might be a bit higher than it would have been if we only doing the most necessary renovation for one year sailing.

Bilge (fuel tank renovation, hoses, new bilge pump etc) 9’383 1’032 891
Bottom/topside (paint, paint material, epoxy etc) 32’378 3’562 3’076
Cockpit (plastic repair, companionway renovation etc) 14’939 1’643 1’419
Deck renovations (plastic repair, new fairleads, guardrail repairs) 8’187 901 778
Electrical system (new electrical panel, fuses, cables, shore power components etc) 10’790 1’187 1’025
Engine (complete engine makeover, installation etc) 33’186 3’650 3’153
Fresh water (new water tank, hoses etc) 2’972 327 282
Generator (service kit, new diesel filter) 1’804 198 171
Holding tank (tank, black water pump, toilet hoses etc) 8’373 921 795
Interior (mahogany lists, fake leather for roof panels, fabric for curtains etc) 23’678 2’605 2’249
Galley renovations (propane installation, freezer box) 3’983 438 378
Mast & rig (new traveler, smaller instruments, new shroud, parts for reefing etc ) 13’264 1’459 1’260
Bow thruster (gaskets) 357 39 34
Other costs (cleaning material, sanding paper, screws, nuts, list goes on…) 20’715 2’279 1’968
Total 184’009 20’241 17’481

If you are interested in reading more about our sailboat renovation, all blog posts about it can be found under the category Sailboat Renovation.

And if you are interested in a specific subject; here are some links to tags for different renovation subjects: Bilge, CockpitDeckElectrical systemFreezerGeneratorHauled outHolding tankInteriorMastPlastic repairsRig.

Sailboat Equipment

When it comes to buying equipment we try to buy second hand stuff or finding equipment on sale, and this has helped us a lot to save money. Also, most of the stuff sold second hand are good stuff and not something that needs to be thrown away. By buying second hand stuff we both save money and consumption.

Here are some of the equipment we bought second hand:

  • Dingy + outboard
  • HF-radio
  • Satellite phone
  • Service batteries
  • Whisker pole
  • Watermaker
  • Winches (both sheet and halyard)

A complete list of all our equipment we have onboard can be found under Equipment.

We also set up our own autopilot, read more about that under the tag Autopilot.

AIS 7’750 853 736
Autopilot (Drive unit, electronic components) 9’849 1’083 936
Batteries (start battery, service batteries) 5’230 575 497
Dinghy + outboard 4’500 495 428
Instruments (plotter, handheld VHF, HF-radio, satellite phone) 17’940 1’973 1’704
Refrigerator 10’300 1’133 979
Rig (sails, halyards, sheet lines,etc) 22’581 2’484 2’145
Solar panels (5 á 60W + installation material) 7’358 809 699
Tools (all kinds of smaller tools we need that is good to have) 2’879 317 274
Watermaker 17’112 1’882 1’626
Winches (sheet winches and halyard winches) 3’411 375 324
Windlass 4’000 440 380
Other (anchoring lines, fenders and other small stuff) 3’872 426 368
Sold stuff (sails, diesel heater) -5’000 -550 -475
Total 113’382 12’472 10’771

Other Equipment

Under Other Equipment goes all items that is not directly related to the sailboat; sailing clothes, safety equipment, charts etc. Here we go by the same principle as for the Sailboat Equipment, try to find what we need second hand or on sales.

A complete list of all our equipment we have onboard can be found under Equipment.

Personal equipment (sailing clothes, life vests, safety lines) 14’641 1’611 1’391
Binocolors 2’290 252 218
Charts 9’006 991 856
Books 4’409 485 419
Flags 1’780 196 169
Life raft 10’020 1’102 952
Safety equipment (PLB, sea anchor, life buoy etc) 6’847 753 650
Camera 3’109 342 295
Fishing 3’614 398 343
Other (Galley equipment, hard drive, log book and other small stuff) 9’327 1’026 886
Total 65’692 7’276 6’241

So, here was a summary of our preparation costs for our bluewater cruising trip sailing to the Caribbean and back again.

We hope that by posting this, we will help future sailors plan their trips. Just want to highlight that we are no experts, just done a trip like this once. But when we planned this trip we read several different blogs/webpages and so on, and we think it is good to have different peoples opinions/experiences and then you can adapt it to yourself. All boats and crews are different and in the end, you are the one that know what’ll be best for your sailboat and crew. 🙂