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Cool Biggest Decision of my Life - Need Advise

Hi,

let me first introduce myself. My name is George and I am 32 years old, never stepped foot on a sailboat so far. To make a long story short, I am thinking about cashing out everything I have, get a boat and sail around the world (oh another newbie doing the romance approach) - well, not exactly.

(You can skip the philosophical part in grey ^^)

I was thinking a lot, and while most people leave this decision to a period when they're in their 50's or 60's, I would prefer to do it now, while I am still young and physically fit. I smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day, I don't eat regularly, and the last time I did any "sport" was .. well a while ago, and I guess with my current lifestyle I might not be even able to sail when I am 50. This is partly all a result of the work I am doing.

The decision came one day when I was deeply thinking about my happiest period of time, in my whole life. I soon discovered that being alone, traveling and putting myself into new situations while mastering them makes me happy. I like it quiet. I can spend hours just watching the stars on a remote mountain, or traveling into less known villages in China getting to know their people and lifestyle. I love exploring "stuff", from people to magnetism, from astronomy to history - I believe at the end, when we die, we do remember those days we explored the most. Ok, enough philosophical stuff -


My goal is to set sail in June 2016, probably from South-East Asia where I first have to find a suitable boat. That gives me almost one year to undergo various mandatory training programs, get various certificates and make sure that I won't kill myself on my first journey. I added diving, engine repair, and advanced survival to that list as well. The last thing I want to do I going out unprepared and risk my or someone else's life.

I am doing a lot of research, and it seems that a vessel about 32 - 40ft would suit my needs. Budged is set to $20k + $7-10k for repairs, retrofitting and making it seaworthy. I know it's not a big budged, but it seems "average". I put safety as the number 1 priority, and thats where I am having trouble narrowing my search down to a specific manufacturer or model. For example, if I would would buy a car, I would prefer to buy a 10 year old Audi or Mercedes instead of a brand new Kia or Hyundai. Yet in the waste ocean of boat manufacturers I am lost - I see nice looking 32 footers for 10K and bad looking 30 footers for 30K - I would really appreciate some recommendations based on my budged from experienced sailors. If I buy something, I usually always buy the best, even if that means that I have to wait a bit more. I don't like compromises, especially when it comes to safety.

Now after all those things are set I have plans to spend my first year in the South China Sea (Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia) and head downwards to the North Coast of Australia. After that during the second year hopefully being able to do some Island hopping Eastwards (Fiji, Samoa, French Polynesia) and make my first major crossing to South America. Head upwards, cross the Panama canal and head to the Caribbean. From there set sail down to the Brazil and cross the Atlantic - yes, a lot of wishful thinking.

I think of financing the whole trip by continuing to do my regular work (graphic design / photography / web-development) while anchored, since it would be near impossible to do it when I am sailing. That means at least a week per month working, in order to get enough money to "make" the month (about 2-5k, depending on project). Worst case scenario will be $2k per month, but especially SE Asia is very cheap and I can save up a lot here.

I would love to make some friends, sailors, especially in South East Asia that can assist me with some questions, itineraries or just for a little small talk over a beer or two. I am currently living in Chongqing (China), but I plan to fly to the Philippines soon to start learning how to sail, etc. In general, I would like to hear some advise from anyone that can or can't understand me, especially from people critical of my plan.

Best,

George

PS: Excuse my English, it's not my first language
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Re: Biggest Decision of my Life - Need Advise

You are starting in the best place. Sailing away from SE Asia will be mostly a long expensive disappointment. Everything you need is there. The Philippines would be a great place to start.

You have very little money for starting out yachting. You have probably underestimated that. But no problem. Just make your plans a little smaller. You do not need much of a boat to have a great amount of pleasure in a place like the Philippines. Anything simple will do. It is not Blue Water. It is wet though, make sure the rain does not come in. If it floats, has sails and an anchor you will be fine.

I would think that you can find a reasonable boat. It will take some time. It will require meeting many other sailors to find...someone will know of some good boat somewhere.

A good place to learn to sail is Puerto Galera Yacht Club, Philippines. It is also thick with sailors and cruisers.

"...there are two kinds of opinions, those based upon tradition ... and those having something in their favor." B. Russell
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Re: Biggest Decision of my Life - Need Advise

Thanks aloof,

I noted the Yacht Club and will get some information on it. As for the financial part, it is low-end but I wouldn't say an underestimation - here is the breakdown:

20.000 - Boat
7.000 - Immediate boat repairs / retrofitting
3.000 - Electronics Upgrade (EPIRB, etc)
8.000 - Emergency Fund (Year I)
15.000 - Travel / Living Money (6 months)
15.000 - "Back to Shore" Cash when I decide to quit sailing and start regular work again.

