I just recently found this forum when I Googled a question about cruising. I'll get to that in a minute. I have been racing
the Cadillac of dinghy's (Lightning's) for the past 10 years in the St. Louis area. I know most of you who know where St Louis is will say . .what do people in the midwest know about sailing. But you might be surprised to know that the fleet of Lightnings I sail with include former National, World and Junior National Champions! These are an incredibly talented group of sailors as far as racing
goes. In landlocked mid-America !!!
Before I started racing My wife and I took the Colgate Learn to Sail course in Captiva, and then Basic Keelboat and Live Aboard courses in the BVI. We have been bareboating for 10 years now and are in our early 50's. I have a dream to do a circumnavigation
before I am 60, but that is another story. (The wife will probably do cameo appearances).
I know this is the M&G forum, and I had a hell of a time just figuring out how to post something here.
But thanks to CapnGeo I have figured this much out.
Let me apologize in advance if the remainder of my post is inappropriate for posting
here on the M&G forum. I am open to any advice in that regard.
Here is what I'd like some advice on, with a little background info:
I am new to this forum, but found it by googleing a cruiser question about a sailing sabbatical. It’s kind of funny
as to what I found out about what a sabbatical even was. Even though a sabbatical might imply a year’s paid absence, I’m thinking of it a little differently. My wife and I have contemplated a bareboat cruise
in the Caribbean
for a month (maybe more) this coming winter. I checked out doing this last winter over the holidays (for a month), but found that the charter
companies love to gouge (at least IMHO) patrons during this time frame. I found their prices ridiculous for monohulls and cats.
Now I’ve found this forum and would love to hear some opinions as to how to handle this situation again, but this time not over the holidays. Perhaps Jan, feb.,mar, apr. for a month perhaps longer. We may end up doing it forever
We’re early 50’s and very healthy, safety
oriented, but green at cruising. I would like to sail a cat, for the comfort, and start at one end of the Caribbean
chain (doesn’t matter). Although we do have a place in the St. Petersburg, FLA area and would be willing to start and/or end there also.
We’ve considered the possibility of buying
, then selling. Chartering. Or trying to find an owner that would be willing to rent their boat for this relatively short time.
The buying/selling option seems risky, time consuming, and potentially a financial fiasco. Especially for the time frame and economy we’re looking at. Yeah, we could probably afford it, but not sure that really makes sense.
Chartering. If we use the Moorings, we can start at one end of the chain and then drop off (for a fee, of course) at some other location. Not sure of another charterer I’d trust, but am interested in anything the forum could add here. Upside is shorter downtimes if breakdown, insured, and customer service
. Downside . . pretty expensive, but less so than buying
Finding someone that is willing to rent their boat. This would certainly be ideal, as I know there are lots of boats that will be sitting at a dock
for this long in this time frame. But in other ways not so ideal. Breakdowns, service
Are there other alternatives here the forum might suggest? After writing this, I come to the conclusion that a charter
is probably the best way to do this (as expensive as it might be). What if I said 6 month sabbatical . . . would that make a difference as to how you might answer these questions?
Thanks in advance for any input anyone might have here. Capt. Vid