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Old 02-02-2015, 05:09   #1
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New Live Aboard/Cruisers

Hello

My wife and I have cleared out all our possessions and placed our modest home on the market and will be making the move to the sailboat live aboard/cruising life.

Here is our details and plan that I would love some input on.

After house sale and savings etc, I expect to clear about 60k. We will be shopping and purchasing a boat after sale of the house in the 30k range. A production monohull 70-80s model. I am not locked in to a particular design, theres a million threads about sailboat purchases etc, as long as is a proven hull design, in good structural condition, solid engine, standing rigging, deck etc, we will find the best boat we like in florida in our price range.

The left over funds will be invested for the post boat days.

We will start our for a year or two moored in marathon fl. I can make 40-50k/year working on shore, our goals for that time will be 1) Sailing training and practice, we as of now have no real sailing experience, we will invest in ASA 101/103/104 for the two of us, likely we will be hiring an experienced person to get us from boat purchase to Marathon for that first voyage.

Sadly, due to our experience level, we will likely only have liability insurance the first year, since getting insurance for a 34-40ft sailboat for two people with zippo experience is an underwriters nightmare. Soooo presuming a hurricane doesnt wipe us out, we get insurance as soon as we quailify.

Like I said, we will spend our first year or two when not working, day sailing, weekending, maybe a week vacaion trip etc to increase our skill level and confidence. Beyond that I have decent experience with most fields of electrical, carpentry etc etc, you know, I'm the extended families free handyman so I will learn, I love shop manuals. I read shop manuals for fun, so I will take apart and put back together every system and accessible function of the boat that first year and then do so again, fixing and upgrading wherever needed, or not needed if the cost/reward ratio suits me.

During this time, we intend to save at minimum half my income and at the point we have 1-2 years cruising expense saved up, take off, enjoy a sabbatical/semi retirement. Once fundage gets low, we will either return to the keys, or find another place we like and spend 1-2 years working from mooring, upgrading/refurbing the boat etc as before, saving half the income and wash rinse repeat.

My field, while not glamorous or high paying enables me to walk into any city or town in the US and have a 40k a year job quick and reliably.

We have not been, nor will ever be wealthy, heck, reaching middle class working and living on land no requires taking more from my quality of life than I'm willing to do, no one dies thinking they should have spent more time at work. We are both intelligent, hard working and willing to do everything reasonable ourselves.

We are both very keen on self sufficency and a lower key, less is more lifestyle. She's a great cook, and can make some great meals with rice beans and a dash of salt.

Our cruising would likely be limited to the East coast of NA, Bahamas and Caribbean, gulf coast, maybe mexico/central america.

Likely no ocean passages ever. Most boats in our price range would be a bit icky for such a thing, I do look at some true blue water boats for the 70's, but for full time liveaboards, the 30 ft boats that are ocean capable in our price range are just to0 small.

Soooo... thoughts, advice? Does the plan seem sound enough overall? and anyone want to buy a 70k 3bd 2ba house o\just outside gainesville fl? haha.

Thanks all!
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:50   #2
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Re: New Live Aboard/Cruisers

You don't have enough money. A 30k 70's or 80's boat in the size you target is going to need lots of expensive refitting, where's your money for that? Where's your money for mooring expenses, fuel, supplies etc? 30k for two years living expenses, and a major refit on an older boat... I don't think so.


Don't count on finding any work outside the USA, the locals will put a stop to it quickly when they find out, unless you're working under a visa in possibly the medical field.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:22   #3
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Re: New Live Aboard/Cruisers

I dont know as though you have shopped for boats in Florida lately. the economy is still down, the market for boats here is certainly a buyers market. I've so far toured a dozen boats in that price range between 34 and 44 ft, 25-35k. The majority were in seaworthy condition Hull/Deck and Solid sails. Engines running and anywhere from 400-2000 hours. stove, marine heads etc, dingy. most have solar/wind, gps, many have auto pilots and roller furling.

