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  #41  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
I (we) hear you Brian.

It's because of those health issues that we need the next 2.5 years, autopilots, windlasses and lots of power for the lux's in life. Not to mention padding the baby feline (kitty).

Aaron, you have my respect for minimalist sailing, but it's not for us.
Thank's and yes of course, I got my boat from my Grand parents who upgraded to a center cockpit something or other. I plan to spend my later years aboard a 50 foot Cat with four bedrooms and four heads and a bar with and out door shower and a hard bottom zodiac, two deisels and some rugrat's running around deck. I'm still bare bonesing it but as my career in the Merchant Marines is moving along and my finances along with it I forsee some wonderfull comfort cruising on the horizon. Glad as @#!*% I spent the first 20 years of adult hood cruising like I did and looking forwrad to the next 30 doing like I will. I just want the OP to realize how little he needs and not be detuored by the ominous, over whelming and daunting expedition he's about to embark. He's going to have person after person saying "well you need this and can't go with out that and what about this.... and finances and reserves and portfolio's and this % of this %......" It really is as simple as catching a breeze on the right boat and sailing south. Buy some tomatos at the market when you get there and sautee them up with the capers and canned chiken breast you bought in Bulk last month a BJ'S. For some 200,000 bucks is almost broke and for some it's stinking rich.
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  #42  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by KelleyG View Post
My boyfriend and I are getting ready to leave for our new Caribbean life as well. We leave just after New Years from Florida. We plan to take an extremely frugal approach and hope we can stick to a 1200 - 1400 a month budget. We have a 1974 34' Seafarer that we've spent the year "outfitting." We didn't spend anywhere near 70K so we needed to make a few updates to her before she'd be ready for the trip. Thank you all for sharing your experiences. They make me more confident that we can actually do this (budget wise) if we are determined enough.

Kelley
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Hey Kelley,

Go for it. It will be great. Are you waiting until January to leave NY? I have not done that, but seems it will be a cold and bumpy ride.

Look forward to seeing you guys down here.

Brian
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  #43  
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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

No right or wrong. We could probably give it all up and make do from here out. However, our kids would pay too. We are fortunate enough to fund their (very expensive) educations and other things they can't do for themselves yet. If we keep going (and make it), we will have a very comfortable retirement. I get the thought of potentially dropping dead and missing out. That's a risk for sure.

However, we spend as much time aboard for 7 months as humanly possible and will try to get a week or two in the Caribbean this winter. This only works because we are working. In the end, we spend probably 90 days aboard each year, while working. Its pretty close.

If the plan works, we'll retire at 60 and spend 6 straight months aboard each year and 6 ashore doing day sails. If our health holds out, that should be good for the rest of our lives, or until we're physically unable to sail.

For me, I'm still shooting for that, rather than blow it all now. Just me.
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  #44  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

Here's an option for you:
When you sell your house, buy a small commercial space if available for a decent amount. Rent this space for commercial rates and you'll find that these rates rock compared to residential plus commercial tenants don't complain nearly as much as residential folk do. Pay a friend to manage the property for you or pay a management company. figure at least 6% for that fee.
At the end of the cruise, sell the property and hopefully it has increased in value by then but your principle should mostly be in tact. My thought on this is that the rate of return should be way higher than the 5% that you would be lucky to get in an annuity.

just a thought.
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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

Well, excuse the pun, but I'm blown away by the great advice and variety of opinion on here! Thanks to all, I'm learning a ton.

What I'm learning:
The big picture I'm getting is that you can do it on virtually any budget, depending on how crafty, dedicated and willing to rough it you are. I'll be having a big discussion w/ financial advisor today to get a much better picture of what I can expect. I am starting to think about supplemental sources of income. I could see working a seasonal job for 3-4 months a year and that basically paying for the rest of the year, allowing my savings to continue growing. I could also rent instead of selling my house, and that would bring in some money, though exposing me to more risks as well. There may be some freelancing opportunities too.

