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Old 29-03-2019, 19:36   #106
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

I agree with Adelie and Fiveslide.
You need to take a smaller step which means less money and you will handle a smaller boat easier both for maintenance cost and ease of handling.
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Old 30-03-2019, 04:29   #107
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

My experience: its not the size of the boat, it’s how you use it. My dream was blue water AND coastal exploration. I wanted on the grid benefits but off the grid comforts. The right boat was a good sailor offshore but an engine that could sail/motor sail like a trawler. I started my dream in South Texas. My wife is 8 years younger and enjoys her career, so my first 4 years was mostly coastal exploration and I did the Gulf ICW, the Atlantic ICW, the Florida Keys, north to Bar Harbor ME and almost all of the Bahamas. I am a solo sailor on a HR40. My longest offshore transit was 4 days from the Bahamas to NC. Doing the whole ICW with a 60’ stick and a 6’ 5” keel is doable but you need to be/get good at groundings, tides and weather.

The boat choice is also about “buy right, sell right”. The best deal up front makes an exit plan less painful. Also, during your ownership, are you going to “ride it hard and put it away dirty” or maintain and improve your home afloat. A budget of 10-20 percent of the value is not out of the question while you use the cruiser. Canvas, sails, mechanics, bottom jobs, running rigging all wear out with use and time.

My budget is driven mostly by travel to/from my wife (her job moved from TX to NC to CT) and your relationship with partners and children needs a budget to stay engaged. My experience is I have more flexibility to travel to them than the other way around.

Next on spending is maintenance and upkeep. Most maintenance folks are knowledgeable and honest. But the question all cruisers get is “Aren’t you afraid of pirates?” Yes, and the biggest skallywags are waiting for inattentive lubbers with a pocket of booty. Your budget is driven by how competent you are at carpentry, diesel mechanics, plumbing, electrical, fiberglass, etc. Honestly, learning and improving these skills after a career in an office has been on the top of the list of benefits of the cruising lifestyle.

Another big ticket is lifestyle choices. Anchor out, Mooring balls, Marina fees, dining in or out, cost of entering and exiting internationally, etc. these can really add up. How are you at deprivation from your land based habits? Short term, we all enjoy an adventure is rustic living, but is that what you dream of long term? I love meeting folks in my travels and experiencing their local cultures and amenities. So, my choices includes frequent visits to marinas, brew pubs and grub hubs. Being solo is how I like to travel but being socialable is part of the joy of cruising and that can swing the full gambit of spending. So, be aware of how you will define “life” while afloat in your budget.

That’s a good chunk of the budget on the cash outflows, but you provided details and asked advice on cash inflows. I managed funds all my life as a CPA, Comptroller, landlord and the last 14 years as a portfolio manager of a large endowment fund. I didn’t want to keep working full time so I chose to have very little of my savings in marketable investments, ie. stocks and bonds. Inflation and fees are the “death by a thousand cuts” of cash. If I owned the real estate you described, I would balance the cash flow and inflation benefits of rentals against the drawndowns of loosing occupancy, fluctuations in RE market value and maintaining your investments. Like all investments sell high and buy low. If your property has appreciated and you have a willing buyer, sell and stuff the money into insured investments like secure bonds and/or CDs. ETFs and funds can be nice but require attention and work. To me, the risk of an “economic correction” is greater than inflation risks, so cash is king. If you are in cash while cruising, perhaps the sound of the siren to bring you back is an economic downturn which always creates opportunities for cash heavy investors. Imagine cruising through the years before 2008 with your money in cash and returning in 2009 with money to invest. That may be where we sit today. So, “sitting well in order and smite the sounding furrows” works. And that brings me to your last point, health.

Insurance is nice for disasters but the best health insurance is youth and lifestyle. Buy a plan with a huge deductible that you will only use after the shark spits you out or the heart goes on vacation without you. The best dockside advice I got was from all the marina commodores that had beautiful boats but waited till their bodies could no longer fill the dreams. I have met 40 year olds whose bodies were too used up to handle active cruising and 80 year olds who were perfectly prepared for the next adventure. As a solo cruiser, I ship out with two vessels, my body and my boat. Be aware of the limitations of both. It breaks my heart to see beauties tied to a dock going unused by their owners. Boats fall apart faster in neglect then in use. That happens to people too.

In conclusion, you are young enough, owning rentals you obviously are competent enough and it sounds like you are fiscally prudent. You described having children and taking care of them with child support. I assume you are a good role model and stay engaged with them so you are an emotionally grounded and responsible human who enjoys social living. My only concern about who you are is why you ask a forum for the advice on a lifestyle you should already know. So, “ come my friend, tis not too late to seek a newer world, push off.” Because, “between the dream and the Deed lies the doldrums.”

