I like your site. How is the boat hunting going? More to come???!?!?!?
I just started this Blog over the weekend and will be adding more and more information. My main purpose for this site is to bring other people that live aboard or wish to live aboard together. I will be posting blogs on the do’s and don’t. What type of boats are good live aboard boats as well as good blue water boats. I will be filming videos on Marinas and living off the hook. I also want to get people leaving comments on their experiances of living aboard. I will discuss different products that make iving aboard a boat more friendly. One thing that i am excited about is interveiwing people that live aboard. So many topics to discuss and many more nights researching. If you know of any info you would like to see or direct me too then please post a comment. I think between all of the live aboard people and want to be live aboards we make make this site enlighting and exciting.
Now as far as the hunt for a live aboard blue water boat i am still searching. I met with a fellow sailor the other day and he had a boat he wanted to unload or under $25,000.0 It was the perfect blue water sailor however after being on boat i felt i needed a little bigger vessel. This was a 32 foot with no room for a shower or a large birth. So on to the next one.
Keep the dream alive
I have really enjoyed your blog since I just stumbled on it the other day. I came to your site by way of your review of the Westsail 32 on Pender Island. I’m curious what the boat is you mention above for under $25K that was the perfect blue water boat?
Would love to chat more about your search and also congratulations on finding The Second Wind!
all the best, Brian
Hello Brian and welcome to Living aboard boats. I am not sure if you have had a chance or not but check out my You tube channel where I have posted videos on living aboard.
Now the perfect boat for $25,000 I went back to look but I cant remember which boat that was. I think it must have been a pocket cruiser for that price. Great to cross an ocean but so limited in space. I am loving the room on my Westsail and slowly settling into my new home.
Hi Curtis, I was wondering if everything is OK? I haven’t seen new postings or videos in a while. How was your trip with your daughter? Would love to hear more about it.
Hope all is well!!
The Trip was amazing. I have been posting a very week of the trip. There will be another video soon. Hope you enjoy it.
There are so many websites to go to for info. Check out noonsite.com , LOTS of info. Tells about different cruising areas,what to expect in some areas-like pirates!!! and checking in with customs. I also go to sail-japan.info , this is one place that is high on my “places to go to” list.
See ya!! Kathy
“Don’t dream your life, Live your dream”
I LOVE THE NEW LOOK!!!! How was the weekend trip?
Thanks Sail girl just checking out a few different web site designs.
I was able to Film the Yard of Broken dreams. Stay tuned for the up coming video blog.
Tried to leave comment on the Hans Christian but it wouldn’t take. Formosa 51 is the boat I would like to have but it’s TOO big for someone to single hand. The 47 would be alittle better but it is big too. I’m looking at a 35″ Tartan, PERFECT!!! Of course I still have my 33′ Hunter.
See ya!! sailgirl
See ya!! sailgirl
Comment: We’ve been living aboard for close to four months now, money ran out a while ago leaving us stuck at the dock for the time being. Ben is looking for a job at the moment so we can afford to get licensed, make necessary upgrades to Tygress, and put some money aside for cruising. Our 15 year old cat has come with us and is adapting well to life on a boat, he hasn’t sailed yet but i’m sure he’ll be fine. I wrote about him here -
At the moment all that is preventing us from cutting the dock lines is lack of funds and it’s really frustrating. No matter how simple you try and live your life money is always an issue, there’s no escaping the need for it!
Comment: If you let yourself, there will ALWAYS be an excuse. The cat thing, you’d be surprised how cats can change(unless she’s REALLY old). My cat, Tippi, has been on my boat while I’m working on her. She knows the ins and outs of that boat better than I do. She has also claimed the v-berth as her own. She doesn’t like to leave either, I have to say it’s time to eat, then she’s ready to go.
All this time I’ve been downsizing everything. I even have a friend who is going to take care of my truck and a few personel stuff when the time comes.
You are so right Sail Girl. I think i can convince my cat to grow sea legs. Especially if i am pulling in the odd salmon. She would like that very much. It is the personal responsiblity i have for love ones. In particular an older man who has been like a father to me. He is going to be 94 in 2 months and there is no way i can leave him now. I need to spend as much time with him as possible. His time is limited he could live another 6 years or 6 min. One never knows. So once the time with him is done then it will be time to seriously looking at heading out on the open ocean. I am however in persute of the that blue water vessel. There is no reason why i cant take shorter runs until the time comes. i have always wanted to circumnavigate Vancovuer island. I have done lots of coastal cruising but never out there in the deep blue. So i will still be able to take baby steps.
