First off I have to say you guys are fabulous for welcoming new people to this forum. I stumbled on this forum back in March and received a warm welcome with my first post as well. I had no idea at the time that there were so many new members. Thanks for taking the time.
After reading several books
(like Voyager's Handbook, The Cruising Life, All in One Boat, An Embarassment of Mangoes,
to name a few),keeping up with this forum, browsing yachtworld.com
and reviewing designs and prices of boats that I'm interested in I have experienced a wide range of emotions. I have been excited that the cruising lifestyle is in our future, impatient with our seven year timeline, lusting after the Jones' boats, discouraged that the smaller boats are so expensive, inspired by the adventures of others, confident a smaller boat is for us, discouraged by the prices, excited that this is in our future..... it has been a roller coaster.
As a result though, I have tons more questions and lots more reading to do. I've got no problems staying motivated and inspired. I just need to write this to stay connected.
Our plans are to set sail in seven years when my husband retires with a military pension. This will be our cruising kitty. During this time, we think we can accumulate approximately $200,000 USD to buy a boat. We are still certain that we want a catamaran
. Probably between 38' - 42'. Although I am a novice
at checking them out, I focused something fierce on the Leopard 40
. But with seven years to go there is no point in picking out a specific design. We will be sailing with three teenagers so some individual space is an asset.
This is the part I find most discouraging ... back in March I thought that $200,000 was a nice chunk to spend on a boat, even a cat. With inflation and the reality I see in the boat prices (even in this reduced market), $200 K is going to buy a pretty old cat or a pretty small cat or a pretty basic cat.
So my thoughts are ... we are going to be limited to the catamaran charter
fleet. (December 2016 move aboard in the Caribbean
*fingers crossed*). Since my plan was always to do some seriously long coastal cruising with limited offshore
passages down south to develop our sailing and liveaboard
skills (and visit all the fabulous places in the Caribbean). During this leisurely two to three year time frame, we could slowly upgrade our boat's sails
list from a charter
yacht to a serious bluewater vessel. The plus side is we would know from experience exactly what equipment
we need and want.
In todays dollars, we'll have $50,000 annual pension from my husband. This is Canadian money
and it is before taxes
. I realize there is not much point in converting it to USD since the exchange fluctuates too much from year to year let alone almost decade to almost decade. We are already pretty frugal in our lifestyle ashore (relatively speaking), cooking
from basic ingredients, no cable or satellite
TV, one vehicle family
, dial up internet
, basic phone
, no shoe or purse fetish, kids
don't get even close to everything they want and they don't want alot since they don't see commercials on TV. Our big splurges are for travel. I don't know exactly what our cruising costs will be (because I haven't done it) or how much it will cost to make upgrades to a charter cat , but right now I think that we have a good cruising kitty.
We would also have rental income
from our lovely but modest suburban home in Ottawa (capital of Canada). Very rentable I think. But I am not convinced it is worth the headache. We love our home and really want to have it back in 20 years or so when we come back from cruising
. Even if we sold it, we would invest all the money
property when we came back rather than add the investment income
to the cruising kitty or increase our boat purchase
fund. If we rented our house for $1500 (easily right now), we'd have $1000 per month after property taxes
costs since there are no mortgage costs. We could add that money to the cruising kitty.
I know I probably give way too much info. I don't go up to strangers on the street and tell them about my personal dreams and finances. Honest.
Am I on track or out to lunch?