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Old 12-03-2020, 16:10   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Germany, soon..Hawaii!
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Hello from Germany.

Greetings from Germany! My wife and I are in the very early stages of planning to select and purchase a catamaran for liveaboard. We’re in the process of deciding a few things regarding both the timeline and our general strategy for purchse. Our tentative timeline is to either purchase a new catamaran and place it into charter for approx. 5 years starting in 2021, or save up and purchase a used catamaran in 3 to 5 years. We haven't decided on a specific make, model, or length yet in order to gain some experience first. We do have some initial ideas/impressions. We like the Bali 4.8 (we've only been on the 5.4 but hope to tour the 4.8 at La Grande Motte), Saona 47, Lagoon 450 (we've been on the 46), Elba 45, Helia 44, and Astrea 42.

My wife and I grew up on the water. I love swimming, snorkling, surfing, kite surfing, and scuba diving, but we've been land-locked for a while now. We both have a lot of experience primarily on motorboats on Lake Michigan and the Carribean Sea. My wife has never sailed and I've only sailed on friends' boats (monohulls) and completed the RYA competent crew course years ago in Singapore. I was also in the Navy for 15 years and have coastal and riverine small boat experience. We’re working through our schedule for the remainder of this year in order to maximize our exposure and experience. We have some significant family events occurring through the end of the year including helping our youngest (of four) child prepare for his senior year in High School starting this fall and aspirations to attend the Air Force Academy. Our oldest three are all in the military following in my footsteps (in their own ways)! I transitioned from the Navy to the Army and recently retired at 44. I'm currently working as a humble Government Service Civilian. We have been in Germany for five years and can stay an additional three to five if we like, but we would honestly like to get back to Asia. I intend to fully retire in approximately five years regardless.

We hope to attend the multihull yacht show in La Grande Motte this April if it is not cancelled due to the covid-19 hysteria. My wife and I are excited to tour some more yachts following attending Cannes 2019 and Boot 2020. We also plan to hopefully charter in the Virgin Islands or California this year for a one week ASA 101 – 114 course. We hope to bareboat charter this fall in Croatia, and possibly in Asia next year. I have limited experience sailing in Asia, and my wife has no experience, so we are looking forward to getting miles under our belt. I will say that currently we are still undecided if we want to purchase a new yacht to place in charter, or purchase a used yacht. I would appreciate some experienced opinions regarding both options. I look forward to chatting with all of you and exploring our future return to the ocean!
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Old 27-05-2020, 16:10   #2
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Location: Germany, soon..Hawaii!
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Re: Hello from Germany.

I figure I'll add an update to my greeting since there were no responses anywho.

COVID-19 and the restrictions which followed in response have put some of my plans for this year on hold. No multihull show at La Grande Mott this year, and we will have to wait until July to try to get to the ASA 101 - 114 course. We will still try to bare-boat charter here in Europe this fall and adjust plans for next year based on those two experiences.
I think we've decided, for now, that we're going to save up some more for the next 2-3 years and continue to charter and build our experience before we buy a used catamaran for liveaboard.
At that time we'll more or less be in the position outlined in this post:
We will probably finance the boat since it will be our only debt (mortgage will be paid off!)

If we purchase in 2 years, we'll have more money for refit before I stop working and we can have the refit done while we live in an inexpensive apartment and I work. If we wait, we can refit and have a substantial cruising kitty and emergency fund by the time I want to stop working. We'll determine if we want to start minimizing our footprint and move aboard or move back to our place in the USA during refit. Either way, I can still go back to part-time consulting for a good chunk of change episodically to supplement our budget once we start cruising.
In any event, we will take things slowly for the next 3 years, learning as we go.
Once we set off, I expect to cruise around Europe (if we find a yacht here) or the Caribbean with some time staying put in the USA or overseas to get some certifications/schooling using the last of my GI Bill (housing allowance will supplement slip fees and boat mortgage!) or we will use the GI Bill and get some formal schooling back home during the refit.
In any case, I will continue to try to remain open to all of the advice and information available; flexible in our planning; and honest enough to make the right choices for our happiness whether on or off the water.
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