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  #1  
Old 05-05-2008
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The 6 Year Plan

Okay, I have just over 6 years until permanent retirement, well actually 6.23 years, or 2322 days until my planned launch date. Assuming all, or most goes to plan, here is my concern.

I have read several books regarding cruising and planning to cruise, as well as spent countless hours scouring Sailnet.com. As I see it I have three basic options.

Situation: My wife and I are D.I.N.K.'s, with very little debt. My plan WAS to buy a small 22-27' pocket cruiser to sail for the next 5 years, then about 6-12 months or so before launch date, sell the lil one to buy a coastal cruiser capable of comfortably living aboard and sailing around N. America, possibly further, on a boat that was 100% paid for and with a pension income of around $2000.00 (after taxes) a month and a reasonable sized kitty. That was option 1. Here are the others I have read/thought about.

2. Save save save, then save some more, sail only on non-owned boats. "Catch as catch can be" so to speak. Then buy "the one" just before you throw the lines off, sailing away into the sunset....

3. Buy "the one" now, going into some debt. In my situation the boat would be paid off with about 2-3 years remaining before my launch date giving me time to rebuild the kitty, and still have that $2000.00 pension forever.

Personally I am leaning towards 1 or 3. The sailing other peoples boats for 6 years doesn't appeal to me.

So, what are your thoughts?? Thanks very much.

Shawn
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Old 05-05-2008
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I'd go half way between!
Sail OPB for about 2 to 3 years and then buy your boat with about 2 or 3 years before you cast off. 2 or 3 years will give you time to break anything that will break and get comfortable with it. Never make major changes right away on a new to you boat. Figure out if it REALLY needs that change. Maybe there is a good reason things are set up the way they are but that reason doesn't pop out right away under 'usual' circumstances.
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Old 05-05-2008
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/\/\ I think that's good advice. That gives you the best of both worlds as far as sailing, "testing" boats out on the water, and building up your skills.

What's your sailing experience so far? Getting your feet wet before buying is a great way to "test drive" different boats, sizes, configurations. I don't yet own but have found that you can't really tell if you like a boat until you sail a lot on it and get a feel for it.
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Old 05-05-2008
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I like #1 with buying your final boat a little earlier say 2 years befor cast off for reasons listed by others...The problum with OPB is timing...you cant always make dates work out...and also seat of your pants experience teaches you faster...not that friends wont have tricks and advice to give you...but its their boat and they will be doing most of the decision making..

Also owning your own boat will require you to preform all the maintenance and upkeep issues...things you need to know...also teaching you the burden of owning a boat.
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Old 05-05-2008
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Well, this truly is a plan, I have zippo for experience, so I am really beginning with baby steps, I will be taking sailing and related lessons beginning this fall. Likely purchasing a boat of some sort in the next spring.

The good news is so far my significant other is right on board. Not as excited as I am, but willing to listen to me go on, and even throwing in a few comments here and there. That's way more than normal, so I am pretty sure she is excited as well, just much more pragmatic
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Old 05-05-2008
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If your handy with tools, find a boat that needs some cosmetic work but solid as far as sailing goes, buy it, sail it, fix it, and sell it for a profit, and repeat with something a little bigger. There are plenty of bargains out there that need a little TLC and elbow grease. I've stumbled into a $250K boat for next to nothing (cash wise, lots of work) this way. Just one more possibility to consider. See my website for my experience and prize.
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Old 05-05-2008
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I am always for door #3.
Buy THE boat and learn to sail on it and fix it up to be yours and learn all the systems. It is just as easy to learn how to sail and handle a 40 ft. boat is it is a 22ft. boat.

Your big problem with door #3 is that you don't KNOW enough about boats to PICK the right one for your plans. But you can get lots of help here with that and from friends and surveyors. Just don't believe the brochures or the brokers!!
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Old 05-05-2008
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I have found trying to sail other people's boats greatly reduces my time on the water. I just like being on the water even if I am working on the boat at the slip though, so I don't get the same enjoyment out of using another person's boat.

I think I would go with option 1 and possibly consider up to a 30 footer. That is actually similar to my plan except I have more than 6 years to go.

Last edited by gulfcoastcruiser; 05-05-2008 at 10:54 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
I am always for door #3.
Buy THE boat and learn to sail on it and fix it up to be yours and learn all the systems. It is just as easy to learn how to sail and handle a 40 ft. boat is it is a 22ft. boat.

Your big problem with door #3 is that you don't KNOW enough about boats to PICK the right one for your plans. But you can get lots of help here with that and from friends and surveyors. Just don't believe the brochures or the brokers!!
I agree with that to ..I just dont agree with the going into debt on a boat part...so couldn't vote for that one.
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Old 05-05-2008
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Greenman....... and others,

Your location is SASKATCHEWAN. Val, do you want to tell these people that this is in the middle of Canada, and not even close to an ocean?

Option # 1 seems to be a well thought out plan. You really should get on a boat, and get your admiral on a boat, before you buy a really nice boat to sail off into the sunset. There are many "sail off into the sunset" boats available in Mexico where the Southern Calif. wannabe cruisers ended up selling them a few thousand miles later! Sailing a boat is not a great thing for some folks, living on a boat is one of those 1% options when you get to the bottom line. If you are confident in those odds, you can gamble just south of the border. Bet big and go now!

You can buy the end all boat, which you may find you NEVER sail, but you are going to spend your kitty flying to get to it. There is some big water way north in Saskatchewan, and much more available in Manitoba, but no matter what you will need to travel. You also only have a few month season that far north.

With six years, at least TRY sailing and weekends on a small boat before you invest your future in a boat you may not be able to sell. Do that for a year, spend a few weeks on a charter in someplace warm in February (you deserve it living that far north), and see if you LIKE it. If you both don't LOVE it, don't do it.

I LOVE to sail. My wife LIKES to sail. I could live on a boat a few months a year, but I have no desire to have it as my home. My wife? A week at a time a couple of times a year...at the most! She is a good sport about it. We have survived 40 years of marriage because I spent 30 of them traveling half the time. My deciding to live on a boat would either extend the marriage forever or end it immediately.

Don't mean to burst your bubble....but TRY IT....hopefully you like it! Plus you have to get home in time to keep your insurance alive and well.
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