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Old 06-07-2009, 13:32   #16
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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
So far, I only see two flaws in your plan.

A major lack of experience and education, that's the dangerous part.

And I'd spend a little more for a boat that won't break on ya. Most of us ole salts can fix most anything, kinda like McGyver's. Being young is great for energy and resilience, but practical experience could set you back.

Personally, I think you're jumping the gun and should build up some pratical experience first before heading offshore.
We're doing ASA next year for vacation and are planning on sailing for at least a year before setting out. We figure we can go sailing at least every other weekend but probably more often. We live on the coast so hitting the ocean in the Gulf isn't going to be a problem. How much experience do you feel is required to do this safely? 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

I remember when I got into motorcycling people recommended that I spend X amount of time on courses and then X amount of time doing this or that before street riding. I also found out that a lot of different people have different learning curves, so I suspect that will play into it.

I'm hoping to be comfortable sailing in many types of weather by the end of the year. God knows the Gulf of Mexico will provide me ample opportunity to see it if I want to.

We'd really like to get going before we get into our mid30s so that we can have our family before we get too old.
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Old 06-07-2009, 13:34   #17
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Sounds like a good plan but I would be concerned that you will need more money to get the boat ready for the trip. An old boat can suck up a lot of $$$$ getting her safe and sound for offshore.

Also, refrigeration is relatively cheap and makes life on a boat much better so I would suggest trying to get at least that amenity.

GO GO GO...
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Old 06-07-2009, 13:35   #18
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The only thing I would add is to get some experience chartering a few sailboats before you go. This will give you somewhat of a more realistic idea of what you are getting in to.

You may also consider financing a better boat that what you can get for 60K. Of course if you finance it you will then need insurance for the area that you will be cruising. You have the incomes for financing a larger, faster, more comfortable and more reliable boat. Why make yourself extremely uncomfortable and slow if it is not necessary? Debt is not necessarily a bad thing if you manage it correctly.

You can get by on a basic $200 GPS, a spare battery powered GPS and paper charts for the areas that you will be cruising. You may also consider buying an inexpensive sextant, sight reduction tables and a Nautical Almanac if celestial navigation is something that interests you.
Thanks David. We've talked about chartering to see how it goes, but all the stuff I've looked at for chartering involves things like flying down to the keys or carrib and then chartering some boat for like 4k +. So knocking 5k out of the budget for a week of sailing just seemed sort of counter productive to us. Our plans were more in line with finding other sailors locally to sail with, maybe joining the racing teams around here to crew, and getting a boat and sailing for a year, progressively stepping up our skills and trying to find increasingly difficult weather conditions as we go along to see what its like. If we were to charter boats, do you feel it would be worth the cost? I mean to say, do you gain more experience chartering than what we could learn sailing our own vessel?
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Old 06-07-2009, 13:37   #19
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Sounds like a good plan but I would be concerned that you will need more money to get the boat ready for the trip. An old boat can suck up a lot of $$$$ getting her safe and sound for offshore.

Also, refrigeration is relatively cheap and makes life on a boat much better so I would suggest trying to get at least that amenity.

GO GO GO...
Keegan, I've budgeted 20k. If you had to make a budget plan, what would you budget? I was hoping to get by on that but I know what you mean on it sucking up money. I'm assuming it will largely depend on the vessel we buy and we'll have to be conscious of that when making a purchase.
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Old 06-07-2009, 13:52   #20
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Well, 40k for the boat with a 20k budget to get her ready. Do you think I'm budgeting too low? I've looked at a few of them. For instance, we went and saw this boat:
1974 Westsail Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com.
I was going to chip in with some words of encouragement earlier, but a) I haven't done this trip and b) the last fella I made encouraging noises to on CF.com sank. enroute to Hawaii (Search for "Ronnie" ).....but nonetheless as the matter of the boat has been raised I will state (the blindingly ) obvious that the right boat is important

Buy the wrong one condition wise and you will have a) overpaid and b) blown through your budget (in cash and time) and possibly c) delaying or stopping your dream. Buy right and you save money.

But IMO so far so good. now to simply start turning the plan into practice.
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Old 06-07-2009, 13:52   #21
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Keegan, I've budgeted 20k. If you had to make a budget plan, what would you budget? I was hoping to get by on that but I know what you mean on it sucking up money. I'm assuming it will largely depend on the vessel we buy and we'll have to be conscious of that when making a purchase.
As you say, this will depend a LOT on the boat that you buy. Try and find an old boat that someone has already been upgrading some. A twenty+ year old boat can have a lot of wear and tear. Focus primarily on the quality of:

Sails
Engine
Rigging/Mast/chainplates
Sound Hull
Sound fuel and water tanks (minimal or not rust)
Sound electrical wiring that does not need replacing


If you have to replace or rebuild the engine, replace the sails, and replace a lot of rigging, plus a bunch of other stuff then you could easily be well above 20k.

Also, if you pick up a boat that is just finishing a cruise then they will have a lot of stuff that you may get for practically nothing compared to a boat that has not done a big cruise. All those extras add up to huge bucks.

