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Old 19-01-2015, 10:58   #1
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Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

Hi all and thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

My husband and I are trying to figure out the best ten year plan to go cruising full-time one day. A little about us: in the past year, we've moved to NYC, left our 20ft sailboat in Buffalo, gotten married, and rented a very expensive apartment that we need to get out of (we are only able to save about $500 a month, despite having pretty decent salaries). As for sailing, we spent two seasons on Lake Erie sailing our beautiful daysailer and three seasons racing with a different boat , we're both ASA 101-104 certified and we've done two charters (4 days in the Chesapeake and 7 in Greece for our honeymoon!).

The way we see it, if we remain in NYC (which we're committed to doing at least another year), we have three options:

1. Move to somewhere on the Long Island coast, rent a cheaper apartment and buy a sailboat for $20k - $30k, cash. We'd only be able to continue to save approximately $500 a month there because we'd have added costs of dockage and then transportation to our jobs in the city.

PROS: we get a new-to-us boat, have a land-based home (we have two cats and hope to have a baby in the next 1-3 years), get to go sailing regularly, maybe race with the sailing club, and the long island sound is supposed to be very pretty, with easy access to New England, and we'd be able to have a car (which we already have) to be able to get places (hiking, camping, etc)
CONS: not saving any more for future sailing, getting a cheaper boat than we would otherwise maybe get, longer commute/further away from the city

2. Buy a bluewater boat in the 35'-40' range for $60k or less and then live on it. After looking at marinas and evaluating costs, we've determined that we could save $2800 a month instead of $500, although most of that would go towards boat payments (we can pay a little less than half up front and then take out a loan for the rest to pay off within two years).

PROS: we have a boat, we can go sailing, we can get to know our boat, we'll have a nicer bigger boat that we can pay off fairly quickly, close to the city, be able to have a car in the marina (which we already have) to be able to get places (hiking, camping, etc)
CONS: living on a small boat in the winter with two cats and hopefully a baby one day, and the commute would be a little more expensive but accounted for in our budget.

3. Try to find a cheaper place to live in the city, ideally able to save $1500 a month

PROS: have a land-based home for now, save more, live in the city
CONS: NO SAILBOAT IN THIS PLAN (so maybe we'd spend more on chartering...plus we'd be sad not to go sailing regularly)! also no car for traveling and getting out of the city.

I'm leaning towards option 2...it seems like the obvious right thing to do! But we've read things like, "wait until you're ready to go before buying a boat to save on maintenance cost, marina fees, etc." I also imagine this would be our first cruising boat (maybe we'd end up down in the Caribbean one day, or spend some time cruising the East Coast) but that we'd eventually buy a bigger (low 40s) boat for cruising around the world.

Thoughts, suggestions, criticisms? Any feedback is appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 19-01-2015, 11:12   #2
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

We did almost exactly what you list in option 2, except that we did decide, and could afford, to live in an apartment for the first five years while we refitted a boat and got experience with it. We had zero boat experience except for a couple of weeks of classes many years before that. I got a job at a boatyard and my wife maintained a job at her old company (unfortunately with a long air commute). We had the boat in a marina and did live on it some especially the first few months before we got settled. Getting the experience with the boat in tiny steps and then with larger cruises in local waters was absolutely the best thing we could have done. The boat needed, or I decided it needed, so many things that I did not anticipate. Just taking off would not have gone well and we probably would have hung it up after a year or two. It was not cheap though and you should not expect it to be. We put many boat bucks in to a boat that had already seen extensive cruising. This was a plus and a minus. It had almost all the kit we needed but much of it was at the end of its useful life. I did almost 100% of the refit but in doing so I learned everything about the boat - everything - wiring, plumbing, refrigeration, engine, tankage, rigging, etc. etc. Boats are complicated and must provide things you take for granted in your house with city water and sewage, endless electricity which almost never goes out, no vibration issues with parts shaking themselves to death, etc. Emerson could have learned a bit about self reliance on a cruising boat.

