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Old 07-07-2019, 06:27   #1
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The 10 Year Plan?

Hello All.

I am new to sailing and new to the forum. My wife and I have been bitten by the cruiser lifestyle bug, and we are here gathering as much info as possible. Thanks to all! We are trying to draft a 10 year plan that can get us there and was hoping for a little advice/reality.

Our plan is to save $750k to $1mill over the next 10 years then transition to a cruiser lifestyle with the intention of circumnavigating the globe. We will be about 52 years old at that time.

One idea we had was to buy a less expensive boat (Like a Catalina 30) and live aboard on Lake Norman, NC for a few years, while learning to sail and repair sailboats. We figure we could get a realistic view of what living on a boat is really like, and also start to downsize our lives, which would also help with saving. We still aren't sure if there are any marinas that allow liveaboards in the Charlotte area, but we will be checking into that this week. If anyone knows of one, please let us know!

Does this sound like a viable way to get started? Should I be going about this a different way? Should I be looking at a bluewater boat now, and spending the next several years upfitting it instead? Some of the ones we are considering are Island Packet 35 and Pacific Seacrest 34 from the late 1980's. Would love to hear what others think of those choices also.

We are very curious to here how others with little experience decided to approach the transition to living aboard.
Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2019, 19:03   #2
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

A. Good luck! And I mean that optimistically.

B. You're right, the transition is the hard part... I started 8 years ago, and learned that insurance vs. personal skill, can act as a little bit of a barrier.... drill down, learn (yourself) what lies at the bottom of that well. NOT IMPOSSIBLE AT ALL!! But (your) skill level (and your firstmates) plays a role in becoming insured to A. play around seasonally (baby steps), and B. cross oceans.

Lots of great boats are available at much lower costs. Big polar opinions about monohulls vs. catamarans. *I think monohull, because they lay on the side of reefs, not on top of them when beached - ultimately more retrievable - and they don't get their rudders broken off and sink on smaller outcropings of coral (these statement likely will cause many to become offended)/ they tend to flip in open seas if weather gets insane. On the other hand, catamarans look simply incredible to live on at anchor.

Three other dynamics:

1. Complete protection from the sun is mandatory for your serious excursion: doghouses, pilot houses, protective awnings are essential gear.

2. Getting (to) the water is very important, and something you should REALLY pay attention to.
Sugarscoops on transoms have many points of consideration, and should never be added to a boat already built. The number of true blue-water boats changes drastically when taking this into account.

3. Keel type is simply critical.
Don't expect a light displacement sailboat to keep you safe (when FULLY provisioned... they aren't made for liveaboard, and their physics get serious when weighed down). Look for either Mid, or Heavy displacement sailboats, with emphasis on a short keel/ shoal keel, about 4+ feet in length. This becomes important in getting better "thin-water" anchorages.

Bristol
Oyster
Southerly
Alajuella
Hallberg Rassy
Valiant
Amel Maramu/ others
Lots more!!!

*The longer the boat, the more it costs... in just about every way.
sweet spot is 45 - 50 feet.

My shopping list has essentially just been spoken, and hopping aboard 2 years before globe-trotting (with certifications) and multiple error-free short cruises should see you insurable, safe, and sound.

Becoming essential:
watermakers (they have small issues with respect to potability and mineral depletion, but algal blooms are also becoming important to understand).

I think scuba compressors are also essential. Water can become VERY expensive if you have to purchase it on some islands.

That's the short list!
know exactly what a Bluewater boat is, and WHY!!!

Never let anyone dissuade you on ANY level, but keep costs down right away, and start learning on other people's boats.

Stats say most folks only liveaboard 3 - 5 years...
Walk in to this whole affair with an exit strategy (first). Even pedigree boats take time to sell, and at dock (that gets expensive). Exit strategies to my eye, mean you're about to lose a lot of money.... but hey! That's sailing, and those memories are (PRICELESS).

short hops will help both you and your mate decide if you can do what may be (at times) rough.
All-in means BOTH OF YOU.

Have fun,
belive in yourself,
STUDY!

Bill
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Old 07-07-2019, 20:09   #3
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papasail View Post
A. Good luck! And I mean that optimistically.

