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Old 05-04-2012, 07:07   #1
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New to Sailing, Looking for Answers!

My wife and I have recently decided to start working our way up in the sailing world. We are starting with dinghys and hopefully moving to a larger 23-26' (more family oriented) boat in about a year and a half. The ultimate goal (5/6 years down the road) is to use that boat as part of a down payment toward a larger boat, capable of comfortably sailing an American family from Brisbane back to Texas. We will be staying in Texas.

Reading about circumnavigation on these forums (in this case partial circumnavigation), I have one question that seems to stick out in my mind for anyone who has tried this or is considering trying this:


I thought I did OK financially in the working world, but running all of these numbers: boat (mortgage), maintenance, fees, fees, food, fuel, slip, insurance, etc. almost takes the wind out of my sails immediately. I see talk of these trips planning to take 5 years but they drag on to 7 or more... makes me wonder if these people were begrudgingly forced to plant an extra money tree on-board their vessel. Seriously though, how is this possible for the average bloke without any income coming in for 7 years? Do you find odd jobs when you come into port? I just don't understand how people do it.

I have a host of other questions, and I was hoping you all could help me a bit as I am still in the planning and goal setting part of the mission.

-I understand that the journey can take as long as you want it to take, but if your goal was to go from Australia to Texas rather briskly, what type of time frame would you be looking at? Do you think it would be possible to do in less than 15 months and still enjoy yourself?

-Which trip would be better - East, through the Panama Canal, or West through....everything else?

-Travel insurance for a family of 4 (for the duration necessary to make the trip)... does that kind of thing exist? Are there special insurance agents/companies who handle these type of things?

-Are there any good books out there that dissect this topic in detail?

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Old 05-04-2012, 07:56   #2
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Re: New to sailing, looking for answers!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, seanmc30.

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 05-04-2012, 09:36   #3
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Re: New to sailing, looking for answers!

Welcome aboard! Hope you find all the answers you may want to tackle the questions one at a time in the appropriate may get more complete answers that way. As far as costs, even under the best circumstances you cannot expect to live for much less than you would on land, so you'll need to save up at least your typical land expenses for the expected duration. If you want to really enjoy the adventure, then save up more. If you're just bee-lining it, you might as well fly instead. Hope this is helpful...I'm sure others will have more insight. Hope you're able to live your dream!
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:58   #4
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Re: New to sailing, looking for answers!

You can travel the country in a 200k rv or a 2k vw bus. Going to be very different experiences, but the point is there. Same country, same people. And I'm sure there are two message boards out there. One for the 200k rv folks pontificating ad naseum about the details of their life, and another for the 2k vw folks talking about the best kind of socket wrenches.

Honestly, if someone put a gun to your head and said "figure out a way to get a boat around the world" you would indeed figure it out.

For me I enjoy not knowing the all the answers and figuring it out anyway.

Here's a boat for 13K that a guy has taken through the NW passage, through the Bering Straights, and around Cape Horn. 1969 Albin Vega 27' Sail Boat For Sale - . It's 1/10th the cost of plenty of production boats and 10x better than a lot of them as well.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:59   #5
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Re: New to sailing, looking for answers!


The money part is solved by being ruthless about how you spend. I never made much money from employment, but I saved about 1/3 to 1/2 after tax for years. I did not own a car, rented rooms in my house, rarely ate out or bought any toys (TVs, computers etc.) Eventually you have enough to escape conventional life.

It is all in what you want more. Most people want more the latest iPad, big TV and shiney car. I wanted more to not work for a living and got there quite young.

In hindsight, I went too far in my miserly ways, but I am correcting the path and hunting down a boat. Hopefully you can find a better balance than I did.

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