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old guy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We live in Interior Alaska and I am retiring next June. I have come upon an old forgotten dream which is to cruise on a sailboat. For more than a year I have been searching For sale sites and have read and acquired sailing books on inspecting sailboats, cruising on a budget, blue water sailboats, etc. I plan to take a retirement annuity ($25,000+/-) and buy a boat in the 26-34Ft range and spend our retirement cruising SE Alaska and Prince William Sound in 4to6 week trips with 1-2 week breaks. so that means about 3 trips a year as long as I am able! We plan to both take a Zero to bareboat sailing class next June and set out on our last adventures in life. In your opinion would that be sufficient to buy a boat in the Seattle area and sail it up the inside passage as available boats in Alaska are limited? My funds will be limited but mooring in most Alaska Harbors for a 30 Ft is about $1,100 per year in Petersburg or Valdez so our 2500/month budget should be sufficient. I/We would appreciate any advice on our dream! Is it reasonable or5 should I stay on the couch and dream?
 

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Jack,

You say "we" so I figure there is probably an estrogen fueled constant to this equation. Think about buying a "first boat" for about 1/3 your budget. Something that you can trailer but also cruise for up to a week at a time. That way your Mrs. can check out the coefficient of comfort in your dream. The notion of sailing about is sometimes more appealing when you're not doing it. If you both are unlucky enough to fall in love with sailing, then sell the starter boat and upgrade to a big girl. That way, you can make a few mistakes, grind a bit of gelcoat, break out your brown trousers and not be out so much money. It's kind of like "If you can keep the hamster alive and prove you can take care of it, then we'll talk about a dog."
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Don't neglect the possibility of getting a boat in BC as well. It will be a nice trip north.
 

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Welcome, Jack.

The boat may be up to the trip, but are YOU? What sailing experience do you have? It's a pretty unforgiving environment up there. Also, 26-34 feet is quite the range in length which will translate in quite the range in comfort and most importantly price, ongoing maintenance and complexity of systems.

Definitely get off the couch, but do some more research and asking of questions. Find a charter along the coast and hire a captain for the week or something to get you started. You'll be on the way to discovering all that you don't yet know.

And enjoy the journey. Don't be in too much of a rush that you forget to enjoy learning the important stuff.
 
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Another great series is Cruising LeaLea...
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Tzm1C2N2FHS0dg80oX6dQ

They have been cruising Alaska for 2 seasons.. One thing they have talked about is there is a recommended minimum motoring capability around Alaska. Although their boat doesn't meet this minimum, they both have the experience to carefully plan their passages.

For a newcommer, you probably want a boat that can meet those minumums.
 

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old guy
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have been looking at several sites in the pacific northwest (BC,WA,Or, and Ak).We have $25k+/- to spend on getting started and I am primarily looking at 30' boats. I grew up in Mi on the great lakes and My wife was born in Maine and raised in Portsmouth NH. While I have only sailed once on a three day charter on northern Lake Mi. I have crossed Lake Erie many times in a 16' fishing boat in the early 1960s. I have spent many nights wondering how I could be so stupid, but you know teenagers! Having lived in a 16' travel trailer several years while working construction we are aquainted with living in small spaces. I believe we will love coastal cruising. We are currently looking at a 29' Cascade located in Sitka, Ak. It is outfitted for the area and a survey will tell us what condition it is in. If we can get into a boat under $10,000 that is currently cruising the area and the owner is moving to a larger boat but remaining in the area, we should be ok on that. So my question is am I thinking through this correctly or am I missing something? After 35+ years living in Interior Alaska I would like to show my coastal Alaska as very few people get to see it!!!
 

