I'm not looking for "tomorrow" but I'm not looking for 12 years either. I'm about 5-6 years from retirement
, and so it's time to start really digging in, even if just researching. I'm quite experienced, having crossed the Atlantic twice (as crew), sailed 40 years, and own/maintain my own Sabre
34. I'm looking for a circumnavigation-capable boat, and the Mediterranean
boats seem to be terrific values. I'm not at all worried about the voltage issue, as I don't see too many items needing AC, and am very capable of doing the work myself if I choose (and besides, I'll spend 5 years in countries with 230V anyway!
So, my questions have to do with "how."
* How does one pick a boat? Not make/design/etc, but "this" boat. Spend a lot of time on Yachtworld, find one that is interesting, and start emailing /calling the overseas broker? Can you work with a US broker, or does that not even work? At some point, you have to drop down a grand or so and go visit -- but at that point, you look mighty "interested" and bargaining gets difficult. Or do you go, look, go home, and then start bargaining? Or do you bargain sight unseen, conditional on an in-person visit/sea trial?
* How about buying it? It's going to be cash, but still, who gets the money
, when, how do you make sure that you don't get screwed and end up with no money and no boat?
* How about titling? They hand you something that looks like a title, and what, you send it home to USCG and they send you a documentation
slip two months later? What about the interim? Seems that in shady foreign countries, between when you give them money and when you get a valid title/documentation, you could get in trouble with a "boat with no papers."
* How about refitting. My intent would be a winter crossing, where weather
is minor, trip is fast, and creature comforts can be ignored to some extent. But the boat does have to be moderately seaworthy
. While a failed head
would be a nuisance, a failed shroud
would be devastating. I would do all/most work myself (I'm quite competent, and very familiar with ABYC requirements), but still I might end up being there a month - will that cause immigration/customs/tax issues?
* How about insurance
? Can I get Boat/US to insure a boat that has never been seen by a US surveyor
Time/money are not really an issue. Ideally, I'll be retired, and my budget
while not lavish is very, very realistic. Or at least, from what people say, it is. I'm looking at $100-$150K for the boat, and another $50-$100K to refit
before a world cruise
($200K total boat cost is the budget). I'd prefer the bulk of refit
to be done in the US (after a trip home).