EXAMPLE:

Liferaft
epirp
SSB radio
Handheld VHF
Harnesses
extra sails
All kinds of spare parts
and the list goes on on on on on...

GO GO GO THOUGH.....
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Old 06-07-2009, 14:21   #22
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making the math work

boat math doesn't work the same as real-world math. if you take a $40,000 boat and pour $20,000 into it, you don't suddenly have a $60,000 boat. In terms of real value, you probably come out with something like a $45,000 boat as a result of your investment.

In boat math, 40,000 + 20,000 < 55,000 + 5,000. In other words, the advice you've been given to look for a boat that's cruise-ready is well taken. That way, the math works out poorly for the previous owner--the poor schmuck who poured all the boat bucks into the boat that he'll never get back--but better for you.

Unfortunately, even if you purchase a boat that just finished a long cruise, you'll still need to invest a bit into fitting it out. A bottom job and probably new running rigging and fresh batteries, et cetera. Smart cruisers--the type you'll want to buy from--don't tend to invest in new sails if they know that they're only going to be hanging onto the boat for another year or two.

Please don't take any of this as advice not to pursue your dreams.
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Old 06-07-2009, 14:27   #23
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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
I was going to chip in with some words of encouragement earlier, but a) I haven't done this trip and b) the last fella I made encouraging noises to on CF.com sank. enroute to Hawaii (Search for "Ronnie" ).
I've actually read the saga of Ronnie and what happened to him. After reading that thread I took to heart some of his mistakes and plan to learn from them. You know, like having some serious shake down ocean cruises before leaving and experimenting on the boat by playing games like... "Lets pretend the tiller is broken." and other nightmarish scenarios. I know that won't prepare you for dealing with everything and certainly not in terrible conditions, but hopefully we'll have a little bit of experience in the way of dealing with emergencies like this one before we set off.

I've compiled a big check list of critical failures that I've seen happen through my research and I've got a running list of "drills" I'd like to practice in our time learning how to sail.

Some of the things on the list are like:
pretend you've lost steering (and a sublist of why)
pretend the sails are ripped
pretend the motor is dead coming in to dock
pretend the anchor is dragging in high winds
pretend you've lost a shroud
pretend the boat is taking on water through a seacock
pretend you've hit something and been holed
pretend you've run aground

etc etc. I'm sure running drills for scenarios like these aren't perfect, but I intend to have a REHEARSED plan in place for all of them. You know, like if the boat is holed I want to have practice getting down there with a collision mat, etc. Life has taught me that preparation in the face of inexperience can help alleviate some risks. Not all, but at least some. I wonder if Ronnie had done a shakedown cruise where he purposefully rigged up emergency steering? Who knows.

Stories like that almost put us off going at all. Reading things like that makes you go... "Hmm, guess we'll have to sail when we can and not go until we're retired and after having a family. We'll spend all these years learning to sail so we can be ready "one day"." But other parts of us nag and say, "Its worth the risk. Prepare as well as you can to reduce the risk and go soon." Maybe if we come out alright on this we'll be more prepared for what we want to do later in life.

We've thought about altering course and just sailing the carrib for experience but I feel that bad conditions can hit anytime and anywhere. We might sail for 3 years around the carrib and avoid almost all bad weather. We might sail the world and not have any probs and coming back home get waylaid by a mega storm.

I guess it all boils down to something my Dad always told me. You have to let your heart tell you where to go, but you have to let your head tell you how to get there.

I'm trying Dad!
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Old 06-07-2009, 14:29   #24
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boat math doesn't work the same as real-world math. if you take a $40,000 boat and pour $20,000 into it, you don't suddenly have a $60,000 boat. In terms of real value, you probably come out with something like a $45,000 boat as a result of your investment.

In boat math, 40,000 + 20,000 < 55,000 + 5,000. In other words, the advice you've been given to look for a boat that's cruise-ready is well taken. That way, the math works out poorly for the previous owner--the poor schmuck who poured all the boat bucks into the boat that he'll never get back--but better for you.

Unfortunately, even if you purchase a boat that just finished a long cruise, you'll still need to invest a bit into fitting it out. A bottom job and probably new running rigging and fresh batteries, et cetera. Smart cruisers--the type you'll want to buy from--don't tend to invest in new sails if they know that they're only going to be hanging onto the boat for another year or two.

Please don't take any of this as advice not to pursue your dreams.

I see your point and its well taken. That being said... Do you think its doable to find a safe boat for extended blue water cruising that we can afford, that being in a roughly 60k budget?
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Old 06-07-2009, 14:32   #25
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It is feasible and people do it, but with mixed results. You might very strongly want to consider medical insurance and evacuation insurance, which could easily run $1000 per month for a young couple, $12k out of your reserves already. And the boat may need insurance (shop carefully) or marinas in the US may not let you tie up.

Then, you'll need to post bond or buy return airfare tickets simply to enter some pacific nations (see noonsite.com) and can expect to lose currency conversion fees both ways. And pay surprisingly steep entrance fees in some places (again, see noonsite.com).

