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Old 06-09-2016, 09:30   #16
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Buy the boat that you are going to live aboard 4 years before you go. Then learn how to sail her and all the "ins" and "outs" of maintaining every inch. Get her up to your spec with battery charging capability and a good bimini with side-covers. Ensure that you have a good set of spares (although the Caribbean is well stocked with chandlers).

Have a look at our preparations at Nadezhda: In the Beginning......
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:31   #17
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Yup, the previous post is right on. Have a bail out plan in case you decide the sailing life in all its scruffiness is not for you. We sailed for many years with extended pit stops back to America(sometimes for several years), leaving the boat at whatever point we got to. The Carib is a great party place so if you like bars and parties, you probably will not tire of it until you're old and gray. Expensive however, very expensive.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:42   #18
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Hi! We had a 5 year countdown and will be sailing away spring 2017! Yes to all the above. We did the charters. We did sailing classes feb in the Bahamas aboard a catamaran. Selling it all now. Hey check out my web page I just started about getting ready. Waveriderslife.com. We are now going to the Annapolis boat show so we can make the final decision on the catamaran. So many new ones out this year! I am so excited!

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Old 06-09-2016, 09:56   #19
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

I don't know what to say, eight years is forever.
I guess I do know what to say, start packing money back as much of it as you can, it's hard, I just did something I shouldn't have myself, the Daughter totaled our old Miata, not her fault, but I shouldn't have replaced the car, but I did.
We leave in nine Months or so, and we could have done without the car.
Try not to have weak moments like that.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:31   #20
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

I'm with Mike O'Reilly on this one. A Catalina 30 or similar, comfortable enough to spend a few weeks on, systems complicated enough to teach you all about holding tanks, bleeding a diesel, changing filters, replacing running rigging, canvas repairs, fiberglass repairs, battery monitoring.....I can go on.

What we found was full time liveabord (which we did for three years but were moving) was ok but really preferred about 3 months cruising followed by time on land followed by RV trips etc. Variety.

As a former broker I witnessed more than once the back side of selling it all, moving onboard and one trip down the ICW and a year living in a marina. This time you have (8 years) great opportunity to do the "hybrid" and have realistic expectations and experience when the time comes to make it a full time life.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:40   #21
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

OTOH - I for one don't feel that sailing all your "stuff" and your house and going cruising for a year as a failure! I think that was a year cruising where you got rid of "baggage" and you get to chose a new place to decide to live at that you probably wouldn't have if that baggage and house were weighing you down. I bet for the most part when you tell the story later people are impressed and jealous.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:59   #22
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

The cost in money and time changing boats is huge.
And sailing a midget boat will, as someone said, be negative to the whole idea.

Do some club racing on other peroples boats, do a course or 2 but most importantly SAVE EVERY DOLLAR! This Christmas give each other a hand written card counting the days to your escape, not some Object d'Art.

Whats important is not the baloney of sailing, but the fight to make your life what you want.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:16   #23
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Scrimp and save as much as you can, but by all means don't go until you are sure you won't have to go back to work. That's the kiss of death.



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Old 06-09-2016, 12:29   #24
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

You are on the right track. Go out and buy Jim Trefethen new book "HOW TO RETIRE ON A SAILBOAT", 10 step plan. Lots of good info.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:30   #25
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Also consider his previous book "THE CRUISING LIFE". More good info.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:34   #26
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

SORRY. Actual title of the book is "SAILING INTO RETIREMENT". Available at Amazon.
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Old 06-09-2016, 13:09   #27
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?



Can you see yourself cleaning the hull in the rain?

If so depending on how turn key you want things and how much money you want to spend buy the boat sooner or later but in the end you will control what you spend up to a point.

We are on an 8 year plan with 6.6 years left. We have a decent boat but not the best boat and pay cash as we go. The good part is we sail her when we want, have a place to stay 3 blocks from the beach and are getting things in order well before retirement.


Check out our blog linked in the sig. (gratuitous plug)
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Old 06-09-2016, 14:23   #28
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Mike really hits the nail on the head about starting now with a boat. I hear this thread constantly about living on a boat after downsizing and semi retiring. There are a lot of skills to learn that will be required to live on a boat and unless you have deep pockets to pay people (if you can find them) to do your maintenance, cost are going to be the major expense in your boating life. You need to learn an awful lot about a boat before you go and it doesn't happen in a few months.
The next closest thing would be charting but that will give you no experience in the maintenance scope. Good Luck.
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Old 06-09-2016, 18:23   #29
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Learn how to fix marine toilets, as much as you can about "living on 12 volts, "get the book of that title from ample power, learn to dive so you can clean your own hull, and do a plumbing course along with that diesel engine course, and buy lots of gaffa tape, JB weld and WD 40.
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Old 06-09-2016, 18:36   #30
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaLaw425 View Post
We are debating buying a small boat now versus waiting. My husband found a small Catalina for $1100, we may buy it. We'll be stuck sailing on small lakes for the next several years, it has a trailer and my car can pull it, and we can store it in our backyard without our neighbors noticing!
Year 1 & 2: Park in your back yard without power and have weekend holidays in it. Learn to look after batteries, plumbing and supplies on board etc

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