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Old 15-02-2018, 19:34   #1
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Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

Hello All,

Just joined your fine forum after lurking for a bit.

My fiance and I are dreaming of full time cruising as soon as we can make it possible financially. I've been fascinated by sailing and boats since I was a kid, although my sailing experience is very limited up to this point. She's a marine biology geek that loves boats and being on the water as well. We are fairly minimal people and are working hard toward some sort of financial independence, even if it is in shorter bursts rather than a full blown early retirement.

We made the plan in January of 2012 while I was working and she was still in school, that we didn't want the conventional life of college debt, mortgage, kids, living for the weekends, and retiring at 65. Over the past few years we have been exploring all of the various ways to travel at a relatively low cost and see as much of the world as possible while still young. We have a flat in Poland that is owned outright by my parents and sits empty most of the year. Backpacking around Europe and using that as home base will likely come first, followed by a year of traveling around the USA exploring this countries natural beauty through hiking, mountain biking, winter sports, etc. We will likely do this in a converted camper van, RV, or small trailer (think Casita).

The reason for the order prioritization is cost of entry and ease of returning to normal life if things go south, along with it giving us enough time to learn how to sail, crew other peoples boats and make friends with boaters, I would like to learn how to fix basic things and do some preventative maintenance on boats before full timing. I think it would also be great while cruising to be able to help fellow cruisers, or to make extra $$ working on a marina in exchange for docking or other services/goods. After the first 18-24 months we would be looking to move onto a live aboard sailboat and cruise around the east coast, islands south, and central America for a year or two, with the eventual goal of crossing over to the Med, SE Asia, Bora Bora/Tahiti, Hawaii, and eventually the pacific coast and Baja. We may have to go back to work during those sailing years to refill the kitty, and speaking of the kitty that was the main point of this thread.

It looks like there are two types of cruisers in the community. Those that retired and are doing it full time, and those taking a "break" from work and cruising until funds dry up or they have seen all they wanted to see before returning to the working world.

How do the second plan something like a multi year trip out financially?

Assuming we are planning on working another 2 years, quitting in April of 2020 and embarking to Europe for 9 months, followed by 12 months of full time traveling by land around the US (boondocking mostly, or staying with friends/family), with the ultimate goal of finishing up, and using the proceeds from the sale of that rig to live off of while we wrapped up the hunt for a boat. Heck the RV trip could be a great way to see a lot of boats and get some sailing done all over the place.

I know this will vary by person, but how much money would you want to have at that point? Assuming we would be 33/31 years old, healthy, with no kids or plans of kids in the near future.

We currently spend $45k/yr, and in Europe we would spend significantly less ($25-30k), in the USA full time RV camping I would imagine we would also spend a little under that, maybe $35k.

For boats we are looking at something mono-hull and around 36'-38' that will be suitable for living aboard and doing longer term, multi year, trade-wind type sailing (once we get our sea legs of coarse).

So assuming we would like to spend ~2 years on low cost slow travel by land, and another say, 3 years cruising. What kind of kitty are we looking at?

Year 1 Europe - $30k
Year 2 USA RV - $40k

Seaworthy Monohull worthy of eventually cruising around the world?

$40-60k?

Ongoing Cruising expenses?

$3k month or $36k a year seems reasonable for two healthy young adults, who enjoy mostly free activities (climbing, hiking, fishing, swimming, snorkling, cycling (we would have folding bikes on the boat with us for use on land), reading, cooking, etc.

~$225k would give us about 5 years of freedom, assuming we made no income during those 5 years, and assuming we wouldn't be able to earn even a bit of interest or return on those funds during the 5 years.

Are we crazy for attempting this?

Now how the heck do we save that much money in 25 months =D

(We have a bit of a start already, but nothing close)
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Old 15-02-2018, 20:32   #2
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

Given some of the posts running at the moment not sure if real poster or trolling.

Regardless, welcome aboard
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Old 15-02-2018, 22:02   #3
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

I'd say you have good plan. How you get the money I have no idea. I'm just transitioning from RV to my first 36ft monohull. I've been sailing for a few years. You can buy a great RV for 20k and sell it for at least 15k after a year. The other 20k is plenty for a year of rv travel in the U.S. Sell the RV and put that money into a 50k boat. You can sail for a lot less than 3k a month if you anchor out. The plan gets even easier if you just get a Caribbean boat (coastal cruiser) vs an around the world boat.

