Originally Posted by Mrphbrew
Do you have any suggestions on where to start?
Start with research
on all the aspects of doing the jump - finances - short term and long term, soul searching on what you and your mate will be giving up and gaining and how sure you are of that, how to decide what type of boat you want, how much you feel you need to learn (sailing skill, mechanical skill, etc.), your tolerance for risk, and on and on. Get the book I suggested and read it. If you still think it is for you after that then you can put together a road map to make it happen. No one can lead you through this step by step. There is a lot to understand, evaluate, and work
on. I took about 6 months of research and soul-searching with my spouse (an easy sell as it turned out) before I went looking at boats and seeing first hand what marinas
are like and whether it was possible to live-aboard
while getting ready to go out.
I have met sailors, from Colorado, idaho, Montana and elsewhere, who could travel to their boat out here enough times for extended times where they could put their boat together and then go cruising. Usually those have already had boats of some sort so they felt more comfortable with less time on the current
boat to go. That's not the norm though as expense, job commitments, and sometimes family
commitments prevent that, so most will have to be closer to their boat for at least some time before going.
Some people "just go", i.e. buy a boat, go, and learn on the way. There is a long, and controversial, thread on that on this forum. Of the sailors I have know that have pulled that off, I know two more that did not do well. Boats, even brand new one, will need careful attention to their equipment
, and potential "necessary" upgrades to be safe, both to prevent boat failures as well as owner failures. Not everyone believes that though, mostly, in my observation, those who have never gone much of anywhere, although I am sure there have been some. It was not for us though.
This is not going to be easy. If you have tons of discretionary funds, you could hire mechanics and boat techs to go through a boat or upgrade it to add/replace electronics
, etc. You could give them a list of what you want specifically, otherwise just hand them a blank check and watch the thousands and thousands come out of your bank account. I'm a bit conservative so others might do better at that than I would, and my budget
is only barely adequate to do what I need/want to do, and I do 98% of all the work on the boat myself.
To get started YOU have to get started. I don't mean to lecture, but roll up your sleeves and start with basic homework. One of the very best ways to get a better idea about it is to talk with cruisers who have been there and done that. Colorado actually has a few of those, but how you would find them I am not sure. Otherwise you'll have to go where the cruisers are. We have many here that have gone around the world, as this is a major cruising starting/retiring port. Usually ports
are where you can find those. Books
about cruising are out there, - very good writers who are active cruisers. Put some of those books
on your list. You can find many of those mentioned on the forum here.
Good luck. If it is for you, there are few things more satisfying in my opinion. Lots have tried it and found they didn't like it, or the money
they poured in to it, and went on to do other things - sometimes leaving a good boat to rot
in Mexico or Florida
if they can't sell it, or can't give up on the dream even though they really can't pull it off. But what a life it can be if you make it work.