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Old 22-02-2011, 18:35   #1
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Where to Begin and other Advice

I have a question about living aboard/extensive cruising. In a year and a half I will begin receiving a pension of $1900.00 per month and two years after that I am eligible for Social Security. I also have roughly $130,000.00 in a retirement account. I want to go cruising in retirement and I was wondering if this will be sufficient assuming I am careful with what I have.

I do not own a boat large enough for extended cruising, so I would have to get one. I currently have a 22 foot trailer sailor. I most likely will begin by cruising the Great Lakes and then go from there. What advice do you have for me and what would be some good boats to look at? I do want to have some money left over after buying the boat!

All advice and suggestions appreciated.
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Old 22-02-2011, 19:26   #2
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

Butterchurn,
I would cruise the lakes or Coastal on your 22ftr begining this summer, you will have a great time at little expense and will learn many skills. By the time you get ready to take on blue water you will know exactly what your needs are. I moved onboard my 25 ftr after I retired from the Army and quickly learned what you need and what you dont need. Not to mention I lived and cruised it with my two teenage boys summer and winter along the coast of Maine ( I stayed within 5 miles of the coast). Another fact is sailing in the ocean has its own nuances such as the tidal ranges, more so up north, less as you near the equator, better to learn about how to deal with this on a 22 ftr that you can push off of your mistakes before you chunk a good portion of your savings and make a costly mistake. Good luck and you can do it!
As for a choice boat for you, that is going to depend on how much you learn, what you feel you need as in space and how you are REALLY going to use it. My personal thoughts is for a single handed boat would be a 35-40 ft sloop. The reasons are: the sails are manageable by one person, there is enough tonnage to bring your supplies/ personals and still make a good turn of speed to get to where you are going. This size also satisfies my needs such as: I NEED a place to sleep, a place to conduct ships business, a place for personal hygene, a place to eat, read or converse (out of the weather), storage for 30 days water (1.5 gal/day per person) and food (dont forget pots and pans), storage for sails, tackle,tools and spares in such a way im not tripping over them. A good wet locker, and dry lockers for clothing, including what I call church clothes. (you never know when you will need to dress to impress). I have upgraded to my present boat that is 34 ft and although its below my own guidlines I couldnt pass this classic up, I gave up 1 ft^3 for a very good boat, besides she makes my heart go pitty-pat.
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Old 23-02-2011, 03:29   #3
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

The two of us live aboard a 34 foot boat. We previously sailed a 23 footer and knew it would not be suitable for our plans. What is the longest time you have spent on your current boat at a time?
Remember that essentially your boat is a cargo carrier...all your stores and then your stuff. lol
What sort of boat do you like? Look for something among those types you already like, then assess the ones you find.
Yes you should manage on that pension amount you mentioned, we cruised for less than that a month. Not being retired we are back to work.
Let us know what you are looking at. There will be lots of opinions. lol
Fair Winds and good hunting
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Old 23-02-2011, 19:40   #4
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

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The two of us live aboard a 34 foot boat. We previously sailed a 23 footer and knew it would not be suitable for our plans. What is the longest time you have spent on your current boat at a time?
Remember that essentially your boat is a cargo carrier...all your stores and then your stuff. lol
What sort of boat do you like? Look for something among those types you already like, then assess the ones you find.
Yes you should manage on that pension amount you mentioned, we cruised for less than that a month. Not being retired we are back to work.
Let us know what you are looking at. There will be lots of opinions. lol
Fair Winds and good hunting
I have not been on my 22 footer for an extended cruise. I am looking at a 30 footer at a minimum. At first I want to spend the summers cruising the Great Lakes and then take off for Florida and the Islands. I don't think I will be crossing oceans but will be cruising for extened periods. I want a true cruising vessel, not a racer.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 23-02-2011, 19:42   #5
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

