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Old 11-08-2009, 14:29   #1
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Instant Sailor, Perhaps?

Good news is I got myself fired!

Couldn't stand the corporate politics and lying anymore and told my plant superintendent what I thought of him and where I thought his soul was heading - and it sure wasn't upwards.

Time for me to begin a new life again and I've been thinking I might be able to sail of into the sunset this time, forever.

I'm 53 years old and I have never been married or had a family - I have a thing for solitude and freedom. I've done a lot of live aboard scuba diving in the southern hemisphere, from Guam down thru the Great Barrier Reef.

I have often day-dreamed of living out of a boat, and drifting from one anchorage to the next, as the whim struck me.

I have a net worth around $250,000 and expect I will begin receiving a very small stipend beginning within the next year. I am seriously considering whether or not to put everything I have into a quick and sturdy cruiser, and sail the rest of my life away.

Trying to figure out if it is actually possible, or just to crazy - even for me? Means I would need to own a vessel I could sail alone, for the rest of my life - no help, no crew, just me?

I have only sailed once, out to Catalina Island and back (30 miles each way), in a 34' wooden hulled sloop.

In other words, I know almost nothing about sailing and I am thinking about going "all in"...sink or swim... and blind as a bat. Just because of how great it has felt to glide thru the cool ocean waters, during my hundreds of scuba dives and because I feel good when I am someplace new and strange.

.... thats all I can think to say...

... p.s... signed up because I am researching cruisers and their cost and I expect I will be looking for a few answers to help me decide what I will be doing with the rest of my life... no drama...
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Old 11-08-2009, 14:43   #2
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Welcome to the Forum, Solo Guppy, glad you're here.

Boy, you're kind of a gambler, aren't you? Please don't put your entire net worth into a vessel - how will you maintain it (and yourself) if you do that? Especially given your lack of experience, there's just no way that you would even have a clue where to start looking for a liveaboard vessel that will fit your lifestyle.

If you're determined to buy a boat and live aboard, that's great, but you can (and should, IMO) start with something modest, affordable, easily single-handed and which will leave you with more than $200,000, easily, to live on and take care of the vessel. In other words, don't invest more than $50,000 in buying and refitting a vessel.

Anyway, it's nice to have you as a member of Cruisers Forum. Take your time reading the wealth of interesting posts here that will probably answer about 99% of your questions. If you can't find what you're looking for, though, don't hesitate to ask - lots of friendly folks here with lots of opinions worth every cent you've paid for them!

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Old 11-08-2009, 15:33   #3
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Welcome,

Your situation is a little out of the main stream because most cruisers your age are couples, but all cruisers are out of the main stream - so you’ll fit right in.

Learning to sail is easy. Learning about cruising is different, so start with that. I recommend a one week crewed charter with a reputable charter company (Caribbean, Bahamas, Med., other places). This is expensive, but worth it. You will get a condensed view of what cruising is like; you can ask questions of an experienced captain whenever they occur to you; you will learn a lot; and you will have a blast.
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Old 11-08-2009, 15:40   #4
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Old 11-08-2009, 16:24   #5
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Trying to figure out if it is actually possible, or just to crazy - even for me?
The exercise of "if it's possible" would be harder than doing it. You need to do it on terms that works with the money and your abilities. It's not about someone else or being like someone else. You can learn more and can do things you never did before with preparation. You'll answer all the questions in your own way.

