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Old 05-10-2016, 20:35   #1
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Am I crazy or what

I live in the Chicagoland area and this was my first year of sailing. I loved it and excelled at learning about sailing. Ill be working with the sailing class over the winter and learning about engine repair, boat maintenance ect. I have major dreams of retiring in 14yrs and sailing the Arctic and Antarctica then go sail around the Caribbean until i die. I know i have a ton to still learn, along with getting out for blue water experience.

I know what kind of boat i want and need for my adventures around the world. (I want a steel hull boat, pilothouse design, about 40ft in length, large water/ fuel tanks, auto pilot, wind vane, heater, solor panels, wind generator ect.. and all the other goodies too.)

So here's my crazy thought, I found my dream boat, in Alaska. I can afford to buy this boat im looking at. (Im not rich by any means) So do I buy it? If so, how do i get it to Chicago? I dont have enough experience, or time off from work, to sail it back to Chicago so i can learn on it and put it on the hard in the winter to get to know the ins and outs of the boat. Im pretty sure I cant ship it, being a steel hull boat. Do i pay someone to sail it to chicago for me?

Or should i just stay off yacht world and the other sail sale sites for now until i have more experience under my belt to sail? (My instructor does say that i do have enough experience to single hand sail a J22 boat right now without any issues.

Thanks in advance for advice/ input.
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Old 05-10-2016, 20:43   #2
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Re: Am I crazy or what

If you were to sail it down from Alaska to Seattle or San Francisco, you would be able to ship it by sea from there to Chicago. I'm sure there are lots of ships that could take it. And the trip from Alaska would be downwind all the way.
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Old 05-10-2016, 20:46   #3
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Re: Am I crazy or what

My neighbor had his 47 ft shipped via truck from cali to louisiana for about 10k
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Old 05-10-2016, 20:48   #4
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Re: Am I crazy or what

Yikes. You have the bug bad! It will cost a lot to ship it to Chicago. If you were moving to Alaska I might say it sounds good. I'd say it is better to look locally, you may be pleasantly surprised. Watch out for shopping too early, it is easy to catch the bug!
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Old 05-10-2016, 21:18   #5
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Re: Am I crazy or what

Don,

Thank you for the response. Yea i would say i have been bitten hard.. lol. One thing I have noticed is that boats in the chicago area are not blue water boats and they stay for sale for a long time and most people just walk away from the boat because they dont use or dont want the boat any more. I dont want to deal with selling a boat that is worth more for half the cost just to get it off my hands so i can get my new boat. So that would be a concern for me.
Do other boat owners do that, if they buy a learner boat, sell it for a loss or walk away from it and just buy another boat?
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Old 05-10-2016, 22:37   #6
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Re: Am I crazy or what

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Originally Posted by cookingguy View Post
Don,

Thank you for the response. Yea i would say i have been bitten hard.. lol. One thing I have noticed is that boats in the chicago area are not blue water boats and they stay for sale for a long time and most people just walk away from the boat because they dont use or dont want the boat any more. I dont want to deal with selling a boat that is worth more for half the cost just to get it off my hands so i can get my new boat. So that would be a concern for me.
Do other boat owners do that, if they buy a learner boat, sell it for a loss or walk away from it and just buy another boat?
The short answer is yes, many boat owners sell at a loss, though the definition of "loss" may vary. The work and improvements you put into a boat will RARELY be recovered so don't feel bad about it, that is part of boat ownership. Now are you talking about selling a current boat or selling a boat you may buy locally that doesn't work out? Do you currently own a J22? Now it may be that your ideal boat is not in one of the Great Lakes, but I bet she may be over in Maine or Mass... lot closer than Alaska. I mean absolutely no offense but I think that as you gain more experience, your idea of ideal may morph and you may see more boats fitting the ideal image. For example, your choice of steel hull etc. sounds like you are picturing the ideal world cruiser, ready to tackle anything, right? But if you ask around among people doing it I am betting you may find many do not see steel as their first choice, though it might be for polar travelers. Search the threads here for the kinds of things you are looking at, there is a lot of discussion here about what makes an ideal world cruiser. There is a large steel hull/pilot house sailboat near me. New owner bought it for a song. It looks very rugged. He wants to go to Hawaii in it. Currently I haven't seen any work done on it and it sits rusting. I wouldn't be surprised if he now wants to sell it, but I don't know for sure.
I'd say give yourself more time to gain in $ and experience, go crew for lots of different folks with larger boats and ask them lots of annoying questions. Boat owners LOVE to talk about their boats and experiences. Some will tell you you MUST do X, Y or Z, period! Others will listen to you and offer you various ways to go.
In sailing/boating it is easy to bite off more than you can chew and then just want out. So climb the ladder to a 40 footer slowly and make sure the cash flow is there to support the boat and you at the same time. More likely to have a great experience rather than a horrible nightmare that way.
I happen to be highly biased but I think I saw a nice Columbia 29 for sale around there somewhere on Craigslist. I know it is far from your ideal but it's not much cash to get it and maintain it so far less to lose! And it is a nice strong, sea-worthy, good sailing, little classic to practice on before the 40 footer! Good luck!
http://lakemichigan.boatshed.com/col...at-177473.html
Just a thought for you!
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Old 05-10-2016, 23:24   #7
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Re: Am I crazy or what

