Help with our retirement plans

nym

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So I've been lurking for a while but this is my first post..

I have my day skipper practical but start feeling nervous if my husband should happen to go below decks for more than a few minutes. I clearly need more practice to try and gain confidence.

My husband has no paper qualifications but has sucessfully skippered us on flotilla and charter holidays.

We are now lucky enough to be approaching early retirement with the possibility of buying a house by the coast
and a boat. We dream of 'crusing the world' but realistically we both need to gain far more expertise.

So two questions..

Where would you start house hunting? We would love to actually be on the coast - probably in the South or South West. It would be great if the boat could be moored reasonably close to where we bought the house.
It would also be important to me to be in a reasonably sized town with a nice 'feel' to it, with shops and other non-boaty things to do.

What boat would you buy? We will nearly always be sailing two handed. We could probably spend up to £50000
I guess that the boat to learn/practice on would not necessarily be the boat that we would want in the long term for extended crusing (?) but if were possible to contemplate both objectives with the same boat that would clearly be an advantage.

Thanks for any ideas
 

wotayottie

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Advice about where to live is a beargarden - all I can suggest is to avoid the far end of Cornwall or Wales - they are both a long way from anywhere you are likely to want to go, and services in both places are limited. Personally I wouldnt go further west than Cardiff or Plymouth.

I'm a shore based instructor and many the times I've seen a married couple with a dominant husband driving out the self confidence of a cleverer wife. I usually try to seperate the two in class or I find the husband acting as a go between between me and his wife, and passing on incorrect info. He ends up telling her how to do it, and telling her wrongly. Your husband may be different, but what you need to do before going anywhere distant as a couple is to build your own confidence and get to a situation where you alternate as skipper. Otherwise you will end up with him single handing in company, if you understand what I mean. And thats a problem for both of you.

Book yourself on some women only practical courses. Build your skills and confidence. Without wishing to be sexist, most women are better than men at tasks like navigation because they are more careful and less slipshod / cocky. And you dont need strength in a boat half as much as you need brains and care. No-one can build a retirement plan based on fear anyway.

As for the boat - there is no such thing as the perfect boat. Be realistic - dont buy a boat for the southern ocean if you are coastal hopping in Eurpoe. It will be too heavy, too uncomfortable. Dont buy a boat based purely on internal accommodation - you buy a sailing boat to sail, and it will be endlessly frustrating if you buy a boat thats no fun at sailing.
 

Tranona

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Welcome to the forum!

I will pitch in first. Poole area is my choice - lived here for 30 years. Plenty of reasonable residential areas wthin less than one hour drive.

As to boat. £50k will get you such a wide range of 30-40 footers which would be capable of going anywhere you wanted in Channel area and many would also do if you got more adventurous. You need to draw up a set of criteria, read up on SH boats such as in the ongoing series in YM, draw up a shortish list and do the rounds of the brokers to connect reality with your short list by looking at as many boats as you can.

Good luck!
 

Lee_Shaw

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[ QUOTE ]
I guess that the boat to learn/practice on would not necessarily be the boat that we would want in the long term for extended crusing (?) but if were possible to contemplate both objectives with the same boat that would clearly be an advantage.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi

A Vancouver 32 would be my starting point, they're easily sailed shorthanded, and are capable of being sailed anywhere, long term, in comfort. She would look after you absolutely, but not be so large as to embarress you in marinas and harbours, or overface you with running costs. If you decide she's too small for permanent use then she'll sell like a hot cake.

Steve
 

snowleopard

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A smaller boat will be much easier to learn on. It's going to be easier to stop when things go pear-shaped in a marina and, being more sensitive to weight, sail trim etc. will teach you more about boat handling. I would strongly advise against going straight to the 40 footer you may eventually choose to go long-distance cruising in.

As for area, it's very much a matter of personal choice. If you pick an area where there is a lot of interesting cruising within a reasonable day's sail you won't get bored. The Solent of course has more harbours in a small radius than almost anywhere but the cost of berthing can be a problem. The south coast of Devon and Cornwall is pretty good as are the east coast rivers. Conversely for example Preston has a good reasonably priced marina but you have to go a fair way to get to other ports.
 

jhr

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How about Chichester (boat) and nearby (you). The Town has a nice feel with lots of shops /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif and you also have Pompey (Gunwharf) and Southampton (West Quay) as big shopping areas nearby. Chichester Harbour presents a couple of challenges of which I'm aware - firstly the entrance, which should be avoided in strong onshore winds on an ebb, and secondly, hordes of kamikaze dinghy racers. However, the harbour is beautiful, with lots of places to go within it if the weather is unfavourable, and with the Solent nearby for when you've built up your confidence a bit.

