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Old 04-01-2014, 08:05   #16
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Mike and Brenda,

Congratulations on your choice to become Southerners. We retired about a year ago and currently have a house under construction in the Port St. Joe, FL area. We have been going to the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area for about 40 years and love that area as well, although it has become a lot more populated. I'll be sailing in the Gulf waters as well, so maybe we'll meet up and enjoy a cold beverage at some point. Wish you good luck with your move!
Bill and Gayle
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:14   #17
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Thanks for the updates, its always interesting to see a thread like this continued.
We also have a "game plan" to transition through middle-age to old(ish) age while sailing the BC coast and beyond.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:00   #18
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Thanks guys. We hope to meet up with folks like you during our travels and share a sundowner or two.

Wrinklesinoursails.blogspot.com

Mike and Brenda
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Old 20-02-2015, 07:14   #19
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Oh so close! We finally have an accepted offer on our house. We just need to get it all the way through the closing. The appraisal won't be a problem and the buyers are cash ready and pre-approved. All we have to worry about is the house inspection report. Buyers want to close in 3 weeks.

It only took 53 weeks on the market. We were really beginning to lose hope of ever going cruising. Cross your fingers for us.

Mike and Brenda


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Old 02-03-2015, 11:03   #20
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Appraisal went fine. House inspection went great! We close in 10 days and finally get to pursue the cruising life for real. OK, I've wasted enough time. Back to scouring the net for a boat.

Mike


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Old 03-03-2015, 02:22   #21
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Not sure what your cruising plans are but I can tell you our experience. We did not really know if we would like it or not. When bought my boat I was still working and would be for a few years. We got a 40' Jeanneau DS 40 new and with no previous sailing experience outside of some lessons we did get to kinda figure out how to sail her. But I wanted a boat that would sell if we really did not want to do the cruising thing.
Well luckly it did work out. And our goal was the Bahamas and back safely and then up the east coast of the USA. On our 2nd Bahamas we knew what we thought the boat needed in terms of stuff and by now we had owned the boat about 4 years or so. By the way we sold our house, paid off the boat and set sail. So we said if we are going to keep this up the needs X,Y and Z. We spent the bucks and set out. That was a bit ago and now we have been out 8 years and sailed all the Carib, crossed the Atlantic and 2 years so far in the Med.

So the boat you get may not have what you want so be prepared to get a sound sailing boat that you can upgrade or change to meet your needs. Think about your short term goals but also realizing that long term stuff may be out there. We have met so many people who set out to do a circum nav and never make it past Georgetown,Bahamas (known locally as chicken harbor) but we have also met folks who set out for a bit of cruising and now have ventured more miles than they ever thought they would go. Our goal when we left the USA the last time were the Bay Island of Honduras and back. We never made it back; we just kept going and boy that was a bunch of years ago.

As for cost - we put our costs out there for the last 6 years. Take a look.
6 years of cost data

might give you an idea.

good luck
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:23   #22
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Thanks for the feedback Chuckr.

We have been sailing for 8 years often spending 1-2 weeks on board. We feel pretty confident we will like the lifestyle, but we aren't going in all or nothing. If we find after 6 months or a year that we are unhappy we will do something else. Our cruising plans are one year in the Gulf from Mobile to Key West area and then the second year over to the Bahamas. No plans on world cruising or major ocean crossings at this time. We will be buying a smallish cruiser (Baba 30, Island Packet 31, Mariner 36) in hopefully decent condition. I am a maintenance guy who loves working on and improving equipment and systems, My wife loves sailing and enjoys doing canvas work. We have the makings of a cruising couple - we'll see how it goes.

Mike and Brenda


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Old 05-04-2015, 05:55   #23
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

We have accomplished the next big step toward our goal of cruising this weekend. We flew down to Pensacola from Wisconsin and rented a little tuna can on wheels to drive into the ground. We looked at boats in Pensacola, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach and Palmetto. Our butts are sore from all the driving, but it was worth the effort and expense, We found the boat we will rename "Wrinkles" at our last marina of the trip. We fell in love with Island Packet 31ís several years ago and have looked at a few of them previously. This 1984 is extremely well maintained, nicely equipped, tugs at our hearts and was somehow negotiated down to a price we could afford.

