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Old 13-08-2018, 13:29   #1
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Location: Currently in Nevada, but planning to relocate to Florida soon.
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Late (re)start to sailing, but enthusiastic!

I've been lurking on this site for awhile, and finally decided it was time to introduce myself and start participating in the discussions here.

I first started boating on the Chesapeake Bay when I was 6. We would go camping on the boat at the marina on most weekends, and fishing and crabbing in the Bay. At 10, we moved to Ft. Lauderdale. We had a house on a salt water canal, and kept our new boat docked at home. We cruised the Florda coast and the Gulf Stream nearly every weekend. I spent my High School years in Naval Junior ROTC and the Sea Scouts. My retirement goal has always been to buy a live-aboard sailboat and circumnavigate.

I spent 22 years in the Air Force, the last 2 deployed to forward locations for OEF. I retired in 2003, and have spent most of the last 15 years deployed as a DoD contractor supporting combat operations at a dozen different forward locations around the world.

I'm now in my late-50s and approaching real retirement, and have been searching for my dream boat for the last two years. Although I have called or written to sellers of a dozen different boats, I have only traveled to inspect one so far. It was a 94ft. steel hull ketch for sale for a third of its insured value. It had been used as a research vessel by a non-profit organization. They had new equipment being donated, and wanted to simply eliminate their expenses of maintaing such a large boat that was no longer being used. Since it was the first boat I looked at, I was hesitant to make an immediate offer. By the time I had made a decision to take the risk and buy, another prospective buyer had put the boat under contract, and I lost my opportunity. Still kicking myself for that hesitation. But, I learned a lot from the inspection experience, and am still shopping for a similar vessel.

I am aware that if I decide to go with a boat of that size, at least a minimal crew will always be necessary when underway, and I will probably need to hire a captain until I have the competence and experience to manage all the boat operations myself. But, I am still healthy, active, smart enough to learn what is necessary, and humble enough to realize that I have a great deal to learn.

I currently live in Nevada, but I am planning to relocate to Florida later this year. I plan to acquire a boat and begin restoring and refitting while I am learning and still working a regular job. I have already picked up a lot of great information from this forum, and am truly happy to see how supportive and accepting most of you are toward us newbies. My sailing/boating skills are 40 years out of date, so I know I have a lot of catch-up learning to do!
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Old 13-08-2018, 14:20   #2
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Re: Late (re)start to sailing, but enthusiastic!

HI PT.. welcome!

Just wanted to say that my husband just retired from the AF as well, after 23 years. His Last deployment was to Qatar.

He's now working as a contractor at Fort Leavenworth. So, we have a little in common.

We only started sailing 4 years ago. I had decided that I wanted to cruise for retirement, and live aboard. I had to comment on your 94' ketch.. Holy *****!! Seriously. wow.

I'm thinking at that size, you could throw a couple of wings on it, and fly it around the world..

Just in my humble opinion, you may want to reconsider something that big. At that size the maintenance would be completely overwhelming. Also, I'm not sure what the draft on it is, but I would think it would seriously inhibit you entering a LOT of harbors and marinas. Obviously it is your choice, and I would love to see you buy one so that we all could here what is involved in maintaining a boat that big.

But, again.. welcome!!
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Old 13-08-2018, 17:49   #3
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Re: Late (re)start to sailing, but enthusiastic!

Hi Scarlet,

Thanks for your response and opinions! Yes, we probably do have a bit in common. Also, we're both interested in sailing, while living in land-locked States!

As far as the size of the boat I looked at, it was larger than I had originally planned, but I just could not turn down the opportunity to check it out. It was retrofitted with a lot of accessories for their research activities that were just too cool to ignore (like underwater cameras, a "whale watching" boom that extended 40 feet to the side of the boat, satellite Internet, all the most modern radar and electronic navigation equipment, extra fuel and water tanks, extra freezers, one of the cabins had been converted to a sea-going laboratory, and an 8-ton crane mounted aft). There were still berths for 12, plus a large galley and salon, even with all the modifications. The organization suggested that they would love the chance to lease the boat back from me for 2 months out of the year to continue some of their research. Also, there were other opportunities to lease the boat to other organizations and universities. So, it would have had the potential to pay for at least part of the maintenance and operating costs with the income it could produce. Normal maintenance, insurance, and mooring expenses in Key West were running about $3000/month. So, it would not be much different than paying the mortgage on a custom home.

For my first blue-water boat, I am planning for something smaller. I'm thinking around the 35-foot range. This will be my "learner" boat for the next 4-5 years. But, I still want something larger to live on for the long-term. Yes, the draft of that 94-footer was about 9-10 feet, meaning I would be anchoring in harbors in most places instead of mooring. But, I'm fine with that. Also, I am not expecting to single-hand. Mostly, it was a great first experience spending several days inspecting a large boat. I learned a lot, and have adjusted my expectations and strategy for the next boat I look at.

Thanks again for your "welcome"!
PT
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Old 14-08-2018, 03:15   #4
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Re: Late (re)start to sailing, but enthusiastic!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, PT.
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Old 15-08-2018, 15:31   #5
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Re: Late (re)start to sailing, but enthusiastic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT97 View Post
Hi Scarlet,

Normal maintenance, insurance, and mooring expenses in Key West were running about $3000/month. So, it would not be much different than paying the mortgage on a custom home.


PT
One of the great things about cruising is there are people from all backgrounds, including financial. I know people who live aboard for $1000 a month. $3000 a month is 4 times our mortgage... lol. And here we both are.. in the same "boat"..

Can't wait to see your progress and the direction you go in... hope to see you cruising out there.
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Old 15-08-2018, 15:45   #6
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Re: Late (re)start to sailing, but enthusiastic!

Howdy PT97 and Welcome Aboard CF!

You wrote a good introduction post.

I hope you find a way to make your boating dreams come true.

CF has loads of helpful people and lots of information that can help you.

Bon Voyage on the forum, and later on the water!
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