Author Topic: FIRE on a Boat  (Read 1475 times)

SailormanDan

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FIRE on a Boat
« on: November 16, 2017, 06:10:12 AM »
Hi All.  Although I've been lurking on this site for a few years gleaming valuable information I have never posted.  So here goes...

I've read a lot of blogs about selling it all and buying a van/RV to travel the US/world.  Anyone else here buy a BOAT and travel the world?  I did.  Going on 2 years now and would consider it one of the more inexpensive ways to live AND have the joy of seeing and living in various countries and cultures.  Would love to hear from those who are doing this or thinking of doing this in their near future.

The little Pearls of Wisdom obtained here led to my success at retiring at the age of 45. 

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Barbarossa

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2017, 06:21:30 AM »
Yeah man!  We did it as a family for eight years.  Boat was paid for, and our cost of living per month in the Bahamas was as low as $500.  Ain't nothing like anchoring off Johnny Depp's island and using the beach for two weeks, then sailing back to Nassau for supplies.  Living in/around Florida was higher, mostly due to marina stays, but we lived on the hook in Key West, Marathon and Ft Myers pretty cheaply.  Renting a car now and then was one of the biggest expenses.  Finding a place to park the boat during hurricane season, when we went home to work, was a big cost.  Storing a sailboat in Florida isn't cheap.  We used Demopolis, AL, and Indiantown, which were not too bad.  Interesting that it costs more to store a boat than to live on it.  I've done RVing and sailing, and sailing gets you next to the natural world in a way RVing can't come close to.  Giving up working again in April 2018, and another sailboat is in the plans.

Butch

nereo

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 06:24:32 AM »
Glad to have you posting Sailorman Dan

I've overlapped with quite a few 'cruisers' (couples that live and travel full time on a boat) - most recently two of our close friends who quit their jobs and picked up sailing in their early 30s.  It seems a very 'mustachian' way of living life, with an emphasis on independence/solving ones own problems, low annual spending, minimalist 'things', extensive slow travel and the ability to pick up work when convienent or necessary (shhh--- the IRP are always listening!)  We're keeping this option as a future possibility for us.

So how have you gone about it?  what kind of boat do you have and where have you traveled?  how have you dealt with integrating life on a boat with friends & family still on land?  I'd be interested in hearing more about your adventures.
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SailormanDan

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 07:35:12 AM »
Loving life with world's largest swimming pool at your back door.  Awesome!

Barbarosa: sweet.  Hope you make it back soon.

Nero: started off with a small monohull in the Florida Keys trying to decide if moving onboard full-time was something for me.  Guess it was.  Ha.  Living at marina's was a bit expensive (ie: $900/month) but other than food that was my main expense.  Bicycle or walk everwhere.  Paid cash for the boat so was living with expenses near $20k per year for single person.  After that I bought a different boat (catamaran) in Grenada and have been sailing the Caribbean for the last 2 years.  No more marina bills but an increase annual spending (ie: girlfriend :) ) but still spending less than $30k per year.  Last year traveled up to Bahamas and back down.  Will stay in the area again this year and maybe next year plan to see Central America.  Sailing is the best way (powerboats suck down fuel like lighting a fire to a stack off $100 bills).  Planning on flying back to State's over Christmas for a month so get to see family then, stay at their home and use their car's and travel around a bit (they get to come down and stay on the boat so all works very well).  Friends are temporary.  Just have to get used to that aspect but funny enough we do tend to make friends in one area and then see them later in a different area.  Awesome life for us but different strokes...

KCM5

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 07:44:35 AM »
We plan to FIRE on a boat, but in a very different setting. A narrowboat in England on the canals there. We'll probably live in a marina for the first few years as our daughter will still be in school, but then continuous cruise for a while.

I love the idea of living on a sail boat but my spouse gets seasick, so that plan's out the window! I've heard that if you just dink about in the Caribbean it's not too bad, but I don't know. We could probably give it a try and see how it goes (ie rent!) once we've exhausted our time in England.

