What to Do, What to Read?!

I read a story about this couple who sold their house and all of their belongings and  started to live on their boat. Before the wife  would agree though, she required  a suitable library to be on the boat. This got me thinking about what I could do in my free time on this live-aboard adventure for a few years! The obvious answer is read!

Just about every time we go to Target, which isn’t really very often, I always seems to get a new book to read! Lugging a whole library of books however doesn’t seem very ideal to have on a boat,  primarily for the weight, but also for the potential sogginess that may ensue. Although I am slightly opposed to the idea of kindles since I really enjoy the feeling of holding a book in my hands and the smell and feel of the paper, I do realize the mobility and potential of a kindle or kindle app to outlast books. I have some books that have fallen to pieces which doesn’t happen to digital versions.

I have been trying to find good, inexpensive or free, books through kindle, and have been fairly unsuccessful. I am trying to budget for a $20 allowance for kindle books! This is so exciting for me because I didn’t want to buy any books, mostly because I wouldn’t want to limit myself! Who needs to pay utilities and bills when you can have books, right!? Is that just me? Possibly. I do need to save for a boat however! I would love suggestions of books I should add to my collection, as well as comments as to what you do in your spare time, if you have any.

Where do we even begin???

We have extremely limited knowledge on boats. All we really know is that we need one that is big enough to hold our supplies, preferably still having enough room to be comfortable to live aboard for a few years, and that it needs to be small enough that 2 people can manage it without concern. Based on what I have come across so far, I am thinking we need something about 30′, but that could easily change if we see a boat and fall in love with it. Also, some sources say that 40-45′ is recommended for bluewater sailing. We aren’t going for speed, so smaller isn’t really necessary. I read about the Caliber 40 LRC, Hylas 46, Island Packet 420, Tartan 3700, and Valiant 42 as being good, affordable bluewater sailboats. The Tartan and Valiant have been fairly prominent in my readings so far, as well as the Westsails.  We also aren’t sure if we want catamaran, sailboat, or something else entirely, although we also aren’t really quite familiar with what these mean and what our options are! I think we need to start going to weekend boat shows! We are planning to take a basic keelboat sailing class soon, so hopefully we will know more about what we are getting into!!!

How much is this ship going to cost?

I have being researching a LOT about how much we are going to need to save in order to buy and refit a seaworthy boat. Firstly, I want our boat to be as sustainable as possible, so wind power, solar power, and a water maker are priorities, although this will increase the upfront cost. I also read about a composting toilet, which I love the thought of, since I was hoping to be able to grow herbs, lettuce, and tomatoes on board. The issue with gardening on board though, from what I have read, is that you cannot transport soil through customs in many countries. I am curious if a composting toilet could get around this, but that will be a post for another day. With these 4 extras in mind, here is the rough budget I have come up with based on budgets I have come across.

Overall Budget                                                 Estimated
Boat                                                                     $30,000.00
Engine Room                                                    $14,000.00
Boat Yard                                                              $6,000.00
Electrical                                                              $6,000.00
Plumbing                                                              $2,000.00
Galley/Propane                                                    $3,000.00
Dinghy                                                                   $3,000.00
Anchors/Chain                                                     $3,500.00
Navigation Gear                                                    $1,500.00
Boat Equipment                                                    $2,000.00
Safety Gear                                                              $4,000.00
Tools                                                                           $1,000.00
Materials                                                                      $500.00
Cleaning                                                                     $1300.00
Spares                                                                           $500.00
Fridge                                                                          $1,200.00
Wind Generator                                                       $1,500.00
Rigging                                                                      $20,000.00
Lighting                                                                         $500.00
Charts                                                                         $3,000.00
Chart Plotter                                                             $2,000.00
Life Raft                                                                      $3,000.00
Miscellaneous                                                            $1,500.00
Survey                                                                              $500.00
Solar Power                                                                 $8,000.00
AC Unit                                                                            $500.00
Water Maker                                                              $6,000.00
Total Refit Cost                                                   $126,000.00

This is definitely achievable if we save $600 every month for the next 20 years, but we also want to have money saved for us to live off of.

If we call it quits on land and are living entirely on our savings, we need a large amount of money stored up! Dani and Tate, who write the blog Sundowner Sails Again (http://sundownersailsagain.com/costs/#fundingthetrip), Jon and Sue from The Hacking Family (http://hackingfamily.com/Cruise_Info/cruising_expenses.htm), and Pat and Ali from Bumfuzzle (http://www.bumfuzzle.com/2013/03/19/what-does-it-cost-to-cruise/) all estimated (or documented) approximately $3000 – $3100 a month on average needed for operating expenses and unexpected costs.

For us to take a 5 year expedition at $3000 a month, we would need $180000 saved up. That comes out to $750 a month for the next 20 years. At minimum, we need $1350 saved every month for 20 years to meet these goals, but more is better and a more solid number is just easier, so I am going to try to have our goal set at $1500 per month.

Now we just need to work on how to get that much money each month and make sure we save it, preferably in two separate accounts so that the money for the refit is spent on the refit and we don’t mess with the actual operating savings. I am thinking a long term CD is our best option for the operating cost, since we can’t touch it and it earns high interest! Stay tuned for any developments on how we are going to make this happen!

The Beginning

How did our passion for sailing begin? Where did this idea come from?

I was working on trying to decide on a name for my essential oil “company”. I am a Wellness Advocate through doTERRA essential oils, and my mentor told me that business cards were essential (pun intended) if I want to be an effective sharer and actually see growth in my team. To begin with, I wanted to have a name that would be our email address for all things oils. The beginning of my brand. So I went to Google for help. One of the tips I found was to try to come up with a name that includes your favorite oil. We have so many, that our list was a bit much. Stephen suggested cedarwood, sandalwood, juniper, etc. I said lavender, rosemary, serenity, and lime, just to name a few. We tried a few combinations, but none really seemed to work. Then I landed on Serenity’s Embrace. Serenity oil was our selling point on essential oils since it got both of the kids to sleep with no fuss! I finally had the perfect name! I loved it! But how does any of this matter to sailing? Well, the sound of it just seemed perfect for the name of a boat!

And so it began. This one name created a spark that quickly ignited a fire in me! My thought process shifted within a week to adjust the course of our lives to make this possible. Why don’t we get a boat? Why don’t we get a boat and travel the world? Why don’t we live on a boat and travel the world for years?!?!

Well to start, I have no money for a boat. Also, I have two children, although the more I research, the less I am considering this as a reason to not live aboard. Since this fire has started, I have been reading and researching and thinking and planning and talking to Stephen (and myself, although I try not to do that out loud 😉 ) and trying to write it all down. And thus, this blog was born! My goal is to shove off in 20 years. We are only 25 now, so we should have plenty of time to save enough money by then, although I hope it doesn’t take that long. I’ll keep you updated on our journeys in the meantime!