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Old 12-11-2012, 09:36   #46
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Re: Advice

Hi Lysander, I've been reading the thread, but remaining silent so far b/c I don't have the answers. But I'd like to share our plan (mine, and my spouse), b/c it is not far off yours.

We are bit older (mid & late 40), with a plan to depart in 1 1/2 years. When we head out to sea we'll have appox. $80,000 to $100,000 in the bank. We'll have no guaranteed income, but we'll have a sound and well set up boat, and some possibilities of earning a few bucks as we move along. We'll have spent the previous 7 years expanding our skills, both with official courses, but mostly by cruising as much as we can on our boats.

Sailing on other people's boats is a cheaper way of learning the ropes, and to discover what is actually important to you and your wife, but at some point you do need to own a cruising boat. Sailing is the easiest part of the life. Maintaining the floating home is far more challenging. To have any hope of doing it inexpensively you've got to learn to be a mechanic, an electrician, a rigger and a plumber. You're going to need basic fibreglassing & woodworking skills, and of course you're going to need to have the skills of a sailor.

So, can you sail away on a total budget of $30,000, and no current cruising experience ... I don't know. I think it will be difficult.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:36   #47
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Re: Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
Thanks for that link Atoll. I have bookmarked it too.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:44   #48
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Re: Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
S/V Illusion, thank you for the response:

Let me ask you -

do you know anything
about sailing? -> No
about boat maintenance? -> No
about boat equipment repairs? -> No
about living on a boat? -> No
about handling a boat in heavy weather? -No
about annual cost of ownership, insurance, expenses living abroad? -> No, No (was thinking about not getting insurance), and not really (I lived in Sweden for 7 years growing up. It's rather expensive there.)
Are you mechnically inclined...I think the answer you gave hinted at is no! With little resources who will fix all the problems if you can't! You are in a position where you don't even know the question.

You will be taking someone elses word on the viability of the boat you purchase and could end up with a can of worms.

You have a number of serious strikes against you at present. With enough money you could compensate for many of these but right now you are screwed IMO.

My personal free advice...learn to sail, buy a boat, learn the million things you need to know, figure out if you even like to sail, keep working in the mean time, and in 5 years start sailing the world.

Sailing oceans is a little like brain surgery, "in order to be competent you will need a number of important skill sets that can only be learned through experience".
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:00   #49
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Re: Advice

You have a wonderful dream. I say go for it now. Find a boat and move aboard. You could do that in a local lake in your area or you could move to the coast and do it. The Chesapeake Bay has lots of boats for sale and lots of economic opportunity. I would advice you to spend the least amount on the boat as you can for the best boat. There is an Alberg 30 for sale in NC for 2K. Lots of deals around.

What skill set do you and your wife have which will help you to earn money? How are you with working with your hands? You are young still, and if you show a marinia owner you have the work ethic, he is much likely to care if you have the skills, as long as he thinks you are teachable.

You might not realize it, but to see you and your wife have been able to save $30K of money, that is pretty amazing to see a young couple with that kind of money. That tells me a lot about you, provided you didn't have $40k last year and have had a decease in assets.

My three questions for you are
1. What skill sets do you and your wife have for making money?

2. How much money have you and your wife saved in last 12 months from retained earned income?

3. How willing are you and your wife to "rough it"?
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:05   #50
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Re: Advice

I am not one that subscribes to you "being screwed" already (just my respectful opinion). Careful, common sense at the point of purchase; enlisting the advice and help of an experienced sailor; making sure you have an independent surveyor to survey the boat (don't take the seller/agents recommendation), will all go a long way to making sure you start off on a stable footing.

Be present when the survey is done and ask questions. I am sure that wherever you find the boat you are interested in there will be an experienced CF member willing to share his experience and expertise (but obviously not take any responsibility for any decision you take).

Just don't rush in to the first boat that comes along ... your biggest savings of a limited budget will come at the point of purchase. Don't be put off, stay positive and sensible and it will come together!
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:12   #51
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Re: Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCBullseye View Post
You have a wonderful dream. I say go for it now. Find a boat and move aboard ...
...
You might not realize it, but to see you and your wife have been able to save $30K of money, that is pretty amazing to see a young couple with that kind of money. That tells me a lot about you, provided you didn't have $40k last year and have had a decease in assets.
...
3. How willing are you and your wife to "rough it"?
I agree with everything CCBulseye has said here. Certainly appears that you and your wife have worked hard and deserve to realise your dream (unless you have whittled away a larger asset pot lol). If the latter is the case then I say go for it anyway. Rather be a has been sailor than a never was. I wish I had done it at your age.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:12   #52
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Re: Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ship2210 View Post
I am not one that subscribes to you "being screwed" already (just my respectful opinion). Careful, common sense at the point of purchase; enlisting the advice and help of an experienced sailor; making sure you have an independent surveyor to survey the boat (don't take the seller/agents recommendation), will all go a long way to making sure you start off on a stable footing.

