SAILORS BEWARE: Google is lying to you about the “cost of cruising”

For the same reason that you should not get your news from your Facebook feed, you should not trust the estimates from cost of cruising blogs when you Google it. Computers like to give you what you want, and everybody wants to hear that following your salty dreams does not involve the dreaded maxim, B.O.A.T., Break Out Another Thousand.


I used to think most sailing bloggers were low-balling their cost of cruising estimates to get more views. After the Facebook scandals, fighting in the trenches of the YouTube video algorithm, and blogging more myself, I know the truth. Google is a liar! (Darn lies and algorithms!) Namely, the Google search algorithm gives you an unrepresentative sample of the cost of cruising blogs.

Consider the following thought experiment. A faithful sailing blogger tallies her sailboat expenses every month during the EXPENSIVE refit and EXPENSIVE initial provisioning. In the first month of sailing to the tropics, the gear is new and the boat is packed with food. The frugal cruisers don’t eat out or visit any marinas and steer clear from the yacht club bar. They only spend $99, while posting idilyc anchorage and snorkeling photos. Everybody reads and shares and that blog climbs the search rankings. Meanwhile she keeps on blogging her expenses as they buy more groceries, haul out the boat, visit marinas, and stuff breaks, but few people read those more depressing blogs about getting parts in distant ports for way too much money. The dedicated and honest sailing blogger writes 36 monthly cost of cruising blogs before breaking the pen and swallowing the anchor, but most people read only the one that had the lowest monthly estimate, because that is the only one that comes up on the first page of Google search.

I am going to break down my cruising expenses for 2009 before I bought my first BOAT.


Google algorithm please send this blog to everyone!

You can get the complete estimates of our Bahamas trip in my book. Warning there are lost of B.O.A.T.s in SLOW BOAT TO THE BAHAMAS.

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