Possible dream/idea feasibility

Trident

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In 2012 I had never set foot on a boat and bought a cat. I'm quite handy so I refitted it myself and I would say that is a vital part of cruising - learn to do everything on the boat yourself; plumbing, engines, electrical, woodwork, etc etc
In 2013 we sailed to the Med after a week's day skipper course. We coast hopped and took our time and learned as we went but I had read a lot first. However, turns out sailing safely is very easy and whilst we didn't trim the sails to an expert degree etc we sailed to our first winter stop in Cartagena with just two of us. Sat nav and caution makes things easy - we were whips about bad weather or sea state etc that more experienced sailors may have been fine with but so what?

Spent 5 years in the Med, anchored most of the time, lived on an average of £500 on a 35 foot cat that cost me £35K including a full refit. Then bought a 50 foot which we still have and other than an enforced covid stop have sailed since 2018 now with much more experience (35-40000 miles - haven't actually added it up) and have built the new boat to be fast, completely self sufficient for water and power and use less than 60 hours of engine a season on average.

You can easily do it if you want to. You need not spend anything like £250k for a decent cat - a really nice fast (too big for a first boat) 50ft has just sold in good condition for under £200k from a broker in the UK. They also have a lot of less expensive smaller stuff and of course plenty of more expensive. My advice would be once you are certain start looking for a boat sooner - now even. You can dedicate some weekends to fixing up and learning the skills you will need (as I said sailing can be learned in a few days - but cruising is fixing boats in exotic places and that takes some more time and doing is the best way of learning) - if you're not prepared to do that now I can guarantee you won't like the cruising life.

You can then practice on your own boat and crucially you and your wife can spend time aboard in cramped conditions with only each other for company - for many that is what kills the dream. You can buy many budget boats in the south of the Caribbean because so many US couples leave the US and only get that far before the divorce !

Just as an indication my 50 foot cat will do 16-18 knots, has 4 double berths, 2kw solar and 700 ah lithium, full electric cooking, a 100l/h water maker, two new (100hrs now) Yanmar engines, and a full refit with new modern instruments, radar , all new electrics plumbing and interior, new rigging, some new sails (bought second hand but unused by careful looking around) etc etc and all hull cracks and leaks etc repaired, new windows , hatches and port lights etc and owes me under £100K and about 250 full time days or my own labour. With your budget you could start with a better shape boat and put in fewer hours but I'd still say get something you will need to work on yourself and know where every wire and pipe is.
 
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I've done the first part of your dream, so will share a few thoughts, many of which have been covered by others already.

Partner and I bought a 1991 Princess 435 in 2002 when in our early 50s. No previous boating experience, so did own boat tuition, day skipper theory and practical and lots of handling practice every weekend.
Planned to retire and depart aged 54, but deferred for a year as we felt our skills weren't ready.
Rented out the flat - partly because it was vital to keep an income and foot in the property market, partly because we didn't know if we'd like extended cruising/liveaboard.
We did, and the boat was perfect for us.

By the time we left, we both knew we liked boating, although each of us had our own worries and concerns.
Mine were rough weather and being turned away from marinas.
We had a rule that if either didn't feel happy about travelling on a given day, we'd wait.

Spent a glorious five months coast hopping down to Gib.
Settled for the winter in a Spanish marina near Estepona, and then had an extended stay while one engine was rebuilt.
12 years later we were still there, as we had made so many friends and felt we had got cruising out of our blood.

Our preparation and caution meant we had very few scares on the way down and it certainly gave us some great experiences.
We only gave up the liveaboard life in 2016 when my partner died.

Due to Schengen, we couldn't do that now.

When we left, red diesel was 47 p per per litre -it rose sharply en route and you know what current fuel costs are
2160 miles cost us nearly £10,000 then, cruising at 10-12 knots.
Engines go wrong, especially older ones. We had a turbo rebuilt in northern Spain.
Servicing costs are much greater than you'd think - an annual set of filters and anodes could cost nearly 1500 euros.
Over the years, we spent a small fortune on servicing and repairs - I gave up keeping tally as it was upsetting!

The fuel cost was an additional justification for our decision not to carry on eastwards.
In the light of real experience, I don't think that venturing beyond Greece would have been possible - security, cost, availability of fuel and marinas.
Anchoring overnight in a mobo is not very comfortable - hull shape.

