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  #11  
Old 02-15-2013
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Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Eric,

I am 41, have two kids (9 &12), live aboard and cruise. We have been doing this on and off since about 2000. Honestly, we know little other than this life. That being said, here are my opinions:

First, I would probably not do the charter business. My opinion, but I see those boats pushed hard. If you are going to try and make this work for you and your family, especially as a 4 month/year liveaboard, then set the boat up as you like it and make it your second home. Since you are taking a loan out, you will be able to write off the interest on it anyways. While you are not on the boat, just put it on the hard. However, you might also condier leaving it in the wate for long weekends/vacation time outside of your norm??

Location? Boy, the Carribean would sure be tempting. However, your costs are going to go up a lot on everything, from outfitting, slippage, insurance (which you will have to have), etc. Our insurance for 225k policy is 2800/year which includes all the gulf, bahamas, and all of the east coast. Our last quote to head to the carribean was 4800 I think.

I would conisder keeping the boat in the St Pete area. There are lots of yards, not much of a winter (which prevents having to winterize), and lots of areas to cruise. You can head to Pensacolla which has beautiful hills and blue water for the end of spring, or sail down to the TOrtugas to what is I think the most beautiful area in the US, or spend some time in the keys snorkelling off the back of your boat, or jump to the Bahamas for an even more exciting adventure. I am not knocking the Carrib, but I would personally start here (and did start on the West Coast of FL). The west coast of Fl has a lot to offer for anchorages, nice people, and reasonable rates (for FL).

Happy to answer any other questions.

Take care,

Brian
Cruisingdad,

Do you have any suggestions as far as marinas for storage in the St. Pete area? I saw on another thread several complements for the Indiantown Marina that is inland a bit from Pt. St. Lucie. The rates are at least half of those I saw posted for a couple places in the caribbean. Florida is likely the most logical choice starting out the more I think about it. I do have what is another somewhat silly question. Are the water temps in south florida/bahamas in January/Feb ok to swim in? My boys are 7 and 4 currently and like the boating more for the swimming/exploring than the sailing. Having good swimming opportunities would make my life much easier. I am getting pretty excited thinking about all of this. Thanks again for all the advice

Eric
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  #12  
Old 02-16-2013
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Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslanderGuy View Post
As to California, the reason the haha leaves in November is that's the end of the hurricane season in Mexico. IIRC, it starts up again around June, so your January to April time frame would work out well there. Then the rest of the year it could be chartered in California, north of the hurricane issues.

Ive always wanted to do the haha but I just lack the funds for a trip that will require me to be gone for so long an motor so far back to my slip.

I agree about chartering. Very difficult to get it to not run in the red. The amount of regulatory red tape you will have to deal with is staggering.

On that note though there has been an ad running in CL that you might find relevant Boat Charter Business for sale.

Supposedly that is the boat from the movie Captain Ron. One of my favorites. Ive been watching his ad on and off for over a year now. Might be worth looking in to if your set on that course of action
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  #13  
Old 02-16-2013
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Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Eric,

Kansas is much too far from real water, No doubt!

Here is a suggestion that would make sailing in spectacular places easily accomplished given your family and employment situation. Consider New England. The Carib is just a nice cruise away or a flight to charter anywhere you choose for a couple of weeks. That would be very possible during winter months when your boat is safe on the hard. Great cruising grounds, excellent cruising weather (not life threatening sunshine every day but fair winds and plenty of places to hide if necessary), a maritime culture with lots of possibilities for where you locate. Cities like Boston or Portland, (my Maine bias) are full of life and opportunities. The inland country is varied and spectacular. Mountains, rivers, lakes, wildlife,......Great hospitals and schools. Small towns too. My GP built his own 34' aluminum ketch here in Bar Harbor. Sailing? Sailing is done all day, every day from May to October. The Maritimes offer Canada's hospitality for summer cruising. The Maine coast could take you the rest of your life to explore and if racing is on your mind, that too.

I'm just saying! It is our little secret

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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeast450 View Post
Eric,

Kansas is much too far from real water, No doubt!

Here is a suggestion that would make sailing in spectacular places easily accomplished given your family and employment situation. Consider New England. The Carib is just a nice cruise away or a flight to charter anywhere you choose for a couple of weeks. That would be very possible during winter months when your boat is safe on the hard. Great cruising grounds, excellent cruising weather (not life threatening sunshine every day but fair winds and plenty of places to hide if necessary), a maritime culture with lots of possibilities for where you locate. Cities like Boston or Portland, (my Maine bias) are full of life and opportunities. The inland country is varied and spectacular. Mountains, rivers, lakes, wildlife,......Great hospitals and schools. Small towns too. My GP built his own 34' aluminum ketch here in Bar Harbor. Sailing? Sailing is done all day, every day from May to October. The Maritimes offer Canada's hospitality for summer cruising. The Maine coast could take you the rest of your life to explore and if racing is on your mind, that too.

I'm just saying! It is our little secret

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I vote SOUTH! Go to the warmth. Avoid snow, driving cold rain, and endless dark days at all costs. This is a no brainier. AS much as I respect Downeast450's opinions, I would just leave this one on his doorstep with a "not interested" sign.
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Last edited by kellysails; 02-16-2013 at 12:23 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-16-2013
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Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
I vote SOUTH! Go to the warmth. Avoid snow, driving cold rain, and endless dark days at all costs. This is a no brainier. AS much as I respect Downeast450's opinions, I would just leave this one on his doorstep with a "not interested" sign.
I could have offered my house in Naples if I hadn't sold it last spring. I sold the one in Everglades City a couple of years back. I have nothing against SOUTH. Sailing doesn't require south nor is it necessarily enhanced by it. Been there done that. Keep smiling! I will opt to visit from now on.