Thanks very much for your comment on my blog, Enjoying your posts, and your have very good taste in boats!
Bigrock, You may want to check out usauctions.com. There is a 32′ Westsail that will come up for auction on Feb. 2. She needs work but what boat doesn’t. She may sell cheap. See ya!! sailgirl
Hello Sail Girl
Thanks for the heads up. I went and checked it out and she looks like a great project boat for somebody. I think for me way too much work with my level of skills. I am sure I could acquire the skills but over time but I want to spend my time sailing and exploring not in a boat yard where many sailors go to let their dreams die.
I made a list of the potential work the West Sail would need after being submerged. We are talking work on the engine, transmission, wiring, electronics, wood work, upholstery, winches and every inch of the bot would have to be dried out and free of mould. A huge undertaking and at least $30,000. The boat may be worth $4000, to $5000. she would also take the right person with time and skills to restore her out of love.
There is a saying, go small, go now.
Curt, just found your blog while looking on youtube for liveaboards. Have you ever been in contact with the Vancouver Island Nautical Residents Association? They may be able to provide you with lots of boat info, and there are probably lots of residents willing to tell you their stories. Like us! We live aboard a 40 foot converted fishing boat and have done since her initial renos were completed in 1998. This is my husbands second liveaboard adventure – in fact he has been living aboard boats since 1990 when he launched his first boat in Ucluelet, on Vancouver Island. We know of the stigma of liveaboards and we also know of some marinas on the West and East Coasts of the Island that do allow liveaboards. If you’d like to chat with us (we are currently living aboard in Ladysmith) send me an email and we’ll continue the conversation. We like what you’re doing and maybe we have something to offer your blog experiences. Cheers for now.
Hi Curt, I love your website. Great stuff going on here. I built a 37′ double ender in Abbotsford in trucked it out to Shelter Island Marina and finished it off there. That was a long time ago. Back in the early 90′s. But due to relationship issues, I lost the boat. But, that was the good news although it didn’t feel like it at the time. I moved on to a smaller boat, a Hunter 27 which was nice but then I sold that and moved down here to Oregon. That’s life. But if I hadn’t done that, I would not have met my wife and she is the best thing that ever happened to me. So, here I am boatless but happy. Go figure. Does that mean I wouldn’t mind having a boat? No. But as long as I have my wife, I’m happy anyway.
The reason I am writing this is that when I saw your video on Youtube about the Yard of Broken Dreams, I thought you might be interested in the novel that I wrote that takes place there. It’s called “Getting There” and it’s available on Amazon.com. It’s all about a guy who works on boats from there and his big dream is to go offshore sailing. But there are “dreamers, do-er’s and done-ers” when it comes to offshore sailing. That boatyard is full of dreamers. Let me know if you’re interested in reading the novel. You can find it on Amazon as “Getting There” by Michael Matthews. Forgive the shameless plug but it’s right up your alley.
Thanks for the response to the Video and Blog on the “Yard of broken Dreams”.
As I mentioned in my Video it had been years since I had been there and it was some place that I always wanted to go back to. I was surprised like you when it had grown so much and was much more built up with shops and a paved yard.
I will definitely check out your novel ” Getting There” it sounds like a good read.
Thanks again for watching and reading
I have recently stumbled accross your video’s on you tube and must say there is a great deal of apeal to this lifestyle choice. I was wondering if i lived in the states such as Ohio perhaps up by the lake. Would this be a suitable place in wich to hunt down a blue water sail boat;l particularly a ” handy man ” special? I am presently attempting to achieve a 2 year degree. I am a single father with full custody of a small 3 year old daughter right now. So as for a reality it would not for some time. I believe passage to the ocean is possible from the lakes correct? Is it possible to find a blue water vessel in this erea? One to fix up? A used ones like in the lot you showed on youtube with all the boats being worked on diligently. Ithe world as well. would be a fasinating oportunity for my daughter to travel and see t
Yes of course Ohio would be a good place to look for a blue water boat. I know that from Lake Erie, where Cleveland is located there are many boat yards and marinas. The nice thing about being on the great lakes is it is a great place to learn to sail in a relatively safe environment. You can also access the Atlantic ocean thru lake Ontario and then on to the St Lawrence. There are locks to deal with but it is designed for both large and small ships. As far as a small child and exploring the world thee are many families that sail full time around the world. The children are home schooled and although the space is tight they seem to bond with others very well. If you are a single dad then it might be a problem with a young child because that could take two people but when your daughter is older no problem. Check out Laura Dekker from the Netherlands. She was raised on boats and just sailed around the world singled handed at the age of 15. If she can do we can do it.
Thanks for posting videos of your boat “shopping”. Great fun. You’ve got some great choices on the west coast – very salty. I’m looking forward to a more in depth video of your new home. I lived aboard for 6 years on Lake Ontario. My first boat was a 1978 Bayfield 32 which I lived on for 4 years. I then traded up to a 1974 Trojan 36 aft cabin powerboat and then after a year and a half traded it for a 1969 Chris Craft Commander sport fisherman. I was 23 or 24 when I started living aboard and unfortunately, never did realize my dream of heading south (although I believe the new owner of my Bayfield took it to the British Virgin Islands). After living aboard, year round in a cold climate for six years, I took a job away from the water and got the itch to get a house and a family. Well time flies and I’m now 47 (today in fact). Perhaps I’ll get another big boat someday and finally sail off into the sunset. In the mean time, thanks for letting us come along on your journey.
Thanks Phil for the response. It has been a busy time with the purchase of a boat and trying to settle in. I am still living on and but working towards moving aboard. It is going to take some adjustment but I know it is for me. Today I was at work dreaming about sailing the south Pacific. Who knows ?I have a 5 year plan. Cheers mate
I can’t post links on YouTube, so thought I would try here.. Here is some “light” reading on the subject of composting toilets on boats…
Curtis, you expressed some distress that you could not continue to call your Westsail “Second Wind.” I wonder if perhaps the solution would be to rename her what you have already been calling her: “My Second Wind.” Just add “My” to her current name. Alternatively, you could call her “Night Wind” or “Second Self” or some other name that allows you to retain one of the words in her current name. In any case, I’m enjoying your videos and thank you for sharing your adventure. All the best, Matt
I have a story about Living aboard boats.com that I have never told anyone until now after following your web site and You tube channel.
I owned a sailing boat and moored her in a marina, until I was made redundant on Christmas Eve three years ago and my world collapsed. I sold my boat and cars as soon as could to cut my expenses.
After sometime with no job and sold every think I had to keep a roof over my head I began to wonder if I had done the right things in my life. When you are so low some time you take chances that you would never take. I had been following boat prices on the internet being a keen sailor and sore the dream boat of my life which I just had enough money left to buy and was run down. I bought the boat and rented out my house to live on my boat, I now wonder why did I go to work? I was forced into this life style which has changed me and my world.
Living on boats.com is more serious for some people then you may think. Thank you for putting the time and effort into your web site and videos.
That’s an amazing story Curly Head and you are so right. It looks like we both had similar paths when it comes to boats and living aboard. I was in the same situation about 5 years ago. Financially my world came tumbling down around me. When I look back it really had nothing to do with me but the greed of others. I had a boat which was financed and far to expensive to keep. After liquidating most of my assets I was left in a position with only what I owned. As the saying goes there is always some good that comes from bad and in my case it was no different. Today I have rebuilt and own every thing I have. I have no debt and can pretty much do as I choose. My biggest problem I struggle with is the pull of society trying to get me back in to the Matrix. Our society is designed to keep us working for the system. We are breed to pay rent, mortgages, taxes, insurance and all other bills society demands of us to keep things going. I find that every day it tries to pull me back in. It is scary because before one knows it you are sucked back in and your freedom is gone. Wow I just wrote another blog and never realized it. Cheers mate and thanks for sharing
Hi Captain Curt, thanks for your reply. Where I’m planning on going this winter there is a chap building 36 foot boat he plans to live on because he was made redundant. He has put everything into it and is living in his car in the boat yard. The workmanship is outstanding.
I would love to see some pictures. I always like to see ones dreams come to life.
I will ask permission and keep you informed
Hello, Your story is resonating with me; I too am in the planning phase of an escape from the materialistic nothingness of society with the intention of buying a cruiser in the next 3-4 months. How are you planning on subsidizing your adventure? This has been a great concern for me I have sufficient funds to purchase the boat, refit her as necessary, etc. but I am concerned that my adventure may be limited to a few years without the ability to generate some income.
