SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Many questions Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-14-2003 03:09 AM
Many questions

Very well said, Jack.
10-14-2003 02:27 AM
Many questions


You''re asking a lot of questions, and many of them each have many answers...which in fact is the fun of living on and cruising a sailboat, IMO.

Truth be told, you don''t know how much ''boat'' you need yet...nor do any of us. But it''s hard to be sure about size (and need I add, the notion of living aboard a boat at all!) without some first-hand experience. A chicken-egg dilemma, as it were.

I''d encourage you to take a couple of initial steps. If they seem costly, think of how much money you''d otherwise commit while knowing less about what you are doing. If they seem to take precious time, imagine how much of your time will be claimed by a boat once you choose it. These are basic steps many of us have taken, each of which should help you develop YOUR OWN answers to your questions:
1. Begin some thoughtful, disciplined research. Pick a couple of broad references (Trish''s rec of Voyaging Handbook by Beth Leonard is one excellent one IMO, Calder''s Cruising Handbook is another), take it slow (you''ll find LOTS of areas where your knowledge may be skin-deep initially), and digest what you read.
2. Join SSCA ( but also purchase their SSCA Bulletins on CD; you''ll get 7 years of monthly bulletins, easily sorted and searched, which will bring you aboard many other cruising boats to hear their views on an infinite number of issues.
3. Sail. Sign up as crew for beer can races; beg yourself aboard for daysails in exchange for maintenance work; walk boatyards to find opportunities aboard boats once they''re launched; use local rags'' "Crew Wanted" ads. One hour on the water with knowledgeable others = 10 hours in the books.
4. Bareboat (if you have friends who can do the skippering) or charter with captain one or two of your ''finalist'' boats, in waters that beckon to you - that way, you''ll be trialing both the cruising area and the boat. As one example, we scrounged up for our first exposure to sailing offshore a local Cal 34 in the harbor, gathered friends together to help spread the cost and increase the fun, and we sailed over to one of the Channel Is. off the California coast for a weekend. Cost = minimal. Value = Immesasureable.
5. If possible, before buying the boat you think you want, sail on it for an overnight with the owner. If not possible, consider daysailing a similar type/size/brand from a rental firm. Expensive? Rather have the money to pay a surveyor or fund the haulout? Just reflect on how much, per day of ownership, you''d be spending to confirm your impressions.

Good luck. The cruising goals you mention - down to and perhaps across the Caribbean - can be done on almost any boat, provided its properly equipped with the basics and thoughtfully crewed & navigated. This means you can realize your dream without having to find the exact, right, perfect, etc. boat for you. Good luck!

09-30-2003 04:12 PM
Many questions


Specific to cruising budget, it can vary widely. In my three cruising lives, I have lived low, medium, and high budgets. The "low" started with a year in Baja California, where we spent $250 per month, never stayed in a marina, only ate out at taco stands, and didn''t carry boat or health insurance. We also bartered for a lot of stuff rather than spend cash.

I am now cruising on what I consider a "high" budget, which is around $1,500 per month NOT including boat insurance ($1,200 per year with no geographic/seasonal limits) and capital boat work like haul outs or major projects (we keep money in savings for that).

Thing is, budget depends a lot on where you are cruising, what you are cruising on, and what kind of lifestyle you want to lead.

There''s LOTS more to tell you! Feel free to contact me if you would like.

Trish Lambert
09-28-2003 04:49 PM
Many questions

Well...for half the year in the Bahamas and half in the bay you can expect to pay 1000-1500 bucks for insurance in a 35ft. recent vintage boat like the Catalina you spoke of.
I encourage you to pursue your ambitions as you will easily learn what you need with some diligence and practice. I second the vote on Beth Leonards book as a wonderful guide. For single handing, I think a good autopilot, furling mainsail and big honking anchor and windlass are "must haves" in a larger boat.
As for costs...if you anchor out you can live very cheaply...and if you go to marinas then you can spend a whole lot of money. Many people seem to cruise on betweeen 10 and 20K per year living pretty frugally and only going into marinas occasionally. The big hits our budget seems to take seem to occur when things break on the boat AND we have to make use of marinas for repairs. I''ve heard it said that you need to allow 10% of the value of a boat for annual maintenance and repairs...that seems a bit high to me but you certainly will need to plan for some emergencies and general maintenance. Good luck with your plans...GB
09-23-2003 06:32 PM
Many questions

Boat insurance seems to be affected by Hull value, cruising grounds, and season. I bet there are others. My insurance is $379 for a year through West Marine. My hull is at $25k and $300k liability. I am limited to 15 or 25 miles offshore and not going West of Cape Flattery or North of Cape Scott. That basically limits me to the area I would normally sail in anyways so no big deal.

