How much does it cost to sail across the world?

Decided to sail around the world? Your biggest worry won’t be a storm or crossing the ocean, but can you afford to do it? 

Here we break down the average cost spent by people who sail for years,

We categorize this into 

1. Where do you sail? 

2. What boat do you sail?

3. Food and Drinks 

4. Maintenance and Repairs

5. Insurance

6. Fuel

7. Excursions

8. Cruising fees

9. Communications

10. Mooring fees 

11. Clearance and Customs

12. Trash Disposal

If you’re going to follow the traditional route following the seasons

around the world, which will take you about two years of sailing, to complete sailing around the world.

Where do you sail: 

The location you sail is critical in determining your sail’s overall cost. In some places, you will spend a little like 100 dollars even for a month worth of expenses, and in some other places, you will be spending thousands of dollars. Hence, where you plan to go, your potential cruising ground, and your current location significantly impact your budget and cost.

What boat do you sail?

You can do it on any budget, depending on how much you spend on a boat. You can also spend millions of dollars for a boat; you can spend as little as 5000 thousand dollars to make a boat up and to run.

There are people who bought boats that they couldn’t afford to run or keep, and it is true that the more expensive and bigger your boat, the more expensive the repairs will be. And it’s not just the repairs; it’s taking into Marina to get the repairs done, and whatever you think, whether new or older boat, both need more repair.

If you haven’t already bought a boat, I would suggest buying something you can easily afford to run on a daily basis; whatever you think you’re going to spend on the boat, spend 20% less. For example, suppose you have a budget of $100,000. It’s better to look at work with maybe seventy to eighty thousand dollars and leave that extra twenty percent for putting equipment on or cleaning and repairing.

Basic boat setup for an average 40-foot sailing boat, refill, and essential provision before take-off may cost between 60,000 to 70,000 dollars. Which can break down into boat costs between 40 to 50,000 dollars, and for taxes 3000 dollars, haulout 320$, rigging survey 250$, Registration 400$, along with maintenance and provision, or you can make it even less based on your expense. 

At the low end, to make a 20 to 27 feet boat ready for sail, you may need nearly 5000 dollars. However, it will be the lowest possible budget you can spend on a boat. Click here to learn about the cheapest boat to sail around the world and its setup.

Food and Drinks 

Food costs vary massively depending on your country; you can receive some free gifts like fruits in some counties and pay 15$ for cabbage in some other countries. So it really pays to research food costs online, and most information is available about food costs before arriving in a country. As food is the main outgoing, it’s safe to stock up in better value areas, and you can also eat simply and locally in some areas depending on need, but you can cut food waste and cost if you cook and eat your food onboard the boat. We include alcohol also in this section, but you must sacrifice regularly drinking to enjoy your ride and live the life you love.

Food costs will be summarized at about 200 dollars per month per person, so it comes to an average of 1200$ per year.  

Maintenance and Repairs 

It is no surprise that this is the most expensive category and can be very widely based on the age of the boat and the type of sailing you do; the more miles you sail, the more you break.

The general figure in the industry is between ten and twenty percent of the boat’s value was what you’re likely to need to spend, but you can avoid as much cost if your boat is well maintained. Also, You can cut this cost drastically if you know how to do some stuff by yourself like engine maintenance, changing filters, changing impeller, changing driving cord, setting up a rig, and doing rig checks. Depending on someone to repair a minor fix, you can save a lot of labor and time. If you hit something a little bit and you get a bump or scratch on your boat, it’s really easy to fix that.

Other exciting maintenance costs include varnish, polishing, foul pane, and engine spares. It just goes on.

On average, maintenance costs about 500$ on low-end small boats to 3000$ on an average boat per year. 


It’s safe to include boat and medical insurance, but if you have a small older, cheaper kind of boat, it’s usually really hard to get offshore sailing insurance.

Also, insurance really restricts the places you can go and what is covered. So, for example, during hurricane season, you have to get someplace like Grenada or curacao to be out of the hurricane belt for your insurance to cover you.

