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Old 01-12-2014, 08:51   #16
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

The only thing I would do is after selling the house keep working for a time and live on the boat. Get it sorted out before you cut loose the income. Being that your up north a low end apartment for the coldest months would probably be in line.


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Old 01-12-2014, 09:04   #17
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

No one ever died saying "I wish, I had spent more time at work". Having said that, I am also risk adverse for some instances. I would definitely look at how you might make a supplemental income along the way. As I age, I keep looking at the massive amounts of time I have spent working for wages, and wonder if my time would have been better spent adventuring. Only you can answer that for yourself. From what I have seen of some of the younger generation, in 5 or 6 years, the world will be crying out for people with real world experience and problem solving abilities, and nothing hones your problem solving ability like living aboard a sailboat long term.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:16   #18
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

There seems to be a few problems with your plan.

First - what are you going to do when you run out of money?

Second - I think you $1,500 is to lite. I think both you and Mike need to spend some time looking at costs and what it really costs to cruise. We bought our boat new and when we headed out we had few mechanical issues but they do crop up. We have published our cost for the last 5 years of our 7 years being out at the dollars and cents forum 5 Years of Cost Data -

It cost us about $2,000 to $2,500 a month.

And do not forget you have a what 25 year old boat? Maintenance will be an issue. We just blew out a mainsail and a new one cost us $3,500. While you can get one for less you have to plan on things breaking and those things cost a lot.

Third - i agree with Ann that perhaps you boat is a nice coastal cruiser at best and maybe the Bahamas but going beyond may be streching it's limits but that is just my opinion.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:28   #19
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

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Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
For instance, a good friend purchased an 1988 Catalina. First season he had to do the mast compression post step, a common problem with that vintage (at least the C30 don't know about the C36). It's a very doable repair but cost him $2,500 to have a yard do it. By the end of that season it was obvious that the sails were at the end of their useful life. Take on another $3-4K for sails. This doesn't count things like filters, hose replacements, impellers, water pumps, etc. you get the drift. The boat will need work. You may want electronics. All of this will cost money and you will typically spend more in the first couple of years of owning the boat then later down the line. We purchased a Catalina for around $68K and spent an additional $20K to get the boat close to ready for cruising. We will spend another $5K this year before we leave.
Jesse's experience mirrors ours and we weren't even out cruising. I had to "do" an electrical system - replace the old battery killing charger, upgrade the alternator, wiring, etc. Take a 1986 boat and move it into the 21st century. New raw water engine pump, new exhaust riser... New standing rigging and a new furler. I didn't even have to get new sails! Needed new blocks for the traveler and mainsheet (Garhauer is your answer there). The list goes on.

If you review the C34 link I provided earlier, you'll get a hint of the fixes that skipper do, and need to do, just for daysailing, to keep their boats working properly.

Lots of it is maintenance, but when you get an old boat, you often get deferred maintenance tasks.

And our boat was pristine. Don't know what condition yours was in.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:46   #20
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

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There seems to be a few problems with your plan.

First - what are you going to do when you run out of money?

Second - I think you $1,500 is to lite. I think both you and Mike need to spend some time looking at costs and what it really costs to cruise. We bought our boat new and when we headed out we had few mechanical issues but they do crop up. We have published our cost for the last 5 years of our 7 years being out at the dollars and cents forum 5 Years of Cost Data -

It cost us about $2,000 to $2,500 a month.

And do not forget you have a what 25 year old boat? Maintenance will be an issue. We just blew out a mainsail and a new one cost us $3,500. While you can get one for less you have to plan on things breaking and those things cost a lot.

Third - i agree with Ann that perhaps you boat is a nice coastal cruiser at best and maybe the Bahamas but going beyond may be streching it's limits but that is just my opinion.
Chuck,

Thanks for publishing your cost data. I have reviewed it before.

I think one important thing to note is that 20-50% of what you spent was entirely discretionary on items like dockage, eating out, entertainment, alcohol, sight seeing and non-boat related transportation. If you cut out these things you could be a lot closer to the $1,500 a month. And I bet you weren't doing a lot of bargain shopping because most of us don't. I know a couple that lived on their boat in the Boston area for less than $1,500 a month and that included being on a slip.

And IRC, you were on a 46 foot Jenny. More boat, more maintenance, more cost. Newer boat, more systems, more maintenance, more cost. Smaller boat, simpler systems, less cost. In general.

As far as your opinions on the capabilities of a C36, I think you are highly underestimating this boat. But that is typical for Catalinas. "They're a production boat with a bolt on keel and spade rudder. You will die if you take it 10 miles offshore!" Its all been said and disproven before. Catalinas have gone far and wide without much modifications. It's about the skipper not the boat. As proven this AM by one of the most well equipped offshore boats in the world running aground due to human error.

To the OP, the Catalina 36 is a great starter boat or final boat if you make smart decisions and take the time to learn the proper skills. I believe Stu pointed it out earlier, you need to learn the systems of your boat. This does not just mean finding out where the poop goes but what are the structural components to the rig, hull, steering system, etc. and knowing how to maintain and repair them.

Fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:09   #21
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

Personally I think a well found C36 is capable of the eastern Caribe. Most of the trips are day trips with maybe 2 or 3 overnighters. A C36 sure ought to b e able to do that.
I know for a fact that they are not as stout as a typical long keel blue water cruiser. But that doesn't mean you cant cruise the Caribe in one.
My other thought is, buy the boat, live aboard somewhere nice and work a bit more. Go cruising in chunks, come home in hurricane season and work. It doesn't have to be a black and white decision..... work in the grey!


I have friends who cruised on a very low budget. They bought a big boat that had some issues. (teak decks buckled up in places etc) Unlike many of us, they just didn't repair stuff, unless it looked like an immediate safety issue. They cruised the Caribe for 3 years doing nothing to the boat except keeping things working. They returned to land and sold the boat for exactly what they paid for it.
Their cost of cruising was very low. It's more about attitude than money. Many of us wouldn't do that; "wet deck core...OMG I'd better spend $10k immediately!"
I had friends with an aluminum 48 footer who painted the boat 3 times in 9 years! They probably spent $35k on painting. They would have had $35 k more in the bank if they would have never repainted it. It's all about your attitude.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:29   #22
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

If I were you, I would not. Some do not manage well the "back home no money" "risk".

Soul to soul, mate.

I think you have at least these two alternatives:

1) Do NOT sell. Rent out. Use the income to fund your adventure. Get a small boat, stay out as long as you wish. (This will not work if your house in not rentout'able.)

2) Get a smaller boat, then sail to a smaller budget. We spent approx 20k over 4 years of travelling (two onboard). Ex-boat costs. (Boat approx 20k). You can sail for some 4-5yrs on say 50k, boat included. The reminder will be your "welcome home fund".

Etc.

Do NOT get yourself in a situation that you may dislike soon after. Sail smart ;-)

Go for it, above all,
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:43   #23
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

Larr,
There is a voice of reason and a voice of passion. How one lives determines which force is most important in your life. There is also a personal self awareness based upon how confident you feel about being able to handle the ups and downs of life based upon your decision. And then, there is chance--if you wait, will chance be on your side or against you. My personal opinion is that it is worse to approach old age/death feeling you have not followed your passions in life but rather lived life reasonably, practically, and with well planned prudence. Of course, the later approach is safer and more secure but what have you sacrificed in the process? We humans ,unlike the rest of the natural world ,have been gifted/cursed with a self-conscious brain. We plan, we dream, we remember, we are aware of our life and our mortality. Will you eat the forbidden fruit and be banned from the Garden of Eden? Somehow it has always seemed to me that the Bible got that one wrong. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:50   #24
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

Go for it you are an inspiration to all those who can't break away from city land life and the money will always come when you need it. Trust in nature's laws of attraction and you will succeed.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:57   #25
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

Quit asking and start doing. I think you can find a boat quite capable for much less than $40k. How you live on your nest egg is way too variable to figure.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:23   #26
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

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SNIP

Can I afford to do it?
If you have to ask the answer is no.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:09   #27
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

Hi, just some food for thought...I live in Mexico and to have $500USD (approx.7000Mxpesos) is to be living like a king...Throw in the fact that you can catch o lot of your meals thanks to the abundance of mother nature and life gets better and all the while you are living in paradise! Trust in yourself...you will make some friends along the way and things usually aren't as difficult as we tend to imagine them. I will be moving to Cozumel next year and I am totally PSYCHED! It'll be nice to live where others pay to go on vacation!!!
It's not too hard to make a living here either...We are for the most part, an educated society in the US...so we do well no matter where we go..As Franky said...If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere...SOOOOO TRUE!!!
GO FOR IT AMIGO...if ya need some insight,email me. all_as
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Old 01-12-2014, 14:14   #28
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

I'm 71. Just starting. No reason outside of health, u would not be able to continue sailing on your soc sec.
I say, go for it! 😀


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Old 01-12-2014, 14:20   #29
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

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I'm 71. Just starting. No reason outside of health, u would not be able to continue sailing on your soc sec.
I say, go for it!
I second that! I'm only 63 but am looking to set out on my sailing adventures ASAP. Sell the house and everything that anchors me to land that I won't need for the boat, and I'm ready to push off. We all have only so much time and the clock is ticking. Enjoy it while you can.
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Old 01-12-2014, 14:40   #30
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Re: Soul Searching Live Aboard Opinions Requested

It sounds to me like you might be budgeting a little too much per month on boating/living expenses. But then again I've taken an overall minimalist approach in life and have cut out many things that most might consider significant or essential to living. So I think maybe the first soul-searching needs to be on a good budget/plan. I absolutely think you should go on and follow your live aboard plan though.

There is no sure-fire prediction for what the future holds. So make a good basic plan for what you do know or what you can somewhat predict, then follow your dreams and everything else will work out. Expect the best, plan for the worst, prepare to be surprised.
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