You may want to reconsider renting out the house, unless you've very carefully screened the tenants and have a manager looking after it. Some tenants will turn around and leave--after SELLING YOUR HOUSE to someone else. Others can do a lot of damage in a year unsupervised, and who do they call if the water tank leaks? Or a storm pulls off the roof?

Then there's the boat. You'd be better off moving aboard one after getting some experience (crewing, chartering, club racing) with different boats to see what suit you in a boat. Yugo, Jaguar, Mercedes, Chevy...Beetle? (G) They're all the same but all rather different, too. You might find out that standing watches for a week on end to make a passage just takes the fun out of it for you--better to find out before you commit to the boat. Or, to buy the boat, live aboard "at home" and get a few passages under your belts before you decide to cast off for the big trip. There are many places where the local market is full of dream boats that people sailed in on--and then flew away home from, leaving the boat up for brokerage sale. It can happen.

So by all means pursue the dream, but I'd suggest doing it with caution against the fact that you can take some major losses here.
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Old 06-07-2009, 14:33   #26
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absolutely!

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I see your point and its well taken. That being said... Do you think its doable to find a safe boat for extended blue water cruising that we can afford, that being in a roughly 60k budget?
that boat is out there. yes. shop wisely. always remind yourself that you can't afford the biggest boat you can afford.
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Old 06-07-2009, 14:39   #27
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quote=Bash;301059]boat math doesn't work the same as real-world math. ... In other words, the advice you've been given to look for a boat that's cruise-ready is well taken. That way, the math works out poorly for the previous owner--the poor schmuck who poured all the boat bucks into the boat that he'll never get back--but better for you...
... Please don't take any of this as advice not to pursue your dreams.[/quote]

Indeed.
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Old 06-07-2009, 14:41   #28
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It is feasible and people do it, but with mixed results. You might very strongly want to consider medical insurance and evacuation insurance, which could easily run $1000 per month for a young couple, $12k out of your reserves already. And the boat may need insurance (shop carefully) or marinas in the US may not let you tie up.

Then, you'll need to post bond or buy return airfare tickets simply to enter some pacific nations (see noonsite.com) and can expect to lose currency conversion fees both ways. And pay surprisingly steep entrance fees in some places (again, see noonsite.com).

You may want to reconsider renting out the house, unless you've very carefully screened the tenants and have a manager looking after it. Some tenants will turn around and leave--after SELLING YOUR HOUSE to someone else. Others can do a lot of damage in a year unsupervised, and who do they call if the water tank leaks? Or a storm pulls off the roof?

Then there's the boat. You'd be better off moving aboard one after getting some experience (crewing, chartering, club racing) with different boats to see what suit you in a boat. Yugo, Jaguar, Mercedes, Chevy...Beetle? (G) They're all the same but all rather different, too. You might find out that standing watches for a week on end to make a passage just takes the fun out of it for you--better to find out before you commit to the boat. Or, to buy the boat, live aboard "at home" and get a few passages under your belts before you decide to cast off for the big trip. There are many places where the local market is full of dream boats that people sailed in on--and then flew away home from, leaving the boat up for brokerage sale. It can happen.

So by all means pursue the dream, but I'd suggest doing it with caution against the fact that you can take some major losses here.

Renting the house isn't such a big deal because I have a LOT of family around and they're all handy. My Dad would probably be making sure the house is okay. And are you kidding? Selling the house? How in God's name can someone sell a house without owning it? The title companies just wouldn't let it happen unless something went terribly terribly wrong. And the bank has a vested interest in not letting that happen too. Thats nuts. Has this happened to you?
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Old 06-07-2009, 15:03   #29
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I'm sure you can pull this off, and I do not want to dissuade you, but please spend some time on the actual ocean before you go ahead and spend real money. Not everyone can do this...no matter what anyone here says. Have you experienced sea sickness? A nite at sea? This isn't motorcycle riding...there is a lot to learn for your own safety. If you can beg a ride on a short passage, please do. The confidence you gain will be valuable. IMHO, Chris
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Old 06-07-2009, 15:09   #30
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very realistic

Your plan is very realistic, even 40k is a big enough budget to get a seaworthy boat in good enough shape for a two year cruise. Your behavior determines your month to month budget (do you cook or do you eat out?) the pacific has some of the pricier destinations (Tahiti/French Polynesia) so that has to play into it, but plenty of people do it for <1000 per month

I'm also 27, bought a boat for 12k, have put 6 into it and have another 5 to go and will have a bluewater capable boat, I'm headed to central america for a year with 25k in the bank but want to spend only 10, and maybe pick up a delivery or two over that time who knows -- I'd really like to come out about even, but that's just a dream

don't spend too much money on your boat spend the right amount -- if it's 40k and only needs a bottom job and some bright work then you're in good shape, find a GREAT surveyor -- one who you trust and who understands what you're looking for and why and look at boats until you can look no more, too often people spend 30 k on a boat and find it needs 30k worth of work (especially if you're only modestly handy)
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