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Old 10-14-2009
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Questions on my Cruising Plan

Here is my plan. I am 55 and in excellent physical shape. I would like to go now, but I have to get 2 kids through college and the current financial rewards in my employment are too good to pass-up. Within 5 years I plan (with my partner) to purchase a 38’ boat, sail the east coast to get experience, head to the Bahamas and ultimately island hop down the Caribbean, and as my experience builds ultimately spend several seasons in the Baltic area (I lived in Estonia for 2 years) and the Mediterranean. I have chartered in the Bahamas, BVI and Sporades, Greece.

Based upon my research to-date, I am interested in either a Pacific Seacraft or Island Packet boat with a budget of $150,000 (I understand the pros and cons of each design). Given a relatively short time frame, I can’t spend years refurbishing an older boat. For formal education, I plan on obtaining all ASA certifications and endorsements (via Bluewater Sailing School) as well as small engine and diesel repair classes.

Unfortunately, I don’t live near the water, (Colorado based). However, I am a very proficient outdoorsman and am quite capable of skiing off a 14,000’ peak in hazardous winter conditions so I understand the importance of reading the weather. By profession, I am a geologist so I also understand the importance of maps, projection systems and navigation fundamentals. I am also quite handy with most tools and home repair projects.

My question to the older “salts” on the board, does this sound viable?
Thanks!
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Old 10-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telesailor View Post
My question: does this sound viable?
Sure it does (although there will be those that say it doesn't ).

Your plan to start with small jumps and graduate to voyages over a space of time is the best way.

You ability to operate under pressure will stand you in good stead and charter experience won't have done any harm.

Hey listen, if a 14-year-old can do it, it's a walk in the park for you.

As for your choice of boats, I've seen many Island Packets out there so they can't be that bad but I know nothing about Pacific Seacraft.
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Old 10-15-2009
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Sounds like a great five-year plan! Definitely sounds doable, but I wouldn't limit myself to those two brands of boat. I would suggest you look at boats that have already been outfitted for cruising. With your budget you should be able to find an older boat that has been well cared for. You might want to charter a sistership before committing to a boat. Both the brands you are considering are very sea-worthy, but may be a bit on the slow side. While you don't need a performance cruiser, when on passage, the longer you're out there the more likely you'll have to deal with weather.
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Do you have additional money in the budget for refitting? They all need it! Plus taxes, survey, insurance, dockage, etc etc etc etc
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Old 10-15-2009
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I'd point out that you probably want to get the boat a few months before your departure date to familiarize yourself with it and finish fitting it out. Save about 20% of your budget for fitting it out, upgrading and customizing it. Boats are not like cars and often need some tweaking and customizing to get them to sail the way you will use it.
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Old 10-15-2009
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Hey SD, How are you these days?

Telesailor. Even though you live away from the salt, Cruising is like an apprenticeship and you need to learn your trade and booklearning and tickets only go so far. I believe one must do all of the above, but get a small boat and learn it's idiosyncrasies inside and out until it is too small for you, then upgrade to a bigger boat and redo all this until you have the cruising boat you feel is right for you.

This will take time and more than SD's few months.

Keep SN informed - it will be good to hear of your experiences and great to hear when you finally set off.
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Old 10-15-2009
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I would suggest that you take opportunities, if time allows, to crew on various deliveries in order to get proficient at watch-keeping, staying warm, marlinespike seamanship, etc.

A number of "fast-track" cruisers have been baffled by the immense energy required to push off, only to think "now what?" as uneventful watch follows uneventful watch. Frankly, being at sea can mean long stretches of boredom, interspersed with short stretches of terror (a bit like trench warfare, maybe?). It's important to develop the mental disciplines and routines that allow you to stay focused and busy in one situation and calm and effective in another.
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Island Packets are terrific boats. Based on your budget don't overlook those
Catalina 380/400/420's!!
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Old 10-15-2009
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My Cruising Plan

To everyone...thanks for the input and suggestions. As I mentioned its a 5 year plan and I learn something w/ every post....but I agree there is nothing short of real life sailing. If anyone has more specifc info on other affordable bluewater capable boats, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2009
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I want to qualify this as advice from a rookie . I just got fed up with a world I hardly recognised at age 60 & with no buget to speak of just jumped believing a net would appear . I bought a boat Oct a year ago , moved aboard & sailed from Mass. to Maryland where I remain working on the boat after not setting foot on a deck in 35 years . I , like you am in good physical shape . Most of my adult life had been spent in harsh unforgiving enviornments from Montana to above the Artic Circle in Alaska & I had been about all the scared I was ever going to be . My point being the most importent tools you have are your mind & your mindset & the ability to rise to an occassion in a calculating & deliberate manner when you have to & take the next step when you can . If I were not in possession of these attributes I would be serious about cultivating them as I regard them as so much more vital then budget or choice of boat . I quickly was made aware in my 1st storm that mother nature has no particular esteem or deference for the state of my finances nor what boat I chose to venture out in . I'm not meaning here to discount those considerations , but merely to priortize them . Best of luck to you .
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