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Old 22-12-2008, 18:49   #1
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Leaving the norm, hoping to live the dream :)

Hey guys,
Figure i would introduce myself a bit here.
My name is Jared I am from Alberta, Canada. Ive been backpacking for the last 4.5 years im 27 now.
ive spent most my time in England and Australia, and did some exploring in Egypt, Malta, Thailand, Hong Kong, Hawaii, and Malaysia.

I come from Edmonton, was raised here. never saw the ocean till i was 21 when I first left my province. after seeing the ocean in Aus i fell in love with it, i spent some time working on a backpacker sail/dive boat in the Whitsundays, Australia. I loved it so much, I actualy dreaded having day OFF work so much so, that i didnt have a work visa and i volenteered on that boat 6 days a week for 5 months!

anyways, all things must come to an end, and i had to come home... in time for winter (minus 30 celius )

I backpacked for all those years cause i didn't know what i wanted to do in life, after working and living on the boats i decided im GOING to buy a boat and sail off to the Caribbean.

well. now i had finally found a goal in life. and im nearly there (i think). i have saved up 15 of the 20k$ that i was hoping would get me started.

I feel pretty silly tho, as i know nothing about the Caribbean, and have limited sailing experiance.

not sure what else to say. or ask... but ill be hunting round these forums for some advice.

thanks for hearing me out guys! best of wishes, and Merry Xmas!

----

ill mention a few of my main questions in here i suppose, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Jared
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Old 22-12-2008, 18:59   #2
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ok, heres a few things on my mind

*i was thinking of a catamaran, for the comfort and stability, as i would like to entertain friends in my home. but are the slip fees a LOT higher? and is the 'survivability' of a cat less than a mono? safety is a concern of mine, as (obviously) i wouldnt want anything happening to my guests...

*I'm hoping to start off with 20K as my friends family bought their 11 meter boat for about 16k (canadian $)... is this wishful thinking? ive looked at many online private sailboat listing, seems i 'should' be able to strike a affordable deal. the extrra 4k will go to my flight, stocking the boat with safety gear/nessesities, and hopefully some dive/fishing gear (i am a diver)

*I'm not a rich man by any means any reccommendations on some islands to go to, that are 'working visa friendly' to us canadians ? Also prefferably a place where you can make a fair living? (most my work background is in anything to do with hospitality) cause im sure i can survive on 4K forever
I originally thought Cayman Islands, and i have a couple friends in Costa Rica. I also hear great things about Belize and St Martin

thanks so much guys, any feedback/advice would be great!
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Old 22-12-2008, 19:35   #3
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Welcome aboard the forum. Dreams are what makes life worth living. But sometimes reality smacks you in the face. It is going to be EXTREMELY difficult to find a seaworthy catamaran for $16k. Once you consider the needed equipment, safety gear and necessities you might get by on a mono hull for another $16k. The average cruising budget is around $1500 to $2000 PER MONTH. you can do it for less but those are the averages. depends on cruising area, how often you need or want to stay in marinas, fuel consumption, you will motor a lot, and a whole bunch of other expenses including port clearance charges, etc. And that is if nothing breaks on the boat and something will. Keep reading, asking questions and doing your research. The dream is very possible but don't get discouraged if it takes a bit longer than expected. Finding work in major cruising areas is not impossible but you can not count on it and the pay is usually very low. many countries will not let you work legally.
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Old 22-12-2008, 19:45   #4
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Thanks for a quick reply althought it wasnt good news
hrmm i woulda figured monthly costs would be cheaper... ive been searching the forums a bit to no avail, does anyone know where i could find a run down of average expenses on a monthly basis? or what i should budget for?
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Old 22-12-2008, 20:00   #5
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The numbers are going to vary wildly but for some from a couple of our latest cruises

Voyages of Sea Trek: 0027. A Look At The Numbers

Voyages of Sea Trek: 27. Cruising On A working Class Budget

I am sure others will jump in with some examples.
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Old 22-12-2008, 20:20   #6
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There is a discussion going on over at the SSCA board on exactly this

SSCA Discussion Board :: View topic - Monthly Planning Expenses.
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Old 22-12-2008, 20:21   #7
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thank you, checking it out now
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Old 22-12-2008, 20:46   #8
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There is a discussion going on over at the **** board on exactly this
Good for them.
I prefer Cruisers Forum
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Old 23-12-2008, 05:46   #9
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Hi, Jared. Welcome to the Forum!

You should be able to get some good advice here. Spend a little time searching the archives using the Google search tool in the pull-down "Search" menu near the top of the page. There's a lot of good info here.