Nice write up and good luck
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Old 15-02-2018, 22:15   #4
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

Welcome aboard 2B1S! and yes you are crazy, welcome to the club!
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Old 16-02-2018, 02:19   #5
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, 2B1S.
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Old 16-02-2018, 04:43   #6
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B1S View Post
we didn't want the conventional life of college debt, mortgage, kids, living for the weekends, and retiring at 65.

Life is kids, there is nothing "conventional" about it. We cruise with our 4 kids (two born on boats) on far less than you are proposing for your twosome adventure.

It will cost as much as you have. Always has, always will. If you really want to do it, you will figure out a way, no matter how much money you have.
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Old 16-02-2018, 04:45   #7
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Given some of the posts running at the moment not sure if real poster or trolling.

Regardless, welcome aboard
Hello Simi, I get the skepticism and understand why someone would not take this post seriously at first. I assure you though, we are a DINK couple from Long Island, NY (*wave* to any fellow LIers), working in cubicle slavery for the past number of years. I planned on doing my ASA 101 cert locally this summer, and find some boat clubs or yacht clubs which may be looking for crew.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post
I'd say you have good plan. How you get the money I have no idea. I'm just transitioning from RV to my first 36ft monohull. I've been sailing for a few years. You can buy a great RV for 20k and sell it for at least 15k after a year. The other 20k is plenty for a year of rv travel in the U.S. Sell the RV and put that money into a 50k boat. You can sail for a lot less than 3k a month if you anchor out. The plan gets even easier if you just get a Caribbean boat (coastal cruiser) vs an around the world boat.

Nice write up and good luck
Thanks Dave. We are currently socking away a few $k/month in savings, slow n' steady wins the race. My fiance is picking up some shifts at her second job on weekends, and I'm looking to find a side hustle as well to add to the kitty.

I agree that a great camper/van/RV can be had for $20k or less. I like the older fiberglass Casita trailers, they are light (3000lbs dry) and enough space for a couple with no pets/kids. You have no worries about the usual RV issues with laminate construction, and they tend to hold their resale value very well. I found a bunch of 2000-2010 models for $8-15k, which after a season of careful use, kept clean will likely resell for a similar price you paid.

The goal would be to cruise on significantly less than the $3k/month, and just have the rest as a cushion for unexpected repairs or things to do/see occasionally. We also want to make sure we have enough to fly back home in an emergency or take care of any medical issues.

Quote:
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Welcome aboard 2B1S! and yes you are crazy, welcome to the club!
Thank you Don, I had a feeling I would fit in with the other "crazies" here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, 2B1S.
Thank you GM! Look forward to learning, and sharing our journey to this goal.

The next 25 months will fly by!
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Old 16-02-2018, 04:48   #8
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailsWithFists View Post
Life is kids, there is nothing "conventional" about it. We cruise with our 4 kids (two born on boats) on far less than you are proposing for your twosome adventure.

It will cost as much as you have. Always has, always will. If you really want to do it, you will figure out a way, no matter how much money you have.
Very cool!

We are saving our butts off, and have been for a few years now.

Trying to keep the funds we accumulate in two separate buckets,

1) an adventure slush fund to pay for this crazy trip
2) longer term retirement/savings that will remain untouched for eventual life back on land and ensuring we aren't eating catfood in old age.
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Old 16-02-2018, 08:40   #9
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

“It looks like there are two types of cruisers in the community. Those that retired and are doing it full time, and those taking a "break" from work and cruising until funds dry up or they have seen all they wanted to see before returning to the working world.”

I keyed in right here on this assumption. There is a third option that most never contemplate......what if the kitty kept growing while you cruised?

What if you returned after 10 years with more in the kitty than you started with and you cruised with minimal limitations and no financial stress?

What if you focused on maximizing income rather than minimizing expenses?

It can be done ;-)

I think you’ve given me a book idea!
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Old 16-02-2018, 08:55   #10
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

Quote:
Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post
I'd say you have good plan. How you get the money I have no idea. I'm just transitioning from RV to my first 36ft monohull. I've been sailing for a few years. You can buy a great RV for 20k and sell it for at least 15k after a year. The other 20k is plenty for a year of rv travel in the U.S. Sell the RV and put that money into a 50k boat. You can sail for a lot less than 3k a month if you anchor out. The plan gets even easier if you just get a Caribbean boat (coastal cruiser) vs an around the world boat.

Nice write up and good luck
Fun thread!

We’ve bought and sold RVs five times for five major trips, MADE money on all but one which was close to break even (of course in my great rationalization it was a win as well if you compared it to renting an RV for the same period of time.)

Mindset.

With RVs value is seasonal and regional (similar to boats but much easier to turn).

For the OP I’m encouraging thinking outside the box. Rather than earning, turning.

Not for all but if one has that eye and is a bit of a calculated risk taker (which is a character trait of anyone who goes to sea willingly) lots of ways to earn significant money by adding value and doing so honorably.

Love this topic
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Old 16-02-2018, 09:11   #11
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
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Old 16-02-2018, 09:17   #12
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

It sounds like you've already thought this out in great detail, and your numbers sound feasible to me. The Europe backpacking with cheap home base sounds awesome.

Only feedback I have is it sounds like you haven't done test runs of any of these things yet (cruising by sail, europe backpacking and RV'ing) and those are a lot of things with some steep learning curves that you're trying to squeeze into a relatively short amount of time.

Without test runs you're just guesstimating - not just the cost, but whether you will actually like it. And after 2 years of traveling, your minds could have changed about sailing. So in my opinion you're actually doing too much planning - stop planning and just start doing some of this awesome stuff on a smaller scale. Ex, before sailing for 3 months I sailed for 1 month, and before that for 1 week, and before that for just a weekend, etc.

I know you're in work + save mode now, but most Americans underutilize their vacation time and don't even know about or consider unpaid personal leave (which some states require by law to be available).

I'm originally from LI too by the way. It's a relatively high cost of living area so good job on the frugal budget.
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Old 16-02-2018, 09:30   #13
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

Hello 2B1S and welcome to the forum.

I think you have a good start to a plan but from someone that did kind of similar let me throw out some comments and advice.

I managed to drop out and go sailing for a couple of years when I was around 25. Then spent another 10 years cruising off and on and bumming around boats. Big difference, I was single so occasionally had some options that wouldn't be open to a couple.

So in no particular order.

How much will you need or how much will it cost?

Common replies are "how long is a piece of string" and "as much as you have to spend". Both have a lot of truth in them. By the way, this is in the top 5 most frequently asked and answered question this forum. Go play with search function and you will have hours of reading on the subject including what some people have spent cruising, what it cost to buy and fix up a boat, how to cruise on a budget, etc, etc, etc. This previous thread Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II) has almost 1400 comments about cruising on a budget.

Preparation.

Sailing a boat in the ocean is a much bigger jump that going from a car to a big RV. Some people start from zero, go sailing and manage to survive the experience but plenty of newbies wreck their boat and a few even don't survive, literally. Be realistic about your skills and the learning curve. This is different for everyone so you'll have to be the judge.
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Old 16-02-2018, 10:08   #14
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

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Old 16-02-2018, 13:38   #15
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Re: Two landlubbers Elope On A Boat, Around The World Honeymoon? Meow

Nothing wrong with your plan. I set to retire in 18 months so let me offer u another way to do this. Here is a way:

1. Buy a used diesel truck. They last freaking forever. Can buy with camper on it or pull something modest behind it.
2. When time comes or simultaneously buy a trailerable boat. You have very low costs.

With this set up u can cruise Sea of Cortez for the season. Pull the boat when the weather heats up and head to Alaska or San Juans. Winter closing in drive your rig down to Miami and head east and south. Hurricane season approaches drive your rig up to Chesapeake Bay and head North. Do the Great Lakes thing. Take side trips with the camper to the glorious places.

IMO... there is no compelling reason to own an expensive boat with unbelievable costs and maintenance issues associated with it. With a boat that is not trailerable you are limited by season and distance by what you can see. With trailerable boats you throw her back on the trailer and go upwind at 65 mph. I literally can sail the most beautiful cruising grounds of North America and Mexico in less than 20 hours of driving. I live in San Francisco.

