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Old 04-05-2018, 05:48 PM   #1
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Hit me with a dose of reality

Hi folks!

I've got a plan to buy a boat and live on it, traveling the world as long as I'm physically able to do so. I recently turned 40 and am on track for a partial retirement and boat purchase in about 5 years. I'm starting my planning & research now so I'll be more than ready when the time comes. I'd love any advice or input you might have.

I'm looking at used boats in the 50' to 70' range and will have a budget between $500k-1000k with $75k-100k per year set aside for maintenance and expenses. The vessel will need to be blue water capable with long range, as I do intend to cross oceans and I'll also be looking for something with large capacities and able to spend extended time at sea or on anchor. Living at a marina strapped to a dock doesn't sound appealing to me at all. I'd rather be on the move or anchored in a harbor some place tropical.

Since the boat will be my long term home, I want something decently large and comfortable. However I'll need to balance size with the fact that I will be cruising shorthanded, potentially all alone if I don't meet someone who shares my passion for this lifestyle between now and then. I figure I can hire help when needed, particularly for the larger maintenance items and during crossings. I also figure I can learn to do much of the work myself. I previously owned (and briefly lived in) a 40' motor coach with a Detroit 8V92 and did most of my own maintenance & repairs on all systems.

I have no interest in sailboats and am currently considering trawlers and power cats.

My plan is to get on as many different boats and talk to as many owners as I can over the next few years. I live in the Pacific Northwest and will be attending the in-water boat show at Trawlerfest in May - this is my first show and is where I plan to start my adventure. As I get closer to realizing my dream, I'll start taking classes as I have much to learn. Getting a diving certification is a priority, also diesel engine maintenance, boat handling and so on.

After the purchase is made, I intend to cruise the west coast of North America for a period of time to get my bearings and learn to handle my boat. I'll probably hire a skipper until I'm confident I have enough experience to go it alone.

So that's the preliminary plan outline. Everything I know about this lifestyle I've read online, so it's time I begin to immerse myself more in real life by attending shows and talking to owners. I've actually had this dream for over 10 years now, I'm just finally getting to the point in my life where the cards are lining up such that I can actually begin to lay some concrete plans.

Thank you for any advice you can throw my way!
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:58 PM   #2
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:22 PM   #3
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I wouldn't call this a "dose of reality" but would strongly encourage you to taking a sailing class before ruling sailboats out. Sailboats are overwhelmingly prevalent in passage making for many reasons. If you already know how to sail and still don't want to consider one then please disregard this comment. I think you will find many trawler owners to come from a sailing background and turn to trawlers as preferred for inland and coastal navigation where draft, bridge clearances and confined channels detract from sailing. But open ocean passage making benefits the inherent stability of sail (which may sound odd initially). The size and complexity required in a trawler to match the seaworthyness and range of a quality blue water sailing yacht will be much harder on your budget not to mention a much smaller market to shop from.
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:36 PM   #4
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My dose of reality is that you have not mentioned crew expenses. No boat in the size range you want is singlehandable in a practical sense, not for long offshore passages. And probably not for the constant docking, anchoring and mooring of inshore cruising either: picking up a mooring ball in a crowded harbor with a tide running, etc.
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:55 PM   #5
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Welcome aboard. My advice is to not only try to get aboard different boats, get as many sea days as possible. It may be difficult to get insurance without any history of boat ownership. So get as much sea time as possible and keep a log. Take as many boating and navigation classes as you can. You mentioned diesel classes which is a good idea. I agree with you about trawlering versus sailing, much rather be powering than sailing. Good luck with your dream. Now get out there and do your homework...
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:11 PM   #6
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Might want to charter for a couple weeks before you take the plunge.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:14 PM   #7
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An FPB is about the only boat I would trust to do anything remotely like what you are talking about.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:34 PM   #8
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Might want to charter for a couple weeks before you take the plunge.
Many charter agencies will have some sort of training charters available to get customers ready to charter their boats. Anacortes Yacht Charters sent a captain to train us for the first afternoon and night on our first bareboat charter with them. This was on an Ocean Alexander 50 Mk1, the next year they let us bareboat a DeFever 65 for three weeks.

