So after introducing myself on the meet&greet forum, I figured I would dive right in and ask for some advice. I am a 17 year old high school
junior. I sail on a large lake for a high school
team, mostly 420s and Lasers. Needless to say, I have no ocean sailing experience nor do I have any experience in a larger boat. Despite these limitations, however, I came up with a wild idea over the last few months. Sometime before I graduate next June, I want to buy a sailboat somewhere on the East Coast
. After graduation, I want to work
on the boat while sailing down the East Coast
and ultimately ending up in the Caribbean
. I have already been planning on taking a year off between high school in college, so I have around 14 months to move the boat down the coast and then island hop in the Caribbean. I will obviously be living aboard
all the while. When its time to come back to reality, I will sell the boat and simply come home. (Unless I fall in love- then I have a contingency plan
This is my (large scale) plan. Call my crazy, but I love sailing and was looking for a way to explore and escape on my own before entering undergrad.
Now comes the part that is much more important- the details. I have essentially one year to procure a boat, plan my trip, and learn as much as I can about open ocean sailing. So I have a few questions for y'all:
1) The boat. I was thinking something smaller, 24-28 feet. I have NO problem with taking on a working project- i.e. I can work
on it while sailing it. I dont want to have to sit in port too long working on it, but I would if the deal/boat was right. I will be living aboard
, so take that into consideration. My boat budget
is around 4-5k. What models would you suggest I look at? Where is the best place to look online for a boat? Any resources (books, online articles/threads, etc) you suggest I look at on the subject?
2) The maintenance
. I know there is an incredible amount of things that can be with a boat. What should I be looking for in a used boat
in terms of condition? What is easily fixable, and what problems should I avoid like the plague? I am pretty handy, and my father (who sailed for 10+ years and is INCREDIBLY handy with anything, even electrical/engine/plumbing) can help if need be. Like I said, I have an excess of time, but I want to save on the $. That being said, what should I look for in a used boat
? what resources exist that can teach me to repair boats?
3) Material. For some reason I desperately want a wood boat. Would that be a horrible choice as a first boat? Pros and cons between that and fiberglass
? Remember I don't necessarily plan on keeping this thing forever- I need a cheap
useable boat that can get me around the Caribbean safely for just 12 months. Even if I end up just giving it away at the end of the journey. Would I be better off going wood or fiberglass
Any other advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!