Possible dream/idea feasibility

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Please beware I am greener than green, know next to nothing about boating/sailing/cruising other than a bit of reading and youtube consumption, however I am giving myself a 10 years headstart to figure it all out before doing something stupid and this is my starting point. This is more wanting to see the world at a slower pace rather than twiddling my thumbs and pottering in a garden (no offence to those that potter)

About me:
Closer to 50 than 40
I have experience building furniture in my spare time, electrical work and a little plumbing so im relatively handy.
I actually work in IT which i guess is less than helpful.

The plan (not even sure its possible)
With retirement a good years away, Id like to buy a motor cruiser around 40-50ft and cruise from the UK, down to the med, through the red sea, popping past india to SE Asia.
financing this would be selling the house and everything and surviving mostly on pension for general living.
Anchoring vastly more than marinas to save some cash.

The Issues I see:
Boat range although im not in a hurry so cruising at 8-10knots instead of 20 to save fuel (I assume thats a thing)
Maintenance around the world and getting parts in foreign lands
Is this even doable on say a £1500 per month budget? (I suppose I can increase that by buying a flat and renting it out but that leaves less money for a boat)

I would like to do this on a motor boat rather than a sailboat, although I would not be able to cross oceans, I hope I could get something with enough range to not be too far for a refuel.

Boat wise I am assuming Trawler rather than say a fairline (again, I know nothing) for range and comfort

So my ask of all you fine people, is this even doable? or should i just book a carehome and lots of rice pudding?

Cheers
Craig
 

Tranona

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Big question to which the simple answer is probably no.

First thing is that a boat of that size is too big for single handing so minimum of 2 required. Very few motor boats are suitable for long term voyaging because of cost, range and comfort. (can be very uncomfortable at anchor). maintenance and servicing costs can be high particularly on older engines. Most leisure type motorboats even the trawler style are designed for short term living aboard - weekends, holidays and short runs. There are of course exceptions but they tend to be expensive.

As to the practicalities of cruising, in NW Europe you will find reasonable anchoring possibilities but less so in the western and middle Med. Eastern as far as Turkey more possibilities, but realistically you will have to recognise that berthing costs would be a big part of your budget for much of the time. Past Turkey I would suggest is a no-no as effectively from there to India is currently a war zone, and even in quieter times few ventured down the Suez and Red Sea and most would have been sailing boats that could do the long hop from Cyprus to Egypt. Coastal port hopping as you would have to do is not possible.

On a different note, If you are a UK citizen then even Med cruising is difficult as you are limited by the EU/Schengen travel rules which effectively rule out living on board a boat from France round to Turkey.

Up to 2020 your idea of a retirement wandering around Europe in your own boat was perfectly viable although on a bigger budget than yours with a large MOBO, but feasible with a sailing boat and thousands did it. But losing freedom of movement effectively killed it.
 

Sea Change

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Why a motorboat?
You'll never know the sensation of a wind blown vessel surging along relentlessly, the only sounds the rushing, foaming water and the breeze in the rigging. Knowing that your only limit is your own endurance, and you can point your bows wherever you want.
That's kind of the whole point of it for me.
 
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Big question to which the simple answer is probably no.

First thing is that a boat of that size is too big for single handing so minimum of 2 required. Very few motor boats are suitable for long term voyaging because of cost, range and comfort. (can be very uncomfortable at anchor). maintenance and servicing costs can be high particularly on older engines. Most leisure type motorboats even the trawler style are designed for short term living aboard - weekends, holidays and short runs. There are of course exceptions but they tend to be expensive.

As to the practicalities of cruising, in NW Europe you will find reasonable anchoring possibilities but less so in the western and middle Med. Eastern as far as Turkey more possibilities, but realistically you will have to recognise that berthing costs would be a big part of your budget for much of the time. Past Turkey I would suggest is a no-no as effectively from there to India is currently a war zone, and even in quieter times few ventured down the Suez and Red Sea and most would have been sailing boats that could do the long hop from Cyprus to Egypt. Coastal port hopping as you would have to do is not possible.

On a different note, If you are a UK citizen then even Med cruising is difficult as you are limited by the EU/Schengen travel rules which effectively rule out living on board a boat from France round to Turkey.