Be present when the survey is done and ask questions. I am sure that wherever you find the boat you are interested in there will be an experienced CF member willing to share his experience and expertise (but obviously not take any responsibility for any decision you take).

Just don't rush in to the first boat that comes along ... your biggest savings of a limited budget will come at the point of purchase. Don't be put off, stay positive and sensible and it will come together!
The main problem here is that if you have no mechanical experience then you don't even know what the questions are. As you know experienced sailors come in all shapes and forms but one would be helpful that is true. With little budget a mistake could set you back on the plan.

That is why I am recomending a longer path in order to give time to make the mistakes and gain the experience. It sounds like the OP is starting from near zero on the needed skill sets.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:14   #53
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Re: Advice

The best way to learn to sail is to learn to sail a small boat, like 15ft. If you can sail a 15ft sloop in any weather, then you can learn to sail a 45ft boat very quickly.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:51   #54
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Re: Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCBullseye View Post
You have a wonderful dream. I say go for it now. Find a boat and move aboard. You could do that in a local lake in your area or you could move to the coast and do it. The Chesapeake Bay has lots of boats for sale and lots of economic opportunity. I would advice you to spend the least amount on the boat as you can for the best boat. There is an Alberg 30 for sale in NC for 2K. Lots of deals around.

What skill set do you and your wife have which will help you to earn money? How are you with working with your hands? You are young still, and if you show a marinia owner you have the work ethic, he is much likely to care if you have the skills, as long as he thinks you are teachable.

You might not realize it, but to see you and your wife have been able to save $30K of money, that is pretty amazing to see a young couple with that kind of money. That tells me a lot about you, provided you didn't have $40k last year and have had a decease in assets.

My three questions for you are
1. What skill sets do you and your wife have for making money?

2. How much money have you and your wife saved in last 12 months from retained earned income?

3. How willing are you and your wife to "rough it"?
Thanks for the response!

1. We both have bachelors degrees, but of course that doesn't really help us to take care of a boat.

We are both very eager learners. We were very good students in college. I was an Honors student, I minored in Spanish (I speak Swedish fluently), but beyond that I am horribly white collar. This is something which I desperately wish to change.

2. In the last 12 months, we have been working as Petroleum Landmen. We have both hated the job though, however we have been able to earn a lot of money. We are very frugal, and are able to put away an average of 600-800 a week, depending on the level of work we have. But we are leaving that job for now. So in the short term, we will not have that type of income (But we will not be needing to touch our savings).

3. In terms of roughing it, I don't think either of us are expecting a lot of luxuries. We have no desire for such things.

We both have an extremely strong work ethic, but we want to live a life that allows us to have more time than money. There are many things in this life which I have realized are more valuable to me, like staying healthy, painting, learning music, reading, writing, etc.

In my current (soon former) capacity, I have not been able to devote any time to these things, since all of it is consumed by sitting in a poorly lit office churning out reports.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:06   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander

Thanks for the response!

1. We both have bachelors degrees, but of course that doesn't really help us to take care of a boat.

We are both very eager learners. We were very good students in college. I was an Honors student, I minored in Spanish (I speak Swedish fluently), but beyond that I am horribly white collar. This is something which I desperately wish to change.

2. In the last 12 months, we have been working as Petroleum Landmen. We have both hated the job though, however we have been able to earn a lot of money. We are very frugal, and are able to put away an average of 600-800 a week, depending on the level of work we have. But we are leaving that job for now. So in the short term, we will not have that type of income (But we will not be needing to touch our savings).

3. In terms of roughing it, I don't think either of us are expecting a lot of luxuries. We have no desire for such things.

We both have an extremely strong work ethic, but we want to live a life that allows us to have more time than money. There are many things in this life which I have realized are more valuable to me, like staying healthy, painting, learning music, reading, writing, etc.

In my current (soon former) capacity, I have not been able to devote any time to these things, since all of it is consumed by sitting in a poorly lit office churning out reports.
I have an uncle who calls me the smartest educated person he knows because he comes across so many college kids who come to him for a job, yet can't figure out how to do things on the job. My partner and I work on our own houses, cars and boat. We usually look up information before tackling a new project, but when we look things up online, other people have often commented that they couldn't complete the project. Start with projects to learn whether or not y'all are handy. Do you change your own oil on your cars? Do you even know how to change the tires? If you know someone who does a lot of DIY, offer a helping hand. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

And either get a small sailboat or find a local yacht club that needs crew for races. In my area, we even have a meetup group for informal sailing.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:27   #56
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Re: Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
In the last 12 months, we have been working as Petroleum Landmen. We have both hated the job though, however we have been able to earn a lot of money.
While you may have hated this job, you probably gained some very marketable skills and experience. Would it be possible to work as landmen remotely over the internet on a contract basis? If you can, this could be your key to being able to finance your dream while living it.

