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Old 12-09-2016, 18:07   #1
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Dream took a turn: if you were me

Bare with me I have to give a little background history.
I retired from law enforcement about 18 months ago, I have been hoping and planing to liquidate everything and cruise full time. I just sold my car wash last week which was the anchor keeping me on land after I retired. I'm in the process of getting my condo and three rental homes up for sale at this time.

I fell in love with sailing as a teenager in northern MI small cats sunfish etc. As life will sometimes side track us from things we loved as children so is my story. Marriage children all the family responsibilities paying for college, weddings etc a career filled with the most challenging assignments Federal, State, Local task forces,working Narcotics, Violent Crime. All of which filled my time and took me away from sailing. I managed to crew a few times the last two summers on a boat racing on the Great Lakes so I have little real sailing experience just a desire and a dream!

So the plan,,,, I got divoriced a few years ago and have been in a relationship with the most beautiful and intelligent women I've ever known for about Five years. She was down with the plan to cruise full time, so we were looking at boats and checking on ASA schools together. So I sold my car wash and was setting the plan in motion. Now that the Plan/Dream is becoming a reality it just went sideways......

The girl decided she doesn't want to cruise and said she only wants me gone one month of the year. So I just walked from an amazing women and I'm going forward solo. Some may say it's selfish and maybe it is. But I've spent my life raising a family and serving the public I feel I have to do this or will regret it. So this is a new deal and will be doing it alone so I guess I'm looking for a new plan.

If you were me......

1. What boat ? .....
(now solo) was looking at 34-38 ft Budget 30 to 40k with 10 in reserve for equip repairs etc. would like sail ready or close to it. Sailing fla and Caribbean to start.

2. Best place to buy boat been thinking Fla or the Caribbean?

3. Any insight on going solo?
sailing and life style obviously I was planing it differently so any insight here my help. There was a learning curve before but this put a different spin on things.

So I guess this may be a strange qustions to experience sailors this scenario but any insight may smooth out what is proving to be a rocky start.
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Old 12-09-2016, 18:15   #2
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

I wouldn't count on finding someone "out there". Be prepared to go it alone.
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Old 12-09-2016, 19:08   #3
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

About the boat, used is usually a better deal than new; you let the previous owners outfit it, and that saves a lot of money. Also, for a first boat, before you've learned if you even still enjoy sailing, I think it's best to start small and simple, you will find that boats are more expensive than just the purchase price, they all require routine maintenance. If you're mechanically and electrically handy, that will really give you a "leg up."

Usually people become tired of their first boat pretty quickly because they learn stuff they didn't know at first. So the money saved can be applied to the second boat, because you'll know enough to get a better "fit.

It's easy to say you'll solo it, but it is harder than you probably think now, but you might be able to take on crew to help with watch standing. You may find it more aloneness than you want if you're a really sociable guy... One guy who was sorta in your shoes that I know was really keen about sports, and solved that by going to lots of sports bars, where he met people and got to be sociable while in port, and successfully completed a circumnavigation.

If you've just broken up with someone you really care about and whom you used to perceive as wonderful, maybe you need to feel through a lot of stuff you never confronted in yourself. Not necessarily, though, it really depends a whole lot on who you are and how you've handled feelings all your life. If you've been repressing feelings throughout your time as a LEO, that's your pattern, and you should expect that you will have a lot of resistance to investigating it. However, it could change your life in a positive way. Besides, maybe your significant other might like what she sees and decide to be with you.

Good luck, in any event.

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Old 12-09-2016, 19:10   #4
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

Better to find out now about the relationship than later when things would be even more complicated.

I am of the opinion that a boat in the 30-35 foot range is the best and most affordable for single handing.

When I lived in the Caribbean in the 70s and 80s, most cruising boats were in the 32-37 foot range, and people were very happy with their yachts. They were affordable and manageable by a single person.

When I sailed around the world, people had moved up to larger and more expensive yachts in the 40-50 foot range with lots of amenities - many had become floating condominiums.

I favor the smaller size yachts with simpler less expensive systems. They are easier to maintain and sail. 32 feet of sailboat has taken plenty of good people around the world, and it can do the same for you.

