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pistolen08 03-30-2011 09:09 AM

Reality check
Hey everyone! I've been lurking here for a few years and I figured it was about time for a reality check as I find myself getting more and more enticed by the liveaboard lifestyle.

I've been sailing since I was a kid and absolutely love traveling. I'm 21 now, going into my 4th year of Uni. I'm doing a visiting researcher/study abroad program in Japan and will be here through the end of 2011. After that I'll be returning to Florida for a few more classes and then graduating. I really like the idea of living aboard and having the complete freedom to travel and would like to do this before I get tied down in a serious job.

I have 30k in savings from working through college and have been looking at prospective boats on yachtworld to see what's available. I think something in the 8-10m (28-32ft) range and around 10k best suits my needs. I'd be buying during the off-peak season with lots of haggling. The O'day strikes me as a good prospective, but I am slightly concerned over its blue water seaworthiness. Are boats in this size category suitable for Atlantic/Pacific crossings? I'd be starting off in the Gulf/Caribbean for a while, but eventually want to make my way over to Europe and Asia (and anywhere else I might get a job offer). I'm an engineer, so I'm not too worried about fixing up and making improvements to the boat as long as it has a solid hull. What are some other boats I should be looking at?

As far as my budget goes, after allocating for the initial boat cost and upgrades I'm planning for ~$1000/month of expenses with an additional emergency reserve fund. I'm going to try and do a rotation work cycle where I work for 3 months, take 3 months off etc.. so I should have effectively a zero net income for however long I decide to do this.

I often read on these forums that you guys wish you had started doing this at a younger age and I'm trying to take that advice :)

Thank you all for the help and let me know if you need any more information!

tomperanteau 03-31-2011 06:30 PM

Good for you! We didn't get started until we were in our early 50's (two years ago). It sounds like you have a good start, but watch out for any money you have in savings or in stocks. Silver is one of the better places to invest right now. At least that way inflation and any crashed won't eat up all that you saved.

SailingWebGuy 03-31-2011 06:39 PM

SailingWebGuy 03-31-2011 06:45 PM

And here's a Contessa 26 SV Constellation |

joethecobbler 03-31-2011 07:46 PM

IMO your on the right track, great time to "do-it"

Don't get hung up on "which boat" , do a little research on what has gone where and pick one that appeals to you.
Also don't go overboard (no pun intended!) on outfitting your new vessel with alot of "Stuff" and electronics you may find you won't use or need.
I would suggest you just assure the basic rig and get aboard, and as you begin your sailing adventure do a few short sails and spend some time aboard and you will quickly determine what you need to add or aquire and most likely what you need will be available w/out much searching, hence the initial intro sail(s) .
for example, buy boat on east coast USA. Sail coastal to Florida (or South if already in florida) towards Carib.(where you indicated you planned on going).
As you proceed south you will work out all/most basic boat issues and determine what you need for your own personal cruising style. Also, as you go you will meet others doing likewise and exchange experiences and ideas .
you'll find out quickly what your preferences are and if cruising is for you.

good luck, I did it this way and , it's definetely "for me"
Unfortunately , I decided to sail north last fall and allow myself to be "stuck" by the winter season and we miss being aboard and cruising, and are not enjoying the frozen north after 12-14 years ilower latitudes (oops).

Cruiser2B 03-31-2011 08:39 PM

Lots of good deals out there on all boats. Many in the 28-32 ft range here in Norfolk. I bought an Alberg 30 in sailable condition for 4800.00. I just completed a 200nm trip sailing 1/2 way and motoring 1/2 way. It does have a few issues but nothing to serious and it left me with lots of dough in the bank. When I do update and fix the issues it will be done my way and I can upgrade things to suit me. Good Luck

BTW I bought this boat with the intentions of living aboard and cruising in about 4-5 yrs from now. I due time she will take us to the Med.

tomperanteau 03-31-2011 09:37 PM

Cruiser is right. The market us WAY in the buyer's favor. I see 40 footers in decent shape going for $35k and up. I saw a Formosa 51 footer that was in really good shape, but needed an engine, for $35k about two months ago.

If you're buying, it's your show. Look at as many as you can and pick the one that you want. The only things you really need to put before all else, are the engine, rigging/sales, and the soundness of the hull and rudder/steering. There are more important things, but your life depends on those the most.

moskalm 08-09-2011 03:15 PM

Good man. Do it do it do it if you haven't already

Spyder 08-10-2011 09:21 AM

Buy a 35' heavy (and quick) boat rather than a longer or roomy boat. In the end sailboats are sold by the pound. I think the Pacific Seacraft boats, and anything designed by Carl Alberg (the older Pearson's) are great boats for this.
Sailing 50 yrs.

ppiccolo1 08-10-2011 11:46 PM

Wow, you got through undergrad saving 30K? I owed 30 and ate ramen noodles everyday :) Now is the time. I'm an American that works in the U.S. and New Zealand 6 months each and 90% of the Americans I meet in NZ are recent grads that travel versus a coffee house gig that pays minimum wage. Now is the time.... good luck and I hope to be right behind ya... One thing that I've learned in my liveaboard research is... you get a whole lot more bang for the buck here in the States. The guy i crew for racing in NZ makes a good living captaining boats there from here. Buy American.

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