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Old 16-01-2013, 23:36   #1
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2 Years

Hello all!

OK, good news! My wife and my boss have both given me blessing for a 2 year sailing hiatus. Now what? I intend to leave in 2 years for a 2 year "milk run" from Miami to New Zealand. Can that be done? We are a family of 4, with two boys, currently 3 and 5. I have extensive sailing experience. (we have had a racing sailboat for 12 years, and have done many bareboat charters) But, I really want to have a once in a lifetime family sailing experience. Before the boys get too old. Before we get too old. I don't want to sit at my desk for the next 20 years dreaming about this. I want to go now (or as soon as the boys are old enough to remember).

The current plan is:
-Hire Robert Perry as a consultant
-Sale current race boat within 1 year
-Buy good cruising boat in about a year and haul to lake nearby in TX
-Practise and prepare boat for cruise
-Haul to Miami in 2 years and do Caribbean semi circle to Canal. (1st year)
-Canal to NZ by various Pacific Islands. (2nd year)
-Dockwise back to San Diego then truck back to TX

I don't want to rush, but have "my timeline".

Thoughts?

PS. I will have many other questions. (some dumb) But, I have never seen them addressed in sailing blogs. Thanks!
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Old 16-01-2013, 23:51   #2
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Re: 2 Years

Why not wait until the kids are old enough to stand a watch? In 2 years, they will only be 5 and 7. They will be additional work for you and the wife at that age, rather than a help. Are you going to take along extra crew to babysit the kids as well as babysit the boat?

If you wait until they are a little older, you will find they will be active participants in the sailing and the standing of watches, rather than just passengers.

We saw a few families come across the Pacific last year with kids who don't do watches and we couldn't understand how they did it. Mum and Dad feed the kids, no washing up duties for the kids, no watches for the kids, just school and video games all day on passage. Some of these are 12 year olds! The parents were almost guilty of negligence in terms of not developing the kids' skills, confidence and abilities in accordance with their age and capacity. Sorry about the drift and minor rant.
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Old 17-01-2013, 00:09   #3
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Re: 2 Years

It would be pushing it way too fast for me on your planned route. For one thing, you'd be able to buy a pretty nice boat for the transportation costs. Probably be money ahead to sell the boat in Oz when you have to return to reality. Why not leave from Texas and cruise the Central American Coast. Leave Panama to the Galapagos as soon as the hurricane season ends, Cruise French Polynesia till their cyclone season ends, head west to the Cooks and Tonga and any points in between. Spend the southern summer in NZ and then sale up to Fiji and West then down to OZ and sell the boat. If the OZ economy doesn't tank, should be able to get a good price for a boat there.

We spent a year in French Polynesia and didn't get west of Moorea.

Not wanting to take food out of Mr Perry's mouth but why do you need his help?? You should know a bit about boats with your racing experience. A cruising boat is just a more comfortable way to sail. Moving the boat to a Lake near your current residence will make it more convenient to work on the boat but it will take a big lake to get much sailing experience. You haven't mentioned your budget but modifying an ex racer might work for you since your sailing an ultra light now. This boat has intrigued me as an example: Palmer Johnson Pedigree IOR racing sailboat. Offshore cruising yacht, diesel in Sailboats | eBay Motors

Good luck with your dream.
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Old 17-01-2013, 00:12   #4
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Re: 2 Years

Well, exactly. I feel that this experience would make the kids accelerate thier knowledge of responsibilities. They would have task and duties. (not night watch) But, would be responsible for some aspects of live on board. What could be better at this age, than one on one time with Mom and Dad? Our 5 year is pretty self suffient, so I would guess that (in two years) the three year old would be also. No plans to bring anyone else at this point. Also, by the time we reach the big legs, (Pacific) the kids would be 6 and 8.

Besides, time is ticking!

Anyone else out there with kids this age?

Thanks!
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Old 17-01-2013, 00:49   #5
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Re: 2 Years

Good suggestions. (keep them coming) Well, I guess in my mind Eastern Caribbean is a more traditional route. (Have done BVI and Grenedines and loved them both) However, I have concerns about Venzuela. Also, I would love to see Rio Dulce. So, have some decisions to make, and if I had enought time, I would do them all.