We were comfortable financially and were able to do trips home to see family, and to pay for our medical treatment.

Looking back, it was a very happy time and a considerable achievement. I was lucky to have the experience. I still miss sitting on the flybridge at sunset with a drink,.

I just think it's sad that very few Brits are now able to have that experience.

Feel free to PM with any specific queries.
Id love a motor boat, but it's just not possible to do what I want and as soo many have mentioned a sailboat is the way to go, so thats where i will be concentrating learning.
 
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In 2012 I had never set foot on a boat and bought a cat. I'm quite handy so I refitted it myself and I would say that is a vital part of cruising - learn to do everything on the boat yourself; plumbing, engines, electrical, woodwork, etc etc
In 2013 we sailed to the Med after a week's day skipper course. We coast hopped and took our time and learned as we went but I had read a lot first. However, turns out sailing safely is very easy and whilst we didn't trim the sails to an expert degree etc we sailed to our first winter stop in Cartagena with just two of us. Sat nav and caution makes things easy - we were whips about bad weather or sea state etc that more experienced sailors may have been fine with but so what?

Spent 5 years in the Med, anchored most of the time, lived on an average of £500 on a 35 foot cat that cost me £35K including a full refit. Then bought a 50 foot which we still have and other than an enforced covid stop have sailed since 2018 now with much more experience (35-40000 miles - haven't actually added it up) and have built the new boat to be fast, completely self sufficient for water and power and use less than 60 hours of engine a season on average.

You can easily do it if you want to. You need not spend anything like £250k for a decent cat - a really nice fast (too big for a first boat) 50ft has just sold in good condition for under £200k from a broker in the UK. They also have a lot of less expensive smaller stuff and of course plenty of more expensive. My advice would be once you are certain start looking for a boat sooner - now even. You can dedicate some weekends to fixing up and learning the skills you will need (as I said sailing can be learned in a few days - but cruising is fixing boats in exotic places and that takes some more time and doing is the best way of learning) - if you're not prepared to do that now I can guarantee you won't like the cruising life.

You can then practice on your own boat and crucially you and your wife can spend time aboard in cramped conditions with only each other for company - for many that is what kills the dream. You can buy many budget boats in the south of the Caribbean because so many US couples leave the US and only get that far before the divorce !

Just as an indication my 50 foot cat will do 16-18 knots, has 4 double berths, 2kw solar and 700 ah lithium, full electric cooking, a 100l/h water maker, two new (100hrs now) Yanmar engines, and a full refit with new modern instruments, radar , all new electrics plumbing and interior, new rigging, some new sails (bought second hand but unused by careful looking around) etc etc and all hull cracks and leaks etc repaired, new windows , hatches and port lights etc and owes me under £100K and about 250 full time days or my own labour. With your budget you could start with a better shape boat and put in fewer hours but I'd still say get something you will need to work on yourself and know where every wire and pipe is.
Thanks for the response,

im ok being handy, but im also just a little impatient :)

I wont be ready until I sell the house which requires paying it off first as I put all excess money into the house and pension so buying sooner really isnt an option. I plan to learn as much as i can and take some trip before that happens as the last thing i want is to buy a oat and find out we are both violently seasick every minute aboard.

Are there any good book recommendations for beginner sailors?
 

PlanB

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Thanks for the response,

im ok being handy, but im also just a little impatient :)

I wont be ready until I sell the house which requires paying it off first as I put all excess money into the house and pension so buying sooner really isnt an option. I plan to learn as much as i can and take some trip before that happens as the last thing i want is to buy a oat and find out we are both violently seasick every minute aboard.

Are there any good book recommendations for beginner sailors?
I can't emphasise enough the importance of keeping a foothold in the property market.
If you need to give up the boat for any reason, you need to have somewhere to live.
You may discover it's not the life for you, or your wife might. You wouldn't be the first.
As I said, my partner died fairly unexpectedly - that alone gave cause for thought as it's not easy for a woman living aboard alone.
I was lucky that I had friends - if we had been cruising..........
Two months later, I was diagnosed with cancer and after a year of treatment, wanted to come back to the UK anyway.
And then there was Brexit and Covid, both of which made living abroad difficult to say the least.
 
