In the previous article we explored our list of requirements for selecting a sailboat. As it turns out, that list significantly narrows down the options available to us and for that we are thankful. Having applied our list of must-haves we're left with three salty blue-water "take you anywhere" sailing vessels: the Alajuela 38, Cape George 36 and Westsail 32.
A number of our friends have been asking what type of sailboat we'll be picking for life upon the water. Just start looking at YachtWorld or SailboatListings and you'll soon see that perusing the 28,000 odd sailboats listed between them is no small feat. If you scour the web you'd probably find another 30,000 sailboats for sale and then there are local listings to consider. With all these options how are we going to narrow things down to a managable list?
When I talk to people about our plans to circumnavigate, cross oceans and explore the world by sail I get a range of reactions. Most are excited but some can't fathom why anyone would want to take such a risk when we could live out our lives in relative comfort on land.
To be sure, the sea isn't for the faint of heart: there are rogue waves, collisions with whales, shipping containers and other boats, shipwrecks, much stormy weather, pirates and a whole host of calamities that could befall anyone that puts themselves in the cockpit of a boat far from land.
You wouldn't be the first person to wonder about our idea of retiring at 45 (a mere 7.5 years away at the time of this article). Moreover, we plan to buy a sailboat and set out on an extended cruise around the world. Setting aside for a moment the issues of becoming competent sailors and foregoing the relative safety and comfort of life as a lubber and you've still got a pretty big hurdle to get over: money.
Indeed, it's going to take plenty of "freedom chips" to make this possible and we all know that a dollar doesn't go as far these days. Waitaminute, I'm pretty sure I've heard my grandfather use that expression. So how does a 30-something couple accomplish this? After all, we don't have a million dollars to our name.
About a year and a half ago Tammy and I decided to try something different. I'm not sure how the conversation began but we eventually settled on a goal: to live aboard a sailboat, travel and explore the world first-hand by the wind and in doing so circumnavigate the globe. This might seem like a tall order for a couple with relatively little sailing experience but we have taken to this notion like few others and we are dedicated to making the dream a reality. Before we get to dealing with the particulars of this endeavour (such topics are for future articles) I would like to examine the reasons why we've set our sights on this goal. I do this for our own clarification and also to help you, dear reader, understand our motive for undertaking this departure from the norm.