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AlyMel 04-18-2013 08:06 PM

US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks!
Ahoy ther,

My name is Aly and I am new to the sailboat world. I am a US Navy Veteran so I have experience with the Ocean and her greatness and beauty, and at times ugliness (;

Any who, I am definetly a noob at this sailing life style so bear with me as I get a bit wordy and please take no offense to my straight forwardness. I love you all (:

Please provide me with good detailed information as I try my best to explain what it is that my wife, Melissa (also a Navy vet) and I are looking to do.

1) We want to completely cut-off land life 100%

As I mentioned above my wife and I are Navy vets so we have been out to sea in the Pacific for over 110 days straight, so this is no issue for me or her. We miss Mother Ocean greatly! The dangers do not fase us, however, we have emence respect for her and the dangers that she possesses.
Melissa and I want to live "Full-Time" on a boat, as far away from shore as possible, No marina, No Slips, whatever! Completely away from all of society only to return to resupply or to perform or deal with any "unknowns" that arise which would force us to return to shore.

2) We understand this may not be cheap, but it is rewarding

I get it! But I am tired of paying rent and utility bills and using our Navy compensation that we receive for our disbilities only to give it to worthless a$$ landlords and greedy politicians and corporations. I understand the maintenece is something that requires funding, and time so I don't care. We would rather use "our" earned income on something that is for us than the latter.
With that said, would you kindly point me to a good informational source, such as a book or blog, which provides wonderful information on proper boat maintence and upkeep.

3) We want to live out in international waters

I have Google searched the distance between the US coast line to the International water line and have come up with a "Freedom Distance" of 300 miles. The sites I read say it's about 250 miles to the International Waters Line so I added 50 miles to be safe. Am I correct for this?
***(Please only provide straight answers for this, no personal opinions about how we should, or should not do this, this is our choice, thanks.)

4) With that in mind, which type of boat will we need to live happily 300 miles out?

Again, please humbly explain to me "for-sure" which type of sailboat we would require for this. I have been up and down the internet trying to understand the "Blue Waters vs Cruiser (Coastal)" Boats only to come up with opinions and half-a$$ explanations.
Which boats should I be looking for? We do plan to make trips up and down the East Coast (New Hampshire down to Florida) and straight to the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, etc).
Please, you are the experts and I am trusting your experience and knowledge on this. I am the type that likes to have the "Right tool for the Right Job!"

5) Anchoring out to come ashore

What my wife and I plan on doing is when we come close to land we simply wish to anchor out and row to shore in a raft to resupply or for whatever reason(s). My question on this is, how far would you say "it would be best" for us to anchor out and row in so to not break any laws that may exist which prohibit anchoring out near a State's shore?
I know Caribbean Islands don't have these laws, unless it's close to a Coral Reef. Nonetheless, this is how we plan to always arrive ashore(;

6) Were looking at getting a 32' to 41' sailboat

It is only my wife, myself and our two birds, (Coco, a Green Cheek Conure and Puff, a parakeet). We plan on selling, gifting and getting rid of as much of our possessions as we can, only keeping those which we hold dear to our hearts and souls. I noticed the prices vary depending on the year of the ship, the electronics in the boat, work done to it by the owner and so on.
Which manufacturers do you recommend we keep an eye out for when searching?

7) I am not looking for speed

I don't care for speeding or making eye-popping turns. We are simply looking for a boat that if/when the situation presents itself, has the potential to get us out of harms way in a fare amount of time. We want something sturdy enough to withstand Mother Ocean's pounding in the event we are caught in rough seas.
Also, space is fairly important to us, tho, not as much as one would think.

8) I know how to make money online so this is not a concern

I understand that 300 miles out there is no internet, nor do I care, however if you do know how to receive Internet 300 miles out, through a device please provide the information. I am an IT and tho it would be nice to still be online out there it makes no differnece. (:
Also, I know it would be worse than dial-up. Lol. So even if I can send emails that take 5 hours to send this is ok. Lol

9) Swimming in the Open Ocean

I will not kid you, I am afraid of what lurks beneath the ocean, mainly sharks. With this in mind, are there any products that I could purchase that would show me on a display, be it sonar or what-have-you, to make swimming a little bit safer rather than taking a Dive-of-Faith? In the Navy we had sharpshooters that would lookout for the sailors, so this is a very serious question to my wife and I as we love to swim. Thanks.

10) Lastly Cost

As I mentioned above, my wife and I receive disabilities Compensation from the Navy and so were set for life. Yes we have debts, mainly school loans and yes we wish to finance a sail boat, since automatic payments are common we can leave and not worry about it. However, we are looking either New or Used, between $10,000 (Which will probably require work to make her Sea Worthy, which we don't mind) and possibly $60,000.
Again, the important things were listed in 3&4. We are not by any means rich so I humbly as for your best advise and opinion on this matter. My family's safety is "EXTREMLY" important to me so that is my #1 concern.

Well, that's it, if you made it this far down I greatly appreciate you taking time out of you busy schedule to answer my concerns. I wish you all a safe and joyful cruise.