I still love my old Westsail 32 that I sailed in the Caribbean.
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Old 12-09-2016, 19:14   #5
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

Here's what I'd do...buy a boat you can handle solo (30-35' is probably good), live on it wherever you are, fix it up the way it requires to cruise the world, day sail it as often as possible so you understand your needs versus wants, challenge yourself to improve as a sailor, bring friends on board to share those evenings back at the dock when it doesn't seem possible there could ever be a more perfect moment...and yet every time out is another perfect moment.

Live to enjoy the day, not the future. But if you don't feel it, it was probably not meant to be and maybe you can still make amends with the ex

Good luck.
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Old 12-09-2016, 19:18   #6
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

Hey Amigo....you did earn this for yourself and there is nothing wrong with that so, first I would get any thoughts of selfishness behind you ASAP. She knew what you were planning but then decided the cruising lifestyle wasn't for her...it's something that happens all the time as Dream moves towards reality. I'm not going to get into the What Boat game...because honestly the boat almost has absolutely nothing to do with your enjoyment...and more often than not the "Right Boat" is just an excuse to never actually GO. So don't get hung up on all the "right boat" search. Get something you can afford and GO. I see "Go Now" boats for sale everywhere, so find one...post a link to it here and let the folks pick it apart so you don't get "Boat Blinded" and miss something major.
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Old 12-09-2016, 19:58   #7
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

Single-handing is tiring, but rewarding at the same time. You can always find crew along the way for more demanding passages. Mexico has good deals on boats if you want to try west coast and warm water. Try along the Sea of Cortez. People sail em down and sometimes don't go back up.

Good on you for moving forward and following your dream.
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Old 12-09-2016, 20:04   #8
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

Well, I may not be the typical male response but the way you described your significant other tells me maybe you should talk to her more about it. Like Ann says, she may warm up to it a bit more when she sees it. Maybe you sail somewhere and she joins you there for a time and maybe she would be willing to do that more often than the one month a year. For many people it is really tough to break completely from their land-based loves, friends and comforts. As far as boats, if it were me... there is an old Pearson Vanguard locally, in excellent shape for 13K, it just happens to be a vintage, and a boat I know pretty well, and I feel I'd probably be happy with it for quite a while, not too big, not too small, tough.. but all of this is just me. I am not convinced this is about the boat yet. It is a lot more fun to share the adventures and beautiful sunsets with someone you would describe the way you did.
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Old 12-09-2016, 20:26   #9
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

I just recently completed my own ten year planning and search for the boat and bought a Wauquiez 38. She was almost none of the things I thought I was looking for when I started out ten years ago, but after six months she constantly impresses me. Mind you, I've never been on the open ocean out of sight of land.

Living in the PNW, my first suggestion would be that you are already in a great place to buy a boat. I was considering buying and shipping from the Great Lakes just because the boats are in good shape (I looked at a few there) and I felt there was a good selection. I'd look at a Morgan 382/383/384 and the Niagara 35. Everyone I talked to gave them great reviews and there are a fair number in your neighborhood. Also, maybe a Nor'Sea 27 just because my marina neighbor just bought one from the Great Lakes and shipped it here. He had a circumnavigation and more under his belt and it is his down-size boat to sail the PNW with trips down the Pacific Coast to Mexico. I know nothing about the boat, but he was very big on them and has the experience.

Solo is up to you I guess. If you are like most of the cops I know, you are good on your own for reasonable periods of time, used to learning new things, and thinking under pressure. You didn't ask for advice on the romantic side, so all I'll say is I totally get it.

I'm basically doing what Gamayun suggests right now and really enjoying learning the boat, re-learning all the sailing skills I thought I had learned in 15 years of occasional sailing and US Sailing classes, and focusing on my lowering blood pressure.

Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2016, 20:57   #10
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Well, I may not be the typical male response but the way you described your significant other tells me maybe you should talk to her more about it. Like Ann says, she may warm up to it a bit more when she sees it. Maybe you sail somewhere and she joins you there for a time and maybe she would be willing to do that more often than the one month a year. For many people it is really tough to break completely from their land-based loves, friends and comforts. As far as boats, if it were me... there is an old Pearson Vanguard locally, in excellent shape for 13K, it just happens to be a vintage, and a boat I know pretty well, and I feel I'd probably be happy with it for quite a while, not too big, not too small, tough.. but all of this is just me. I am not convinced this is about the boat yet. It is a lot more fun to share the adventures and beautiful sunsets with someone you would describe the way you did.
Why stop at the Vanguard? Get an Alberg 35 and live in luxury Haha… I jest, but I know a thing or two about those Pearsons, as I did my single-handed trek down to Mex and back in an Ariel. They are tough boats - I smacked a whale at 5 knots. Scared the bejeezus out of me, but only lost a little paint. Could have used more headroom though...

