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Old 26-11-2020, 07:09   #1
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Easing into a cruising lifestyle

Hi Cruisers,

We're an aspiring cruiser family seeking advice on ways to get our feet wet without jumping into a boat purchase. We've lightened to the overhead already...working remote from Playa del Carmen Mexico at the moment and down to suitcases. I'm gung-ho, but my wife is a little hesitant--we also have kids 6 & 4. We previously lived aboard as marina queens on San Francisco bay...a year or so in Berkeley and a few in Alameda. We loved it, but it was challenging to maintain conventional life outwardly, and my wife was not so fond of the cold/wet/25 knot sails. I'd guess I have 50+ days sailing under my belt, mostly single-handing (S2 9.2).

Does anyone have any ideas of how we could spend some time on a 40ish ft boat in the $50-200k valuation? Chartering in the BVI or Belize for a week on a half million dollar boat doesn't seem like it's going to give us the same experience as spending more day to day life on a boat that's actually in our price range, and it doesn't seem any charter operations are running 25 year old boats. Ideally we'd spend a month or more on a boat before buying.

Is anyone out there managing to work remote via 4G? I haven't quite got the gumption to let the job go...yet.


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Old 26-11-2020, 14:24   #2
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Location: Colorado, Annapolis, Florida, Bahamas, Maine, etc.
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Re: Easing into a cruising lifestyle

Hi Josh,

Welcome to CF

Many charter companies will only have newer boats due to their business model where they have individuals purchase new boats and keep them in charter service for some number of years. The charter companies usually restrict the boats in their fleet to a small number of models so that it is easier to maintain their fleet. A few charter companies follow different models and have a wide variety of boats (e.g. San Juan Sailing) but even with these companies the boats are usually less than 15 years old.

I don't think there is necessarily a lot of value in chartering a 25 year old boat that is in your price range versus chartering a boat similar to what you may buy but that is newer and more expensive. If you are chartering you won't be dealing with most of the maintenance and repair issues that you have as an owner.
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Old 27-11-2020, 05:54   #3
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Re: Easing into a cruising lifestyle

Chartering a boat is nothing like owning one. Charter to enjoy the sailing and the charter area , thatís about it. Itís like comparing a two week apartment rental to owning a house
Interested in smart boat technology, networking and all things tech
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Old 30-12-2020, 15:49   #4
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Location: Chesapeake, VA
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Re: Easing into a cruising lifestyle

We are in the same “boat” as you, with four kiddos we plan to transition to live aboard life within the next two-three years but need experience aboard a cat before we buy one of our do you do that?!! We live close to the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay, but not a lot of cats around here. We JUST found out Sail Time here in Norfolk is gaining a cat we can buy an annual membership for. It will set us back about $20K for the year but the hours, experience a a included training will more than pay for itself! With four kids, traveling anywhere to charter just for a week or 10 days would easily cost us another 5K on top of the 8-12K it would cost to charter’s starting to seem like a no-brainer. Is there a Sail Time near you?
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