Up to 2020 your idea of a retirement wandering around Europe in your own boat was perfectly viable although on a bigger budget than yours with a large MOBO, but feasible with a sailing boat and thousands did it. But losing freedom of movement effectively killed it.
Thanks for your response, right now im trying to just come up with a viable idea. I forgot to mention that I would be travelling with my wife, so not completely alone but i take on board (forgive the pun) what your'e saying

Cheers
Craig
 
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Why a motorboat?
You'll never know the sensation of a wind blown vessel surging along relentlessly, the only sounds the rushing, foaming water and the breeze in the rigging. Knowing that your only limit is your own endurance, and you can point your bows wherever you want.
That's kind of the whole point of it for me.
Thanks for you're response,

I guess i have 10 years to get in shape :)

Have been looking at catamarans which seem to offer more living space and would allow ocean crossings, I'm just not sure i'm that brave, they do seem a bit easier to get to grips with though.

If i could get something fully equipped for around 250k that is something me and the wife could handle with relative ease then im open to that....and yes i am that naive when it comes to sailing a boat :)

Im also guessing it would save me a huge amount on fuel but birthing would be more expensive due to the width.

Cheers
Craig
 

ColourfulOwl

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Hi Craig,

If you truly want to do something, anything is possible.

With you mentioning that you've got little to no boating experience, I would suggest trying to spend sometime on a boat before you make the plunge. I bought a boat mid last year with little to no knowledge about them, and I only did so because I had spent a few weeks out on boats through diving and some adventure stuff I had done. If I had not spent any time at all on boats, I would of been in for a huge surprise. Being a guest on a boat, and living from one is very different. I would suggest trying to get a week or two, possibly even try and find someone who'll charter a boat with you, before you buy.

A 40 - 50 foot boat is massive. You need to think about the cost of running a boat this size, including time in marinas. Even though you plan not to spend much time in a marina, you'll still need to top up on food, water, fuel etc. And you'll likely spend more time in the boat yard then you plan to. I think a lot of people try and budget for about 1 or 2 month every year in and out of marina's / boat yards. If your planning to do this solo, a boat this big will also be much more difficult to handle on your own. There is also the cost of buying the boat. Trawlers at this size usually cost anywhere from £90K and up. For the space it'll give you, you might actually find that a motorsailer might give you more bang for your buck. With a motorsailer, you'll also get the perk of reduced fuel consumption etc.

If you're from the UK, you'll also need to think about the Schengen situation. Since leaving the EU, people from the UK no longer have the freedom of movement. It is still possible to cruise the med, but you need to pre-plan it carefully. Only having 3 months out of every 6 makes it's a logistical challenge at best. People call it the Schengen shuffle and careful planning is needed. Often forcing you into countries where anchoring is very limited or prohibited, meaning you'll need to spend significant time in a marina.

As for budget, £1,500 per month completely depends. I would say that will be quite a tight budget for a boat in the 40-50 foot region. Ocean Village & Marina Bay in Gibraltar are currently charging £68.04 per meter per month for a boat in the 12-15m region. If your boat is 14m (45") that means 1 month in the marina will cost you £952.56. Add fuel, water, electricity, costs and visa costs on top of that, and one month in Gibraltar will likely set you back closer to £1,200 for the month. Leaving only £300 for food, maintenance etc etc. It's up to you if you can live on that or not. I would 100% suggest looking around and seeing what marina fee's would be like for the places you want to visit.
 

prestomg27

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As others have said motorboats are used for long range crising incredibly rarely. If you are a european citizen then cuising down round biscay and the med is doable in a sailing boat. Most wanderers seem to spend a year or so in the med and the head across atlantic to the caribbean. Not the unusual route that you were thinking of.

Catamarans have some advantages and also disadvantages.
 
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If you did decide to try it on a sailboat, or say you bought a canal boat and lived on that, what happens when for whatever reason you want/need to move back to land? Your boat has lost value & you can't afford to buy a property any more?
Thanks for your reply.

I am possibly thinking of buying a flat and renting that out for additional passive income, worst case I come back and ill have something all paid up to move into.

Regards,
Craig
 
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Hi Craig,

If you truly want to do something, anything is possible.

