Originally Posted by 42ndstreet
Valiente, excellent reply. As are the others. We would like to go with a 40-42'Beneteau or similar. I believe we can make it on 25k a yr. We will have about 250k in cash. We will buy used. I guess we better get moving on debt reduction.
My budget is about $25K/yr. also, and to achieve that, I'm putting money upfront into ground tackle, windlass, "overkill" battery banks and solar/wind/small genset options. We want self-sufficiency not only because it makes us feel more capable, but because being on the hook is far cheaper. I won't mind things like Panama Canal transits and the *occasional* dock stay if my usual course is to drop anchor or to pick up a free mooring.
I 40% mortgaged my house to get the boat (we paid it off in seven years previously to that) in order to "capture" the equity run-up since we bought it in 1998. While a good 70% of what we borrowed paid directly for the boat, there's enough left over to do some house reno in order to make it into two rental units. Our plan is to have tenants cover the mortgage while gone due to the fact that mortgage interest is deductable on rental properties here. In other words, it's actually a win on the tax side to NOT have a paid off house that is also a "principal residence".
We plan on selling the current 'expedition' boat after five years. I have already confirmed that a sale in Europe rather than in Canada, where we bought it, should command a 20-30% premium, as northern Europeans recognize the value in a steel pilothouse cutter that has been well-maintained and continuously upgraded. So basically, in my broadest planning, we will return after five or so years, move back in to half our house (which will seem like a palace of empty space!), and I will do a crewed transatlantic to get the boat to England or Holland and liveaboard until she sells.
The proceeds from that should pay off the remaining mortgage. We would likely keep one of the two "apartments" as a rental unit to provide a base income (our food and utilities, etc.) until we re-establish ourselves. I intend to do travel and sail writing (I've been nationally published in other fields since the mid-'80s, and figure I have a good crack at keeping that going at sea), and will likely do so after we return.
Then I will retrieve my "loaner" boat, a 33 footer cruiser-racer and start looking for a job again.
There is a load of information on prepping for voyaging. There is less information on "life after cruising" for those taking a mid-life sabbatical. Maybe there's a book in that, eh? Anyway, the logic of taking a "retirement" is unassailable, pun intended. We are young and healthy enough to enjoy and work as needed aboard, and debt doesn't scare me, having paid off a house once already.
Of course, if I can make enough cruising kitty money while on passage to pay for cruising and maintenance, maybe we'll just stay out there for the rest of our lives. There are worse fates.