Hi Shep34 and welcome to CF.
I may be in somewhat of a similar situation. I'm 55, single, and have been living here in Egypt
for most of the past 19 years. I have finally decided to call it quits in this country and return to the States permanently.
As I have no living family
I really have no place to return to stateside. From Louisiana, spent most of my Navy
career in Norfolk, Va. and have a few old navy
buddies in Florida
. I have lived aboard boats in the past so I decided that since I didn't know where I was to reside in the States I would buy a sailboat and liveaboard
until I either grew up or figured out where I want to end up. So I have purchased my little 27-foot pocket cruiser
after the boat received good marks across the board from the marine surveyor
and plan to sail around the Chesapeake Bay
and point further north and south for 6-months to a year living on my navy retirement
plus a little extra here and there.
I've done a bit of sailing here in the Red Sea on occassion but not enough to be considered an experienced single-handed sailor. I repair private yachts here in the Red Sea and have owned boats in the past so I have a pretty good idea about what will be required to outfit my new-to-me sailboat and the associated costs.
You asked about fears and failures. Well, I certainly have my fair share of fears...but no failures so far (as I haven't stepped aboard the boat yet). Aside from my own fear of the culture shock that awaits me after not having visited the States in 10 years, my greatest fear is my lack of hands on experience at this point. That will change with time as the miles move beneath the keel
. Another fear is hurricane
season on the East Coast
. Have been through a few hurricanes and have seen the damage they can do. I fear losing the boat, which is my home, and having to start over yet again.
The only successes that I have had so far are that I actually purchased the boat, a plane ticket to the States, and have been given a wheel autopilot
and an AIS
capable VHF radio
from my current
employer as a bonus for the work I've done on his boat to date (Restoring a 1937 27-meter yacht).
So good luck if you decide to jump aboard and take the helm!