SailNet Community banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
H27 "Shady Lady"
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I have just over 6 years until permanent retirement, well actually 6.23 years, or 2322 days until my planned launch date. Assuming all, or most goes to plan, here is my concern.

I have read several books regarding cruising and planning to cruise, as well as spent countless hours scouring Sailnet.com. As I see it I have three basic options.

Situation: My wife and I are D.I.N.K.'s, with very little debt. My plan WAS to buy a small 22-27' pocket cruiser to sail for the next 5 years, then about 6-12 months or so before launch date, sell the lil one to buy a coastal cruiser capable of comfortably living aboard and sailing around N. America, possibly further, on a boat that was 100% paid for and with a pension income of around $2000.00 (after taxes) a month and a reasonable sized kitty. That was option 1. Here are the others I have read/thought about.

2. Save save save, then save some more, sail only on non-owned boats. "Catch as catch can be" so to speak. Then buy "the one" just before you throw the lines off, sailing away into the sunset....

3. Buy "the one" now, going into some debt. In my situation the boat would be paid off with about 2-3 years remaining before my launch date giving me time to rebuild the kitty, and still have that $2000.00 pension forever.

Personally I am leaning towards 1 or 3. The sailing other peoples boats for 6 years doesn't appeal to me.

So, what are your thoughts?? Thanks very much.

Shawn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,607 Posts
I'd go half way between!
Sail OPB for about 2 to 3 years and then buy your boat with about 2 or 3 years before you cast off. 2 or 3 years will give you time to break anything that will break and get comfortable with it. Never make major changes right away on a new to you boat. Figure out if it REALLY needs that change. Maybe there is a good reason things are set up the way they are but that reason doesn't pop out right away under 'usual' circumstances.
 

·
*starboard*
Joined
·
495 Posts
/\/\ I think that's good advice. That gives you the best of both worlds as far as sailing, "testing" boats out on the water, and building up your skills.

What's your sailing experience so far? Getting your feet wet before buying is a great way to "test drive" different boats, sizes, configurations. I don't yet own but have found that you can't really tell if you like a boat until you sail a lot on it and get a feel for it.
 

·
Handsome devil
Joined
·
3,477 Posts
I like #1 with buying your final boat a little earlier say 2 years befor cast off for reasons listed by others...The problum with OPB is timing...you cant always make dates work out...and also seat of your pants experience teaches you faster...not that friends wont have tricks and advice to give you...but its their boat and they will be doing most of the decision making..

Also owning your own boat will require you to preform all the maintenance and upkeep issues...things you need to know...also teaching you the burden of owning a boat.
 

·
H27 "Shady Lady"
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Well, this truly is a plan, I have zippo for experience, so I am really beginning with baby steps, I will be taking sailing and related lessons beginning this fall. Likely purchasing a boat of some sort in the next spring.

The good news is so far my significant other is right on board. Not as excited as I am, but willing to listen to me go on, and even throwing in a few comments here and there. That's way more than normal, so I am pretty sure she is excited as well, just much more pragmatic :D
 

·
Jon Held
Joined
·
36 Posts
If your handy with tools, find a boat that needs some cosmetic work but solid as far as sailing goes, buy it, sail it, fix it, and sell it for a profit, and repeat with something a little bigger. There are plenty of bargains out there that need a little TLC and elbow grease. I've stumbled into a $250K boat for next to nothing (cash wise, lots of work) this way. Just one more possibility to consider. See my website for my experience and prize.
 

·
moderate?
Joined
·
13,875 Posts
I am always for door #3.
Buy THE boat and learn to sail on it and fix it up to be yours and learn all the systems. It is just as easy to learn how to sail and handle a 40 ft. boat is it is a 22ft. boat.

Your big problem with door #3 is that you don't KNOW enough about boats to PICK the right one for your plans. But you can get lots of help here with that and from friends and surveyors. Just don't believe the brochures or the brokers!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I have found trying to sail other people's boats greatly reduces my time on the water. I just like being on the water even if I am working on the boat at the slip though, so I don't get the same enjoyment out of using another person's boat.

I think I would go with option 1 and possibly consider up to a 30 footer. That is actually similar to my plan except I have more than 6 years to go.
 

