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Old 22-09-2013, 05:51   #1
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New User Needs a Roadmap

Hi all,

First off, I'm really glad to have found this forum! I've read through a couple of threads and have really enjoyed the back-and-forth between ultra-practical and ultra-romantic views of the cruising life. Very cool.

So, on to myself. I'm 24 years old and live in Massachusetts, and through some bizarrely fortuitous circumstances find myself shopping for my second multifamily rental property. I bought my first at the worst of the financial crash a few years ago, so my cash flow is already quite positive, and if all goes according to plan I should be able to rack up 4-5 multis (15-19 units) in the next few years; if that works out properly the houses will pay for themselves under management and enough will be coming in for me to live independently. When I get to that point, I deeply want to start cruising.

Rereading my draft post, I realize that I should also throw in here that having "stuff" is not my thing. I don't have (or need) cable TV, I don't have much interest in luxury products, and I take some pride in cooking with cast iron, shaving with a straight razor (anyone manage doing this on the boat, by the way?!), keeping my shoes polished, that sort of thing... just to give you a sense of my perspective on the question of materialism that seems to come up here from time to time.

I read through this thread: Failsafe Financing for Cruising Lifestyle!
and, although the sentiments everyone shared seem valid to me, there's not much in the way of how-to-get-there and I'm wondering if some of you would be willing to be a bit more specific - either with numbers or how you "did it", yourselves. For instance, when is it time? How much boat is necessary (I'm single now but I figure a five-year plan should assume a partner to be safe)? Where should I go to start (Caribbean seems a popular suggestion)? What sort of expenses should I budget for, and where do you get that information? Or, perhaps, is there a book you can suggest that would save everyone the trouble of writing out answers to so many questions?

I apologize if there's a thread that addresses all this and fits my circumstances, if there is I didn't find it but I am really quite terrible at using forum search functions. Feel free to just direct me there if need be.

Thanks very much for your time, and hopefully I'll see you on the water one day!
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:03   #2
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Re: New User Needs a Roadmap

Welcome to the forum! It is really wonderful that you are already working on financing your dreams.
I suggest doing a bunch of reading and research... There are books, blogs and forums about the cruising lifestyle and many of the blogs share expenses information.
My suggestion is learn to sail first ...before you decide what kind of boat you want. Take courses and volunteer to crew (check local sailing clubs). Meet people who cruise and talk to them....many love to share their experiences and knowledge.
Have a good time and enjoy some sailing!
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:13   #3
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Re: New User Needs a Roadmap

Whoops, thanks for the reply! I should have probably mentioned the whole learn-to-sail thing, huh? I'm currently taking lessons and have a couple of sailors in the family, including an uncle that lives on a 50-footer off the coast of Mexico. So yes, being technically proficient and being around sailors is certainly part of the plan and something I'm working on!

Do you have any favorite books or blogs on the subject that you'd suggest?

Thanks again!
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:36   #4
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Re: New User Needs a Roadmap

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Pat.
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:39   #5
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Re: New User Needs a Roadmap

I only wish I would have had my crap together as much as you do at your age. Welcome aboard....cheers
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:40   #6
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Re: New User Needs a Roadmap

Welcome aboard, Pat. ...and when you do get ready to buy the first boat, get a boat for the type of boating you want to do in the immediate future. You can always change later. Good luck!
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:44   #7
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Re: New User Needs a Roadmap

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatSuleski View Post
.............. I'm wondering if some of you would be willing to be a bit more specific - with numbers... how you "did it", yourselves... when is it time... How much boat... Where... expenses... information...
I learned to sail as a young child. At any age, learning to sail is likely the first need. My wife and I bought our first liveaboard/cruiser at your age. We started with a 30', but moved to a 33', then 41' with growing children. Our economic resources were moderate middle class incomes that supported our needs in the same manner as most young families with traditional houses. We became comfortable cruising in increments from protected daysailing to offshore and longer distances. We began keeping a permanent slip and later moved away from a "home marina" to more mobility and anchoring out. I would always suggest that those starting should begin with their boat in a slip that allows quick access to an easy protected sailing area in a location that has moderate weather. Allow yourself the opportunity for incremental advances from ports in bays, sounds or wide rivers. Leisurely browsing through forums here can be a great resource and expose you to the reality that there never seems to be a single "correct" plan that fits for all.
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Old 22-09-2013, 07:20   #8
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Re: New User Needs a Roadmap

HI Pat and welcome to the forum. Some answers, comments and suggestions for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PatSuleski View Post
I apologize if there's a thread that addresses all this and fits my circumstances, if there is I didn't find it but I am really quite terrible at using forum search functions. Feel free to just direct me there if need be.
When, where, how and how much are some of the most common questions on the forum so you will certainly find many, many threads on these subjects. Some very specific, some very general. Be careful, you can spend hours on the forum reading through old discussions.



Quote:
Originally Posted by PatSuleski View Post
I read through this thread: Failsafe Financing for Cruising Lifestyle!
and, although the sentiments everyone shared seem valid to me, there's not much in the way of how-to-get-there and I'm wondering if some of you would be willing to be a bit more specific - either with numbers or how you "did it", yourselves.
Lots of ways to "get there" and probably a little different for everyone. Some grew up boating in the family, some had never been boating, somehow caught the bug and pursued the dream. Some are self-taught, some followed a planned structured course of study.

For me, I kind of fell into cruising. No family background beyond a 14' aluminum fishing boat with a 6 hp outboard. By pure luck fell into a trip to deliver a charter boat from FL to the Bahamas and was immediately hooked. When I got home I read every book in the library that related in any way to boats. How to sail, how to navigate, how to build, design, repair, wire, plumb a boat. Books by cruisers about their trips. When I got a chance I went sailing, usually as a crew on a delivery.

Choose whatever method you like but if you want to do it then immerse yourself in boats and boating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatSuleski View Post

For instance, when is it time?

Whenever you want to go is time. In your case, based on your post I would say when you feed comfortable with your income and have saved enough to buy the boat.

How much boat is necessary (I'm single now but I figure a five-year plan should assume a partner to be safe)?

This is like asking what kind of woman should I marry. The answer is different for every individual. I met two couples happily living on a 27' boat cruising the Caribbean and I met a couple that thought 40' was much too small.

Where should I go to start (Caribbean seems a popular suggestion)?

Caribbean or the Bahamas is a good place to start. With just a little planning you can see most of the Caribbean with only short hops between islands so you're always close to a place to stop. Crusing the Pacific if you get tired, sick, broke down, decide you don't really like cruising you could be 1000 miles or more to the next stop.


What sort of expenses should I budget for, and where do you get that information?

The answer, though it sounds sarcastic but contains much truth, it costs as much as you have to spend or want to spend. To elaborate, depends on you and your preferences.

First, bigger boats cost a lot more than smaller boats. If the boat size doubles the cost of parts, repairs docking, etc could quadruple.

Then what lifestyle? Sounds like you are happy to live simply so these costs can be low but if you want to stat a marinas instead of anchoring, eat out instead of cook, want all the gadgets and comforts on your boat, it will all cost.

I have lived for months at a time on little more than the cost of food UNTIL, it was time to buy new sails or new rigging or major engine repair. Then you have a one time, big expenditure. Like asking how much does it cost to drive a car? Answer, not that much until your transmission blows up.

A good read on costs, search for two threads about Cruising on $500/month.


Or, perhaps, is there a book you can suggest that would save everyone the trouble of writing out answers to so many questions?

Read every book you see that has anything to do with boats, boating and boaters
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