Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-07-2009, 09:58   #1
Registered User
 
Target9000's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Orleans LA
Boat: 74 Westsail 32
Posts: 1,379
Can Someone Give Me a Reality Check?

Hey folks,

I've been reading and researching vigorously as everyone here suggests when you're new to boating and cruising. So we read and read and read and read until our eyes hurt and asked tons of questions at marinas and to people we know involved in cruising. Then we went over the forums. Finally I think we have our plan coming together and wanted to lay out the short version here to see what you guys think.

The goal:
To spend 2 years cruising. Extensive offshore cruising included. We want to see the south Pacific. It is a dream we share together. Not just one of us dragging the other along.

Background:
We're 27 and 26. We make 140k a year combined. We have a house but plan to rent it. It is our only major debt. We plan to have all other debt paid off by the end of the year and that will be our start of savings. We estimate that we can save about 130k over 2 years. Neither of us have any sailing experience. However, we're surrounded by knowledgeable people. (ex her Mom is a sailmaker.)

Money Planning:
Out of that 130k we plan on spending 40k for a boat, 20k for outfitting, and budgeting 24k a year for cruising. That will leave us about 22k in an "emergency" fund for whatever might come up and strike at us that we cannot foresee.

Sacrifices:
We are not planning on carrying insurance while we cruise. We also do not plan to harbor in slips or marinas if we can help it at all. We're not planning on taking many "modern" systems with us like electric windlass, watermakers, air conditioning, refridgeration, hot water heaters, etc etc. We don't plan on eating out often. We're young, have strong backs, and aren't afraid of some discomfort if it means living a dream. We're hoping to make the booze last by going with cheaper liquor though....

Requirements:
We def want a safe boat, something forgiving of inexperienced sailors like us. We like some of the westsails for their room and rugged construction. We want a windvane instead of electric autopilot. We want serious ground tackle. A full keel. Tiller steering. Good rigging. A well functioning motor with great documentation and a full set of tools. A good dingy and kayak. Large water tankage. Redundant GPS and comm gear. Booze.

The plan:
We hope to save up enough cash and then buy the boat outright. Sail her for a year to a year and half in the coastal waters around our home. Occasionally make trips into the ocean for "shake downs". Vigorous education through doing as opposed to reading (what we're doing now). We also want to use that time to refit the boat and tear it apart, learning its systems. After we've reached our goal savings we'll put in notices at our jobs, clear the decks and leave for out 2 years of adventure. More if we can stretch the money. We're quite unsure of the costs involved and have only made estimates in the middle of what most people say is expected.

What we fear:
That we're missing some big piece that will set us back. Something we're not seeing. Is our budget even close?

What we don't like about our plan:
People constantly tell us it is dangerous, we're too young, inexperienced, poor, stupid, uneducated, etc etc to undertake an adventure like this. We also get lots of... "Why don't you sail the Carribean instead?" You know what... Because that isn't OUR dream. It reminds us both of all the past dreams we've lived out that involved hordes of people telling us it can't be done or shouldn't be done.


So kind people with experience in these sorts of things. Do you think this is a feasible plan? Is there some big gap in our logic? Are we naive to think a year of sailing every or every other weekend in all the weather/sea conditions we can find is enough to teach us the skills to leave our home? Are we wrong to budget 24k a year to live off of for 2 people? Are we silly to be looking at boats from 1970 and hoping to have a blue water capable pocket cruiser bought and fitted for around 60k? Are we silly to think we we can anchor out most of the time instead of going into marinas and spending more money?
__________________

__________________
Target9000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 10:24   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
JusDreaming's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Stuart, FL & Bahamas Cruising
Boat: Lagoon 37
Posts: 880
Images: 13
sounds like a pretty sound plan to me!! I can't say much about the boats as we are catamaran people, but the overall plan is solid. I think you may have over budgeted though. It costs us about +or- 1k per month to cruise the Bahamas for six months per year. And like you plan, we do not visit marinas and eat on board for the most part.
As far as other people's opinion, they all thought we were/are crazy!!!!!!!! But there are also a lot of people who admire us for living the dream. And in your case, my quote applies very well " You can always make more money, But you can't make more time"
__________________

__________________
Denny and Diane
Lagoon 37
http://www.svjusdreaming.bravehost.com/
http://www.sailblogs.com/member/svjusdreaming/
"The only way to get a good crew is to marry one." -Eric Hiscock
JusDreaming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 10:37   #3
Registered User
 
YOGAO's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: St. Augustine, FL - an unwilling C.L.O.D.
Boat: Maine Cat 41
Posts: 519
Go for it! Don't let the naysayers hold you back from your dream. Stay positive and focused on YOUR goals, not theirs.

Look at the thread, "Negativity and the Cruising Sailor".
__________________
YOGAO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 10:44   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: virginia
Boat: islandpacket
Posts: 1,830
Go for it! try to sail on other peoples boats, your idea's of what you want may change. I would try to get lessons, join a sailing club and sail alot, then get the boat later. But what ever works. Dont get stuck at the dock. Best of luck.
__________________
That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
Badsanta is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 10:46   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,002
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
You ought to look at a Westsail 32. You might find one ready to go for $50,000 and save your outfitting money. They are not fun to sail, more like driving a truck, but the self steering does the driving anyway. They have a reputation for being slow which we found to be undeserved. Like all full keel boats, they don't like light air. Give them a bit of wind and they'll do quite well especially in the open ocean. We averaged 118nm per day for over 10,000 miles with a best days run of 178nm through the water. For a couple, they have plenty of room and will carry a ton of gear without affecting performance.

