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Old 26-12-2016, 19:44   #46
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Having a budget that big is truly an alien concept to me and many others here. It is more common to see folks with about a $2k monthly budget and $30k purchase/refit budget. Mine would be even less. So you have a lot of options and lots of freedom.

Still, you didn't acquire your money by being stupid with it. Chartering a few boats, big and small, helps give you an idea of what you really want or need. Otherwise I would still start out with a $10k learner boat 27 to 32 foot, and a fixer upper is actually a better first boat because you learn so much. Learn to crawl before you learn to run ultra marathons. Do lots of day sailing, then overnights, then short cruises inland and then offshore hops. I personally think 3 or 4 years is about the minimum time to learn enough to make long voyages. Somewhere in the process you will find your perfect boat, and upgrade. The smaller boat will be easier to manage, and cheaper to keep. You will probably want bigger for making long ocean passages. The good ol boat, if well kept, should sell for nearly what you paid for it. Depreciation is negligible once a boat is already 30 or 40 years old.

Yes, you can certainly afford to jump right into a very nice and fairly big passage maker, and it is a realistic option, but I can't help but see the advantages of starting out in baby steps.
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Old 26-12-2016, 21:03   #47
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Please read post numero uno.... the OP has already done the "baby steps."

The largest boat I ever sailed on before we purchased our Hunter 450 and I solo sailed it over to our slip from the boatyard, was an O'day 20. He doesn't need 5-8 more years of "baby steps."
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Old 27-12-2016, 02:44   #48
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
Having a budget that big is truly an alien concept to me and many others here. It is more common to see folks with about a $2k monthly budget and $30k purchase/refit budget. Mine would be even less. So you have a lot of options and lots of freedom.

Still, you didn't acquire your money by being stupid with it. Chartering a few boats, big and small, helps give you an idea of what you really want or need. Otherwise I would still start out with a $10k learner boat 27 to 32 foot, and a fixer upper is actually a better first boat because you learn so much. Learn to crawl before you learn to run ultra marathons. Do lots of day sailing, then overnights, then short cruises inland and then offshore hops. I personally think 3 or 4 years is about the minimum time to learn enough to make long voyages. Somewhere in the process you will find your perfect boat, and upgrade. The smaller boat will be easier to manage, and cheaper to keep. You will probably want bigger for making long ocean passages. The good ol boat, if well kept, should sell for nearly what you paid for it. Depreciation is negligible once a boat is already 30 or 40 years old.

Yes, you can certainly afford to jump right into a very nice and fairly big passage maker, and it is a realistic option, but I can't help but see the advantages of starting out in baby steps.

You of course are kidding. Baby steps? He does seem to have some knowledge and why not get the final boat and learn a bit and leave. We did. We bought a brand new Jeanneau DS40 and had to wait a couple of years to leave until I retired but we got to know the boat and our only experience before buying the boat was a few ASA sailing lessons and a couple of charters. I am one who does not believe that you need XX number of years of little boats then YY number of years of a bigger boat then get a boat and rehab it and maybe leave some day.
We got a boat that fit our purposes and learned her a bit and left. We made a lot of improvements on her over the years but while others are still rehabbing their boats we have been our visiting the world. Are we great sailors? NO - can those who sail small and now are rehabbing their boats better sailors than us - YES - have we got more miles, countries and wonderful memories than them - HECK YES
go with what you want, learn her and sail out and enjoy this great life
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Old 27-12-2016, 02:55   #49
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Im in the buy the second boat first team. Save the time and the money.

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Old 27-12-2016, 12:58   #50
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Yeah, skip the "baby steps" and by the sailboat that you want and get going.
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Old 27-12-2016, 15:52   #51
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

I don't see how you'll figure out what works for you and what doesn't by buying one smaller (26-32 foot) boat now.

I've been able to try out probably 30 different boats in various sizes, cabin/galley configurations, rigging, and equipment. By try out, I mean weekend outings or weeklong charters, not just day sails on the bay. Not enough to experience a cruising lifestyle, but a great exposure to what I might want or not want in a boat.

All without buying one. If you have a charter club in your area, this could be an option. In addition to trying different boats I've been able to sail with a wide variety of crew all with different experience levels (800+ on our club crew list). That's helped me get out more since I never have a problem finding crew.

On the other hand - I'm from Michigan originally so wholeheartedly agree that if i lived there I'd buy a boat. I just think being able to try out many different boats has been great to help me figure out some what I'll look for in a boat.

Now if I could only figure out how to charter a ketch, and maybe extend my budget to an Amel Super Maramu :-)

Cheers,
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Old 27-12-2016, 17:22   #52
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

I'm in the buy a cheap boat now group. Doing this gets you at a marina by many boats and owners to talk to. Easier to check out and get rides on boats if you are part of the "owners club" than just walking docks. Owners love to talk about their boats, listen to what they like/don't like. Doing this while looking at said boat has much more value than asking without being onboard.
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:34   #53
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

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Originally Posted by jakinchitown View Post
Brianlara3, I would like to keep my boat purchase cost around $200k, I am planning on having it rigged for sailing shorthanded (by myself), I'm not sure I'll do an ocean crossing, but I'd like to be capable. My plan is to spend summers in Michigan on the Great Lakes and take the St Lawrence to the Atlantic down to FL or Caribbean for Winter. I would like total living expenses to be $50k per year, with repairing/upgrading major systems separate from that.

Does that sound realistic?
The budget IMO puts you into a comfortable boat in the mid-40's (even if you go a bit cheaper and leave yourself 15-25% for unexpected surprises and setting it up).