Uturn

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 09:25:48 AM »
started off with a small monohull in the Florida Keys trying to decide if moving onboard full-time was something for me.  Guess it was.  Ha.  Living at marina's was a bit expensive (ie: $900/month) but other than food that was my main expense.  Bicycle or walk everwhere.  Paid cash for the boat so was living with expenses near $20k per year for single person.  After that I bought a different boat (catamaran) in Grenada and have been sailing the Caribbean for the last 2 years.  No more marina bills but an increase annual spending (ie: girlfriend :) ) but still spending less than $30k per year.  Last year traveled up to Bahamas and back down.  Will stay in the area again this year and maybe next year plan to see Central America.  Sailing is the best way (powerboats suck down fuel like lighting a fire to a stack off $100 bills).  Planning on flying back to State's over Christmas for a month so get to see family then, stay at their home and use their car's and travel around a bit (they get to come down and stay on the boat so all works very well).  Friends are temporary.  Just have to get used to that aspect but funny enough we do tend to make friends in one area and then see them later in a different area.  Awesome life for us but different strokes...

You are living my FIRE dream! 
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RyanAtTanagra

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 12:01:14 PM »
Working my way there.  Bought a 30' monohull about 18 months ago, working on moving onto it full time, once I do it'll be very hard not to pull the FIRE cord and literally sail off into the sunset.  Work is already eating into my sailing time too much as it is...

ixtap

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 12:34:16 PM »
Working my way there.  Bought a 30' monohull about 18 months ago, working on moving onto it full time, once I do it'll be very hard not to pull the FIRE cord and literally sail off into the sunset.  Work is already eating into my sailing time too much as it is...

Nah, it is pretty hard to literally sail off into the sunset, as the breeze usually dies :)

We have been living aboard for three years and were able to spend three weeks cruising earlier this year.

As a matter of fact, I found MMM while trying to figure out how to know when we have enough to cut the docklines (not literally, ropes are exoensive!). We were already living pretty frugally - last year's pre MMM expenses and this year's post MMM will be almost identical, despite an increase in slip rent. Thanks to a boglehead FIL, we were already mostly in appropriate index funds. We were doing all of the right thins, we just weren't clear when we could stop and change directions.

Bateaux

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 07:15:43 PM »
Have my heart set on a Lagoon 44.  Not very Mustacian but very luxurious.
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aperture

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2017, 06:06:17 AM »
I love this thread.  Thanks so much for posting. 

Those that have FIRE'd on a Boat, what do you tell your envious friends and family that have serious interest in pursuing life on a boat, but have only small boat (or no boat) experience?  I live in Denver, but have a part of my soul that only awakens when I am on an island snorkeling.  I dream of spending some years living on a boat as you describe, but I am not sure how to make that dream a reality short of going to an expensive vacation/school.  Interested in your thoughts. TIA, aperture
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ixtap

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2017, 06:27:15 AM »
I love this thread.  Thanks so much for posting. 

Those that have FIRE'd on a Boat, what do you tell your envious friends and family that have serious interest in pursuing life on a boat, but have only small boat (or no boat) experience?  I live in Denver, but have a part of my soul that only awakens when I am on an island snorkeling.  I dream of spending some years living on a boat as you describe, but I am not sure how to make that dream a reality short of going to an expensive vacation/school.  Interested in your thoughts. TIA, aperture

Spend the time to become an excellent small boat sailor, while reading books about all boat systems: diesel, plumbing, electrical, fiberglass...sailing itself is the one you need to have the skill down well enough to act swiftly and confidently. For the rest, you have time to consult your library.

Read the cruisers forum to get  an idea of the questions you haven't thought to ask. I am so glad I knew about the pistol shrimp before I first heard their snap crackle and pop against the hull!

The cruisers forum and a couple of other sites also have people looking for crew. Some need crew and will take you on; others need money and will take you along for a fee that is still muvh less than other ways of travelling.

EndlessJourney

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2017, 06:43:24 AM »
We're full-time nomadic on motorcycles. Nomadic by sea always seemed so romantic.