For the Carribean I imagine it jumps up dramatically in the Hurricane season and where you will be based in that season. It may go up again if you go south of some certain point.
I have a neighbor with a larger more expensive boat that pays less than me, but he didn''t know what his liability limit was or what limits he had on cruising grounds, so it seems to vary wildly. The one broker I called never called back to quote me after taking my info and I haven''t followed up yet.
I am in Puget Sound so my info isn''t too relevant to your area, but maybe it will help somewhat.

09-23-2003 05:53 AM
Many questions

Thanks everyone. I do plan on keeping the DAN insurance up. But that brings on another question regarding Insurance.

With a plane, my insurance is based on type of aircraft, number of hours in type, if I ever bent the plane and if the plane is hanagered. For me, I budget $2500/yr full hull replacement and 1mm liability.

With a livaboard, what are the insurance issues? What is a good budget for yearly insurance?

What would be a good budget for living for a year. I figure after I sell the house and sell the plane. I be able to pay cash for the boat and pay off what is left of my bills. I may stay working in my current position for another year to bank some more money before heading out. That I have to think about.

Later, Dive / Fly / Ride Safe
09-22-2003 05:56 PM
Many questions

I sold my house this year and am living on my boat until I decide if I like it enough to buy a larger boat or go back and buy another house and keep this boat.

I understand ATM''s are becoming very widespread and since they often have the best exchange rates, I would carry as little cash as I was comfortable having.

I would think if you are in reasonable shape that you would not have any problem handling a boat of 36 to 40 feet as long as you prepare and are conservative. On my boat there is a huge increase in effort needed to bring the in the second reef when the wind is gusting to 40mph over doing it at 25mph and laughing when the gusts come.

I ran into a friend I hadn''t seen in 10 years or so and he suprised me in mentioning that although he no longer teaches SCUBA, he still has to carry insurance, since people he taught are out there diving. I don''t know if dive masters have the same liability when they aren''t working. If you are diving I can''t recommend DAN insurance enough, especially if you are in the Carribean because a flight to a chamber equipped hospital could run into many thousands of dollars, not to mention time in the chamber.

09-22-2003 09:51 AM
Many questions


A good source that I''ve found on the net as far as choosing a bluewater cruising boat is: link that can help answer some of your other questions is: It sounds like you have a good basic plan to me. Good luck!
09-22-2003 09:34 AM
Many questions


I think you will find the answers to many of your questions (and many you have not even thought of) in a book by Beth Leonard, "The Voyager''s Handbook." No matter how patient and helpful the folks on this board are, it''s quite a lot to say in a typed message.

I will be the first to wish you fair winds and good luck in your sailing days ahead. If it''s your dream, keep moving forward to it!

09-22-2003 09:23 AM
Many questions

I have been thinking about this for a long time. Selling my house and airplane (48 Navion A) and buying a 36+ sailboat to live aboard. My experience is limited to a couple of sailing classes and occasionally renting a boat to sail in the Chesapeake Bay, never more then a day at a time.

When I think about the boat I want to live on, several things come to mind, not the least of it is the size and seaworthiness. For the size, Im leaning to 36 to 40. This would give me some room to live on. I was on a 36 Catalina not too long ago and the thing that surprised me the most was, I am able to stand up straight in it. (Im 63) Another thing that comes to mind is, can I sail it by myself? My goal with this is not to just live on it, but sail it to the Caribbean to stay during the winter months. Summer months will most likely be spent in Virginia or Florida.

One of the big issues that come to mind is getting the experience needed to deal with weather, rough seas and singlehanded sailing. I believe that to start, I wont venture too far where I could get in trouble and be able to tie up / anchor at night for rest. Perhaps the first year stick to the Florida Keys.

Maybe if I get froggy, and want to head south to Grand Cayman or to the Bahamas, Ill get someone experienced to crew and learn from them.

What should I carry on board, besides food, cloths and some tools? Is there a list of spare parts that should be carried?

How much cash should I carry on the boat with me? Or how much cash should I have access to for three to six months? I was also thinking about hooking up with a dive shop and teaching scuba diving / being a dive master. I dont wont to get too bored.

How do you deal with mail forwarding?

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome