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Old 19-01-2021, 15:48   #1
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Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

Alright, so my wife and I have always loved the Caribbean and for some reason never really thought about trying our hand at sailing.

We don't know what it is like to sail, but I don't think our expectations of life at sea match what the popular youtube videos show.

We think we would need to spend multiple hours working daily on the boat between cleaning or maintenance. We would have numerous times were we would have to figure out solutions to problems and learn a lot of things we have not had to deal with before. Finally, learning how to navigate and understand weather to not put us in bad situations.

For various reasons we don't plan to retire for another 5 years, so we figure we will use that time to

1. Get ASA or US sailing certified (does anyone have recommendations in Austin TX or around for a great place to learn?)
2. If we enjoy the certification, join one of the clubs on the lake here, try to sail once a month to build skill.
3. Volunteer where we can locally to crew.
4. Charter a 35-45 foot monoull and a cat for at least a week in BVI or the Bahamas to get a feel for what we prefer. We are damn near certain we would prefer the motion of a cat but not going to go into a large purchase without trying both options.
5. Start trying to figure out what we want to buy if we are still in love with the idea after 1-4.
6. Repeat steps 2-4 until we get a boat & retire.

We DON'T want to be one of these folks that buy a boat, leave for the Caribbean and decide the life isn't for them.

All that being said, doing this will require money which we want to put together over the next few years (and why I am posting here). Our rough idea is to put together the funds to buy a cat and have a cruising kitty in 5 years time (depending on numerous factors), which we have been well underway on for now (we had some other goals we were saving money up for)

Assuming that we think we will want a 35-45 foot owners cat our budgeting goals would put us at having 300-450k (numerous factors) for the purchase and ~300k cruising kitty (worst case 5 years @ 60k, best case much, much longer)

The 60k per year figure comes from assuming 10% cost of the cat + living expenses. I know this is highly variable between everyone, but we are the type of people that enjoy cooking and don't mind not needing to eat out or sacrifice in other ways if we had a particularly bad maintenance year.

My big question is this - does it make sense to believe that a cat can be found in turnkey condition in that rough price range? I'd prefer to need no refit time needed and go sail, but I don't know if that is naive or not. I know folks do this with a whole lot less, but once we leave our careers behind we want to be pretty sure money ain't gonna be a worry.
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Old 19-01-2021, 16:31   #2
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

At the upper end of your budget you can get close to 50ft,
https://yachthub.com/list/yachts-for...tamaran/232357

however the bigger you go the more ongoing expenses you will have.

at the shorter end of your spectrum you can get under $100k, smaller will be less expense but older may have more ongoing repairs.....
https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/199...elite-3719299/

It all depends on what makes both you and your wife happy.
I am in a similar situation as you, however I am looking at 8-10yrs away with the bonus of enjoying building, so we are in the process of selecting what we will start building within the next couple of years. However because that is what we are looking forward towards, I have been doing a lot of research these last several months and think that you have a pretty good and logical approach and plan.

Some things to consider or at least look into.... where do you plan on going? just hanging out in the Caribbean, or potentially a future circumnavigation? perhaps doing the great loop once? If circumnavigating do you plan to spend any time in the smaller European cannels? There are size limitations going certain places like that (which I don't know other than they are much smaller than the US ones)

My hope is that since I will have the manufacture of our boat along full time (me) that most of the repairs and troubleshooting will be free (just my time and labor) plus parts, I think a large part of expenses is paying hourly wage to 'experts', so if you are handy you could potentially stretch your budget further, however those who have actually lived the life could guide you better there.

Guess I don't have much to say, but lots of words. I haven't done it, but I am looking forward to it with my wife as much as you are, I hope you are successful
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Old 19-01-2021, 16:34   #3
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

NauticEd is headquartered in Austin I think. Grant Headifen and his wife Lauren are great. We did a family flotilla in Greece in 2019 which is where I met them. There were 4-5 catamarans in the flotilla and all of them were sailed by students coming out of their programs. We were the only monohull. Lol.

I donít know why more people donít recommend chartering as a major step to determine if cruising is the lifestyle for them. And Iím talking like a charter for 3 weeks minimum.
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Old 19-01-2021, 17:11   #4
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

The Austin Yacht Club has several keel boats, not real large, but big enough. I am sure they have an active racing program.

If you ask around and are a little persistent you can get on race crews there and this will give you another data point on sailing skills. ASA classes give you some basic (and maybe more than basic training) but sailing in every race for a year or two will really give you a lot of practical training, and it does not cost you anything.

This will be valuable even if you think you don't want to race.
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Old 19-01-2021, 17:13   #5
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

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Originally Posted by stulk75 View Post
NauticEd is headquartered in Austin I think. Grant Headifen and his wife Lauren are great. We did a family flotilla in Greece in 2019 which is where I met them. There were 4-5 catamarans in the flotilla and all of them were sailed by students coming out of their programs. We were the only monohull. Lol.

I donít know why more people donít recommend chartering as a major step to determine if cruising is the lifestyle for them. And Iím talking like a charter for 3 weeks minimum.
I'll def. take a look at that, thanks!

Yeah.. there is probably a 3-4 week charter on a cat or monoull in the future as well. If I'm going to drop a huge chunk of money on a depreciating asset, I better be damn sure it is all worth it for me. I could make a lot of plane trips and vacations over the years with the same amount!
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Old 19-01-2021, 17:14   #6
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
The Austin Yacht Club has several keel boats, not real large, but big enough. I am sure they have an active racing program.

