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Old 16-11-2011, 16:10   #1
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Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

Hi Everyone-

I'm new here so I'd like to first introduce myself and then mine your collective knowledge for answers to my many questions.

I graduated from college in May, I'm a 23 yo male. I begin here because unlike many cruisers, looking for a fun retirement or mid-life change, I'm a young person looking for adventure. As such, my budget is extremely limited, but my work-ethic, ambition and risk tolerance are not.

I'd like to spend 6+ months aboard my own boat, beginning ~1 year from now. Florida seems like a good place to buy a boat: (hopefully) some folks looking to cash in on old investments in need of love they can no longer provide. I'm thinking that I will be accompanied by as many as 3 crew. I would like to make it from Florida to Guyana, S.A. by hurricane season. I'd like to stop in Cuba for a few weeks.

I've sailed since I was a young kid, but only on the lakes of Minnesota. I spent 38 days aboard a 135-foot brigantine during a Sea Semester. I'm not worried about the actual 'sailing' or most of the repair work; I am worried about costs, potential legal issues, engine maintenance, things of this nature.

To end this already lengthy post, here are a few burning questions / genres of questions I need help with:

- I'm hoping to buy a boat and live on it for 6 months for <$10k. Is this possible?

- I've read some general guidelines on buying a boat, but remember my budget is very small. Tips for buying an old boat and making it sea-worthy without dropping a fat wad? Also, 4 people on ~30 ft.?

- I want to spend a little time in Cuba. Again, possible? (Don't read much about it on the forums)

- If I could stop and make some money along the way, I would. I will do (very nearly) anything for money. Advice?

- Most importanatly, general advice: Is this a bad idea? Am I looking for an adventure that isn't feasible or is dangerous? Are there fun times to be had in the Caribbean for the young and poor, or is the crowd mostly old and rich?

Thanks ahead of time for the help!

-T
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Old 16-11-2011, 16:43   #2
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

you can prob spend 10k on a boat to live on or a boat to sail but not a boat to sail (the way you are proposing) and live on.

i personally think 30' is small for a crew of 4 on an extended cruise because there is no way to escape each other. doable with some additional and unnecessary challenges.

ask around some boat yards and marinas and find out when lien sales / auctions are scheduled. a lot of people are forfeiting their boats these days and many just need some TLC.

bit of personal advise...

be flexible and let the idea take it's own shape. dont lock yourself into time frames of boat size / specifics. those kinds of 'i want this or need that' mindsets often lead to stress and frustration and will dampen a great adventure.

you are young... you have time to let the adventure unfold in it's own size and shape,

gl

-steve
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Old 16-11-2011, 17:03   #3
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

T, My wife and I moved aboard a 30' sailboat forty years ago when we were in our mid twenties. We sailed from Maryland to Florida with a total crew of four on our 30' sloop, but soon found that we could do well with just the two of us. There is a path following the islands to Trinidad that will take you south of the hurricane risk. Cuba is a complication, assuming you are a US citizen, that will not move you quicker along this path and presents a clear risk, although I'm sure it offers beautiful cruising. We've continued to live aboard and cruise since buying our first liveaboard boat in november of 1971 and I expect success with this plan is still viable.
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Old 16-11-2011, 17:14   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perepetia
Hi Everyone-

I'm new here so I'd like to first introduce myself and then mine your collective knowledge for answers to my many questions.



- Most importanatly, general advice: Is this a bad idea? Am I looking for an adventure that isn't feasible or is dangerous? Are there fun times to be had in the Caribbean for the young and poor, or is the crowd mostly old and rich?

Thanks ahead of time for the help!

-T
Welcome to CF. You are going to get a lot of mixed advice and probably end up more confused than when you asked. Your biggest advantages are that you are young and you dont "know" this cant be done. For that very reason it can.

A year is a long time. Plenty of time to read a bunch on this forum and make you own opinion of what is feasible. The first step is money. Money is the lubrication for your adventure. Dont worry about the boat right now because about 1000 things have to happen before you get to buying a boat stage. How good are you at saving money? Can you save 1000+ a month? have you done that before? If so great. Get started.

Can you avoid temptation? Get an apartment, get a car, get a girl, get a job, think of the future. Etc. Etc. Etc. The family will think this is a dream and may humor you knowing it wont happen. You finished school , congrats btw, so you have a track record of achievement. However, was it parental money? Your money? Did you work your way through? In other words do you have a track record of overcoming obstacles, naysayers and adversity?

You will be told a million times here that your boat is too small. Rubbish. Do some research and read some books. You dont need a big boat to do the kind of sailing you are talking about and 30 feet is way enough room for 3-4 young people. And if you find just one young person who shares the goal you can halve the boat cost.

A lot of people call this sort of planning a dream. Dreams remain dreams. Convert this into a goal and you will make it. Final point is your biggest advantage. You are young. Save 15 or even 20k so you dont have to work along the way. You go at 25 and it all falls apart before you are 26. Big deal. Start over. Better to be 26 and failed than 50 and never tried.