The Westsail is a nice boat I’m looking at an O’Day 40 whose owner has been cruising / living aboard for the past 20 years so she’s pretty well fitted. A little pricey but I don’t want to spend months or worse getting a boat ready so I’m willing to pay a higher price to get going sooner.
Have a great day.
Thanks for the message. Its great to hear that there is another person out there like my self. When it comes to society’s demands on us I think what is life for. spending the best years of my life in this matrix only to produce for the machine. Up until 2008 I was a happy citizen working 6 to 7 days a week running my own company and employing many workers who where also contributing to the machine. Then as 2008 hit things changed. Like many people economically my savings and retirement contributions where devastated. I guess it was time for the man to take his cut. It was then that i realized never again. I thought what is life for? Am I here to work for the system until 65 then live another 10 years as an old man. Or do I do what I can to grasp at life and make it happen now. I choose the latter. I do have to say I am not there yet but getting closer every day. The first thing I had to do was get out of debt. It took almost three years but I did it. No payments, no mortgage, no debt what so ever. I own every thing I have. Next was to save for a boat capable to live on and if I choose one to take me around the world. That is now done. So now i am entering the final stag. That is refitting and moving aboard. This is where things get hard. That is breaking the mold and the pull of society to keep me conforming. I will spend the day on the boat sanding and painting in small dusty spaces then go home to a large space with all my stuff and a huge flat screen TV. I think wow do I want to give this up. Then I think in order to keep it I have to be a slave to the system. There is no way that is going to happen. Never again. Now to your question. I have to say I really don’t have the answer except to say your not going to die. It is true if we believe it. I have never went with out a meal. I have always worked. I will always make it. If you think about it your boat provides your shelter and if you want you can live on the hook for free. The ocean can provide your protein and it will always be there. Your other food you need to buy. Along with boat repairs, personal items and fuel ETC. That is when you work. I am currently trying to have 5 years worth of money saved in the sailing kitty. Currently I am at 3 years that is why I am still a slave to the system. When I say this I am working on a budget of $1000.00 us dollars a month for one person. My plan is to supplement that income with other sources of income. I can do any thing. I can fish, manage a marina, Charter, general handy man stuff, Teach English, watch rich peoples boats there are all sorts of things. Worst case scenario I fly home work for 6 moths and return for another year. Please note that when I write this I think, “God can I really do this”? See I still question my self. It is all abut taking the plunge and just doing it.
Ran into your video “The Yard Of Broken Dreams..”, it looked familiar and at the end realized it was Shelter Island, the yard where we finished our boat. I also wandered around looking at all the project boats. We did complete our plan and my Father’s dream http://www.idlewildexpedition.com/ Enjoying reading your website.
I wish you much success.
That’s a great story. A boat yard is an amazing place. Every one there has a dream. Some do a simple upgrade or refit. Others dream of crossing an ocean. Its great to hear your father fulfilled his dream.
I am curious about what it was that turned you off of the Pender Island kit boat that you viewed.
I too am in the market for a similar boat to the one you purchased and I’m just wondering why?
The Westsail Kit boat 0n Pender was a pretty good boat for a kit boat. I know the owner was very ill and the boat needed to go. He was and perhaps still is very willing to take almost any reasonable offer. The problem I had with the boat was the neglect in many areas. Perhaps it was due to his illness I am not to sure. I was concerned about the engine over heating and not being attended too. There were no extras like electronics, Epirb, life raft, extra sails, up to date equipment virtually nothing. When I sat down and added what I need to bring the boat to a state ready to cross an ocean the numbers did not make sense to me. I knew I could get every thing I wanted with all the extras for a real good price. So that is what I did when I purchased my Westsail in Portland. I purchased a boat that ticked almost all the boxes and perhaps more. If some one purchased the Westsail on Pender for no more then $20,000 then it would be worth putting in an additional $20,000 to bring her up to date . Other then that to me she was not to be my boat. The Westsail I did end up purchasing has proven to be an amazing boat and will be an excellent Blue water home in the near future.
Hey Adam. Best of luck with your dream. I too had the liveaboard dream for most of my life. Built a 37 foot double ender that was my offshore ticket. Alas, I fell in with the wrong person to share that dream with and never made it. But as is often the case, the experience opened another door and put me where I am today. I will tell you that as much as I regret not going offshore sailing, I’m so happy I am where I am today.
