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Old 11-15-2012
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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

Eric,

I've stayed out of this until now, because I'm not especially financially savvy, nor am I about the cast off my lines for long-term cruising. The most I can say, is that I'm living aboard a 30 footer, and on a tight budget.

Now that the preface is out of the way, here's my opinion:
Go, do it. Just scale back your expectations a little bit. Buy a smaller boat, keep things simple. This will translate into a large initial savings. Instead of betting on 5% growth, revise that to 2-3%, and accept the fact that you will work a little bit at odd jobs each year, while cruising, to supplement your income.

Get some skills.

It amazes some simple stuff that some sailors can't or won't do for themselves, like splicing! I've learned to splice line by watching Youtube videos for free.

Learn to sew, and pick up a used, heavy duty sewing machine. You can do canvas work out of your boat.

Learn marine electrical and plumbing work. Learn how to do brightwork correctly. People will gladly pay you to sand, varnish and paint.

Rigging: This is a big one. A lot of people will not go up their mast.

You can parlay these skills in marinas along the US coast to bolster your income, while bouncing back and forth between the islands without worrying about violating foreign labor laws. Best of all, these skills allow you to work on your terms, when you feel like it. The more of these skills you have, the more likely you are to find an odd job when you need it.

In the end though, the most important thing is to GO. You're young, fit and unencumbered by spouse, children and debt. You have some money. I can't see how your conditions could become any more favorable.

No one wants to lay on their deathbed and say "I was the biggest X-box champion... or "I watched more football on TV than anyone I know!"

When I give an accounting of myself, I want my list to be amazing.
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