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Old 07-07-2015, 10:43   #1
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Reality check

Hello All,

Quick intro followed by some questions.

My name is Kris, fell in love with sailing on Lake Huron in Ontario Canada. Had a CS22. Kids came in to our lives. No regrets but sold the boat. My job allowed making a investment. Pulled the trigger. And could have 3k Canadian of steady cash flow in a year or two. Now 37 evaluated what is important to my wife and me. We don’t need a 3 bedroom home in the suburbs with two cars and everything else which society dictates as goals. We want to enjoy life to the fullest soon, not wait until we’re 65. Traveled to the Caribbean we love the warm climate. So we’re thinking, why not plan for it? And ask this members here having done this where our plan is flawed is it even realistic.

In a nut shell here is the current plan.

1. Downsize our house in Canada and buy a previously enjoyed 36-40 foot Beneteau or a hunter when the time is right.
2. Have ~3000k (Canadian cash flow)
3. Get really good with operating a boat this size… I’m sure there is a difference between a 22ft and 36ft sailboat. That and a difference between the great lakes and the Ocean. Brush up on electrical, mechanical and diesel engine repairs. Wife was a seamstress at one point and am sure could repair sails. Thinking maybe a part time thing for us.
4. Move to the Caribbean for the winter and visit family and friends back in Canada during the winter season.

Now on to some questions.

1. Is a 36 ft sailboat big enough to lifeaboard for two in the Caribbean?
2. Is out budget realistic? Or do we need to suck it up for a few more years and increase it?
3. Which island would you recommend to start off with? Taking into account budget, a desire to explore, and safety. Where is a good place to meet fellow cruiser? Lear the ins and outs of living on a boat? Cost effectively. Marinas vs sheltered bays.
4. Curious about safety of dinghy on shore? When exploring the islands. (my flip flops went missing in Costa Rica when I went for a swim.)
5. Can a sailboat be left safely unattended during the day when anchored?
6. What do most of the folks do with their boats during the hurricane season?


All answers, advice and guidance you can contribute are greatly appreciated. I mean, everyone had to start somewhere. Where can we and what will it take?

Best,

Kris
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Old 07-07-2015, 18:17   #2
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Re: Reality check

Welcome to the forum.

You will find the your questions have been asked and answered many times here. Browse and also try the search function.


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Old 07-07-2015, 18:24   #3
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Re: Reality check

If that's 3k per month should be plenty. If it's per year better stick with the 22'
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Old 07-07-2015, 18:33   #4
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Re: Reality check

Yes yes, it's per month. Any sudgesstions?

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Old 07-07-2015, 18:34   #5
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Re: Reality check

$3k/mo you probably want to anchor a lot. You'll still plenty of folks.

If you buy in Canada or the US start with the Bahamas, first island you come to.

You mentioned kids in you life but ask about a 36' boat for 2. Did the kids go away? We ( me, wife & 2 kids) would be fine on a 36' boat and actually are planning to go to NZ on one. For a family we like the older boats for the better layout on passage.


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Old 09-07-2015, 12:58   #6
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Re: Reality check

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbetkowski View Post
....................
...........................
4. Curious about safety of dinghy on shore? When exploring the islands. (my flip flops went missing in Costa Rica when I went for a swim.)
5. Can a sailboat be left safely unattended during the day when anchored?
..................
Kris, I'll just take on the questions here related to security and theft. First, there's no question that all your stuff has always been at risk wether you are cruising or storing your stuff in your house and garage.
Second, "Location" makes a huge difference. This is similar to which people live in neighborhoods where they lock there houses and cars and places where it's not often done.

We cruise the US East Coast from Maine to the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. I keep a lock cable for my dinghy and often lock it to a dinghy dock, but not always. I've left my boat unattended with it open and sometimes secured. Over our 43 years of living aboard and cruising we have has two cases of theft. One surf board taken from our cockpit and one bicycle taken from where it was ashore.

Your best anchoring among the "pack" where others are present, though we've always found ourselves safe in isolated locations that are not near any people at all. We often hear of the "high risk" places being where there are local residents, but not common for cruisers.

By the way, I don't think that it's meaningful, but our two cases of theft were in the US and not the Bahamas.
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Old 09-07-2015, 13:39   #7
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Re: Reality check

Hi Kris and welcome to the forum. I am happy to add my comments to your questions but will also suggest you spend a little time searching previous discussions on the forum. Some of your concerns have been discussed in great detail and you could learn a lot more reading one long discussion on a specific issue than I think you will get here.