With you mentioning that you've got little to no boating experience, I would suggest trying to spend sometime on a boat before you make the plunge. I bought a boat mid last year with little to no knowledge about them, and I only did so because I had spent a few weeks out on boats through diving and some adventure stuff I had done. If I had not spent any time at all on boats, I would of been in for a huge surprise. Being a guest on a boat, and living from one is very different. I would suggest trying to get a week or two, possibly even try and find someone who'll charter a boat with you, before you buy.

A 40 - 50 foot boat is massive. You need to think about the cost of running a boat this size, including time in marinas. Even though you plan not to spend much time in a marina, you'll still need to top up on food, water, fuel etc. And you'll likely spend more time in the boat yard then you plan to. I think a lot of people try and budget for about 1 or 2 month every year in and out of marina's / boat yards. If your planning to do this solo, a boat this big will also be much more difficult to handle on your own. There is also the cost of buying the boat. Trawlers at this size usually cost anywhere from £90K and up. For the space it'll give you, you might actually find that a motorsailer might give you more bang for your buck. With a motorsailer, you'll also get the perk of reduced fuel consumption etc.

If you're from the UK, you'll also need to think about the Schengen situation. Since leaving the EU, people from the UK no longer have the freedom of movement. It is still possible to cruise the med, but you need to pre-plan it carefully. Only having 3 months out of every 6 makes it's a logistical challenge at best. People call it the Schengen shuffle and careful planning is needed. Often forcing you into countries where anchoring is very limited or prohibited, meaning you'll need to spend significant time in a marina.

As for budget, £1,500 per month completely depends. I would say that will be quite a tight budget for a boat in the 40-50 foot region. Ocean Village & Marina Bay in Gibraltar are currently charging £68.04 per meter per month for a boat in the 12-15m region. If your boat is 14m (45") that means 1 month in the marina will cost you £952.56. Add fuel, water, electricity, costs and visa costs on top of that, and one month in Gibraltar will likely set you back closer to £1,200 for the month. Leaving only £300 for food, maintenance etc etc. It's up to you if you can live on that or not. I would 100% suggest looking around and seeing what marina fee's would be like for the places you want to visit.

Thanks for the excellent response, there's a lot I need to digest and as mentioned i have a good 10 years to plan, save a bit more and get some experience. These first questions are just the beginning of a possible adventure.

To answer a couple quickly, 40-50ft was just a google response for size of motor boat to travel or live on. im completely open to something smaller.

1500 per month is just a ball park figure depending on the boat cost, I was factoring around 4-450k for a boat, however if i can get something for 200k then I'd possibly put the rest into a small flat I could rent out giving me an extra income.

The Idea of a catamaran is growing on me, whether or not i could handle one with my wife would be question though, i guess many people have done it.

Cheers,
Craig
 
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As others have said motorboats are used for long range crising incredibly rarely. If you are a european citizen then cuising down round biscay and the med is doable in a sailing boat. Most wanderers seem to spend a year or so in the med and the head across atlantic to the caribbean. Not the unusual route that you were thinking of.

Catamarans have some advantages and also disadvantages.
Thanks for your response.

That's definitely a possibility, i was thinking my odd route would be generally shore hugging rather than mid ocean crossing.

out of interest what disadvantages do catamarans have?

Cheers,
Craig
 

Sea Change

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Thanks for you're response,

I guess i have 10 years to get in shape :)

Have been looking at catamarans which seem to offer more living space and would allow ocean crossings, I'm just not sure i'm that brave, they do seem a bit easier to get to grips with though.

If i could get something fully equipped for around 250k that is something me and the wife could handle with relative ease then im open to that....and yes i am that naive when it comes to sailing a boat :)

Im also guessing it would save me a huge amount on fuel but birthing would be more expensive due to the width.

Cheers
Craig
Are you concerned that sailing will be difficult, complicated, physically demanding?

It's really not, if you buy the right boat and have it set up well.

The things that I find most physically demanding will be the same on a motorboat as a yacht- launching and retrieving the dinghy, diving to check the anchor, berthing (especially if there's a big of a jump involved), and the really big one- accessing awkward spaces to fix problems, run cables etc.

You have an enormous budget. More than six times what I spent on my boat. I've been living aboard for over 2.5yrs now and have cruised from Scotland down to the Balearics, then across to the Caribbean.

