Im new to the club so I'd like to share a little about me;
Im in the closing stages of my highly misadventurous yet unforgettably well traveled navy
Though I've seen half the world already, Im more than ready to hang up my military life and begin to enjoy a debt-free, creditcard-free, carpayment-free, oopskid-free, and a well-saved-for life. Although it may seem like Im bragging, please understand that I've sacrificed 5 years of sanity, among several other health
related issues, and being close to the ones I love to serve my country and get to where I am today. The upside of all of it is I've saved a considerable amount of money
to live out my dream of living on my own sailboat in the Florida
Keys(something I would've never accomplished had I not joined the service) and I'll be fortunate enough to continue receiving a steady income(living allowance) for the next three years following my honorable discharge. Any one familiar with the post 9/11 GI Bill will know what Im talking about, but I digress.
I tried buying
my first sailboat in the fall of 2009 but amidst pending deployments and worldly disasters I didn't even get a chance to take sailing lessons
. So for the sake of brevity please trust that before I do buy my first sailboat, I will have more experience than a dog-eared Sailing For Dummies book. I tried a bunch of step by step "find the right boat for you" websites but they dont spend nearly as much time addressing your needs as much as letting you know about the latest six figure yatch you "need" in your life. As stupid as this may sound, I want a boat, a sailboat preferably, that will accommodate a couple, myself and my girl, two medium sized dogs(thats my biggest variable), and maybe a jet ski or waverunner and jacuzzi. Ok, Im kidding about the jet-ski/waverunner and jacuzzi. I just threw that in there to not make two highly trained and obedient dogs
sound so impossible.
On my search in 2009 I looked at some 28-30' sailboats and back then when it was just me i could've made it work but now I dont think thats gonna cut it. I'd like to think my budget
is worthy enough to look in the range of 40'-45'. I would like you all to understand that Im not just buying
a sailboat. Im buying a home. A lender might not see it that way and thats fine because I plan on paying up front. Im also not rich by any stretch of the imagination. Think of me as guy who saved his pennies for a very long time and lived on a giant rustbucket to save on having to pay rent, bought a car cash, and is blessed to have a cushion of security
for the next three years. I'm great with electronics
and Im very comfortable around diesel
engines. Love seafood, sunsets, and movies that make me laugh....wait, what? Nevermind that last part.
So why am I writing this? I dont know. I guess its because I learned that when you have a goal in life it's best to not tell anyone about it. Or at least know before-hand who you can and can't tell. They'll hear your excitement and make you feel like an idiot. Or because your ambitions dont coincide with the norm you're somehow a fool destined to be eaten by sharks.
Im only 26. I have $30k in savings with a $10k 'emergency fund'. I will make $72k(after taxes) in the next three years outside of any job or career I pursue. I have lived on an average budget
of $250/mo before with no problem(the navy
did provide the food
, tho my dog would've enjoyed it more). So Im asking all of you out there who have lived on boats or currently live on boats, is it doable given the size of the boat I think I need(40'-45')? I know most people start out 1-2 bedroom house(ie. under 25') but after 5 years of sleeping aboard a navy vessel with 200+ sardined in the same berthing, I have no problem shelling out the extra cash for the extra room. Should I not be so set on a sailboat and consider other kinds of boats? I looked at catamarans, and they seem pretty cool, but more expensive and everyone seems to hate them for some reason. My goal is that if I do finance something, to have it paid off completely in the first two years. There are so many boats, new and used, with so many different prices that I feel like I did when I bought my first video game
with my only $20 and hoped to God it didn't suck. Only this time the feeling is with something I plan on calling home for a long long time. So if you have any insight on what I can afford that will meet my needs please let me know. The dogs
are a must. The girl and love of my life, I leave open for debate. [Kidding! If you're reading this please don't sell all my stuff before I get back!! Love you and the kids(dogs)!!] Also keep in mind I have been 'sailing' for the past 5 years. My sea-legs are set and ready to do it for another 5 if I had to. I just rather be Captain
this time and never lose sight of land for over 180 days at a time again.
Thanks for any help.
With all my respect and admiration for those I aspire to follow in their footsteps,