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man! live the dream you will have more than enough for the boat in that range...(look for bigger projects boat that will be priced below 20k that can quickly gain value and comfort for you and the partner over time and not break the initial budget...)and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than enough for a monthly budget

someone else mentioned a westsail 32 or similar for your area and I coulnt agree more, stout, big engine...slow but safe is perfect for that area.

there is a thread on the rawson 30, another budget boat,the pilothouse versions are perfect for cold weather sailing and despite them having a reputation for being a bit slow and needing some mods to sail better they are great bang for buck.

in fact there are some as far south as california for cheap. with 2.5k a month you can refit on the water the first few months and work your way back up!

wish you the best, great sailing and boat purchase and future cruising life!

fair winds

christian
 

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We live in Interior Alaska and I am retiring next June. I have come upon an old forgotten dream which is to cruise on a sailboat. For more than a year I have been searching For sale sites and have read and acquired sailing books on inspecting sailboats, cruising on a budget, blue water sailboats, etc. I plan to take a retirement annuity ($25,000+/-) and buy a boat in the 26-34Ft range and spend our retirement cruising SE Alaska and Prince William Sound in 4to6 week trips with 1-2 week breaks. so that means about 3 trips a year as long as I am able! We plan to both take a Zero to bareboat sailing class next June and set out on our last adventures in life. In your opinion would that be sufficient to buy a boat in the Seattle area and sail it up the inside passage as available boats in Alaska are limited? My funds will be limited but mooring in most Alaska Harbors for a 30 Ft is about $1,100 per year in Petersburg or Valdez so our 2500/month budget should be sufficient. I/We would appreciate any advice on our dream! Is it reasonable or5 should I stay on the couch and dream?
certainly don't stay on the couch and dream. dreams are possible if there is the will to make them real. it's all up to the dreamer. get off the couch and work towards your dream and you could fail but you could also live your dream and have the time of your life. stay on the couch and you gain nothing at all. i say go for it. the key is in planning, research, and determination.
 
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We live in Interior Alaska and I am retiring next June. I have come upon an old forgotten dream which is to cruise on a sailboat. For more than a year I have been searching For sale sites and have read and acquired sailing books on inspecting sailboats, cruising on a budget, blue water sailboats, etc. I plan to take a retirement annuity ($25,000+/-) and buy a boat in the 26-34Ft range and spend our retirement cruising SE Alaska and Prince William Sound in 4to6 week trips with 1-2 week breaks. so that means about 3 trips a year as long as I am able! We plan to both take a Zero to bareboat sailing class next June and set out on our last adventures in life. In your opinion would that be sufficient to buy a boat in the Seattle area and sail it up the inside passage as available boats in Alaska are limited? My funds will be limited but mooring in most Alaska Harbors for a 30 Ft is about $1,100 per year in Petersburg or Valdez so our 2500/month budget should be sufficient. I/We would appreciate any advice on our dream! Is it reasonable or5 should I stay on the couch and dream?
I don't like to pour water on dreams. Its certainly quite possible.
Finding the right boat for you is the key to making it work. To know whats right for you. You need to get your feet wet.
Don't rush out and by the first boat avalable. there will be another along pretty quick
Do the sailing course, Take your partner. once you have the course under your belt. Charter a boat. Go sailing for a week. Some where in the North West.
Do a course in navigation, power squadron, ASA, or online.
A lot of on line courses are based on RYA. Better to do an American one rather than RYA due to different tide tables and although it mentions both RYA is System A Bouyage which is different. From N America which is system B

Once you have a bit of expierience you will have an idea what kind of boat you want.
Heavy, light, Long Keel, Fin Keel, Pilot house, Fast Sailor, or good motoring.
lots to choose from and the inside passage up from Seattle is fantastic.

I found My boat a 35ft for 30k. suits me but might not suit you. Be aware bying an older boat you will have to spend more on it.How much more depends on how much you can do.

To give you an idea.
I had replace the entire plumbing from head through holding tank. not expensive but not fun.
My stove top works oven doesn't. parts no longer avalable to repair. I don't live on board so nota high priority.
I have no heat. you want to make sure that works if living on board at this time of year.
Boat had a pressure water system 30year old boat no longer works. again I don't live on board. Most of older boats in my budget had simmilar issues.
No fridge, boat never had one.
No Spray Hood. No Enclosed cockpit tent. Again I don't live aboard.
Boat had a couple of leaks which didn't show up in survey. electrical system
is old and corroded.a work in progress.
IF the above worked they were out of my budget

It did have GPS, RADAR(not working but Ifixed it)Sails in used but good. plus roller furling.
a set of sails
You should be able to find something simmilar age condition for your budget
some where in The PNW.