If you are interested, I have written a novel called “Getting There” that takes place in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. It’s a sailing adventure. If you would like a good read, you can check it out at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0088DH11C as a Kindle ebook. I met Larry Pardy once and he told me that the most difficult part of going offshore sailing is getting there. I imagine he knows best.
I’ve enjoyed the blog and the videos very much; I’m a bit of YouTube tragic for sailing, boat restorations and cruising sites. May I suggest two sites you may not have found, boatworks today (the best fiberglass boat repair site) and cruising lea lea (a couple living the dream). I live in Sydney Australia and find the availability, variety and especially the price of older cruising blue water boats in north America truly amazing.
Good luck on your travels
I watch Cruising Lea Lea and I admire the both of them living the dream. I will have to check out Boat works today. I am always looking for great video blogs on YouTube of peoples lives aboard boats. There are some real interesting people out there and I like to learn allot from them.
Being following your journey with great interest. Many years ago did something similar and it shaped me as a person.
Anyways, good luck with cutting the cord as you vacate your onshore abode.
Although you probably have one, found a link for a 70′s Westsail Owner’s Manual.
Thanks Greg. I do have a manual and all other sorts of literature with the boat. It was an amazing find when I purchased my Westsail. The previous owner kept meticulous records of the boat and every thing that was done to her. I also received 2 truck loads of sailing gear with her so I really lucked out. I am going to check out the link and thanks for info. If you happen to find a good site on how to convert an ice box to a fridge please let me know. That is a project I would like to tackle.
Found this on the Westsail Owners’ forum:
Tom’s boat name sounds familiar
Thomas Koehl wrote:Werner, If you get really ambitious and want to rebuild your icebox for refrigeration, I did that on Second Wind. I had no liner (or anything inside the icebox except for the plain plywood outer box) and had to start from scratch. I came up with a design with about an R24 insulating factor and just over 5 cu ft of space. The plans are packed, but I could probably find them if you are interested. in addition to the dual lift-off lids, the entire top of the icebox can be removed with six screws. I did that so that I could add refrigeration at some future date without tearing things apart. The inner liner is 1/2 inch plywood with a white formica layer to protect it and keep it clean, per Bud’s suggestion. It took a while to fabricate it, especially the stepped lids, and it’s hardly lightweight, but it’s plenty sturdy. I also have a Fein if you need to use one – let me know asap before I pack for the trip to FL on the 20th. -Tom Koehl
I wonder if you could convert the guts out of a $150 Canadian Tire refrigeration cooler to work in the icebox?
I’ve been using one of the electric fridge coolers on my boat. I find it works very well. I only need to run it for about 2 hours a day during the summer, and of course, there’s always the great ‘outdoor’ cooler at this time of year. Also… I found my cooler at Wal-Mart on sale for $100. Happens a few times a year I think. The down side is, is that they don’t seem to last very long. I’m lucky to get a couple years out of mine.
Hi Daphne actually I am doing the same for now as well. It works fine. I don’t leave mine on all the time just in the mornings then later in the evenings. It seems to keep the food cold. I was also told that I will be lucky if I get two years. I am ok with that
I see we’re both night owls. ha ha. After I posted that last message, I watched a video of yours and noticed your cooler plugged in so I guess my comment was redundant. btw, I’m totally impressed that you can cook!!! I cracked up when you were trying to light the stove. So funny!!! I went through the same thing. I totally empathize with you.
I do some of my best thinking late at night. Yes the stove. It has been a battle let me tell you. I can light it now so that’s good but it needs to be rebuilt. I have the parts and pieces I think. I should really get into it and try to destroy it and put it back together. I did receive a few comments on how funny it was when I was trying to light it. At least I lived to tell about it with only a few burns. If at first you don’t succeed then try, try again.
What condition was your Westsail in when you bought her, and did you do all the repairs yourself? Im interested in a Westsail that has had nothing done to it since new and am wondering what to expect in terms of work to be done and cost, fortunately the boat has spent 95 percent of her life in fresh water.
Thanks for any details and great site
My Westsail was in great shape when I purchased her. She came with all the records of the work that was done thru the years. Her engine was replaced which was important to me and her sail inventory was also replaced. These two thing and the hull where the most important things I looked at. The rest of my boat was in great shape but cosmetically she was dated. That was fine with me. I also took into consideration the owner. He owned the boat for over 20 years and was a real sailor. I knew just by his record keeping that he loved this boat and always looked after her. That was enough for me to make a decision. You cant go wrong with a Westsail. Just me careful with some kit boats. Some where not fitted to well while others where fitted amazingly. Mine was a factory finished boat and the wood work and electrical where done to factory standards.
