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Old 04-05-2018, 11:17 PM   #21
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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.
Says you.
I know several couples living aboard and managing just fine on 65 and have been for a decade or more.
We were lucky to get our layout on 60 ft, I really wasn't wanting to go as big as 70 to get it and couldn't imagine LIVING on anything less.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:23 PM   #22
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I admire your passion and exuberance. While I am a supporter of your goals...let me play devil's advocate for a few minutes.

Consideration #1: The midpoint of your boat price range is $750K. The midpoint of your maintenance budget is $75k. Considering the rule of thumb that annual maintenence is is 10% of boat price, you don't have much left over for dockage, food and fuel.

Consideration #2: You self proclaim that you have a lot to learn and will be coastal cruising while you do. Why not coastal cruise and learn on a 40 footer for 2 or 3 years. Weather, systems maint, navigation, electronics, etc that you learn will all be directly applicable to your "forever boat" a few years down the road. The savings in purchase, depreciation, fuel, and rookie mistakes, invested for 2 or 3 years, will make the "forever boat" purchase easier. AND.....there's a chance that you don't take to the lifestyle, and your sunk costs will be less with a smaller boat.

Consideration #3: There's no better way to know what you like in a boat than owning one. You won't know if you need upper and lower helms until you've had one and either loved or hated it. Single engine or twins....galley up or down....beautiful brightwork or easy to maintain paint/fiberglass......pilot house or single level...and so on. There are so many considerations in boat layout and design that the odds of your nailing it on the first try are slim. Buy a 2-3 year boat while you learn, and look for your "forever boat"

Consideration #4: The satisfaction and contentment of telling your story to someone sitting at a thatched roof bar on tropical island a few years from now will be truly priceless. Don't lose sight of that.
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Old 04-06-2018, 05:22 AM   #23
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Visit lots of boats , even dockside.

40-50 ft will do fine,, 70 is far too much to be bothered with.

Enjoying the venture is the game , mere volume while expensive is useless unless there is a constant need.

With experience under 40 ft in a well engineered boat can be grand.
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Old 04-06-2018, 05:57 AM   #24
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I won't say rhat what you are thinking about doing is impossible, but make sure you know what you are actually gettig yourself into.
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:37 AM   #25
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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!
He said Bluewater-not Puget Sound
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:45 AM   #26
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I semi-retired when I was just over 40. Until then, I worked long and hard hours and didn't have much time for my young family. I grew of retirement quickly, and missed the challenge, stimulation and reward of work. So, I went back at it with a new appreciation. At this stage, I fear retirement. I just don't see myself being content to do nothing but golf, fix my boat and post on the internet all day. My advice is make sure you will be glad you retired early.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:43 AM   #27
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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.
Many Nordhavns in this size range with couples only piloting. Read James Hamilton's blogs as well as dozens others on Nordhavn's website. Many on TF know of vessels in this range that are couples only, with occasional guests for longer hauls.

This BS aside, an experienced third hand for blue water travels is wise. But I do question the OPs budget goals. For serious blue water work a well tended N47 would work. The larger sizes are +$1 million. There are a few large Buehler designs popping up that may be on target too.

I do wholeheartedly support the OPs goals. Suggest he spend dock walking and boat looking right now to hone in on required mechanical training, nautical learning and boat alternatives.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:30 AM   #28
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Many Nordhavns in this size range with couples only piloting. Read James Hamilton's blogs as well as dozens others on Nordhavn's website. Many on TF know of vessels in this range that are couples only, with occasional guests for longer hauls.

This BS aside, an experienced third hand for blue water travels is wise. But I do question the OPs budget goals. For serious blue water work a well tended N47 would work. The larger sizes are +$1 million. There are a few large Buehler designs popping up that may be on target too.

I do wholeheartedly support the OPs goals. Suggest he spend dock walking and boat looking right now to hone in on required mechanical training, nautical learning and boat alternatives.
I missed where the OP stated that he was 1/2 of a couple. I have no issue with two or more people undertaking the voyages the OP posits as his future, coupled or not. However if he is single, my points still stand. For instance: how will one person bring a 60' 70,000 lb boat through a lock by themselves? I am sure there is a way to do it, just as I am sure that someone here has done it themselves, but was it fun or enjoyable?
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:40 AM   #29
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All I have to say is test the waters before you jump in. After all my years of boating including overnight coastal runs I was shocked at my inability to sleep on an overnight ferry out of Sicily. Sometimes the littlest things can kill a good plan.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:30 PM   #30
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Says you.
I know several couples living aboard and managing just fine on 65 and have been for a decade or more.
We were lucky to get our layout on 60 ft, I really wasn't wanting to go as big as 70 to get it and couldn't imagine LIVING on anything less.