We'll be cruiser yet!

Mike and Brenda


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Old 05-04-2015, 07:49   #24
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Keep posting, you are a few years ahead of us...we sail out of Racine.


Greg S/V Sweet Dreams
Pearson P385 out of Racine Wisconsin
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:43   #25
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Mike and Brenda, good for you! Congratulations on your choice of boats. I hope she will help you live out your dreams. Enjoy the cruise and do keep us posted with your progress.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 25-08-2015, 15:27   #26
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

We are currently in Punta Gorda at Fisherman's Village Marina getting used to this cruising lifestyle. We've had our mechanical problems, learned a few things, roasted in Florida's August heat and are living it up. We pulled into the marina on our way north to Orange Beach, AL to look at a shaft vibration issue. I installed a new cutlass and Dripless Shaft Seal during our refit, but it looks like my next job is to look at the motor mounts more closely and align the shaft coupling.

We really are working on a boat in exotic locations. Guess that makes us cruisers now.


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Old 13-04-2017, 11:50   #27
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Sitting here in Spanish Wells musing on our first 20 months of cruising. We've met so many great people, established friendships that will last a lifetime and seen both the beauty and the fury that Mother Nature possesses. This is a wonderful lifestyle. It can be trying at times when things go Click image for larger version

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ID:	145293awry, but those memories fade quickly when you are sitting in a beautiful spot with good people enjoying the sunset.

The boat we selected was a 1984 Island Packet 31. We purchased her for $37,500 and then put roughly $7500 into her refit. We saved quite a bit by doing almost everything ourselves. From canvas work to diesel repairs to solar installation. Wrinkles could certainly use some more upgrades, but she has treated us well and taken care of us newbies. She is almost always the smallest boat in the anchorage, yet she seems big enough for our lifestyle.

We will continue cruising the Bahamas (even though the first mate fell off a sea wall and broke her arm in Bimini) until early June when we will sail back to Florida for the hurricane season. Beyond that we don't know what we will do. I guess see if we can find affordable health care insurance which would allow us to continue cruising. Mike is 59 and Brenda is 60, so we have a ways to go before we qualify for Medicare.

Overall, quitting our jobs early and going budget cruising was awesome. A terrible financial decision for sure, but one great life decision.

Mike and Brenda
s/v Wrinkles
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Old 14-04-2017, 01:29   #28
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Congratulations on your voyage - sorry to hear about the Admirals fall - farther south is some very inexpensive medical - We are in our 70s and do not carry health insurance - much cheaper to pay out of pocket at our age in most of the world -

Are you headed up the east coast for hurricane season? great exploring and a lot of the folks you have probably met in the Bahamas are headed that way too.
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Old 14-04-2017, 06:01   #29
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Thanks. The medical care Brenda has received has been quite good and surprisingly cheap. Since Bimini doesn't have a working x-ray machine we ended up going down to Cat Cay where rotating doctors will assist transient boaters. They only ask for a small donation to the clinic. After that we had to sail to Nassau where they have the equipment, supplies and training to put on a proper cast. Brenda had 3 x-rays, two different doctors look at her arm and then another temporary cast put on. Unfortunately the break is right above her wrist and there is some impaction involved. Our bill when we were done was $120. Amazing.

We don't plan to go up the east coast upon our return. We will sail back to the west coast ending up in Charlotte Harbor.

Mike
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Old 14-04-2017, 08:29   #30
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Re: Sailors to Cruisers

Just to clue you in on a little Florida Hurricane history. Sarasota is the safest place to be in florida when it comes to hurricanes making landfall. Something about Sarasota that has a dome of safety dropped on top of it. Hurricanes that always appear to be coming head on turn north or south at the last minute.


Keep it in mind.
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