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Budget Shaula3
Budget Shaula4


Money is arguably the most critical aspect of a long sailing voyage: spend too little for the boat, and your voyage may be spoilt by continuous breakages or even, Heaven forbid, by the loss of the boat or injuries to people. Spend too much and you may leave with not enough money to cover the voyage's daily expenditures or to pay for unexpected repairs.

During the preparation period, which in our case lasted about 4 years from first concept to the moment of setting off for good, we kept a strict control on what we were going to spend and what the actual expenditure was.

The initial budget was, very tentatively, of 300,000 Euros divided as follows: 150,000 to purchase the boat (a 40-footer second-hand, or a smaller new one), 50,000 to equip the boat for long-distance voyaging, 50,000 to be kept as cruising kitty to be spent during the voyage (on top of our regular pension income, being both retired) and the last 50,000 as emergency funds.

Thanks to the availability of a little more money, we later increased the budget to 400,000, with the extra money being spent on a stronger, better equipped boat, the rationale being that we wanted to minimize the risks for ourselves and ensure the successful completion of the voyage.

Where we got it completely wrong was in estimating the voyage-related expenditures, which amounted to more than 100,000 Euros (of which a sizeable portion was spent before even setting sail, like the Rally fee or the expenses related to voyages to the boat during the preparation, which took the best part of two very busy winters!).   (see the detail on THIS PAGE)

A last point which we overlooked completely are the expenditures after the voyage: the boat must be kept somewhere (at European prices!) and some repairs are likely to be urgent, such as:
- a (much needed) paint job
- replacement of the standing rigging (we found a serious crack in the forestay!)
- engine overhaul (after 2500 hours spent during the voyage the engine may be very near the end of its useful life)
- sail replacement (actually, we left with a spare set, but we were lucky and completed the voyage with the old ones, preserving the new ones for future use, but others were less lucky)
- addition of missing gear, such as a heating system and, maybe, a genset
- new regulation requirements, such as the black- and grey-waters tanks which are becoming mandatory in Turkey

All the above may easily amount to 30/40,000 Euros, and many of these jobs may be urgent!

Nowadays, my recommendation would be to foresee an expense budget in the range of 200,000 Euros (that's including 50,000 for the emergency fund, hopefully not to be actually spent), and remember that this is ON TOP of your basic living expenditures plus any expenses that you may have back at home, even if you are not there!


- BOAT PURCHASE:          200.000
- BOAT PREPARATION:       100.000
- VOYAGE EXPENSES:         60.000
- BOAT REFURBISHING:       40.000
- EMERGENCY FUNDS:         50.000
- TOTAL:                500.000


Webmaster: Gianfranco Balducci - email: gfbalduc@tin.it

Last Update: 11/11/2014

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