Shoestring cruising plan - advice/critique?

Kelpie

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What you need is "Voyaging on a Small Income" by Annie Hill.

And I can supply you with a copy for the trifling sum of £10 plus postage ;)
I enjoy flicking through it now and then, but times have moved on.
I find some of her opinions quite odd. She's enthusiastic about what she already has but wary of alternatives.
E.g. wood is the best material for a boat, teak decks are great, and if you're going to have any engine at all make it a saildrive. These views simply represent what she has used herself and clash with the realities of budget cruising.
 

Daydream believer

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What you need is "Voyaging on a Small Income" by Annie Hill.

And I can supply you with a copy for the trifling sum of £10 plus postage ;)
If he follows that sort of plan the £30K will be gone in no time. OP should forget a lot of books other than those of direct nav data etc. A lot of them are just a waste of time, except to bolster the dream.
 

GHA

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OP should forget a lot of books other than those of direct nav data etc. A lot of them are just a waste of time, except to bolster the dream.
It's easy to see who has been there done that on the web nowadays & usually possible to get a sample off amazon the check. Nav data is far better sourced online these days as well, cruising guides etc are nice to have but crowdsourced data will be far more up to date & downloaded satellite images pretty much certain to be accurate, extremely useful & great as a check for chart data.
 

Tranona

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I enjoy flicking through it now and then, but times have moved on.
I find some of her opinions quite odd. She's enthusiastic about what she already has but wary of alternatives.
E.g. wood is the best material for a boat, teak decks are great, and if you're going to have any engine at all make it a saildrive. These views simply represent what she has used herself and clash with the realities of budget cruising.
You have to read it in the context of when it was written. Timber and ply construction was quite normal and viable at the time, and indeed the boat was designed with that in mind. Unlike today you could not buy a used similar sized boat for long term cruising for what it cost them to build their boat. The teak/epoxy deck was very different from the decks stuck onto GRP boats that give so many problems today and was a good solution for them (ignoring the issue of heat in the tropics). Her enthusiasm for saildrives was again driven by the design of boat with its flat bottom which made it very difficult to fit a shaft drive. The only thing she did wrong was fit the cheap petrol engined version, which at the time looked like a sensible choice. If one were building the boat now a saildrive would still be the right choice.

What has changed since then is that self build is dead when as you and many others have found out viable 35-40' boats can be bought for a fraction of what it would cost to build a similar boat. My GH31 which was built at a similar time to Badger cost over £200k in today's money, but you could DIY one either from scratch or hull and deck for half that.

Different times, but her principles of low cost cruising are still valid if you adopt her view of life, which she is still following. It was not such a radical view 40 years ago compared with now, although it does have attractions for some now.
 

BobnLesley

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As someone who's sailed a fair distance in a Vega and met the owners of several that've sailed a lot further, I would heartily recommend one for a single handed Atlantic circuit; I also think it's just about feasible to put a basic Vega-based offshore package together for £15k, utilising the second-hand market for stuff; The add-ons will cost you more than they did when we fitted out ours (fridge-holding tank-additional water tank-etc.) but the basic boats are cheaper to buy than they were fifteen years ago. If you're serious, start looking around for a Narvik windvane steering unit immediately, that'll probably be the hardest piece to source and is vital; Monitors/Hydrovanes are too heavy (and expensive) for the Vega..
It's some ten years since we crossed the Atlantic and five since we left the Caribbean completely, so I'm not current on living costs, but I would guess that a one year circuit could still be just about achieved on £15k, provided that you don't start dreaming of eating out or taxi rides around the islands; think camping/backpacking afloat.
Good Luck and ignore the naysayers... those sort of trips are not about the boat, it's the mindset that matters.
PS: I've only just spotted the 'on into the Pacific' idea; that'll be a bigger challenge both to the boat - though it's been done in lots of Vegas - and more especially the budget, last I heard the cost of going through the canal has doubled since we went through (>£2k nowadays). But that's not naysaying, it's your dream, so if you want it, it's you that has to make it work. Good Luck
 
