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Old 12-03-2013, 12:12   #1
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Getting Discouraged

We're hoping that we can get some positive feedback for a change as it seems that everyone wants to dash our plans and dreams as being impossible. We're not going to let that stop us but it would be good to hear from the other side of the know, people who say can do instead of staying in the safety zone.

We are fairly new to sailing but have had this dreams for some time. We live in Seattle and want to buy a sailboat, move aboard and sail down to Mexico for starters. Possibly heading through the Panama Canal and on to the Caribbean if we enjoy the first year sailing around the west coast.

Our budget for a boat is about $20k and we're looking at 28'-32'. We are being told that we will not ever find a boat in that budget that is capable of sailing off shore. we realize that the stretch from Seattle to San Fran can be daunting but is that really considered off shore/blue water sailing?

We don't mind roughing it as far as accomodations and we are considering finding a more experienced sailor to join us on the first leg to San Fran. We have read numerous accounts of people sailing the world on small, inexpensive boats but we're getting a bit disheartened by all the naysayers.

Anyone out there have an opinion about our plans, budget and make of boat? We'd love to hear from you!!

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Old 12-03-2013, 12:18   #2
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Re: Getting discouraged

Anytime you want to do something that could be considered difficult by any measure someone will tell you it cannot or should not be done. Many people have squeaked by cheaply.

Its all about what time and effort you're willing to put in. Its an equation that basically says...

Time + Money = Safety + Comfort.

Or another way to say it...

Higher resources lower risk.

Since you're short on money, spend a lot of time sailing, learning skills, getting yourself prepped to offset the money. Since safety is more important than comfort (not to say they aren't related or that comfort isn't important)... accept that you may have to sacrifice in some areas of comfort to maintain safety.

Do it!

My wife and I are planning/prepping for a circumnav and we've run into a bunch of advice over the years.

Keep in mind that sometimes someone that sounds like a naysayer is really giving good advice. Don't close it out just because you don't want to hear it. Dealing with reality is a way to make yourself stronger. But don't let anyone tell you it cannot be done because it already has been done. And it will be done again. You just have to balance your personal equation.

Let your heart tell you where to go, but let your brain tell you how to get there.

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Old 12-03-2013, 12:22   #3
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Re: Getting discouraged

personally i would start in panama,mexico or the carribean,lots of boats there being sold cheap by those that found the reality not quite as they dreamed,go for it.

getting rid of the house,car and phone,and living out of a backpack will focus things and get you amongst people who are doing what the naysayers dream of doing but some how allways find a reason not to!
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:24   #4
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Re: Getting discouraged

It wasn't too many years ago that sailing a 30 foot boat to the Caribbean was the norm. Today, it seems that a 40 ft+ boat is the norm. Our needs have expanded to separate shower stalls, vacuum flush toilets, diesel generators and queen sized bunks. I would say a 30 foot boat is a bit tight for 3 adults, but it's your boat and not mine. Buy the boat you think you can afford and do some sailing in your local area and then decide!
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:31   #5
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Re: Getting discouraged

Originally Posted by sarahjh22 View Post
Our budget for a boat is about $20k and we're looking at 28'-32'.

Anyone out there have an opinion about our plans, budget and make of boat? We'd love to hear from you!!
The only thing I would ask you is whether you have gone and looked at any boats in that price range?

If you have and are happy with it then do it!
stop blowing smoke up my rear, blow it at the sails instead
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:33   #6
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Re: Getting discouraged

I think that for $20k, you can easily find a sailboat in the 28 to 32 foot range that will carry you safely across oceans. Don't listen to the naysayers!
Jay White
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:40   #7
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Some do it on much less...most on MUCH more. Ignore anyone who says it CAN'T be done, because it can, it has been, and it will be done again many times.

BUT listen closely to those who care about you and are knowledgeable in this subject, and who say "Yes it can be done, but here are the risks..." This endeavor, like any worth doing, truly is fraught with risk. But it can be Sooooooo great a reward!

I REALLY like Atol's idea! The biggest problem with you're plans is you have to start your journey on the hardest leg. Why not cut your teeth sailing in paradise? There are many dozens of sites to read up on what's for sale down south, and there are bargains to be had! If buying overseas sounds scary, there's also the whole Gulf Coast. Many boats for sale, and for less from what I've seen. I would suspect many a boat is to be had in Florida as well, right on the doorstep to the Bahamas and Caribbean!

Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:50   #8
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Being in Seattle this may relate........ time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But, here it is... the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it friends are retired and getting grey...they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me...but, I see the great change...Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be. Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!

And I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over on this's over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.
So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, what ever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!
"Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

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Old 12-03-2013, 12:56   #9
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Re: Getting discouraged

My three most hated words.. NO , CAN,T AND IMPOSSIBLE...........go for it you will be dead for millions of years
born to fish forced to work , fishing is life the rest just details.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:57   #10
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Re: Getting discouraged

I'm on the east coast, not the west, so my experiences may be different. My previous boat was a 1976 Sabre 30 that I regularly sailed overnight 20-30 miles offshore without any qualms. The biggest issue with long distance sailing wasn't safety, or comfort, it was the capacity of the water tank.
I bought that boat for $20k and sold it for $8k (ouch) at the height of the recession. There were plenty of bargains then, and probably plenty more now.
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Old 12-03-2013, 13:00   #11
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Our basic boat, including purchase and the few extras needs to put it into offshore condition came in around 22k. I went over that with upgrades that fell into the nice to have category though. But anyone who tells you that your budget to purchase is too low for a basic older sound nuts
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Old 12-03-2013, 13:07   #12
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Re: Getting discouraged

Delmarrey! Well said and well lived.

Go for it you guys. Just be safe and be thoughtful.
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Old 12-03-2013, 13:09   #13
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Re: Getting discouraged

We are defintiely considering going south or east to buy and start our journey there. We can certainly buy cheaper and also skip the somewhat scary Seattle to Mexico leg but we've been told that boats in the South can be in pretty rough shape due to the intense sun and that PNW boats are in much better condition. Having said that though I guess for our price range it might not be a big deal as it will be an old boat regardless and we can have more cash left for living and repairs.
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Old 12-03-2013, 13:20   #14
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Re: Getting discouraged

Here ya go. 'Course these two threw a lot of money at it, but they were rank novices:

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Old 12-03-2013, 13:32   #15
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Re: Getting discouraged

Since you said you're willing to start outside PNW, I'd strongly suggest you look at boats in Mexico, particularly Sea of Cortez to Puerto Vallarta (look on -- the brokers there all list on YW and generally have very complete listings with lots of photos).

We both bought and sold our boat there and you'll be amazed at how well-equipped many are and what they can be bought for. Many there are offshore-ready and with lots of gear that is included in the sale. And a number of them go for quite a bit less than the asking price.

And yes, you can do it on that kind of a budget -- I've seen numerous people do so. It won't be luxurious, but it will be the time of your life!

Carolyn Shearlock
Formerly S/V Que Tal, a Tayana 37
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