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Old 02-01-2013, 05:54   #1
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The Long Road to Success

Greetings all.
This happens to be my first post on the forum. I have, however, been reading it for more than a year and a half. Like MANY of you, “I have a dream”, and like SOME of you, I have yet to see it come to fruition.

Without getting into my life story, I share my life with my spouse, we have a 1 month old son and essentially, we both dream of a family world cruise and/or circumnavigation and hope to do so with young children as well as our dachshunds (gasp! More on this later).

When we started this project a year and a hald ago, my girlfriend had about 5 years of sailing experience on lake dinghies from childhood and I had… none. Right now, the plan is to leave in about 5 years, maybe as early as 3. We were living in an inuit village in the arctic (accomplishing another dream) when the idea for this project came to us. We made a rough roadmap to reach our goal : essentially, we were going to use real-estate to finance our dreams and use the upcoming years to train and practice sailing.

So far, we’ve purchased an apartment building, have fully renovated and are ready to purchase a second and/or sell this one. The building will easily generate 15k profit clear after all expenses at minimum for the foreseeable future so I’m more tempted to keep it and use equity in it to help purchase new buildings and/or a yacht. Now, I’ve read that 15k/year MIGHT be enough if we are frugal (we are, we don’t even own a car).

Question : Do any of you here currently cruise away for an extended period of time from revenue generating buildings you own? Do you rely on family, friends or perhaps a management company? Do you own multiple buildings and if so, does it mean you have to spend considerable time and effort trying to manage it from afar? What about virtual assistants, would they be of use in such a situation?

Right now I have enough liquidity/equity available that I could purchase another building, however, the type of building I am looking at is larger and therefore has a more restricted buyer base. I don’t wan’t to be stuck waiting perhaps months or years to leave for it to sell if it’s too much hassle to own and manage from afar. The upside is that it would generate considerable income, the downside is that I have no clue what managing something like this from a boat would be like. There’s always the possibility of selling the building or one of the buildings to help pay for the boat if liquidity is a problem, but I’d lose long term revenue.

That’s basically the plan as far as money is concerned.

Concerning sailing practice and training, what we’ve done so far is we both have done the Canadian Yachting association’s “introduction to boating” and plan on doing a variety of practical and theoretical courses including diesel repair, navigation, radio, the whole gamut essentially. I’m not stressed about the courses, they are easy enough to find, register for and show up to. What I’m more concerned about is the practice part. All I have is 4 days of sailing under my belt and I KOW I’m going to need a WHOLE lot more before departure time comes around.

Our plan is to purchase a smaller temporary ship, somewhere between 20 and 30 feet, daysail it and do the occasional family vacation cruise on it. Naturally, my wife leans more towards the 20 foot boat and I lean more towards a 30 foot boat! Another option would be to purchase the boat we intend on leaving on a year before departure and essentially do the same thing as with a smaller vessel except perhaps with a more intense regimen of cruising. Naturally, we’d rent, charter or borrow from a friend a sailboat once or twice a year to maintain skills in the meantime. Here’s what I think of both options :

Small ship for a few years
Pros : less initial investment, more forgiving in case of “learning pains”. Easier to singlehand. Accumulate MUCH more experience over MUCH more time. Less expensive way of discovering if we REALLY want to cruise as a way of life. Would allow us to develop a better idea of what we want in a ship.

Cons : Maintenance and operation costs may reduce available funds for larger ship. May lose significant value when we sell it. May be unable to sell it before departure.

Large ship for one year
Pros : less total investment. More available funds for the “ship of our dreams”.
Cons : Les experience. Riskier buy since no experience as boat owner.

To me, owning a small(er) ship for a few years seems like a no brainer, but I’d like some input here : has anyone here just straight up purchased the boat they wanted for world cruising and “crammed” in a short period of time to get their skills to a point where they felt they could leave on their trip? If so, could you relate your experiences?