Curious how the cabin works coming along. Release date for video 13? what did you end up doing to get enough cabin heat? Are you 100% live aboard now? Can you tell I am living vicariously?
Hi Greg. I shot video 13 about a week ago, The renos are going great and I will be moving about in another couple of days. he cabin heat is fine providing it is not -15 c. I can keep the boat at a comfortable temperature I will be posting another video in a couple of days. Thanks for reading the blog. cheers.
Hey Curtis – I really enjoyed reading your blog and aspirations! In my 20′s I spend some years travelling the high seas all over the world, but on freighters, bulk carriers, tankers and cruise ships. When I came ashore, I had the same dreams as you have now, but family and other stuff came along for the next 25 years, and sadly, the blue water cruise lost its priority. I don’t regret my decisions back then, but will re-live those dreams through journeys of younger people like you! Go for it Curtis!
Hi Dave , great to hear from you. I am sure you have a story or two to tell. We have to sit down and share a few. Cheers Mate and we will see you around.
thanks for the great stuff. You looked at a boat I am interested in and would love to ask you a few questions.
my phone # is 541-490-5156
give me a call or drop me an email Oregoncycle@hotmail.com
You’re living my dream.
Now I’m looking for a boat (for a few months actually). Payed a surveyor yesterday to look over a 1984 Beneteau First 38. It’s already set up for single hand. It’s on the hard. No compression on cylinder 3 after sitting for years (I think).
I’m also recently debt free, and have spent the last 10 years in a mobile home to cut costs. I fix my own cars, build my own computers, and work as a loathly electronics tech for a tiny solar controller company. To afford the boat I’m selling everything land lubber (lol), Selling my mobile home. My boss is drinking the company to death. Plus I recently received a settlement on an old car accident. So now looks like it may be the time.
I want to find a good, cheap Marina in the gulf. Preferably somewhere, where I can find a job to upgrade the boat with GPS, Desalination, Solar… and such. Today I’m hunting for someone who will insure a guy in a 38 that has only sailed 505s in the high mountain lakes of Colorado.
Thanks for all the data. I have yet to read your entire blog and watch all the videos, but I will. (stressing on the survey anyway) .
Hi Troy. Sounds like you are on the right track and get it. I wish I would have simplified life many years sooner then what I did but now I think it is the best way to live life.. It is nice to know that I not dependant on any one in life and it is as simple as sailing away if I so choose. Many land lubber friends and co workers don’t get it and some mock me. like how can you live in such a small space? Or make fun of my 17 inch TV. Its all good. I am living the dream and never waking up . Congrats and good luck on the survey. Keep me updated
Don’t beat yourself up. You’ve made great headway toward your goal! Is the boat ready for bluewater? If it is, Do you have enough to get going today?
If not. Make a list of things you NEED to get finished before you go. Be that boat stuff, or more money for the trip, WHATEVER you feel you need to get done. Once this list is completed, GO! (If you start adding bolgna to the list you need to just go).
As for my Beneteau first 38? It was a flop. Just needed to much work to sail it. I offered $7K, but never heard back.
Next is a 34′ in SF bay. I’m looking for a flight out to see her this week. Wish me luck!
My Second Wind could b ready to cross an ocean should I choose to go. I am not sure if I am ready/ Time will tell. I plan to sail the British Columbia Coast Vancouver Island and perhaps south east Alaska. So I am a ways off from heading south. The hardest thing I struggle with is leaving my employment. It is nice to see those checks roll in and I love the way it tops up the sailing kitty. I just don’t want to sell my soul to the system for cash. its a fine line.
To bad about the Beneteau. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. If you are looking for a great deal on a boat you should check out bank repos. Put in a low ball offer and you never know. There are some great deals out there.
Thanks Curt, I’ve been keeping my eyes on all possibilities. Actually flying to San Francisco (worst place to buy a live aboard) today to look at a 1977 Peterson 34′! The price is fabulous, but I need to see why for myself. With a ballast displacement of 47.21, and Kevlar reinforcements in the hull, it might be the boat I’ve been hunting for.
