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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am currently anchored in a bay with about 100 boats in it in Grenada, ranging from seven figures (a new Amel 54) to a lot less (a Canadian Chrysler 26ish, that I would want to check carefully before sailing across Lake Ontario). This has made me think about the interminable discussion about cruising on $X dollars a month or can I take my Whatever 36 into bluewater. This applies for people on the east coast of the US and Canada and the Great Lakes. There will be variations with different starting places.

Get a boat that you can afford, make sure you have some money to do upgrades after purchase and after you start cruising and just go.
  • Go down the east coast, ICW and hop offshore when you can. Fix and upgrade boat as needed and as affordable.
  • Go to the Bahamas for the winter. Return to Florida before hurricane season. Fix and upgrade as needed. Note that this will be the last chance to fix your boat really cheaply.
  • Go to the Eastern Caribbean via the Thorny Path. You guessed it - fix the boat (St Martin and Trinidad are best).
  • Still having fun and want more adventure. Head to Panama and go through the canal. Fix and upgrade as needed.
  • Rinse and repeat this process as necessary as you head to wherever you head for.

At any point in the process you may decide - the boat isn't up to what comes next and/or I am not up to it/or it isn't really what I expected. If the former, you need to get a different boat and start the process again. If the latter, head home and either cruise locally or take up golf.

Discussing chainplates and anchors endlessly on the Internet will not get you sailing and cruising.
 

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Let me start by saying I am only an armchair sailor, watched many sailing instructional videos, read innumerable sailing books and blogs, looked at more boats than I care to count. I've been a boat owner for 20 years, but power boats. I've managed to assemble a fair list of acceptable boats, from Allied, Endeavour, Pearson, Islander and on and on. Even have a short list of wants and needs. Found a few boats that I would be willing to have surveyed. I'm ready to go. Now, if I can just convince the admiral!
 

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Old soul
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I am currently anchored in a bay with about 100 boats in it in Grenada, ranging from seven figures (a new Amel 54) to a lot less (a Canadian Chrysler 26ish, that I would want to check carefully before sailing across Lake Ontario). This has made me think about the interminable discussion about cruising on $X dollars a month or can I take my Whatever 36 into bluewater. This applies for people on the east coast of the US and Canada and the Great Lakes. There will be variations with different starting places.
I'm so jealous Bruce. Wish I was there, but we're on our way. See you down there in a few years. We have to stop off at Newfoundland first ;).
 

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TROUBLE
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That is exactly what we did. Your plan is exactly the way we live. So far, we've covered 5000 miles in two years, and about to start again. Still no AP, windlass, davits, radar, AIS, SSB, EPIRB (but will add soon), or life raft. Just a boat that is fairly solid, and relatively easy for my wife and I to sail. Honestly, an AP would be nice at some point for the longer overnighters. But that's about it. Now, if we can just get farther than Georgetown next trip. I've now read Passages South, and hope to make it down the Islands.

Cost of our boat - $20K. About $7K spent making it good below the waterline. New ball valves, and a new rudder. So far, the only repairs made was a leaking fuel pump. Not bad.....



GO NOW!

Ralph
 

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Excellent advice... Can't help thinking of a certain former poster here who now frequents CF who could benefit from heeding your wisdom... :))

Last time I was in Georgetown, LE GENTLEMAN was probably the smallest boat anchored in Elizabeth Harbor, even smaller than mine :)

Appeared to me, they were enjoying themselves as much as anyone else...

 

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I write. Occasionally I make some money at it. When this comes up in conversation, often someone says, "Oooh, I always wanted to be a writer" and I have to hold back from responding, "No, you don't. If you did, you would be writing." I used to think cruising was like that- you are either cruising or you arent. Now, i'm not so either/or about it. Some people want to cruise, some think they want to cruise and some people are in love with the process of preparation for cruising, and don't realize it. Some realize it fully.

If you have a 5 year plan to outfit your boat for a 2 year cruise, you likely aren't going. If you are researching now for the boat you will be buying in 5 years and refitting for 2 years for your extended lifestyle of cruising, you likely aren't going. If you are ... you get the picture.

And that's okay.


For some folks the process is as important, maybe more important, than the journey or the destination. Like those who decide that they are going to build a boat to sail around the world. The majority of them aren't going to sail around the world, most won't finish the boat, most of those who do will sell it when it is done, but the proclaimed use wasn't the goal- it was just the reason required to BUILD A BOAT.


But whatever your goal- start now.
 

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I write. Occasionally I make some money at it. When this comes up in conversation, often someone says, "Oooh, I always wanted to be a writer" and I have to hold back from responding, "No, you don't. If you did, you would be writing." I used to think cruising was like that- you are either cruising or you arent. Now, i'm not so either/or about it. Some people want to cruise, some think they want to cruise and some people are in love with the process of preparation for cruising, and don't realize it. Some realize it fully.

If you have a 5 year plan to outfit your boat for a 2 year cruise, you aren't going. If you are researching now for the boat you will be buying in 5 years and refitting for 2 years for your extended lifestyle of cruising, you aren't going. If you are ... you get the picture.
I disagree with this. My wife and I are on a 5 year plan. We are taking ASA classes. We have a trailer sailor that we learn/practice on. We will start chartering larger sailboats 3-4 times per year now that we have the ASA101 and ASA103 certs.