Thanks CDunc for the advice. Lots of good comments in your reply. I intend to follow much of what you suggest.
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Old 23-02-2011, 19:44   #6
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

Are you sailing solo or with a partner?
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Old 23-02-2011, 19:58   #7
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

As I see it you have plenty of cheese coming in to have a very comfortable time, as long as you don't get carried away with marina life, meals out etc. the boat you will have to decide for yourself. I cruised a 41 foot ketch and, while I did it, I found it a bit big for one. Now I have a 33 foot ketch and it seems just right.
The advice about using what you have to get started is sound but I suspect 22 feet for full time will get small fast. Good luck!
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Old 23-02-2011, 20:04   #8
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

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Are you sailing solo or with a partner?
My wife will be with me and a handicapped daughter. In total there will be three of us.
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Old 23-02-2011, 20:06   #9
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

Hey Foamcore!

I won't do any long term cruising in the 22 footer. Too small.
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Old 23-02-2011, 20:06   #10
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pirate Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

Reckon 40K for the boat... 25K max to get her just so... less would be better.. that'll leave 50% of your 130K... stash it where it'll grow and leave it.. start a boat account for your income and try to keep to $1200/mth.. the rest is your stand by... by the time you need replacement rigging etc it should have grown enough to cope painlessly...
Good luck my man... have a great life..
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Old 23-02-2011, 22:10   #11
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

Butterchurn, the handicapped daughter changes things a bit, you will need to make the boat you choose accomodate her handicap, for instance if its a mobility issue then you may be looking at something more stable, lots of handholds ect. I had wrongfully assumed you were talking about solo sailing your 22 ftr this would not be possible with the crew you have, so please accept my retraction of using the 22ftr for your begining cruise, even over a long weekend it is way to small for your crew.
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Old 26-02-2011, 18:54   #12
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

Quote:
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Butterchurn, the handicapped daughter changes things a bit, you will need to make the boat you choose accomodate her handicap, for instance if its a mobility issue then you may be looking at something more stable, lots of handholds ect. I had wrongfully assumed you were talking about solo sailing your 22 ftr this would not be possible with the crew you have, so please accept my retraction of using the 22ftr for your begining cruise, even over a long weekend it is way to small for your crew.
I was in Orlando and just received this. My daughter is not have a mobility issue, it she has Down Synfrome. She is easy to care for and not a problem at all. She is 30 yrd but the size of a child.
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Old 26-02-2011, 19:34   #13
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

IMHO, 30ft to 40 ft works well for a couple. There is room to move about without too much stepping over each other. The modern designs for cruising boats in this range is slanted toward great interior accommodations. But for 3 people maybe bump that up to 35ft to 42 feet. This affords each person a little more "privacy" inside the cabins and goes a long way towards maintaining domestic peace. Not mention, better storage spaces for "stuff."
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Old 27-02-2011, 08:04   #14
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

As I'm sure you are aware, you can't put the simple answer of boat length to compare accomodations for living aboard, but I would expect that you can find something that suits well in the mid thirties. I noticed that you said that you planned to cruise for extended periods, but this does not mean that you may be cruising for long periods without the opportunity to replentish water, food, fuel, etc. You will likely find that, during your coastal cruisng to Florida and about the Bahamas, you will determine your needed reprovisioning cycle. When we were cruising with our children, now off on their own, we were capable of lasting a month when we were moderately conservative with 180 gallons of water. Although, this was our ability, we always had opportunities for water if we wanted to use more and carry it from shore sources. If you obtain a boat that has the capability to store provisions for a month, then you will have extensive options and you may often decide not to use that space for storage at all times. We extend our 130 gallons of built in water tanks with mobile containers. With three aboard, I believe you could be well suited with 80 gallons of inboard tanks and a flexible addition of 50 gallons for a long passage. You may find that your cruising style will not require more than the 80.
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Old 27-02-2011, 19:10   #15
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Re: Where to Begin and other Advice

Thanks for the advice.
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