Digest: I'm in my mid 50's; 3 years from retirement
to sail on other people's boats now; After retirement
I plan to buy a boat
for at least a year or two then decide what's next.
I've been "dreaming of the sea" for about 40 years but life has kept it to mostly dreams. I've had a few kayaks and a small trailer
sailboat at various times. Sailed a little with friends over the years. Many places in the world I would rather be land-based, but for the Caribbean
I want to have a boat
Working at home during the quarantine, sending my youngest off to college this fall, realizing I can retire in 3 years have all added up to me deciding this is the time to prepare for the next stage of life.
Due to my specific finances I won't be buying a boat
until I retire. Beyond finances, since my initial goal is to sail the Caribbean it seems more prudent to to wait until retirement and buy a boat in the correct ocean!
Until then I'm sailing in the LA area with friends in their 33' boat. It's quickly becoming obvious that hanging around the docks one gets invited to join crew on different boats for weeknight races so I'll hopefully start doing that soon. Maybe next year do a seamanship/sailing class. In terms of learning
to maintain a boat it turns out if you volunteer to help people clean strainers, change oil
, varnish teak
they will train you for free!
My "dream boat" is irrelevant today since every different boat I sail on teaches me something about what I like and what I don't. When the time comes my criteria will likely be different than it is today. I imagine something 20-30 years old around 33' or 10 meters length. The probable hard constraints are: Good for solo sailing and living; OK for 3-4 people during a passage
or a week at an island; Cost plus upgrades/repairs/provisioning/taxes under $100,000- ideally more like $70k which of course means the boat itself would be under $50k.
That's enough for now...