Good luck dude, sounds like you're well on the way.
I was in what sounds like a similar situation to you. Got the idea of setting sail into the wild blue yonder early last year. Posted a thread similar to the one you just did about mid way last year and i've spent the last month cruising out in moreton bay, last time i was at a marina was a xmas eve. So zero to cruising in a bit over 6 months from starting the boat search and getting the boat took maybe 3-4 months or so. I moved in during september i think. Maybe late august.
And i gotta say, it has been the best thing i've ever done. Cruising is just awesome, so i'm voting for go small or medium or big, but go now. It's certainly possible, though my situation is a bit different as i'm learning
to sail in Moreton bay, which is a sheltered, popular sailing grounds so it's a pretty ideal place to learn. IMO if i was going to be doing an offshore
trip i'd at least get an offshore
sailing course done. Though with your background it sounds like you've got a good set of skills (ie maintenance
,repairs etc) stuff which i'm still working on. Managed to do a few modificiations with family
assistance myself but a big part of my learning
curve before i'm ready to go offshore will be repair work, especially engine maintenance
Going from what I've been adjusting too (ie shore-life to cruising, singlehanded etc). Get used to things breaking down and needed replacement etc. The amount of replacement parts
, repair work and lost parts
has gone from basically zip being tied up at a dock
to quite a list(ie battery
bank needs replacing, anchor windlass fuses
light has stopped working, lost
a few things overboard
costs (genset, outboard
, main engine), running aground and the subsequent haulout needed to repaint the keel
. -.-, this is all in the last month now that i'm actually sailing and being exposed to weather
, needing to run more systems etc. So keep some dosh spare for when you actually start cruising, there will be repairs
along the way. Something i should have done, but i'm still working while i cruise
so it's no big deal. If you're not going to work while you cruise
or are relying on finding a job once you get there I would really recommend keeping aside a fair chunk of your budget
for just that sort of thing, thats besides the refit
Besides that, it's been well... pretty cruisy^^. Not having easy access to a convience store makes provisioning
rather important (tis a bother to run out of tobacco when you're half a days sail from the nearest store).
Have fun out there!