Once we found the boat of our dream, we have to look at how we to afford such a large purchase. Many people say to just do it or it will never happen. For us we are trying to be as financially responsible as we can. Yes purchasing a motor yacht is up to 4 times more expensive than a sailing yacht and couple that with the cost of upkeep, someone needs to be well off with quite a bit of steady income to afford it.
First thing we looked at is how are we going to afford cruising anywhere with limited income. We had to put our landlocked views of living aside and do some major pretending sitting on our patio. What are some of the major monthly expenses that make us feel uncomfortable about living on a yacht? As for most people, with the exception of the house note, ours are:
- Cell Phone
- Animal Expenses
We realized after making this list that several of these items were going to be drastically reduced on a yacht and in some cases gone completely. It came down to understanding our decision, how marine systems work and the costs associated with those systems.
Since we plan to stop acquiring pets as they pass away, we figure that in 4 to 5 years our animals should have passed naturally. Morbid yes, but from a financial standpoint, that is around $200 a month in vet expenses we will no longer need to budget. Electricity was a little more tricky but even with the initial investment of some solar panels for charging batteries to reduce the need to run the generator or engine we calculate that the overall monthly expense will drop almost 50% over what we are spending now. Water was basically the same as electricity since we will be installing a small water maker to top off the fresh water tank while underway. Our cable/internet and cell phone should be reduced by 90% since we will use a satellite service on a prepaid plan and frankly, who needs cable television lounging on the deck of a yacht in the Bahama’s.
Food and insurance were two remaining large items. We saw no need to change our food budget since we will not be making any ocean passages and the items we keep refrigerated or frozen is fairly small. The insurance for the yacht we are looking at is about the same as our homeowners insurance we have currently. We will be able to cut our insurance bill by almost $2000 a year since we will no longer have cars to insure.
With these estimates we feel comfortable that our retirement dollars will be able to support the new lifestyle we are planning.