I'd reconsider an electric windlass. Sure is nice to push a button and get the anchor up. A good GPS plotter with a back-up or two, a knotmeter/log, and a depth sounder are all the electronics that you'll need. You might also look at a tiller pilot that you can use for the few times you might want to motor for a long distance like the Doldrums. Might be able to set it up to work off the self steering and get by with a cheap one. In SoPac, didn't need a watermaker. Caught rain in our awning and kept the tanks full.

Your plan sounds like you've given it a lot of thought. If you stay out of Marinas and bars, you might find that your expenses will allow another year of cruising.

Aloha
Peter O.
Pearson 35
__________________
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 11:00   #6
Registered User
 
Target9000's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Orleans LA
Boat: 74 Westsail 32
Posts: 1,379
Thanks for the replies folks. We've been looking at some boats that are already fitted out as suggested. There is a westsail32 next door to us that has circumnavigated three times! So boats like that give us hope we can do it. We've even considered making an offer on it as it has pretty much everything we'd need already done, just needs maintenance.
__________________
Target9000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 11:06   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,130
Nobody here will tell you not to do it!! Go for it.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 11:12   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Location: CA
Boat: Islander 30
Posts: 57
Good for you! Your plan is a lot more financially sound than mine. Maybe we will run into each other in the S. Pacific! Keep us posted and best of luck to you. I don't think you can plan for everything, and it seems like you will have enough money to solve most problems. Get out there!!
__________________
GeorgeH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 11:23   #9
Registered User
 
Target9000's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Orleans LA
Boat: 74 Westsail 32
Posts: 1,379
Peter,

Thanks for the feedback!

I'm not familiar with all the GPS type equipment yet. I've heard a lot of opinions though. Some people say its best to go with an "integrated" solution. Some people say the handhelds are just fine. Some things I was curious about... Do most of the plotters interface with electronic charts? I was planning on going with paper charts. But if we ended up with a plotter instead of just a normal GPS device, it might make sense to get electronic charts for both?

As far as the electric windlass goes, I hear what you're saying with reconsidering it. Hopefully the boat we find will have one so it won't even be an issue.

Thanks,
T&D

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
You ought to look at a Westsail 32. You might find one ready to go for $50,000 and save your outfitting money. They are not fun to sail, more like driving a truck, but the self steering does the driving anyway. They have a reputation for being slow which we found to be undeserved. Like all full keel boats, they don't like light air. Give them a bit of wind and they'll do quite well especially in the open ocean. We averaged 118nm per day for over 10,000 miles with a best days run of 178nm through the water. For a couple, they have plenty of room and will carry a ton of gear without affecting performance.

I'd reconsider an electric windlass. Sure is nice to push a button and get the anchor up. A good GPS plotter with a back-up or two, a knotmeter/log, and a depth sounder are all the electronics that you'll need. You might also look at a tiller pilot that you can use for the few times you might want to motor for a long distance like the Doldrums. Might be able to set it up to work off the self steering and get by with a cheap one. In SoPac, didn't need a watermaker. Caught rain in our awning and kept the tanks full.

Your plan sounds like you've given it a lot of thought. If you stay out of Marinas and bars, you might find that your expenses will allow another year of cruising.

Aloha
Peter O.
Pearson 35
__________________
Target9000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 12:04   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
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.
__________________
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful! ........
A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves!

Unprepared boaters, end up as floatsum!.......
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 12:14   #11
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
So far everything sounds pretty good. I left S.F. after 18 months. The bay prepared me well, but it's not the ocean. As delmarrey says get some experience, and make sure it's ocean sailing in all kinds of weather as your skills build. Lakes, rivers, and bays are one thing, but offshore is a completely different sail. BEST WISHES in moving forward with your plans. I think you are being pretty darned logical with it.......i2f
__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 12:24   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: virginia
Boat: islandpacket
Posts: 1,830
Yeah, start collecting tools. On another note, I was crossing a river the other day when my anchor slipped its lock, Now I will always check that BEFORE I leave the dock. Well, all 250 ft of rode and 80 ft of chain slipped over the side. I was lucky it played out along side and I saw it before it hooked the bottom, I cut the engine and I did this real neat 180 degree turn and stop. Well the breeze was 12-15 knots and I sure am glad I had a windless because I could have never pulled it aboard by myself.

The chard platter and GPS really makes life so much safer. Especially along the coast. Where you will be alot.

Continue on your plan, but get on the water. Sailors love to talk. No sense trying to reinvent the wheel. It has been done many times before.
__________________
That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
Badsanta is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 12:29   #13
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
if it's a reality check you want...

...finding a ready-to-cruise Westsail 32 for $40,000 might provide it.

Check this listing for a good idea of what these boats are going for currently:
WESTSAIL - CRUISING BOATS FOR SALE
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 12:34   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
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.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 13:28   #15
Registered User
 
Target9000's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Orleans LA
Boat: 74 Westsail 32
Posts: 1,379
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
...finding a ready-to-cruise Westsail 32 for $40,000 might provide it.

Check this listing for a good idea of what these boats are going for currently:
WESTSAIL - CRUISING BOATS FOR SALE
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

Looks like it has most of the stuff we want. And it looks pretty sound, it has double rigging. Although it was full of some guys crap and needed to be cleaned up. I'm hoping we can do it on this budget but maybe not?

And keep in mind, once again, I do have 20k in the budget for refit.
__________________

__________________
Target9000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Reality Check for Sailboat Process for Newbie zehnmm Monohull Sailboats 14 03-09-2008 14:48
Can you give me a REALITY check on living aboard? floathome Liveaboard's Forum 10 08-08-2008 05:22
Diesel Gunk Reality Check Microship Engines and Propulsion Systems 14 17-07-2008 18:10
Could this be a reality goodtimes007 Powered Boats 11 04-10-2007 17:37
Getting away from reality cat man do Powered Boats 2 19-11-2006 11:24



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:22.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.