First off, thank you Newport for starting this thread, and thanks to all you other members for keeping it going and as always providing insightful knowledge.
I too have been struggling with this cruising idea sense Christmas of ‘05 when I went with my girlfriends family as they chartered a ketch in the BVI's for 10 days. It was the best time of my life. Well no **** as I am sure most of you are thinking. Beautiful weather, scenery and water, how could one not enjoy it. While all this is true it was the beauty of sailing and simplicity of the lifestyle of the captain as well as the other folks that we met that really took hold of me. Coincidentally, Just before I went on that trip I stumbled across a great deal on a 25ft “gunkholer” that I intended on turning for a profit. Needless to say I couldn’t part with the boat and still have it. I had no real experience sailing other than sailing a Prindle when I was much younger, and by boating experience has only been with motorboats my whole life. My parents had me “cruising” up and down the ICW @ 8 months of age in a wee little 21ft sea ray and for the last few years I have been working on a local party/charter boat on the lake. Anyhow, I hooked up with some local club racers and have been crewing in every possible regatta or race for anyone in the need. Talk about a crash course in learning to sail. Thankfully I have crewed for some great skippers and they have proved to be a great source of knowledge as well as great friends.
I am 20 now and I feel the pressure more now than ever to start seriously preparing for the infamous “plunge”. However I still have two more years of college which is now my main priority. Here lies one of my dilemmas. As an engineering student all the profs and recruiters really emphasize how important real world experience is and employers want at least 3 years experience before they will even talk to you. So I plan on working for at least 5 years after I graduate to build up my “kitty” because I would rather err on the safe side as far as the financial aspect goes as well as give myself some more time to research, learn, test and retry. Thankfully I have a girlfriend of 3 ½ years who is just as enthusiastic as I am about this whole sailing lifestyle.
How did you do become financially sound if you don’t mind me asking? Also I too have been considering the crewing possibility but how does one get involved? I have enough time to get a 100ton master captains license (in shore though), is something like that necessary?
Your post about taking a boat and traveling around instead of back packing really hit home with me. Thanks.
Your post also impacted me. I use to fear bankruptcy as I knew it to be in later life but now I fear a bankrupt life.
And best of luck to JustinC25, Deckhanddave, & Garett
WOW, Sorry that this has become a rant and I don’t really know where I was going but I appreciate all of your input and maybe someone can slap me out of this dream or some advice would be nice.