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How Much Does It Really Cost to Live on a Catamaran (Numbers)

I’ve never lived on a catamaran (over a month), but I’ve certainly traveled on one, and have friends who live on theirs. Believe me, it is quite an experience and there are so many factors to consider.

I dug deep for some details since I know you’re reading this because you’re considering living on your vessel. Keep reading as I give you in-depth details on everything you need to know about living on your cat.

While it might be a continuous vacation, the places you choose to berth the vessel, insurance, food, number of people living onboard, fuel, and maintenance, are just some of the things you have to think about.

catamaran

Cost to Live on a Catamaran

It costs between $2,200 and $5,500 monthly for a family of four to live on a catamaran, while couples might spend between $600 and $2200. Mooring location, insurance, food, number of people living onboard, fuel, and maintenance are all included in the cost. A boat’s condition, age, and size, all have an impact on its price.

Make sure to keep in mind that the expense of living onboard a catamaran varies greatly from one person to the next. Money was tight for my pal when he was living on his vessel in Grand Cayman. 

He was near the bottom of the list, as you can see from the numbers shown above. Other sailors’ costs have been included as a comparison because some of you have a larger budget. As a result, you can more accurately estimate how much your ideal life will cost you.

Things To Budget for When Living on a Catamaran

budgeting

Depending on where you live, you might expect a wide range of differences in your monthly expenses. For example, a cruise along the Gulf Coast of the United States will cost far more than a cruise along the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

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What additional expenses are we talking about, outside food, fuel, and water? Boat expenses, including those indicated above, can be found here.

Food and Household Supplies

While sailing, you won’t be able to hurry out to the store for supplies, so you’ll need to stock up before you set sail. Again, it’s more cost-effective to purchase all you need in advance rather than wait until you arrive at the pier, except for fresh things like vegetables, which tend to be more expensive.

If you run low on supplies while away from your local dock, go to the grocer like you normally would. Cats, on the other hand, have great space, therefore this isn’t an issue. The following are among the foods that you can store:

  • Dried and canned beans & vegetables (It’s never too much) 
  • Coffee 
  • Tea
  • Dried milk
  • Baking ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Grains
  • Oats 
  • Seasonings
  • Oils
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Liquor
  • Toiletries
  • Antibacterial cleaners
  • Personal care items
  • Laundry and dishwashing soap

Dining and Excursions

dining

Eat at a local restaurant whenever you get the chance. As long as you don’t make it a habit, it’s fine to indulge a few days a week. If you decide to eat elsewhere, forgo the cocktails and sip your booze on the catamaran as you enjoy the sunshine. You might like to consider stocking up on beer as well as boxed wine in that case.

To keep yourself entertained, look for lower or maybe even free service prices for media, magazines, and films. Trips to galleries and conservation areas might also be included in the overall cost of travel.

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Plan for trips to the grocery store and other errands that may need the use of a cab or bus. Don’t forget to budget for travel costs when paying a visit to loved ones.

Fuel

There are three types of fuel you’ll need for your trip: cooking gas, diesel for the motors, and gasoline for the boat or outboard. Since you may only need to use it in an emergency, the second option may not be prohibitively expensive every month. Solar electricity might help reduce your cooking gas expenses.

Always keep in mind that the price of diesel may be $2.50 more expensive in Europe than it is in the southern United States, so you may plan accordingly.

Insurance

Boat insurance costs a lot when you’re just getting started. However, the price lowers from 2.8% to 1.3% of the boat’s value. Depending on where you’ll be sailing and the time of year, look for the best rates. 1-3 percent of the boat’s value should serve as a general guideline for calculating annual insurance premiums. 

Learning Basic Maintenance Skills is Helpful 

catamaran

Two engines and hulls, etc., are standard on catamarans. While this improves the vessel’s performance, it also necessitates additional maintenance and raises the cost of spare parts significantly. As a general rule, the cost of boat maintenance is substantial. 

Your catamaran will be put through its paces if you travel a lot and make a lot of crossings. Maintenance costs will rise as a result of this. The initial year of possession of a catamaran is often the most costly. 

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Spend the majority of the time (& dollars) exploring and modifying the catamaran to your personal preferences. A variety of equipment, spare parts, and cleaning supplies will be required.

It may be cheaper to buy a new boat than to maintain and repair an aging one since the latter requires both. Yearly maintenance charges should not exceed 20 percent of the boat’s value as a precaution.

If you’re handy, you may be able to save a lot of money by doing most of the fixes and upkeep yourself rather than paying a contractor. These may include:

  • Upholstery
  • Electrical installation
  • Plumbing
  • Woodwork

Internet Costs

Get a phone plan that allows you to utilize data without having to connect to a Wi-Fi network.

Fees for Internet access include satellite phone, weather info, and emails, among other things. You can keep your US phone number if you have Google Fi. Additionally, as you near land and prepare to enter a port, you’ll have access to mobile and data services. That includes SIM cards from the local area once you arrive on the ground.

Mooring Fees

In the end, marina fees determine whether or not you can afford to stay in a marina for long periods, and they can cut deep into your budget.

Anchoring out is cheaper than mooring in a marina, as previously stated. In addition, you’ll have more room to spread out, more swimming options, and nicer views to enjoy. Marinas, on the other hand, are essential when the tides go out and the weather turns.

Laundry

Reduce your care routine by using more natural products. When it comes to clothes, look for items you can repeat and clean easily. Make use of a washing machine at least once per month to wash heavy items like towels, blankets, and sheets.

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Lifestyle Greatly Impacts Cost of Living on a Catamaran

bridgedeck

Living on a boat is expensive, especially if you want a place where you can feel safe, secure, and relaxed. The good news is that it is possible to live on a catamaran on a budget and still have access to all the creature conveniences you would expect to find on dry land.

However, several variables influence the expense of living on a cat. Let’s have a look at a few examples.

Your Boat and Shore Lifestyle

You can get a general idea of the cost of a catamaran based on your present lifestyle.

Consider how much you spend on food, clothing, and entertainment for the catamaran and when you’re docked.  Subscription-based services or surfing the web as a source of entertainment are the two most likely options for you. 

Are you spending a lot of money on pastimes? You may be able to save money on some of your living expenses by better controlling some of your lifestyle’s more opulent features. The more you indulge, the faster your budget will go through the window.

Docking or Anchoring Points

catamaran anchor

Depending on where you’re going, the cost of your trip will be different. Anchoring wherever you go, once possible, is always the better choice. Most cruisers head to the Caribbean first and, depending on the islands you choose, the adventure can be quite affordable. 

Some have rivers and mountains and many free beaches. So, if you’re going to several places, do some study first to see how much food and amenities are in each area. The Mediterranean is always more expensive than the Caribbean and elsewhere. 

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By doing your homework, you’ll learn exactly what supplies you’ll need and how much money you’ll save in the process. Everything, even drinking water, must be imported to an island, hence the prices are higher.

More Sailing Than Motoring

You may save a lot of money on gas if you know the weather trends. To put it another way, the sum you spend might vary with the amount of traveling you get to do. You will also need to prepare for more fuel because the wind may not be ideal at all times.

You can do more sailing and less motoring by creating a sense of serenity and not worrying about arrival times. Fuel costs would be reduced as a result. Motoring times should be factored into your travel plans well in advance.