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Old 20-01-2018, 10:07   #1
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Thumbs up 2 years countdown, new member

I've been lurking for almost a year or so, finally got around to registering.

Have been planning my exit from land to sea for almost 4 years now, with about 2 years to go. Early 40s and want to be out by mid-40s if the budget can be decided.

The plan, right now, is to pick up a "trainer" sailboat in SE Florida this year, budget of about $140,000. Good news is I have a free dock on the canal about 20 feet from the intercoastal. Will be paying cash for it after spending at least half of this year browsing and kicking tires.

Want to put 2 years of "training" on it, although the folks I talk to say that's a lot of training schedule. I can fly down to Florida about 25 times a year for 3-4 day visits. Want to see all 12 months from the cockpit before venturing anywhere. I already spend at last 60 days off land through a combination of big ship cruises, small boat charters and a bunch of 1-2 day excursions. I have very little experience captaining or crewing other than trading some grunt work (cleaning, swabbing, etc) for a discount on those charters and excursions. This year I will spend 70-90 days at sea through a variety of these outings, including hopefully my own small sailboat.

Long term goal is to hopefully sell the trainer and upgrade to something in the $400,000 range because I have no mortgage and would rent my house out to cover some of the loan (figure the house rents for $1800-$2200 a year and has very very low overhead thanks to other rentals I own in the area that cover my property taxes and insurance free and clear).

Estimated annual budget for living aboard (me and SO) would be in the $36,000/year range at a minimum but naturally about double that for "just in case" situations.

Don't see myself coming back to land for at least 20+ years with luck and proper planning.

My time on these forums is to read more than ask, take notes, and eventually have the confident to share my own experiences, opinions, etc.

Thanks for all the folks who share what they share, especially budgets, emergency situations, and general maintenance and gotchas. This stuff is so helpful.
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Old 20-01-2018, 10:30   #2
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Howdy and Welcome Aboard as a Member.

From what you describe, it sounds like an admirable plan, and a enviable position you will have.

Bon Voyage on the Forum and later on the ocean!
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Old 20-01-2018, 10:32   #3
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Re: 2 years countdown, new member

I would accelerate that training schedule by about 18 months. Get the basics with a couple of one week sailing courses and then go sailing in the Bahamas and on to the Caribbean.

A few periods of 2-3 weeks will be more beneficial than 25 day sails!

Look at www.CGSC.org sailing programs and their 30 ft Beneteau rental program. After that you can get crew experience on longer trips via the forum or 'crewbay.' Three CGSC members are advancing from their cruising course to real sailing by crewing for me from Japan to Alaska.

If you have $400,000 to buy a boat spend $300,000 and keep $100,000 for fixing it.
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Old 20-01-2018, 10:53   #4
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Re: 2 years countdown, new member

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Howdy and Welcome Aboard as a Member.

From what you describe, it sounds like an admirable plan, and a enviable position you will have.

Bon Voyage on the Forum and later on the ocean!
Appreciate the warm welcome! I have been planning on the financial end for long enough that my friends first thought I was insane, now they're jealous. 7 years without TV/cable, 4 years without owning a couch (!!!), 3 years without relying on a car, etc. Those pennies all added up to shave about 10 years off my future work needs, and if I keep at it another 2-3 years I figure I'll shave a total of 20 years off.

That compound interest, it's really ridiculous.
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Old 20-01-2018, 10:59   #5
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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
I would accelerate that training schedule by about 18 months. Get the basics with a couple of one week sailing courses and then go sailing in the Bahamas and on to the Caribbean.
That's what most people seem to suggest, and I have been pondering some other options, but the one issue I have is my old man is getting up there in years and he would love to take a few easy rides from Miami to Key West in nicer weather, so I figure even if I have the classwork done, I still want to keep it easy while he's still around.


Quote:
A few periods of 2-3 weeks will be more beneficial than 25 day sails!

