My wife and two kids
, aged 9 and 5 (very soon to be 10 and 6) have been planning on going cruising for the past several years. The plan was to buy a boat, spend several years gaining experience with the boat and getting her fully refit
and then to head
out cruising for at least 1 year when the kids
were 12 and 8... in 2011.
We bought our 1981 Stevens 47 last April and we have enjoyed her a good bit in the USVI and BVI. I am planning on bringing the boat back to Savannah in mid May of this year (anyone interested in the trip... send me a message).
Our plans have now dramatically changed. I own a mortgage company and for the last year business has been all but non-existent. Even now with interest rates at historical lows, there are tons of loan applications but very few closed loans. Crazy tight lending guidelines.... decreased home values resulting in no equity..... lots of problems the end result of which is no business.
Over the past year, I have however gotten deep into the real estate investing game
. I figured banks were giving houses away so why not buy a couple to rehab and rent out? Well, lets just say things got a bit out of control and now I own 10 rental houses. My plan had been to sell some of the houses to other investors looking for a turn key real estate investment (and I have done well with this) but it dawned on me recently that there was a better plan.
I figured out that I could keep the houses and with the amount of rental income
coming in, I could make all of our debt payments and still have about $3K per month net. Surely we can go cruising on $3K a month? Right? Am I crazy? Is anyone who does this crazy?
I figure, rather than ask WHY.... I should be asking: Why Not?
So screw it..... WE GO.
So, the plan now is to be living aboard
and heading out by August 1st of this year. 6 months.... start to go. I am planning to have the boat back to Savannah by June 1st and to spend all of June and July 100% focused on refit
projects. I have to totally rebuild
the fridge and freezer
, update the electrical system
and add battery
capacity plus monitors and such, add a wind generator
and a couple of solar panels
plus get a Honda Generator
and replace a bunch of the plumbing
hoses and re-do the holding tank
system. There is plenty of other stuff to be done, but the above I figure HAS to be done before we move aboard.
WE have to sell everything..... cars, junk, stuff galore.... Heck, I am not even positive of all the stuff we need to do in order to be ready to GO.
So.... the purpose of this rambling post...... Suggestions? What to focus on? What am I not thinking of? Boat suggestions?
Thanks for any input and comments!