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Old 11-11-2012
eric-the-red eric-the-red is offline
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My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

Hello everyone, new to the forum and excited to see all the great posts and information!

So, after 9 years I've decided living 8 hours a day in a cubicle just isn't cutting it and I think I've stashed away enough money that I might be able to buy a boat, head south and self sustain for quite a while.

I want to lay out my plan and hear from those of you with actual experience living this life what I may be missing. so please feel free to give your insights on my thinking around boat, destination, route, financials, or any other areas I'm maybe missing something.

Background: single guy, 40ish, no kids, raised sailing/racing a 35 footer on Lake Erie, 7 years in the Coast Guard, lived on my 37-foot Islander in Hawaii 2 years and a 35 Cruisers power boat for 2 years in North Carolina. Currently don't have a boat and live in Pacific Northwest.

The Finances:

Since I need the prep time in a number of areas, I'm giving myself 11 months to prepare.

I'll be selling everything - house, car, motorcycles, etc and if I wait to leave after our annual bonuses in Sept, I'll have just over $300k in various accounts, including 401k.

I plan to spend about $50-60k on a boat and $25-30k outfitting it. I'm thinking I'd buy it outright to avoid need to carry insurance. Currently liking the 80's Moody 37 or 376s. Seem well-built, comfortable cruiser with decent speed/sailing manners and a solid reputation.

That'll leave me about $200k in the bank. I'm thinking at 5% returns, I'm bringing in $10k a year. While I know you can spend a fortune cruising, I'd like to stick to a $500/month living budget = $6k year. Is that realistic?

I'm also thinking about $4k/year maintenance/repair budget.

So $10k a year incoming and $10k a year in expenses and I wouldn't have to touch my principle balance. This makes me think I can be pretty self-sustaining for quite a long time without having to work. But maybe I'm deluding myself. Is this a realistic budget for a 37-foot boat?

Insurance is a major concern. I'm thinking I won't get it on the boat, and I'm not sure about getting it for myself. I'm pretty healthy and don't typically need doctors. Do most cruisers have health insurance? How does that work in Mexico/Bahamas/Caribbean? Seems like this expense alone could blow my budget. Maybe Obama care will help! Or maybe I don't get it?

Escape Plan:

Use the winter prepping myself - diesel repair, first aid, spanish, SSB and navigation classes. Plus reading books on cruising - good books I should get? Plus finding the right boat.

I'll sell the house, buy the boat and move aboard next spring.

Spend the spring and summer prepping the boat, testing and practicing and leave in late Sept/early Oct and head straight down the West Coast stopping in harbors along the way so I'm doing mostly day trips.

Probably start off with a friend helping me make the passages so I can have some extra safety margin as I acclimate to the boat and long sails. Ideally hook up and shadow some other cruisers along the way so I can learn from more experienced sailors too. Is there an annual southern migration from the PNW I could join?

Goal is to get down to Mexico by end of October and then spend the next year or so cruising the Baja Peninsula & Gulf of Cali.

Then thru the Panama Canal and cruise Caribbean for a year or so.

Then probably a major haul out and head to Europe/The Med.

So, that's the plan so far. What do you think?
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