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I can't emphasise enough the importance of keeping a foothold in the property market.
If you need to give up the boat for any reason, you need to have somewhere to live.
You may discover it's not the life for you, or your wife might. You wouldn't be the first.
As I said, my partner died fairly unexpectedly - that alone gave cause for thought as it's not easy for a woman living aboard alone.
I was lucky that I had friends - if we had been cruising..........
Two months later, I was diagnosed with cancer and after a year of treatment, wanted to come back to the UK anyway.
And then there was Brexit and Covid, both of which made living abroad difficult to say the least.
It's definitely part of the plan to keep a small flat here, mainly to rent out for extra income, however we would probably retire in SE Asia rather than come back to the UK as we have family there.
 

Daydream believer

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You don't need to break the bank to buy a small crhising boat. 10k would get a very nice 70s or 80s 26-28 footer.

If you hold out for 10 years it is a pipe dream that will never happen.
A boat that size & age is not going to give one a proper feel for sailing the size of boat the OP wants in the end. Playing about with a toy boat may well just put his partner off sailing & he will possibly end up arguing with her. That will kill the dream for sure. It is certainly not the way to sample a live aboard lifestyle in a realistic manner.
 

Sandy

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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
Anything is possible if you throw enough cash at it.

For a motor boat your budget is way to low. Take a peek at fuel prices and then work out how much fuel it takes to motor for an hour or 24.

If you considered sailing, a whole different skill set then your budget would fit. I am rather fond of the Boreal 47 Mark I, for some odd reason the Mark II has twin wheels.
 

Graham376

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Anything is possible if you throw enough cash at it.

For a motor boat your budget is way to low. Take a peek at fuel prices and then work out how much fuel it takes to motor for an hour or 24.

If you considered sailing, a whole different skill set then your budget would fit. I am rather fond of the Boreal 47 Mark I, for some odd reason the Mark II has twin wheels.

You're not wrong there! A couple of friends with 40 ft ish displacement twin engined motor boats quote €50/hour for diesel. Another friend crewed on a go faster planing mobo which cost £14.5k Algarve to UK.
 

Tranona

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If you considered sailing, a whole different skill set then your budget would fit. I am rather fond of the Boreal 47 Mark I, for some odd reason the Mark II has twin wheels.
Not sure why you suggested this given the OP clearly says his initial idea was to spend £200k - les than half of the asking price of even the oldest, cheapest basic single wheel model - nor why whether it has one wheel or 2 makes any difference? I am sure that the reason the latest model has 2 wheels is because the designer thinks it is an improvement and customers prefer it. Why would any builder add something to a boat that reduced its appeal to buying customers?
 

Sandy

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Not sure why you suggested this given the OP clearly says his initial idea was to spend £200k - les than half of the asking price of even the oldest, cheapest basic single wheel model - nor why whether it has one wheel or 2 makes any difference? I am sure that the reason the latest model has 2 wheels is because the designer thinks it is an improvement and customers prefer it. Why would any builder add something to a boat that reduced its appeal to buying customers?
I did read the original post and was expressing my thoughts as to which boat I would like to do a trip like that in, based on both personal experience and that of good friends who have a Boreal. The OP is free to ignore any post anybody makes - this is an internet forum.

We all know that selecting a boat is always about compromises, at least in the case of the Boreal Mark II there is still the option of finding a rare Mark I for sale.

As many people know when on long passages with either autohelm or wind vane steering by hand is extremely rare.
 

Tranona

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As many people know when on long passages with either autohelm or wind vane steering by hand is extremely rare.
And many people also know that when long term cruising the vast majority of time is spent at anchor or in harbour when a large single wheel is a real obstruction in the cockpit and twin wheels enhance access to the transom for boarding. If as you say the vast majority of the time when sailing (that is a minority of the total) is using self steering what does it matter whether there are 2 wheels (or none!).

Adopting 2 wheels suggests the designer and builder are in tune with the people who are in a position to buy one of their boats.
 

Sea Change

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If we're stopping for more than a couple of nights we usually take the wheel off. It's a calculated risk of course, if we have any doubts about the anchorage or the conditions we leave it on.
 