Back to the lady issue… You know, I walked away from a great gal right before shoving off. I knew I wouldn't be fulfilled if I couldn't go and do it my way. She wanted to maybe come and visit here and there, but I was young, poor, and on a mission. So we split ways. Fast forward 15 years and we're married with a toddler + a bun in the oven that's almost ready. We've got a killer boat and a 5 year plan. I can wait, but only because I've already done my adventures. You on the other hand have waited your whole life. Sure, be open and have her meet you, but get after your dreams as well. Compromise, but don't sacrifice everything. Life's for living!
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Old 12-09-2016, 21:13   #11
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

Mark, welcome and thanks for your service.

You can do this solo, and you won't necessarily be alone or lonely. It's a challenge and worth it.

Six years now for me and I did as gamayun describes. My budget was just as yours is stated. A 32 foot boat has worked out perfect for me. Room enough, including standing headroom which was important to me. And easy to handle solo.

Go slow finding a boat. I would seriously consider a respected coastal design, fin with skeg. My experience with full keelers in close quarters handling makes me believe they are not the best choice for your needs. Certainly not for me.

Re gamayun's advice, read it again. Live aboard in a spot where a practice sail is convenient. Go day sailing often, build your skills, fix the boat, etc. When you feel comfortable, take off.

With any luck, you'll be half as happy as me for having accepted the challenge.
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Old 12-09-2016, 21:39   #12
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

Solo is a great way to go
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Old 12-09-2016, 22:24   #13
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

I know it's not what you asked. Reading your story I was thinking if selling up your investment properties is the best thing to do? Not knowing your cash on hand situation or what your investment properties are worth, I would suggest if you can buy the boat without selling up everything then at least consider doing this.

Being a retired Police officer you probably have a good pension. But boats can be expensive. Haul outs, new sails, rigging etc. Insurance each year. Repairs. If you have a good monthly income stream presently from your pension and your real estate investments I personally would keep as much as that income stream in place as possible. Now you can enjoy every port and do land trips etc in comfort.

If you find the sailing isn't for you any longer for one reason or the other your return to land will be easier.

Now this is a wild thought. Perhaps the selling up of everything is what has scared your companion. If you sat down with hear and discussed perhaps other ways you could go about this you may find that financial insecurity in the future has her scared.

I am not saying for one minute to not follow your dreams. There is always more than one way to skin a cat. I mean that figuratively. Please don't go and skin any cats.
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Old 12-09-2016, 23:00   #14
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

I'll ditto 30-35 feet as a great size for single or double handed. A older boat 70's -80's with good hull, rigging and engine. Everything else is just details. I would set aside more then 10K for repairs and upgrades and that assumes you'll do much of the work. Buy a boat for $15-$20k and have $20k for repairs/upgrades. You'll be way ahead that way.

For Florida, a boat with a 5 foot draft will allow better shallow water sailing. 4 feet better still. Though if the perfect boat has a 6 foot draft, I would not turn it down. BTW there are no perfect boats, they are all compromises.

Enjoy the adventure.
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Old 12-09-2016, 23:24   #15
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Re: Dream took a turn: if you were me

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Hey Amigo....you did earn this for yourself and there is nothing wrong with that so, first I would get any thoughts of selfishness behind you ASAP. She knew what you were planning but then decided the cruising lifestyle wasn't for her...it's something that happens all the time as Dream moves towards reality. I'm not going to get into the What Boat game...because honestly the boat almost has absolutely nothing to do with your enjoyment...and more often than not the "Right Boat" is just an excuse to never actually GO. So don't get hung up on all the "right boat" search. Get something you can afford and GO. I see "Go Now" boats for sale everywhere, so find one...post a link to it here and let the folks pick it apart so you don't get "Boat Blinded" and miss something major.
I like this advice.

So far as sailing solo, start asking yourself what if / how do I questions then seek answers. No one can tell you anything without a specific question, because no one knows what you don't know. Also, Google around for solo sailor blogs and videos to get a taste of what, maybe, is in store for you as a single hander.
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