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Old 25-01-2009, 10:12   #16
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Hoola
Dude, you are in the catbird seat! Go for it. There is no better place in the world than Annapolis to learn about boats. If I were in your situation, I would definitely find my first boat. One that is suitable for living aboard, but could be resold later if you were not into the lifestyle (but you will be). I live aboard a beautiful old boat and work in NYC. I waited much longer than you to make the transition - and it hasn't been easy. The material trappings that have been mentioned by you and others in this thread are indeed limitations. Follow CapnForce!

There are so many boats in your area that could be purchased for a very reasonable price. Find one that needs a bit of TLC, but is in good general condition. You will want to learn her systems, and make the updates, and freshen her yourself. She will not be your only boat. Learn on her. Your will get to study so many different types of boats over the next few years. You will take such good care of her, that selling her will be easy.

You will likely find a mate who has the same interests - so much better than trying to convince someone who isn't as interested in living on a boat.

What an opportunity! Have fun!
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Old 25-01-2009, 10:41   #17
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Should I buy a small house or a condo before buying a liveaboard to establish some equity, and start sailing with a smaller boat? Then a few years down the road I could try renting my home and then upgrade to a liveaboard?
Or should I go ahead and start living aboard now and get aclimated?
Thanks again for the input.

Annapolis is a great place to be! This is probably a buyers market for both residences and boats. If you're comtemplating a purchase. I'd probably start with a condo or townhome. Real estate usually appreciates, boats depreciate. I wouldn't want to be tied to a lawn, leaves, maintainence etc of a house. at 22. I think you can catch plenty of rides on sailboats in the Annapolis area without owning your own boat. Renting or selling a condo is probably a lot easier than selling a boat. I sailed out of Annapolis for 10 years on other peoples boats..while I was between my own vessels. There's always an opportunity to crew and you get to gain experience on a variety of vessels....
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Old 25-01-2009, 12:24   #18
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Hoola -
You are 22. You have just begun. Take it from one who should have done it, didn't do it, and has regretted it ever since -- Stop trying to play both sides of the coin. If you want a shore life with a house, a car, corporate acceptance and advancement then do that. If you want to get on a boat and get out there, then get out there.

This is all just my humble opinion, but here is what I wish someone had told me when I was 22:
The last thing you need is a condo/house/mortgage/credit card debt/car payments/etc, etc, etc. They are all anchors that will keep you land bound. You will turn around in ten years with a wife, kids, etc and always say to yourself "I should have gone when I had the chance; when I had no ties."

Living aboard in a marina is not cruising. If that's what you want to do, that's great. Do it. If what you want to do is get out there, then plan your life to get out there. If you turn around at 25 or 26 and decide you hate it, you still have plenty of time to get back to your life on land, start a career, etc. If you decide you want to cruise forever, you'll find a way.

Learn to sail (a weekend course with ASA will give you what you need to know to make a sailboat go in the direction you want to go . . . then it's a matter of doing it, reading the experts, making mistakes and learning).

If you need to save $$ for a few years, get a little trailer boat and learn about boat handling. Get involved in the local Wednesday night races and sail on as many boats as you can.

Live meagerly. Do not (repeat DO NOT) get into ANY long-term debt. It is the single worst thing you can do. Do you want a nice car or the lifestyle you say you want? Which is more important? If you plan on taking off anytime sooner than 7 - 10 years, owning a house or condo or any real estate is a risky play -- you can't count on being able to make a profit, or selling it when you want to. Better to live in a modest apartment and put as much money into relatively safe investment vehicles (CDs, indexed mutual funds or t-bills) as you can.

Don't get entangled in romantic relationships that do not support your cruising goals. Changing your plans and going with a mate instead of solo is fine, but if you get involved with someone who does no share your goal, you may find yourself faced with a hard choice -- and it's 50:50 you will make the wrong one.

Do not go out and buy a cruising boat unless you are ready to go in the foreseeable future. The money you put into maintaining the boat for years and years before you are ready to go is money down the drain. Spend the time researching the kind of boat you want. When you decide, find the best one you can, outfit it and go.

You will always be able to find excuses to wait one more year.
You will never have a better opportunity in your entire life to get out there than you do right now. If you really want to go, do it now.

