Sunday, July 31, 2011

Snoring, Burping, or Farting - and Cost of Cruising.

We filled the fuel and water tanks while in Anacortes and that brought back the gurgling in the sinks.  See, with all The Stuff we now carry on Viking Star she sits a couple of inches lower than the design point.  So the sink drains that used to be just above the water line now dip into the water when we rock.  This causes a bit of air to be pushed in and out of the sink.  A stopper on the forward head takes care of that one, the galley sink however tends to Burp if the strainers are not in, Snore if they are, and Fart if there is some water in the sink as well.

We like Snoring.

How this leads into the topic of Costs, not sure.  Perhaps it was the $700 Fuel bill.  Whatever the path, costs is a good topic and one that seems to be a bit taboo in proper company.  I will say we have learned a lot from folks who have posted their actual costs, with a great site being SV Third Day (see our profile for blogs we follow).  They take care in tracking cost.  In a perhaps less rigorous vein, here is an estimate of what it costs to go Cruising on Viking Star.

1st:  Initial outlay.  Here I really have to estimate.  I used to keep detailed records, but my pocket calculator died several years back and I lost all that information.  So, I will have to make a guess--likely close +/- $10,000.   We purchased Viking Star for $22,000, have added perhaps $30,000 in materials and equipment over the years, and paid out about $7,000 in professional fees.  So, as she sits we have about $60,000 invested. This does NOT include moorage (about $4,000/year for covered moorage), nor any compensation for our labor.  It does however get us a well fitted-out boat capable of safely taking us anywhere in the world we wish, and with a good level of comfort.

Looking back, and given the current state of the economy, one could purchase a like vessel -without the work- for the mid to upper $200,000's.  MUCH less for a capable sail boat (not sure why - but it is true), or much less for a power boat that does not share the efficiency and sea capabilities of Viking Star.  But we have enjoyed her over the years and I sure do know it inside and out!

Monthly costs:  For July these break down as:
   Maintenance:    $1,267
   Fuel:                 $1,195
   Moorage:            $190
   Groceries:           $633
   Dining Out:         $244
   Personal:            $299
   Insurance:          $314
   Communication: $140
=============================
   Total:             $4,282

Wow, a LONG way from our $2-3,000/mo goal.  However, some comments:
  1. We hauled out.  The Maintenance group includes the Haul Out fee as well as a hotel for a few days.
  2. We also did last minute stocking.  Most the rest of the Maintenance goes to that, as well as almost 1/2 the Grocery
  3. Kristi has some Alone Time in Seattle while I was off in Chicago.  'Personal' reflects that (not that I complaining about the results!)
  4. Moorage 90% reflects the time I was in Chicago as well.
  5. Insurance reflects Health Insurance - a bare bones 'Catastrophic' plan - and I will leave my Soap Box in the corner for now.
  6. Communication reflects monthly Cell Phone voice and data access for Consulting Job.


We did a LOT of motoring.  84 hours in July alone! And a good part of that was at a pace much faster than we usually travel; most notably the long run from Grays Harbor to Neah Bay - 1550/1600 RPMs vs our normal 1400. That largely accounts for the high fuel usage.  I hope to not see a Diesel Dock for several more months. (We took on fuel twice in July: once in Ilwaco to top off the tanks from last year's fueling, and then again yesterday in Anacortes.)

On Fuel usage overall -  history has shown us we average 1.5 GPH at our normal cruising speed of 1400 RPMs / 6.5kts/hr.  Looking at the last fill up, we used 182 Gallons after topping off in Ilwaco and ran for 84 hours.  Backing out 11 Gallons for the time on the Hurricane heater, and perhaps another for the generator we end up with an average of 2 Gallons / hour.  Perhaps we are still in the ball park, as that run from Grays Harbor specs out at 2.2 GPH.  Plus we are carrying a bit more of The Stuff than when the 1st RPM/Fuel burn curves were set.

Will be interesting to see how these costs change over the next few months.

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