Originally Posted by jcmcdowell
For a scaled back version- maybe charter
a boat for 4 months. You'll get a great deal. Go to the USVI, BVI, or some other sailing paradise and spend your days sailing between islands.
Funny, this was exactly what I was thinking about several years ago! As I did my research
on cost, I looked at the Moorings and Sunsail ownership
plans..... they would not allow such a long term use, I also checked with several smaller charter
companies and a large number of individual owners who had boats stationed in the areas I had interest in doing my multi month sail "test".
After a rather exhaustive evaluation (part of the bane of being an engineer) I came to the conclusion that paying for a 3 to 6 month use of a boat is about the same or more than actually buying
one in equal or better condition.
Of course if you buy one it has a lot more down stream factors to consider.... such as where you would keep it when your not on it and other associated cost.
Understanding those factors and with the added benefit of knowing how much I love sailing both with crew and singlehanding
... I selected the option to purchase
You do need to know something about boats. What is good and bad and what you need for your specific type sailing / live-aboard use in the areas you plan on sailing. A knowledgeable Marine Surveyor
is also a very good idea when you have down selected to the boats you have most interest in. My selection process started on line and moved to a central point in the islands where most of the boats I had interest in were located. This happened to be in the British Virgin Islands
. A two week visit spent looking at about two dozen boats that were in my short list, quickly allowed me to delete 3/4 as unacceptable and when I made an offer on what I considered to be the best boat, after minimal haggling got me a boat. The one I've spent months on two or three times a year since and will probably be well over half the year in the next year them about 3/4 time.
I still maintain a business in Florida
which I enjoy and helps with the cruise
kitty and the little add on's such as solar
cells, increased tankage, Ham/SSB Radio
, and other items. I may never be a 100% cruiser, don't really feel any need to. I'm very comfortable making hops between a land home which is fixed and a sailing home that I can place anywhere in the Caribbean
to South/ Central America
with out much difficulty.
As long as your considering having a distant located boat anyway... look at the advantages of having it in a possibly better sailing location that may have lower overall cost and easier starter sailing venues.