In any case good luck with your adventure. But look at your budget, and then triple the costs anticipated, and may be you will end up only 5x the budget if you are careful. Don't mean to be discouraging but it will be an eye opener. And worth it.
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Old 19-01-2015, 11:19   #3
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

In considering the amount of money I've spent on maintaining my boats the past 7 years in prep to go cruising my advise is:

Don't get a boat before you are ready to leave unless you really want to sail now. If you do just come to terms that you have extended the time before you can start your cruising life. So my vote is option 3 and getting your sail time on other people's boats.
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Old 19-01-2015, 11:59   #4
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

Why not option 4?

Stay on the boat, until the cold drives you out? Stay in an apt for the three coldest months? Unless of course you can deal with the cold? I don't think I could and wouldn't want my Baby to have to
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Old 19-01-2015, 20:36   #5
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

Here's another point of view.

The longer you wait, the less likely you are to follow through. Big city life is seductive, and in many ways promotes values that are counter to the low footprint type of life you would have aboard your own boat. I'd say, buy a boat you could all live on for an unlimited period, and count it your first step in a hugely changing life style.

The first couple of months after the baby is born require a lot of work when you are tired, but many babies have been born and gone straight to live on board, friends did this on a 24 footer.

Ann
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Old 20-01-2015, 09:24   #6
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSunshine View Post
Hi all and thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

My husband and I are trying to figure out the best ten year plan to go cruising full-time one day. A little about us: in the past year, we've moved to NYC, left our 20ft sailboat in Buffalo, gotten married, and rented a very expensive apartment that we need to get out of (we are only able to save about $500 a month, despite having pretty decent salaries). As for sailing, we spent two seasons on Lake Erie sailing our beautiful daysailer and three seasons racing with a different boat , we're both ASA 101-104 certified and we've done two charters (4 days in the Chesapeake and 7 in Greece for our honeymoon!).

The way we see it, if we remain in NYC (which we're committed to doing at least another year), we have three options:

1. Move to somewhere on the Long Island coast, rent a cheaper apartment and buy a sailboat for $20k - $30k, cash. We'd only be able to continue to save approximately $500 a month there because we'd have added costs of dockage and then transportation to our jobs in the city.

PROS: we get a new-to-us boat, have a land-based home (we have two cats and hope to have a baby in the next 1-3 years), get to go sailing regularly, maybe race with the sailing club, and the long island sound is supposed to be very pretty, with easy access to New England, and we'd be able to have a car (which we already have) to be able to get places (hiking, camping, etc)
CONS: not saving any more for future sailing, getting a cheaper boat than we would otherwise maybe get, longer commute/further away from the city

2. Buy a bluewater boat in the 35'-40' range for $60k or less and then live on it. After looking at marinas and evaluating costs, we've determined that we could save $2800 a month instead of $500, although most of that would go towards boat payments (we can pay a little less than half up front and then take out a loan for the rest to pay off within two years).

PROS: we have a boat, we can go sailing, we can get to know our boat, we'll have a nicer bigger boat that we can pay off fairly quickly, close to the city, be able to have a car in the marina (which we already have) to be able to get places (hiking, camping, etc)
CONS: living on a small boat in the winter with two cats and hopefully a baby one day, and the commute would be a little more expensive but accounted for in our budget.

3. Try to find a cheaper place to live in the city, ideally able to save $1500 a month

PROS: have a land-based home for now, save more, live in the city
CONS: NO SAILBOAT IN THIS PLAN (so maybe we'd spend more on chartering...plus we'd be sad not to go sailing regularly)! also no car for traveling and getting out of the city.

I'm leaning towards option 2...it seems like the obvious right thing to do! But we've read things like, "wait until you're ready to go before buying a boat to save on maintenance cost, marina fees, etc." I also imagine this would be our first cruising boat (maybe we'd end up down in the Caribbean one day, or spend some time cruising the East Coast) but that we'd eventually buy a bigger (low 40s) boat for cruising around the world.