Didn't want to put you off just give you an idea what you are getting into.
If you do decide to go ahead. It will be worth it,

Who knows I might see you out there. I bought my boat to explore the inside passage and Alaska.
So Far haven't got further than the San Juans and the SGI.
Next sumer? desolation and beyond.?
Not going to live on it, I lived in a trailer as well.
I plan to sail for few weeks then take my washing home and have a decent shower
Alaska or Bust
 

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I suggest before you commit to buying is get involved at your local yacht club. get out on other folks boats. Sailors are a friendly lot and loveto talk boats. I am sure folks would love to have you out for a sail especially race nights. This way you can get a feel for the various layouts and handling. As the old expression goes it is better to sail a thousand miles than read a thousand books on sailing. I firmly believe as which happened to me, the boat finds the sailor. when you find your boat you will know it. it will feel right. after saying that There is one book you should get it is call 20 small boats to take you anywhere. amazon has it it is good place to begin...
 

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old guy
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I have been convinced. Since, my desire is to travel and explore not sail, I will surrender to your advice. With the limited time due to age and finances I will find another way to achieve my goals! Thanks everyone for the advice!
 

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Alaskajack - I would do a little more reading, even through this site. there are plenty of folks in your age bracket who went out and bought a boat and set off.

it's your dream, live it your way. I wanted to sail for many years before I finally gave it a shot and took the ASA class. Wow what was I waiting for!! it isn't rocket science to get a boat to move. will you make errors? of course, that's called life.
 

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old guy
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Not to worry! Perhaps I should have chased the sailing dream in my forties (the fist time I encountered it) but now I will get a new Riverboat and explore the Alaska interior! With thousands of miles of rivers like the Yukon, Susitna, and Tanana with their tributaries we can stay quite busy seeing Wild Alaska. Stick with what you Know my Dad always said! There will be no lack of adventure just little salt in the air!!! Thanks everyone for your time and consideration!!! Alaskajack signing off!!!
 

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I don't like to pour water on dreams. Its certainly quite possible.
Finding the right boat for you is the key to making it work. To know whats right for you. You need to get your feet wet.
Don't rush out and by the first boat avalable. there will be another along pretty quick
Do the sailing course, Take your partner. once you have the course under your belt. Charter a boat. Go sailing for a week. Some where in the North West.
Do a course in navigation, power squadron, ASA, or online.
A lot of on line courses are based on RYA. Better to do an American one rather than RYA due to different tide tables and although it mentions both RYA is System A Bouyage which is different. From N America which is system B

Once you have a bit of expierience you will have an idea what kind of boat you want.
Heavy, light, Long Keel, Fin Keel, Pilot house, Fast Sailor, or good motoring.
lots to choose from and the inside passage up from Seattle is fantastic.

I found My boat a 35ft for 30k. suits me but might not suit you. Be aware bying an older boat you will have to spend more on it.How much more depends on how much you can do.

To give you an idea.
I had replace the entire plumbing from head through holding tank. not expensive but not fun.
My stove top works oven doesn't. parts no longer avalable to repair. I don't live on board so nota high priority.
I have no heat. you want to make sure that works if living on board at this time of year.
and i'd recommend insulating the hull. that's on my to do list. my heater keeps the main cabin warm enough (been sleeping there on the really cold nights instead of the V berth) but, there is a lot of cold that radiates through the hull. there is a good blog by these folks who insulated their hull. it looks really nice and their method is really doable without a lot of disassembly. i would link to it but i seem to have lost that from my tool bar when i had to reinstall aol. i will see if i can find it.

i'm planning on fabbing a wood stove later. less dependency on the grid and heat when not at the marina.

here it is:

http://www.frugal-mariner.com/Insulating.html
 
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