I agree. I owned 65 ft and single handed and maintained it exclusively myself. Being a live aboard helped of course. Since it was a twin engine and had direct access from pilot house to deck, could dock it myself and take the locks out of Lake Union. My girlfriend served as stewardess when chartering.

Personally I think bigger is better especially out on the ocean. However for overnight passages I always brought watchstanding crew, but that would be the same on a 30 ft boat as well.
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Old 04-06-2018, 01:46 PM   #31
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Wow, what a wonderful welcome!! Thank you all for your responses!

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strongly encourage you to taking a sailing class before ruling sailboats out
My concerns about sailing stem from watching hours and hours of videos, mostly vlogs posted by cruisers. There seems to be a lot more on-deck work involved when under way and I'm not a fan of the exterior helms. Operating in a comfortable, dry place is important to me. When I'm looking at boats online, I usually jump right to the bridge. It's my favorite place and I expect to spend a lot of time there.

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Might want to charter for a couple weeks before you take the plunge.
Agreed. I've also considered crewing without pay for a few months on other people's boats, both to learn some skills and get a real taste of what I'm in for.

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Are you married?
Not anymore. I was married for 15 years to my high school sweetheart, but things didn't work out. We divorced 6 years ago. I had a really great 4 year relationship after the marriage and I got my first taste of boat life by spending a couple of days together on a chartered catamaran in Barbados. She would have made a great boat partner, but we had some differences we were unable to resolve and amicably parted ways.

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Another way to log some hours is to signup for a Training cruise when charter yachts relocate at seasons end.
Excellent advice, thank you!!

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As it sounds like the op will still be working
Working-ish. I manage I.T. investments and can work anywhere there's an Internet connection.

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What is your current boating experience?
Just small boats on rivers. Grew up skiing and wakeboarding on the Columbia River and owned a 17' ski boat for a number of years. Chartered a cat for a couple of days once in Barbados, it came with 3 crew though so I wasn't operating it myself. Have spent some river time on a friend's 42' and helped him fix his mobile satellite dish. Have been off shore fishing a few times.

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For me, I would be looking at a number of the bluewater boats in the 40-50í range.
Definitely something to consider. I expect to have a better idea of how big I think I need after I've spent some time on board.

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how much fun is it plowing for days and days across an empty ocean?
Having never done it I can't say for certain, but in my head I'm absolutely fascinated with the idea. I enjoy solitude and can't wait to experience a week with nothing but ocean in every direction as far as the eye can see.

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a 70foot trawler really takes 2 paid crew--do you enjoy doing menial work???
Yes. I used to spend countless hours tinkering with my motor coach, performing routine maintenance, repairing and upgrading systems, etc. I find it very therapeutic. Alternating between mental stimulation (such as the weekend I spent rebuilding my genset) and mindless busywork (spending an entire Saturday soaping the whole coach up and making every piece shine) keeps me sane.

I may need to scale down my size ambitions somewhat, though. A $130k a year captain is not in my budget. That said, I don't expect to be alone most of the time. Even if I remain single, I do have plenty of friends & family and two kids who are great helpers and can't wait to spend time on the boat with me. I'll certainly have hands available.

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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.
Thank you. Yes, this describes me very well. I am always eager to learn something new and not at all timid about diving right in, figuring it out and getting it done.

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I recommend a 50ft sail Cat with a friendly athletic lady Captain who can cook. hard to find.
Sounds like a dream - if you find her, will you send her my way?

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I know several couples living aboard and managing just fine on 65 and have been for a decade or more.
Thanks for this! I knew my size ambitions were going to get some raised eyebrows, but given I plan to make this my home and spend many years of my life on it, I want as much boat as I can realistically manage. This will definitely be easier with a partner, so we'll see what the next few years brings.

Quote:
I owned 65 ft and single handed and maintained it exclusively myself. Being a live aboard helped of course. Since it was a twin engine and had direct access from pilot house to deck, could dock it myself and take the locks out of Lake Union. My girlfriend served as stewardess when chartering. Personally I think bigger is better especially out on the ocean. However for overnight passages I always brought watchstanding crew
This is wonderful to hear. Certainly getting the "right" boat for single/shorthanded cruising will be important, as well as knowing in advance when I will need extra hands. This will come with experience. As I continue my research and spend some time on board actual boats I'll start to get a feel for what I need, what works and what doesn't.

