Look at a Contessa 26. They have circumnavigated more than any other boat of it's size. Have seen them for less than $10,000 list but don't be afraid to make an offer. They are good sailors and make much faster passages than much larger 'cruising boats' to shame because they do sail so well. Also an Alberg 30
is a very seaworthy
boat and very comfortable size for a single
hander and possibly even a couple. Have seen these come up under $10,000. Expect all these boats to require a lot of attention but quite often it's largely cosmetic as they have been abandoned and look it.
The important thing on any boat is realizing what is necessary and what is ego. To actually get out there and do it, you need 4, maybe 5 sails
, a sextant
, quartz time piece, a S/W reciever for time ticks, a dinghy
, and adequate ground tackle. Hand held GPSs have gotten so cheap
it would be foolish not to take a couple along and you can buy B/W chart plotters for next to nothing, as well. Used charts
can be had cheap
and traced if you want them for free. A depth sounder
is really nice for areas with dark water
and it could be a life saver for navigation
in the soup if your GPSs die on you. Other than that, you don't NEED anything else.
Once you have the boat, move aboard and work and live on it as you make improvements. Living aboard
will make a lot more money
available for the boat and give you a chance to modify the boat to meet your needs. There is a world of difference in the livability of a boat that has had additional and better organized storage
Almost anything on a boat can be done by a rank amateur with study, asking the right questions, a willingness to try and hard work. All of this is great knowledge to have for any cruiser, in any case, and could be a source of income
while you are out cruising.
Don't know if you mentioned where you live, but large sailing centers have tons of used gear
available on Craig's List and periodic Marine
Flea Markets at very good prices and there is also Ebay. You can equip a boat with very servicable gear
for a fraction of the new prices and quite often the stuff is better than new, just not the current
Once your gone, you can stay out very cheaply if you avoid the Marina on the Left syndrome. Anchor
out as much as possible, stay out of the bars and expensive restaurants. Hang out with the real cruisers, live off the land and say hello to the locals.
FWIW, we lived in a VW bus with our Labrador and six puppies while we built our W32. The boat seemed like a palace after the bus. I worked full time on the boat and my wife worked to meet our living expenses. We were able to launch the boat in a year and go cruising in 18 months. We spent less than $5,000, in todays money, for 18 months of cruising. That included everything including boat maintenance
and toys. To be fair, everything on the boat was new when we left so had very few expensive repairs
and we were loaded to the gills with food
. An older boat may have higher repair costs but, by keeping the boat small, all the systems will be relatively cheap to repair/replace.
Some of the comments on your plans remind me of the words of our late VP, Spiro Agnew. They sure are, "A bunch of nattering nabobs of negativism." You;ve got a dream, live it. One thing in my life I have no regrets about it is the 4 years we spent on our boat.