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Old 04-07-2014, 08:05   #61
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

We have recently tallied our spending on our 41' monohull. Average boat maintenance and upgrades has run about $1,000 a month.
She came home from the manufacturer in 2002 to her first owner, and we bought her from him 3 years later. She is well equipped, with many systems for comfort, safety and ease of use, including a/c, generator, inverter, large solar panels, voltage transformer for non-US docking, radar and fully integrated electronics, davits, etc. We maintain her to average/above average standards by independent survey. Not "Bristol fashion" but when her original systems fail we replace them and we have added selectively over the years. She went through a dismasting in Hurricane Wilma, thus an early replacement if the mast, the standing rigging and the jib. She was sailed lightly to moderately for the first five years; we brought her to the southern Caribbean in the 2010-2011 season and have kept her there and sailed her ~6 or so months a year since then.
We do much of the light to moderate maintenance work ourselves - plumbing, electrical, sails and running rigging, diesel and gas (dinghy) engines, and thus carry several thousand dollars of tools and spares.
Depending where and how you sail, you will find some upsides and downsides to these numbers. Much of our spending has been in the Caribbean, where we find higher prices for parts (and sometimes a need to replace a whole system because parts are not available in a timely or cost-effective way) but lower costs for labor than in the US. Tradewinds sailing may be sportier than in, say, inland waterways and coastal sailing, but considerably less than regular ocean passages (e.g. bringing the boat back and forth from the Caribbean to the US, which some do).
We considered a life raft essential once we decided to make the trip to the Caribbean, though our longest passage has been about 1,200nm over 10 days, so the cost of that and keeping it maintained and inspected and therefore warranted is included in our tally.
I won't enter into the great cat/mono debate, but I do gather that maintenance costs might be marginally higher for comparably equipped cats.
On a different note - we are semi-retired; we do some work from anywhere, including on board, with decent internet access, and some at client sites on land. We are older than you - late 50's - and we love our mixed land and sea life.


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Old 04-07-2014, 09:01   #62
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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SNIP

Depending where and how you sail, you will find some upsides and downsides to these numbers.

SNIP
One common term you may come across is 'gentleman sailor'. The Cliff's Notes definition is a sailor who does not go to windward, and to a lesser extent a sailor who is very careful about the weather window when sailing.

At the other extreme is a hard core racer who flys as much canvas as possible at all times.

Location is important as well, and Florida/Bahamas is a fairly benign area compared to some other places. But every area can be dangerous.

As an example conventional wisdom is to never cross the Gulf Stream if there is a North component to the wind as it whips up steep short period square waves that pound the hull. If one has a time table that has to be met and is forced to cross the Stream under adverse conditions it is much harder on the boat and will increase the costs to maintain the boat.

This why there is such a wide variation in how much it costs different folks to cruise.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:31   #63
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

Thank you! I think we're just going to have to make our best preparations (along with some guesses) and just do it! I haven't seen anyone post that they did it and regret it. But then again, would they really be reading these posts. Sometimes I think too much....
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:33   #64
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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One common term you may come across is 'gentleman sailor'. The Cliff's Notes definition is a sailor who does not go to windward, and to a lesser extent a sailor who is very careful about the weather window when sailing.

At the other extreme is a hard core racer who flys as much canvas as possible at all times.

Location is important as well, and Florida/Bahamas is a fairly benign area compared to some other places. But every area can be dangerous.

As an example conventional wisdom is to never cross the Gulf Stream if there is a North component to the wind as it whips up steep short period square waves that pound the hull. If one has a time table that has to be met and is forced to cross the Stream under adverse conditions it is much harder on the boat and will increase the costs to maintain the boat.

This why there is such a wide variation in how much it costs different folks to cruise.
Yes, I can see that. I'll just need to plan for the medium scenario and prepare for the worst.
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Old 04-07-2014, 17:38   #65
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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yes, the boat is a small portion. The principal is invested and income producing through dividends, etc. I will aggressively protect my capital base.
Good. Too many don't understand how important it is to preserve capital, or how fast it disappers when you start to spend it for living expenses....then they run out of money long after they assumed they would be dead...old and broke is not a good scenario.
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Old 04-07-2014, 17:56   #66
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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... I haven't seen anyone post that they did it and regret it. But then again, would they really be reading these posts. Sometimes I think too much....
It does happen and there are some who have posted here. If you haven't already then I suggest charters or extended time aboard with friends to make sure its for you.