There's no road between North and South America, just a dense forested area called the Darien Gap, the "gap" between Panama and Colombia. There's only two ways to cross it. By sea or by air.

We opted by boat, chartering a 100-year-old German corsair to take us and our motorcycles through the Caribbean Sea, stopping in the San Blas islands, Jamaica and Cuba along the way.

We were looking forward to the 15-days total on sea. Such a romantic way to travel. We would be catching our meals from over the side of the boat, watching bio-luminescent plankton glow at night in the wake of the boat, racing a school of playful dolphins, watching them jump in and out of the water.

I downloaded so many books and movies to occupy my time.


Right when we set sail, the bikes all covered up, lashed to the railing of the ship

And then we discovered what land-lubbers we really were. We were sea-sick every single day of the voyage... All those books and movies unwatched and unread because I had to sit on the top deck and stare at the horizon every day otherwise I'd lose the contents of my stomach due to motion-sickness.

After South America, we thought we would ship our motorcycles to Europe by freighter and live on board with the crew for however many weeks it took to get across the Atlantic. But after our Caribbean cruise, we quickly scrapped that idea. The bikes flew over the pond and so did we.

Some people are born to conquer the seven seas. We are just going to keep on sticking to two wheels...

P.S. It wasn't all bad. But it was good to discover early on that we are not boat people.

More here if interested: http://www.ridedot.com/rtw/90.html
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 06:49:26 AM by EndlessJourney »
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spokey doke

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2017, 08:22:16 AM »
Anyone doing this in the NE (at least for summers)???  I really like the coast of Maine and want to explore further downeast...
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nereo

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2017, 08:51:46 AM »
Anyone doing this in the NE (at least for summers)???  I really like the coast of Maine and want to explore further downeast...
yup.  Spent the summer on a sailboat in downeast Maine (Stonington to Machias).
There are an unbelievable number of protected anchorages around the coastal islands, and Maine's Islands to Trails (https://mita.org/) allow you to hike and camp on many of them.
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Cromacster

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2017, 09:01:04 AM »
Wife and I are considering this option.  We do some sailing locally and have chartered on the great lakes and the Caribbean.

Our plan right now is to do a season or two in the Caribbean and decide from there to sail onwards or sell the boat.  The timeline for this is about 5-8 years out still.  Got some time to learn more and do some more charters.

I have romantic visions of sailing around the world, but I haven't spent more than 7 days on a boat.

Sailorman Dan:  Have you gotten tired of being in the Caribbean or SE US?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 09:02:46 AM by Cromacster »
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spokey doke

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2017, 09:09:18 AM »

I have romantic visions of sailing around the world, but I haven't spent more than 7 days on a boat.


Same here...I absolutely love sailing (and windsurfing), but am very hesitant to make any big plans without substantial time test driving the real world options. 

I want to start chartering as a way 1) having some really nice vacations 2) keeping/expanding my knowledge/skills 3) getting a better sense of if/where I might want to do it full time (or at least seasonally)...
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spokey doke

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2017, 11:03:54 AM »
Going on 2 years now and would consider it one of the more inexpensive ways to live 

This is contrary to the conventional "wisdom" about boats being HUGE money eating machines (of course, that also assumes conventional consumer-sucka existence and not badassity).  It would be really helpful to have more, clear, extensive analyses of the expenses involved, in a variety of contexts, and strategies for doing this a la MMM (links, more examples, etc.???)
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Sailor Sam

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2017, 11:19:52 AM »
Going on 2 years now and would consider it one of the more inexpensive ways to live 

This is contrary to the conventional "wisdom" about boats being HUGE money eating machines (of course, that also assumes conventional consumer-sucka existence and not badassity).  It would be really helpful to have more, clear, extensive analyses of the expenses involved, in a variety of contexts, and strategies for doing this a la MMM (links, more examples, etc.???)