As far a selling in OZ and Mr. Perry, I would gladly sell in OZ if the price was close to what I would/could get in US less transportation cost. But, from what I've read, that's not the case for US brand boats.

I know race boats and how to make them go fast, but cruise boats with all thier systems, gear, and "comfort" is a world I'm still learning. And since I would most likely be selling the boat at the end of 2 years, $500 worth of reasonably unlimited advice from an expert, seemed like a good investment to make sure I got back as much as possible when I sell the boat. (But, then there is this forum with significant information)

The lake is big, plenty of room to around. It's where the Valiants are built. But, it's still not the ocean.

Yes, the Pacific. I would have to rush through it, and am concerned about pushing departure dates. We have done Raiatea/TaHa and Bora Bora (loved them!) But, would need to stick somewhat closely to our deadline.

The current vessel has 4 ft headroom and a 5 gallon bucket for a head. Personally, I love it, but the wife, not so much. I was thinking something like a Tatoosh 42 would be nice. Fast, comfortable, room for 4, well built, easily handled. Thoughts? Other suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 17-01-2013, 01:12   #6
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Re: 2 Years

Sounds like you'll be wanting to sell the boat in Oz?

If this is the case why not fly to the BVI's and pick up something ex charter that's desirable on Oz (Beneteau Oceanis or Lagoon come to mind but do check with some major Oz brokers). Big saving over mainland prices.

Preparing in the BVI's could save a few months off a very tight timetable.

I'd sell the current boat now, unless it's sale is not a critical part of your plans.
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Old 17-01-2013, 01:49   #7
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Re: 2 Years

GO FOR IT..I,started sailing in my 20's.My Son and I,since he was 4 yr's old has been on board.Myself Wife and Son have made many Bahama trips and at that young age he was very capable on board.Me now in my 60's and him in his 40's still enjoy sailing together when possible and recall with big smiles the adventures past.You sound young and capable being a racer you are a good sailor and safety conscious. I,wish I,had done what you are contemplating.Don't take the adventure out of it by wondering where you will sell or buy the boat and all that goes along with it.Crusing is sailing no matter how many port's you make or miss you'll never see them all in 10 years.My guess will be at the end of 2 years you will have a harder time returning to the work a day world than continuing on.Robert Perry's advice for 500.00 is a giveaway.Tatoosh 42 is a Great Boat.My 2 cent's.
Have a Great time
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Old 17-01-2013, 02:26   #8
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Re: 2 Years

We did a one-year cruise (Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska) when our children were 6, 8 and 12. It had a huge impact on them - far greater than we had anticipated - and it was all for the better. Now, they're all successful adults.

We left California over two years ago and sailed to Mexico, Marquesas, Tuamotus, Society Islands, Suwarrow Island, Samoa (both American and Western), Tonga, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and now we're in Sydney, Australia. It was much too fast. The South Pacific is a rare gem in the world of cruising - we met people who had been cruising it for over 20 years and they still felt as if they had only seen a small part. I know that's not very helpful with your time constraints.

One idea to consider is to buy a boat on the west coast of North America - either the US or Mexico. I personally know quite a few people that have bought well-found cruising boats in Mexico and were able to start their cruising much more quickly - especially if the South Pacific is your destination. Besides, the Sea of Cortez is not only one of our favorite places to cruise but it's a great place to practice off-shore seamanship and learn a new boat. Almost every year you'll find 40 or 50 boats gathering in Banderas Bay before they join the Pacific Puddle Jump - an informal rally to French Polynesia.

We'll look forward to a rendezvous with you and your family in a tropical anchorage somewhere.

Good luck, fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 17-01-2013, 04:56   #9
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Re: 2 Years

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillsrus View Post
PS. I will have many other questions. (some dumb) But, I have never seen them addressed in sailing blogs. Thanks!
Looking forward to some new questions .

Never done the trip you envisage - but my gut says that whilst doable is a bit of a rush. It's not racing and also no extra points gained simply from miles travelled - cruising on boats is as much about the experiance as the sailing stuff, and a lot (most?) of that gained in the places visited. Not quite "It's Thursday it must be Fiji", but........ .

I dunno the weather routing for your trip, but I would think carefully about the current plan, including whether to bother with Oz (what about Europe? - and back!)..........and also to have a Plan B (and C?) drafted should you (or the wife?!) realise during the trip that Plan A not as much fun as hoped for.


