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Old 09-10-2009, 19:55   #1
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Six Years to Early Retirement, then Live Aboard

Hi,

Just writing the to say hi to the forum. I'm a 49 year old med school professor looking to retire after 25 years (age 55) and live aboard. I am currently sailing a 28 foot 1970's unrefirbished fiberglass monohull sailboat out of marina del ray in LA.

I'm open to advice, I would love to spend some time in the pacific, some time in the carribean and some time in the mediteranian after retirement.

I have a few years to learn so any advise would be great.

Cheers to all and thanks for the forum, I have already learned alot from reading.

My first question is: Where should I make my home base, Florida? Seems kind of expensive but I have family there.

My plan right now is to look for a 60 foot boat to live on, I got the 28 foot for free and only have to pay half the doc fee 200/month. My plan is to stick with this and save my money so when I retire I can buy a nice boat cash.....is that a good plan?

Also, I like traveling and exploring, the top speed I can get with the 28 foot is 4 knots, is that average or is the boat a dog, or am I doing something wrong. I hear people speek of getting 10 knots, that halves the cruising time to any sort of distance. Should I get a better boat to learn on or is this an OK speed.

I have sailed since age 15 but am just getting back into it and have many many questions.

Thanks

PS: I am happy to help with general medical info as long as you know the advice is only as good as the info given. I'm a pathologist so cancer is my speciality.
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Old 09-10-2009, 20:15   #2
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Quote:
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocSailor View Post

I got the 28 foot for free and only have to pay half the doc fee 200/month. My plan is to stick with this and save my money so when I retire I can buy a nice boat cash.....is that a good plan?

.


I went to the Doctor and tapped my chest and said it hurts. The doctor said: Yes, you have a broken finger.



Yes, your plan is good!!!!!!!!

Beat the crap outta that boat till you almost wreck it! Sail it hard, sail it rough. Learn to reverse at full revs doing figure of 8's tight as you can. Practice coming into the dock in forward, reverse, with current, against current and wind at full speed. Run the damn thing aground, anchor experimenting with scope, let it drag and recover the situation. Hove to, run bare poles, lie ahull.

Do everything you can to beat up that boat because the lessons will be golden when you buy your nice expensive 60 footer.

One of the biggest problems with new boaters are that we are scared of scratching the paintwork. Of course we should be scared of damaging it. But so many things are counterintuitive, like in a car accelerating through a corner is safer, you need to be bold with a boat sometimes, and other times as gentle as a butterfly and slow as a sloth.

And it will take you a few years to find the right boat!

Mark
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Old 09-10-2009, 20:40   #3
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sounds like a good plan. sixty feet is a lot of boat to single hand. It can be done but it is a long of work. I like 38 to 45 feet. Go sailing as much as you can and see if you can get on to some long ocean trips to see if you really do like being at sea.
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Old 09-10-2009, 21:31   #4
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Aloha Doc,
Welcome aboard! Yes, use your 28 footer as a learning platform. You can get more speed out of your boat by learing sail trim. Take a basic sailing course and read the book "Start Sailing right."
I don't know what 28 foot model you have but I sailed on Columbia 28 from Honolulu to Hilo on the Big Island and it was a success. Good boat.
My favorites are 32-35 and would never consider anything over 36 again. Too much boat, too much expense and not near enough fun.
regards,
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Old 10-10-2009, 00:06   #5
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Thanks all, yes your finger was boken, don't do that, don't worry, no charge.

So a 28 foot boat can go to sea, like all the way from LA to Hawaii? That woud be quite an adventure. It would take me years to learn. I have taken the sailing course and am certified, I've done 6 day sails and will be going to Catalina then the channel islands then, farther, you get the idea. Nothing over 30 something feet. I want to be able to do cross ocean trips. Is the 28 foot boat adequate, to do beginner trips out in the ocean, or should I try that in a bigger boat? I'm thinking a few days out to sea then back for practice.

Also the boat has a gas engine and what looks like a car battery. I want to add some electronics and have read that the honda 1000 dollar generator is good, what kind of battery should I add?

Also, is dish TV accessable at sea? Internet? Any suggestions on el cheapo equipment, totally bare bones.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-10-2009, 00:27   #6
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So a 28 foot boat can go to sea, like all the way from LA to Hawaii?

will be going to Catalina then the channel islands then, farther

Is the 28 foot boat adequate, to do beginner trips out in the ocean,

Also, is dish TV accessible at sea? .
You won't have time / inclination for TV while on your boat! Even after sitting at an anchorage for a month we have never turned ours on in 18 months

I'm not from LA and have only sailed there once.. there, not to there. Between LA and Pt Conception and to seaward is all the weather conditions one could really enjoy for year or 2 of learning and a year or 2 of relaxing. Maybe a vacation to San Francisco?

Can a 28 footer go to Hawaii.... can you prescribe yourself courage pills? It can be done, but then people have crossed the Pacific in a bathtub.

With getting a big boat, we have a 39 footer and feel it the bare minimum... but we know folks with a 60 footer who say they would never put to sea with one smaller.

As you hang out on your boat doing some trips and just hanging in at the dock you will see boats and meet people and begin to get a feel of what is available.

If I had a bit more money (ok, a lot more money) I would have us in a 50 to 60 footer. Our next boat will probably be a 46 footer. I would have the same if I was single handing

But each to their own, everyone will have their own unique opinion.

