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Old 05-23-2005, 12:20 PM   #1
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Default new here and a few questions

I found this site a few hours ago and am pretty impressed with all the information here. I got to thinking about cruising about 6 or 7 years ago but could never make anything happen finacially. Now I'm still not rich but a little closer to being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak and am starting to look at boats a lot more seriously than before. Hate to jump in right away with a bunch of newbie questions but I gues I gotta ask sometime. I have been looking at boats on the web and talking to a few friends who have sailed but not cruised. I like the looks of the Alberg 30 and the prices of the older boats seem to be just about within reach. Are these boats suitable bluewater boats for a single hander and maybe 2 people? I have a few friends who love to sail and are without boats that have offered free instruction and regardles of the boat I will be spending time getting to know the ropes on Lake MI prior to heading out. Are there any problems with buying an older boat? Also, I dont have real expensive tastes, what is a range a single person could figure on needing to live on while crusing? A difficult question I know. I look forward to someday having something to offer here and cant wait to get on the water! Until then I'll have to setle with salmon fishin in my older than I am skiff. Take Care and Thanks in advance

Paul Rutgers
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Old 05-23-2005, 02:06 PM   #2
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First of all, your expense as a liveaboard depends mostly on the area. In Key West, for example you will spend a lot more than say Rio Dulce, Guatemala. This is the case in many areas around the world. The Eastern Caribbean will cost more than the Western Caribbean (except for Belize). I can tell you about Guatemala, however. Being the great hurricane hole it is, there are many sailboats here every year, especially being stored during the hurricane season. A meal at a restaurant will cost you $3-$6 USD, so you can multiply by how often you think you'd eat out. Veggies are cheap (a carrot that's larger than a 20 oz. bottle of water will cost 5 cents to 8 cents, bell pepper less than a quarter, a huge head of cauliflower about a quarter, and so on.) Fruits are about the same range as the veggies here. A slip will run between $120 USD per month up to $200 USD per month for a monohull. A Coca-Cola is about 60 cents or less, a beer is about a dollar, a Rum and Coke is about $1.50 USD. Water is typically included with the slip rental, as is garbage disposal, showers and restroom. A bus ride inland to Guatemala City can cost as little as $5 USD (it's about 270 km to the city from the Rio Dulce). Fuel is the average of the US prices. And if you want to keep the cost even lower, just anchor out. Many boats anchor year-round in the Rio Dulce near any of the marinas for free. Now, as a short list for you, maybe you can figure what your costs may be. Also, the medical care in Guatemala City is absolutley wonderful (I had ruptured disc in my neck and received the greatest care and surgical talent...now all of my doctors I see are there). And the cost of care there is unbelievably low.

There are many places like this in the world of cruising. The best thing is to ask around, just as you have on this board, to those who have been there/done that. I wish you the best in fulfilling your dream. Dreams are important and life is just too short to disregard them and have regrets later.

Wishing you fair winds and the best adventures out there on the big blue,

Christal

s/v Marcella

Rio Dulce, Guatemala from Texas
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Old 05-24-2005, 01:15 AM   #3
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thank you Christal! Thats exactly the type of info I'm looking for. What I gather from what your saying is Guatamala is suitable all year weatherwise? Is it a safe place for americans?
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Old 05-24-2005, 12:46 PM   #4
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Paul,

It's very friendly towards 'tourists' here. You can travel safely through many places in Guatemala. You may hear some things about Guatemala City, but mostly from those who stayed in the old downtown part of the City (like any major city in the world, downtowns aren't great to stay in), but there are many great and beautiful places to stay in the city if you ask some other boaters here. You can also travel to the ruins of Tikal, Lago Atitlan, and all over Central America from the Rio Dulce.

Yes, the weather is pretty consistant...great! We wear shorts all year round, gets a little warm for a week or so in April, then again for a month in the summer. But a hammock in the shade cures that.

We came here last spring (2004) to hide from the hurricane season and love it SO much, that we plan to stay for a few years more.

That's the one draw-back here. People like it so much they don't want to leave.

It's paradise for us.

Check around on the internet about Guatemala sites, the Rio Dulce, and the marinas here. (Monkey Bay Marina, Mario's Marina, Catamaran Hotel and Marina, Bruno's Marina. They are the most popular and have websites.)

This afternoon, in Monkey Bay Marina, we stood on the dock listening to and watching the local Howler Monkeys in the trees.

It doesn't get much better than that!

Fair winds,

CJS
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:11 AM   #5
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Paul,

I am new to the forum and also a cruiser wannabe. For the past 2 years, I have been preparing myself for cruising life. I attended sailing school, got myself a dinghy, then upgraded myself to a full keel Cape Dory Typhoon last year. Blue water sailing is not what I am planning for right now, just coastal.

I got the boat (older than I) at a bargain US$2000. Then I purchased new sails, new ropes, installed a ventilator, got a 5HP Suzuki OBM, paid for mast and bottom paint jobs, made modifications to cabin, restoration of woodworks and so on. Some of these things were not in my plans when I bought the boat and it caught me by surprise. By now, I have spent US$6000 on all these and expect to spend more (I discover more things as I sail along). In my plans right now is to make a dodger and setup a sculling oar.