I've delivered brand new fully equipped boats to couples for whom it was obviously the wrong decision...after just spending a few days aboard with them. In fact, I was aboard a beautiful Viking 54 (Sport Fisher) today that is for sale because after only about 3 trips the owner's wife hates it (a $1.5M oops, I don't think $5K fuel bills for a weekend outting helped her perspective either). Very different boat than you are considering, but same principle.
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Old 04-07-2014, 18:18   #67
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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It does happen and there are some who have posted here. If you haven't already then I suggest charters or extended time aboard with friends to make sure its for you.
Amen to chartering first. My S-I-Law will go out with us for 3-5 day trips. She has made it abundantly clear to my brother that living on a boat is not an option.

A shower/head that is smaller than a phone booth, a v-berth that one has to "climb up" into, floor space in the stateroom requiring a gymnasts felxibility to get dressed in private. And this is on a 36 foot boat. It's not for everyone...

Charter the boat length you think you need and live on board for at least 5 days.

That's why the preponderance of opinion here is that ~40 is the sweet spot for the cruising couple or couple +2. Below that you are sorta "camping."
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:18   #68
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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It does happen and there are some who have posted here. If you haven't already then I suggest charters or extended time aboard with friends to make sure its for you.

I've delivered brand new fully equipped boats to couples for whom it was obviously the wrong decision...after just spending a few days aboard with them. In fact, I was aboard a beautiful Viking 54 (Sport Fisher) today that is for sale because after only about 3 trips the owner's wife hates it (a $1.5M oops, I don't think $5K fuel bills for a weekend outting helped her perspective either). Very different boat than you are considering, but same principle.
Good advice. We have chartered before but not on the type of boat we are considering. We will do this in the near future. We live on a lake and had a 26 mono that we day sailed. Again, I know it's not the same, but it does give me an idea of what it would be like. I couldn't imagine trying to live on the 26' at sea - that might make me a single man . All of the cautions are helpful as they remind me to closely consider and make sure we are planning properly.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:23   #69
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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Amen to chartering first. My S-I-Law will go out with us for 3-5 day trips. She has made it abundantly clear to my brother that living on a boat is not an option.

A shower/head that is smaller than a phone booth, a v-berth that one has to "climb up" into, floor space in the stateroom requiring a gymnasts felxibility to get dressed in private. And this is on a 36 foot boat. It's not for everyone...

Charter the boat length you think you need and live on board for at least 5 days.

That's why the preponderance of opinion here is that ~40 is the sweet spot for the cruising couple or couple +2. Below that you are sorta "camping."
I think you're right on the 40'. We would love a 50' but that is quite a bit more pricey. I also think it's a mindset. As with many things in life there are stages: accepting, tolerating and embracing. Until you reach the later there's limited enjoyment. I'm sure there are many negatives to embrace, but you can't have the rainbow without the rain. I also realize that a positive attitude alone will not do it, but thanks to you all and our other research, I think we can prepare ourselves and make this happen.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:02   #70
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

I'm in my mid 40's, I have my home in the Midwest, where my business is and my 41 mono in southern Florida. My business (production agriculture) afford's me the opportunity to take 3-4 months off in the winter to spend on the boat. I still fly home once a month for business. You can usually tell the day before I have to fly home...I'm kinda irritable and usually drinking! Point being , I love that boat and the lifestyle and never want to leave it. But it's definitely expensive, when I'm home I work don't go out and don't spend any money. I work! But when I'm on the boat I spend money... I don't track this exactly but I would say based on my credit card bills my living expenses go from $1000 a month in the Midwest to over $5000 on the boat.