Are they brand new blue water cruisers set for around the world trips with gleaming brightwork and no day to day maintenance needed? nah, but very servicable. I expect to go through 2-4 haulout/surveys before finding the best vessel, but they are certainly available. Refit? What would that entail? most electronics are luxury items, As long as the engine is in good shape, sails and standing rigging in good shape and hull/decks are strong and secure, eerything else can be done on your own with a good maintenance schedule.
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:33   #4
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Re: New Live Aboard/Cruisers

no idea where the 2nd post got his info, seems like you have a plan. plenty of boats in that range if you don't mind doing a little tlc on them. before you decide on your final boat find the manufactures/owners forum site, and ask on that site of owners what they think or issues they have come across. that will be your best information before you buy. good luck, go do it.
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:38   #5
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Re: New Live Aboard/Cruisers

Thanks good advice, thank you, but I take owners forums with a little skepticism, no one likes to admit they made a bad purchase. lol. proven design is big though and using owners forums to identify common issues is a very good idea.
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:40   #6
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Re: New Live Aboard/Cruisers

Quote:
Originally Posted by essej4269 View Post
Soooo... thoughts, advice? Does the plan seem sound enough overall?
Thanks all!
If you already know it all, why do you ask for advice?

Like I said.... "Where's your money for haul-outs, surveys, mooring expenses, fuel, supplies, refit, etc?"
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:40   #7
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Re: New Live Aboard/Cruisers

You've got your pins in order. Buy a Morgan Out Island. They have lots of room, shoal draft. tough as the proverbial Outhouse, and in your price range. Most of them were built to rent out, so are especially strong in the places where amateur sailors need them to be. They are not terribly fast but when You live there, you're at home no matter how long it takes to move. Don't pay too much attention to these super rich people that think you need 2000 dollars a month to live on. I retired on 750 dollars a month and lived comfortably on my boat for most of ten years. I visited and lived in the Bahamas, Florida, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. I loved every minute of it. Mac
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:13   #8
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Re: New Live Aboard/Cruisers

Sounds like a good plan, something we did, all our plans had a date attached to them, from when our house would close to the date we would first pull out..
On our first adventure, (over a year from selling the house) we were within 3 days of our target. If the plans are on paper and not just in your head, you'll stick to them and work harder to get where you want..
Set up a priority list, and dont feel bad if somethings gets put on the back burner. You'll get to it someday..
and learning, just start by powering around, forget the sails for now, its also to know just how the boat reacts under power, and once you get to know a few people, go out with them on their boat for a sail.. you'll learn much more on various boats in a leasure sail than you will in a class. Get involved with a Yacht Club that has a race fleet and spend some time as "rail meat" on a performance boat. It will teach you sail trim and boat handeling at its best.
and dont make decissions without having a back up plan.. as if you are planning on a mooring to live on, good idea, but also check out slips in the area you might move into.. On a cold rainey morning, its not fun crawling down into a dink and having to go ashore to get to your car to get to work..
And probably the best advice I could give you, keep your spirits up, you are going to have down days, everybody does, but find something to get you out of the "bunk" mood and on with you cruising plans. Be it reading a cruising novel, or going out for a bite to eat on the waterfront..
And Dream, Dream Big.........
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:53   #9
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Re: New Live Aboard/Cruisers

Welcome and it is very doable. Myself, I've been living and cruising the SF bay. My boat with fitout over a few years was less then $24k. Total boat cost, including purchase and maintenance for eight years ( including that pesky engine rebuild is less then $30k. includes haulouts, but not slip or insurance. Though liability is very inexpensive.

Now that I'm supporting myself via engineering design from the boat, I'm pretty much on a continuous holiday.

Not a bad life, though a bit interesting when the winds pipe up a bit.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:28   #10
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Re: New Live Aboard/Cruisers

Some thoughts a few years in:

It always takes more time and money than you think, but generally it can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be.

Seems there's always more to do and more to throw money at, even on a really well found boat.

The hard part is getting and staying on top of systems and maintenance. Sailing is the easy part!

The learning curve is fast when you don't know what you're doing
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:56   #11
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Re: New Live Aboard/Cruisers

Sounds like a great idea, keep researching as more you know the better decisions you'll make, just saw this and you might find it interesting:

Sail Around the World. Adventure Travel Documentary Series
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