So we thought we had it all laid out and knew exactly what our plan was to go buy a boat. It was going to be simple… Sell the condo, pack a couple of bags, go over to the Mediterranean, rent a cheap room while looking for a newer boat in good condition, buy one and take off! After looking at lots and lots of boats online, we had decided that we wanted to go for a Jeanneau and knew that Croatia was the hot spot with a very large concentration of relatively newly retired charted boats, so figured that would be an easy place to find a great deal.
But now we are rethinking and questioning if that’s the right path…
We like the idea of starting in the Med, as we would have easy sailing for a few months, or a few years, until we felt ready to set off and cross an ocean. There would be endless islands to explore and good weather pretty much all year round. Because there is such a huge amount of newer, retired charter boats available, the prices are great! So we figured that there was no better place to go.
At the same time, however, we are happy to go anywhere and want to keep our eyes open for any really great boats that may come up for a good price anywhere in the world. And as we have expanded our search, we have begun to wonder if the Med really is the right place to start… Sure, the newer boats there are pretty affordable, but we’re worried it may be more expensive to outfit it with things like a water maker, solar panels and a wind vane in Europe. These sorts of things would undoubtedly be cheaper in the US, and there are plenty of places in the word that have a lower cost of living than the Mediterranean.
Although we thought we were dead set on a production boat, we have also now begun to consider older, more traditional sailboats as well. While these older boats range in price greatly, the benefit is that along with being tried and tested blue water sailers, many would be already be set up for cruising an have a lot of the gear that we want already on board. However, we definitely don’t want to get a “project” boat. We know that any boat that we get will require work to be done, but we don’t want to take on something that needs to be completely overhauled before we can set off cruising.
So now our search has spread from just the Mediterranean, to Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and California. The good thing is that these places in North America are much easier to get to go check out the selection on a weekend trip. Over the next few weeks we hope to make several trips out to begin looking at what’s available over on this side of the world. We are hoping that looking at a range of these boats, both older and newer, traditional and production, will give us some clarity and help us to narrow down our search.
We hope to make our first trip sometime next week, and of course we will post an update on where we went, what we saw, and what the boats were like! Stay tuned!