I might be able to weigh in. I don't have the live aboard experience, but I was Officer In Charge of a small boat (87') for 3 years. My annual operating expense was around $20,000 per year. That includes diesel, dockage, haulage, preventative maintenance, and repairs.

nereo

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2017, 11:25:16 AM »
Going on 2 years now and would consider it one of the more inexpensive ways to live 

This is contrary to the conventional "wisdom" about boats being HUGE money eating machines (of course, that also assumes conventional consumer-sucka existence and not badassity).  It would be really helpful to have more, clear, extensive analyses of the expenses involved, in a variety of contexts, and strategies for doing this a la MMM (links, more examples, etc.???)
Boats are expensive if they are pleasure-craft used sporadically, particularly if they have large engines. The equation changes significantly when your boat is also your primary residence.
It's a bit hard to give you specifics, since there are literally thousands of boats available to people of modest means, and since the nature of living on a boat (termed "Cruising") can be as broad as people's definition of 'travel' itself.  Boats can cost anywhere from a few grand to a few million, and yearly expenses scale accordingly.  Likewise,

But I'll you one example based on the experiences of my best-man and crew mate this summer. 
he and his wife bought a 32' sailboat for $24k (used) and spent roughly 3 months and $10k re-rigging and fixing her up.  Novice sailors, they spent their first year in the intercoastal waterway along the east coast and gulf of mexico. For their first year of cruising their annual expenses were roughly $50k, most of which was due to the intial outfitting of the boat.  In year two their expenses below $20k, with marina fees, food, boat maintenance and insurance making up the majority of their budget. For this amount they'll slow travel around the keys and mexico, eventually heading out to the Caribbean. They aren't even that thrifty of a couple, and now that they own their boat they could probably cut this number in half.  For a few months each year they dry-dock their boat in a hurricane-resistant harbor during peak hurricane season (at $900/month, plus haul-out fees), and they travel visiting friends and family. THey've rented out their house, and the rent includes most of their income.  As they've gained experience they occasionally pick up jobs on other boats (the cruising world is small) as temporary crew.

Simply put, if you're already spending >$1200/year on rent, the same amount would cover your expenses on a modest sailboat, particularly if you are in an area where mooring fees are reasonable and/or you can dock or anchor for free.

If you want to know more check out cruising world - they feature blogs from all sorts of cruisers, from mustachian-types to those doing it with far more luxury and money. 
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RyanAtTanagra

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2017, 11:30:37 AM »
Those that have FIRE'd on a Boat, what do you tell your envious friends and family that have serious interest in pursuing life on a boat, but have only small boat (or no boat) experience?

If you've never sailed, take a class to get started.  But competence sailing is just a matter of time at the tiller.  You need to sail.  A lot.  Then a lot more.  And in various conditions/weather/wind and running into more and more problems as you go.  The more new conditions and problems you run into, the less new things the sea will throw at you.  There will always be new things to deal with, but you don't want to set sea with minimal experience and have 7 different new things happen all at once.  So you work you way up over time.  Then 7 things get thrown at you at the same time (it's night time and a storm just hit but you have your big jib up and need to go up on the foredeck in heavy wind and waves to change it down, but your crew is sea sick and the steering cable just broke due to fighting the sudden wind and fuck, is that a lighthouse directly ahead of you?), but 6 of them you've dealt with before, so you handle those in stride while focusing on the new one, which on it's own isn't a big deal.

Going on 2 years now and would consider it one of the more inexpensive ways to live 

This is contrary to the conventional "wisdom" about boats being HUGE money eating machines (of course, that also assumes conventional consumer-sucka existence and not badassity).  It would be really helpful to have more, clear, extensive analyses of the expenses involved, in a variety of contexts, and strategies for doing this a la MMM (links, more examples, etc.???)

Sailboats are an incredibly expensive HOBBY, but if you replace your rent/mortgage with one, that's a very different financial picture.  That's $1-2k per month just in rent that you can apply to the sailboat, which is enough to keep all but the biggest in good repair.

ixtap

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2017, 11:45:25 AM »
Going on 2 years now and would consider it one of the more inexpensive ways to live 

This is contrary to the conventional "wisdom" about boats being HUGE money eating machines (of course, that also assumes conventional consumer-sucka existence and not badassity).  It would be really helpful to have more, clear, extensive analyses of the expenses involved, in a variety of contexts, and strategies for doing this a la MMM (links, more examples, etc.???)

