Sunday, December 7, 2014


Well year one is officially behind us.  The numbers have all been recorded and added up.  And, for any of you who might be considering possibly doing something like this and wonder what your budget might look like, here are our numbers for that first year.  Remember, this is how we have lived here.  You will live differently and therefore some of the numbers, if not all of them, will be different for you.

Boat Purchase: £47,000  We wanted one ready to go.  If you don't mind a project or two you can find one cheaper.  Ours is 57 feet long and will, therefore, fit in every lock.  If you go much larger than 60 feet some locks are too small to handle you.  If we maintain the boat well we should get a hefty part of the purchase price (ideally almost all, but I like to dream) when we sell it back.

Boat Survey:  £430  This is done by a professional when you buy the boat.  He checks all the systems to make sure everything is safe to use and working appropriately.  He will also tell you what you need to do maintenance wise in the near term and longer term.  If you stay with him while he does the survey you can also learn a great deal of valuable information about your boat and how to maintain it.

Boat Items: £560.46   This is the cost of the items we needed to equip the boat when we first bought it such as dishes, sheets, pillows, etc.  It also reflects other items purchased since then to replace items that have broken (that happens when the boat occasionally kisses the wall of a lock) or items we later discovered would be nice to have like a small pressure cooker, hot water bottles and wicker baskets for keeping paperwork, craft items, etc. under control, a Brita water pitcher.

Household Items:  £676.72    Think chemicals for our toilet, laundry and dish detergent, soap and shampoo, cleaning products, replacement kitchen towels, scrubbers and washrags, toilet and face tissues, foil and plastic food storage bags,etc.

Groceries:  £2049.53  Remember, we eat most of our meals here on the boat and that is what this figure covers.  It does not cover meals eaten off the boat.  Also remember that I cook from scratch and make a lot of things that others (sane people I have been told :-) buy.  I also love to scope out the reduced to sell racks whenever I hit the store and buy a lot of items this way.  So, this is REALLY a very subjective and ballpark figure.

Phone/Hot Spot:  £444.95  One of the very first things we did here was to buy a GPS and then a phone.  When on the boat it acts as our internet hot spot so that we have connectivity and I can thrill or bore all of you with my ramblings. :-)  The monthly top up fee that gets us unlimited connectivity time is £20. 

Boat Insurance:  £194.37 per year  We carry a policy that covers damage to our boat and damage done by our boat.  We have a separate renter's policy that covers the items on the boat.

Boat License:  £870 per year   This allows you to cruise the waterways.  The length of your boat is a factor in the cost of the license.  This license helps provide the money to maintain the waterways and it gives you access to the water points to fill your water tank, the elsen buildings to empty your toilet cassettes, shower and laundry facilities, trash disposal, recycling containers, etc. 

Boat Maintenance: £1323.02  A substantial portion of this amount covered the cost of having the boat re blackened in the spring.  This is a process that is done every two to 3 years to help protect the boat against rust.  Novice boaters such as we are should probably opt for every two years since the boat tends to be subjected to more scrapes and bumps than those driven by more seasoned boaters.  On even the newest of boats oil needs to be changed, things need to be greased, batteries need to be maintained, etc.  Plan on it.

Propane: £105  Our stove top and oven run off propane.  The more you cook on the boat the more propane you will go through.  It is about £25 to £30 per container, at least where we have purchased it.

Diesel:  £1191.36   The diesel powers the engine.  It gets you down the waterways.  It also provides you with heat if you do not use a solid fuel stove and with electricity.

Coal and Kindling:  £216.14  When we bought the boat it came with several bags of coal for the solid fuel stove and then we had to begin purchasing our own.  Initially, we also purchased some kindling for helping to start the fires.  We burnt almost exclusively coal the first year when we weren't using the engine to keep us warm.  Now, we gather kindling and larger dead-fall limbs and use them to burn in the stove.  Our use of the engine to heat is mainly confined to heating the bathroom before showers.  :-)

Now, if you add in the more personal expenses that would vary widely from person to person such as travel, drinks, clothes, gifts, meds, etc.  this past year cost us £22,000.  And remember, we traveled A LOT.


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