Go small, go now...
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Old 16-11-2011, 17:45   #5
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

Thought about enlisting in the US Navy???
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Old 16-11-2011, 17:47   #6
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

OK, well the Coast Guard or Merchant Marine.
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Old 16-11-2011, 18:42   #7
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pirate Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perepetia View Post
To end this already lengthy post, here are a few burning questions / genres of questions I need help with:

- I'm hoping to buy a boat and live on it for 6 months for <$10k. Is this possible?
YES... and with 3 others helping with travel expense's its a lot easier
- I've read some general guidelines on buying a boat, but remember my budget is very small. Tips for buying an old boat and making it sea-worthy without dropping a fat wad? Also, 4 people on ~30 ft.?
You want an old 60's, 70's boat with quarter berths and a saloon with good settes... forecabin for stowage... $6K for the boat... $2K for those little things you may need to get like a dinghy... don't look for gadgets.. look for a sound hull, deck, rigging and sails... and a running engine... navigate with HH GPS, Compass and Charts... you don't need the fancy stuff..
The other $2K for your cruising fund...
Welcome to the $500/Mth Club
- I want to spend a little time in Cuba. Again, possible? (Don't read much about it on the forums)
Of course you can... just don't shoot yer mouths of about it before you head out..
- If I could stop and make some money along the way, I would. I will do (very nearly) anything for money. Advice?
Four young guys...?? you could always ask the Nite Clubs along the way if they're interested in 'The Full Monty...'
- Most importanatly, general advice: Is this a bad idea? Am I looking for an adventure that isn't feasible or is dangerous? Are there fun times to be had in the Caribbean for the young and poor, or is the crowd mostly old and rich?
Have you never noticed... the more dangerous something is.. the more fun it is....
One makes one's own fun along the way...
go 'Expecting' and it'll be crap... an Anti Climax...
Poor and rich... there's young and old of both out there...

Thanks ahead of time for the help!

-T
It can be done Dood.... just gotta want it bad enuf...

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Old 17-11-2011, 08:24   #8
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

Thanks for the responses folks.

Ex-Calif, I think you hit it that there's lots of mixed advice on these sorts of things. But, any decision worth making will be difficult.

Seaduction, to be short, no.

CaptForce and boatman61, thanks for telling me pretty much what I wanted to hear! Haha.
I've certainly got my work cut out for me in terms of saving money, but I'm putting away about 800-1000 / month right now. Still, I don't anticipate getting too far beyond on the 10k. Even if I could, that's part of the fun!

I'd still like to hear any specifics folks have on boat and route selection. I'm not sure what to think about the Cuba thing, not looking for trouble but I am looking for new experiences.

What are some safe routes out of Florida? Down to Trinidad and S.A.? Just follow the windward islands?

I like boatman61's take on navigation, using HH, my handheld GPS, a sextant, etc. That's my plan.
Should I invest in a plb or sat phone?

Keep it comin'!
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Old 17-11-2011, 09:08   #9
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pirate Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

Starting at $8K... haggle room...
you can always walk if he won't play...
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...ng_id=5824&url=

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=22624&url=
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Old 17-11-2011, 09:34   #10
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

We had two kids about your age living onboard a 26 foot sailboat in our marina along with a goat and a cat. So I guess in theory anything is possible. 30 feet for four people is going to get real crowded real soon, IMO. You're young - buy the boat, tell your buds they can party with you and crash for the night but they need their own place.
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Old 17-11-2011, 15:31   #11
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perepetia View Post
...........................What are some safe routes out of Florida? Down to Trinidad and S.A.? Just follow the windward islands?......................I like boatman61's take on navigation, using HH, my handheld GPS, a sextant, etc. That's my plan.
Should I invest in a plb or sat phone?
Keep it comin'!
Nobody describes this route better than Bruce Van Zant in his book, A Gentleman's Guide to Passages South or The Thornless Path. Most experinced cruisers agree that the best back up for your GPS is a new one in the box! You don't need a fancy chartplotter. If your GPS just provides Lat & Long and you have paper charts, then your brain can act as sufficient interface! Sextants are fun, but in my mind archaic toys. I like a good pair of binoculars (I like 10x50) and hand held pelorus for bearings. There's great security in having an EPIRB, but I'm not one to favor the sat phone. There are many cruisers in the path sharing weather and a good SSB receiver can give you a lot of weather information.
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Old 20-11-2011, 06:23   #12
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

It has been proven many times that anything is possible with the energy of youth and an open mind. A $100 GPS will get you anywhere in the world. There are lots of good boats in your budget range. As noted ...a 30 footer or a bit bigger will work.

Go for it. It does not get easier later.
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Old 20-11-2011, 06:32   #13
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

Sure, like Phil pointed out, you can find a basic boat for under 10k that would do the job BUT include living expenses and the budget is blown already. Plus the fact you want extra 'crew', you'd idealy want 40ft minimum.
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Old 20-11-2011, 06:40   #14
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

Thirty foot is small for four people, but it can be done.
Ten thousand dollars is not much for a boat, but it can be enough.
Working your way is not easy, but you can do it.

And you sound like just the guy to make your own dreams come true.

Remember the NIKE advert:

All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly.

AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES.


Go for it I say...
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Old 20-11-2011, 07:10   #15
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Re: Liveaboard Adventurer, Needs Sage Wisdom

T,
I live in Key West and work in construction. I see young people from all over the world pass through on the adventure of life. It seems that Americans are the only ones who don't travel the world in their youth. Get the 30fter and strike out. Cuba is great to visit but the problem begins when you return, given time and other Ports of Call who would know if your passport is not stamped? Leave your hailing port off the transom. Life is like sailing, It's all about the voyage not the destination. You can't control the wind but you can adjust your sails. Dave
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