Time for another quick update.
It's been over four years since the first post, and almost two years since the last update.
We continue to live in London, UK, and tweak and improve our '73 Rival 34. This year she got a full rigging check, new primary winches, and a full bottom check and new anodes. We had the life raft re-certified and we have a new EPIRB. One of her windows broke a few weeks ago (just cracked up in the frame while at the dock), and that's being repaired this week.
As for classes, I did complete my Yachtmaster Theory course last winter, and I've done the First Aid, Radar, and others. My wife has also done the First Aid and Diesel, and in the next couple of years will do her Yachtmaster Theory course over a winter.
We had to cancel most of our longer sails this summer because I had a massive project at work for the entire summer, but that's slowing down now so we have some shorter trips planned this month and in October.
We went to the Southampton Boat Show yesterday and picked up an indoor butane heater that runs off of "Butane Battery" cartridges that are supposed to last about 1.75 hours each. It puts off Carbon Dioxide but not Carbon monoxide.
Next summer we're planning two to three weeks of sailing to France and the Channel Islands on our boat with the kids.
We love our Rival 34, but it's always fun to think about the next boat. Our kids are getting larger and older, and before too long they'll be looking at colleges. At the boat show yesterday we decided that we might start thinking of a "next boat" to coincide with our 50th b-days in a few years. By that point, we'll likely have dual citizenship if we are still living in the UK, which will make it easier to sell our Rival and buy another boat.
At the boat show, our favorite boats again were the smaller Arcona sailboats, a Swedish boat that is more affordable than HRs and similar:
Arcona 34 foot
Arcona 37 foot
What's fun to think about is having a five to eight year boat loan for the next boat, and having a budget of around 100,000 sterling, so that work on paying off a new, possibly larger boat in the last years before early retirement (while also helping kids with college costs, etc.). In the end, we want a boat that would be good for cruising for two most of the time, so we're not considering overly large or heavy boats.
The Arcona are great new boats and not over priced in the 34 to 37 foot range, but they are somewhat rare. We'd also consider up to a 40 foot older Ovni, or a newer up-to 40 foot Dufour.
The Dufour was our second favorite boat of the show yesterday:
We could likely look for a newer 40e performance model in the future. All things being equal, I'd be happy with the 34e, but if we're going to retire early to cruise for a few years, we're going to need space. Some could say the Dufour is "too light" for long range cruising, but I'm open to consider it. In our budget, we could have a 2000 model or newer.
So, that's the update. We sail as much with the kids as possible, in voyages of 1 to 3 weeks. We own and maintain an older 34 foot that is very stable and safe, but heavy. We're planning for a lighter but manageable newer boat in the next 3-4 years. We're balancing saving for college with current sailing costs and long-term sailing costs. We like the idea of dual citizenship and early retirement.
The lists goes on. It's fun, however. If you go back to the original post, one might ask "what about cruising with the kids for five years?" For us, living overseas is much like cruising (we take vacations on the continent, and we're planning a week vacation in Malta for xmas, we sail across the English Channel), so in some ways that desire was fulfilled in a different way. As the kids grew older, we gave in to the financial side of things (how do we get them a great K12 education, how do we save for their college funds, how do we save for an early retirement and still have health benefits, how do we sail as much as possible, in interesting places, while achieving all these goals).
So, for now, that's the course we're on.