Catamarans are very popular but the whole cat vs mono thing is a subject in its own right. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid but just in case you didn't know, out of motor cruisers, cats, and monohulls, only the mono is self righting. Which is a nice thing to have if you're crossing an ocean. People cross oceans on cats all the time, but they're not in any way inherently safer than a mono.
 

Sea Change

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out of interest what disadvantages do catamarans have?
Much more expensive to buy.
Two engines to run and service.
Possibly restricted choice of yards and marinas, with higher costs.
Can have an odd corkscrewing motion at sea (I've not sailed on one but friends have described it like that)
Generally poorer upwind performance
Easily become overloaded when outfitted for cruising

But they have advantages too:
Big living space, especially outside
No rolling in swelly anchorages (there have been nights when I would have sold both my kidneys for this)
Shallow draft
Generally fast when sailing off the wind
Acres of space for solar
 

Sea Change

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Re budget: how long is a piece of string? Some couples manage on less than £1k/month, others are spending three or four times that.
We are pretty close to the low end. We never use marinas, we almost never eat out, we have never hired anybody to do work on the boat, it's always strictly DIY. We use a local SIM instead of Starlink. We don't have insurance. We try not to motor too much; in the past year we have bought less than 250l of diesel in total, and travelled about 3000 miles. We collect rainwater and cook using electricity from our solar panels, so we don't need to buy gas. But we're still managing to spend around your £1500 budget.
Stuff on boats breaks, or you want to upgrade things. Everything is harder to find and more expensive once you leave home.
 

V1701

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With that sort of budget I think you'd be bonkers not to retain some sort of foothold on property of some description in the UK. You should try sailing because you have the budget to buy a flat, buy a very decent sailboat & have a bit of adventure...
 
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Are you concerned that sailing will be difficult, complicated, physically demanding?

It's really not, if you buy the right boat and have it set up well.

The things that I find most physically demanding will be the same on a motorboat as a yacht- launching and retrieving the dinghy, diving to check the anchor, berthing (especially if there's a big of a jump involved), and the really big one- accessing awkward spaces to fix problems, run cables etc.

You have an enormous budget. More than six times what I spent on my boat. I've been living aboard for over 2.5yrs now and have cruised from Scotland down to the Balearics, then across to the Caribbean.

Catamarans are very popular but the whole cat vs mono thing is a subject in its own right. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid but just in case you didn't know, out of motor cruisers, cats, and monohulls, only the mono is self righting. Which is a nice thing to have if you're crossing an ocean. People cross oceans on cats all the time, but they're not in any way inherently safer than a mono.

I don't like to underestimate how difficult things can be I guess, people tend to make complicated things look simple and then you find out its a real pain.

I like the idea of a catamaran due to the wider living space and they seem a bit more organised to make it simpler as well as being more stable. from the ones I have seen on youtube, you have a clutch with all the main lines and electric winches to make life a bit easier. do correct me if im wrong, or misguided though.

Cheers,
Craig
 

Stingo

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It was mentioned in an earlier post about overloading a catamaran. Just. Don't. Overload. A. Catamaran. i.e. carrying capacity becomes important, which means you'll need a catamaran that's at least 42ft, preferably 44ft or longer, which will result in much higher maintenance costs
 
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Re budget: how long is a piece of string? Some couples manage on less than £1k/month, others are spending three or four times that.
We are pretty close to the low end. We never use marinas, we almost never eat out, we have never hired anybody to do work on the boat, it's always strictly DIY. We use a local SIM instead of Starlink. We don't have insurance. We try not to motor too much; in the past year we have bought less than 250l of diesel in total, and travelled about 3000 miles. We collect rainwater and cook using electricity from our solar panels, so we don't need to buy gas. But we're still managing to spend around your £1500 budget.
Stuff on boats breaks, or you want to upgrade things. Everything is harder to find and more expensive once you leave home.
Budget is very much on the forefront, thanks for the insight. its very much trying to figure out if this idea would even be feasible.
 
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With that sort of budget I think you'd be bonkers not to retain some sort of foothold on property of some description in the UK. You should try sailing because you have the budget to buy a flat, buy a very decent sailboat & have a bit of adventure...
I think the plan is definitely looking like selling this place and buying a boat as well as a small flat to rent out, that way we have the extra income as well as something to fall back on if it all goes fruit shaped.
 
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