I have a plan in my head and I'm entering the research phase but before I dig in too much and potentially go down a wrong path, I'd like feedback from some experts and perhaps a smack upside the head with a "what, are you crazy woman?!" if there's something totally unrealistic.
First, I have limited sailing experience. I've done bay/river sailing/racing on 17-21' boats and never alone. When I start this journey I'll be flying solo so I thought I'd take a week or two and do a crash-course live-aboard training sail to get the basics and then teach myself from there. I've also considered heading down to Rio Dulce and seeing if I can hitch a ride for a while to get some additional experience.
I intend to purchase a boat in about the 26-28' range for my live aboard which I feel will suit me in size while not being *TOO* hard to sail alone while I'm learning. For the first 2-3 years I intend to do coastal cruising up and down North and South America and into the Caribbean which I feel like a boat of this size can easily handle. I figure 2-3 years will give me the experience I need/want to do a deep-water crossing. Whether I do that in my existing boat or upgrade will depend on the boat. One thing I considered with a smaller boat is the possibility of crossing in the N atlantic from Canada to Greenland to Iceland to the UK which would get me over to Europe without doing an extended deep-water crossing but I don't even know if that's possible in a boat like what I'll probably have...
My budget for my initial purchase is $20k which I intend to cover the boat itself and any refit. As per suggestions I read here, I plan on getting the most seaworthy boat I can get even if it's lacking in bells and whistles and then sailing it for a while and adding equipment as I need it rather than cramming it full from day 1 and potentially getting stuff I don't need or the wrong stuff.
So, given all that information, does it seem like my plan is realistic or is there a big gap that I'm missing somewhere?
Thanks for any feedback!
Oh, if it matters, I'm a female and I'll be about 39 when I buy my boat.