While I want a larger boat 37-40 and to be comfortable, I probably lean a bit more toward Aaron's lifestyle of doing the work myself and figuring out ways to do things inexpesively (but in a seaman like manner). I bought the 37 foot Islander I had in Hawaii for $15k and sold it for $35k after putting maybe $3k and many hours of my own work into her...so I'm a do it yourself kind of person and definitely look for deals. I've broken even on 4 boats I've had and made money on 3 of the boats I've had - a total of $25k in profits. Hmmm...maybe I'll buy and sell boats!

Based on responses I'm also definitely going to expand my search for the boat, both in types of boats I'll consider and regions to shop. I think now that if I don't find a great deal on a great boat in the PNW that when the time comes I'll get a cheap car and just start driving east, looking at boats along the way. The idea of getting a boat in the great lakes or chesapeak bay is very appealing. And starting from florida would work too.

I'm also rethinking what I'll need to outfit with. I think you guys are right - start with the boat as is, make sure it has a bimini, safety gear and motor in excellent condition, some solar power and just start...I can always add stuff as I go and that's sure to save me money in the long run.

Would still like to hear what costs are involved in mooring to buoys, anchoring and docking in the carribbean? I imagine my favorite part of this will be the mix of finding isolated anchorages and spending time anchored outside of small port towns, taking the dingy in and meeting people/exploring, but not sure if there are costs involved or if that's free? Perhaps it varies.
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  #46  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Hey Kelley,

Go for it. It will be great. Are you waiting until January to leave NY? I have not done that, but seems it will be a cold and bumpy ride.

Look forward to seeing you guys down here.

Brian
We're having the boat shipped to florida where my family is and will leave from there. With Sandy and the Nor'easter that just came through or window to leave is pretty long gone now. We'll be leaving Florida around New Years though!

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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

If I was cruising on a budget, I would plan to have a new-generation anchor and all but never take a mooring or clearly never a slip. The much bigger expense of cruising the caribbean is going to be entry fees into each country, if you are going to move around a lot. Look them up. Some are breathtaking, IMO. Many even charge you to leave (departure tax)!! Wild stuff.
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  #48  
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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

Minnewaska is right, entrence fee's, extensions and departure ( which I rarely pay) bring the biggest baddest ground taclke you can handle and call it your personal mooring. I have 70 pound danforth stored where my engine was> gigantic for a 28 footer, my primary is 50 pound CQR with 100 5/8 chain. I've never and I mean never paid for a mooring. Any where there is a mooring field there is anchorage. The harbours anchorages are'nt policed like the States or Canada. Marinas in the western Caribbean are generally 5 bucks a foot or so. Not the Yacht Clubs. avoid the word and people who think they are on a yacht. a yacht is a 100 feet or more and has a professional crew clipping your toe nails for ya. You are a sailor on a boat, with that mind set the world is your oyster and living is free.
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  #49  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric-the-red View Post

Would still like to hear what costs are involved in mooring to buoys, anchoring and docking in the carribbean? .
You never need to pay to anchor in the Caribbean. Mooring balls at about $20 per night. But you would never use them if you are on a budget.
marinas the same, I have never been in a marina, but once or twice, in the Caribbean.

Some places in the Caribbean are really quite cheap. Grenada, for example is $10 per month, free anchorage, $1 bus to town. You could stay for 6 months on your visa (?) and just wait till your investemnts catch up.

Even in the expensive places like the BVIs anchorages are there, and free.

If you restrict yourself to South America, Mexico, Caribbean up to the Bahamas its all quite affordable if you need it to be.
But you need to exclude the USA, and thoughts of the Pacific, Europe, Africa etc till your finances and boat work itself out over a few years.

The first year is the most expensive.
But after 4 years I still have difficulties... but I can now afford other people to do important work: the engine, etc. even bottom painting.

And I can afford to go get drunk and eat out! YIPPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
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Re: My Escape Plan - Insights Wanted

Great summary on Estrellita's blog:
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