As I pointed out in the nomad budgets thread, it takes as much as you give it. There are cruiser budgets anywhere from a group of anarchists who fit out a salvaged boat with salvaged parts, "borrowed" a dinghy lift to step their mast and pooped over the side to folks flitting from Mediterranean marina to marina. There are some who claim to be cruising on $1500/mo, but it turns out they don't count major repairs, to those who insist it can't be done on less than $5000. In other words, it is just like any other lifestyle.

Currently, my husband and I live on a mid sized boat (40') which we maintain meticulously and upgrade occasionally. We are spending the same on everything boat (slip fees, insurance, taxes, maintenance, upgrades...) that we would be spending on rent for the apartment we lived in when we first moved to this HCOL. And that includes more in slip fees than in everything else combined.

When we start travelling, we do not expect to spend much time in marinas, but rather to take advantage of free anchorages in remote spots, where you can snorkel by jumping off the boat. Other people prefer to be at marinas when not actually travelling. Short term marina fees add up quickly - if you stay three days you might as well stay the week and if you stay a week, you might as well stay a month.

We will sell our cars and use public transportation whenever possible; other people like tours and taxis.

We cook most of our food, although we will sample local cuisine when travelling. Other people will seek out more, and "better," restaurants.

We won't ever be the most frugal of cruisers. We will keep our engine working, even if it means replacing it. We will replace things when they need it. We won't live off rice and beans unless we have to. We will get new sails in the next couple of years. We will even have a water maker.

Sailor Sam

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2017, 12:23:17 PM »
We will even have a water maker.

Fancy! Evaporator, or RO?

ixtap

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2017, 12:38:52 PM »

spokey doke

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2017, 03:19:17 PM »
Going on 2 years now and would consider it one of the more inexpensive ways to live 

This is contrary to the conventional "wisdom" about boats being HUGE money eating machines (of course, that also assumes conventional consumer-sucka existence and not badassity).  It would be really helpful to have more, clear, extensive analyses of the expenses involved, in a variety of contexts, and strategies for doing this a la MMM (links, more examples, etc.???)

As I pointed out in the nomad budgets thread, it takes as much as you give it. There are cruiser budgets anywhere from a group of anarchists who fit out a salvaged boat with salvaged parts, "borrowed" a dinghy lift to step their mast and pooped over the side to folks flitting from Mediterranean marina to marina. There are some who claim to be cruising on $1500/mo, but it turns out they don't count major repairs, to those who insist it can't be done on less than $5000. In other words, it is just like any other lifestyle.

Currently, my husband and I live on a mid sized boat (40') which we maintain meticulously and upgrade occasionally. We are spending the same on everything boat (slip fees, insurance, taxes, maintenance, upgrades...) that we would be spending on rent for the apartment we lived in when we first moved to this HCOL. And that includes more in slip fees than in everything else combined.

When we start travelling, we do not expect to spend much time in marinas, but rather to take advantage of free anchorages in remote spots, where you can snorkel by jumping off the boat. Other people prefer to be at marinas when not actually travelling. Short term marina fees add up quickly - if you stay three days you might as well stay the week and if you stay a week, you might as well stay a month.

We will sell our cars and use public transportation whenever possible; other people like tours and taxis.

We cook most of our food, although we will sample local cuisine when travelling. Other people will seek out more, and "better," restaurants.

We won't ever be the most frugal of cruisers. We will keep our engine working, even if it means replacing it. We will replace things when they need it. We won't live off rice and beans unless we have to. We will get new sails in the next couple of years. We will even have a water maker.

Sounds about like the approach I aspire to take (but likely on a bit smaller boat...I think low to mid-30'ers is our most likely target, but it all depends on what is available, and what our experience tells us when we get more of that).