·
Handsome devil
Joined
·
3,477 Posts
I am always for door #3.
Buy THE boat and learn to sail on it and fix it up to be yours and learn all the systems. It is just as easy to learn how to sail and handle a 40 ft. boat is it is a 22ft. boat.

Your big problem with door #3 is that you don't KNOW enough about boats to PICK the right one for your plans. But you can get lots of help here with that and from friends and surveyors. Just don't believe the brochures or the brokers!!
I agree with that to ..I just dont agree with the going into debt on a boat part...so couldn't vote for that one.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
555 Posts
Greenman....... and others,

Your location is SASKATCHEWAN. Val, do you want to tell these people that this is in the middle of Canada, and not even close to an ocean?

Option # 1 seems to be a well thought out plan. You really should get on a boat, and get your admiral on a boat, before you buy a really nice boat to sail off into the sunset. There are many "sail off into the sunset" boats available in Mexico where the Southern Calif. wannabe cruisers ended up selling them a few thousand miles later! Sailing a boat is not a great thing for some folks, living on a boat is one of those 1% options when you get to the bottom line. If you are confident in those odds, you can gamble just south of the border. Bet big and go now!

You can buy the end all boat, which you may find you NEVER sail, but you are going to spend your kitty flying to get to it. There is some big water way north in Saskatchewan, and much more available in Manitoba, but no matter what you will need to travel. You also only have a few month season that far north.

With six years, at least TRY sailing and weekends on a small boat before you invest your future in a boat you may not be able to sell. Do that for a year, spend a few weeks on a charter in someplace warm in February (you deserve it living that far north), and see if you LIKE it. If you both don't LOVE it, don't do it.

I LOVE to sail. My wife LIKES to sail. I could live on a boat a few months a year, but I have no desire to have it as my home. My wife? A week at a time a couple of times a year...at the most! She is a good sport about it. We have survived 40 years of marriage because I spent 30 of them traveling half the time. My deciding to live on a boat would either extend the marriage forever or end it immediately.

Don't mean to burst your bubble....but TRY IT....hopefully you like it! Plus you have to get home in time to keep your insurance alive and well.
 

·
H27 "Shady Lady"
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yes, I do live in Saskatchewan, it is after all a 6 year plan. Of course where I live now has little to do with anything. I have been in the military 18 + years and have lived in several provinces, the good news I will be in Halifax in 2 months, hopefully as my last posting.

Thanks for all the interesting thoughts.

Shawn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
I think option 1 is a good idea. Problem with option 3 is you will not know what type of boat you like. For example do you want a fin keel or a fixed keel? Cutter rig or sloop? Heavy or light? Centre cockpit or aft cockpit, etc, etc With option 1 you can figure out what you like, plus it will be easier to meet other yachties and see what type of yachts they are sailing.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
555 Posts
Greenman,

Halifax would certainly open up your options considerably. I usually check someones location if they list it because you would be very surprised how many people have never sailed or seen big water get the bug to cruise. Reality does set in at 40-50 kts of wind and 8-15' seas. Someone sent me a link to Cruisersforum.com recently. There was a discussion there on peoples reasons for stopping their cruising dream.

However, the rest of my advise would not change. You still have to find out if you like or love it. Like it....day sails and weekends. Love it...go cruising!

Good Luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,491 Posts
Well, this truly is a plan, I have zippo for experience, so I am really beginning with baby steps, I will be taking sailing and related lessons beginning this fall. Likely purchasing a boat of some sort in the next spring.

The good news is so far my significant other is right on board. Not as excited as I am, but willing to listen to me go on, and even throwing in a few comments here and there. That's way more than normal, so I am pretty sure she is excited as well, just much more pragmatic :D

It's a good time to buy a small boat, so if you are prepared to have to wait to sell it at a small loss in four years' time, buy now a boat that is well-built but completely unmodernized (it will be cheaper if it is clean and functional but resembles a 1970s rec room!).

This will indeed be the "learning boat". You can sail the hell out of it in coastal/inland waters in relative safety, all the time gaining real experience, plus you will learn using only a single burner stove top, a cooler, and a couple of cabin lights how to manage in comfort with few of the geegaws you'd want in a liveaboard boat.

