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Hello all,

I'll be retiring (at 55) in a couple of years and wish to live aboard and do long range cruising full time. I live in Colorado and started sailing on reservoirs here about six years ago. Earned the ASA certifications up through 106 and have done several bareboat charters in the Caribbean. I have lots of singlehanding experience on J22s and essentially singlehanded all my bareboat charters too since my ex-wife really never felt comfortable performing crew tasks. I have sold my house and consolidated all my assets. Next step is to acquire the boat over the next 18-24 months. Looking at the usual bluewater subjects - Pacific Seacraft, Westsail, Valiant, Tayana, Baba, etc. Leaning toward PSC just due to the more modern keel design, but am attracted to the simplicity of 32-34 foot lengths, tillers, and ease of singlehanding. I am very low maintenance, so living space austerity is fine with me. I will be solo if need be, but would consider crew/partners too depending on availability. I'm registering so I can post some questions and learn from folks. One of my main questions right now is how far out I should be looking for the boat. I won't be ready to actually move onto a boat until April 2017. I'm looking at boats now, of course, but when to buy? Do people buy what they like and put it on the hard for months/years? Or just wait until they get within say 6-12 months of needing it? Dry storage is cheap in some locations, but expensive in others looks like. My tentative plan would be to acquire a boat on the west coast by spring 2017, fit out for off-shore voyaging through fall 2017, head down to Mexico, then blast off for French Polynesia in spring 2018. But Caribbean then through the canal is not off the table and would certainly be a bit gentler intro since I'm more familiar with the Caribbean. The canal just seems like a hassle, albeit an adventure - and there's nothing wrong with that! Anyway, that's my story...

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