On average, it costs about two percent of the boat’s value. Therefore, the amount can be rounded to about 1200$ per year, including personal insurance.


This category includes diesel, gasoline, and propane cooking gas. This makes up a less expensive category. However, depending on your usage, it can vary from 600$ to 1000$ dollars a year.


This section includes everything like land travel, such as bus fares, and eating out. You are really lucky that most of the things that you enjoy doing are free, with the use of some basic equipment that we carry, onboard hiking to the top of any accessible Hill, diving into beautiful clear waters, and snorkeling with amazing ocean life, hiking through secluded bays, the sailing dinghy in stunning locations, you rarely have to pay for all these activities,  

getting around on your own on all these places is usually quite easy, but you have to go out there make contact with people and ask around where you have to go. You just want to respect all the standard restrictions and rules they have in that area. As long as you do that, it’s to be just going around, having fun, and doing all these amazing things, which is basically free. Usually, using a public bus is an experience by itself. Occasionally, hiring a car becomes the best option on average. Around three times per year, sharing with friends, family, or other cruisers can further reduce costs. We calculated car rental on average and any additional expense; we averaged around 80$ per person for a trip.

Cruising fees:

This section includes cruising permits, visas, and any costs we incur checking into a country. We get asked about cruising fees all of the time, but it depends on your nationality and the country you’re checking into, some countries charge a thousand US dollars, and some let you in for free. 

Information on charges is available on websites like and government websites. By researching those, you can avoid places with high checking fees if running on a tight budget. 

On average, it costs around 1163$ per year as per our data.


This makes up a total budget of 900 dollars per year, including any mobile internet and satellite phone costs for communications.


You can also use a mobile phone, pick up a SIM card from your country, and use that mobile data to act as a hotspot so you can access the Internet via different devices on the boat. In most countries, your mobile data costs are cheaper than in the internet cafe.

Mooring fees 

This includes marina fees, mooring fees, and port dues. Marinas are expensive, and it’s better to live at anchor if you have a good anchor and have to keep a close eye on the weather. Still, marinas do make things like laundry provisioning and collecting any guests much easier, so marina costs are also included in this section and average between 1100 and 1500 dollars per year.

Clearance and Customs:

We have to pay this every time we enter a new country. These costs can vary widely based on where you are in the world and each specific country; then, in some countries, you would need

visas to be able to enter, and for a medium-sized boat, it would cost around 75$ per country,

20 to 30 dollars for clearing with a small boat like 20 to 25 feet. 

Trash Disposal

For trash, occasionally, you have to pay two or three dollars to dispose of a bag of trash. However, it can be satisfying knowing that our trash is being disposed of properly.


This section makes up to 1120 u.s. dollars per year 

This includes everything that doesn’t fit into a specific category, such as medical fees, cost of shoes, clothes, sunglasses, charts, pilot books, etc


So let’s add that to the price per year it ranges from 9000 to 10000 dollars for a single person to sail around the world,

Not included in sailing charges:

There are mandatory courses for you to go offshore long-distance sailing in many countries, so let’s add another 300$.

Also, you need to register your boat somehow, which usually is about a hundred bucks.

And another crucial thing is a dinghy. You must have a dingy. A cheap dingy would be like 300$. That’s about all the fixed costs. 

Final Advice:

There are not actually that many more costs when you’re going long-distance sailing. It’s good as long as you have your boat and it’s in pretty good shape. There are not that many things that you could put money on. Usually, you just go around in your boat having fun sailing. Meeting a lot of other sailors, exploring islands, mainlands, just doing all these fun stuff that usually doesn’t cost anything, for me, that’s all that long-distance sailing is about.

To live with nature, have a good time, and don’t run around buying all these fancy stuff and living in fancy marinas, and spending a lot of money, for me at least, doesn’t make much sense when you’re going long-distance sailing.

It’s not that hard, and it’s not that expensive either, so if you’re on a budget, you can still go long-distance sailing if you’re broke.

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