From personal experience - get the boat that fits your needs RIGHT NOW not 14 years down the line. Learn on it, sail it, enjoy it. In 14 years so many things and perceptions will change you will be amazed comparing your idea of a "perfect boat" now and then.

Also, unless you're ready to hop aboard and start cruising ASAP don't get that expensive "perfect boat" for cruising. There be plenty of opportunities coming your way to buy one closer to your start date. Try to get a boat you can use as frequently as your schedule allows you for the least amount of expenses, i.e. if you have a yard look into getting a trailer sailor. Those are dime a dozen and a one in good/decent shape can be had for $5K or less including the trailer. When you're ready to move up you'd be able to sell that one for close to your purchase price, assuming regular maintenance, etc.

If you don't have a place to keep her or the extra $$ for marina fees, haul out/launch costs, etc. just keep sailing at your local sailing club until you are ready to get into more serious cruising or liveaboard lifestyle. In the long run, depending on your sailing schedule and other factors, it may be cheaper to keep paying yearly club dues than buying the boat, maintaining her, down time, selling her at a loss, etc.

Own experience. 20 years ago when I first caught the bug we were splitting yearly dues of about $5-6K for a 39 footer 3 way. As years went by the dues went up to $7.5K and we lost one of the 3 to marriage. But at about $3.5K per person it was still OK for the 2 of us. When my buddy quit, also due to upcoming marriage, and I was left with a choice of downgrading to a 25-30ft membership at about $3-4K a year or getting my own boat in that size range for about the same yearly costs, I did not hesitate and chosen my own boat, a 27 footer which, in my 5 years of owning her, never demanded more from me per year than a club membership for that size would.
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Old 06-10-2016, 00:59   #8
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Re: Am I crazy or what

Quote:
Originally Posted by cookingguy View Post
I live in the Chicagoland area and this was my first year of sailing. I loved it and excelled at learning about sailing. Ill be working with the sailing class over the winter and learning about engine repair, boat maintenance ect. I have major dreams of retiring in 14yrs and sailing the Arctic and Antarctica then go sail around the Caribbean until i die. I know i have a ton to still learn, along with getting out for blue water experience.

I know what kind of boat i want and need for my adventures around the world. (I want a steel hull boat, pilothouse design, about 40ft in length, large water/ fuel tanks, auto pilot, wind vane, heater, solor panels, wind generator ect.. and all the other goodies too.)

So here's my crazy thought, I found my dream boat, in Alaska. I can afford to buy this boat im looking at. (Im not rich by any means) So do I buy it? If so, how do i get it to Chicago? I dont have enough experience, or time off from work, to sail it back to Chicago so i can learn on it and put it on the hard in the winter to get to know the ins and outs of the boat. Im pretty sure I cant ship it, being a steel hull boat. Do i pay someone to sail it to chicago for me?

