Just wanted to introduce myself and highlight some plans for what we hope to be a new life.
Neither my wife nor I have ever sailed (well, I was on a sailboat once but donít remember it, b/c it was in collegeÖ). But both she and I are ready for the next phase of our lives and both are beyond excited at the prospect of cruising. First things first we want to learn to sail. After reading through this forum for a while I got some really good ideas. I think weíll hold off on the official ASA
101 and 103 classes
for a little while, but hope to take some classes
with a local boat club as well as a local community college. After that, and hopefully meeting some people who we can sail with (as well as help them with any repairs
, etc. on their boats), weíll probably take some certification
courses. From what Iíve read it makes sense to have some experience under your belt before taking the more expensive 101, 103, etc.
We are relatively young couple at 34 and 31 years of age with one small child and plans for a second (and final) child. In approximately four years we want to head
down the coast and do some cruising in the Caribbean
. About three years ago (prior to the cruising dream) we began paying off all debt (only mortgage debt now, yay!) and saving a pretty good chunk of money
every month. Weíre still doing that and would like to save more to buy a boat outright as well save for the kitty over the next four years. We moved from DC to the Gaineville area about five years ago and live on ten acres. None of our friends or family
thought two citified, white-collar twenty-somethings would make it on ten acres away from Starbucks, etc.. We have done fine and have learned how to maintain our house, grow our own food
, use chainsaws, power tools, etc. and have done quite a bit of remodeling on our own. We try to save money
where prudent by doing things ourselves and being as self-sufficient as is feasible.
Between the sale
of our house and the money we will have saved and will save we plan to have enough for 80-140k (yes, I realize that is a huge range; see below) boat and be able to cruise
for several years due to some passive income
weíll have that is as close to guaranteed as you can get (i.e. not equities, etc.). We are also looking for ways that we can make money either while weíre cruising or by coming home for a few months a year, such as AC/refrigeration courses for me and massage therapy school
for my wife.
At this point, and I realize some of you may laugh at this because Iíve only been on one sailboat my in life, we are thinking of 35-40 foot Cat. This is getting way ahead of ourselves of course, but Iím just laying out our thoughts now, so that all of you can just see what Iím thinking and can offer any advice you think is warranted. I hope that weíll be able to buy a solid monohull
for 80-90k or a solid Cat for 130-40k that wonít need too much refitting. Obviously, if we went the monhull route
, we could bump that figure up some and still leave us more in the kitty for cruising.
For now, we are reading books
, magazines and going through this forum (which is unbelievably well-maintained and informative) and keeping our eyes on the prize.
I know this dream may seem naÔve to many, b/c we donít have sailing experience, but I can say nothing to convince anyone that this dream is real. I can only do it. I know my wife and I know myself. We arenít whimsical and this type of lifestyle has been building in us for years. That we are now starting to plan for it is exciting, and thatís an understatement.
If any of you have any insight on the above Iíd be extremely grateful. If you know of anyone in the Gainesville or Jax/St. Augustine areas who you think I could contact about helping them on their boat either with repairs
or just as a crew or whatever, thatíd be great too.
I apologize for the novel-length first post.