If you ask around and are a little persistent you can get on race crews there and this will give you another data point on sailing skills. ASA classes give you some basic (and maybe more than basic training) but sailing in every race for a year or two will really give you a lot of practical training, and it does not cost you anything.

This will be valuable even if you think you don't want to race.
Thanks so much! I def. plan on trying to help on races and see if that is my thing. If not I may try to find somewhere that I can pay a monthly fee to take a boat out 1-2 times a month.

Worst case, maybe I try to find a small boat that is cheap ish (Catalina 22 or such) to sail as much as I want
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Old 19-01-2021, 17:15   #7
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narfi View Post
At the upper end of your budget you can get close to 50ft,
https://yachthub.com/list/yachts-for...tamaran/232357

however the bigger you go the more ongoing expenses you will have.

at the shorter end of your spectrum you can get under $100k, smaller will be less expense but older may have more ongoing repairs.....
https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/199...elite-3719299/

It all depends on what makes both you and your wife happy.
I am in a similar situation as you, however I am looking at 8-10yrs away with the bonus of enjoying building, so we are in the process of selecting what we will start building within the next couple of years. However because that is what we are looking forward towards, I have been doing a lot of research these last several months and think that you have a pretty good and logical approach and plan.

Some things to consider or at least look into.... where do you plan on going? just hanging out in the Caribbean, or potentially a future circumnavigation? perhaps doing the great loop once? If circumnavigating do you plan to spend any time in the smaller European cannels? There are size limitations going certain places like that (which I don't know other than they are much smaller than the US ones)

My hope is that since I will have the manufacture of our boat along full time (me) that most of the repairs and troubleshooting will be free (just my time and labor) plus parts, I think a large part of expenses is paying hourly wage to 'experts', so if you are handy you could potentially stretch your budget further, however those who have actually lived the life could guide you better there.

Guess I don't have much to say, but lots of words. I haven't done it, but I am looking forward to it with my wife as much as you are, I hope you are successful
Hope it successful for you as well! I do think I would like to circumnavigate if I get the skills, but only time will tell. I do think I would want something capable of it though.
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Old 19-01-2021, 19:14   #8
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

Most people underestimate the costs associated with keeping a boat, and especially how the costs change as boat size increases. It is hard work and expensive keeping a boat in good shape.

How expensive? My thoughts on boat costs

The smaller the boat you buy up front the more money and time you will have to enjoy the places the boat can take you. I am not suggesting that you cruise on a 24 foot boat, (heaven knows I couldn't) but the smallest boat you can tolerate will bring you more joy in the long run than the biggest boat you can afford.
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Old 20-01-2021, 09:46   #9
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

I think a 38-42 cat would be right up your alley. Buy a newer used and find a good surveyor, and get the rigging surveyed for sure.
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Old 20-01-2021, 14:25   #10
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

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Originally Posted by traizen View Post
I'll def. take a look at that, thanks!

Yeah.. there is probably a 3-4 week charter on a cat or monoull in the future as well. If I'm going to drop a huge chunk of money on a depreciating asset, I better be damn sure it is all worth it for me. I could make a lot of plane trips and vacations over the years with the same amount!
I'm not knocking the value of learning to sail on a Catalina 22' but if you want to know what it'll be like to live on a 38' catamaran, you need to go spend some time on one. The small boats have their advantages (mostly financial) but they in no way compare to a larger boat under sail.
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Old 21-01-2021, 18:23   #11
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

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Originally Posted by joelhemington View Post
I'm not knocking the value of learning to sail on a Catalina 22' but if you want to know what it'll be like to live on a 38' catamaran, you need to go spend some time on one. The small boats have their advantages (mostly financial) but they in no way compare to a larger boat under sail.
Totally agree from everything I've read. I'm planning on getting a lot of practice on some 33 foot boats on the lake (that have outboards, electronics, etc) but if I end up buying something to play around with it will be small and cheap (just to get better at sailing itself)
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Old 21-01-2021, 18:24   #12
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

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Originally Posted by BillKny View Post
Most people underestimate the costs associated with keeping a boat, and especially how the costs change as boat size increases. It is hard work and expensive keeping a boat in good shape.

How expensive? My thoughts on boat costs

The smaller the boat you buy up front the more money and time you will have to enjoy the places the boat can take you. I am not suggesting that you cruise on a 24 foot boat, (heaven knows I couldn't) but the smallest boat you can tolerate will bring you more joy in the long run than the biggest boat you can afford.
Thanks so much for the advice, I will take it to heart when we buy. First we need to get some years of sailing it and grind a few more years at the job!
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Old 21-01-2021, 19:53   #13
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Re: Newbies trying to budget for 5+ years in future, help!

We had a five year plan. The steps we took were.
Buy a 26 foot mono to learn sail control
Did a one week live and learn charter aboard a cruising mono in vancouver
Chartered a catamaran for 1 week in vancouver to see the differences with cats.
Through all of this we started downsizing and selling all extra "stuff"
We decided we wanted a cat, so started searching for our boat
We also put every extra dollar into savings, and questioned every purchase " do we need this for the boat?"
Sold everything and now live aboard a lagoon 42 tpi, currently in the bahamas.
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