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  #1  
Old 11-17-2014
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New, Scared, Excited, and in love with the the Idea

We live in Interior Alaska and I am retiring next June. I have come upon an old forgotten dream which is to cruise on a sailboat. For more than a year I have been searching For sale sites and have read and acquired sailing books on inspecting sailboats, cruising on a budget, blue water sailboats, etc. I plan to take a retirement annuity ($25,000+/-) and buy a boat in the 26-34Ft range and spend our retirement cruising SE Alaska and Prince William Sound in 4to6 week trips with 1-2 week breaks. so that means about 3 trips a year as long as I am able! We plan to both take a Zero to bareboat sailing class next June and set out on our last adventures in life. In your opinion would that be sufficient to buy a boat in the Seattle area and sail it up the inside passage as available boats in Alaska are limited? My funds will be limited but mooring in most Alaska Harbors for a 30 Ft is about $1,100 per year in Petersburg or Valdez so our 2500/month budget should be sufficient. I/We would appreciate any advice on our dream! Is it reasonable or5 should I stay on the couch and dream?
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Old 11-17-2014
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Re: New, Scared, Excited, and in love with the the Idea

Go for it! Seattle will probably have the best selection of pilothouse models available, which is highly recommended to get the most out of your boat in AK.
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Old 11-17-2014
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Re: New, Scared, Excited, and in love with the the Idea

Jack,

You say "we" so I figure there is probably an estrogen fueled constant to this equation. Think about buying a "first boat" for about 1/3 your budget. Something that you can trailer but also cruise for up to a week at a time. That way your Mrs. can check out the coefficient of comfort in your dream. The notion of sailing about is sometimes more appealing when you're not doing it. If you both are unlucky enough to fall in love with sailing, then sell the starter boat and upgrade to a big girl. That way, you can make a few mistakes, grind a bit of gelcoat, break out your brown trousers and not be out so much money. It's kind of like "If you can keep the hamster alive and prove you can take care of it, then we'll talk about a dog."
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Old 11-17-2014
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Re: New, Scared, Excited, and in love with the the Idea

Don't neglect the possibility of getting a boat in BC as well. It will be a nice trip north.
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Old 11-17-2014
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Re: New, Scared, Excited, and in love with the the Idea

Welcome, Jack.

The boat may be up to the trip, but are YOU? What sailing experience do you have? It's a pretty unforgiving environment up there. Also, 26-34 feet is quite the range in length which will translate in quite the range in comfort and most importantly price, ongoing maintenance and complexity of systems.

Definitely get off the couch, but do some more research and asking of questions. Find a charter along the coast and hire a captain for the week or something to get you started. You'll be on the way to discovering all that you don't yet know.

And enjoy the journey. Don't be in too much of a rush that you forget to enjoy learning the important stuff.
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Old 11-17-2014
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Re: New, Scared, Excited, and in love with the the Idea

I would think a $25k boat purchase and a monthly budget of $2.5k should allow you to get off the couch and dream with your eyes wide open!

Maybe get a deal on something like this Westsail 32 in the Seattle area?

By the way, have you seen Rick Peterson's YouTube channel about sailing Alaska on a small boat?
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Old 11-17-2014
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Re: New, Scared, Excited, and in love with the the Idea

Another great series is Cruising LeaLea...
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3T...2FHS0dg80oX6dQ

They have been cruising Alaska for 2 seasons.. One thing they have talked about is there is a recommended minimum motoring capability around Alaska. Although their boat doesn't meet this minimum, they both have the experience to carefully plan their passages.

For a newcommer, you probably want a boat that can meet those minumums.
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Old 11-17-2014
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Re: New, Scared, Excited, and in love with the the Idea

I have been looking at several sites in the pacific northwest (BC,WA,Or, and Ak).We have $25k+/- to spend on getting started and I am primarily looking at 30' boats. I grew up in Mi on the great lakes and My wife was born in Maine and raised in Portsmouth NH. While I have only sailed once on a three day charter on northern Lake Mi. I have crossed Lake Erie many times in a 16' fishing boat in the early 1960s. I have spent many nights wondering how I could be so stupid, but you know teenagers! Having lived in a 16' travel trailer several years while working construction we are aquainted with living in small spaces. I believe we will love coastal cruising. We are currently looking at a 29' Cascade located in Sitka, Ak. It is outfitted for the area and a survey will tell us what condition it is in. If we can get into a boat under $10,000 that is currently cruising the area and the owner is moving to a larger boat but remaining in the area, we should be ok on that. So my question is am I thinking through this correctly or am I missing something? After 35+ years living in Interior Alaska I would like to show my coastal Alaska as very few people get to see it!!!
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Old 11-17-2014
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Re: New, Scared, Excited, and in love with the the Idea

Def keep an eye on BC market, weak CAD will get you more for less, and pilothouse boats are fairly popular here.
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Old 11-18-2014
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Re: New, Scared, Excited, and in love with the the Idea

Gulf 32s can be picked up at reasonable prices in the PNW. My Tanzer 10.5 pilothouse was great around Vancouver Island.
1988 Gulf Pilothouse Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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