Lots of information here and it's all free for the reading. Once you can establish the monetary side then you need to work on the skills side of boating. If you desire to be independent then you need to know a lot more than you do now. Wanting something is not doing something. Preparation is the bridge between wanting and being successful. Wanting it enough to be prepared does work.
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Old 11-08-2009, 17:17   #6
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Tao is right on. and Yes you can do it. You dont say which coast you are on, but you dont have to be a salt-in-the-nose world sailor to hop over to the Bahamas and continue on down the islands to Trindad if you feel up to it. For one person, who likes solitude, there are a lot of 31-38 footers that will do the job. Or even smaller. Realistically you can buy a boat soon, get to know her, and be gone about the first of the year. You just need to visualize yourself doing it. Good luck! The other advantage is that while you are gone, especially being single, you will spend little money and your remaining nestegg can grow..
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Old 11-08-2009, 18:40   #7
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Well, SG, what are you waiting for . . . just a plan of action, I suppose. My plan was to purchase a 36 to 40 ft sloop for under $40,000, put another $25,000.00 in her for the necessary upgrades and maintenance a decent 30 year old figerglass boat will need. Spend the next year or so sailing and getting to know her, read, shake down cruises and do exactly as Cheechako recommends and island hop through the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Leave enough $ to come back to or just to reprovsion. So far I've obtained, thus, purchased a 1981 37 Endeavor that had been repowered, albiet, 10 years ago. (I would suggest not buying a boat that hasn't been repowered in 10 years or less or add 25K to your boat refit costs). Emma Grey (does any body really get it, that is, her name????) cost me $24K and I've put in a dripless stuffing box at 2K and she needs another 20K (figure autopilot 5K, new gps, EPIRBS, radar, winldlass, you get the idea). Sailed her one 250 mile round trip along the Northern Gulf Gulf of Mexico coast and can't wait till I get to head South and take the long way home, or maybe find a new home. I have a partner going so I leave the solo guys to give you advice there, but without a doubt it has not only been done but it's bieng done by those sailors who are willing take a bit of risk. Of course, the more you learn the less risk you take. I highly suggest taking the local Sail and Power Squadron classes and exams on basic seamanship, piloting, advanced piloting, celestial navigation. There also classses that are less important but very informative; such as weather, cruising, GPS usage and diesel mechanics. I have learned so much from the folks at the Squadron, as well as all the great information and advice from the sailors on this site. I truly can't imagine cruising without the basic set of skills. I hope this helps from a fellow guppy.
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Old 11-08-2009, 19:10   #8
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I should have just said ditto, Pblias.
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Old 11-08-2009, 19:25   #9
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Emma Grey (does any body really get it, that is, her name????)
Aww . . . that's too easy pjop. An emigre (it's pronounced just like the name of your boat) is a person who flees from his native country to another country, usually under conditions of political duress.

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Old 11-08-2009, 21:15   #10
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I've got a BUCHAN 37 in sausalito. before you take a trial charter somewhere maybe email me; jsoceanlord@yahoo.com. I'm hoping to set sail for Hawaii and could use help.
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Old 11-08-2009, 22:06   #11
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I've got a BUCHAN 37 in sausalito. before you take a trial charter somewhere maybe email me; jsoceanlord@yahoo.com. I'm hoping to set sail for Hawaii and could use help.

Now that's an excellent offer.

Solo Guppy - Get time on water and see if it's really for you.
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Old 11-08-2009, 22:38   #12
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Good luck with you new choosen madness!

Lots of great advice on these boards and you will find yourself spending hour upon hours reading thru the various post. My advice is keep the boat and systems simple to start and upgrade as you gain experience.

When I first started to sail after buying a Cal-29 with absolutely no experince and sailed thru the Florida Keys and still alive to tell about it. Some old sailor gave me this advice when I asked him how long it takes to learn to sail?

" Takes about a week of being on the boat and sailing to learn 90% and the rest of your life to learn the other 10%"

Go for it! Just keep it all in perspective.
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Old 12-08-2009, 20:26   #13
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Go for it ! Buy, crew, charter you pick - but it sounds like the ocean has a hold of you, don't try to fight it cause she always wins
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Old 13-08-2009, 12:33   #14
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Go cheap - GO NOW!! I love that motto :-)

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Old 13-08-2009, 13:20   #15
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Good luck. The Admiral is also my Anchor.
Good song title, it'll be a lament.
For my penny worth I'd add hand held GPS, and a spare if you don't have a fixed one.
Nowadays even my mobile phone will give me a GPS pos'n in a minute.
Add lots of Solar panels to make life simple. or the simple life easy. A 700 watt converter can ddrive a slow cooker or bread maker. What else do you need. Nothing grabs a ladies heart like the smell of a stew as she comes aboard!
Would I give up on the wife for your life? No. but my head goes with you.
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