Take a serious look at Corsair trimarans. Even the F31's can be found in 50-60k range. Their resell value holds. They are much easier to resell then many boats. They are wonderful sailing machines. They are minimalist machines. The F27's can be found all day long on Yachtworld in the 30-40k range.

Done with North America? Either freight everything over to Europe or sale everything here and reset in Europe. Do the canals through Europe. SIl the Scandinavian archepeligo. Take the canals to the Med. do the Med.

All the interesting things to see and do are on the coastlines. Buy a coastal cruiser that can be pulled behind a truck. Switch between boat and camper per itinerary. You will see 3-5X more than a boat moving on her own hull. You will save 2-3x the money in expense. To me it is just logical and full of common sense to do it like this. If I get a real knot in my panties to sail in Tahiti then I will crew for someone or I will get together with other couples and charter for a couple of weeks.

Buying a boat is one thing. Maintaining a boat that is being used hard traversing oceans is another. Boats work hard in crossings. Repairs are bloody experiences for the pocket book. Watch the film called 'Chasing Bubbles.' Excellent documentary and very realistic. He bought his boat for 70k and spent another 100k keeping it going over 3 seasons. He was a free spirit of a man and very interesting.

Many threads here about so many ways to do things. My wife and I are conservative and minimalist by nature. Between truck, camper, and boat we can be out and about all year long and where ever we want to be. I can even pull the boat up to Lake Tahoe for a week. Then be up Lake Ontario 3 days later. Sail there for a couple of weeks. Take the canals down to New York "WITH" the mast sitting on top the boat in Certain sections where I can't get under bridges. Or I can drive up to Maine in day and a half and drop her in. Sail Maine for the month till weather changes. Drive south or sail. Sick of the boat? Camper and explore. Museums, historical sites, Been to Daytona Week? Your options are endless with this setup. Your only limitation? Your own imagination.

I defy anyone to match sailing the Delta, Lake Tahoe, Lake Ontario, the loop or at least part of it, and Maine in one full Spring and Summer. Plus all of the side trips like Yellowstone, Rockies, Mt Rushmore, etc etc etc. I am absolutely convinced that it is a very viable way to do traveling.

Take a few minutes and do yourself s a big favor. Watch this Aussie gent named Simon Carter. He has a trailerable monohull that he sails up in the Whitsundays and Queensland. What is remarkable about his videos? Real life aboard a pocket cruiser. How he cooks with a little bomb propane cooker. His small refridge. Navigation and piloting, fishing, and anchoring. He is very pleasant and humble man. He has given me dozens of ideas of how to do it cheap and it works. You will be missing out on a wealth of information if u neglect to see what this style is all about.

You see a big storm forecast for later in the week? Retrieve truck and load the boat up. Problem with the diesel? Silly, u ain't got one. Your 2000 dollar outboard won't stink of diesel. You can do all the maintenance for a year in 2 hours while parked under a shade tree for a hundred bucks. Change the Out drive lube oil, new engine oil, in line gas filter, change the water/oil seperator filter, check the spark plug, u done baby for the
Year. That 2000 motor will last u 15-20 years if take care of her. Read up on what things happen with diesels. I ain't knocking the engines. But u don't need one in a pocket cruiser. They are expensive and much more labor intensive to maintain. I also hate dragging props through the water. I hate holes in the bottom of my boat to have something go wrong. Exhaust elbows, ropes, fishing lines, sea weed, lobster pots, dinged props, corrosion And electrolysis issues. Heat, diesel fumes, and noise in many boats while motoring or charging up the batteries. It all goes with the in -hull diesel boats.

With trailerables you are minimalist cruisers. Space is tight. Boat is light so affected much more strongly by wave action. I personally like the centerboard boats for shallow water work like creeks, The Keyes, Bahamian banks, and such. My current boat draws 18" with board up. It ain't so easy to cook. I have a compostabke toilet. There literally is no fecal smell on my boat. I have no place to shower. Except in the cockpit with solar shower bags. So, u give up creature comforts on a small boat. The trade offs are tremendous. I could go on for another 10 paragraphs why this is a better modulus for travel then sailing on your own hull from A to B.
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