Embrace Change!

benesailor 04-18-2013 08:17 PM

Re: US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks
Watch Water World (with Kevin Costner), hang out at the local marina to see what fancies you, read all the topics on sailnet

AlyMel 04-18-2013 08:29 PM

Re: US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks
I have indeed watched Water World countless times in my life, great movie and have researched many threads. However, I still need better advice than this. No pun intended

killarney_sailor 04-18-2013 08:34 PM

Re: US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks
Some interesting questions and far too many for one response, but I will start the process. I would suggest that you start by reading books and blogs about people who cruise on an indefinite basis. There are many. Almost no one has the goal of staying offshore, although we met one British couple who would go where the winds would take them rather than focus on going in a particular direction. Most people go from country to country with the winds and the seasons and anchoring put just about everywhere and going ashore by dinghy. Our blog for a trip from the eastern US to South Africa (so far and going westward) is listed below. A really good handbook for extended cruising is 'The Voyager's Handbook' by Beth Leonard.

The important distances are 12 nautical miles which is the limit of a country's territorial waters and 200 nm which is the limit of a country's economic zone for things like oil drilling and commercial fishing.

Your budget is pretty small for a boat around 40'. You are better looking in the 32 to 35' range which would limit your carrying capacity, on particular for staying offshore.

As for swimming, there are not many opportunities since it can be hard to get back onboard if the conditions are at all rough, which they are most of the time.

Affordable Internet offshore does not exist. In much of the world you can get decent Internet, often using WiFi which 'may' be available even in the anchorage.

AlyMel 04-18-2013 08:59 PM

Re: US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks
Much Gratitude, this was all I was asking for. Have safe journey my friend!

bljones 04-18-2013 09:35 PM

Re: US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks
AlyMel, I applaud your interest in getting off the grid and off the continent. I thank you and your wife for your service. I salute your shipboard creds- 110 days at sea is not to be sniffed at.

having said all of that, living aboard a sub-40' boat offshore is magnitudes different from living on a USN ship with a resupply ship showing up when necessary. and, while your interest in maintaining independence by remaining in international waters is admirable...
it just ain't practical.
And it just ain't necessary.

I recommend starting with the basics- finding a boat and learning how to sail her and learning what living on a mooring is all about. You mention that you and your wife are on disability pension from the navy- are there any physical impairments that may have an impact on your ability to sling 50 lb. jugs of water aboard your boat from a small dinghy in 3-6' swells? if so, you're gonna have a tough time reprovisioning on the hook.

If you wish to stay outside of any country's EEZ (exclusive economic zone) you need to be 200 miles out... which is damn tough to do in the caribbean. Staying out of the reach of the IRS and the LEOs is a practical impossibility. When you have to reprovision, you are gonna be under some country's sovereign umbrella. you can minimize your target but not erase it entirely...
and to be frank, if you plan to continue to enjoy the taxpayer provided largesse of a disability pension, you're not gonna be able to duck the radar entirely anyway, no matter how many miles out you are.

Regarding your boat-buying budget, all BS aside, it appears you might be able to scrape together $10K. find the best alberg 29, 30 or 37 you can find- it seems to be the boat of choice among contrarian off-the-grid bird owning sailors.

killarney_sailor 04-18-2013 09:43 PM

Re: US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks
I think there are lots of suitable boats in your price range. Thinking of which boat is far down the line. Lots of 'homework' first.

dvuyxx 04-18-2013 09:48 PM

Re: US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks
After reading your description ... What first came to mind was Reid Stowes adventures ... Where he sailed over 1,000 days at sea. That is a veritable "water world" scenario actually executed. - Home

Perhaps some ideas you can glean off their experiences.

mdbee 04-19-2013 01:51 AM

Re: US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks
Also, Reid Stowes was generally looked upon as a rather eccentric individual, to put it politely.

rgscpat 04-19-2013 02:33 AM

Re: US Navy Veteran_New to Sailboats_Need your Honest Knowledge and Experience_Thanks
Noonsite does a good job of trying to keep up with all the formalities and rules and regs for different countries.

You will need a passport/country of some sort.

You will probably prefer to visit countries that are relatively low on red tape, not too expensive in terms of fees, reasonably honest, have sympathetic officials and hosts, are not too dangerous, interesting to visit, and cheap and abundant for provisions, easy to quickly get spare parts to, and healthy and pleasant. Of course, it's just a little hard to find one country, much less a bunch of them, that do all of that for you, so you have to choose your battles and name your compromises.

Will you need to supplement your income by working dirtside? Some countries allow it legally especially if you're somebody who is really needed; some turn a blind eye (until someone complains), and some can be nasty.

Birds are relatively easy in the warm parts of the world where they fit, but each country has different regs; any pets will have some affect on your plans.

This may be a good time to hit a community college or crew for people or do things to pick up useful skills that'll save you money later and maybe even be able to trade favors/jobs for people or do a bit of work -- canvas, sail repair, diesel, nursing, teaching, 12-volt electrical, rope splicing, fiber glass refinishing and painting and repair, etc.

Unlike in the Navy, you'll have a great opportunity to work on mostly * small boats * in exotic places without someone paying you.

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