Thanks for the run-down...more is certainly welcome
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ixtap

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2017, 03:28:55 PM »

Sounds about like the approach I aspire to take (but likely on a bit smaller boat...I think low to mid-30'ers is our most likely target, but it all depends on what is available, and what our experience tells us when we get more of that).

Thanks for the run-down...more is certainly welcome

The only thing about that size boat is that you are limited in what will have enough tankage. For a good list of possibilities, keep your eyes on the Golden Globe Round the World Race next year, as they are required to stay under 36 on deck (ie not counting bow sprits). Our only goal was to stay under 12 meters, so we are actually 39 feet, I just round to 40. When we realized that the Tayana 37 was several feet over 12 meters with its bow sprit, we opted for more interior space. We realize that it is more boat than we absolutely need, but we do love it.

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2017, 04:20:22 PM »
Great thread.  I, too, fantasize about retiring to a life at sea.  I became enamoured with the idea when my parents retired and bought a 42' grand banks cruiser and lived in the bahamas over the winter months for a couple of years.  Because they always had cruising magazines lying around, i started reading about boats and then i read books about the around the world Vende Globe races and Slocum's book about sailing around the world alone. 

I live in a landlocked part of the country, so i have very little boating experience.  I did take a 3 day sailing course a couple of years ago in st petersburg FL and got my keelboat cert.  That was a lot of fun, but i haven't been ont eh water since then.  I do want to take another course from the same sailing school for live aboard cruising.  They have a presence in the BVI, though the recent hurricanes have shut it down for the time being. 

Ive also gotten hooked on the SV Delos youtube channel. 

Seeing how much my parents enjoyed their time cruising was actually a motivating factor for me to achieve FIRE.  They were able to retire relatively early at 54 and it has been a comfort to me to know how much they were able to do after they retired and still were healthy enough to do things like that.  My dad passed away a couple of years ago and i took the lesson to heart that time is short and we should try to do what we want while we can. 

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2017, 06:04:11 PM »
Add me to the list of people yearning for the sea. I think about doing a semi-FIRE, working part-time for half of the year and sailing the other half until I have a big enough stache and enough experience to spend extended periods of time at sea. Currently my only sailing knowledge comes from Patrick O'Brian and about an hour at the tiller of a 6 foot sloop. Granted, reading a lot of Jack Aubrey allowed me to successfully beat to windward in that little boat with no prior sailing experience.

The cruisers forum and a couple of other sites also have people looking for crew. Some need crew and will take you on; others need money and will take you along for a fee that is still muvh less than other ways of travelling.

Joining a cruiser as crew sounds like a great, cheap way to get experience on board. With regards to traveling, is something like a trans-Atlantic passage to Europe or a trans-Pacific passage to Japan feasible? I'm interested in traveling overseas but I'm discouraged by the cost and environmental impact of flying.

ixtap

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2017, 06:12:28 PM »

Joining a cruiser as crew sounds like a great, cheap way to get experience on board. With regards to traveling, is something like a trans-Atlantic passage to Europe or a trans-Pacific passage to Japan feasible? I'm interested in traveling overseas but I'm discouraged by the cost and environmental impact of flying.

Japan is not a common destination, as the winds and currents are not particularly favorable, unless you are leaving from Alaska. Trans Pacific journeys tend to go to the South Pacific. Transatlantic trips are quite common both toward the Baltic and the Med.

SailormanDan

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2017, 04:47:06 AM »
Haven’t quite figured out how to link the reply so will address below:

KCM5:  Ya, I got seasick as well.  Still do on long passages.  Why I’d recommend starting simple and near shore then expanding a little bit at a time.  I started in the Florida Keys and just did day-sailing island hopping.  Now in the Caribbean with 2-3 night passages.  Next might be a two week sail.  I’ve heard most enjoy an overnight or plus 7 days after the body adjust to life at sea.  2 – 6 days seem to be the most difficult for me.

Aperture:  a lot of research on places like CruiserForum then take a few hours in school.  ASA has a great program and is not that expense (guessing I paid less than $2,000 for 3 classes).  If you have friends invite yourself onboard for an afternoon.  If no friends go visit a yachtclub and ask around.  I have taken many people who I just met out for afternoon sails.  If you’re in Grenada then look me up.  Ha.  The thing that most people have a problem with is just doing it.  You will find out very quickly if something is a passion or not.

