Hi there cruisersforum... Tony in Alexandria VA here. I've been looking for a sounding board on cruising thoughts and hope to find it in this venue.
Super quick background - lifelong sailor of multiple family
boats in and around the Chesapeake bay
30-50'. 2 years and 5 offshore
trips as a safety
officer/captain of the Naval Academy 44' sloops going between Newport
, Long Island
. 9 years owning a 1978 Seafarer 26' on the Potomac
River with my wife. We sold the Seafarer after a couple seasons of very light use and mounting deferred replacements/refit of original equipment
on that boat
... basically lost
interest in that boat
as we were getting into being first time parents.
Immediate plans - We're planning to do some bareboat
chartering this season to sample some new to us boats and new to us cruising grounds. The only booked trip is pre-Easter/spring break 3 day charter
of a Hunter
34 in Oriental, NC. I wasn't to excited about the Hunter
, I wanted the Endeavour
32 that the same company had but wasn't available. But the Hunter looks like a good boat and representative of mid-late 80's economical cruisers. Other charter
thoughts are a Gemini
35' cat up in Havre de Grace and potentially a Bristol 30 near Kent Island. I was also looking at a Sabre
up in the Narragansett Bay but think that will have to wait.
Longer range plans - I'd like to do an extended South Florida
and/or Bahamian cruise
in 2021 when my daughter is 4 1/2. By extended I think the most I can do with out quitting my job and having to sell or rent out our house is 6-8 weeks. My thought is to be in the market for a boat over the 2020-21 winter and jump it down the ICW
in 3-5 day long weekends so that it is at least down to Jacksonville
before the extended cruise
. The cruise will probably be roughly centered around Apr-May-June time frame as that lines up best with both of our jobs.
So between doing some chartering, tire kicking online and in boat yards and exchanging some thoughts here I'm hoping to refine my target of boat and systems for this trip. My priorities right now are;
1. Coastal cruiser, Bahamas passage
capable (with enough time to wait for favorable weather)
2. Comfortable accommodations for 2 adults and a child, especially at anchor
3. Simple systems that are reliable and capable of being left unattended
4. Fairly cruise ready
5. Resale - tough to know at this point if we'd keep this boat for 10 years or look to move it right after the extended cruise. Our leave balances will take 2 years to recover so we might be selling or looking to trade
'down' depending on what we end up with.
6. Cost, i'm all over the place on this and could see financing
a nicer boat up to $80,000ish or trying to bargain hunt in the sub $30,000 and going cash. There are so many great boats at this point I'm less focused on cost and more focused on a good hull
, rig and smartly picked systems.
I think that is it. Hope to engage in some good conversations in the near future!