B. You're right, the transition is the hard part... I started 8 years ago, and learned that insurance vs. personal skill, can act as a little bit of a barrier.... drill down, learn (yourself) what lies at the bottom of that well. NOT IMPOSSIBLE AT ALL!! But (your) skill level (and your firstmates) plays a role in becoming insured to A. play around seasonally (baby steps), and B. cross oceans.


Bill
Thank you for the thoughtful response! Could you elaborate a little more about insurance? Are you implying that skill level plays a big part on being able to get insurance? Does certification help?
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Old 07-07-2019, 20:17   #4
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

If you want to develop sailing skills, it's best to have a boat you can take sailing. If you want to learn about sailing the ocean, that's where the boat needs to be capable of going.

If you want to develop "upfitting" skills, buy a boat that needs that, but don't expect to learn much about the ocean sailing environment.

Study, go sailing in challenging weather to learn coping modes. Read first, then practice.

Keep well. Learn from the inevitable mistakes.

Boats always depreciate. Banks know it, too. You'll have to investigate about the insurance, there will be requirements local to your area.



Ann
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Old 07-07-2019, 21:11   #5
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

Greetings. I live, and keep my boat at Lake Norman. I don't know of any marinas that allow liveaboards. However, that doesn't mean there aren't any, or they won't look the other way.

LKN is much different than ocean sailing. I hear from powerboaters how rough the lake is...they have no clue rough the ocean can be.

If you want to get sailing on the lake, I would get a day sailor cheap. You could also join https://www.lnsailing.org/ . Sean runs it....great guy.

Good luck getting out on the water.
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Old 08-07-2019, 21:18   #6
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papasail View Post
A. Good luck! And I mean that optimistically.

B. You're right, the transition is the hard part... I started 8 years ago, and learned that insurance vs. personal skill, can act as a little bit of a barrier.... drill down, learn (yourself) what lies at the bottom of that well. NOT IMPOSSIBLE AT ALL!! But (your) skill level (and your firstmates) plays a role in becoming insured to A. play around seasonally (baby steps), and B. cross oceans.

Lots of great boats are available at much lower costs. Big polar opinions about monohulls vs. catamarans. *I think monohull, because they lay on the side of reefs, not on top of them when beached - ultimately more retrievable - and they don't get their rudders broken off and sink on smaller outcropings of coral (these statement likely will cause many to become offended)/ they tend to flip in open seas if weather gets insane. On the other hand, catamarans look simply incredible to live on at anchor.

Three other dynamics:

1. Complete protection from the sun is mandatory for your serious excursion: doghouses, pilot houses, protective awnings are essential gear.

2. Getting (to) the water is very important, and something you should REALLY pay attention to.
Sugarscoops on transoms have many points of consideration, and should never be added to a boat already built. The number of true blue-water boats changes drastically when taking this into account.

3. Keel type is simply critical.
Don't expect a light displacement sailboat to keep you safe (when FULLY provisioned... they aren't made for liveaboard, and their physics get serious when weighed down). Look for either Mid, or Heavy displacement sailboats, with emphasis on a short keel/ shoal keel, about 4+ feet in length. This becomes important in getting better "thin-water" anchorages.

Bristol
Oyster
Southerly
Alajuella
Hallberg Rassy
Valiant
Amel Maramu/ others
Lots more!!!

*The longer the boat, the more it costs... in just about every way.
sweet spot is 45 - 50 feet.

My shopping list has essentially just been spoken, and hopping aboard 2 years before globe-trotting (with certifications) and multiple error-free short cruises should see you insurable, safe, and sound.

Becoming essential:
watermakers (they have small issues with respect to potability and mineral depletion, but algal blooms are also becoming important to understand).

I think scuba compressors are also essential. Water can become VERY expensive if you have to purchase it on some islands.

That's the short list!
know exactly what a Bluewater boat is, and WHY!!!

Never let anyone dissuade you on ANY level, but keep costs down right away, and start learning on other people's boats.