Another way to log some hours is to signup for a Training cruise when charter yachts relocate at seasons end. For a reduced rate you can spend a week traveling from Alaska to Seattle or south to Baja all the while standing watch and learning basic line and tackle handling. The same applies at the beginning of the season too. My wife and I both did this on Ursa Major a 65' Malahide trawler and were the only others aboard besides the captain, cook and 1st mate.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:13 PM   #10
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Might want to charter for a couple weeks before you take the plunge.
Might want to charter continually.

As it sounds like the op will still be working
Quote:
and am on track for a partial retirement
, so I assume will need to be near civilisation, he might be better off getting the million spend working for him and add in the $100k a year in expenses and rent someone else's boat in exotic locales.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:33 PM   #11
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Don't even think about buying yet. You don't know yet what you don't know.
Charter with a captain will be a good dose of reality. There is a big difference between monkey-see monkey-do learning and having and understanding all the systems involved.
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:24 PM   #12
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What is your current boating experience? When it comes to cruising, reading books and conversing with imaginary friends on the Internet doesn't offset hands on experience.

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Old 04-05-2018, 10:27 PM   #13
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I wouldn't call this a "dose of reality" but would strongly encourage you to taking a sailing class before ruling sailboats out. Sailboats are overwhelmingly prevalent in passage making for many reasons. If you already know how to sail and still don't want to consider one then please disregard this comment. I think you will find many trawler owners to come from a sailing background and turn to trawlers as preferred for inland and coastal navigation where draft, bridge clearances and confined channels detract from sailing. But open ocean passage making benefits the inherent stability of sail (which may sound odd initially). The size and complexity required in a trawler to match the seaworthyness and range of a quality blue water sailing yacht will be much harder on your budget not to mention a much smaller market to shop from.
I agree 100% with Gdavid. Please learn how to sail before you dismiss buying a sailboat for crossing an ocean. Very few recreational ocean crossings are done in power boats.
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:34 PM   #14
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Welcome Boatlife.

If I was going to consider ocean crossing cruising, it would definitely be in a motorsailor. The sails give range as well as comfort.

Also, if I was contemplating living and cruising solo in a powerboat, I would do it in a smaller boat than 50-70í. For me, I would be looking at a number of the bluewater boats in the 40-50í range. 60-70í is just way too stinking big if you are solo or even a couple. No reason for that much space.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:08 PM   #15
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It may be a better idea to buy your ideal coastal cruiser and simply ship it across any ocean in your way. I mean, beyond bragging rights, how much fun is it plowing for days and days across an empty ocean?
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:42 PM   #16
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i wouldn't call this a "dose of reality" but would strongly encourage you to taking a sailing class before ruling sailboats out. Sailboats are overwhelmingly prevalent in passage making for many reasons. If you already know how to sail and still don't want to consider one then please disregard this comment. I think you will find many trawler owners to come from a sailing background and turn to trawlers as preferred for inland and coastal navigation where draft, bridge clearances and confined channels detract from sailing. But open ocean passage making benefits the inherent stability of sail (which may sound odd initially). The size and complexity required in a trawler to match the seaworthyness and range of a quality blue water sailing yacht will be much harder on your budget not to mention a much smaller market to shop from.
amen!
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by boatlife View Post
Hi folks!

I've got a plan to buy a boat and live on it, traveling the world as long as I'm physically able to do so. I recently turned 40 and am on track for a partial retirement and boat purchase in about 5 years. I'm starting my planning & research now so I'll be more than ready when the time comes. I'd love any advice or input you might have.

I'm looking at used boats in the 50' to 70' range and will have a budget between $500k-1000k with $75k-100k per year set aside for maintenance and expenses. The vessel will need to be blue water capable with long range, as I do intend to cross oceans and I'll also be looking for something with large capacities and able to spend extended time at sea or on anchor. Living at a marina strapped to a dock doesn't sound appealing to me at all. I'd rather be on the move or anchored in a harbor some place tropical.

Since the boat will be my long term home, I want something decently large and comfortable. However I'll need to balance size with the fact that I will be cruising shorthanded, potentially all alone if I don't meet someone who shares my passion for this lifestyle between now and then. I figure I can hire help when needed, particularly for the larger maintenance items and during crossings. I also figure I can learn to do much of the work myself. I previously owned (and briefly lived in) a 40' motor coach with a Detroit 8V92 and did most of my own maintenance & repairs on all systems.