If I sold my business tomorrow (and I've though about it) I'd get rid of all my toys (airplane, motorcycles, ski boat, car's etc) buy a big cat and not have the worry of keeping all that stuff up at home. I would have never considered getting rid of my toys until I started spending time on the boat. Now I see those toys as distraction that take my time away from what I really love. Why not do the same? Get rid of everything and buy a big Cat, Cruise until your tired of it. You can always swallow the anchor later.

Oh one last thing. I'm not a fan of the baby steps approach. Buying a smaller boat and trading up. Not only do you have the hassle of shopping for multiple boats you also lose at least 17% of the value of a boat every time you do it (10% brokers commission 7% sales tax) plus you probably are going to lose all the value you through into the first boat upgrading. Learned this lesson the hard way.


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Old 08-07-2014, 07:27   #71
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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SNIP

when I'm home I work don't go out and don't spend any money. I work! But when I'm on the boat I spend money... I don't track this exactly but I would say based on my credit card bills my living expenses go from $1000 a month in the Midwest to over $5000 on the boat.

SNIP
I have the opposite experience, but I am retired. When I am at home I go to the big box stores and buy canned food in bulk, rice, beans, and other provisions. I go to Lowes, Harbor Freight, and the like and buy tools and other consumable items for the boat. I shop on Amazon for items for the boat.

Once I am on the boat I eat what I paid for previously. I do a little work on the boat (wish I knew how to do more); but mostly I sail around in the Keys or take day trips in the dinghy or go out with others on their boats. I don't eat out so I spend much less on the boat than on land.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:43   #72
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

I have the opposite experience, but I am retired. When I am at home I go to the big box stores and buy canned food in bulk, rice, beans, and other provisions. I go to Lowes, Harbor Freight, and the like and buy tools and other consumable items for the boat. I shop on Amazon for items for the boat.



Once I am on the boat I eat what I paid for previously. I do a little work on the boat (wish I knew how to do more); but mostly I sail around in the Keys or take day trips in the dinghy or go out with others on their boats. I don't eat out so I spend much less on the boat than on land.



It's interesting how two guys in the same cruising grounds can have such different experiences. I think they know me on a first name basis at the Home Depot and West Marine in Marathon... And they definitely know me on a first name basis at castaways :-)


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Old 08-07-2014, 07:52   #73
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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I think they know me on a first name basis at the Home Depot and West Marine in Marathon

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Well they know me on a first name basis at NAPA and Specialty Hardware in Marathon.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:59   #74
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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I have the opposite experience, but I am retired. When I am at home I go to the big box stores and buy canned food in bulk, rice, beans, and other provisions. I go to Lowes, Harbor Freight, and the like and buy tools and other consumable items for the boat. I shop on Amazon for items for the boat.

Once I am on the boat I eat what I paid for previously. I do a little work on the boat (wish I knew how to do more); but mostly I sail around in the Keys or take day trips in the dinghy or go out with others on their boats. I don't eat out so I spend much less on the boat than on land.
Similar here. Ashore or in a marina the cash disappears fast, but once underway we tend to favor remote locations and spend very little. Spent a few months in the San Blas this year.

But unfortunately/fortunately my boat maintenance skills are pretty good so regardless of location I spend way too much time working on the boat. This is also one reason I prefer seasonal cruising. After some number of months working on the boat frequently, I am tired of dealing with it. Nice to go ashore and take a break from boat work. We are currently in the Chirique highlands of Panama...no boats for many miles...ahhh. In a few months, I will be looking forward to returning to the boat.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:38   #75
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Re: Sold my company - want to sail - but can I?

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Similar here. Ashore or in a marina the cash disappears fast, but once underway we tend to favor remote locations and spend very little. Spent a few months in the San Blas this year.

But unfortunately/fortunately my boat maintenance skills are pretty good so regardless of location I spend way too much time working on the boat. This is also one reason I prefer seasonal cruising. After some number of months working on the boat frequently, I am tired of dealing with it. Nice to go ashore and take a break from boat work. We are currently in the Chirique highlands of Panama...no boats for many miles...ahhh. In a few months, I will be looking forward to returning to the boat.


Well I agree, I don't spend much at all while underway... But when in Marathon where everything is available, look out!


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