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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Making a thousand-mile offshore passage off what is often a lee shore with no safe harbor, as your first trip after a week's class, could be a bit much. Maybe an adventure, maybe a disaster.
You may have heard the phrase "there are old sailors and bold sailors but no old bold sailors" ?
It is easy to lose a lot by buying the wrong boat, or a boat, and then deciding you need to bail out of it "now". A resale can take six months to a year, more often than 60 days. So one might advise caution. Get some experience messing around with boats, get some experience sailing by workin gup from daytrips to weekends to a week here and there, and see if it suits you. Living aboard can be a lot like living out of a trailer--the kind that you tow behind your car, not a 40 foot trailer park trailer.
Can you do make a sudden jump & do it successfully? Yes, with some luck and skills. But your best bet is to try getting some sailing experience--even if that means just chasing down a sailing lesson here or there while you are on liberty in port--or at least, renting a place to live when you return, and then working your way up before you make that major investment in a boat.
If $40k is going to be "everything", make Real Sure you want to tie it up in boat, and that you'll be able to safely captain that boat, before you do. Boats also have a way of surprising you, in terms of what they need for ongoing maintenance, and surprises. Never owned a boat before, and plan to voyage in it? Marinas may require insurance, and insurers may charge you dearly for being a newbie who is voyaging. Little things like that--and being unfamiliar with the ongoing maintenance costs of the boat--can add up.
One thing you can do even while deployed, is to read up, on and off the web, there are plenty of articles & forum threads covering these things. By all means, go for the dream! Just send some scouts out ahead of you.