By the time I am ready to go, I expect to have spent 5x on the works versus what I paid for the boat. Just letting you know my experience on buying a older boat. Good luck.

Lang
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Old 05-25-2005, 09:26 PM   #6
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Paul,

I too am both new to this forum and have had the same dreams and desires as you. I have spent the last 3 years of my life reading everything I could get my hands on about sailing and have found that the boat purchase decision has taken several turns. I have also looked at the older pearsons and am currently looking at a 32' Bristol for our cruising companion. Also consider several other factors about cruising that will become necessary for you while you make your final preparations, other than the boat purchase. I have found that I have been reading more and more about topics such as Weather and how to better predict (or backup what the local forecast is calling for), navigation b/c you can't always trust that what your electronics are telling you especially if they do not work given a freak incident, emergency preparations should a thru hull pop, leak or you hit something submerged that does damage beyond your repair, VHF usage since there is definately a protocol for hailing bridges, other cruisers and harbor radio, the protocol and proper steps to take once entering another country like the Quarantine flag, a little diesel maintenance instruction, etc, etc, etc...

I have found that cruising encompasses a myriad of other important issues that I found needed to be learned before making a decision to cast off my bow lines. Consider these things since your experiences will becomce much more memorable with the proper preparations.

As the moment for my wife and I draws closer to "Taking Off", I find that I worry abit more about my preparations. Of course I am certain there are those that have been preparing all their life and will NEVER get their boat away from the slip and this could be a dream breaker.

The best of luck, see you on the swell!!

Bajamas
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Old 05-26-2005, 12:28 PM   #7
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Paul,

I noticed a line in Bajamas' post which is relevant. Some become so committed to preparation that they don't actually go anywhere. I'm reminded of an Australian man who set off recently in a Hood 23 and went, I think, from Australia to Britain via South Africa and then to Canada. His boat sank in a storm in the North Atlantic after he left Canada. He was rescued. Intuition alone would tell you the boat was not suitable for extended offshore cruising, but as it turns out he lapped the world before he actually came to grief. There's a developing school of thought which suggests you need a largish, late model boat with everything new, along with redundant systems and all sorts of aids to go offshore. These things are only available to a few people. Most don't have the money. I seem to recall that Slocum had only a small, strong boat and a sense of adventure, along with some seamanship, to plug around the globe. Lots of others in the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s did likewise. I tend to think the main thing is to have a strong boat,seamanship (much of which because of its very nature will be learnt along the way) and some curiosity about the world and its people to shove off. The boat couple actually be old and inexpensive. You may not have the comfort of the new boat, but you'll have a lot of fun. It's quite reasonable to start smallish (small coastal hops) and slowly become more adventurous as your skills and appetite for adventure grow. I guess the basis of what I'm saying is that in this high-tech world, it's still quite possible to go cruising in a cheap strong boat, and have a lot of worthwhile adventure. Tel
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:15 PM   #8
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I would agree with Tel. As much of a technology fan that I am, I am quite distrustful of too many electronic gadgets on a boat - at least that I care to rely upon!

When Peter and I were first starting out we played a lot of "what if" games. Some of my hypothetical situations were pretty off-the-wall, but it forced both of us to think about what we were/should be doing.

Though very few experience it, we were hit by lightning and lost all our electronics. It happened after 15 years of cruising, so we had plenty of experience by then, though our greatest asset was that we had always made sure that we knew where we were, and did not completely rely on electronics.

Watermelon was also a pretty simple boat in many ways, and again, that worked in our favor insofar as we were able to continue with no loss of vital gear.

A well-found boat and good preparation will carry you a long way. A smaller boat will cost you less to buy, cost you 'way less to maintain, and get you where you want to go with enough money left over to enjoy yourself there.

Fair winds,

Jeanne

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Originally posted by tel

I guess the basis of what I'm saying is that in this high-tech world, it's still quite possible to go cruising in a cheap strong boat, and have a lot of worthwhile adventure. Tel
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Old 05-27-2005, 02:59 PM   #9
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Hi and welcome to the site. I have bought many older boats in my career and I suggest it is the same as buying an old car. There are many people who will know if a particular model was a keeper or a lemon. Equally many will know what a particular model was suited to. But the prudent buyer will always get a qualified surveyor to look closely at the boat offered for sale. Take it out for a sail with the surveyor, haul it out so he may inspect the hull then make the decision based on what he says. If he suggests modifications, check out how much that may cost. Aussie, Jill Knight has circumnavigated and lived aboard her small wooden, 100 year old yacht for years...No one could suggest it is not the equal of an equivalent sized new boat. But, buying the boat is easy...It.s dropping the dock lines which is the real challenge. Best wishes. David
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Old 06-29-2005, 10:38 PM   #10
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There is a great amount of reading matarial available and perhaps you can get some ideas from the list of cruising and sailing books at:

http://www.cruiser.co.za/books.asp

Good luck

Bob
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