Shoestring cruising plan - advice/critique?

BobnLesley

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There are those that say I am wrong. But how many have set off too early & failed?...

Far fewer (probably measured in multiple thousands by now) than the number of those that have prevaricated for so long as to never set off.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't advocate that you or anyone else should set off before they feel they're ready to do so - that'd all but guarantee failure - but I don't hold with decrying someone else's decision because their sense of what's 'ready enough' doesn't concur with your own.
 

BobnLesley

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...buy a 40 year old boat and realize that you can live happily without a fridge.

I wouldn't go that far; our fridge broke down in the Marquesas islands and it wsn't until Papeete nearly six months later that we managed to fix it... warm gin/rum with Tang is an acquired taste and beer unachievable.
That said, we made a heap of new friends as a result of that broken fridge; once word spread around the fleet of our fridge issue no end of people exchanged our warm beers for cold and/or dropped us a bag of ice cubes off at around beer o'clock.
 
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Daydream believer

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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.
Actually, on a slightly different vane you may not.

I only sidetracked for a year. It was the first time I had done such a thing & I had only very few holidays before, Being totally involved in my business activities before selling my joinery business.. When I returned to my building business a contract i was due to start was not ready so a cousin said would i fancy working on the tools for him for 4 weeks for 4 weeks.
With nothing to do & not having done that for quite a few years I agreed.

On the morning I was due to start I was supposed to be in Canterbury. But nerves ( having never worked for anyone else in my entire life) had stopped me sleeping all night. I set off & suddenly found that I had driven half asleep to Sevenoaks. I arrived 3 hours late.
In the first week I built 3 shower enclosures out of square, broke a wash basin, & plumbed in a complete soil & waste system without gluing the joints. When they ran the water the whole lot leaked down the ducts which had to be stripped out & the pipework re done. I could not believe how stupid I was being.

Needless to say my cousin was not amused.So I departed in shame. I just could not get back into work mode. When my contract started it was 3-4 weeks before I could apply myself properly.
I read that those that did the clipper round the world trips have similar problems returnig to work. It would not surprise me.
 

Kelpie

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I’d like to add that if you need an electronic device to tell you where the wind is coming from you probably shouldn’t be sailing in the first place.
My first two boats, and the dinghies I sailed before that, had no wind instruments. But we've got one now and I kind of like it. When you're dead on your feet and stressed out it's quite nice to have a number in front of you. Frees up a little bit of brainpower to make decisions easier.

Not that we have hard and fast rules (reef at 20kt etc) but it's easier to read a number than try to interpret the sounds and feel.

If it broke, I'd struggle to justify the replacement cost, bit I'll admit I like having it.
 

GHA

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There are those that say I am wrong. But how many have set off too early & failed?
Cant remember meeting any that "failed". LOTS that talked about "next year....just got to finish". It's not refitting, is fear of the unknown.
A good few that only got so far "we just really liked it here & stayed" Cruising is one long refit anyway, doesn't take that much to make a half decent boat ocean seaworthy. In a cold damp boatyard you'll have no idea what's actually important for a cruising boat.
 

Kelpie

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Actually, on a slightly different vane you may not.

I only sidetracked for a year. It was the first time I had done such a thing & I had only very few holidays before, Being totally involved in my business activities before selling my joinery business.. When I returned to my building business a contract i was due to start was not ready so a cousin said would i fancy working on the tools for him for 4 weeks for 4 weeks.
With nothing to do & not having done that for quite a few years I agreed.

On the morning I was due to start I was supposed to be in Canterbury. But nerves ( having never worked for anyone else in my entire life) had stopped me sleeping all night. I set off & suddenly found that I had driven half asleep to Sevenoaks. I arrived 3 hours late.
In the first week I built 3 shower enclosures out of square, broke a wash basin, & plumbed in a complete soil & waste system without gluing the joints. When they ran the water the whole lot leaked down the ducts which had to be stripped out & the pipework re done. I could not believe how stupid I was being.

Needless to say my cousin was not amused.So I departed in shame. I just could not get back into work mode. When my contract started it was 3-4 weeks before I could apply myself properly.
I read that those that did the clipper round the world trips have similar problems returnig to work. It would not surprise me.
I'm going to spend the summer pulling pints down the local, I reckon I'll manage.
 

GHA

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If it broke, I'd struggle to justify the replacement cost, bit I'll admit I like having it.
I finally fitted one last year and yeah, it's pretty cool & quite interesting. All the toys will likely break at some point though. Good idea to keep that in mind & make sure the boat doesn't need much to cross oceans.
 

Kelpie

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A few months ago we met a delightful young couple who had bought a boat with no experience at all, set it up, and crossed the Atlantic on it. We enjoyed many sundowners together.
Funnily enough, they have a YouTube channel and back when they were starting out, the consensus opinion on the forum was that they would never succeed, they knew nothing, it was all doomed to fail.