This will be very instructive.

An alternative, and one which can be done at the same time, is to join a yacht club and to crew on race boats as big or slightly bigger than the boat you intend to cruise. Going out hell-bent for leather in all but the most daunting conditions will teach you a vast amount about boat handling that is directly applicable to cruising effectively. I raced for five years at the club and inter-club level (and still do inter-club on occasion) and my cruising style reflects this: I always get the maximum performance (or close to it) out of any boat I'm in, but I reef earlier and respect the limits of the gear more because we aren't, after all, racing. By contrast, a lot of cruisers set the sails and then barely touch them: if the wind turns contrary...on goes the engine. This is not sustainable in long-term cruising, where if you can, you sail.

Finally, what is logical for distance cruising and living aboard is not what 90% of today's boats are, which are lightly loaded, spaciously salooned and minimally tanked go-fast "performance cruisers". Boats fill up quickly, and simple and robust is better. I would prefer to have a larger boat (up to what I could physically manage) with fewer conveniences than a smaller, laden, boat with all the extras, but which was so tight for space that regular inspection and maintenance was a grim task to be avoided. Access and stowage take on more importance for long-term cruising, which sometimes means you arrive under sail a day later, but neither hungry, thirsty or out of fuel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,491 Posts
However, the rest of my advise would not change. You still have to find out if you like or love it. Like it....day sails and weekends. Love it...go cruising!

Good Luck.
My wife's aunt and uncle sail a Columbia 35 on Lake Diefenbaker (yeah, I had to look it up) in Saskatchewan, so I'm probably not the guy to dissuade him. But the Halifax move changes everything in the sense that Greenman will have the opportunity to see completely cold and nasty weather as crew on boats that, merely by process of elimination, are going to be "ocean-grade". He'll probably see a lot of small-boat radar usage as well, which wouldn't likely be the case on the Prairies.

Not to mention that Halifax has a small but active market. If after he and his wife have been half-frozen, emptied of puke and covered in bruises and blisters, and STILL want to sail the Caribbean, they will have the experience needed to choose a well-found vessel and the experience necessary to sail it.

Seriously, you may figure out a great boat in N.S., but you may find it, as has been said, in Mexico or Panama, at fire sale prices by couples who bought the lifestyle without entirely grasping the "you are always in motion at sea" and "wind makes the boat go" aspect.

On top of that, Nova Scotia is a great, if challenging, area to sail, with varied and beautiful cruising grounds particularly in the north and Cape Breton areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
The problem with a 22 footer is that it is a VERY different sailing experience than a boat that is 30' and larger.

I'm not a fan of 70's era boats. They're cheap, but they require a LOT of work and your sailing season is going to be short and you want to build sailing skills as well as maintenance skills.

An early to mid-90's boat in the low 30 foot range will have most of the systems that your eventual sail away boat will have. It has pretty much seen its depreciation, so it's likely you'll be able to sell it for close to purchase price in a four years.

The problem with option three is that after sailing my 22 and chartering a couple of times I've discovered that the boat I want is very different from the boat I *thought* I wanted. So I've just recently purchased a 1995 30 footer. It's the boat I'll sail, not the boat I'll sail away. That will come later...

Jim
 

·
H27 "Shady Lady"
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
So, other than making the choice to look into cruising after retirement, I took my first significant step in my 6 year plan. I sold a whole bunch of accumulated crap, deposited $2500.00 into a high interest savings account (AKA my new Kitty), and started an $100.00 a month automatic deposit. Once I get moved and my last few debts taken care of that $100.00 a month will be going up significantly.

Dern I am happy to be finally saving for a real purpose, rather than saving "just in case". A goal sure seems to make the frugal choices easy.

For the record, I have tentatively decided to do as much saving as possible and learning what skills I can for the next few (3-4) years, then hopefully find "the one" to buy and spend my last couple years getting to know it and myself before it's time to pack it in for my career.

Thanks for all the great advice so far.

Shawn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
I'd take lessons, buy a small boat for lake or other protected water sailing, and try to hitch rides or crew on everything you set your eyes on. Oh yeah, try a multihull too.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top