I find it odd, how much “fear”, or “questioning my actions” is effecting this hunt. You can likely understand what I’m talking about. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do this. Yet as my flight grows closer, some deep dark thing in my soul is screaming “STAY IN YOUR HOLE!!!” and “You should keep that thing you haven’t even seen in 15 years”, because???
So, out of Denver’s -10F weather, into SF bay’s 58F, rain and sailing!! Woohoo!
Troy I wish I could convey these words properly but I know exactly what you are feeling. I spent over a year seriously looking for the right boat and after a while I thought am I just looking at boats because I like to look at boats. It seemed I always came up with a reason not to purchase. I thought about it then realized that when I saw the boat I would get I would get a feeling that she was the one. Sure enough when I went to Portland to view my Westsail 32 I knew when I walked up the dock that she was mine. The only thing that could have stopped me was a major mechanical or structural problem. Once all the boxes where ticked I just did it. It is hard to finaly realize a dream if you have worked or wanted it for so long. It is scary thinking ” was this just a fantasy in my brain or some thing I really want to do” My next step is to cast away to Southern latitudes. Now that’s going to be scary.
I liked the grasshopper and ant analogy and your article about down-sizing. It made me think of the Proverbs: “go to the ant, thou sluggard…”. Me being 45 and still having family and job commitments, I can relate to a lot of what you are saying, although, I personally lean more to the minimalist side. I grew up in the deep country and was very self sufficient camping for days at a time solo before I was a mid-teen. I then spent close to a decade in the Army where I lived out of my ruck (backpack) a lot of the time.
I like what you are doing, it feels like you are inviting people in to not only be part of what you are doing, but sort of an extended family (I guess community of friends would be a better word). I like it, having been through the mid-life thing (for the most part), I kind of feel that need to.
I’m also getting my blog up and running but its kind of different, focusing more on do it yourself construction on a sailboat and slowly building it into a cruiser.
I have left some YouTube comments on your latest video there.
Hi Hawk, I have had this dream of living aboard since the age of 15. Then life took its turns both good and bad and things kind of were put on hold for while. Then for me it was, well time to get this show on the road and put my self in a position to live life to the fullest. Unlike you I am not used to being a minimalist and always surrounded my self with the newest and the latest things to make life easier. I guess most people in our society do that. Now that I am on my minimalistic boat I am taking steps every day to down size and get to the minimalist way of life little by little. Good luck with your blog I cant wait to give it a read. Cheers
After reading your post “Round &Round We Go”, I am once again amazed at how closely your thoughts match mine.
Well Capt It has happened, made a laughable low bid to what she was worth on a bank repo and Damn if they didn’t accept my offer. Trucked down from Seattle to Portland, what a wonderful sight to see this 38 foot monster on a semi’s flatbed cruising down the interstate. I can truly say with a straight face that under the right conditions my sailboat can and has exceeded 50 knots. She is in Portland getting the mast raised and soon will travel up river to her new home. Prior owner dumped a ton of time and money in her and the hard parts of a complete refit are already done. I get to do mostly cosmetic changes and some new wiring before calling her ready to challenge the big blue.
Don’t know if to thank you or cuss you out as your videos caused me to quit kicking the tires and get serious about this next life adventure. Ah hell the next beer is on me…
Congrats Chris, I love it when a deal comes together. It is mazing how you low balled an offer and the bank accepted it. It was meant to be. We are both lucky when it comes to boats. My Westsail came with so many extras that I am still finding stuff to this day. Great deals for the both of us. So what’s the plan are you planning on sailing south or planning to cross an ocean?
Curt, you asked for feedback on the difficulty of untying the lines. I think that you’re doing great and that you’re being too hard on yourself. My basic point is this: keep choosing a greater good over a lesser good, and you should be fine. You’re not even finished refitting the boat, so don’t beat yourself up over not yet sailing the world. If that’s the right thing for you, it’ll happen. If it doesn’t happen, there are still lots of ways to enjoy your time on the water. That said, there is one sure way to become an offshore cruiser: sail out to sea until you can’t see land anymore. Anyway, thanks for sharing your journey–I savor your videos. Keep up the great work.
Hi Matt thanks for the words of advice. It is hard to break free from the grasp of he man but it is getting closer I can feel it. Some times I think I am to practical and want to make sure all my ducks are in a row. Well… who gives a shit about ducks any ways?
Be thankful that it is as difficult as you (and everybody else) finds it to untie the lines. If it were easy, everybody would be out there doing it. Including all the Honey Boo Boo’s of the world. You wouldn’t want that would you?