To me, the question of buying a smaller boat to sail locally comes down to whether sailing AND MAINTAINING a boat is how you want to spend your off time while you're working for the period until you sell up and go...... or....... do you want to sail. I really wonder how much you'll learn about what you want in a 40+ foot cruising boat by owning a high 20's to low '30's foot boat. Interior layout options, galleys, maintenance access, storage, cockpit and deck layouts are all a completely different game in those two size ranges. You'll learn some about systems and maintenance of diesels, basic electrical and instrumentation, and possibly refrigeration, but I've met lots of cruisers who picked that up when they went cruising, particularly when they were setting their boat up in North America before heading south.

To get ready to leave, here's some of what we did:
- Certifications. We both had some basic and intermediate CSA and AYA (Canadian and Australian) coastal cruising certifications (about 10-15 years previously and didn't bother doing any additional formal certifications.
- Chartering. Different locations and progressively larger boats. Different locations gives you more experience whereas returning to the same location every time just gives you the same experience repeated. Anchor if possible instead of mooring balls. We primarily chartered monos but also charters a cat to see if we like it. Progressively larger boats again keeps stretching your knowledge, capabilities and confidence.
- My wife took a couple additional navigation courses and we both took radio courses with local sailing schools to get our Radio Operator Certificates (required to be legal for Marine VHF and SSB here in Canada). I fly as a hobby and had taken a celestial navigation course in the mid-90s so was comfortable enough.
- Maintenance. I grew up on a farm maintaining equipment, do a lot of my own minor car maintenance (oil changes, filters, brakes, etc) and restore airplanes as a hobby so didn't spend as much time preparing for that part as some others. I did pick up a few of Nigel Calder's books and highly recommend them even if you've got some existing mechanical and electrical knowledge, they're really well done.
- Reading. Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes is a spectacular resource for planning. There are tons of good books on preparing cruising boats. Note that some however can be dated and are very traditional (ie. watermakers, solar, GPS, radar, AIS, refrigeration and furling gear have come a long way since the '70's, 80's and even 90's). This combined with the author's biases means you'll find lots of conflicting data to sort through (ie. Steve Dashew & Lin Pardey - two very different perspectives and cruising styles, and IMO both are valid for the type of cruising they prefer), but I think reading both can help you sort out which you're more drawn to.
- Offshore experience. To see if we'd like it and therefore plan for longer offshore passages vs, coastal or Caribbean island hopping, we both did offshore sail training legs. We did this with Mahina Expeditions (Mahina Expeditions conducts sailing and navigation training and expeditions in the South Pacific and offers offshore sailing seminars) in the South Pacific but there are others who do this also.
- SET A LEAVE DATE...... To me this is the most important planning step of all. Once we'd set this date, we could then lay out a plan backwards (gaining experience, selecting a boat, buying a boat, fitting out, kids schooling research & prep, telling family & friends, work, etc, etc,) from it. LSomething like 5-8 years is too vague in my opinion and runs the risk of staying 5-8 years out for many more years. There'll never be a perfect time and you'll never have enough money, so we just chose a date around our kids considering where they'd be in school for the time we planned on being out. This forced us to start aligning our day-to-day decisions (budgeting, careers, buying a new couch....or not, pets, etc, etc, etc,) with the longer term plan. We've got friends who have been 'a couple years away' for many years and really aren't any closer I believe as they keep inadvertently setting 'anchors' to keep themselves from leaving.

I do have one further observation on your plan. Do I understand it right that your planning on Florida or the Caribbean in the winter, then back to the Great Lakes via the St Lawrence EVERY summer? That strikes me as a long 'commute' and I'm not sure we've met any cruiser doing that route on that frequency. Others have far more experience in that part of the world than I do though and are probably better to advise on whether that part of the plan sounds realistic.

Cheers and have fun planning......and leaving!
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Old 03-01-2017, 00:59   #54
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

I've done the route you are considering. You certainly do not need to spend $200k. You could get a very nicely appointed, solid cruiser in the Great Lakes for under $100k. Look for one someone planned to cruise but never left the dock. Put the other $100k in the bank then spend it on the improvements you will want later.

For single handing I wouldn't like to go over 35'. Everything just becomes too heavy and big so when **** hits the fan (it will) there's just too much boat to get under control. Our last boat was a Pacific Seacraft 34 purchased on Lake Superior for $85k. Top quality boat and perfect for a single hander.

Important: get a boat with no more than 5.5" draft. Anything over 5.5" and you are going to have trouble using the canal systems that make going South a lot easier. Bahamas is one of the best parts of that trip and with anything over 5.5" you will be restricted.
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:52   #55
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Totally agree ...... and have yet to meet anyone who believes their boat is really totally perfect. Everyone would like more space, cheaper mooring/marina fee's and less maintenance, more powerful yet more economical engine(s) that never give issues and that sails faster - it is no different to owning a house or car as there is always a next job or wish. Do some research into boats that appeal to you, are within budget and keep back some cash for upgrades/maintenance and and go now. The boat is a tool, just like your house or car, and does not need shiny buttons. You certainly do not need to trade up in steps either, wasting more cash in the process.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
You of course are kidding. Baby steps? He does seem to have some knowledge and why not get the final boat and learn a bit and leave. We did. We bought a brand new Jeanneau DS40 and had to wait a couple of years to leave until I retired but we got to know the boat and our only experience before buying the boat was a few ASA sailing lessons and a couple of charters. I am one who does not believe that you need XX number of years of little boats then YY number of years of a bigger boat then get a boat and rehab it and maybe leave some day.
We got a boat that fit our purposes and learned her a bit and left. We made a lot of improvements on her over the years but while others are still rehabbing their boats we have been our visiting the world. Are we great sailors? NO - can those who sail small and now are rehabbing their boats better sailors than us - YES - have we got more miles, countries and wonderful memories than them - HECK YES
go with what you want, learn her and sail out and enjoy this great life
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