We plan to go cruising in 2020. We are saving to buy in cash and we are setting up the property management company that will keep the cruising kitty full every month.

We have a plan and will execute it.
 

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Beneteau 393
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Discussing chainplates and anchors endlessly on the Internet will not get you sailing and cruising.
At least when I discuss this crap on tne internet I am doing from a nice location! :)

A parallel point ( cant spell coroloery...) is that most of the forum trolls & pains in the ass are non cruisers. When people actually go somewwhere they become much better on the bet (and probably in real life).

Go now! But have your ducks lined up! As BLJones says: don't buy a fixer upper but buy one u can blow town with and upgrade when needed.
But that doesnt mean to be silly about it... Ducks dont like to line up, partners really do not wanna go, and parents really do start to die off when we go cruising and its a bit hard to just forsake them, dribbling in their Nursing Home.

But most importantly: win the lottery! Oooops, sorry, that wasnt the point...
 

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TROUBLE
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Well from your blog you are retired - with a teachers pension?
I'm not sure that was for me, but yes my wife draws teacher retirement, and I get a little SS check each month. The only way to go now, full time, is to have an income, or a healthy bank account.

I have met guys with the means to go. But they are still working on the boat and adding stuff. I'm just saying that you don't really need much in the way of equipment, other than a good sized battery bank, and some solar panels. We added solar and a free wind generator, given to us by a cruising friend. We left originally with just a Honda generator, which was fine (but gets old running that thing, plus the cost of gas to run it).

On the cost side of cruising, we have slowed down the spending. In the beginning, we spent way more than planned for
(transient slip fees are expensive!). We just got way more comfortable with anchoring out, and more confident in our ability to pick a safe anchorage. Not sure I'd be happy surviving on $500.00/month. We're more in the $12-1500.00/month category, which I find quite comfortable.

Ralph
 

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Captain Obvious
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No - directed at the OP ....a retired teacher. I assume with a pension. If so - he didn't just go. He got his ducks lined up first. But thanks for your reply.
 

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bell ringer
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I'm not planning to really add much of anything to my boat that I don't already have prior to leaving next year. I'm just planning on going down the coast and the caribbean for the next couple of years so don't see the need to do spend money on boat stuff. The stuff I do get are going to be aimed more at boat living comfort than the fit out for fear stuff.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well from your blog you are retired - with a teachers pension?
And its indexed to inflation too which is nice. Seriously I think the can I cruise on $x folks need to leave too and see how it works out. if one's budget is even semi-reasonable you can to the first couple of steps and see how much it costs and how you can save money along the way. Talking about it and asking other people how much they spend is not much help because everyone has different needs and wants. In Grenada, if you are a cheese person (likely a want, not a need), you can buy a decent range of imported fancy cheeses (brie, Swiss, etc) at a ridiculous price (for us). You can get a good NZ cheddar at quite a good price, or you can get cheese slices for only a bit more than the US. You just have to make your choices. You won't know how it goes until you are out cruising.
 

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Captain Obvious
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Ok thanks. Probably free heath care too. Fantastic for you. I just wanted to point out the contradiction for any poor souls. Go Now - when you have a pension and benefits. But still - kudos to you and the Mrs. I have 6 years until I receive a very similar deal to yours. If I make it.

Can't wait to escape this cold. And looking forward to those reasonable cheese prices.
 

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If all goes as planned (ha ha!), I will be ready to cast off in 4 years when I turn 60 (scary thought in itself). Planning to buy a $25-30K boat, have $15K for outfitting, and $40K to live on until SS kicks in. In the meantime I plan to sail my 3 smaller boats on local lakes and Pamlico sound.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sal, in our case going cruising was not a long term plan. I really enjoyed teaching but when I got to the point where they were going to pay me every month not to teach, it was a matter of what next. The fact I had sailed for 40 years just pushed us in that direction. The free healthcare is of limited benefit. When we are in the US we make sure we have out-of-country coverage. In other parts of the world, we pay cash. If the amount is large enough to worry about (it rarely is) our Ontario coverage will pay up to the cost in Ontario if we have not been out of Canada for more than six months. Most medical costs are extremely low. When I injured by hand in South Africa, I would have been treated in the public hospital free, even as a visitor. In Tahiiti, an hour of treatment in a very modern hospital with French doctors was $60. Totally different than the US.
 
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69' Coronado 25
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I am sure that I wont be able to go cruising across oceans as I will have no income if I retire. Bad investments and a handicap that limits my ability to make a large income BUT I do get out once a week for a sail whether it be a day sail or a week or two long cruise up or down the coast. I have accepted the facts and adjusted my lifestyle to it. I have to say just go! whether it's across the ocean or across the lake, sound, river or up and down the coast DO IT!
 

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I hear go now,go small repetitively. Then have cockpit drinks with cruisers. Some from Canada, some from GB, some from Europe and some from from the states.
I have yet to hear any one complain their boats too big or too new or too comfortable or too fast or too seakindly.
These are people who are either liveaboards or do thousands of miles per year. I do hear the opposite. I also hear folks complaining theyre stuck waiting for parts so there is an upside to KISS.
Now back too Nigel Calder and restringing cable to the raymic.
 
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