Poole Harbour is also a good suggestion, though housing in the area is either insanely overpriced or a bit downmarket, with not much in between.

Winchester is also a nice place to live, close to all of the above (Poole and Chichester about an hour's drive, the Solent 1/2 -> 3/4 of an hour, depending). But I would say that, wouldn't I? /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

asj1

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At the very least have a look at the East Coast. I live in North Bucks and used to sail on the S Coast but don't anymore.

I know that you would find somewhere like Woodbridge much better value both for the land and the sea bit.

The main problem with the East coast is that teh continent is just that extra 40 miles further away and to be honest not so interesting as the CI and Brittany, but if you are retired then you will presumably be able to do 6 week cruises rather than 2 weeks.

Don't rush into buying a boat - they eat up your money, far better to charter or find someone to crew with at least for a couple of years. There are a lot of boat owners short of crew.

Regards
 

roger

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I think the home decision can be separated from the boat one. You will be spending longer periods on the boat (my guess) so that easy access is less of a problem. We thought as you did and bought a house on the Dart. We now keep our boat in Sweden.
Another friend kept uis boat in the Azores for years and has returned her to the UK for a refit before going off again. We could have had a house anywhere in the UK.
Bear in mind that seaside properties are expensive, give more upkeep problems and make you drive further to access the same area of land.
You should think about what you want your house for and what you want from your surroundings. You should check your ideas against a lot of localities. It is particularly difficult to find out how agreeable your local community will be, ahead of living there. Some help can be got from local noticeboards and adverts, some from local newspapers.
Do you want to live in a City, town, village or down a muddy lane? Do you accept the idea of being forced to move when you get frail? If not then choose a locality you can live out most at least of your life.
Do you actually want a house? If you are going to use the boat a lot it might be simpler to have a flat.
Oh yes the boat - thats not very difficult in comparison. Get something, play with it and find out what you really like.
 

Evadne

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Welcome to the forum. I live near Southampton and have sailed in and around the Solent for the last 25 years or so, and think it's great. Half a dozen sheltered, all tide havens and close to France. (Don't tell the others, they stay away assuming it is overpriced and mediocre). I don't contemplate moving on retirement. But:

I am tempted by a house in Lymington and a mooring there, but I'm not a millionare so it probably won't happen.
Hayling Island is cheap to live on, even cheaper than Eastleigh, and has Chichester harbour and the eastern Solent on the doorstep, but that road ....
The East Coast looks and smells like Chichester harbour, at a fraction of the cost. But SWMBO won't contemplate Bradwell or Wivenhoe.

And finally: A friend retired to the West country and bought a Crabber two years ago. He reckons that a boat that can take the ground in a tidal estuary, with a big house and garden is pretty close to heaven.
 

doris

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[ QUOTE ]

Don't rush into buying a boat - they eat up your money, far better to charter or find someone to crew with at least for a couple of years. There are a lot of boat owners short of crew.


[/ QUOTE ]

Most sensible thing in the thread, apart from the 1st reply. Gets loads of experience on different boats before you even think of getting your own.
Housewise ....so long as you are within an hour to the coast you can have the best of all worlds. Also, as has been pointed out, you may well finish up keeping the boat abroard so living close to a transport centre helps hugely.
 

Litotes

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[ QUOTE ]

The East Coast looks and smells like Chichester harbour, at a fraction of the cost. But SWMBO won't contemplate Bradwell or Wivenhoe.


[/ QUOTE ]

What does Chichester Harbour smell like?

The East Coast smells much like any other bit of coast - a bit salty, sometimes a seaweedy tang..... Pick up a handful of east coast gloop and it smells much the same as a handful of pebbles from Brighton, gravel from Beaulieu or sand from Salcombe..... Having sailed and hauled up anchors in all these places, I know whereof I speak. But I haven't sailed in Chichester Harbour, so of that I cannot speak. I've seen it, though. Just trying to think of anywhere on the east coast that looks remotely like it........

There's no reason why fine silt should be smelly and it isn't. Smelly east coast mud is a myth perpetuated only by those whose perceptions are influenced more by the expectation than the reality.
 

Mariner69

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[quote Smelly east coast mud is a myth perpetuated only by those whose perceptions are influenced more by the expectation than the reality.

[/ QUOTE ]

Having sailed on the Blackwater and the surrounding riverine estuaries I would beg to differ.