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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by strandedsooner View Post
Cruisingdad,

Do you have any suggestions as far as marinas for storage in the St. Pete area? I saw on another thread several complements for the Indiantown Marina that is inland a bit from Pt. St. Lucie. The rates are at least half of those I saw posted for a couple places in the caribbean. Florida is likely the most logical choice starting out the more I think about it. I do have what is another somewhat silly question. Are the water temps in south florida/bahamas in January/Feb ok to swim in? My boys are 7 and 4 currently and like the boating more for the swimming/exploring than the sailing. Having good swimming opportunities would make my life much easier. I am getting pretty excited thinking about all of this. Thanks again for all the advice

Eric
Eric,

I am typing this from the Harborage Marina in St Pete right now. We found this an awesome place and really good people. Salt Creek is right beside it and they will put your boat on the hard for when you are gone. St Pete is a wonderful place and one of the best we have found as cruisers to date. You also have Tampa Interntaional airport that is about 20 minutes away and you should be able to get flights easily and cheaper than distant locations.

There is also the city marina here and St Pete Yacht Club, but one has a high admission price and the other is not nearly as nice as the Harborage.

If you have any other questions, just let me know. I am happy to help.

Take care,

Brian
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  #17  
Old 02-16-2013
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Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Eric,
Here's my $0.02 worth coming from the husband of a physician who knows how you medical types have difficulty unplugging for any significant amount of time (have you actually tried leaving your practice for 4 months at a stretch?) 8-) Just knowing my wife and her fellow docs that love sailing and how they all tend to drift back to patients, patient care, skills that they worry are getting rusty, CME, whatever, something ALWAYS seem to pull their thoughts from cruising to medicine after a week or three. Ever been in an anchorage with more than one doc sitting in the cockpit after dinner? Guarantee that talk will find its way to medicine! 8-)

Your a doc. Either buy a boat and park it on the coast where you want to sail to and from, what CruisingDad suggests is very sound advice, or move to a coast. Yes cost of living goes up near the coast but so does income. A good, solid, coastal cruiser does not have to cost an arm and leg, you can get a nice family boat for under $100k ready to go. St. Pete and the entire Gulf Coast of Florida is reasonably priced for storage and offers great sailing. January/February in the panhandle is cold but you can easily head south to the keys and the Bahamas. Last summer I took a leisurely two weeks to go from St. Pete around the keys and over to Bimini, lots of fun!

So, if we were hanging out at the dock having this discussion I would offer you this advice. 1) if you can't move to a coast, keep a boat someplace you want to sail in the U.S where you are familiar with laws and customs and that part of the equation is easy to work through. 2) Choose a "boat home" someplace easy to commute to and from. (St. Pete fits the bill nicely with TPA close by) since you will likely have the long weekend when you will want to go sail occasionally. 3) I would avoid the charter idea as it would be running a business, hard on our boat, and charter companies may not take you on with your schedule requirements. 4) Have fun and enjoy sailing with your family! Nothing better in my book than time onboard with our kids. 5) Wherever you keep your boat does not have to be a lifelong commitment. You can do a year in Florida, a year on the Chesapeake, a year in the BVIs, etc. It's a boat, move it around and put some water under its keel!

Best wishes and et us know what you decide to do. We have many medical friends that are as addicted to sailing as us, it is doable.
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  #18  
Old 02-18-2013
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Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeast450 View Post
I could have offered my house in Naples if I hadn't sold it last spring. I sold the one in Everglades City a couple of years back. I have nothing against SOUTH. Sailing doesn't require south nor is it necessarily enhanced by it. Been there done that. Keep smiling! I will opt to visit from now on.

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I prefer sand versus mold between the toes And yet, here I am up in sunny Seattle. A temporary situation which I hope to resolve in the next 3-4 years.
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  #19  
Old 02-18-2013
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Re: Ideas and/or guidance

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Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
I prefer sand versus mold between the toes And yet, here I am up in sunny Seattle. A temporary situation which I hope to resolve in the next 3-4 years.
I have heard it rains a lot in Seattle. No mold here. It is too cold for mold! I am the moron who hits himself on the head with a hammer because it feels so good when he stops. Put on the shorts, flipflops and sunscreen and head out into another day of Florida's sun. Glad I did it. Won't make the mistake of having it for a full time diet again. My druthers. I think it came down to missing the variety here in Maine. I know the way to southern beaches when the jones gets too strong. Moes surgery survivor.

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Old 02-18-2013
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Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Eric,
From Kansas you should really look at Great Lakes sailing. Travel there will be greatly simpified. I've been supscribing to "Good Old Boat" for a while and they (the editors) are Great Lakes sailors. Their season is just about four months, locales are spectacular, weather pleasantly cool in the summer (they seem to think 85 degrees is a broiler) and sailing grounds unlimited, especially for someone with four full months to sail.

You could then augment your summer sails with a charter in the tropics, and do you have ice boats in Kansas?

I'll bet that if you contacted Karen Larsen and Jerry Powlas at good old boat they would give you a very picture of what to expect.
John
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