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Old 03-10-2010, 20:59   #1
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Hey Guys !

I thought I would introduce myself as I am new to the forums here. My name is Paul, and I have recently started to seriously consider buying my own boat and spending a couple of years cruising. For the time being I do not have very much saved up, just about 6k, but that could change rather quickly when I start seriously saving.

I have never owned my own boat, but do have some experience sailing with friends in local lakes and along the coast. I realize that I have a lot to learn before setting out on any kind of serious trip.

I am thinking a 36 footer is about the size that I am looking for. I would like to go ahead and move to the coast, get a loan for a boat, and spend the next couple of years working to pay it off and learning to sail it properly in my off time.

Anyone have any suggestions on well built boats in that size range, how much I should expect to spend on a boat in good shape, how much I should expect to spend on the initial out fitting, and per month operating costs (I have heard about 1000 a month min.) Any suggestions on destinations (leaving from the south Georgia coast), and the amount of experience needed for the trip would be great as well. I would also appreciate it if someone could point me to a good resource for information on what to bring along, navigation (being a pilot I think a have a small leg up here), and other critical skills.

I have already learned a lot from browsing through these forums. Hopefully someday soon I can add my own experiences.
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Old 03-10-2010, 21:08   #2
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Hey Paul!

Welcome aboard. There are a lot of valuable people over here with good insights. You might want to head over to yachtworld.com and get your bearings a bit. Find some boats that you think look good and that appeal to you and ask for some opinions.

If you're a pilot you'll have a leg up already when it comes to task loading and navigation, although unlike flying a good rule in sailing is to never trust your instruments over your eyes. I have a pilot friend and we draw distinctions between the two all the time.

Why not do a circumnavigation? You can go anywhere with your boat. There's a lot of work involved in owning a boat and keeping it ship-shape for big ocean work so no reason to cut yourself short and not visit anything on the map you've ever had the desire to see. In short if you're going to do it, go big!
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Old 03-10-2010, 21:13   #3
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Welcome, assuming that since you are on a "cruising" forum you are interested in using the boat to go places rather than just day-sailing. Standard answer for your situation is to attend a reputable sailing school/power yacht school, whatever your preference. There you will learn to operate and navigate. Then move to bareboat chartering locally at first as you build your resume.
- - And then bareboat charter in different parts of the country and other countries being sure to rent a different boat model each time. You will learning about what different boats are about and how you like them and at the same time getting a taste of the great places boats can take you.
- - Then you are ready to purchase your own boat with the knowledge of what types/models of boats you like and are comfortable in. Old boats cost less to purchase but cost more to re-fit and get them ready to use. New boats are more expensive but you get about a decade of reasonably low maintenance costs. If nothing else you can spend more time enjoying using the boat with a new boat whereas you get to spend more time repairing and learning about an old boat.
- - IMHO, cruising up and down the US east coast a few years is well worth it both for getting hands on experience in your boat and to enjoy the incredible amount of places that a boat can take you. After that, it is off to the Bahamas for a few more years and then the Caribbean and then - the world - if you find that life on a cruising boat fits your lifestyle.
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Old 03-10-2010, 21:24   #4
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Circumnavigation is the ultimate goal, but I not sure how feasible it is in the short term (next couple of years.) I would rather start with a smaller boat and budget and get some experience while I am young, then save for a longer adventure later. I plan on working on my writing during the trip as well, who knows I might actually find success and end up being able to support my sailing without having to have a real job. Then I could just keep going and make it a circumnavigation. I would love to make it to New Zealand, Japan, and Alaska eventually.
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Old 03-10-2010, 21:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilot_wpe View Post
Circumnavigation is the ultimate goal, but I not sure how feasible it is in the short term (next couple of years.) I would rather start with a smaller boat and budget and get some experience while I am young, then save for a longer adventure later. I plan on working on my writing during the trip as well, who knows I might actually find success and end up being able to support my sailing without having to have a real job. Then I could just keep going and make it a circumnavigation. I would love to make it to New Zealand, Japan, and Alaska eventually.
I don't know if you've come across any of the books by the Pardey's, but it might be right up your alley:

Amazon.com: The Cost Conscious Cruiser (9780964603653): Larry Pardey, Lin Pardey: Books

One thing to think about (and they talk about in the first few chapters) is that there are a lot of ways to make money as you're on the go. Take away the boat, and imagine yourself showing up at major cities around the world and needing to make a few bucks. Surely you'd figure something out and if you have marketable skills that are in demand, so much the better.

Good luck either way though!
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Old 24-10-2010, 20:45   #6
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Aloha and welcome aboard!

Good to have you here. I recommend going aboard as many boats as you can to get an idea of what you might want to cruise. Check out the links beside my signature for some information on boats.
kind regards,
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