Tranona

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Yes, that would be a possible solution to get more space in the cockpit. However the 2 versions of the boat in question have very different cockpit layouts. The 47 1 has a fully enclosed cockpit with with a fixed transom and ladder whereas the later version has a walk through and drop down transom with twin wheels itboat.com/models/11971-boreal-47-2#model-5 which I guess answers the question in post#69. Not an "odd" reason for twin wheels at all. Completely logical and as I suggest almost certainly in response to customer feedback.
 

Hooligan

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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.
Yes I concur with this entirely although in Greece where I am based you can keep away from marinas. I spent one night in a marina last summer in 6 plus weeks. But I do have a watermaker which I think would be essential for you. At 10 knots you are going to probably consume 40 to 50 L per hour on a 50 ft boat I would have thought, at an average price of €1.8 or thereabouts.
 
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Anything is possible if you throw enough cash at it.

For a motor boat your budget is way to low. Take a peek at fuel prices and then work out how much fuel it takes to motor for an hour or 24.

If you considered sailing, a whole different skill set then your budget would fit. I am rather fond of the Boreal 47 Mark I, for some odd reason the Mark II has twin wheels.
I have no idea why i haven't been getting notifications.

I am definitely looking at sailing as you mention, due to range, fuel costs etc.
 
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Cash is indeed key, id rather buy a boat I can grow into rather than buy something small now with all associated costs of keeping it over the next 10 years and then swapping it out for something bigger i would want for long term cruising.

at the moment all my money is going into paying the house off and dumping as much as i can into my pension so that i have more disposable later on. as far as boat choice, I imagine tastes change over the years but i am quite fond of lagoon cats,

I do plan on spending time on the water this summer and consuming as much knowledge as possible. I see a few people say buy now or it will never happen, im not that person and have never missed my goals by being slow, steady and well prepared.
 

prestomg27

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Cash is indeed key, id rather buy a boat I can grow into rather than buy something small now with all associated costs of keeping it over the next 10 years and then swapping it out for something bigger i would want for long term cruising.

at the moment all my money is going into paying the house off and dumping as much as i can into my pension so that i have more disposable later on. as far as boat choice, I imagine tastes change over the years but i am quite fond of lagoon cats,

I do plan on spending time on the water this summer and consuming as much knowledge as possible. I see a few people say buy now or it will never happen, im not that person and have never missed my goals by being slow, steady and well prepared.
So you have no money to go sailing now as, quite sensibly, you are putting life, family and security first.

That is wise and excellent. But it does put all this into absolute fantasy and pipedream territory that has virtually no chance of ever happening.


1) you don't know if you or your wife like sailing or even get seasick. I'll be provocative here but the majority of people on here have wives who at best tolerate going on a boat. There are lots of exceptions but I think if you took a straw pole of the population the chances are either you or your wife will detest it.

2) you have no passion for the water or you would be queueing up to get a cheap dinghy or cruising boat beforehand. Focusing on your existing commitments wiuld not preclude you chatering or buying incredibly cheaply.

3) tastes do indeed change over the years. Especially if you have no idea at rhe moment of how catamarans sail compared to monos or the advantages of each type. Lagoons do look jolly nice, especially to the newbie, but you might want to watch a few parley videos before buying a secondhand one.



I'll wager that you might add afew posts to this but that will be the last heard from you on a sailing forum.
 

Daydream believer

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When I was in St Peter Port just before covid, a large MOBO turned up. It was a high sided slab like thing, about 50 ft long. I got talking to the live aboard owner & his wife. It appeared that they had come from somewhere in the Bristol channel, to get fuel at the cheap rate. I asked how that would work, bearing in mind how much it would need to get there & back. They said that they had a large tank & they quoted a range. I cannot recall how much, but it was very high.
It turned out that the vessel was a one off with a cruising speed was circa 6 kts & the engines were very small. They were deliberately designed for economy. Thus the consumption was very few litres per hour & a trip to Guernsey & back more than made the cost savings worth while. Added to the fact they got a holiday as well.
Perhaps someone on the forum knows of the boat. But such a craft would suit many thinking of becoming livaboards, but not wanting sails & avoid the high cost of travel associated with MOBOS
 
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