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Old 22-12-2016, 16:50   #1
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Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

I have been sailing the Great Lakes since I was 10 years old in day sailers, from 11-30 feet. I understand the concepts of sailing, some about harbors and electronics, but am unsure how I should start looking at and planning for a boat I would live on. That is 5-8 years away, but want to get started.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 22-12-2016, 16:59   #2
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Welcome Matey.
But do tell us about things like boat purchase budget, distance of horizons, crew numbers, monthly living expences / anticipated costs.
You're going to love this place.
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Old 23-12-2016, 04:48   #3
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jack.
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Old 23-12-2016, 10:17   #4
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

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?
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Old 23-12-2016, 10:29   #5
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

How much time do you plan to be in a marina vs. mooring/anchor?

We're starting off for a couple of years in a marina while still working. That pushes down the priority of better battery bank, power generation, power conservation, water desal, storm preparation...

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Old 23-12-2016, 10:40   #6
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

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Old 23-12-2016, 10:41   #7
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Hi Jack, I would say get a boat now, and go cruising as much as possible. You live in one of the great cruising areas of the world. The best way to learn is to do -- so go do.

I would buy an inexpensive, but solid older cruising boat; something in the 26 to 32 foot range. Go explore your surrounds, and then further as your skills develop. Learn how to manage all the systems of a typical cruising boat (rigging, deck, anchor, engine, sails, navigation, electronics, refrigeration, plumbing, head, etc…).

After you’ve cruised with this boat for a few years (seasonally) you’ll understand what you really need and want in The Boat.
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Old 23-12-2016, 10:44   #8
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Mike OReilly, thanks. Good suggestion

Rick G, I would say about 65/35 anchor/mooring vs marina
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Old 23-12-2016, 11:11   #9
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Hi Jack, I would say get a boat now, and go cruising as much as possible. You live in one of the great cruising areas of the world. The best way to learn is to do -- so go do.

I would buy an inexpensive, but solid older cruising boat; something in the 26 to 32 foot range. Go explore your surrounds, and then further as your skills develop. Learn how to manage all the systems of a typical cruising boat (rigging, deck, anchor, engine, sails, navigation, electronics, refrigeration, plumbing, head, etc…).

After you’ve cruised with this boat for a few years (seasonally) you’ll understand what you really need and want in The Boat.
I would suggest doing the opposite (not to be contrary). Your budget allows for a purchase in the 45ft range less than 12 years old, so buy something fully equipped, be comfortable and enjoy your sailing adventures.

Meanwhile, save your money, obtain a charter license and charter a 40 footer once a year leading up to your purchase. Don't get buried financially and emotionally on some old fixer-upper, focus instead on the end game.
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Old 24-12-2016, 02:04   #10
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Quote:
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?

We sail a Jeanneau DS40 and I single handed it for a year up and down the east coast of the USA -- but you need to make a list of what you want in a boat and start a search and attend a bunch of boat shows not to buy but to look and see and learn what you like and what you don't

as for cost there are 2 of us and we capture each penny we spend - about 2.5-3k per month
our 7 years expenses are here -- http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ta-164643.html
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Old 24-12-2016, 09:56   #11
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Welcome to the forum.

I would suggest you consider building up your reference library...

I recommend you begin by giving yourself the gift of The Voyager's Handbook by Beth Leonard.

Enjoy the journey...

Cheers! Bill
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Old 24-12-2016, 10:05   #12
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
as for cost there are 2 of us and we capture each penny we spend - about 2.5-3k per month
our 7 years expenses are here -- http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ta-164643.html
Thanks, Chuckr, for sharing.
This is really helpful for us being realistic for casting off in 2019
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Old 24-12-2016, 10:22   #13
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

As Mike said, first things first, buy your boat. Live on it, make it home, love your boat and enjoy being on her. But remember, like any woman she'll have things that drive you crazy. You may even want a divorce. But it's better to find out now than later.

If you're in the Great Lakes the only way to get to the Gulf on the water requires you to pass under some low fixed bridges. You'll have to unstep your mast before entering the canal system in Chicago. I don't know for sure how far south you'll have to go before you can put it back up. Prepare a cradle before you go, you may decide to keep the mast down until you get to the Gulf.
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Old 24-12-2016, 10:23   #14
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

I assume you are looking to pay in USD $200K . With the exchange rates, you could buy one hell of a boat for that kind of money in Canada. I would lean towards a bigger boat for live abord. Just make sure it is solid. You might not always be single handed. I have been learning my boat for 5 years on Lake Ontario so I am ready to head down the St Lawrence in June. Counting the days.
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Old 24-12-2016, 10:35   #15
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Re: Starting to plan for a Cruising Life

Perhaps I should expand on the reasoning for my advice.

First off, I really do believe the best way to learn the cruising lifestyle is to do. You’ll quickly discover (as you likely already know) that sailing is the easiest part about the cruising lifestyle. It’s all the other stuff about owning and living with a cruising vessel that is the challenge. Cruising is not the same as chartering for a week or two a year. That is called vacationing. Cruising is about living and exploring from a smallish sailboat that you are responsible for.

Secondly, unless you are very wise, it is hard to know what is important to you and your crew in the choice of boat right off the bat. Spend a few months living and travelling on a boat and you’ll start to learn what you really want and need — what’s really important to the way you want to cruise.

The OP lives on the Great Lakes — an amazing seasonal cruising ground. With a boat in the 26 to 32 foot range (s)he can get going right away. Start learning how to manage this floating, moving home. All without a major outlay of cash. Go bigger if you must, but at this range you can find inexpensive quality boats that contain all the standard systems found on all cruising boats. And at this range there is no where on the Great Lakes that are out of reach.

My suggestion is clearly not the only way. Some people have successfully gone the chartering route, and bought The Boat right off the bat. But if you poll most cruisers here you’ll quickly learn that most of us have gone through multiple previous boats before arriving at their current The Boat.
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