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Old 31-08-2010, 05:52   #1
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A Crazy Dream ?

Hi All

Let me introduce myself, I am a 41 year old male who has recently developed an obsession to sell my house in Auckland New Zealand and buy a yacht with the intention of sailing by myself to visit my sister in San Francisco. I was recently made redundant and thought what the hell do I want to do with myself? I am a grown up and should know what I want to do at this stage of life apparently.

The more I looked at what jobs I had in the past and what I could do in the future the more I have accepted the fact that I need an adventure at this stage in my life rather than another desk job? I have already pencilled a plan with a timeline to set sail on 1st of April 2011 ( Yep April Fools Day would be so appropriate for this crazy dream)

A few minor obstacles stand in my way but they add to the allure and challenge of converting this crazy dream into reality.

In no particular order they are
ü I haven’t sailed since I was 13 in a laser off Waiheke?
ü Therefore I have absolutely no current sailing ability!
ü I don’t have a boat?
ü In the past I have lacked personal discipline in completing tasks
ü I have no fear of anything but my own company!

All of the above can be ticked off and completed or overcome, but not sure if I can within my timeframe of 7 months. I would be really interested on feedback from people as to what they feel are essentials that I require to learn or acquire to be able to confidently realise this dream. My current plan has 3 months allocated for prepping and selling my house along with studying and learning everything I can about sailing from the land. From there I plan to purchase a boat capable of making this voyage and will live on it whilst learning the practical side of sailing and cruising.

Is this all possible in this timeframe and I would welcome any tips or advice that would steer me on the right course to set sail for San Francisco.

I look forward to your responses

Bluedog NZ
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Old 31-08-2010, 16:10   #2
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G'day, mate from the Bay of Islands. Sure it's possible. The sooner you can sell the house and get the boat the better with the timeframe you have outlined. We did it in just under 9 months. If you want to get on with it, you will probably have to take a hit on selling the home, but remember, you're dead a long time! Hope to see you up here, before you clear out. Cheers.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:42   #3
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Hi, go for the dream!!
I'm a Kiwi in Perth, getting set to retire to
" where the anchor touches"
cheers, Emmo
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:30   #4
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If thats what you want to do, go for it! You have alot to do but it can be done. Take your time looking at boats so you get one you will be happy with. See you in SF soon!
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:56   #5
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[/FONT]In the past I have lacked personal discipline in completing tasks[/FONT]
ü I have no fear of anything but my own company!
[SIZE=3]

I wouldn't worry about that the ocean can be very motivational to anyone who slacks and will give you something new to love and fear.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:10   #6
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goferit

Go for it... knowing you'll make some mistakes, so just get some time on the water and hang out with lots of sailors in the meantime. For the most part there aren't absolute answers and there is no one perfect boat -- except for the next one. Crewing on boats, playing around on an inexpensive little boat, taking classes, doing books and videos, learning engine maintenance, signing up for a boat delivery, joining sailing clubs or co-ops are all wonderful things. There is also advice about picking the best "weather window" that minimizes your chances of running into nasty weather and about picking the best route to give you the best chance of helpful winds.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:03   #7
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Hopefully you'll have some equity in the house and some other resources. Other than that issue I think it is a great plan. Once you sell the house, set the date, and go. Picking the right boat is important, and you can get help on that right here.

Good luck.
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Old 05-09-2010, 15:49   #8
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
There are quite a few here on this forum that have started just like what you are planning.
Hope you can make it work.
kind regards,
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Old 05-09-2010, 16:44   #9
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Thanks for your replies i'm still at stage 1 of my plan "prep house for sale" and am excited about my ever developing plan...will be a crazy mix of letting go of the old and learning new over the next few months.. will probably ask for advice once i progress to the boat buying stage

Cheers
Bluedog NZ
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:54   #10
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Taking it slow and easy...

Is it possible to split your want/needs into different groups:-
1) Visiting your sister may be best done by 777. There are good airfares at the moment. To travel by yacht from Auckland to San Francisco could test an experienced sailor.
2) If the boat market in New Zealand is anything like that in Australia you could be paying a lot of money for a not very good boat. Have a browse of boats for sale in Florida and coming out of charter in the Caribbean and compare this with what's available locally.
3) If you're not all that fond of your own company (and I count myself in that group) then buying a yacht to single hand it halfway round the world may not be a fun experience.