I want to offer a HUGE THANK YOU and my sincere appreciation for all of the responses here! You've all made me feel very welcome and given me a lot to consider and think about. I anticipate I'll be a regular around these and other boating forums for the foreseeable future. I look forward to getting to know everyone and hope to meet some of you in person one day.
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:30 PM   #32
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Welcome! I'm also a remote employee who just needs a web connection and an airport (IT then software dev now a marketing leader for a big tech company in CA).

I used to own and maintain an Airstream motorhome (my wife wouldn't go for the bus conversion) and now we own a 40' trawler. I personally love the tinkering as much as the traveling/sailing and get an immense amount of joy out of repairing, refitting and upgrading systems as it's rare to get much instant gratification in the corporate world.

As some here have suggested to you we went down the path of buying our current boat as a "training boat". It's wasn't terribly expensive, was in good shape for it's age and is capable of travel all over the PNW, to Alaska, etc. We use it often and are upgrading it as we go. We plan to build our experience and confidence over the years on her then if we decide to go further we'll get a blue-water capable boat like a Nordhavn, KK, etc and set off.

I'd love to make the move to semi-retired earlier than later (we're in our late 40's now) but my wife keeps reminding me we have children in college, etc. Maybe in a few years.

You should consider attending the upcoming Trawler Fest in Bremerton. Great chance to get on, in and all over a bunch of trawlers. Opening weekend I think (May 4th?) . I also suggest reading 'Voyaging Under Power' as it's an incredible resource for things like boat type, size, tankage, crew needed, etc.

Hope to see you out there someday soon.
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Old 04-06-2018, 05:34 PM   #33
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Read up: https://www.setsail.com/

An FPB is about the only boat I would trust to do anything remotely like what you are talking about.
And in 5 years you'll probably be able to get one for $1M

2010 Circa Marine FPB 64 Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Setsail has great reading on the FPB design development.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:15 PM   #34
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Don't let anyone crush your dreams. Do, however, try to stay healthy and alive while actuating your dream.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:32 PM   #35
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I live by myself aboard a 53í boat on a full time basis. I have no problem single handing and even have performed a few offshore passages solo. Mostly though I have enough friends and family who enjoy joining me on trips that sometimes I have trouble scheduling them all. There are times when Iím glad not to have company and enjoy the solitude and decompression time.
I think the OP budget is fine, his purchase $$ availability is double what mine was but my annual budget is about the same.
I see no reason why canít succeed given his determination, attitude and capabilities. I say go for it and enjoy the ride.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:45 PM   #36
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Love this. I have similar globe traveling ambitions and it is looking like it should work career wise. Although my kids ages makes it more of a 7-8 year plan.

Without knowing your current particulars beyond what you have shared.... have you thought if buying a coastal cruiser now and enjoying the PNW?

Youíll have a chance to learn a ton - anchoring, tides, what you like in a boat and what you donít. Not to mention the time in marinas, walking the docks and chatting with neighbors. Youíll be really surprised how giving many people are of knowledge and assistance.

My first boat was a 31í Tiara that I bought for under $50k (older boat with recent new gas power) and ran from Seattle to Desolation Sound and beyond for 5 summers. The rest of the year we used it for lake, puget sound and SJ island excursions and had a very affordable condo in downtown Seattle (Anacortes, Bellingham, Tacoma, Portland all work too).

My kids came along and then they grew and so we moved a bit bigger boat. But a high quality boat like a Tiara held its value.

We had a blast on that boat, learned a ton, enjoyed some of the worlds finest cruising grounds and, though our travels, knew exactly the next boat we wanted. And now after another 5 years on this boat I know exactly the boat Iíd like for the next adventure.

