I have been following the forum as a visitor for awhile and decided to join up and put my plans out there. As someone on here suggested, God must be laughing!
I am really not that old, 56, and retired a year ago. I am married with three kids
, two out of college and one who will be a Senior in high school
next year. My wife still works. We are financially secure and as financially conservative as you can be and still enjoy boating
and driving high performance driving events
... I have sailed since I was a kid on the lakes in Indiana and Michigan. My wife and I have taken the Bareboat
Course years ago and have frequently bareboat
chartered in the BVI.
We have always loved sailing, but did not have the time necessary for sailing. Accordingly, we have always had a powerboat. When we were in Miami
, we could go down to the Keys and back in a weekend (or on more than one occasion, the day) Likewise, now we can shoot to Bimini
, over and back, for the day. I have the boat on a lift
behind my house two canals off the ICW
and 10 minutes from the Hillsboro Inlet. Since I am retired, the lack of time to sail is no longer a concern. In theory, I can skipper
the boat to any location and she can meet me there.
My timetable goes something like this; 6 months to 1 year to find a boat. 6 months of prepping the boat. Sailing the boat from So. Florida
to the Bahamas
, BVI and further down the eastern Caribbean
for 3-4 years on short trips. At that point assess how much we still enjoy sailing and then moving onto the boat for longer cruises. My hope is to be able to cruise
the western Caribbean
and eventually take the boat to Europe
for sailing in the Baltic
and the Med. I dont think it is likely that we will live aboard indefinitely, so we will always have a home base in Florida
, maybe not the house we currently live in.
I have always followed sailboats and their development and have read a lot on the subject on perfecting a cruising boat. We sailed a monohull
in sailing school
, but all our charter
time has been on cats, up to 45 feet. Although there is no question that I am the Captain
, my wife is the Admiral and she has one non negotiable requirement. The boat must have AC! I also want to get the boat right the first time, I don't want to trade
up each time our horizon expands.
thinking on boat selection is a used monohull
, 45-55 feet, aluminum hull
with large fuel
capacity. A pilothouse would be nice, no converted ex-race boats. If I could find one that has no topside paint
, I would be thrilled. There are a couple of fiberglass
production boats I would consider though, Amel and Caliber. I want a boat that is comfortable and secure in all reasonable weather
, can be sailed by one person if necessary for short hops. If going offshore
, I would use a professional crew. My wife's definition of comfortable would include hot and cold running fresh water
, functional HVAC
, a good queen or larger mattres, a head
with seperate shower
, and a full compliment of safety gear
including life raft, EPIRBs, stocked Abandon ship bag. Needs to have a dingy and a way to secure the dingy in bad weather
I mentioned diving
as one of our hobbies. I assume that I will need to modify any boat selected for ease of diving. Diving from a dingy sucks, I wont do it. I will add a air compressor
to the boat for our tank fills in remote
locations, and secure storage
arrangements for the dive tanks
. I may have to add a platform to the stern that folds up when not diving. An aft-cockpit boat might make this more practical. We are in the water a lot and need a good way to re-board the boat.
Well that's enough for an intro, I'm sure I will be posting
more as I move forward through the boat selection/modification process.