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Old 12-03-2013, 14:35   #16
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Re: Getting discouraged

I have a friend selling Cal 2-27 in Mexico (Baja) It is a bit smallish, however it was recently upgraded.
1978 Cal 2-27 sailboat for sale in Outside United States
Get it or another small boat and go cruising in Sea of Cortez. Learn how to sail there, If you like it, get a bigger boat and go beyond horizon.
I got my 28 ft boat for $12000, and I happily cruised East Coast of US for a few years. It can be done...
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Old 12-03-2013, 14:41   #17
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Re: Getting discouraged

Don't be discouraged, but do get educated. Read the book about Ming Ming a 26 footer which sailed over thirty thousand miles all over the north Atlantic, Iceland, Norway. Keep dreaming.
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Old 12-03-2013, 14:50   #18
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Re: Getting discouraged

Today most cruisers are quite well off compared to 30 years ago when I first headed out. We had a 36 foot boat and we were one of the larger boats. Back then fewer people were cruising because of the "perceived" dangers and the need to be able to navigate with a sextant. Along came GPS and the number of people heading out really grew. Anybody with a bank account could now go cruising.
I ran into a several young couples that were cruising on a shoestring and having more fun than they new what to do with. One couple sailed from Vancouver, my home town and we met in Neah Bay before setting out. They were on an old 28 foot woody that they were fixing up as they were going along. No self steering, no autopilot, no life raft, none of the stuff that is considered must have today. Watermakers were not even available then. They had a hell of an adventure and we saw them next in Mexico. He could shoot fish like an expert and between their rice and beans they were in good shape. Another young couple were in a 26 foot Haida, which is a cruising version of the plywood Thunderbird. They sailed it from Seattle to Mexico/Hawaii and back home a few years later.
If you want to try and outfit a boat like everyone thinks must be done these days then 20 grand isn't going to go very far.
If you really want to go on a tight budget find a smaller seaworthy boat that needs a little work and go. Everything is much cheaper on smaller boats and they are cheap to look after as well because looking after your boat when your out there can really add up. You'd never see those young people in a marina or even a resturant for that matter. I've heard people say, well if I can't eat out or I can't do this or that then I'd rather not go and of course most of them don't.
If I was young and I had a loose 20 grand for a boat and some meager amount to buy food etc. I'd show you how fast and how easy it could be done. Just put your mind to it, think small and get on with it..Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2013, 14:50   #19
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Re: Getting discouraged

I bought a thirty foot Dufour Arpege about 4 years ago for $2000. It needed a lot of work, which I did myself for about $1500 out of pocket. I sailed it from South Carolina to Maine and back- and twice from South Carolina to the Bahamas and back. I'm a college teacher, so I do my cruising in the summer. I estimate my cruising expenses at roughly $800 per month. My wife comes with me when she can get away from her job, and friends and family fill in the rest of the schedule.

One thing I will say: when you're fixing up a lower-cost boat, it needs a good bit of shaking down in a place where you can seek shelter. Consider cruising in the Puget Sound/ Vancouver Island area for a while to work the bugs out before you head south offshore.

Beware of naysayers. Get 'er done.
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Old 12-03-2013, 14:57   #20
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pirate Re: Getting discouraged

Send our very own ZeeHag a PM... she was talking about someone where she is selling a very nice 32ftr at a very nice price...
Who knows...
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Old 12-03-2013, 15:00   #21
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Re: Getting discouraged

To continue Delmarrey's analogy, I dodged a winter storm, and decided to go for it while I could. When I bought and moved aboard my boat, I had completed ASA 101-106, and that was about the extent of my experience. Rank amateur indeed!
I second the buy in the south suggestion. In Florida, you can have the beaches, tropical weather, cheap boats, and the ICW to practice on! And in the US, no worries about getting a work visa to get needed $$.
I would say your cost worries should be more concerned with ongoing repairs and living expenses even more than the initial purchase price. One advantage of "doing it" when in the (near) winter of life, is you are more likely to have savings, investments and pensions that can be used for these. Young people have the energy and strength, but often find it hard to come with an ongoing source of income.
So I would say, the only reason to wait just a bit to go, is to build up the kitty, or train for/develop a mobile career. Otherwise, GO ... Live the life you want!
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Old 12-03-2013, 15:17   #22
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Re: Getting discouraged

Go for it! The first year I sailed south (on the East Coast) I was laid off and only working odd jobs, so my wife and I decided to sail south with very little money, but a nice little 30 footer that cost us about $15K and came with tons of gear. That same boat today would sell for less. Small boats aren't in style. The trick is to avoid all the "must-haves" people and advertising will try to push on you.
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Old 12-03-2013, 15:21   #23
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Re: Getting discouraged

Thank you all for the much needed boost. We were already in line with most of what you all have been saying but had recieved such a barrage of negativity in the last week. Was not ever close to giving up the dream but was certainly feeling pretty beat up and discouraged. This won't be the first time I've gone against the grain and jumped into something others thought was crazy and I'm sure it won't be the last!

My Dad was a sailor and lived his life outside the box...he passed away too young 6 months ago and he always said you have to live for yourself and not let people tell you how to live. Easier said than done but you've all helped get me back on track.

