This is our second to last Monthly Expense on our Great Loop. When we first set out to share these monthly expense reports, we were unsure if they would be helpful to other people. Over the past year, we’ve gotten a ton of great feedback which really makes the work that goes into writing these reports each month worthwhile. We hope by sharing our monthly expenses, you’re able to better plan and prepare for your Great Loop experience.

Overall, we came in high for our January Great Loop Budget! Included in this report are what expenses to expect on the Great Loop to how much we spent exactly in one month. Spoiler: our second largest expense this month was boat projects. 

Gulf Crossing Day 1
Gulf of Mexico, Florida | Day One of Crossing the Big Bend


Before I dive into our January expenses, it’s important to understand where we traveled, how far we cruised, and some specifics in our particular loop experience. We began our travels at Juana’s Pagodas in Navarre Beach, Florida, and traveled 419 miles to St. Pete Beach, Florida. During this time we completed our Gulf Crossing, which we decided to do the Big Bend. Here’s our Nebo travel summary:

Nights at a marina dock: 3
Nights on a marina mooring ball: 0
Nights on a free dock: 13
Nights on a paid dock: 0
Nights on a free lock wall: 0
Nights on a paid lock wall: 0
Nights at anchor: 15

We spent most nights on anchor this month which brought joy to us and our bank account. Thanks to two sets of friends (Jeff, Bill, and Margie) we stayed 13 nights on free docks, which was such a huge help as we were able to reap the benefits of a dock without the price tag. As a general rule, we try to avoid staying at marinas in Florida because of their cost. We stayed one night at South Point Marina in Panama City Beach and then two nights at Clearwater Beach Marina operated by Oasis which was gifted to us as part of a partnership.


We spent a total of $3,919.68 on our Great Loop expenses for January 2023. This list does not include our healthcare, phone bills, personal subscriptions, and business expenses as those all vary from one person to another. All expenses are in USD.

Our greatest expense this month was groceries for a total of $1,208.99. Most of the meals we eat are cooked on our boat, making this a reoccurring high category for us.

Our second greatest expense was boat projects for a total of $1,011.88. This month we exceeded our expected monthly budget for boat projects, which made this month more expensive than we would have liked. While we were traveling down the rivers during a flood stage, we hit two pieces of debris underwater and heard a big thud on our hull. Later Elliot inspected our transmission shaft and saw a small crack in one area. The replacement piece was about $500 so that plus lots of other odds and ends caused this to be a particularly high boat project expense month.

Our third greatest expense was fuel for $622.37. We fueled up once in Panama City Beach at a great price, $4.39/gallon!

Lastly, our boat insurance renews every January, so we pay for January and February in January which made it double the average monthly cost. A few of the remaining categories were pretty close to what we had hoped for. We continue to be flexible which has been key to “staying on budget.”


If you’re interested in our
Great Loop Budget Calculator,
check it out here!


Apalachicola, Florida | Jen and Elliot docked

We hope this post provided you with some insightful information on how much it costs to do the loop on a budget. Share this post with a friend if you think someone else might find this information useful. If there is something you would like us to include in our final February Great Loop Expenses that we missed this month, let us know in the comments below!

The ups, downs, and everything in between, we share it all. If you like what you see, there are lots of ways to show your support and say thanks!



In this blog post, we share our December Expenses on America’s Great Loop. From affordable marinas to getting a free boost of speed going down the Tenn-Tom thanks to some recent rain, we were able to stay fairly close to our monthly goal budget.


The Great Loop is a beautiful adventure full of challenges including the challenge of staying on budget. We knew budgeting for our Great Loop would ebb and flow depending on the season and our location and that’s exactly what it did while we spent two weeks in Chattanooga, TN to work.

16 Responses

  1. Hi Jennifer
    I have made a spreadsheet of all your past 11 months expenses, miles, gallons and hours. We are planning to do the Loop and it helps a lot for my budgeting forecast. Look forward to seeing you cross your wake.

  2. Thanks for the usual detail and breakdown of your expenses; always neat to see. The ‘Big Bend’ and entire Gulf Coast was some of our favorite locations thus far on our multi year adventures; beautiful area! Your picture on the dock at Apalachicola reminded me of being “stuck” there for several days while waiting out weather and developing a slight addiction to Apalachicola affogatos from the coffee and chocolate shop!

    1. Hey Erik,

      You’re welcome! The Big Bend was a pleasant surprise and one of our favorite parts of the trip, thanks to having some excellent weather. Apalachicola’s coffee shop is a great spot. I’m glad you were able to enjoy the affogatos during your extended stay.

      Kind regards, Jennifer

  3. We miss seeing your vlogs! Pretty sure the task becomes cumbersome, plus the time to produce them…nonetheless we’d love to see more! Our girl pug, Gidget, loves to see Ollie on the screen. She jumps up & tries to get Ollie’s attention. When she (obviously) doesn’t, she whimpers & sulks. We used to get your Sunday Summary, just signed up again just in case.

    Fair winds & following seas!

    1. Hi Dave and Cheryl!

      We just recently finished our Great Loop and as we neared the completion of this amazing journey we realized we needed to spend our time filming these moments and taking them in. We didn’t want to look back and remember us inside editing instead of cherishing these final special moments. Ultimately, we believe this decision will create better videos in the long run although the downside is that we’ll be releasing less videos temporarily. With that being said, we appreciate your patience for understanding and waiting! 😊

  4. Watched your video where you have to defrost your freezer frequently, in our camper we found not letting anything touch the back wall of the freezer, keep maybe an inch off the back wall(?), it stopped doing that.

    I love your videos and adventures, stay safe!

    Hopeful future Looper,

    Kathy T.

    1. Hey Kathy,

      Great suggestion. Our fridge is usually stuffed to capacity, but as we eat our way through a week’s worth of groceries, I’ll try moving the items closer to the front and see if that changes things.

      Best luck planning and starting your loop adventure!

      Kind regards, Jennifer

  5. Hi, we traveled back in 2016 on the RC Allure which at the time was the largest passenger ship in the world with 6,000 passengers. We are now going on probably the smallest cruise ship (45 passengers) this Fall from Big Chute to Peterborough (5 nights) which does trips on the Trent Severn Waterway, 1,000 Islands & Rideau canal. Just wondered if you ever saw it in your travels. It’s called the Kawartha Voyageur. John & Patricia Oshawa ON Canada. Just stumbled on your YouTube videos recently and really enjoy them. Great informative videos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *