I think this is a great idea, and I'm envious. It's not "plain crazy" at all; it is, however, nave.
I would of course get sailing lessons and when i [sic] buy the boat I would spend a couple of months getting to know the boat and how she sails inside and out before we attempted to venture out.
Though the Bahamas and the Caribbean are often seen as idyllic playgrounds, you're woefully underestimating the time it will take to prepare yourself for a trip like this: a yacht this size is not a floating recreational vehicle. Becoming familiar with your new vessel is impossible to do in "a couple of months." You'll barely know how the head
flushes in that short time. It would be like a teenager getting his driving permit
and then being put into the Indy 500. You might assume the risk for yourself if you were to strike out alone, but it would be irresponsible to involve your wife and child in a venture you were ill-prepared to lead, and their (your wife's and child's) safety
should never be compromised.
Consider pushing back your departure date 1 year after purchase
of the yacht, to give yourselves time to gain experience as a sailing team and and to become familiar with the complicated systems the yacht carries.
Which of these two scenarios is more appealing:
A) The daughter is five; we're leaving without
experience/confidence, and we're hoping everything goes well.
B) The daughter is six; we're leaving with
experience/confidence, we know how we work together as a sailing team, we've had time to practice things like watch-keeping and anchoring
; we've decided on safety
restraints and routines for a 5-yr. old, have been out in rough weather
a couple of times and know what do to when half our team is incapacitated by sea-sickness, we've done some night-sailing, we've had time to see if the electrical
and electronic systems are reliable, and to fix the five or six problems with the yacht that have presented themselves only six months after we signed papers; we've learned about provisioning
, diesel maintenance
skills that weren't taught in that weekend "cruising" course; we've now collected a core
of spare parts
for essential systems and a tool set that will allow us to meet just about any foreseeable problem that arises; we've researched, and have planned out an itinerary that avoids trouble spots and will highlight our enjoyment… and the list goes on.
There's just a lot to learn, and the only teacher is time and experience. You can have the time of your lives, or potentially the ordeal of your lives. It all depends on how patient and prudent you are.