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Old 04-03-2013, 19:10   #1
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Newbie, but want to live the dream

New to the forum. I can be wordy, but I'll try to be brief.

U.S. Navy early 70's (DDG-17), but haven't "sailed" until I a vacation a few years ago when I took a hobbie-cat out for a while. Loved it. I try to do it whenever I can. Only swamped it once.

So now we're 800 days away from retirement and trying to go through our options. We've got...

1) A beach house in NC outer banks (a couple of weeks in summer. most of the winter).
2) A house somewhere in Florida (not crazy about FL.. no offense).
3) A sailboat we can live on as we spend our winters sailing around the islands.

We'll keep our NJ house and just attempt to winter somewhere warmer.

I think #1 is out. Just came back from a house hunting weekend and WAY colder than I want.

Wife is looking at #2 as an investment to rent when we're not there (Orlando).

I'm all in for #3. Willing to do whatever to make it happen. Spend the next 2 years learning, training and practice. I'm trying to put together all the numbers I can to make my case... or bring me back to reality, if that's the end result.

So if there are folks on here that have been in my shoes, please let me know what I'm in for.

Maybe this will help. The wife likes cats, but a decent one is beyond our budget. A clean 45' mono-hull would be big enough to keep her happy and not too big to eat up the entire living budget on anchorage and fuel. I'm thinking we'd leave it anchored / docked on one of the islands over the summer. Just have to find an island where I can afford the storage.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:47   #2
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Re: Newbie, but want to live the dream

Welcome aboard! I like option 3. I'm partial to cats, but any comfortable cruising boat would do...and since you're keeping the "land yacht" you don't need to go too big (we're very comfy for 8-9 month stretches on our 34' cat, including 2 kitties).You can also sail back to cheaper, safer areas each year rather than just docking in in the Bahamas or Keys...even back to NJ so you can sail a bit in the summer...and change venues year by year. Good luck, and happy cruising!
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:57   #3
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There is a fanasticly lovely senior (but so young at heart) couple in our marina that have their original home in Mass for 3 summer months, a condo in FL for 3 winter months and the spend 6 months (spring/fall) on the boat in the Chessy. These folks are in at least their late 70s......the only reason I can see as to why they no longer sail to FL for the winter.
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Old 05-03-2013, 15:16   #4
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Re: Newbie, but want to live the dream

Wilnjan,

I am in the Navy, getting ready to retire here in the next couple of years. We currently live in Annapolis, so we bought a sailboat to get ready for retirement. I didn't want to wait until the day I retire, THEN look for a boat, learn to sail it, get to know it, outfit it to go cruising, etc. That would take a couple of years!

We bought an older catamaran, albeit, a fixer-upper, but you can find similar model cats in a reasonable price range. (Prout Snowgoose 37)

I say find something now, pay it off while you're still working, learn the boat, learn to sail her. Then in 800 days, you two are off!
If you move aboard some time towards the end of that 800, you can ease into your new lifestyle, and figure out what you need and don't need from your terrestrial life!

Best of luck to you. You have plenty of time to make it happen between now and retirement!

Cheers,
S/V Octopussy

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S/V Octopussy
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Old 05-03-2013, 18:26   #5
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Re: Newbie, but want to live the dream

Thanks for the encouraging words, Octopussy.

I looked at your project. While I think I have the skills needed to bring an old girl back to life, I don't have the tools, time or space to do it. When we moved into this "Active Adult" community, I gave up my basement and big yard... and most of my tools. Kept just enough to finish my HD Panhead.

So I increased the upper range of our "boat budget". I've found a catamaran that my wife might consider. It's in decent shape and has a lot of additional equipment. It's a 1998 Voyage 43'. It's way more than we wanted to spend, but if it's in good shape, it might save us some money in the long run. Thoughts?

But before getting a boat, we need to work our the finances for everything. Boat, storage, insurance, registration, repairs, initial cruise preparations... and cruise expenses.

I think our next task is to make a list of "gotta have" and "nice to have" and "can do without"... and continue my research.

Please keep advise coming. I appreciate it.
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Old 05-03-2013, 18:45   #6
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Re: Newbie, but want to live the dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilnjan View Post
Thanks for the encouraging words, Octopussy.

I looked at your project. While I think I have the skills needed to bring an old girl back to life, I don't have the tools, time or space to do it. When we moved into this "Active Adult" community, I gave up my basement and big yard... and most of my tools. Kept just enough to finish my HD Panhead.

So I increased the upper range of our "boat budget". I've found a catamaran that my wife might consider. It's in decent shape and has a lot of additional equipment. It's a 1998 Voyage 43'. It's way more than we wanted to spend, but if it's in good shape, it might save us some money in the long run. Thoughts?

But before getting a boat, we need to work our the finances for everything. Boat, storage, insurance, registration, repairs, initial cruise preparations... and cruise expenses.