Attending the Maldon Mud Race at Xmas the worst position to be is downwind of the crowd after they emerge from the mud.

Thirslet Creek has some particularly pungent mud. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

alant

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I've got a house on the South Coast you can buy at the right price, near Lymington, with great sailing nearby for all sorts of 'boats'.

How much have you got to spend?
 

Litotes

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And I would beg to differ with you. Having sailed all around the British Isles, but spent long periods on the east coast, including many a night spent anchored in Thirslet Creek and Goldhanger Creek, I have not encountered this mythical smell at any time.

If you have done so, then some external agent was present. That is possible anywhere. In fact, the Blackwater, being one of the saltiest estuaries in the country, is one of the most unlikely to harbour the kinds of agents that make smells - i.e. bacteria. Salt is a natural antibacterial agent.

So what is it you think makes these smells? It isn't intrinsic to the sea or the seabed, so what is it?

BTW, I have an excellent sense of smell and am intimately acquainted with anchors. In Goldhanger, I get tiny, blue starfish. But no smells. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

johnalison

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You've had a lot of good advice, but I suspect your main difficulty will be finding somewhere to keep your dreamboat which is convenient and affordable and without having to wait 5 years for a berth.

You will need to learn how to live together in a confined space, and several months or a year is very different to a week's charter. I think chartering is an excellent idea but soon you will want to jump in and buy, which will give you greater freedom, and a chance to learn quite what a big responsibility owning a boat is, and how much of your time it takes. It is unlikely that you will want to keep your first boat for more than, say, a couple of years, so go for a well-known type that will sell easily.

In spite of what people say, almost all boats sail at roughly the same speed! This means that in a modest 28-footer you can sail economically in the Solent area or East Coast, and make slightly longer trips, perhaps ranging between Weymouth and Brighton (or Ramsgate to Lowestoft). You will also be able to cross the Channel when you feel able, in about 14 hours compared with 12hrs for a 35-footer, and more importantly, when you do buy larger you will really enjoy it.
 
I

Iota

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House: what you want to pay will to a certain degree govern where you will live. In the SW veer away from where second home ownership is greater than say 40%. We relocated to Devon three years ago from Hampshire. I mostly work away from home, spent many long weekends looking. Mainly stayed in pubs - a good guide is:
http://www.stayinapub.com/
We now have a mooring 10minutes away by dinghy and 5 mins to dinghy.

Boat: lots of sensible advice. We ages ago decided that when I retire in 5 plus years then the way we will sail in the areas of the world we want to will be to do 6-8 week bareboat charters. We will still keep a 35ft ish boat on the mooring for pottering around the West Country and France. I would suggest that when you decide where you are going to live then join a yacht club and crew on lots of different boats and decide what suits.

If you take it slow and steady the dream may modify it's appearance but will become a reality. If you rush it then disappointment and disillusionment looms.

good luck and most importantly enjoy.
 

Blue5

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I took up sailing with SWMBO about three years ago with similar ambitions regarding retirement. SWMBO is waiting to do DS practical and its usually just the two of us on the boat, plenty of advice on the housing front but for the boating we were/are desperate to gain experience and sea miles so we took the plunge bought a 35ft Westerly, we can now go sailing at every opportunity, we also looked at all the marinas on the South Coast, we opted for Portsmouth on the basis we can get in and out at any state of tide meaning many more sailing opportunities.

The only way to learn and gain confidence is get out there and do it and in reality for that you need your own boat.
 

Hoolie

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[ QUOTE ]
... ... It is unlikely that you will want to keep your first boat for more than, say, a couple of years, so go for a well-known type that will sell easily... ...

[/ QUOTE ]
Possibly not the case if you're near retirement, In common with other contributers to this thread we came late to sailing and took the view that we didn't have the scope for upsizing etc. So we went for a boat that we would always be comfortable with. Maybe a steep learning curve but we have absolutely no regrets - and the boat is perfect for our needs. Decide what kind of sailing you'll be doing and choose a boat that will see you through!
 

Sailfree

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Think carefully about the house. do you want to move again if you got frailer?

If not go for one that is local to shops, can either have a stairlift installed or unless already a bungalow can be easily converted so that you can exist only on the ground floor if you were ill or infirmed.

We just built an extension for mother-in-law and one good idea was to put a threashold on downstairs loo, floor drain and sealed floor extending up the wallso that it could if necessay be used to shower in.

Hopefully you will both be active sailors for another 20 yrs but we all become frailer with old age (which in my book I consider 90!!)
 

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