I've been lurking around here for a long time, and as my dreams have moved along, I knew I had to jump in and start posting.
Here's my story: I'm 39, a couple careers into my life, and like most around here, yearning to sail away. Last week, I decided to sell my business and pursue the dream more seriously. I've given myself a year to get my poop in a group and head into the blue.
My s.o. shares my dream, so she's gonna come along!
My general plan is: over the next year, slim down my life so the transition into the boat will be easier. The business is either sellable as a business or I may just "part it out" and sell the assets. The house will be rented out, but it's pretty easy to do that where I live, so finding a tenant will be pretty easy.
As sailors, my s.o. and I have a good background, but with a dry spell for the last while. We both grew up sailing, lots of east coast lake and ocean sailing, mostly in boats in the teens and 20s.
Last year I went to Blue Water Sailing School in Florida and got my ASA 101-104.
That said, neither of us has ever owned a boat bigger than a Laser.
As far as other experience, I'm a commercial pilot, so I'm very comfortable with navigation. I can pretty much work on anything. I feel very comfortable with electrics, plumbing, engines, etc. I've rebuilt a number of engines for cars, both gas and diesel.
On the other hand, I've never done much with fiberglass, although I understand the processes and what is required to do a job correctly.
My basic plan is this- buy a boat that is in the southern east coast somewhere, with the intention of being wherever the boat is (or relatively close) for a month or so while we learn the boat, work on whatever needs fixing, and get ready. Once we are ready, cross to the Bahamas and beyond with the idea of spending a year on the boat.
My thoughts at the moment are to spend in the 10k range for the boat with an additional 5-7.5k for repairs and upgrades. That combined with an additional 15k for life expenses, for a total of 30k+ for the total budget for the year abroad.
Clearly, it's a plan, but all plans can change. If we can bank more money than expected, I think the only thing I'd change would be the initial purchase price of the boat, but probably not past 15k.
I'm sure some will say it's not enough money, or not enough time.... but I've turned a corner from dreaming to doing.
Brian, Welcome to SailNet! Glad you decided to jump in.
A couple of comments on your plans:
1) Maybe consider looking further up the East Coast for prospective boats -- boats from the Chesapeake region, Long Island and New England tend to have the advantage of less wear and tear due to the shorter sailing season and less UV exposure.
2) Your Budget: Others will chime in, but your $30K budget sounds unrealistically low for a boat that will take you and S.O. to the "Bahamas and beyond" as well as inclusive of all other maintenance, refit and personal expenses for a year. In my opinion, the $30K budget is barley enough for the boat and refit alone, and that would not be a very recent or spacious one either. Then again, what you have in mind and what I'd have in mind might be very different.