How To Buy a Cruising Boat Chapter 38 of 49

A Sail Away Offshore Cruising Boat For Less Than US$100,000—It’s a Lot About You

It's amazing how often I sit down to write an article with a clear idea of what it's going to be about and then come out at the end with something completely different. I guess that just confirms what I have long believed: the best way to get real clarity on a subject is to write about it.

This just happened big time as I was working on the budget for the US$100,000 sail-away boat. Or, rather, defining the parameters prior to starting the budget, as one must always do to come out with sensible numbers.

As you would expect, I started off defining the boat, but as I was doing that I kept veering off into thinking about the owners taking on a refit and how to use my own experience to increase the chances of good outcomes for them.

And the more I wrote, the more I realized that really understanding ourselves is the first, and probably most important, step to a successful project. So I split out the boat stuff (coming next) and below is what's left.

But first, let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Is There A Better Way?

Is there any way at all that you can structure your life to come up with US$250,000 to $350,000 to spend on a newer, good quality, offshore cruising boat, even if it takes a few years of waiting, working, and saving? If you can, the whole thing will be way easier and probably a lot more fun.

By the way, I base those numbers on the investigations Phyllis and I have been doing while thinking about our next boat, so a lot of time, research, and thought has gone into them.

Seriously, think about this right now, before you go any further down this road. As Colin says, if you have a good job it may be way smarter to wait a bit, and save while you sail with others, have a good time, and hone your skills.

Back To The Original Plan

That said, how many people, particularly younger people, have a quarter of a million bucks and more to spend on a boat? Not many. I totally get that. While still a bunch of money, US$100,000 is way more attainable. Heck, some people spend that on cars.

And if you live on the boat for a few years prior to going cruising while still working at a good job, and thereby save rent or mortgage payments while still earning, the idea becomes downright affordable, even if it does come out a bit above our US$100,000 target in the end.

So let's get back to looking at the kind of person who has a good chance of successfully completing a refit, within the $100,000 budget, in a reasonable period of time.

This could be you if:

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Meet the Author

John Harries

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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