Stats say most folks only liveaboard 3 - 5 years...
Walk in to this whole affair with an exit strategy (first). Even pedigree boats take time to sell, and at dock (that gets expensive). Exit strategies to my eye, mean you're about to lose a lot of money.... but hey! That's sailing, and those memories are (PRICELESS).

short hops will help both you and your mate decide if you can do what may be (at times) rough.
All-in means BOTH OF YOU.

Have fun,
belive in yourself,
STUDY!

Bill
THanks for the tip about the sugarscoop. I hadnt really considered that aspect. Do you know any <37' Bluewater boats that have one?
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Old 08-07-2019, 21:19   #7
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohdrinkboy View Post
Greetings. I live, and keep my boat at Lake Norman. I don't know of any marinas that allow liveaboards. However, that doesn't mean there aren't any, or they won't look the other way.

LKN is much different than ocean sailing. I hear from powerboaters how rough the lake is...they have no clue rough the ocean can be.

If you want to get sailing on the lake, I would get a day sailor cheap. You could also join https://www.lnsailing.org/ . Sean runs it....great guy.

Good luck getting out on the water.
Yeah. Ive called marinas on several lakes. It looks like the liveaboard dream might be dead on arrival. Still looking. Know anyone that has a private dock for lease? Lol
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Old 08-07-2019, 21:21   #8
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
If you want to develop sailing skills, it's best to have a boat you can take sailing. If you want to learn about sailing the ocean, that's where the boat needs to be capable of going.

If you want to develop "upfitting" skills, buy a boat that needs that, but don't expect to learn much about the ocean sailing environment.

Study, go sailing in challenging weather to learn coping modes. Read first, then practice.

Keep well. Learn from the inevitable mistakes.

Boats always depreciate. Banks know it, too. You'll have to investigate about the insurance, there will be requirements local to your area.



Ann
The challenge is getting all that experience and still saving enough. The liveaboard and learn scenario was mainly so we could get started and keep our jobs. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near the ocean, so practice there will be rare considering costs. Thanks for the helpful tips!
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Old 08-07-2019, 23:21   #9
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitshickers View Post
THanks for the tip about the sugarscoop. I hadnt really considered that aspect. Do you know any <37' Bluewater boats that have one?
Be wary of drawing up a list of requirements this early on. If you're at year zero of a ten year plan, you have eight years or more to find the boat!

To counter the suggestion of a sugarscoop being essential, lots and lots of bluewater boats make do with a ladder. And as a result find it much easier to fit their wind vane on the back. Which is another can of worms of course.

Everything about a boat design is compromise!
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Old 08-07-2019, 23:29   #10
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

Don’t panic too much about what might be happening in ten years. There might be a huge stack of catamarans on the market that no-one can get rid of. First, learn to sail. Your idea of getting something cheap around 30 feet is a good one. You will want to get down to it as much as possible, particularly if you struggle to live aboard.

It might be worth considering moving nearer the ocean in the medium term if you can.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:41   #11
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

I think your plan makes sense, except that you need to get sailing first before you decide on boats and/or living aboard IMO. Get some experience on other people's boats if you can, especially out on the ocean, to be sure it still has the same appeal once you see it on various boats and conditions. Your taste in boats will change as you gain experience, and your ability to judge the merits of various designs will improve as well. I do understand you are looking to save money while living aboard and learning. The Catalina 30 is a good choice for what you are thinking, but be aware that it is really hard to LIVE aboard AND sail the home around to learn. You could get a boat to liveaboard and keep a smaller one nearby to practice on though, that would be a lot easier and more realistic. You'll likely need a storage unit or a panel van parked nearby if you want to liveaboard and maintain a kind of 9-5 job, especially if it requires a tie!
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Old 09-07-2019, 20:09   #12
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

Ok. A Change of subject, but any recommendations on getting on others' boats? I thought about joining a yacht club at the lake, but considering I don't own one I doubt its worth it. I don't know a single person who sails unfortunately. I thought about taking some ASA classes, but they will hardly give me a sense of sailing bluewater. Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 14-07-2019, 06:09   #13
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LubberLang View Post
Hello All.

I am new to sailing and new to the forum. My wife and I have been bitten by the cruiser lifestyle bug, and we are here gathering as much info as possible. Thanks to all! We are trying to draft a 10 year plan that can get us there and was hoping for a little advice/reality.