DGC
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Old 25-01-2009, 13:18   #19
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Well several suggestions have been made, some of them contradicting. If I were to go out, learn to sail, buy a boat and do it now, how do I pay for it? I am good with my money but have only had a few years to save. By no means could I leave comfortably with what I have now. Any ideas how to maintain a cruisers lifestyle without any prior knowledge of boats? I don't need any extraneous luxuries, but boat maintenance and sustaining at least a meagerly comfortable life takes money. This is the real catch-22 of my situation. I appreciate all of the input everyone.
Does anyone know about real life scenarios or similar situations they have been through themselves? Which of these paths did you choose? Why? Any regrets or unexpected problems?
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Old 25-01-2009, 13:47   #20
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".......how would I pay for it?" ....with the same money that you would use to pay rent or purchase a small house, but it will cost less if you're able to adapt to a 28'-32' boat. When it comes to the worry of loss, there are many approaches to risk management. We keep liability insurance, but I can recover from the loss of my boat's hull value. Of course, having my 1973 ketch registered in hurricane prone Florida means that the insurance company would want 8% of my total value every year! No thanks, I'll squirrel away my own protection. With a wide and patient search I would think you could find an excellent liveaboard sloop around 30' for ca. 10K in today's market. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 25-01-2009, 14:06   #21
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If I were 22 right now, I would:
1 - Make sure I was living in a coastal area with an active sailing community (preferably on the ocean that interests me most)
2 - Become a part of that community by being helpful and generous with my time in exchange for learning and sailing opportunities.
3 - Take classes or otherwise learn about as many systems as I could: diesel mechanics, basic electronics, sail repair, fiberglass and wood rerpair, etc. none of these are difficult at all.
4 - Learn how to tend bar. You can earn a living in any tourist area (and lots of other places) if you know how to mix drinks.
5 - Make an economic plan of savings that would get me out in the simplest of boats as soon as possible.

One thing I would consider if I were 22 right now is finding someone who was already single-handed cruising who was looking for another person to share expenses with for a year or two. I would take my time and find someone with whom I was reasonably certain I could get along with and whose skills as captain I could respect. It would likely take a while, but it might get you out years sooner, and give a fair test of whether or not you liked the life (before investing the years and $$ in setting out yourself).

DGC
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Old 25-01-2009, 14:48   #22
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Hi Hoola,

Well, What is your current living situation? You say that you've just secured a good job, but it is land based. I'm not sure how that leads to a near term cruising life.
It sounds like you have to make a move and are trying to decide where to live...on a boat or in a house...and you can't afford both...as with everything; there's pluses and minuses to each.....You're evaluating them now.

I'm at the end of my land-based career..5 months from retirement...I'll cruise, New England and The Chesapeake in the near term and the minute the market improves, I'll sell my house and move aboard and follow the weather for awhile. I don't want to rent it. But I'll have a steady flow of retirement income. I've had a good land based life and career. I can earn money should the need arise, most anywhere.

But, If I had to do it again now knowing my love for the water. I would have pursued a career driving boats, or working on them and building my credentials..
By the time I had considered the Coast Guard Academy or the Merchant Marine Academy, I had missed the age cutoff by three months...

I've recently seen several ads for scientists onboard NOAA owned vessels and others...

It would seem to me that if you want to live a cruising lifestyle, you'll need to find a way to finance it. So, can you see a way to earn a living while cruising either on your vessel...or the companies? Nothing has to be decided right away, having a good secure job...is a good thing in this economy!

Take your time and weigh all your options.
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Old 25-01-2009, 16:33   #23
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At 22 you are lucky. All the old cootes here (Aussie term for old cootes) are wishing we was your age

22 is a great time to do some racing on yachts. Its the best way, imho, to really hone your sailing skills. Start with whoever will take you and as you learn more keep getting onto more competitive boats. By 22 I had been 2nd in the World Championships on a 3 handed boat Dad was mighty pissed off at me because I was cause celebre at the yacht club and he was backgrounded

Racing can be fun and it doesn’t take too much time. Saturday afternoon is all

If you are looking to a future cruising then you need to start organising the monthly income for when you are not working full time.
Either buy a house you can rent out for a substantial monthly income.
Or get those businesses of yours working in a way you can run them under management or via the internet from anywhere

If you look at, say, US$3,000 per month after tax (in todays terms) you will be able to live a reasonable life on a boat. More is better, less can be managed - it depends on your lifestyle - a single guy will blow more money on booze and chics (girls are an expensive hobbie but somehow necessary).

