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Old 13-08-2009, 12:59   #16
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Thanks so much to everyone My wife and I are chomping at the bit to get out of the rat race and start living for the moment and enjoying it. We realize the challenges and that will occur and look forward to working our way through them. I see that the cruisers and racers are not cut from the same cloth. I'm sure I can learn from both groups!
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Old 13-08-2009, 15:43   #17
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Jeff and Debbie

I would suggest checking out Seven Seas Cruising Assoc [SSCA]. The group is oriented for folks that want to cruise and liveaboard full time. There are a number of distinct advantages to leveraging the knowledge of folks that are doing what you want to.

Also make the time to go to the GAM in Melbourne, FL in Nov as you can talk and interact with like minded folks.

Welcome to the Seven Seas Cruising Association

If you would like to know more PM me. We are now back to the real world after a couple of years out rebuilding the kitty to do it some more.
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Old 14-08-2009, 10:00   #18
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Welcome Guys,
If it were me I would buy a boat of any kind right now to just have it available at your discretion whever you want to go sailing. By all means trade up later when you are ready for the big off - but go get sailing.
All the other advice you got - for example joining a club as race crew to supplement your courses - read lots - is all good too.
What you will learn (if you have not already) is that cruisers / racers / sailors / livaboards can be pretty one eyed about what they think is right and what they think is not.
By getting out on the water you'll get to a point where you'll make your mind up for yourself and when that is reached, whatever boat you choose will I'm sure be perfect for you.
Enjoy the experiences - and keep us all posted.
Cheers
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Old 14-08-2009, 18:41   #19
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Jemsea said it. With your kitty go out and do some charters on different boats. Get involved with yacht clubs.

Racing definitely helps sail shaping and trimming skills but another opportunity may be getting invited to do race boat deliveries. Probably not as much opportunity where you are but around here the fleet follows regattas and there are plenty of delivery opportunities as well.

3 1/2 years is plenty of time to get up to speed, source the boat and get going.
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Old 16-08-2009, 14:35   #20
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Aloha Jeff and Debbie,
You're getting lots of advice and I hope you can get on the water soon. Whatever bit of sailing you'll enjoy depends on your personality. I've met sailors who love to be out on the water and just cruise around the bay and others who just love racing. That's why they make so many various types of boats and what will appeal to some will not appeal to others. Go aboard as many boats as possible before you choose what to do.
Racers can show you how to trim your sails for maximum performance. You aren't going to learn that from a cruiser or a strictly liveaboard. Even books can not show you how to do it in comparison to other boats on the water at that instance.
regards,
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Old 16-08-2009, 14:58   #21
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I couldn't disagree more about hooking up with racers ... It is very hard to meet up with real cruisers unless you are cruising. After all, there are really not that many out here. We have been out for about a year now and it is a small and unique group that is actually out here.
Just what exactly defines a cruiser (other than having a wind generator) and are there any estimates of how many there actually are roaming our waterways here on the east coast? How often do you see them as you travel?
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Old 16-08-2009, 18:42   #22
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I'm with swagman. Buy a boat now,start with daysails and after a while do over nighters. Get the largest boat you can afford and sail safely by two people. As you learn your boat you will be taking longer and longer voyages. With your stated budget hauling your boat during the winter months for a couple of years shouldn't be a problem. Once you spend some time on your boat you will know the things you need on it to keep You happy. Different people have different needs.
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Old 16-08-2009, 19:04   #23
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maui, check out noonsite.com and some of the destinations you plan to visit. As long as you are planning to VISIT and continue onwards, most will welcome you, or at least, your entry fee. Which may be steeper and more complex than you think. In the modern world, many nations welcome visitors--but strongly discourage them from settling down or overstaying their welcome. As the world has become smaller, it has become a lot more formal about many things as well.
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Old 16-08-2009, 19:26   #24
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I agree with Southern Star and others who say buy a boat now. Not your dream boat. There are alot of older 25 to 28 footers that you could buy for $5,000 to $10,000. Don't put much money into (just enough to make sure it is safe), and get a couple of years of experience. It will teach you alot about what you want and don't want in a boat. You could give it away when you are done and not loose as much money as you would by buying the wrong dream boat. Three and a half years is a long time not to be on the water, when that's where you want to be. We are one year into our two and a half year plan. We bought a 25 foot learner boat and I am so glad we did. One more year (we moved up our time table) and we can't wait. We talk of little else.
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Old 16-08-2009, 19:45   #25
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There are alot of older 25 to 28 footers that you could buy for $5,000 to $10,000. Don't put much money into (just enough to make sure it is safe), and get a couple of years of experience. It will teach you alot about what you want and don't want in a boat. You could give it away when you are done and not loose as much money as you would by buying the wrong dream boat.
Thats an excellent idea. Then you could give it away to someone like me(poor) and everyone comes out happy.
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Old 16-08-2009, 20:03   #26
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what's wrong with joining a sailing club and taking out a different boat every weekend? Have a friend who does this. she and her husband have been on every boat model they thought they could possibly consider. they joined a club in Annapolis, Maryland. No idea if Maine has one though.

The friend and husband plan to buy a boat at retirement and live on it.
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Old 19-08-2009, 07:15   #27
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I am always a fan of the "starter" boat idea. That's what we did. We paid about $10k and the 2 1/2 costs have been about $400 a month all up - maintenance, documentation, insurance, mooring, upgrades, etc.

We targetted a boat that had as many of the "systems" a bigger boat will have so we could learn about maintenance and care of the boat.

inboard diesel
full electrics
head
autopilot

We don't expect to lose anything when we eventually resell.
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Old 19-08-2009, 07:29   #28
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