Our plan is to save $750k to $1mill over the next 10 years then transition to a cruiser lifestyle with the intention of circumnavigating the globe. We will be about 52 years old at that time.

We are very curious to here how others with little experience decided to approach the transition to living aboard.
Thanks!
So here's the thing... there are a million options for how to do this and a million people who will give you a million reasons why none of those will work.

Can your plan work? For sure!!
Could you also drop everything, go today and figure it out along the way? Yes! (ask me how I know)

Obviously wholesale life changes are difficult for most people, so assuming you aren't the type to simply quit everything and walk away today your plan looks like a good start. You're 10 years away, so the beauty is you have a lot of time for that plan to evolve/adapt as you go.

Buying a boat and getting practice sailing is one great goal over the next few years, but as someone who just bought/moved onto their first boat and taught themselves to sail over the course of a few months I can tell you that sailing is by far NOT the hardest part of the goal and lifestyle you've outlined.

Based upon our experiences over the last 7 months and the people we've encountered, I would say that you should focus on tackling a few different lifestyle changes at once over the next year or two and make sure you're prepared and/or even going after something you truly want (we bought/moved onto a boat without even knowing if either of us get seasick... and in hindsight we probably could have answered that pretty easily):

Right now you're asking about 2 very important questions (boat/sailing and finances).
But there are several other areas that seem to become the bigger hurdles for people at/near the end of those 10 years that you can start tackling/solving now:
- downsizing
- living in small places
- being nomadic/leaving friends and family behind

I cant tell you the number of couples we've already met who after years or decades of dreaming sold everything back home and bought a boat, moved aboard and then realized they actually hated it well before the first year was completed (several within the first month or two).

My advice would be start trying out all areas of this lifestyle now.
- Start downsizing/purging the stuff you've collected your whole life (amazing how hard this is for most people)
- Move into a house/apartment half the size of the one you're in now (or better yet, go ahead and make the leap into a studio apartment or better still, an RV).
- Move to a different part of the country to test out living away from friends/family. Maybe near the ocean so you can start testing your relationship to the sea as well.

The funny thing about the changes above is not only do you have a chance to start testing phases of this lifestyle to see how comfortable you are with each, you will likely [accidentally] start saving money while downsizing too, which means 10years could suddenly be 5-7 or less.

Most importantly... don't let anyone tell you that you can't.
Forums are full of people who sit at home and believe that because they aren't, that you cant.

Trust me... you can!
If anything, start making moves/changes and keep asking yourself how you can do it even faster!!
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Old 14-07-2019, 06:58   #14
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

One thing lake sailing will not teach you is the motion of the ocean or a bay near the ocean (and the currents/tides/salt water) which is an obstacle for many.

Here on the Chesapeake Bay you only have to deal with that motion the last 20 miles or so of the southern most part which for us in this area is all the time which is good practice

As far as preparation, go sailing.

The sooner the better and boat type really doesn't matter at this point.

Maybe for summer vacations you can go to Wilmington and take a sailing course on a large boat.

Sail Time here in VA Beach uses Catalina Capri 22's and they also have Hunters maybe 35' plus that I see students doing docking practice on as well as sailing.

The instructors have them back this large boat the entire length of the dock to one of the inner most slips

https://sailtime.com/virginia-beach/
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Old 14-07-2019, 07:07   #15
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Re: The 10 Year Plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LubberLang View Post
Ok. A Change of subject, but any recommendations on getting on others' boats? I thought about joining a yacht club at the lake, but considering I don't own one I doubt its worth it. I don't know a single person who sails unfortunately. I thought about taking some ASA classes, but they will hardly give me a sense of sailing bluewater. Thanks for the suggestions!
Folks are always looking for crew especially racers. You won't have a problem getting a ride/crewing on a boat and remember what type sailboat really doesn't matter at this point

Also don't worry about water color yet. Just go sailing

It could be brown water, green water, or blue water. Doesn't matter

I learned sailing on Arkabutla Lake in Mississippi. Crewed on big boats at Pickwick Lake, TN
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