I have no regrets.
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Old 30-03-2019, 06:15   #108
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Maybe you wouldn't have to keep pushing your boat off grounding situations if you stopped using 30-40 year old charts along with a handheld compass.

Now maybe we can get this thread back on track, or do you intend to derail it with another bunch of your personal musings about how everyone should hand steer a 27 foot, 50 year old boat inside the safety of a bay just like you?

I wish the OP well in whatever decision he makes, adventure awaits him outside the bay.
hey I can agree with this
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Old 30-03-2019, 11:37   #109
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

The idea of starting smaller and cheaper seems good to me. Richard Woods Eclipse catamaran could be a good example of a proven boat: have a look at this link, and googlearound:
Eclipse review
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Old 30-03-2019, 22:49   #110
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

The financial part of this is pretty straight forward to me. You have the kids' school covered. You are young enough that if you take off now you are still employable if you need to re-join the workforce in a few years. Get health care that will cover worst case scenarios.

Boat and life-style wise I would be concerend putting really more like $250,000 in to a boat and that might relate to the "rock star" comment. When you are working you can tend to feel like you have to cram a life time in to five or six days (to paraphrase Jimmy Buffet), but when your life-style is cruising that mentality may not be necessary. You have nearly adult kids, so you may well want 37 - 40 ft, but probably not more. In today's sailboat market, I would spend no more than $75,000 on the boat and plan on $50,000 in repairs and upgrades in first two years.

The area that could really be my No Go is totally a personal decision. I have no kids, but I think if I had been blessed with them I would not want to leave while the youngest still had high school to get through. That really comes down to you and your situation to decide. If they live a distance away and it won't impact time spent together, availability, etc, why not?

I started at 53. My body is far less capable than it was at 40. I tell my God kids to go for it in their 20's. They have the rest of their lives to work.

Best of luck whatever you decide.
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Old 31-03-2019, 02:54   #111
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

$200,000.00 is a lot of money to spend on a boat. What's the point? You can find a very, very, good boat for $100,000.00, then have some money left over for cruising.
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Old 01-04-2019, 17:43   #112
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

I just drank some screwdrivers and went deeeep down a yachtworld search. I put a maximum price of $125,000 and scrolled through over 1,100 boats east of the Mississippi River between Texas and Canada. Skipped over most of the power boats, though I did look closer at some Grand Banks and Monk trawlers.

I'm about to get very specific, cause that's what buzzed people do. We know best, I'm tell ya.

With your budget, I'd go Tartan 3500! You can get some absolutely beautiful 3500s for less than $100k. Just the right size for a single guy and occasional guests. Relatively luxurious accommodations compared to most in the price range, with gorgeous interior woodwork. Plenty of life left in these boats mid 2,000s boats, not a tired old catamaran that you'll be fixing more than cruising. I like catamarans as much as most people, not on a $200k budget with only 20k left over.

Drunk fiveslide out! *Mic drop*
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:44   #113
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

What he said ... ^
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:12   #114
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

I think this falls under "opportunity knocks once". You're young and have time to make silly mistakes. I vote go. Don't wreck your vessel - that would be residual value that you can cash out if its just not the life for you.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:25   #115
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

I wouldn't dream of doing it. But I'm a highly conservative person. I don't take chances, and I plan for the long game. Your numbers work fine, or can be made to work with a bit of sacrifice. And you're going to live a life I'd be jealous of, no question of it. I'm in the final approach (under 2 years to retirement) and I'll be doing it starting the year I turn 60, much older and tireder than you are -- but with a much more solid financial plan.



But as I said, I plan for the long game. So ask yourself this, looking forward to when you are 60 years old.
* Your kitty has run dry faster than you thought. You dust off your resume and shop it around. Will your skill set get you anything, or will you be competing for a minimum wage job at Wal Mart?

* Your boat, which was decent today, is 20 years older and been sailed hard. Is it still being "repaired" or is it time to sell for near nothing and spend another $200K to buy a replacement -- will you have it?
* You decide to sell it for near nothing and go ashore -- will you have the $500K to buy a house?
* You make it to 62, and finally get that Social Security check -- based on half a career of earnings. It's not going to be that great. And it's going to be based on earnings 20 years ago, so maybe even less.