I have no interest in sailboats and am currently considering trawlers and power cats.

My plan is to get on as many different boats and talk to as many owners as I can over the next few years. I live in the Pacific Northwest and will be attending the in-water boat show at Trawlerfest in May - this is my first show and is where I plan to start my adventure. As I get closer to realizing my dream, I'll start taking classes as I have much to learn. Getting a diving certification is a priority, also diesel engine maintenance, boat handling and so on.

After the purchase is made, I intend to cruise the west coast of North America for a period of time to get my bearings and learn to handle my boat. I'll probably hire a skipper until I'm confident I have enough experience to go it alone.

So that's the preliminary plan outline. Everything I know about this lifestyle I've read online, so it's time I begin to immerse myself more in real life by attending shows and talking to owners. I've actually had this dream for over 10 years now, I'm just finally getting to the point in my life where the cards are lining up such that I can actually begin to lay some concrete plans.

Thank you for any advice you can throw my way!
.a competent Captain will cost you $100K a year minimum-- mostlikely 130K. A 50fter is a full time job just cleaning and maintenance---a 70foot trawler really takes 2 paid crew--do you enjoy doing menial work???
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:53 PM   #18
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I think itís different things for different people. If I listened to much of the advice given, I would never have owned a boat. I started (my first boat) with a 58í and moved to a 68í 18months later (somehow even made money on the deal).

I did look at boats for almost a year. And likely could tell you about every boat on the west coast that was for sale during that stage. There is sound advice in getting on as many boats as possible before you purchase. There is also sound advice about consider a charter first for a few weeks or more to see what is important.

If your the type of person that researches and is a sponge and values the lessons and teachings that come with owning and captaining your own vessel with some since of risk avoidance and a lot of reading you will be fine. If you are not learning inclined and capable of finding solutions even when you may not understand everything, the heed the advice here about baby steps.

All that being said Iím not sure I would cross an ocean in my first year, but I do believe a person learns best when all is on his/her shoulders and strives to learn though experience.

As example, in my first 3 months I put on over 1000 nautical miles, left port 25-30 times. I cleared customs, docked at many remote marinas, docked in 40knt winds, anchored in remote locations. I learned a ton, and did so from talking/reading/doing. I have now over 10k miles, a trip to Alaska (another on the way,) experience in almost every weather condition the Puget Sound has to offer all under my belt.

It all depends on the person. If thatís is not you, find someone to teach you, but go! Donít wait!

These have been the most rewarding days of my life and my families.

It comes down to you....

Oh ya, welcome to the forums.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:55 PM   #19
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Welcome Boatlife.

If I was going to consider ocean crossing cruising, it would definitely be in a motorsailor. The sails give range as well as comfort.

Also, if I was contemplating living and cruising solo in a powerboat, I would do it in a smaller boat than 50-70’. For me, I would be looking at a number of the bluewater boats in the 40-50’ range. 60-70’ is just way too stinking big if you are solo or even a couple. No reason for that much space.
Not I! I had cruising sailboats from 1971 to 2017 and now have a 34trawler. I miss sailing! In my long career I helped deliver about 4 Motor Sailors. None of them sailed well or motored well. If I was younger (80) I would get another sailboat. BTW- exactly what is a "Bluewater" Trawler in the 40--50 ft range? can it do 16-18ft waves 6 second period?? Or is your 'Bluewater' different from mine? I recommend a 50ft sail Cat with a friendly athletic lady Captain who can cook. hard to find.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:01 AM   #20
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My plan is to get on as many different boats and talk to as many owners as I can over the next few years. I live in the Pacific Northwest and will be attending the in-water boat show at Trawlerfest in May - this is my first show and is where I plan to start my adventure. As I get closer to realizing my dream, I'll start taking classes as I have much to learn. Getting a diving certification is a priority, also diesel engine maintenance, boat handling and so on.

After the purchase is made, I intend to cruise the west coast of North America for a period of time to get my bearings and learn to handle my boat. I'll probably hire a skipper until I'm confident I have enough experience to go it alone.
I'd have to say you are approaching all this very intelligently. Especially considering that this lifestyle is much more emotional than analytical, I believe you will do just fine!
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