BTW, to give you a GENERAL idea of what kind of boat I’d be happy with : 1987 Celestial Ketch Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Now, bear in mind that this is not the “boat of my dreams”. But I’d be satisfied with it if it was at this price. Am I delusional in thinking that this kind of yacht, at this price, is capable of a world cruise ? Obviously without a survey it is difficult to determine condition of the vessel… We’d be happy paying no more than 100k but obviously, the less expensive the ship, the more money for cruising.

As far as children and education go, my wife is a school teacher and I feel, perhaps mistakenly, that education is therefore covered, at least until high school. As for the dogs… I really don’t want to part with them as they ARE family to me. I’ve read up a bit but the only thing I’ve learned is that, cruising with dogs is possible. According to you, is it realistic to expect an enjoyable world cruise with dogs aboard? I remember reading the blog “Out of bounds” as they had a dog aboard but that was at the beginning of the Interweb’s blogosphere days and it was rather short on dog details.

Ok, I won’t ask the “What is the best ship for my price” question but rather, what would YOU recommend for under 100k. I’m still a bit unsure of cored vs uncored fiberglass, am open to ferrocement, steel and other materials, don’t mind an older boat (but might prefer solid glass in an older boat). Also, I have no prejudice against former charter boats and at the moment at least, want something larger than 39 feet, can accommodate a family of four or five, two dogs and OPTIONALLY some guests. I know, thousands of models, makers mean you can find what you want, but… help?

Regards,
Blade Runner
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:08   #2
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Re: The long road to success

Lots in that post - clearly a lot of thought.

My take is that you are well inside the ballpark on everything - whether you can succeed is a seperate thing and what choices are the better ones for you only you can discover by the doing.

On the property - sounds like you have not yet entered the realms of actually being a landlord. The good news is that you have time to learn the joys involved! and just like boats no substitute for first hand experiance, but a lot of learning from others is nonetheless very worthwhile. Being an "absentee" landlord is the same whether in a different city or continent (and how you travelled to either, by plane, by boat or by car don't matter!) so lots of info around.......... Long story short; a good tenant is worth money to keep and some properties are far better rentals than others (the less hands on the better / cheaper - during tenancy and before / after). And if using others to manage the property for you, you also need to manage them (and that applies to freinds / family every much as a proffessional - even if for different reasons). You also will need "boots on the ground" at least now and again both to fix / refurb and also to keep an eye on - if it ain't you it has to be someone........anyway, no doubt folks here willing to share far more info than I am able - plus the rest of the internet!

Boat wise, I will vote with your wife (I suggest you do the same). At 20 foot if you buy well enough (and don't plough money into her trying to make the boat something she is not) then are pretty much looking at a disposable boat with the main costs being maintanence and mooring.

A couple of big pros you did not mention with extended boat ownership are :-

a) that it gets you "into the club" with "boots on the ground" in your locale with far more opportunities to strike up freindships and therefore knowledge of other boats including invites aboard - both for sailing and for poking around in dark places (lending a hand?) when folks have problems.

b) the longer you own a boat the more you will have the chance to poke around her (and fix / improve a few things) which will help you learn first hand that 5 minute and cheap jobs never seem to end that way!....safe in the knowledge that if turns out that you have bought less than ideal you are not married to her! (with own boat you will be able to check things iver time that no surveyor ever can do - that teaches you the limitations of a Survey).........IMO buy well enough and even if you take a real caning on resale then the loss should only be in the 1,000's (not the tens of!) and that money should come back when you purchase "the boat" by going in with eyes more wide open and being less willing (from first hand experiance) to accept less than ideal (you will have to - just not so much or fully reflected in the price!).

Of course climate in your locale may mean that a 30 footer is the more suitable (my main cautions against bigger are the cost of mooring (albeit in your area that may not be a big difference) and having an elderly inboard engine - if that goes pop the boat is virtually worthless) - but IMO smaller, with a mix of training (onboard), OPB's and the odd charter (somewhere warm?!) would be ideal.....no route is totally cost free (but buy well could get your boat purchase money back - less costs!), but gives you a mix to control the costs plus you are mostly paying for when you actually have fun.