Ixtap: has it exactly right.

EndlessJourney:  this is why I suggest starting simple and near shore.  I would never advocate crossing an ocean your first time out.  Sounds like you all had a memorable trip tho.

Cromaster: I’ve been in the Caribbean for 2 years now and love it.  Plan on staying a few more, at least.  Each island (country) is similar but yet different enough culture for me to enjoy each one separately.  Maybe 2018 we will head over to Central America and try that for a year or so.  Ahhhh, so many tough decisions.  

Spokey doke:  the “professional’s” say that boat expenses for a boat average out to about 10% of the value of the boat per year.  Mine has been in the 5% - 7% arena, which includes everything boat related.  CruiserForum is a great resource for expenses.  Search for “living on a $500 per month budget.”  I don’t eat beans from a can so not really my ticket but you can see boat living does not have to be a budget buster.  Awesome responses from others here as well.

YYK:  there are many boats looking for crew to join them especially with ocean passages.  I’ve even heard of one person traveling around the world this way, year after year, hopping from boat to boat.  I’m guessing she pays for food while onboard but that’s about it.           

The most important thing for those that are interested in living in FIRE this way is to just take the first step.  Read about other’s experiences and see if that is something you’d like to do.  Go out on a boat and experience.  Never live life wondering, “I wish I could…”


beedub

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2017, 12:02:22 PM »
You can add me to the list of wannabes. I actually have pictures and study plans of a 36' boat I'd love to build in the years leading up to retirement plastered all over my office door at work, for motivation. I'm sort of a project oriented person, so I would see this as a pleasant hobby leading into retirement rather than a bunch of work. It's driving me nuts living in a condo, where I can't do things like this. I've got a little over 10 years until I can pull the plug, so my wheels are turning. Sell the condo, buy land, build little home and big workshop, build boat, retire, live and travel the world on the boat. Of course, my dreams were very different 10 years ago, and may very well be different 10 years from now.

The other alternative is to sit tight in my paid for home, accumulate more rapidly, FIRE, and buy a suitable boat. That's just a little less me. None of the boats on the market have the perfect combination of what I want regarding build material, keel style, sail plan, rigging, and interior layout. There is one in Malaysia for sale right now that comes close, but I'm not in a position to buy it and get it back to the states, nor am I ready to store it for 10 years while I build my investments. I can get everything I want and have a fun hobby if I do it myself. My favorite YouTube channels have to do with building or refitting a boat for long-term cruising. I also watch plenty that are straight cruising life, but don't look forward to the next episode like I do the building and refitting series. I highly recommend the following if anyone else is interested:

SV Seeker
Salt & Tar
Acorn to Arabella
Sampson Boat Co
Sail Life
MJ Sailing

edit: to add MJ Sailing, one of my favorites for quite awhile, but they've now shifted to cruising
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 12:12:43 PM by beedub »

beedub

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2017, 12:08:41 PM »
I forgot to mention, I actually have a "Mariner" goal listed on my FIRE spreadsheet. Do you all remember Mariner, AKA Kevin Costner, in Waterworld? I feel he's the action figure equivalent of FI. Doesn't need anyone for anything, though a huge pile of everyone else needing him got heaped on him. Anyway, this is the lowest level goal on my FIRE spreadsheet. It is enough to pay me minimum wage for the rest of my life while living and traveling on a boat. The sale of the condo would pay for a really nice boat, so I'm not including the value of the boat or condo in my investment goal. I think if you take care of yourself and your boat, live mostly on the hook, it is possible.