Then when you have a good sailing season or 2 then you will be in a better position to see how you like it and what sort of boat will tickle your fancy.

As a younger man I would think you would prefer a faster boat like a cruiser/racer instead of a straight cruiser. Straight racers are not what you need! LOL

Further you need to upgrade to a new boat several times in your life - like a car. So plan on a new one every 5 to 10 years.

Fit your lifestyle / finances / experience / desires all into a big tub and mix them around. What pops out only YOU wil be the maker of. And thats surely better than living someone elses dream


Good luck!

Mark
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Old 25-01-2009, 16:39   #24
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..5 months from retirement... .
Clear the oceans!! Tempest forcast! LOL

I'll bet you are countin down every day
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Old 25-01-2009, 16:56   #25
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Mark,

Indeed I am...I'm gitting out while the gitting is good!...

You're safe for the moment...a bit beyond my cruising range...

Keep Melting the Butter...
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Old 25-01-2009, 22:03   #26
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Live meagerly. Do not (repeat DO NOT) get into ANY long-term debt. It is the single worst thing you can do. Do you want a nice car or the lifestyle you say you want? Which is more important? If you plan on taking off anytime sooner than 7 - 10 years, owning a house or condo or any real estate is a risky play -- you can't count on being able to make a profit, or selling it when you want to. Better to live in a modest apartment and put as much money into relatively safe investment vehicles (CDs, indexed mutual funds or t-bills) as you can.
DGC
Agreed! Debt can bring your dreams to a screeching halt. If this is really what you want to do, avoid loans, avoid credit cards. Save. Ignore the notion that you "need" a nice car, nice clothes, etc. People are always talking about what a wise idea it is to buy a house, and theoretically it is, but at this point, if you really want to sail, perhaps a better bet would be to find a cheap rental. In other words - I agree with DavidCG wholeheartedly.

Good luck. I don't see why you shouldn't do this now, when you're healthy, young, and unfettered.

--
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Old 06-02-2009, 18:06   #27
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The first step is deciding to go and I think you're already there!

Read, read and then read some more books on sailing and cruising. There are a whole bunch out there that are fantastic reading and quite informative.

If you don't already know how to sail, go to boat clubs and sign up to crew so you get some experience. Talk to cruisers and sailors and get their stories. You'll get a ton of information and have a lot of fun getting it.

Reasearch, research and then do some more research on boats and what will be good for you and your individual needs. Go to Boat Shows and drool on the boats. Take demo sails on as many as you can to get a feel for them.

Then buy your boat, get rid of your junk and just do it. We did and we had 3 kids and 2 houses.

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Old 10-02-2009, 11:52   #28
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Tempest is right on IMHO, about the research scientist needing a plateform to work from. If you're into the envir-engineering thing, then research the Universities and schools directly associated with NOAA or other reefcheck like entity and offer the use of your (I know you dont have it yet.) boat for reef studies etc. and in exchange for a small donation ($$$) you provide the boat, they provide the project and money to support it and even free help that can assist you and you're off and running (or sailing) with a purpose. At the end of the research project, you can cut loose and continue cruising on your own or slip into another research project..
I'm currently in negotiation with the University of Hawaii and their ocean sciences dept for 2010. Same deal...just a different price and location.
Just my 2c worth, you make the decision and follow your heart.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:11   #29
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Looking back (and reading these posts!) I would say the biggest problem is becoming too enamoured with the boat and the preparation process. It's just a tool! If your plan is cruising, just go. You make due with what you have. There are a lot of great , fun and informational discussions on this board about boat performance, and bells and whistles. Bottom line is you'll have just as much fun either way. Dont overcommit until you've tasted what it's like. Many of us prepare for "sailing around the world" and not done much more than coastal cruising. Leave today, drive to Florida, buy a bargain boat and go to the bahamas for four months. Come back for hurricane season and re-evaluate. My first "offshore" boat was 30 feet had a VHF radio and a Sat Nav that worked about once a week, and a refrige unit in the ice box. (no large alternator, one fuel filter etc.) Sailed from Seattle to the Sea of Cortez and had a great 2 years....
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Old 24-02-2009, 22:16   #30
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The first step, finding a boat.
Then, buy it.
Then, move onto it.
Get there, you'll learn the rest on the way.

That's at least what I did. I'm 22 too.
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