I've been lurking on this site for awhile, and finally decided it was time to introduce myself and start participating in the discussions here.
I first started boating
on the Chesapeake Bay
when I was 6. We would go camping on the boat
at the marina on most weekends, and fishing
and crabbing in the Bay. At 10, we moved to Ft. Lauderdale. We had a house on a salt water canal
, and kept our new boat
docked at home. We cruised the Florda coast and the Gulf Stream
nearly every weekend. I spent my High School
years in Naval Junior ROTC and the Sea Scouts. My retirement
goal has always been to buy a live-aboard
sailboat and circumnavigate.
I spent 22 years in the Air Force, the last 2 deployed to forward locations for OEF. I retired in 2003, and have spent most of the last 15 years deployed as a DoD contractor supporting combat operations at a dozen different forward locations around the world.
I'm now in my late-50s and approaching real retirement
, and have been searching for my dream boat
for the last two years. Although I have called or written to sellers of a dozen different boats, I have only traveled to inspect one so far. It was a 94ft. steel hull ketch for sale
for a third of its insured value. It had been used as a research
vessel by a non-profit organization. They had new equipment
being donated, and wanted to simply eliminate their expenses of maintaing such a large boat that was no longer being used. Since it was the first boat I looked at, I was hesitant to make an immediate offer. By the time I had made a decision to take the risk and buy, another prospective buyer had put the boat under contract
, and I lost
my opportunity. Still kicking myself for that hesitation. But, I learned a lot from the inspection
experience, and am still shopping
for a similar vessel.
I am aware that if I decide to go with a boat of that size, at least a minimal crew will always be necessary when underway, and I will probably need to hire a captain
until I have the competence and experience to manage all the boat operations myself. But, I am still healthy, active, smart enough to learn what is necessary, and humble enough to realize that I have a great deal to learn.
I currently live in Nevada, but I am planning to relocate to Florida
later this year. I plan to acquire a boat and begin restoring and refitting while I am learning
and still working a regular job. I have already picked up a lot of great information from this forum, and am truly happy to see how supportive and accepting most of you are toward us newbies. My sailing/boating skills are 40 years out of date, so I know I have a lot of catch-up learning