We have much in common,same hobbies, same plans.
I am retired from an aerospace engineering career. Hobbies : house,boat,car,truck,tractor,and motorbike restoration
. Cruising since mid '70s,live aboard since '89. Left Pacific North West in '98 to circumnavigate with my wife on our custom built 70ft wood ketch
. The boat is now in Malaysia
, and I have been back in the US for a year.
Here are my opinions regarding the lifestyle :
1.All of the above advice in previous posts makes sense.
2. The people you will meet are going to be the best part of your coming adventure. So start by visiting your new friends,Tom and Bobbie in Pensacola
3. Make sure your wife is as enthusiastic as you are. The reality is a lot of time and energy spent in boat yards and not on white sand beaches. Sailing solo is exhilarating and challenging,but inherently dangerous and lonely. Experiences and beautiful vistas and sunrises and sunsets are better shared.
4. Read Earl Heinz's book Sail Before Sunset, in which he describes how he wrote himself a specification and prioritized his cruising boat requirements, then he went out and found a boat to meet the spec. First on the list must be Safety
at sea. If/when things go wrong you have to help yourself, so don't skimp on this one. Many a ship has been lost
for a ha'peth (half penny) of tar. If you write it all down it forces you to consider each feature and the compromises that come with each decision. For example: mono or multihull
, glass , wood, or fero cement hull
house or open cockpit
. The list goes on.
5.Volunteer your assistance to maintain and repair the type or boat you ultimately choose. Giving help to others is part of the cruising tradition. You can learn a lot by working with others who share your dream. ( for example you could return to Malaysia
with me and help me with my restoration
6.How ever much or little money
you have ,that is what it will cost.
7.When you outfit your boat be aware that the US is unique. Most of the rest of the world is 240 volts ac and 50 cycles. This could affect the power tools you take with you. Plumbing
fittings are BSP and not NPS. Most of the world is metric, Australia
is 50/50. Propane
cylinders generally have to be certified in the country where you get them recharged. Even your US designated am fm radio
will scan odd numbered frequencies, abroad they are even numbered.
8.New Zealand is a great country to visit for friendly people and they have a very competent boating
industry. Malaysia has the most tolerant policy towards keeping your boat in their country.
9.Just do it!😀
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