Or should i just stay off yacht world and the other sail sale sites for now until i have more experience under my belt to sail? (My instructor does say that i do have enough experience to single hand sail a J22 boat right now without any issues.

Thanks in advance for advice/ input.

does that make you crazy...ha...just think twice is my only advice
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Old 06-10-2016, 01:05   #9
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Re: Am I crazy or what

IMHO the important thing you are missing is not experience nor money nor skills .. but time. An adventure requires you to have a lot of time in your hands. If you had said you want to buy a steel boat in Alaska, sail it thru the Arctic and what not .. Sure.. You will figure it out. But you'd need to be free and not have to take "time off work". Trust me that won't work.

I suspect that is the main reason why there are so many ghosts in the boatyards .. Dreams that got started but jobs or other "obligations" that got in the way of giving it all you've got. And that my friend is what is required .. People find the money and means to do it.. If they have the time :-)
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:22   #10
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Re: Am I crazy or what

If you are a noobie this is probably not the RIGHT smart move NOW. What you need to do is find a "learner"... that you can sail NOW, that you can update all systems and get familiar with... add things that ultimately you will want to have or need... get and keep the boat in bristol condition... and SAIL it when you can in all the conditions you can... in small steps. Find, if you can someone to help you... always look for smarter and more experienced to learn from. Starting from scratch with a 45' boat sounds very optimistic... for lack of a better word... on the other hand moving up from one boat to another may not work either. Maybe the first boat is smaller and an starter learner and you don't put too much money into it... but use it as a learning lab. And when you are ready and a lot smarter about all this... get the boat you THEN find to be what you need for the mission. Noobs and project boats is not a good idea IMHO.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:05   #11
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Re: Am I crazy or what

When we starred dreaming we "had it all worked out". 5 years later, after much reading and education, we bought something different.
Plus, after you buy the boat you can afford now, ship it and v store it until you are ready, you will have blown a wad that could have been saved and used to buy an upgraded boat. Boats depreciate. In time the boat you want maybe more affordable or easier to find closer to home.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:58   #12
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Re: Am I crazy or what

Cookingguy, I will just start by +1 the other comments thus far. Just the cost of storage/slip fees and such could run you 8K a year in Chicago, and in addition upgrades and maintenance on top of that. I might suggest that you look into time shares, of which there are several in Chicago. The costs are much cheaper, and you will have a choice of different boats. This will also leave enough $$ to be able to charter a boat for a week or two, and still come out under the 8K simple cost of keeping it.

Or....you can just do what I did and buy a project..unfortunately I will be working on it for a while at my shop at my home...my refit/restoration costs will be equal to my purchase price I imagine once all is said and done.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:17   #13
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Re: Am I crazy or what

buy boat in alaska, sail it around cape horn and up the east coast, into lake michigan
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:39   #14
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Re: Am I crazy or what

I concur about buying what suits you at the moment. I have huge plans in the future to start a non profit and get disabled vets on the water for distant sails. Ima. Disabled vet myself and sailing is my therapy. On the other hand, the boat I will need vs the boat I have now is another story. At the moment, I have a Santana 2023 which is water ballast and swing board. My area is very shallow outside the channel so I'm not restricted like fixed keels. I do coastal cruising but I do 98% solo sailing so I don't need anything bigger than 23' at the moment.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:27   #15
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Re: Am I crazy or what

14 years is a long time.

Get a boat you can sail right now, modestly priced. And go sailing. Things can change. Life happens. Sail today. Sail tomorrow. Don't be too concerned about a decade from now. There will always be more boats. Searching for you dreamboat is half the fun.

Once you buy your boat, its like getting married...only that boat for the rest of your life. There are going to be newer, beautiful boats all around in your area...do you really want to commit to one boat that's thousands of miles away right now? You should really take a few boats out for a sea trial, maybe spend the night aboard. Spend some time in the cockpit. Slide into the quarter berth on a rainy, wet day. Try pumping the bilge. There are so many boats...you've got plenty of time.

Shipping is lost money.

So, in answer to your question...YES, you are crazy.
But this is a forum for crazy people, so welcome aboard!!!
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