Thought Iíd share our path.
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Old 04-06-2018, 11:11 PM   #37
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I been on the water in ships and boats most of my life. I'm 70 and can't see the end of it yet.
Unless you like simplistic living you need a boat big enough for comfort. Laundry, freezer, dishwasher and other house sized appliances. To make ocean crossings you'll need to carry lots of fuel. And the weather can change fast, even in warm, comfortable seas. A boat designed for ocean use, not weekend cruising. I have an 83' boat designed for most weather and carry 2000 gallons. While the boat gets good mileage for its size, I can only just make Hawaii from the West Coast w/o extra fuel in barrels or bladders. And that's 2 weeks of running 24/7. And boring. You need reliable engines, spares and someone that can fix things if you can't. If you know nothing, you may need a captain.
Big boats aren't any more difficult to handle than small ones if you make an effort to study boat handling and are careful. The first boat I ran was 65' when I was 13. I mostly solo this one. I only make an effort to host other people or find crew if I'm making 24+ hour runs. But I like my own company best.
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:59 PM   #38
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Wow. My dose of reality is that I didn't have a better life's plan to be semi-retired at 45, have a boat budget of 500k plus and plan to cruise the world before I ever hit 50 years old.
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:05 AM   #39
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I personally love the tinkering as much as the traveling/sailing and get an immense amount of joy out of repairing, refitting and upgrading systems as it's rare to get much instant gratification in the corporate world.
Are you sure we aren't related? Others may see a lot of hard work in maintaining a big boat. I see a fun challenge. Yeah, I want to lounge around on deck and play in the water and explore islands, but I also want to spend a bunch of time in the engine room, fixing things and learning how they work. Or putter around in the tender and scrub the sides on a lazy day.

I also can't wait to sit in the captain's chair and command the big beast. I loved operating my motor coach - about 42,000 pounds, 40', tandem rear axles. The front wheels are a good 10' behind the driver's seat, so turning it was a trip. I had an air actuated lift on the rearmost axle so I could pick both tires up from the driver's seat if I needed to make a tight turn. The Detroit 8V92 had a ton of power... quite the workhorse.

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You should consider attending the upcoming Trawler Fest in Bremerton.
Already have my tickets. I can only go for one day, so I'm just going to hit up the boat show, tour as many as I can and talk to everyone. I can't wait!

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have you thought if buying a coastal cruiser now and enjoying the PNW?
Yes, however, my schedule does not presently allow it. Between a full time job, full time business owner and full time father to a teenage boy, I've got my hands full.

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I been on the water in ships and boats most of my life. I'm 70 and can't see the end of it yet.
Oh boy, I'd love to buy you dinner and/or a drink some time. I bet you've got some stories. I'm impressed that you're soloing an 83' boat. That's exactly what I'm looking for - a big, strong, floating house, as large as I can reasonably expect to afford, maintain, operate and handle without a crew. Thank you for your response! Glad to know there are others who have achieved what I desire!

Quote:
My dose of reality is that I didn't have a better life's plan to be semi-retired at 45, have a boat budget of 500k plus and plan to cruise the world before I ever hit 50 years old.
To be honest, there was never really a plan. I happen to love my work. I grew up tinkering with early personal computers in the eighties. When I discovered you could plug them into a phone line and make them talk to one another, I was hooked. I had access to the Internet before most people had even heard of it and would stay up all night reading reference material and talking to other people, learning to do new and cool things with my computer. Eventually I discovered that my skills were in high demand and there were companies willing to pay me to do the same sort of thing I was constantly doing for fun.

I work a lot of hours, though, and it isn't always fun, but generally speaking when you love what you do, you tend to be very good at it. So I found myself making decent money at a young age and I didn't squander it. My mom taught me by example how to save and invest and plan for the future, so I have and continue to.

I'll still be able to earn an income from my boat, so that's really what is enabling me to do this at my age. I can do ~80% of my work right now from any computer terminal in the world and I'm slowly closing the gap. When I'm no longer needed in any particular physical location and can also cut my hours down to 20ish a week, that's when I'll go boat shopping.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:25 AM   #40
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Man oh man... Where to start?

I agree the 50ft range would be a good range. I'd get on boats first because once you start doing the boat handling, 50ft may even seem daunting. Not saying it can't be done, I could single hand my 126ft tug if need be, the layout makes it easy to get from the wheelhouse to the shoulder bit. Also no sure where some people don't think a 40-50 ft boat could be a blue water boat...

You won't get across the Atlantic in a week, much less the Pacific. You can get internet onboard, but that's going to cost! Just realize solitude turns lonely and boring fast.

I know people go solo all the time, but I think it's foolish. How can you stand a proper 24 hr watch? How do you sleep? Easier bouncing along the coast, not crossing an ocean. Keep in mind, it's not what you can see (other vessels), it's the stuff at the water line or just below you need to keep a sharp lookout on. How can you lookout when you're asleep?
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