The nay-sayers are still say in their armchairs, or at best day sailing between Solent marinas, whilst that young couple are making their final preparations to transit the Panama canal.
 

kingsebi

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My first two boats, and the dinghies I sailed before that, had no wind instruments. But we've got one now and I kind of like it. When you're dead on your feet and stressed out it's quite nice to have a number in front of you. Frees up a little bit of brainpower to make decisions easier.

Not that we have hard and fast rules (reef at 20kt etc) but it's easier to read a number than try to interpret the sounds and feel.

If it broke, I'd struggle to justify the replacement cost, bit I'll admit I like having it.

I liked mine too…
 

westernman

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Anything to do with boats costs 3 times as much as you expect it to, 5 times what it should cost and takes twice as long to get anything done as it would in other circumstances.

That said, go for it. You are young enough to profit from it.
And after all you only have 30K to lose.
 

Daydream believer

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In 2004 we met several couples in Biscay who were returning home. My wife spoke to 3-4 wives who were really unhappy. She was talking to one who suddenly burst into tears she was so unhappy. One couple had sold the house & everything to live the dream. They missed their friends & would lose money on the brand new boat ( if they could sell it)& inflation meant they would have to buy a much smaller house in an area where work might be difficult.
When you leave you cut ties with everything Relations (sometimes a good thing!!) friends, the sailing club the golf club crowd, (or whatever) You are no longer part of the life you have had. It is a big break. You are no longer part of any social circle

When later we went into the dutch canals she met a lady whose husband was doing some part time work to make ends meet. He had to leave her for a couple of weeks & you could not imagine a more lonely lady.
We met several stuck up types - you know the sort-" I saw things in the company going wrong when new management moved in so I got out when I could" " I told them they were wrong etc etc"
Then you would move on & meet another. Friendships are zero. One meets someone for a while & that is it.
Liza Copeland wrote about long term cruising. But thinking about it, once one has walked up one hill to a ruined castle one has walked up them all. There are only so many ruined churches etc worth looking at.

I like watching the Sailing Brothers on you tube. But now they are in the Pacific have you noticed how skanky the places they are visiting actually look. Would one actually choose some of the destinations for an annual 2 week holiday? I very much doubt it. So what is the attraction having spent 2 weeks at sea?
 

Kelpie

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@Daydream believer
I'm sorry you've had such a poor experience of cruising. There's probably is a bit of 'survivor bias' going on, and the stories with less than happy endings aren't the ones that are told.
But I think you paint a very dim picture. Our experience is the polar opposite of yours. We've found it extremely sociable and have made many very good friends along the way.
Before we left, we worried that our (only) son would be bored and lonely. That turned out to be completely unfounded. Back home, he is a mile from his nearest friends and maybe once or twice a week would go by car to see them, if a parent was free and willing. Here, there's generally another kid boat within SUP range. He's got a level of independence that we could never dream of back home.

You're correct that the friendships can be short lived, but when you meet somebody again after a few months there so much to catch up on, usually it's as if you've never been apart. I certainly find it far more sociable than my old life. You also get out of your bubble and mix with people from various backgrounds which is inherently interesting.
 

onesea

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My advice having not done long term cruising but have bought a couple of boats. DO NOT fixate on one type of boat,
Draw a checklist keel & rig type layout, features toilet shower,
there was a SCOD for sail all but ready to go at sensible price, I have see Nic 32’s needing work going for afew K.

Beto it’s in what you see and get survey, your planning long distance you need the second opinion.

Remeber delivery cost exist even if you do it yourself. Be honest about costs and add more on.

Any boat you buy will need work the cost and how much you can do yourself need to be considered..
 

MaxCG

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Don't worry I'm rather doggedly stubborn and won't be put off easily! 😁
Thanks all for the advice. I've reconsidered my choice of looking for a boat abroad. I see the value of an extra few months to work on a boat if I buy locally sooner. That would also allow me to keep my job right up until heading south and add an extra few grand to the kitty, in fact, today I viewed a boat at a local club which has new sails and standing rigging, previous owner an engineer. Going to sleep on putting an offer in.

Especially appreciate the encouraging words from those who are out there doing it! I do wonder how many people have been put off by the perception that this is a completely inaccessible lifestyle.

Regardless of better judgment, I'll be heading south come the end of summer. If I fail, then I'll move on to other things, but despite the challenges I'm confident. In terms of budget, on land excluding accommodation I spend no more than £600 a month, and around £200 of that is petrol getting to work. On a small, simple boat, with all the big jobs (hopefully!) out the way and handling as much maintenance as possible myself, avoiding marinas and burning diesel, should I really expect to spend that much more than I do on land?
 

Tranona

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You are right about daily living costs, mainly food varies relatively little from costs on land. Over the years people have posted both budgets and actuals on here and elsewhere and the major costs are boat and land related - maintenance, haul outs, marina charges, sightseeing, car hire, trips home. There are so many different styles of "voyaging" and your expenditure profile will be very different for example from mine when I lived aboard my 37' modern boat in the Med. As semi retired my lifestyle mirrored that at home and in many ways it was an extended holiday so inevitably my costs, both in nature and amount would be very different from yours.

If you do get a good boat now then end summer is very doable.

Good luck.
 
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