After reading a ton of threads, I thought I would start a new one here to share my plans, ask a question and gather some input...So here it goes...
The Plan: Finish my last 4 years in the Army, during this time develop a realistic budget, time line for learning and gaining experience, and put together a shopping list to include my first sailboat, in preparation to circumnavigate in a true cruiser, however long it takes, see the world at my own pace style.
Let it be known, I have no sailing experience/knowledge whatsoever, I probably won't use the correct terminology. What I do have is a dream and the determination to make it a reality. To learn and gain experience I plan to complete ASA 101 thru 108 courses, which leads to my first question in regards to budgeting...
Does anyone know if I can use my G.I. Bill to attend a sailing school?
... Every school I have looked into seems to advertise these courses as a vacation in which you learn to sail. I have emailed the ASA contact on their website and received no reply. I am pretty frugal and don't want to shell out the dough if I don't have to. Let you taxpayers do that for me
After I complete the Offshore Passage making course (ASA 108), I will purchase my first sailboat, used of course; Island Packet, Cape Dory, Pacific Seacraft, Yankee, Westerly, Westsail, Pearson Triton are all what I am looking at right now. I will do any restoration I can myself, hopefully I will have a few sailing buddies by then to lend a hand. Then I will outfit her properly, want to hold at least 120 gallons of fresh water, convert V berth into a storage area for backup sails/lines/hardware as I have seen in some photos of racing boats and use the smaller aft berth to sleep, makes more sense to me to be near the VHF/Radar and cockpit in case I am woken up in a hurry.
Since I touched on the gadgetry, I will say that I do plan to have VHF, Radar, Depth Sounder, Wind/Weather station, Life Raft, Autopilot (windvane), Solar Kit. As far as I can tell, we are talking about $12,000 right there, add in some foul weather gear, thats another $1000. Hopefully most of these gadgets come with the boat I purchase.
So, to close my rambling, I get out of the Army in 4 years; plan to learn to sail and gain some experience over 2 years; restore and outfit my newly purchased boat in the course of 1 year, during which time I should be an active member of the sailing community; when I feel confident in my own abilities to sail, begin to live the dream.
Please Answer, Comment, Question and/or Criticize, I really am interested in your thoughts, thanks for your time.