Thoughts, suggestions, criticisms? Any feedback is appreciated! Thank you!
Have you looked on SI? You might find a train and ferry ride cheaper whether apartment or slip. Maybe both?
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Old 20-01-2015, 10:27   #7
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

Into the Light is the title of a great sailing story of the Martin family (5 of them) sailing from the U.S. East Coast via Bermuda to circumnavigate Iceland. It's an excellent book for insight into living aboard with very young children. in also Dave and Jaja Martin also detail their boat prepping time while they lived on shore.
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Old 20-01-2015, 11:12   #8
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

Quote:
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Have you looked on SI? You might find a train and ferry ride cheaper whether apartment or slip. Maybe both?
PS, look for jobs someplace else that don't have the overhead vs the income and is boat friendly.
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Old 20-01-2015, 12:44   #9
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

if you don't actually plan on leaving for cruising for 10 years, then i would consider plan 1 or 3. here's why I like 1: it gives you plenty of experiance sailing and learning how to care for a boat (although it sounds like you have some good sailing experiance already). 2. At your current estimate of savings, it gives you 60K cash, however, you haven't accounted for raises so you could have more. Why I like 3: it gives you more savings. Chartering different types of boats will give you more perspective on what you like. I would be hesitant to jump into buying your "final boat" now unless you are pretty sure you know what you like.

As for living aboard, that is a viable option and as a PP said, you could always sublet something for the winter if it is too cold. The problem with moving aboard immediately is that if the boat requires a lot of work, it is tricky to live on it while doign it AND maintianing professional jobs. Many sailors like to encourage people to just go ahead and move aboard but thoses aren't always the people with professional jobs. if you have to stay late to finsish a project, how does that affect boat work? if you have to travel alot for work, how do you finish boat work? Everything just takes longer when you cna;t prioritize the boat. Also, living aboard is HARDER then living on land. There are a lot of conveiances we take for granted.
If you plan on living aboard things to consider:
1. You will have less fridge and prob no freezer space so if you are like me and like to cook 2-3 times a week and eat leftovers then that doesn't work, you need to cook dinner every night. How does that work with your work schedule?
2. You will have to grocery shop more often due to limited storage or you will have to get used to "digging out" your food as you have no pantry and will have things stashed everywhere.
3. You will be using public laundry which means you can't just throw a load in at 6am before work and take it out of the dryer when you get home.
4. You will have less of everything which means that clothes, sheets, towels have ot be washed more often.
perhaps becasue you are a manhattanite you already live like this but if you don;t its something to ocnsider
As for baby:
I am 9 months pregnant and we were about to move aboard when we found out. The reasons we didn't:
1. Pregnancy and Babies are a huge learning curve and I didn't feel I could handle that plus the learning curve of living aboard and my full time professional work
2. Living aboard would mean my mom couldn't stay with us pnce baby arrived
3. I'm in great shape and an avid sailer but by month 6 had trouble getting on and off the boat. Your balance can really change!
4. Although babies can adapt to anywhere, mom's who have had c-sections (which is open abdominal surgery), perineal tears (occurs in 40-80% of women), or episiotomies may be too soar to jump on and off a boat.

Whatever you choose, all the best and deffinitly continue to pursue your cruising dreams!
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Old 20-01-2015, 13:04   #10
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSunshine View Post
Hi all and thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

My husband and I are trying to figure out the best ten year plan to go cruising full-time one day. A little about us: in the past year, we've moved to NYC, left our 20ft sailboat in Buffalo, gotten married, and rented a very expensive apartment that we need to get out of (we are only able to save about $500 a month, despite having pretty decent salaries). As for sailing, we spent two seasons on Lake Erie sailing our beautiful daysailer and three seasons racing with a different boat , we're both ASA 101-104 certified and we've done two charters (4 days in the Chesapeake and 7 in Greece for our honeymoon!).