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Old 10-10-2009, 00:53   #7
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There's 28' and there's ...

What sort of boat is your 28'?
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:57   #8
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Welcome. Congratulations on your life choice for the future.
You doing the right thing so far. Sail trimming is almost going back to the race dinghy stage, in fact joining a local dinghy club as crew may be the quick way to learn alot of sea craft, even on a lake.
Or read the books. A good book will also change the boat you finally choose as there are so many ways to trim the mast, sails running rigging and so on.
Ocean going will need a water generator and storage, fuel storage to drive that, and a pack of other stuff. The boat itself shouldn't cost mote than a third of your budget.
Current boat. Add a little petrol generator, store the fuel on deck. Thats fairly safe, reliable and the price is right. Add a NEW battery as big as you can. Needs a lot of capacity to drive nav lights and instruments all night, or you'll be running the engine too often. Wind and solar genny's help but the converters and inverters all add up.
You'll need a year of day sailing to make mistakes and polish you and the boat to competent level. And to practice all that theory and sort the useful from the irrelevant.
Go to boat shows and look at everything over 30 ft. All are ocean capable, the skipper and crew are the weak factor. And allow that 5% of your time will be sailing once you live aboard. But that sailing may be a month out of sight of land.
And join the 'singles' section here, you'll be amased how many ladies want to share a boat with a rich man!
Good luck.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:04   #9
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That's great that you've done some courses and are certified. Some 28 footers are designed to sail at sea while some were designed to be coastal cruisers. Some others should not be let out of the bay. You'll start to learn this as you explore. Most will handle the ocean between LA and Catalina with no problem just learn how to pick your weather.
You'll find that we are an opinionated bunch sometimes. I've sailed on sailing vessels to 55 feet and would not own another over 35 or 36. That's just me. There are lots of folks on here who have larger vessels and love them.
A Honda 2000 generator is a nice thing to have aboard but for your size boat some solar panels will charge up a couple of good sized batteries. Deep Cycle batteries are better than just a regular car battery. Remember gas fumes down in the bilge can be deadly so make certain you air things out before starting anything.
I don't know about TV and Internet while underway.
If you look just after my signature there is a link to search. You can check batteries, generators, engines, boats etc..
regards,
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:38   #10
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Thanks

Thanks, I think for week long trips a little fridge would be nice. I would like to be able to plug in a laptop for navigation. So alittle power would be great. I am only partners in this boat, the other is a 92 year old doctor so don't want to make expensive alterations. He doesn't even want me to put a bimini. Like another poster said, I need to get into the boat and take it apart and put it back together and learn about boats.

I'll have many more questions so thanks for the help.
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:52   #11
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greetings from another sailing doc!

Welcome aboard, Doc! I'm also a sailing doc, and just left a landlocked med school faculty position earllier this year and moved to coastal South Florida. We brought our 42-ft boat with us (expensive!).
Your "mileage may vary", but we love it here. Proximity to the great cruising grounds of the Bahamas, great sailing, a climate we love. At this time, the housing market presents nice opportunities for homebuyers in FL. I think it would be quite different here in terms of sailing as compared to California, but not necessarily better. Depends on what you want to do and where you want to go. For us, it's the Caribbean for sure. Are you loking at living aboard and remaining based in a marina, or are you looking at long-distance passagemeaking? If it's the latter, the Pacific presents the challenge of long initial passages to get to island locations, so you might find much of your sailing to be coastal.
We have had to confront the challenges of my wife's tendency to get seriously seasick. This may mean we will need to look at another boat, perhaps a catamaran (which is what The Admiral wants). Like you, we plan to retire to the boat, so the seasickness thing is of major importance.
You mentioned a 60-ft boat. I agree with others that this is probably a difficult choice for a singlehander. I would not do it. A carefully-planned choice of a boat might make it posible for you to singlehand such a large boat, but you would likely need to rely on a variety of automated systems to handle a very large boat alone. Many would say that this is really more boat than a solo sailor would really need. Why not consider something more in the 40-ft range? Plenty of onboard space for one person and their gear.
I'd be delighted to share more of our thoughts and experiences as you go along!

Patient: Doc, it hurts when I do this
Doc: Well, then stop doing that!


P.S.: sigh....Q may soon be for sale.....after a major refit. Time to look at a bigger (!) boat!
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:17   #12
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Your plans sound very exciting. To answer your question, my opinion is that you should make Florida your home base as you mentioned you have family there. All the best to you!
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:41   #13
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Welcome aboard, Doc.
You've recieved a lot of great advice, noatably from your colleague Spammy's post #11.
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Old 11-10-2009, 14:05   #14
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Welcome neighbor! I sail out of Marina del Rey as well, so my biggest question is "where did you find a slip for 200 bucks?" Aside from that, though, you should be fine in a 28 footer going to Catalina, etc. Just watch the weather as you can get alot of fog between MDR & Catalina. One idea, as your skill and ambitions grow, you might consider joining a charter club like Marina Sailing. You will be able to try your hand at bigger boats and see how you like them. I know for sure that they go up to at least 42', maybe bigger. Enjoy,

Mike
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Old 11-10-2009, 15:54   #15
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Welcome to the forum
A great book is Nigel Calders "Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual" Yes I know, it sounds like a riveting read (bedtime is the best time to read it ). The book really helped me learn boat systems and how to make repairs.

Finding your cruising boat is an adventure in itself - have fun!
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