I think our next task is to make a list of "gotta have" and "nice to have" and "can do without"... and continue my research.

Please keep advise coming. I appreciate it.
It sounds like you are at least thinking. Good thing.

You really need to find a way to see if you even like it all. Seasickness, dingy to everything (laundry, groceries, parts, etc.)

But I am confused by your post. In the original, under "We've got" you list #3 as a sailboat you can live on.

If so, give it a whirl.
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Old 05-03-2013, 19:11   #7
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Re: Newbie, but want to live the dream

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But I am confused by your post. In the original, under "We've got" you list #3 as a sailboat you can live on.
I was talking about options. We've got three options for our retirement. Option number 3 was to buy a boat and sail the islands.

I've loved every sailboat I've been on. Only sailed hobbiecats myself. Wife and I both dive and have been to quite a few Caribbean islands. I'm ready to make the island my home for winter months. Is there a better way than on a sailboat?
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Old 05-03-2013, 19:15   #8
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Re: Newbie, but want to live the dream

Wilnjan,

Yeah, I admit, the project we took on is not for the faint of heart... or the "short of tools." But, it's coming along quite nicely... even with the surprises of late.

Our project boat worked for us, and we're gluttons for a project (we've restored many classic cars over the years which were labors of love!)... but you're right, it's not for everyone. I had a guy comment on my blog that said he had seen the ad for the boat before we bought it. He wished us luck!

It is amazing how much we've spent over the past three months on our boat project. Probably close to $15K. And, we haven't even gotten to the major stuff! We need new halyards, refrigeration, water maker, electronics (no radar, chart plotter, sonar/fish finder.... nada). But we also didn't have outdated equipment jacking up the survey price of the boat. We paid a VERY good price for the boat, and the survey value was 1.5 times what we paid. Our same hull, in good condition with updated interior, fridge, electronics, etc goes for 2.5 times what we paid.

Anyway, I say this because if you don't have the tools, time, wherewithal... whatever, then go with a boat that has a lot of the kit on it. But make sure it's in good order and not outdated. Used boats will typically have a lot of spares... which is good, but don't let it drive up the price of the boat. (it's a buyers market, remember that!)

My one bit of advice is to budget into your plan the fact that you are still going to need to update things... and your wife might want to update the interior. Lines, halyards, spares, equipment you don't have... I would budget at least $30K. It may sound like a lot, but it is amazing how quickly that will go!

And if the boat doesn't have a generator, solar panels, wind generator... that will go VERY, VERY quickly. I would look at the electrical generation on any used boat you buy. Read up on the make/model of solar panels. Are they at the end of their service life? Wind generators... people have love-hate relationships with some of the older models b/c of the noise they generate, in addition to electricity. If there is no generator, and you decide that you NEED one, it will cost you.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts

Cheers, and good luck!

S/V Octopussy
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilnjan View Post
Thanks for the encouraging words, Octopussy.

I looked at your project. While I think I have the skills needed to bring an old girl back to life, I don't have the tools, time or space to do it. When we moved into this "Active Adult" community, I gave up my basement and big yard... and most of my tools. Kept just enough to finish my HD Panhead.

So I increased the upper range of our "boat budget". I've found a catamaran that my wife might consider. It's in decent shape and has a lot of additional equipment. It's a 1998 Voyage 43'. It's way more than we wanted to spend, but if it's in good shape, it might save us some money in the long run. Thoughts?

But before getting a boat, we need to work our the finances for everything. Boat, storage, insurance, registration, repairs, initial cruise preparations... and cruise expenses.

I think our next task is to make a list of "gotta have" and "nice to have" and "can do without"... and continue my research.

Please keep advise coming. I appreciate it.
Yes......because if being tied to the dock is a `gotta have` for either of you.....those cats can get really expensive!

You will find lots of info and opinions on the forum, as well as many who can offer local advice of where the call base. Happy hunting!
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:49   #10
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Re: Newbie, but want to live the dream

Gelfling,

Honestly, that's another reason why we love our Prout Snowgoose.

It has a beam of 15' 3". We don't need a T-head, and our marina fit us into a regular (albeit beamy) 40 ft slip.

"Parking" was definitely a consideration when we were looking at cats.


Cheers,

S/V Octopussy
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Old 06-03-2013, 14:26   #11
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Re: Newbie, but want to live the dream

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Originally Posted by wilnjan View Post
I was talking about options. We've got three options for our retirement. Option number 3 was to buy a boat and sail the islands.

I've loved every sailboat I've been on. Only sailed hobbiecats myself. Wife and I both dive and have been to quite a few Caribbean islands. I'm ready to make the island my home for winter months. Is there a better way than on a sailboat?
OH.

Well, you can do the boat thing cheaper than a house.
Unless you want the boat I want...........
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