The way we see it, if we remain in NYC (which we're committed to doing at least another year), we have three options:

1. Move to somewhere on the Long Island coast, rent a cheaper apartment and buy a sailboat for $20k - $30k, cash. We'd only be able to continue to save approximately $500 a month there because we'd have added costs of dockage and then transportation to our jobs in the city.

PROS: we get a new-to-us boat, have a land-based home (we have two cats and hope to have a baby in the next 1-3 years), get to go sailing regularly, maybe race with the sailing club, and the long island sound is supposed to be very pretty, with easy access to New England, and we'd be able to have a car (which we already have) to be able to get places (hiking, camping, etc)
CONS: not saving any more for future sailing, getting a cheaper boat than we would otherwise maybe get, longer commute/further away from the city

2. Buy a bluewater boat in the 35'-40' range for $60k or less and then live on it. After looking at marinas and evaluating costs, we've determined that we could save $2800 a month instead of $500, although most of that would go towards boat payments (we can pay a little less than half up front and then take out a loan for the rest to pay off within two years).

PROS: we have a boat, we can go sailing, we can get to know our boat, we'll have a nicer bigger boat that we can pay off fairly quickly, close to the city, be able to have a car in the marina (which we already have) to be able to get places (hiking, camping, etc)
CONS: living on a small boat in the winter with two cats and hopefully a baby one day, and the commute would be a little more expensive but accounted for in our budget.

3. Try to find a cheaper place to live in the city, ideally able to save $1500 a month

PROS: have a land-based home for now, save more, live in the city
CONS: NO SAILBOAT IN THIS PLAN (so maybe we'd spend more on chartering...plus we'd be sad not to go sailing regularly)! also no car for traveling and getting out of the city.

I'm leaning towards option 2...it seems like the obvious right thing to do! But we've read things like, "wait until you're ready to go before buying a boat to save on maintenance cost, marina fees, etc." I also imagine this would be our first cruising boat (maybe we'd end up down in the Caribbean one day, or spend some time cruising the East Coast) but that we'd eventually buy a bigger (low 40s) boat for cruising around the world.

Thoughts, suggestions, criticisms? Any feedback is appreciated! Thank you!
Typical relocation to NYC leads to the situation you find yourself in. One place I'd recommend considering for much less expensive housing but still a good commute is Newport, NJ. Lots of apartments and even a mall.

On option 2, plenty of people live aboard comfortably in colder climates. Your boat can be made warm. Now one thing to be cautious regarding is the marina electric rate. On the other hand it does present some challenges for having infants, toddlers, young children.
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Old 03-02-2015, 21:20   #11
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

Just keep in mind that when people advise that you not buy the boat until you're ready to go they're assuming that you're not living on it. A lot of the cost of maintaining the boat seems a lot more manageable when its also your primary residence! Our strategy is much like your option two.

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Old 15-02-2015, 09:28   #12
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

Port Washington has live-aboard marinas and the seasonal mooring is only $1500 including water taxi. Train to the city is 35 minutes.
Friends with a similar plan as yours moved from Manhattan to the mooring during the summer and got a inexpensive apartment in Queens for the winter.
I think that owning your boat and getting to know it before you start cruising makes the experience much less stressful. Try to do as much of the repair and refitting yourself so you learn to become self-sufficient.
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Old 15-02-2015, 09:43   #13
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

In 10 years, your 8 year old may be so into ponies that this plan will be but a memory.......

Seize the day! er...... or something like that.

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Old 15-02-2015, 10:28   #14
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Re: Next two years of our ten year cruising plan! Feedback wanted!

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In 10 years, your 8 year old may be so into ponies that this plan will be but a memory.......

Seize the day! er...... or something like that.

Yup...just love all these silly plans. Life changes so much in 2 years, let alone 10. That and why would anyone expect those answers here from total strangers on the Internet?
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