A few years ago my wife and I decided that when we retire, we're going to do so on a sailboat and become travelers. So I've spent a fair bit of my spare time in the last few years researching everything I could on sailboats and the liveaboard
life. I've been perusing forums
like this one for a while and recently joined up (to get rid of the ads). So this is my first post and I would like to invite opinions on our plans.
I've been around boats most of my life and we both love boating
. That said, neither of us have very much experience on sailboats. In fact, just about the only real experience we've had was last year in Jamaica
when we discovered the resort had Hobies that we could take out by ourselves. We had the time of our lives and tooted all over the place every day.
Maybe a little more about us. We're nearing retirement
. We hate winter, love summer. Fall and spring are also pretty good, but winter, shoo. So one way or another, we were destined to be snow birds.
We live in Southern Ontario
, not far north of Lake Ontario
. So our sailing, for the first few years, would be just in Ontario
, probably Lake Simcoe and then along the Trent/Severn either to Lake Ontario
or the other way to Georgian Bay (which we love). We'll learn the ropes and practice anchoring
, etc, where it's easy to do so. Then once we retire we'll head
So, much of our traveling will be on the ICW
and then on through the Bahamas
, eventually the rest of the Caribbean
, and then possibly beyond (each year taking it a little further, if we feel like it). But we intend to come back home for the summers as this is where our kids
I don't have a real price
range in mind for a boat. I could say somewhere between $40,000 and $200,000, but it will probably be somewhere in the middle (it will coincide with the sale
of a house and purchase
of a smaller, more rural house, so it's kind of in the air right now). Our monthly budget
, when we're finally living on the boat, will be fairly decent. Probably in the $4000 range, and that will include everything, ie: food
, gas, insurance
We tend toward introvertness (is that a word?) but I have no problem meeting new people and getting out there. But our evenings are often cuddling up in front of a movie
, rather than seeking out some kind of nightlife. Not sure if you needed to know that.
With all that in mind, here are my thoughts regarding our purchase
of a boat:
- I'm 6'0" and I want to stand tall everywhere below decks
A good, roomy bed
- Also, I don't want to have to crawl to get into bed
Adequate draft clearance
- I understand the ICW
and the Bahamas
limit me severely here. I'd like to hear opinions on what this number should be. I've heard anywhere from 4'6" to 6'0".
- I don't want a racer
, just something that moves decently. Is it unreasonable to hope for 7-8kts with a good wind
- Again, I don't know what this should be.
The above things are mandatory and things I can't change once I own my boat. There are a bunch of other things I'd like, including a step or diving
platform at the stern, adequate tankage (which I assume I can change), comfortable/spacious cockpit
, comfortable/spacious cabin
, a real nav station, etc. Also, I'm not big on maintenance
so I'd prefer a newer boat with less wood on deck
A few other items.
I never want to have to worry about how much water
I'm using, where I'll get water
next, or how good that water will be. This is something I would stress mightily over. So I'll be getting a watermaker
. And my plan is to get a boat without a watermaker
so I can buy and install it myself and I know it will be in tip/top condition from day 1, and also understand how it works.
Similarily, I never want to have to worry about how much electricity is left in my batteries, how much power I'm currently consuming, and how I'll recharge them. So I'll have an adequate solar
power system I'm installing. This is an easy one, my business is solar
power. Right now in my house I have a backup system that consists of 2kW of panels
and 28kWh of battery
(FLA) power. (For those that like to deal in amps, that's 233 amp hours at 120V, or 2333 amp hours at 12V). Not to mention another 40 panels
that's pumping power straight into the grid and generating me money
. Sorry, I could go on.
My boat system will be much smaller (but how much? Heh, we shall see).
Well that's a lot for now. Please, I'd appreciate any comments/thoughts/insights on our plans, including any type of boat you think would fit my bill. Thanks in advance.