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Cost to Buy Sailboat and Travel

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Estimated amount of money we will need to begin traveling by sea – –

“How long do you think it will be before they have their our boat?” Midwife questioned the rest of the sailing party as we beat against the waves towards Maine’s Belfast harbor.

After looking upon our smiling faces, consensus was within a year.

Though, in this moment, I felt that this mark should have been moved up to within the next three months.

Yes, within three months I would like to have my own sailboat to begin my travels around th world by sea with my small family . . .

Though intention is only one half of inertia. The other have is made up of the nuts and bolts of doing so. One year may actually be a very accurate estimate.

I know that this venture has the potential to surely make my time in the USA draw out a little longer — unless I find extremely gainful employment abroad easily and soon (such as teaching English in East Asia) — but I feel as if this will be worth the sacrifice.

I would ideally like to purchase a sailboat in or around Maine and then practice sailing it here until both Chaya and I feel comfortable. Whereupon, the plan is to sail south down the inter-coastal that runs along the east coast of the USA and look for work within range of a cheap harbor. Though it is a major question about whether these actions will happen this season or next.

The sun is falling on the summer of 2009, and the winds of autumn are holding fast on the nearest horizon.

“What is the minimum amount of money that you think we could travel the world by sailboat?” I asked the Captain, who is a fellow extremely knowledgeable about such matters.

“Well,” he answered, “there are some books that say you could do it on $6,000, but I think $8,000 is more realistic.”

Junk rigged sailboat

Junk rigged sailboat from http://www.bruceroberts.com/public/HTML/JUNK-1.htm

Not bad. Even the higher estimate was within the range of Chaya and I. Though given both of our well trodden sense of thrift and experience traveling, I am quite sure that we could potentially shoot for the lower mark . . . given that we could come upon a boat that did not scream for pricey repairs.

$15,000 is the amount of money that I predict we would need before we can comfortably buy a boat and set sail out of the USA. On 15 grand I feel as if I could easily acquire a good boat, fix her up and rig her for offshore voyaging, AND have enough bean money to last the next 6 months of wandering by sea without having to work a formal job.

Chaya and I have $6,000 saved up now. We are more than a third of the way there.

Though I have the sent that there is much contention as to how much it really costs to travel the work in a small sailboat. The books I read and some of the people I talk to say that it is dirt cheap: $6,000. While others say that owning a boat, “is a hole in the water in which you throw your money.”

This is a jagged scenario, and one that will surely take experience — and experience alone — to lay flat.

Projected expense sheet

$8,000 for a good, tested and tried racer/ cruiser style sailboat. Preferably one that is around 28 feet in length, rigged for offshore travel, with a long and sturdy keel, as much beam as possible, and simple in every regard to the maximum extent of the definition.

$2,000 to repair, customize, rig for off shore travel, and to buy any additional necessary equipment.

$5, 000 to last out 6 months of sailing without needing to find formal employment.

Total: $15,000

We are looking to buy a boat as soon as we find one, and then take it a little slow as my knowledge of sailing makes its way from the pages of books and manuals to the open sea. Once we have a boat we could possibly do short sails around the east of the USA in search of work to collect the rest of our projected necessary funds.

As soon as the boat is purchased, ready to go, the travel funds re-provisioned, and my knowledge of sailing is workable, we will leave the USA. This will happen, perhaps, around autumn of 2010.

This is looking as if it will be a mulit-season project. With my scanty knowledge, experience, and money base, it does not seem as if  we will be storming across oceans prior to this working season in America drawing to a close.

“Within the next year,” sounds like a good estimate.

Photo of junk rigged schooner

Photo of junk rigged schooner

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Filed under: Boat Travel, Maine, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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