Look at www.CGSC.org sailing programs and their 30 ft Beneteau rental program. After that you can get crew experience on longer trips via the forum or 'crewbay.' Three CGSC members are advancing from their cruising course to real sailing by crewing for me from Japan to Alaska.

If you have $400,000 to buy a boat spend $300,000 and keep $100,000 for fixing it.
Appreciate that! I've checked out that webiste a few times, and it definitely would suit me consider I already take about 10-12 full weeks of vacation off a year just to spend on the mega cruise ships -- which I don't do because I like cruises, I just like being on water and it's the cheapest/fastest method to get there.

My boat budget involves a lot of spreadsheets I've worked up over the 4 years of research and pre-planning. I definitely need at least 4 cabins for my "first 5 year" plan, and I just don't see much I like under $400,000, but I am happy to say I'm ignorant and wrong. Since that boat would still be 2.5 years away, I figure I will learn enough from a small 2-3 cabin Gemini over 2 years to make a firm decision.

After those first 5 years on a bigger boat, I figure I'll know what I want to actually retire on full-time. I definitely plan to rent a variety of boats after spending 1-2 years on a small boat and see what works for me.

I keep a ton of spreadsheets, website links, quotes and notes on everything, and I know that doesn't even cut 5% of reality.

Appreciate the opinions, I do take them to heart and will add it to my pondering list!

Also should mention I'm not a millionaire, but even if I stop working today I should still have 8-10 years of reasonable income floating in, which really helps change the trajectory. I can't buy a $400,000 boat outright, but if I did, I would have consistent decent income for about a decade from the day I officially quit work.

And that allows quite a bit more error in budgeting than some of the amazing/horrifying stories I've read here, other forums and on blogs/vlogs.
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Old 20-01-2018, 15:28   #6
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Re: 2 years countdown, new member

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptABCD View Post
That's what most people seem to suggest, and I have been pondering some other options, but the one issue I have is my old man is getting up there in years and he would love to take a few easy rides from Miami to Key West in nicer weather, so I figure even if I have the classwork done, I still want to keep it easy while he's still around.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Welcome.

Admirable thoughts re your father. But given your plans and income, you might also consider paying A LOT LESS for your starter boat. Like half of that $140K. You could pick up a well found boat, like mine or a Catalina 36, or equivalent, for $70K, in good to excellent shape. You could go to Key West and even the Bahamas, with ease and comfort. These boats will offer you almost all you need to know and learn about boat systems, 'cuz they have them all. And that and useful and safe layouts are what you need to learn. Consider buying Nigel Calder's Cruiser's Handbook. It covers a ton of very important "stuff."

Just another option for you to consider.

Good luck.
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Old 26-01-2018, 10:45   #7
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Re: 2 years countdown, new member

Welcome.

I am envious of your position. Though we're close in age, I was not as conservative with my savings.

I live in SE Florida. Don't hesitate to PM me for any local knowledge.
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Old 26-01-2018, 12:17   #8
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Re: 2 years countdown, new member

Skip the training boat and get the boat you want. Why lose money and time with a training boat? You can easily get a nice 40-45' boat for the price of that training boat'!
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Old 26-01-2018, 14:37   #9
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Re: 2 years countdown, new member

I tend to agree with Sailorboy1.

I see a lot of people losing money by starting off small and then upgrading to a larger vessel.

You won't need a training boat. A keel boat is a keel boat. You can learn on a 40 to 45 just as easily as a 25 to 30.
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Old 26-01-2018, 14:48   #10
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Re: 2 years countdown, new member

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Skip the training boat and get the boat you want. Why lose money and time with a training boat? You can easily get a nice 40-45' boat for the price of that training boat'!
Sailor boy is correct. Getting your last boat first will save you a small fortune.
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Old 27-01-2018, 04:47   #11
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Re: 2 years countdown, new member

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, CaptABCD.
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Old 27-01-2018, 19:52   #12
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Re: 2 years countdown, new member

Before chiming in with an opinion, I figured I'd try to understand your plan better:

What kind of boat were you thinking of getting for 400k?

Why do you need 4 cabins?
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