I don't know if you've traveled much outside of New Zealand but there is a wonderful wide world out there full of fascinating people. Why not explore some of it before making the major commitment that buying a cruising yacht is.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:36   #11
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To follow on Boracay's comments regarding the boat market how about the following:

1) Sell house and then fly to Florida or Caribbean with your pile of $$
2) Find a good cruising boat for less $$ than in NZ/OZ
3) Get familiar with the boat and cruising in the Caribbean & East Coast of US
4) Sail around to SF through Panama Canal
5) Visit sister
6) Sail back to NZ (now more experience and an easier route) or continue cruising to parts unknown.
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Old 06-09-2010, 16:24   #12
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Thanks Boracay and Doodles

Good advice but looking at using the summer to learn around NZ which has fantastic access to sailing playgrounds and with a little experience you can sail in any direction for quite a while till you find anything remotely resembling civilisation or land (Guess this excludes Australia? Just kidding Doodles J)

With regards to jumping on a plane and flying to visit my sister, I have thought of doing that but I am after an adventure/life experience rather than another holiday. There is something inside me saying it is my time to embark on a new journey and I have looked at many and for some strange reason cruising to the states seems to be the one driving me?

As for 2-3 months of my own company that is also another challenge I want to face, from there I will have no shortage of nieces to make up for the solitude.

From what I have seen on the web the price/size and quality of cruising yachts in New Zealand is comparable to other parts of the world if not cheaper when our dollar is converted into greenbacks. But there is a fair range in all 3 of these areas. Also from my understanding per capita New Zealand has the highest boat ownership in the world so there is no shortage of available boats. Feel free to have a look at

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Motors/Boats-marine/Yachts-sail-boats/Moored-boats/mcat-0001-0348-0031-1269-.htm

I am looking at spending $40-60k for a boat. Would be interested if anyone had any thoughts on some the boats in this range listed? Pros and cons of the various set ups.

I guess further on I will need to get into the nitty gritty of provisioning, budgeting for R&M, marina’s etc. But for now I am concentrating on selling my house, completing land based radio operator courses and a basic skippers course. I have great respect for the power of the sea and certainly won’t leave unless I am confident that I possess the skills required to be competent even though un-experience.

Cheers
Bluedog NZ
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Old 06-09-2010, 18:28   #13
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Your post reminds me of this crazy story in an old Cruising Helmsman Magazine about this bloke coincidentally named Shane. He was longing for his girlfriend and needed to get back from Britain to Australia, so he bought one of those little Bluebird 20’ like boat, a road atlas and sailed.

Apparently he got stuck in this storm on the Mediterranean that sunk freighters and half the fishing fleet. He got looks of pure disbelief when he sailed into a Greek port relatively unscathed. For some reason the article did come with a disclaimer saying the publisher/author neither condoned or recommended Shane’s method of getting a cheap trip home. Maybe 7 mths planning and a GPS might come in handy?

I have to admit Doodles idea sounds good. There were heaps of decent cheap boats for sale in the US when I was looking to buy 12 mths ago. Still at the same time there was this Erickson 30 for sail in NZ well priced that had done the same trip. There also seemed to be a lot of cheap wooden cruising boats in NZ and a vendor only recently sent me an email about this proven Dutch steel boat he had for sale.

In the interim, go out and do a bit of reading about what you really should be looking for in a cruising boat. For a simplistic philosophy I recommend the Pardey’s books http://www.amazon.com/Self-Sufficient-Sailor-Larry-Pardey/dp/0964603675/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1P7E42TNV6GTQ&colid =FIQJ0T68TH4P
Vigor’s “The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat” will also help your sort out what is necessary from the marketing junk.

Hey - might even see you out there someday?
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Old 06-09-2010, 19:16   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
To follow on Boracay's comments regarding the boat market how about the following:

1) Sell house and then fly to Florida or Caribbean with your pile of $$
2) Find a good cruising boat for less $$ than in NZ/OZ
3) Get familiar with the boat and cruising in the Caribbean & East Coast of US
4) Sail around to SF through Panama Canal
5) Visit sister
6) Sail back to NZ (now more experience and an easier route) or continue cruising to parts unknown.
There's a crap load of boats on the west coast. Fly to SF, buy the boat, stay with sis during purchase and fit out. Cruise baha get to the galapagos, launch the pacific.
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Old 06-09-2010, 19:35   #15
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There's a crap load of boats on the west coast. Fly to SF, buy the boat, stay with sis during purchase and fit out. Cruise baha get to the galapagos, launch the pacific.
What I would do, live on the boat for free in the bay and get here ready to go south. Sail the bay, go down to Hafe Moon, back to SF, more work on the boat. Sail to Drakes Bay, back to SF, more work on the boat. When she's ready off to Mexico! Way cool!
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