Hi all, new Cruisers and Sailing forum members here. We're not just new to the forum, but new to the cruising lifestyle and sailing/boating in general. So.. Hello!
Anyway, my wife and I are planning on retiring by the end of the year and will move to FL to go look for a new home, the kind that floats.
Basically, we are cashing out, buying
a boat and will be living on it, full-time.
The first month we plan to stay in FL, in a nice comfortable slip, while we get used to the boat and life aboard her. We'll take the boat out whenever weather
permits and get some more hands-on experience.
Then we plan on moving on to the Caribbean
since it's got a lot going for it (close, easy passage
, beautiful destinations, relatively safe and cruiser friendly).
Another thing: we're probably very atypical live-aboard cruisers:
-We're both in our early 30s.
-We have NO sailing experience (we're taking a coastal cruising class before we leave for FL so we won't be totally clueless, just nearly so
-We don't actually own a boat (of any kind) right now.
So... By now probably 90% of you are thinking we're insane and are going to get ourselves killed.
Well.... we figure the best way to get experience is to get out there and do it. I've always picked up things fairly quickly so you might say I'm quietly confident.
We've done a lot of looking at online broker's listings ("boat porn!") to get an idea of prices and availability and it looks like there's plenty of inventory out there and some of it is even in our price
Which brings us to the first and most important task, buying
a boat. It's also the one I dread most. I know a good survey
should go a long way towards us not getting stuck with a lemon but there's never any guarantees.
So here comes our question: Given what we are looking for (let me sum that up real quick here):
- multi hull
, 30ft to 40ft
- Somewhat roomy since we'll be live-aboards
- Shallow draft
(this is one of the main reasons we are looking at cats)
- Easy for a single
person to handle since it's just the two of us and one will be sleeping while the other is on watch during passages.
- Blue water
capable. We're expecting to eventually (when we feel ready) make an atlantic crossing
so we can cruise
- Two engines for redundancy as neither of us is a mechanic
, I've rebuilt some bike engines in my time but I'm not kidding myself about how much that will help when it comes to boat engine
repair. This one is not a show-stopper for the right boat, but it's a "very much would like".
So... given those requirement, could you kind folks suggest some brands and types of boats we should be looking at? And (in my opinion) even more important, what to stay away from at all costs?
I was looking at a made-in-China, designed in Australia
boat last night. At first it seemed a dream come true (LOTS
of boat for the money) but a little research
revealed that as usual, if it appears to good to be true, it is, in fact, too good to be true. The boat was not all that great (to say the least).
This got me a little worried as we're both boat shopping
neophytes and we would hate to spend a large amount of money
on something that's not right for our purposes.
So we're hoping for some suggestions on which boats we should be looking at, and also, what to look for in particular when inspecting a boat (should the surveyor
take care of most of this?).
I've got some more questions about the surveying process as well, what forum should I post in concerning that?
This has gotten to be much longer than intended
sorry for rambling on!
I've been lurking for a short while now and it looks like you have a great community going on here with lots of helpful people, I look forward to being a small part of it.
Thanks very much!