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Kelpie

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As someone who's sailed a fair distance in a Vega and met the owners of several that've sailed a lot further, I would heartily recommend one for a single handed Atlantic circuit; I also think it's just about feasible to put a basic Vega-based offshore package together for £15k, utilising the second-hand market for stuff; The add-ons will cost you more than they did when we fitted out ours (fridge-holding tank-additional water tank-etc.) but the basic boats are cheaper to buy than they were fifteen years ago. If you're serious, start looking around for a Narvik windvane steering unit immediately, that'll probably be the hardest piece to source and is vital; Monitors/Hydrovanes are too heavy (and expensive) for the Vega..
It's some ten years since we crossed the Atlantic and five since we left the Caribbean completely, so I'm not current on living costs, but I would guess that a one year circuit could still be just about achieved on £15k, provided that you don't start dreaming of eating out or taxi rides around the islands; think camping/backpacking afloat.
Good Luck and ignore the naysayers... those sort of trips are not about the boat, it's the mindset that matters.
Naviks are superb and work extremely on a Vega- I had that combo myself for a few years.
Matt Rutherford used a Monitor on his Vega and successfully circumnavigated North and South America so it must work reasonably well.
 

BobnLesley

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Naviks are superb and work extremely on a Vega- I had that combo myself for a few years.
Matt Rutherford used a Monitor on his Vega and successfully circumnavigated North and South America so it must work reasonably well.

We too had a Monitor on our Challenger 35 and in my admittedly biased opinion, they're the best there is, but they're a very heavy load to hang on the back of a Vega - I think there was an element of sponsorship in MR's choice - and their cost, even second-hand would prove an even bigger load on the OP's budget
 

kingsebi

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I doubt my lawyer friends with a monthly income of 20k experience anywhere near the same „quality of life“ (whatever that means) than me living at anchor on my 10 meter boat with a monthly budget of 500 Euros. I also don’t consider sailing my own boat to my own whims to be a „low target“.
 

BobnLesley

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I suppose it depends on how low down the, quality of life, scale the Op wants to live. Or what he considers is "quality of life", some have very low targets. . But to each his own.

That surely depends upon how you assess/value life-targets?
The world is full of people who spend their lives going along the education/job/mortgage/pension route to the grave, many of them no doubt daydreaming about sailing the Atlantic while they do so, but there aren't nearly so many who garner the courage to step off that pathway and turn their day dreams into a reality.
The OP's dream might not match your own and it will undoubtedly undermine his ability to sit in a comfy chair with a cup of tea posting opinions about the merits of undertaking such a journey on the internet; but don't knock him for it... Once he gets home he'll at least have the memories of his trip and a wealth of first hand opinion to share.
 

GHA

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Best quote in the history of mankind from Mark Twain comes to mind..
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."

Boatyards across the world have boats preparing for the big cruise.... year after year and each year it gets harder. GO! Time is about the most precious thing you have.
 

BobnLesley

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Boatyards across the world have boats preparing for the big cruise.... year after year and each year it gets harder. GO! Time is about the most precious thing you have.

Having travelled long term by both boat and motorbike, the homily that I try to pass on is:
Whatever your planned destination, you're over half way there in the moment that you drop the dock lines/ride out of the garage and set off; the world's full of people who're 'going' to do it...
 

kingsebi

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In some ways I think it was a blessing that I never got in to a high paid career that I felt was difficult to walk away from.
I can go home and find a job paying the same as my old one the day I get off the plane.
Makes it much easier to take the plunge.

I couldn’t agree more. Coming from the lower upper middle class the biggest gift of my life was to drop out of university, buy a 40 year old boat and realize that you can live happily without a fridge.

Best quote in the history of mankind from Mark Twain comes to mind..
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."

Boatyards across the world have boats preparing for the big cruise.... year after year and each year it gets harder. GO! Time is about the most precious thing you have.

I read that Mark Twain never wrote that. It’s a beautiful quote though. In my opinion it all boils down to: Time can buy money, but money can’t buy time.
 
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BobnLesley

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...each year it gets harder. GO! Time is about the most precious thing you have.

This. I accept that it's probably more comfortable - though certainly no easier/safer - to cross oceans in a bigger/fancier yacht with every bell and whistle readily to hand, but those sunsets don't look any better from it and you'll waste a lot of good sailing years in working to save up for it; unless of course the 'I'm saving for the right boat' is an excuse to carry you through until you can use 'I'm too old to set off now.' instead.
 

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There are those that say I am wrong. But how many have set off too early & failed? True it is better to have failed than never have tried. But surely it is better still to try & succeed, because one has planned it properly.
Of course there comes a point. Chay Blythe is said to have pointed out that it is too late when laying in bed, looking at ones toes, waiting for the Angel Gabriel, to think to one's self " I wish I had tried that"
But when he said it, he was trying to flog places in his challenge fleet.
 
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