If you die at age 55, out there having fun with $100K left in the bank, you'll make me look pretty stupid. But if you find yourself at age 85, broke and living in a 1BR apartment not able to take a vacation (is it a vacation if you aren't working? How about "take a trip?"), well, you may regret the decision to leave early. The problem with leaving early is that you don't have to plan for 30 years -- you have to plan for 50 years with no opportunity for a "do over" half way through.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:21   #116
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

I am going to disagree with sailingharry.

Go and go now, you might not be alive or able to go tomorrow. What are you waiting for? Old age, when you are no longer able to go it alone, when you need someone to feed you?

Life is short, sure make reasonable plans, have some funds, but GO before you are no longer able to.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:33   #117
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

Only you can decide and take into account how much it effects your "life risk". I went cruising and was lucky that my work wanted me back badly.
I have friends who stuck to their guns and stayed musicians all their lives. (I went to school, worked and retired young.) Now they are in their 60's and living without anything; one in a brokedown RV on a friends property for like 15 years now.
Your choices DO effect your future but some people are good at walking the fine line too.
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:01   #118
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
No boat is ready to go, that’s marketing.
42’ is too much boat to start. 30-37’ is a good range for a couple’s starter boat. Solo, 27-35’.
Get yourself a Cal34 or a Ranger33 with a tiller. Put a motor bracket on the stern and get a 6 or 9.9hp high thrust outboard for the dinghy that can also push the mothership if need be. Get a drifter but no other lightwind sails. Compass, depthsounder, GPS, chartplotter and some backup GPSs. No wind instruments, no network. Get 2 oversized tiller autopilots. Get extra anchors of a type other than whatever you have for the main anchor. If it doesn’t already have a windlass get a manual windlass.
Buy the boat in The North east or Virginia soon or by mid-summer at the latest.
Mid to late fall start down the ICW then sail into the Bahamas and south. Work your way back ahead of Hurricane season.
So for $15-25k you have a year’s experience on a boat, will have learned to sail somewhat, will have an idea whether the lifestyle suits you and will be able to resell the boat for a lot closer to what you paid for it now that you know what you really want in a boat...
I’m also going to vote for this advice – you can see what’s behind you with respectable clarity, but no one can see ahead. You’ll probably never be healthier (again) than you are now, or more qualified… If you are planning to join the chardonnay-circuit on your gold-plater you need to ask a different question, but generally the only thing that keeps many of us (or me, at least) from cruising is we somehow feel we owe the land something; maybe so – but I assure you, you don’t owe it the rest your life if your heart is at sea, so spend it where you think best.

I was your age, very healthy an comfortably (not extravagantly) resourced after I bought a (too big) ketch -- had planned to go see the world as soon as I retired from the military, but then I diddled and diddled, sailed locally like I had for the previous twenty years, procrastinating and waiting for what – guess what, I’m still here and the clock is ticking so loudly now that it is deafening. Go while the clock isn’t deafening – let your return situation worry about itself, or not, your choice. Remember, the song is “cheeseburger in paradise” not “filet mignon at the country club…”
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:05   #119
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

I say go for it! $3200 a month is a decent amount to go cruising on. Also I personally don’t think 42 is too big but I bought a 51 for my first boat. I’m still fixing it up but hoping to be cruising by my mid 30’s.
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Old 11-04-2019, 15:08   #120
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Re: What would you do? Go or No-Go?

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If you die at age 55, out there having fun with $100K left in the bank, you'll make me look pretty stupid. But if you find yourself at age 85, broke and living in a 1BR apartment not able to take a vacation (is it a vacation if you aren't working?
Wow.
This (and everything else in this post) was typed as though written by the hand of society itself and if I hadn’t already made the leap you would have convinced me to go. Today. And for the record...not long before I started dramatically rearranging my life I would have written something very similar.

Here’s the thing. I can’t read those words without replacing “you” with “I” and...
- If “I die at age 55”...
I know damn well I lived every single day enjoying it fully and don’t have a single regret.
- If “I find myself at 85, broke and living”...
I’m thrilled to be alive because I’ve lived a life I’m proud of, full of memories and (here’s the best part) ALIVE and able to do something about all those other problems/issues you are so afraid of and with a lot of experience at figuring them out!

Society trains us to look at dying earlier than “planned” as someone else’s issue as where our only job is apparently saving for all those extra years we get to have while everyone else is dying.
The second I started realizing that not knowing how many years (months, weeks, days) “I” have left was the second I made a plan to leave before I turned 35.

I have no idea which of us will see 60 or 85 but I’m not willing to play roulette on whether I’m one of the ones that dies right after retirement and never getting to use all that money I spent my life chasing.

When that day comes I plan to close my eyes and think back to all the things I’ve seen and done, not picture the cubicle I spent the last 30years in planning for days I might never get to spend.
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