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post #1 of 3 Old 08-26-2001 Thread Starter
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"The Plan"

My girlfriend and I have decided, after much dreaming and planning, to quit our 9-5 geek jobs, sell the house and head out cruising for a few years.

We had originally planned on waiting another 2 years to do everything but once we decided that we *really* wanted to do it and that we *really* could afford it, well, we''ve cut that down to 6-10 months.

The plan is to sell our house on the central coast of California, sell everything we can''t live without, put the rest in storage and move to the east coast of Florida. From there, we start looking for the boat, buy it, get it ready for cruising and then head off into the Caribbean, for as long as we feel like.

I''ve sailed on and off since high school but she''s only been out a few times, but loved it. I''d like to buy the boat and either live aboard or close to it and take a few months to get it ready for extended cruising and teach her (and refresh myself) on sailing.

We''ve bother decided that a 30-34 catamaran fits our needs and budget, so we''ve been researching the different models and brands. What attracted us to cats is the shallow draft, wide beam and roomy interiors.

Where on the east coast of Florida would be a good place to set up a base of operations? It would need to be close to the water, close to marinas that would have boats for sale, but we are willing to travel to find the "right" boat, and a nice place to live for up to six months.

Ultimately, our cruise will hopefully take us down the chain of islands to South America, up through Central America, Mexico and then back to the states.
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-27-2001
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"The Plan"

We have a similar plan.

Last year (2000) my husband and I, finally made the disicion to go cruising for a year while we are still young and do not have any children (plan to begin Feb. 2002). We chose to look for a catamaran, my husband''s choice, since we plan to cruise the Bahamas and the Caribbean. After doing a lot of looking about 5 months, from Annapolis - Key West we chose a 94'' Jeanneau Lagoon 37'' by TPI (20''6" beam). We had looked at 35''-42'' and decided we would not feel completely safe sailing in open water in the 35''(more of a costal cruiser) and the 42'' was a little too big for us. We also specifically looked for a boat that had not been chartered. Ours had two previous owners who took good care of her (looked close to new), only 800 hours on the twin 27 diesels. She came fully loaded with generator, inverter, radar, GPS etc., stove, 2 freezers, fridge, 3 cabins, 1 head, watermaker (needed new membrane). However, boats seem to always need something, though this one came with many spair parts. Ours needed:
part for the auto pilot - $700
Sail repair, minor stiching sunbrella $1900
Membrane for watermaker - $200
Bottom job - $995
New tools - $100
Spurs, fix nick on propeller blade - $300
Small pipe on the diesel needed to be replace (someone stepped on it) we had a new one after 10 weeks, (had to send to Japan for a new one) and had to take the entire engin apart and lift it up to get the old one out and replace. (I hope you know a lot about engines or are willing to learn). Lucky for use Todd, my husband, is very mechanically enclined, he use to work on all types of engines and now builds houses, does all the plumbing, electric etc.

I am sure something else will come up on our shake down cruise down the ICW to take the boat to Marathone Key in Oct. just after the Annapolis Boat Show.

Our boat is out of the water in Annapolis, right were we found her in Nov. 2000. Our goal was to finish the last two homes in our subdivision and then get out of dodge. We do however visit the boat whenever we can to get her ready for the ICW trip. (10hr car trip so it is not often)

We now have the boat, plan to take her to Marathon in Oct. take her out of the water, go back to GA, finish the last house by Feb. Close up the house (will not sell since we will be back, my mom is taking care of all the mail, bill etc., real estate office will take care of the house; I am a realtor), head down to Marathon, put the boat in the water, get her supplied and ready, head to Miami and wait for a weather window. And we are off between Feb. & March 2002.

Like Jeff says it is a lot of work and will take twice as long as expected, especially if you have a cat or dog (documenting to take to other countries). Take your time and savor the whole experience, the journey starts with the plan. (read everything)

Hope to see you out there! Kokopelli

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post #3 of 3 Old 08-27-2001 Thread Starter
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"The Plan"

The egnie work doesn''t scare me, I rebuild the engine in my racebike a dozen times a year. Electrical and plumbing is a little more of a mystery, so I guess I''ll learn as I go or pay qualified people to handle that stuff.

We are planning on taking our two dogs, I''ve been reading and researching everything needed to have all of the shots and documentation in order before we leave.
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