For example, your question about cruising on $3000/month. Search for the thread about Cruising on $500/month and you will find three previous discussions on low cost cruising. One went on for over 200 pages. I'll post a link for that one here to help you get started.
Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

I'll add some additional comments below.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbetkowski View Post
1. Downsize our house in Canada and buy a previously enjoyed 36-40 foot Beneteau or a hunter when the time is right.

Sound plan. Lots of people do this and seems to work. Some prefer to keep the house or some kind of house as a bailout in case you change you minds about cruising, life changes, family issues, whatever.

2. Have ~3000k (Canadian cash flow)

$3000 per month could be way more than you need or not nearly enough. Read the thread I linked but to summarize. You can spend as much or as little as you want. Tie up at a fancy marina every night in a popular tourist town (like Miami, Newport or one of the exclusive islands in the Caribbean), eat out at a nice restaurant every night with a nice bottle of wine, send all your clothes out to the laundry and generally live fancy then you could spend $10,000/month.

OR, you anchor out instead of staying at the marina, you cook most of your meals on board, do your own laundry, shop at the local market and buy local foods and generally spend carefully and you will have money left over every month.

3. Get really good with operating a boat this size… I’m sure there is a difference between a 22ft and 36ft sailboat. That and a difference between the great lakes and the Ocean. Brush up on electrical, mechanical and diesel engine repairs. Wife was a seamstress at one point and am sure could repair sails. Thinking maybe a part time thing for us.

If you are referring to sail repair as a source of income you should earch for previous threads about making money on board. There are options but also some potential problems, Even small on board businesses could get you in trouble with the local authorities in a foreign country. The local sail repair shop might not appreciate the competition.

4. Move to the Caribbean for the winter and visit family and friends back in Canada during the winter season.

Assume you mean visit during the summer. Will have to plan carefully what to do with the boat during the summer. That is hurricane season and you will need to pick the right locale for that and general security.

Now on to some questions.

1. Is a 36 ft sailboat big enough to lifeaboard for two in the Caribbean?

I also wonder what happened to the kids. Get tired of them and send them packing?

Seriously, this is very much dependent on you and what space you need. I once met two couples living and cruising on a 27' sailboat. At the time they had been in the Caribbean for six months and seemed happy with the arrangement. I do think they must have been very close friends.

On the other hand, I have met couples that that thought anything smaller than 50' was too small.

2. Is out budget realistic? Or do we need to suck it up for a few more years and increase it?

See comments above.

3. Which island would you recommend to start off with? Taking into account budget, a desire to explore, and safety. Where is a good place to meet fellow cruiser? Lear the ins and outs of living on a boat? Cost effectively. Marinas vs sheltered bays.

Just too broad a question. I would start from Florida and work my way south through the Bahamas to the Caribbean, stopping where I liked it.

4. Curious about safety of dinghy on shore? When exploring the islands. (my flip flops went missing in Costa Rica when I went for a swim.)

Every place is different. Like asking how safe is it in the US? Well do you mean in the gang neighborhoods in LA or on the upper east side of Manhattan? You'll have to scope out the scene every different island. Ask your neighbors.

5. Can a sailboat be left safely unattended during the day when anchored?

If you're asking about safety from break-ins or theft then some of the same concerns as the previous question. Depends on where you are. Then you also have to think about safety from weather and the anchor dragging. That comes from experience, care in how and where you anchor, attention to the weather, etc.


6. What do most of the folks do with their boats during the hurricane season?

1. Take them back north.
2. Go to an area outside the hurricane zone.
3, Stay on the boat and move if a hurricane is coming your way.
4, Pay high insurance rates, leave the boat and cross you fingers,



All answers, advice and guidance you can contribute are greatly appreciated. I mean, everyone had to start somewhere. Where can we and what will it take?

Best,

Kris
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Old 09-07-2015, 14:53   #8
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Re: Reality check

Thank you so much. I will hunt down the previous threads for sure. As to the kids, they will be in University studying while mom and dad explore the world a bit. I remember when I was in those years spending time with my folks was not a top priority. I do hope they will fly up to see us when we're cruising. If not we'll see them during the hurricane season as we plan to fly back each year.

Again, Thank you

Kris
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Old 09-07-2015, 16:53   #9
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Re: Reality check

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Originally Posted by kbetkowski View Post
Thank you so much. I will hunt down the previous threads for sure.
That should keep you occupied and entertained for several weeks.

Quote:
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As to the kids, they will be in University studying while mom and dad explore the world a bit.
Congratulations. We heard a lot about empty nest syndrome but when our daughter went away to college we did miss her but it sure did make it easier for us to also explore the world a bit.
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