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Old 05-12-2015, 07:27   #1
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Suggestions welcome

Ok I'm new to the whole sailing thing but I'm planning on retiring and living on a sailboat. I have remodeled several houses and rebuilt cars so I'm thinking my best bet is to get an old sailboat and remodel it exactly how I want it. Want to sail a round the world while living aboard. So what would be my best options for type of boat. And I enjoy scuba diving so I will need a little room for that equipment

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Old 05-12-2015, 08:15   #2
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Re: Suggestions welcome

Suggest you start by reading the hundreds of other requests just like yours on the forum. Get some books, as suggested on here. It would take hundreds of hours of personal discussion to even get to the point where someone could intelligently recommend a specific boat to you. You'll need to get your thoughts together in the background. But good luck. Thousands, including me, started out just the way you are.

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Old 05-12-2015, 08:26   #3
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Re: Suggestions welcome

Welcome to CF.picking the right boat is like picking the right car. Do you like speed, muscle, classic lines, comfort,latest tech, ect. Your best bet is to read everything you can and more importantly get on as many boats as you can. Join a sailing club, or go to a marina and bribe sailors to take you out(beer works well) In the end your opinion on the best boat will be the important one. You just need to get the experience necessary to build that opinion;-)
Learning is the funest part.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:52   #4
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Re: Suggestions welcome

This is the OP's first post.

Welcome aboard, earlhughes.

Your woodworking skills may indeed stand you in good stead, but as others have suggested, you really need some background knowledge about how a boat should be built before you go modifying whatever you buy. Had a guy next to us in a marina that carved the forepeak ribs out of his timber sailboat to create a little more room, thus rendering it unsafe for sea.


Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:10   #5
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Re: Suggestions welcome

No one can tell you what you need to know. You are going to do the research yourself and it's all available in ... remember those.... BOOKS and now online. You need to learn to sail and so find a school and take a learn to sail course and maybe a cruising course, study meteorology... communications... cooking... navigation... after a few years of learning... start looking for a boat... and then a few more years of fitting it out and learning to sail that boat... in 5 or so years your might be ready to give it a go.

Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2015, 13:43   #6
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Re: Suggestions welcome

earlhughes, Welcome to the community. What is your geographical area where you will be beginning your adventure?
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 05-12-2015, 14:06   #7
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Re: Suggestions welcome

I agree with all the above, with a couple of additions. 1. If you have a partner, he/she will have to be enthusiastic too. Singlehanding around the world, or just up and down the coast can be peaceful but not always easy. 2. Yes, find or make friends who own a boat. Don't wait to be invited for a nice afternoon cruise on a sunny day. Offer to wash, wax, clean, rig etc. for spring launch. Even if your friend says "I pay the marina to do that" there is still a spring to do list. With a bit of experience, you may want to do a "bare boat" charter with your more experienced new friends to get the feel for navigating etc. in new waters.

You're looking at a whole new life. Have fun.
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Old 05-12-2015, 16:38   #8
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Re: Suggestions welcome

I live on the Mississippi River but I think I will start my adventure on the south east coast.
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Old 05-12-2015, 20:50   #9
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Re: Suggestions welcome

Many people started out your way, but boats are different that houses. If you're talking wood boats, there's a lot to learn. In my opinion, the worst thing that can happen to a wood boat is a house carpenter. You can't willy nilly move things like bulkheads, tanks and weight in general around without either expert advice or much study. A sailboat is more critical because the mast and rigging stresses that may be shared by things you want to move.
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:03   #10
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Re: Suggestions welcome

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Earl, & Descant.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 10-12-2015, 17:03   #11
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Re: Suggestions welcome

Originally Posted by earlhughes View Post
I live on the Mississippi River but I think I will start my adventure on the south east coast.
I was the fifth generation born in Mississippi, 1938, but somehow had an inherent desire to sail, roam, live aboard and be free. I started reading in high school, everything I could find about sailboats. I will not go one about my wonderful life sailing, but at age 77 there is little I would change.

We retired, (the first time) in 1988 and sailed away on our life's dream and it only got BETTER than we had dreamed.

So, go for it!

First define a few things:
-What do you want the boat to do for you?
-How much $$ do you have to spend?
-Is your mate interested and willing?
-If you don't have mucho dinero, do you have skills?
-+++ More ???

If you ever get near Pensacola, FL send me a PM and come visit and talk. We have a guest cottage by our house on the bayou and our dock. My wife, Barbara and I enjoy sharing dreams. We are not trying to sell you anything.

Tom & Bobbie on Bayou Chico
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Old 10-12-2015, 18:16   #12
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Re: Suggestions welcome

Do you want to sail or do you want a remodelling project? While it is often possible to liveaboard while remodelling, many projects will make the boat unsuitable for travel. Some changes are either impossible or require restructuring the entire boat to move a wall a couple of inches. The "walls" are actually bulkheads, and in most boats that means that they are providing structural support.
SV Sea Story adventures
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Old 16-01-2016, 16:52   #13
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Re: Suggestions welcome

Hello Earl
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; steel, aluminum, glass , wood, or fero cement hull and deck. Wheel 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 "&#129300
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!😀

Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
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Old 16-01-2016, 21:46   #14
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Re: Suggestions welcome

If you ever get near Pensacola, FL send me a PM and come visit and talk. We have a guest cottage by our house on the bayou and our dock. My wife, Barbara and I enjoy sharing dreams. We are not trying to sell you anything.

Tom & Bobbie on Bayou Chico
If I were in the same hemisphere, I'd walk on fire to go visit Tom and Bobbie!! We haven't shared an anchorage with them for decades, but the memories live on...

Great folks, but I must tell you: some of the stories that Tom tells are not true!

Seriously, an offer like that is pure gold to a new wannabe, so do your best to take him up on it.

good luck with your adventures.


Jim and Ann
s/v Insatiable back in MBTBC marina, waiting for next eye jobs to be done
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