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Old 06-01-2013, 13:27   #1
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Looking To Leave Land

Hello All!!

My name is Louisa. My partner Eric and I currently own a restaurant in Upstate NY, and we're looking at selling it in the next year or two, buying a boat, and living a small life for the next few years. At the moment we have a tentative plan, ever evolving as we keep learning more and more, but I would appreciate input on all points from experienced cruisers

We know nothing about sailing, but Eric has quite a bit of random knowledge(he knows fiberglass, woodwork, cabinetry, diesel engines, a little bit of electrical stuff) and we're both quick learners. Our thought at the moment was to try to find a 30-40 foot sailboat(Eric really wants to have the option of moving without an engine if need be) that was structurally sound, with a decent engine, pumps, etc, but maybe with a faulty/missing mast and hopefully an interior in need of a refit(We are more than capable of that task, and we would very much like to use the space in the best way for us, which is not really the same as how we've seen boats be arranged) Then we could move in, and refit the mast, sails, etc later on as we learned more about what we need(He likes junk sails. I haven't looked into rigging so currently have no opinion) We've also considered getting a barge, and eventually fitting it with sails. Don't know. We would like to be able to take the Erie Canal in whatever we end up with. We live in a canal town now, and if we could take the canal it would be much easier to visit our families.

Our idea is to live a small life, making a little money on online jobs(Internet on a boat? Possibly prohibitively expensive? I don't know.), writing, and picking up occasional extra cash if anyone wants the interior of their boat altered/cooking lessons/bread or baked goods/etc(I'm a professional chef) I know there isn't much money to be made off other cruisers, but we have those skills to sell, though we aren't planning on being dependent on money from them. We are planning on living as inexpensively as possible, but have heard varying reports on what "inexpensive" means in terms of living aboard.

We are thinking about going into Canada in the summer, to the Trent-Severn and Rideaux waterways(pretty!) and taking the ICW south in the winter. Mostly living off the hook(we have hermit tendencies, and solar panels in our garage that we would like to install on the boat),

So, what are your thoughts? I would like to know which of our current ideas are reasonable, which are not so reasonable, and which are downright crazy.

Looking forward to getting to know all of you, and to learning lots!

Louisa
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Old 08-01-2013, 22:25   #2
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Re: Looking To Leave Land

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a great plan.
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Old 08-01-2013, 23:20   #3
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Re: Looking To Leave Land

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoolPig View Post
Hello All!!

My name is Louisa. My partner Eric and I currently own a restaurant in Upstate NY, and we're looking at selling it in the next year or two, buying a boat, and living a small life for the next few years. At the moment we have a tentative plan, ever evolving as we keep learning more and more, but I would appreciate input on all points from experienced cruisers
......
So, what are your thoughts? I would like to know which of our current ideas are reasonable, which are not so reasonable, and which are downright crazy.

Looking forward to getting to know all of you, and to learning lots!
Louisa
Hi Louisa
Welcome to CF .

"Crazy" ideas make life interesting and they are often only crazy in the eyes of observers.

Having said that, my three main recommendations are:
- Check out that both you and Eric love spending time in close quarters together on the water (the sailing skills can be learned reasonably easily, but of course the sooner you can start to get some sea time and experience, the better).
- You may not save much (and it may in fact cost you a lot more) refitting a boat.
- Research the junk rig idea thoroughly before considering proceeding with this
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:39   #4
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Re: Looking To Leave Land

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Louisa & Eric.

I'd look at a project boat WITH a mast.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:53   #5
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pirate Re: Looking To Leave Land

Saw the perfect boat for you guys last year being advertised for sale in Oriental, NC. A nice steel Dutch sailing barge..
Seaworthy, comfortable and a beast of an engine for motoring.. don't know if its still for sale, it was in the classifieds at www.towndock.net
For boat hunters some nice boats at good prices pop up from time to time...
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Old 14-01-2013, 16:42   #6
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Re: Looking To Leave Land

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here. I always recommend a basic sailing class so that you get off on the right foot.
kind regards,
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Old 14-01-2013, 20:59   #7
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Re: Looking To Leave Land

Welcome to the forum. Your plans sound very exciting. Getting internet access is definitely possible on a boat, even in Mexico (we're at anchor in a bay now). Here it costs about $30 a month for 3 GB of USB modem access on a month-to-month plan.

There are so many ways you can go with your ideas, and I understand your yearnings, as I was in your shoes for a long time before we took off.

Most cruisers on sailboats motor or motor-sail the majority of the time, so sails aren't really all that important unless you are a die-hard sailor. The barge sounds like a lot of fun.

If you are going to be working odd jobs while cruising, you may not want to have too much of a project boat, or you may find yourself overwhelmed. Even with a boat that doesn't need anything but regular maintenance, cruising can be exhausting.

This is probably heresy on this forum, but you might more effectively fulfill your dreams of freedom, travel and a simple life by getting an RV. They are far cheaper to buy and are simpler and easier to maintain and will leave you with enough energy to do your odd jobs as well as travel and not be exhausted. The world of workcamping is vast...

I say this only because we live both lifestyles, on a newer boat and newer RV that need no upgrades, only maintenance. The biggest difference between the lifestyles is that just maintaining a boat and fixing the things that break takes an easy 20 hours a week, every week, and costs money for replacement parts, whereas a similar age/quality RV takes 3 hours a month and nearly nothing for parts (just soap, wax and oil for washing/waxing/oil changes).

We find that our RV brings us as much fulfillment and just as many thrills as our boat does, but requires much much less effort (and expense) for those moments of joy.

Since you are at the beginning stages of thinking about running off to a new life of fun and adventure, you are in an ideal position to consider all the possibilities...

I'm not knocking living on a boat, as I have lived on sailboats in various places for 8 years of my life and have actively cruised for 3, and it is lots of fun.

I am simply offering our experience as long term full-time travelers to suggest that you are at a great stage of your dreams to consider all possibilities...
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Old 15-01-2013, 04:37   #8
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Re: Looking To Leave Land

If you plan to go Erie Canal > ICW and back on a yearly basis, you might want to find a boat with its mast in a tabernacle, allowing it to fold down. They're kinda rare, but it would save you the time and expense of having to get a boatyard to pull and reinstall your mast each year.
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