The price range for the boat is between 20 and 30k, but it really depends on the condition and electronics. But going over 30k will be difficult at this point of my life.
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Re: Biggest Decision of my Life - Need Advise

Absente, you are beginning in the right place. I just bought my boat in Malaysia. At the moment some work is being done on her in Satun Thailand. Get in touch with me or better yet Aeventyr60 in this forum for added information. It is not as difficult as you may imagine. Have fun

Jerry

Part time PADI instructor, part time sailor. Full time having a blast.


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Re: Biggest Decision of my Life - Need Advise

I left when I was 37, never looked back. Better plan on spending a bit more money for a decent boat.


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post #6 of 57 Old 07-07-2015
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Re: Biggest Decision of my Life - Need Advise

A few things....

- Your dream is a good one for all the reasons you list. Life is short, play for keeps.

- Buying a boat in Asia, sailing to Australia and then on to the Pacific would be considered 'going the wrong way'. I didn't say it couldn't be done or that it shouldn't be done but most people don't head that way, as you are sailing against rather than with the prevailing winds. Butg if you do head this way let's do beers when you get here. My shout

-Learn as much as you can about sailing. Then you can answer these things for yourself and make your own decisions.

- I think the size of boat your are after is probably about right.

-Boats need a lot of maintenance. Some a ridiculous amount of maintenance. There will be a lot of hard work.

- A lot good value boats in that size range in SE Asia. Most will need love. See above.

- You will struggle to cruise in Vietnam. Get acquainted with Noonsite.

-Give up smoking. Two packs a day is going to kill you before any big wave will
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post #7 of 57 Old 07-07-2015
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Re: Biggest Decision of my Life - Need Advise

I spent a few days in Chongqing a few years ago.

The previous posts say that your plan is achievable. But I need to burst your dream and pull you back to reality.

You may die of seasickness. You have never been on a boat at sea so before you waste all the assets you have you must see if you are fit for it.

You want to go cruising for the wrong reasons: you are trying to change yourself but are too lazy to change yourself in your life now. Give up smoking NOW. Get fit NOW. Eat properly NOW. What you are advocating is called a "cop out": you are trying to take an easy way out. But you can't. If you want to be happy in life you can be happy where ever you are. You are young and wealthy and you have no need to run away from life at home because you are just trying to run away from yourself.

So when you have given up smoking, eating well and have become fit... Maybe even had a nice relationship... Then have a look at cruising.

Thats my honest advice. I am sorry if I stated it too bluntly.




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Re: Biggest Decision of my Life - Need Advise

" I guess with my current lifestyle I might not be even able to sail when I am 50. "
Reality check
You won't be here when your 50
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Re: Biggest Decision of my Life - Need Advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by absente View Post
Thanks aloof,

I noted the Yacht Club and will get some information on it. As for the financial part, it is low-end but I wouldn't say an underestimation - here is the breakdown:

20.000 - Boat
7.000 - Immediate boat repairs / retrofitting
3.000 - Electronics Upgrade (EPIRB, etc)
8.000 - Emergency Fund (Year I)
15.000 - Travel / Living Money (6 months)
15.000 - "Back to Shore" Cash when I decide to quit sailing and start regular work again.

The price range for the boat is between 20 and 30k, but it really depends on the condition and electronics. But going over 30k will be difficult at this point of my life.
I think I would tend to go with a smaller boat which would be cheaper to buy and maintain. We saw quite a few younger cruisers (late 20s to mid 30s) and they were in boats in the 27 to 33' range. I think you could reduce the boat cost but might find the upgrades/electronic part a bit tight unless you can find a boat already well-equipped, which might be doable, see next sentence. There are lots of boats available in SE Asia because potential round the world sailors can't go through the Red Sea and are reluctant to go around South Africa.

You should be able to live much more cheaply than $2500 a month, especially in SE Asia. I think your six month budget should stretch to a year. Having the emergency fund is an excellent idea.

Since you brought it up I guess it is fair to comment, you mention safety on the boat being a prime consideration but also talk about being a heavy smoker and not being in shape. Seems a major disconnect there. We noticed that very few cruisers smoke which I found interesting, but perhaps not surprising.

I agree with the comment about going the right way around the world. it is not as simple as looking at a globe and choosing to go here, then there, then there. Prevailing wind patterns make it relatively easy to go in certain directions and almost impossible, or at least extremely difficult to go in other directions. An overwhelming majority of rtw trips are west-about in the trade winds, generally 25N to 25S (shifts with the seasons). It is much, much easier to go west from SE Asia than east. Seasonal winds (in your case monsoons) can also be used to get where you want to go. Not too hard to get to northern Oz, say Darwin, but getting from there to the east coast, Brisbane and south depends on the season.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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post #10 of 57 Old 07-07-2015
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Re: Biggest Decision of my Life - Need Advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by absente View Post
Hi,

let me first introduce myself. My name is George and I am 32 years old, never stepped foot on a sailboat so far.

In general, I would like to hear some advise from anyone that can or can't understand me, especially from people critical of my plan.
My advise is to STOP dreaming about sailing around the world and just focus on learning and starting to sail!
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