Anyway, no doubt others will chip in..........
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:16   #3
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Re: The long road to success

Welcome aboard the forum, Blade Runner! Hope your plan works out well. There's two ways people usually go about this: 1) Step by step, 2) Jump in. They each have their own pluses and minuses. I suggest you start with a boat that's at least big enough for the family to overnight on...you'll get to experience cruising rather than just sailing. Happy sailing, and happy New Year!
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Old 03-03-2013, 13:51   #4
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Re: The long road to success

Update : okidoki, so I'm all settled into the landlord thing. Got the long distance appartment building management covered (found a local company that charges a decent rate and is well rated). Haven't signed anything with them but it's good to know I don't have to sell everything in order to go on an extended cruise.

The problem is that we're getting bored out of our minds here... my wife and I dont really enjoy the whole 9 to 5 thing and, while we love our city (Montréal), feel that there are way too many things out there to see and do. We are seriously considering getting away from here sooner rather than later.

My wife has another job opening in the arctic and I have a business opportunity in Saint-Barths (I know, opposite ends). Anwyways... If we choose the southern option, we might end up buying a boat right away and use it to live aboard for a few years. Our budget, however, is cut in half if we buy one now. We wouldn't want to exceed 50k.

I'd like some opinions on these ships if at all possible :

50' custom sloop

46' kaufman
former racer?

43' columbia

42' morgan

42' morgan number 2

43' gulfstar

41' sigma - interesting...

40' Beneteau ready to cruise???

40' C&C

40' columbia


That's a lot of boats but are there any in there that jump out as being interesting boats that don't need major work? I asked for surveys on all of them and am awaiting news...
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Old 03-03-2013, 19:17   #5
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Re: The long road to success

Well, as expected, the 50 footer is fishy. Water came in through cracked seals around the windows (sorry, unsure what the proper nautical term in english is. Portholes? English is my second language)

Obviously there's a reason most of these are so 'cheap' (cheaper than other similar boats).
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Old 03-03-2013, 21:45   #6
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Re: The long road to success

Blade Runner, I only looked at the 50 footer, but I would be wary of trying to cruise in a boat without a gimbaled stove , or with a front loading(opening) fridge. That boat was designed to be a dockside live-aboard, rather than a cruiser. Just my 2 cents worth.____Grant.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:27   #7
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Ah, you see, that's the sort of thing I had no clue about. Any good reading you'd recommend to me to figure out what kind of equipment I'd need? I think i can evaluate the condition of a boat pretty well given the amount of reading I've done on the subject but as far as cruising equipment goes... it's a total blank. Is there a reason why these two items are not suitable for cruising? I think I'll google it actually.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:53   #8
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Re: The long road to success

When a boat heels over gravity is not your freind!

For Cruising Equipment have a look at the list in my sig (the collected "wisdom"! of CF) - at least for a decent start on the thinking.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:19   #9
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Re: The long road to success

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade Runner View Post
Update : okidoki, so I'm all settled into the landlord thing. Got the long distance appartment building management covered (found a local company that charges a decent rate and is well rated). Haven't signed anything with them but it's good to know I don't have to sell everything in order to go on an extended cruise.

The problem is that we're getting bored out of our minds here... my wife and I dont really enjoy the whole 9 to 5 thing and, while we love our city (Montréal), feel that there are way too many things out there to see and do. We are seriously considering getting away from here sooner rather than later.

My wife has another job opening in the arctic and I have a business opportunity in Saint-Barths (I know, opposite ends). Anwyways... If we choose the southern option, we might end up buying a boat right away and use it to live aboard for a few years. Our budget, however, is cut in half if we buy one now. We wouldn't want to exceed 50k.

I'd like some opinions on these ships if at all possible :

50' custom sloop

46' kaufman
former racer?

43' columbia

42' morgan

42' morgan number 2

43' gulfstar

41' sigma - interesting...

40' Beneteau ready to cruise???

40' C&C

40' columbia


That's a lot of boats but are there any in there that jump out as being interesting boats that don't need major work? I asked for surveys on all of them and am awaiting news...
Of these I like the Beneteau the best; although I notice it has a "sale pending". The others are either too old (1970's) or the draft is too much (7 feet) for my taste. I'd try to keep the draft under 6' and look for something built mid '80's or later. Maybe something like this ..1985 O'Day 40 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:08   #10
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Take a look at BVI Yachts of Tortola.. they usually have a fairly good listing of used boats and they do know their stuff...
For example this Landfall 39... Landfall 39 -1985-for sale Ponce 100609818
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:34   #11
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Re: The Long Road to Success

The quickest adn absolutely best way for you to learn a hell of a lot is to buy and read

Beth Leonard: A Voyagers Handbook

She discusses virtually everything and if she doesn't you probably don't need to know it.

Check out her website: bethandevans.com

Re: dogs - yes some dogs take to cruising quite well. The bad news is that a lot of countries don't take to bringing dogs in.


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Old 04-03-2013, 06:36   #12
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Re: The Long Road to Success

You said you love your city. I understand that, I loved San Luis Obispo. Voted the happiest town in America. BFD. I don't miss it much. There are lots and lots of other cities to love where it doesn't snow for 1/3 of the year like Montreal.
It took us almost 15 years of failed attempts to start cruising after we bought our first cruising boat, a 38' tri. Tracheostomy, neurosurgery, leg surgeries, and a wife in a wheelchair, and bankruptcy are some of the highlights.
I wish we'd been able to start sooner.
I really wish we could have.
Mostly it's a lot better than I imagined.
The day before yesterday I wrote a post about my day, one of the best days ever. Yesterday our dinghy exploded again, not quite as good...
Cruising with dogs, we're doing it. Former British colonies and the South Pacific and Hawaii are pretty much out with a dog, most of them have long quarantines. Noonsite has more info.
Education is not a big problem. I read an article years ago that it takes about 45 minutes of a teacher's time per day to actually educate a child and the rest is playing and waiting. Lots of cruising families around here and it isn't a big topic of conversation at all, surprisingly. It's really nice to be able to work our child's interests into a school lesson. He can really absorb it when he chose the subject and developed part of the lesson.
Lots and lots of other posters here will address your boat issues, I'll only say that people are cruising everything out here. What the boat is is a lot less important than I imagined when we were boat shopping. EVERYBODY wants a bigger boat. One couple recently sold their 45' cat for a 55' cat. A couple. 2 people.
I'd kill my in-laws for a 45' cat.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:45   #13
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Re: The Long Road to Success

A post like this is good to split up so different discussions can be had on different points.

I have revenue generating real estate that I do not manage, and am not close to. The key is to hire a very smart and savvy real estate manager - someone who does not merely pick up rental checks, but who does enough business that they have a team of workers at their disposal, and who can manage complex issues with the property on their own.

Once you have that manager, who can also act as your agent when you choose to dispose the property, you can be anywhere in the world.

Note that the property must be profitable enough to maintain cashflow with the weight of the agent. In MY experience, though, the agent always earns his worth compared to my own fumbled attempts at self-management.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:48   #14
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Re: The long road to success

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade Runner View Post
The problem is that we're getting bored out of our minds here... my wife and I dont really enjoy the whole 9 to 5 thing and, while we love our city (Montréal), feel that there are way too many things out there to see and do. We are seriously considering getting away from here sooner rather than later.

My wife has another job opening in the arctic and I have a business opportunity in Saint-Barths (I know, opposite ends). Anwyways... If we choose the southern option, we might end up buying a boat right away and use it to live aboard for a few years. Our budget, however, is cut in half if we buy one now. We wouldn't want to exceed 50k.
I'm personally resisting this option because
1) I don't want to get "burned out" on boat living before I even begin a cruise
2) I don't want to dilute my future boat by losing money on a "now" boat
3) Buying a less-suitable boat than I would like may taint the experience for my partner, who is already uncertain about her ability to enjoy living aboard a sailboat
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:16   #15
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Re: The Long Road to Success

You might enjoy browsing our friends on Madrona blog. They took off on a new to them old Tayana 37 with young kids, limited resources and limited boat and offshore expierence. The shakedown cruise was Baja to the Marquesas. After 2 years they are still in the SP. SV Madrona
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