Being a back-packer, you're probably used to getting by on a shoe string. That will help you keep your costs down while cruising. As Chuck noted, finding a seaworthy cat for the amount of money you have to spend will be pretty difficult. Try searching around on http://www.yachtworld.com to see what's out there in your price range, both multi- and mono-hull.

It would be a very good idea to get some sailing experience before you head out for the Caribbean. Learn the basics on a small boat (dinghy or daysailer), and try some coastal sailing in protected waters on a keelboat before heading out for the islands. The good news is that if you can sail here from Canada, you probably won't have any problems sailing up and down the Lesser Antilles--you will have done the hard part! The islands are a day's sail or less from each other, so you can pick and choose when you want to go.
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Old 23-12-2008, 07:58   #10
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Good for them.
I prefer Cruisers Forum
Mark, If you only use one source for ALL of your information no matter how good the source, you will not avail yourself of all of the information out there and not be able to make an informed decision. The SSCA has a lot of people that have been cruising for decades and they also have folks on the board just as we do here that THINK they know everything. I too prefer this forum and have been on board almost since its inception. That does not mean I am not open to other opinions and advise. BTW, many, including our moderators hang out over there.
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Old 24-12-2008, 02:36   #11
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Welcome Jared,

I too hope you achieve your dream and it is possible. We tell people we can't cruise on less than $3,000 per month and that s true for us.
But we do have pals who've gone further and for longer on a budget of $700 per month.

I'm sure you'll cut your cloth to suit your needs - so good luck with finding the boat and moving the plan onward.

Merry Xmas
JOHN
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Old 24-12-2008, 07:14   #12
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Jared,
Just a couple of points that don't seem to have been addressed as yet:

!. Cruising expenses vary wildly with location, and the Caribeen isn't generally an inexpensive area to sail/live in. On the other hand, the Sea pf Cortez can be, and is a delightful cruising ground.

2. You yourself will be the biggest factor in determining your cruising expenses. We know folks who spend lots of bucks and those who spend nearly nothing, cruising and enjoying the same areas. It has a lot to do with your "lifestyle". In Mexico, if you stay outof marinas and touristy restaurants/saloons, and eat what the locals eat, life is pretty inexpensive.

3. So, if you should take the very good advice to learn to sail in dinghies or small keelboats in your own area,one option would be to come to the West coast where there are heaps of boats for sale, buy your dreamboat (!), and proceed down the coast to Baja, which is not a terribly challenging trip. After a season or two there, gaining experience in both cruising and estimating your expense level, you will have the expertise to decide if cintinuing on to the South Pacific isright for you. If not, returning to the States and selling the boat is a reasonable (if not fun) thing to do.

4. My final advice is to take your time, do your homework and don't jump in halfcocked. We've seen far too many broken dreams out here...

Cheers and good luck... it's a great life

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone, Qld Oz
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Old 24-12-2008, 18:31   #13
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Aloha Jared,
You can do it. Just start looking at boats you can afford. You'll scale back your preferences when you know what is affordable for you. If you are single you don't need lots of room so a 26 foot International Folkboat which is seaworthy wherever you want to sail could be your minimum.
good luck,
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Old 24-12-2008, 18:49   #14
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Look for a boat in the place you want to be in..then it dosent have to be this decked out sturdy platform crossing oceans tries to command but more coastal pocket cruiser..sell it when tired of that place and buy another at your new destination...might be a cheap way to do it but your time line would have to be wide open and flexible to make the jumps when opertunity knocks so to speak...and will limit you to larger hubs where boats are plentiful for purchase or sale..Thats the way I' do it if I were young and free...you can get to out of the way far off places on OPB's crewing.

Just my opinion....how I would do it instead of cheeping out on a suto bluewater boat and setting off broke..

There is a ready to go Albin Vega sitting in Fiji looking for a new owner...posted on this board somewhere...fly down, sail it, make offer...done...and it already has crossed oceans dosent mean you have to.

Good luck and Merry Christmas
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Old 24-12-2008, 18:51   #15
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I'm probably repeating a lot that has already been said but I am so enthusiastic that you go out and do this now at your age. I wish I would have had that opportunity. Your budget will probably correlate with what you were spending backpacking although as was earlier stated it is a lot more expensive in the Caribbean. Some of us more mature boaters require a little more of the creature comforts than younger boaters do.You might do well to consider the west coast for cheaper boats and living. Catamarans are roomier for guests but a monohull would work great for a singlehander with occasional guests and you may have more choices in the price range you are looking at. You might check out Craigslist to look for boats also. Please keep us apprised of your progress.
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