This goal is not how I see it all going down, but if I got to this point, and somehow lost my job or just couldn't take it anymore, this is a life I could choose once I reach that point.

ixtap

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2017, 12:32:54 PM »
You can add me to the list of wannabes. I actually have pictures and study plans of a 36' boat I'd love to build in the years leading up to retirement plastered all over my office door at work, for motivation. I'm sort of a project oriented person, so I would see this as a pleasant hobby leading into retirement rather than a bunch of work. It's driving me nuts living in a condo, where I can't do things like this. I've got a little over 10 years until I can pull the plug, so my wheels are turning. Sell the condo, buy land, build little home and big workshop, build boat, retire, live and travel the world on the boat. Of course, my dreams were very different 10 years ago, and may very well be different 10 years from now.

The other alternative is to sit tight in my paid for home, accumulate more rapidly, FIRE, and buy a suitable boat. That's just a little less me. None of the boats on the market have the perfect combination of what I want regarding build material, keel style, sail plan, rigging, and interior layout. There is one in Malaysia for sale right now that comes close, but I'm not in a position to buy it and get it back to the states, nor am I ready to store it for 10 years while I build my investments. I can get everything I want and have a fun hobby if I do it myself. My favorite YouTube channels have to do with building or refitting a boat for long-term cruising. I also watch plenty that are straight cruising life, but don't look forward to the next episode like I do the building and refitting series. I highly recommend the following if anyone else is interested:

SV Seeker
Salt & Tar
Acorn to Arabella
Sampson Boat Co
Sail Life
MJ Sailing

edit: to add MJ Sailing, one of my favorites for quite awhile, but they've now shifted to cruising

I beg you to reconsider. There are so many boats out there that can be had for cheap and just need TLC. Find the keel and/or sail plan and gut the interior.

As an industry, we have not figured out what to do with fiberglass boats. They last as long as they are maintained, but a few years of neglect can leave them in project shape that few are willing to take on.

spartana

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2017, 01:49:22 PM »
Ex-DH and I lived on a small sailboat in a large city Marina pretty cheaply. We both were working (on ships! Lol) and planned to cruise full time after our planned FI at 38. Divorced so didn't happen but I found that after many many years at sea I prefer to nomad via land for now. However it can be a super inexpensive way to go. Mooring instead of docking saves a ton of $$ and you generally have few expenses for anything but food and (usually) a tiny amount of fuel if you use the engine. Older step relative has done several solo circumnavigations of the world an said he average $500/month for all expenses besides the cost of his boat (a Hunter 45).  Like the OP he mainly moored for free or cheap in the Caribbean or South Pacific Islands when not cruising.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 01:52:56 PM by spartana »
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LifeHappens

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2017, 03:14:08 PM »
I beg you to reconsider. There are so many boats out there that can be had for cheap and just need TLC. Find the keel and/or sail plan and gut the interior.
As someone who has done this, I would beg you to NOT purchase a boat in need of a total gut job. The amount of time, $, blood, sweat and tears (literally) you will pour into a project boat almost never come out ahead. In my experience, it's better to pay a few more pesos to buy a boat in good shape.

TempusFugit

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2017, 03:17:35 PM »
With all the recent hurricanes, one wonders what the used boat market is going to look like in terms of damaged goods. 

It might also have an upward pricing effect in terms of demand by insured boat owners replacing damaged boats.

beedub

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Re: FIRE on a Boat
« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2017, 04:54:43 PM »
I beg you to reconsider. There are so many boats out there that can be had for cheap and just need TLC. Find the keel and/or sail plan and gut the interior.

As an industry, we have not figured out what to do with fiberglass boats. They last as long as they are maintained, but a few years of neglect can leave them in project shape that few are willing to take on.

Oh, I hear you on this, and I do reconsider often, but only for the fact that I realize it's a huge, multi-year commitment. As I said, a big part of it is that I actually WANT to build one. I'm a ways away from the point of no return. I sense part of you feels this is an environmental issue and we should be using what's already out there. I get it. If I build my own, it would be of aluminum, and that can be recycled if it doesn't last beyond the next several owners. If I took on a used boat, it would not likely be built of fiberglass, so I'm neither contributing to, nor taking away from the environmental problem of neglected fiberglass boats. I've been there on trying to rehab something pretty far gone, and have come out of it with a strong opinion that I'll either build from scratch or buy in good shape.