Really appreciate everyones input's here!
As our budget is, we say we will be on sabbatical for 1 year, however, if life is still great while being out there at the end of the 1 year, we can tap into our longer term investments. Realistically, if we said we would like to cruise until our safety
net is sitting on 20k(excluding value of boat if sold), we'd be able to survive for about 2 years or so(on a 35k/year expense rate), so finding a boat that will not just "suffice" for 1 year, but potentially for a longer term cruise is somewhat in our search criteria.
I do agree that a smaller vessel is the smarter choice, it's just a matter of convincing the other half it's the better choice(financially).
Now we both like the idea of purchasing IN the Caribbean
already as it pretty much starts us off in cruising grounds.
I would like to ask experienced cruisers if our expectations are properly in line, and if they aren't, PLEASE set us straight.
We will be purchasing the vessel(with survey
and likely mechanic inspection
on engine) somewhere. Our route
that we will take will be based of where the boat is located.
Since we both still feel "new" to sailing, our plans are to do exactly what others have mentioned - start small. Our plan is to sail daily remaining in the area where the boat is(maybe finding locations within a few hours so no overnight passages) for a few weeks(maybe a month or so). I was raised in Fiji
is nothing new to me(except i was on power boats), but it is new to my GF.
I know how to sail, however, confident skills are limited(such as heaving to), so during day sails we will essentially be doing training(heaving to, MOB
, and anything else anyone recommends) and just to get a feel for how the boat itself sails and handles. I am also planning on practicing anchoring
with the GF so she becomes comfortable with how its done, what to do, just the entire process of it. Of course if possible, we also will dive on the anchor
to actually check that it's set(growing up this was a habit for my family
as we often had local boats drag into us and we never wanted to drag).
The next thing I would like to add is that since we haven't found a boat(yet) and aren't actually completely ready to jump ship(we are actually in the process of selling/sorting/donating everything we own), I don't know EXACTLY when we will be there. If we found "the boat" tomorrow, and we pursued survey/inspection(I'd fly down to take a look as well), and we'd give notice to work(2 weeks) and would be on our way beginning week of January as it'd give us enough time to sort out all the odds and ends here(selling car and a few other assets).
That means in January we'd be aboard our boat, getting adjusted and such. We'd have roughly 5-6 months before hurricane
season hits, which means either finding an area to hang out for the next 5ish months. My thought was to possibly plan our route
out so that we could do a Panama Canal
transit and cruise the pacific side of south america
for that remaining timeframe.
My girlfriend on the other hand, doesn't think we'd have the "skill set" needed to make it to the canal
and we'd actually have to stay in the atlantic during the hurricane
season. I feel that since our sole time will be spent maintaining the boat we'd have time to do plenty of exploring and reading, to learn much more about navigation(so we dont need to rely solely on electronics
as that's how I was raised), and if we spent our time sailing around daily, we'd gain enough experience to be confident in actually making it to the Canal
Anyone have any insights or suggestions? Am I a bit unrealistic? I assumed since all the charter
companies operate mainly out of Caribbean, it'd be easy learning
grounds for us and our skillsets would grow enough to handle it, compared to if we were in Fiji(where i grew up) or anywhere in south pacific