Whilst I agree that kids being a bit older would make them more useful as crew - nonetheless IMO not a deal breaker. In any event given your boat shipping plans sounds like you have decent budget to play with and therefore if you need to sign on an extra hand or 2 for certain passages (or it just makes life more pleasant / easier to do so) then should not be a biggie................I would also mention that for kids the joy of boats comes largely from the shore - adventures ashore! New works well, but many things never get old - including simply messing around on the beach (sand, water and mud )........... Sailing along admiring the view and also sitting aboard in the peace and quiet is boring . I know, I once was that child - albeit never in those long distance voyages.
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Old 17-01-2013, 05:06   #10
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Re: 2 Years

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
Sounds like you'll be wanting to sell the boat in Oz?

If this is the case why not fly to the BVI's and pick up something ex charter that's desirable on Oz (Beneteau Oceanis or Lagoon come to mind but do check with some major Oz brokers). Big saving over mainland prices.

Preparing in the BVI's could save a few months off a very tight timetable.

I'd sell the current boat now, unless it's sale is not a critical part of your plans.
Sounds a better plan than shipping.
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Old 18-01-2013, 10:30   #11
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Re: 2 Years

I'm familiar with the creature comforts in an Olson 30, basically none. A cruising boat typically doesn't have a lot more equipment than a well equipped ex racing boat. We are not talking a larger version of the Olson 30. Typically, a cruising boat will have a windlass, chain, larger anchor, SSB radio, Dinghies (Note plural), roller furling and headsails cut for it, refrigeration. Guess what, you may find a race boat with all these things minus the chain or find it at a price cheap enough that it would be easy to add. That's not to say that there is anything wrong with a purpose built cruising boat but there tend to be some good deals on ex race boats.

There are duty issues with selling a foreign built boat in Oz, still it seems to be a surmountable issue. A lot of Aussies are buying boats in the States and sailing them back because boats are so much cheaper here. As others have suggested, contact a broker in Australia that is familiar with the cost of selling a foreign boat there. They should also be able to tell what kind of boat has the fastest turnover potential. Have recently seen US built boats listed in Oz for twice what a similar boat is listed for here. Doubt that that differential is just taxes.

What is your budget for a boat purchase and equipment to be added. That will be the key. Buying an ex charter boat in the Carribean is a viable idea especially if you had unlimited time. Unfortunately, you don't. Your idea of buying the boat a few years before departure and locating it near your home is a good idea. No matter how well equipped a boat is for cruising, you will want to make changes. That takes time. Every month of your sabbatical that you spend prepping a boat for the cruise is one month less cruising time.
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Old 18-01-2013, 11:36   #12
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Re: 2 Years

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My wife and my boss...
I'm just curious if that's two different people, or one and the same?
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Old 18-01-2013, 11:55   #13
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Re: 2 Years

Just a quick caveat.

My opinion is that many boats listed for sale in Australia are well over their eventual selling price.

Sometimes I feel that boats are listed for sale for reasons other than a desire to sell.

Why someone here would pay double the American price for a well used boat is beyond me.
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Old 18-01-2013, 12:03   #14
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Re: 2 Years

What a wonderful plan! I think you guys will have a wonderful time. It's completely doable.

I don't agree with the other folks that your kids are too young. I have friends who sailed with their parents at those ages and feel, twenty and thirty years later, that it had a significant positive impact on their lives. We are about to take our kids (7 and 9) for a second time.

You may be interested in this book: Mermaid - Our Family in Paradise. It's a family that bought a boat for a 1 year plan in the Caribbean. They had a very systematic approach that worked for their tight timeline, and you may be interested in the details of how they put it together.

And, not directly relevant, but I just started reading this book: It's Your Boat Too: A Woman's Guide to Greater Enjoyment on the Water. I think it has relevance for any family, and some of the thoughts could be applied to kids -- to make them equal partners in the adventure and teamwork, as much as they can handle, at least.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:15   #15
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Re: 2 Years

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Go as quickly as you can and put the kids on watches as assistants and messengers of the watch until they can do their own. They can always go down a companion way to fetch a pair of binoculars or get you a drink of water or thermos of coffee no matter what age. Get them involved with everything on the boat. Don't let them become mushrooms with their heads in video games.
kind regards,
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