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Old 22-09-2017, 08:44   #1
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No longer a wannabe!

Almost three years ago to the day, I posted here that I want to become a cruiser. Against long odds, I finally am.

Actually, my wife and I have been full time cruisers since quitting our jobs and moving aboard in May. In June, we sailed from NYC, our home for 8 years, to Norfolk, VA where we dipped into the ICW down to Beaufort, NC. (As an aside, that NYC to Norfolk trip took two nights; our first over-nighter ever.) And here, at Bock Marine, is where Carpe Ventum sits for hurricane season. We, ourselves, have spent the months in Brazil, with my wife's family.

Come October, we'll be heading back to our home to finish the East Coast part of the trip. Then we're off to the Caribbean. We are planning on a clockwise circumnavigation of the Caribbean, with due regard to the devastation wrought by Irma and Maria. This isn't a retirement. After all, I'm 31 and my wife is 29. We eventually (two years maybe?) need to get back to land, pick up with work, and start a family.

There have been countless folks on this forum that passed on knowledge and inspiration. I don't want to list people by name out of fear of forgetting someone, but the regular posters here are really something else. I knew pretty much nothing about sailing or sailboats before buying Carpe Ventum and now I know enough to help others with their problems. And I'm getting pretty good at sailing her.

One of the ways I plan on giving back to the community, and specifically those looking to become cruisers, is to be another data point. I'm an accountant by trade, so I naturally kept track of every dollar spent. Over the next few posts, I'll go into some detail at the costs it took to get me here and the reasoning why I purchased what I did.

I'll also start to post monthly spending reports as it seems folks like what Sailorboy1 has been doing. It should be interesting to compare because Sailorboy1 and I approach cruising a little differently. Namely, our budget is $2k a month as compared to his $3k.

Cheers!
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Old 22-09-2017, 08:48   #2
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

congrats!
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Old 22-09-2017, 08:48   #3
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Congratulations Amigo....
It's great to see these stories because it gives the Wannabes and Dreamers incentive that YES you can make it! We were in your $2000/Mo budget range so it will be great to see how you pull it off!

Cheers and Enjoy.....you made it!
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Old 22-09-2017, 08:59   #4
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Congrats!
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Old 22-09-2017, 09:34   #5
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Congratulations on making your dream a reality.

We're taking our boat south in October as well, maybe we'll cross paths.
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Old 22-09-2017, 09:40   #6
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

That's just wonderful.
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Old 22-09-2017, 09:46   #7
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Congratulations…. Looking forward to you post on the budget! Thanks in advance….
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Old 22-09-2017, 09:49   #8
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Nice Stephen! And another New Yorker too!
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Old 22-09-2017, 09:50   #9
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Congrats on having the "reach" to achieve your dream! Looking forward to your future posts.
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Old 22-09-2017, 09:54   #10
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Outstanding. Looking forward to your posts and budget vs reality.
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Old 22-09-2017, 09:58   #11
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

How naive I was at how much work fixing up a boat could possibly be. I use to be a man of many hobbies before the boat. After the boat, I only had one and it really took over my life, to annoyance of my wife. All the hours spent cramming myself into small spots on the boat to install this or that were dwarfed only by the hours spent reading, researching and buying. But I did enjoy most of the process and now know every. single. inch. of Carpe Ventum.

What also stood out to me in that first post were my cost estimates. I said $40k for the boat and $40k for upgrades. I ended up not terribly too far above (ha, who is ever below?). $45k for the boat and $50k for upgrades. (These and all other amounts are in US dollars.)

I installed some luxuries (i.e., watermaker) that I didn't originally have in mind, so that contributes some to the overrun. I also don't think I realized how much could be spent on hoses and their clamps, screws, bolts and nuts, and electric cable and connectors. Included in the $50k are items that are more general maintenance, such as oil changes and bottom paint, rather than "refit" costs. It also includes some $2,600 in tools I have amassed, which should serve me well later in life.

The point being that one can view these as refit costs, or not. Either way, I spent it.

What does the cost not include? Storage, insurance, payments to the USCG, etc. Boat was purchased in cash, so no payments to a bank. It also doesn't include "homey" items that my wife has been purchasing, any food provisioning related items, fishing/spearfishing gear or camera equipment (of which there is plenty).

To have a picture of where I started, the boat itself was in near original condition from 1983. It had (and still has) the original Westerbeke 33, with no hour counter. She starts like a champ, so there is no plan to replace. There are no major structural issues that need to be address. There were a few leaks that have been easily fixed and the sole around the mast has about a square foot of rot (a common issue with Sabres). I have stopped this rot from expanding with a lot of epoxy, but the fix is to replace the entire sole; not something I care to do now.

The wind, log and depth sensors were original. The GPS was 15 years old with an equally old wheel autopilot. It even had a Loran! The only items not original and that did not otherwise need replacing were the standing rigging and sails. Both were purchased by an owner around 2004, but they sold the boat shortly after to someone who just used her as an apartment and hardly sailed. This last owner installed an engine driven SeaFrost in the icebox around 2010.

I'm not saying what I did is the best way, the right way and certainly not the only way. It's just what I did. I realized along the way that one can think and debate for hours on what to buy, but at some point you just need to buy (or not buy) it. Thankfully, thought, I have few regrets.

On to the main point: I broke the costs down into 8 categories, which total to the $50k. In summary, these are:

Plumbing/Head/Galley: $3.1k
Engine: $2.1k
Sailing: $7.1k
Electric System: $7.5k
Electronics: $7.8k
Canvas: $4.0k
General: $3.3k
Other: $8.0k
Tools/Supplies/Books: $5.7k

The following posts will expand on each of these categories.
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Old 22-09-2017, 10:12   #12
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Thanks for the info! I'm in the beginning stages of what I hope to be a 5-year plan. I find myself in "analysis paralysis" often, so it's nice to hear your process. Congratulations! Many happy days of sunsets!
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Old 22-09-2017, 10:29   #13
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Fallingeggs,

You're spending way too much... I get by on less than $1000/month.

Good luck and enjoy!

Ken
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Old 22-09-2017, 11:08   #14
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Congratulations! Looking forward to your posts as we are also going to have a $2,000/month budget when we take off in 11 months and 8 days (but who's counting?).
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Old 22-09-2017, 11:18   #15
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Re: No longer a wannabe!

Congrats, I'm still 2 years till I can follow you so it's nice to read the success stories.
It will be nice to follow you and your budget, so thanks for that as well. But remember to enjoy every moment, that's more important than strict adherence to the budget.
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