You might want to review this post from ActiveCaptain:
Make Money While Cruising - List

Your dream can become a lot more real if you have a business that you can run from your boat.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:41   #57
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Re: Advice

Sounds like your skill set is pretty extensive, you just have not realized it yet. I would suggest you take a look at changing your occupation to one which is much more cruising friendly. At the least, switch to an area of the country which is more cruising friendly.

My Mother was an art teacher and she taught me more about how to handle a paint brush than any house painter ever did. If you know how to handle an 1/8" wide paint brush, then you already have half of the skills needed to do bright work. The other half is preparation of surface which is pretty easy to learn.

If you know how to play music and paint, then you have good manual dexterity for doing fine mechanical work. Also, being a painter, you have spacial aptitude, meaning you likely are able to remember how things fit back together after you take them apart. You might think about taking a night class at a technical high school or community college on small engine repair. With today's gasoline, there are many people who have problems with small outboards. Heck, where you are, there are lots of people with problems with their string trimmers and chain saws. If you know a few simple rules about fixing carburetors, then it is easy to pick up lots of small repair jobs. The more you fix, the better your skill level will be, but more importantly, your confidence will grow.

Your white collar skills could help you greatly in the marine community too. Who knows, maybe in a year, some magazine will be publishing your article about your beginning quest to go cruising.

I guess the best advice I can give is for you to do the following things.

1. Each day, set a plan to something which will further your dream.

2. Each night, keep a journal of what you learned.

3. Write down what you did that furthered your dream.

You have done much by just asking the question on this forum.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:55   #58
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Re: Advice

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If you know how to handle an 1/8" wide paint brush, then you already have half of the skills needed to do bright work. The other half is preparation of surface which is pretty easy to learn.
I think its great how you slipped this in without cracking a smile. BTW, my ratio is 90% on the prep and 10% on the brush but hey why split hairs at this point.

BTW, my modest negativity on this whole venture would be ignored by anyone with an ounce determination.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:53   #59
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Re: Advice

WOW! A dream is a dream and dreams are nice to have. But I am with the "Hell no, don't go!" group.

You want to see the world but at what cost? You have enough money for a small coastal sailing vessel that you want to engage in water sailing">blue water sailing. There are many here in the forum who can share real life blue water thrills and personally I would venture out in an old 30 Pearson that does not even have an anchor locker. There is a lot you should do before leaving the dock and most has already been mentioned. I tried to read most of this thread although I did a bid of scanning. What I did not see emphasized was the necessity to do nothing until you have taken courses such as those offered by a Power Squadron or CC Auxiliary for starters. But for now lets assume that will be done before you weigh anchor.

Have you considered how uncomfortable living on a small boat can be, a boat that lacks amenities you today take for granted like electricity, unlimited running water, heat, refrigeration, privacy, storage....and the list is too numerous for my response here. There are not many boats even larger ones that offer much more than 150 square feet of out of the weather living space plus a small V berth for sleeping. That is not much larger than a good size bathroom!

I support what others have advised. Get something small and inexpensive, do some lake sailing, get the needed marine courses behind you no matter where they are offered. You and your wife are very young equipped with formal educations. Take your time, do it right, do it safely, have a financial plan that works even if it results in a tight budget, get as much on the water time as possible via crewing. Don't box yourselves in with a deadline. Remember, you're both young so there is no need to rush. JMHO

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Old 12-11-2012, 14:07   #60
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Re: Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
S/V Illusion, thank you for the response:

Let me ask you -

do you know anything
about sailing? -> No
about boat maintenance? -> No
about boat equipment repairs? -> No
about living on a boat? -> No
about handling a boat in heavy weather? -No
about annual cost of ownership, insurance, expenses living abroad? -> No, No (was thinking about not getting insurance), and not really (I lived in Sweden for 7 years growing up. It's rather expensive there.)

Your plan is a typical dream of many people and it would help save a lot of people's time if we knew if this was more than an idealistic plan.

Maybe it's idealistic, but it's going to happen one way or another.

Dreams are great; everyone should dream but sooner or later, reality sets in. At this point, you have no idea what it's like to live on a boat, never mind take care or pay for it.

Do yourself a favor and don't fall into the illusion of what sailing is like. It's not all pretty sunsets and peaceful living on the cheap. Picture living in a small RV with no place to escape while it's raining and rocking uncomfortably while you try going to the bathroom in a closet.
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