Live, Dream, Discover!
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Old 12-03-2013, 15:34   #24
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pirate Re: Getting discouraged

And you're lucky to have found CF, and welcome aboard. We are more than qualified to offer advice, and particularly in the areas of what makes a bluewater cruiser, which anchor you must have, fending off pirates, is 5200 really the devil's sperm?, what to do with poo, how to drill SS, the only effective bottom paint, which is the best single malt?, Japanese whaling treaties, sailing a shoestring, how many hulls are best? If two or three are good, what about four?, should you call yourselves "Captain" or "skipper?".

These and other straightforward answers are now at your fingertips using the search function. Without further ado, here is my opinion: Do not buy a fixer-upper if you really want to go sailing. You can get caught in quaint little places for years. Find the biggest/best boat for your budget that is ready to rock and roll. Where? Just as Atoll said: at destination ports that have airports for broke, scared-witless dreamers to fly home from.

And keep us informed. Thank you and fair winds folks.
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Old 12-03-2013, 15:37   #25
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Re: Getting discouraged

Other than agreeing with most of the previous comments I will add a story which I've told before.

My first cruise to the Caribbean we stopped in Haiti on the way to St Thomas. Met two couples from Germany who were six months into their dream cruise from Europe, on a 27' sailboat. Now four on a 27 would be a little tight for most people but it does show that it can be done. Kind of comes down to your tolerance for small spaces over a long time.

I also second the recommendation to look for a boat in FL. Setting out from Seattle to Mexico is like starting college in grad school and bypassing your undergrad degree. Sure it can be done but for most people it will be a lot more demanding.

You ask if WA to Mexico is blue water? So far I've never seen a legally approved definition of blue water but in my book, no matter how close you are to the coast, if it would take you days to reach a port then you are water sailing">blue water sailing. On the west coast you can absolutely be days away from a safe haven. Even in areas where there are "ports", in heavy weather (just the time when you might really need a safe haven) they may be closed due to huge, breaking waves at the entrance.

On the other hand, in Florida there are lots of harbors, lots of places to visit that aren't far, like 50 miles from Miami to Bimini. How's that compare to Seattle to Mexico? Sure some FL boats may be beat up but lots of them the damage can be mainly cosmetic. In your budget I would focus on structurally solid and work on the shiny and pretty as time and budget allows.

Good luck and if this is your dream then go for it.
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Old 12-03-2013, 15:49   #26
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Re: Getting discouraged

Don't give up your dream, Sarah... Carolyn from the Boat Galley offers good advice as does our old friend, Boatman61. Checkout Mexico and have someone down there do the legwork for you. While the trip down is not that arduous if you watch the weather windows, the west coast of Baja offers little shelter from rough weather. There are many very good deals in Mexican waters, many of them by folks who are disenchanted with the trip north commonly called 'the Baja Bash'. A 30-32 footer can be had for a reasonable amount of cash and the brokers there are schooled in ownership transfer details. Mexico is still one of my favorite places to visit and if not for health issues I'd still be living aboard there. There are many expats living the dream there peacefully and enjoying life aboard or ashore. It makes a big difference if you learn a little spanish as it will soon become your first language if you live there. Good luck and don't give up your dream... cheers, Phil
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Old 12-03-2013, 15:58   #27
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Re: Getting discouraged

Sounds like there are deals in Mexico and I know there are ones in Florida too, but one thing to keep in mind is that you can't pick out a boat from afar and expect to buy it just like that. Most of us have found it takes a lot of looking at a lot of boats before we find the right one, at the right price, etc. So, that could add into your cost comparison. In other words, you might be better off staying at home and spending the typical minimum of two or three months (some people take 2 or 3 years) looking for a boat from there. You might save money in the end, even if you pay more for the boat itself. Plus, it will probably be much easier to fix it up and get it ready to go from home. And, you will make more working where you are now than almost anyplace else.

By the way, you live in an area that many of us would love to go sailing. Why not spend a summer or two cruising Puget Sound, the San Juans, maybe head up to Canada and even Alaska on the Inside Passage. Would be a great way to learn.
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Old 12-03-2013, 16:04   #28
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Re: Getting discouraged

Hi Sarah,

I just got to the Seattle area for a new job, and was looking for opportunities to do some sailing related activities. Now I have purchased a boat like you are looking for - though not in the Seattle area.

If you'd like to meet, I'd enjoy discussing your goals and interests, and maybe looking at some boat options together... for me, it's just a pleasant way to pass the time.

If you're interested, you can PM me on the forum. This weekend I happen to be staying in town.

If not, then I'll just say that I have purchased an older 34' hunter, nicely outfitted for cruising for around $20k in the past. I don't know what today's market is - perhaps it has changed.
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Old 12-03-2013, 16:12   #29
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Re: Getting discouraged

Good point, Kettlewell... that's what makes this forum valuable. You get a variety of viewpoints, all of them valid. It can be daunting sorting through them all but when you ask a general question, you will get a lot of good, if not varied answers.
By the way, IMHO, if you make the passage more than 200 miles offshore, I would consider that blue water cruising. Not total agreement on that issue, either. Cheers, Phil
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Old 12-03-2013, 16:22   #30
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Re: Getting discouraged

The OP's description is all about traveling along coasts - it's definitely "coastal cruising". Even coastal cruisers get into the blue water now and again. The question is not whether the boat is capable of it, but whether the captain is capable of making the determination of whether the boat is capable of it under any given circumstance.
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