Just finished watching your latest Ytube program. I am at a very similar age an situation to you, ( but not as far down the path of sailing away)( which I have done before for 6 years).I am in the process of now searching for the right boat. I agreed with you 120% about the fact we are all programmed right from the start of life to obtain careeres , marriage, house etc retire at 65 an then get ready to die.
I am always under pressure from friends to conform to remain in employment and learn to accept one fate.
The others thing I have seen over the years which I sailed are those who are always about to leave on the big adventure when they “get the new GPS” or the new radio or new sails, they are always just about to leave, coming back into marinas several years later they will still be there having not made the last step.
Yes it is scary the first time you leave but once out there I always wondered why I had not done this sooner.
Enjoy your posted
Hey Phil its great to see there are a few rebels out there like me. In fact that is what they call me at work and say “why don’t you just conform like the rest of us”. I could never do that. Life is too short. I plan to do allot of sailing this year in and around the BC coast and perhaps up to Alaska. Once that is done then it is south. I know I am not the type to buy a new chart plotter and never leave the comfort of my surroundings. There is a whole world out there that needs me to explore. Cheers and thanks for the words of encouragement.
You are a motivation to us all, it’s better to be in the old folks home talking about the adventures you undertook than dreaming about those you wished you had.
Phil you are exactly correct I never want to be the old guy sitting in the old folks home wishing I would have done stuff. I have always tried to live life to the fullest. Some times if we are not careful society will suck you back in with bills, commitments and too much work with no purpose
Curt, It gets interesting when you learn that things you thought were important get pushed down the list as you learn that a perfectly reasonable work around solved the issue. I learned on a major 1200 mile bike tour that I needed only two quarts of hot water to do a complete shower. Heating two qts to an almost boil and then mixing in a separate container with cold water got a full on clean me with nice rinse. I know with this knowledge that anchored in some foreign port the conversation in the nearest boat is going to go something like this : “look away Martha that crazy american is washing up out on his deck again”
If you haven’t noticed that the most advise that preaches you can’t cast off unless you have this that and the other thing are from fair weather sailors.
I love when I ask a question on a forum and one or two responses are from folks who you have to wonder why in gods blue water did you ever buy a boat. But damn that person has replied to every post on the forum making them an expert of replying to forum posts and the last person I would ever use as a sailing mentor.
Well said Chris. The people I work with care about me I guess but they have no idea what it feels like to be as free as possible while living the boating life style. To be independent and able to fend for my self no matter the situation is a great feeling. People seem to be so dependant on the system they can’t think or do for them selves. I can remember when I owned my own retail business. The strip mall I was in was flooded. Every merchant sat there in despair waiting for the insurance and restoration companies to show up. There was so much flooding in the area that it took almost a week for someone to arrive. I was the only one in the mall that did not wait for my insurance adjuster to show up. I quickly gutted my own business and re opened my doors to the public in less then 24 hours. My store was not pretty but I was making money and living life. People in todays world have no idea on how to make things work with out the system. Congrats again on the boat
Hello Captain Curt,
So, even though the plan WAS to buy in the gulf? I found my boat in San Francisco, Ca. I KNEW she was mine the second I stepped on and she didn’t move. No rocking at all from my weight (210lbs) stepping directing onto the port side.
I bought MY!! 1977 Peterson 34′ Sloop yesterday! The now previous owner replaced just about every mechanical doohicky the boat has. All new standing rigging, (Way way oversized), a new mast and mast step. Keel bolts (He once lost a keel), Kaboda 17hp, 2 cylinder Diesel and Transmission (has 25ish claimed hours, but runs perfectly no black smoke). New shaft, prop and stuffing box It has a small tear in the foot of the only mainsail, but 9 different Jibs and Genoa from a small storm up to a 210!!, 2 spinnakers (No pole). Many of the sails were never even unfolded.
The interior is mostly there, but a few wall and ceiling liners are missing, the windows are impossible to see through (sheet of lexan in the pilot berth to make new ones). Ports don’t open, (but 4 high end opening ones are included). The hatches leak a little but “new” looking used ones are included as well. The deck needs paint (but enough “gray” Awlgrip to paint that, is also included). A couple of spots, one the Deck above the Companionway and the other in the cockpit need a Glass patch after removing equipment of some sort. (Other then paint that will take a day).
Mostly just beautification and little jobs. The guy I bought it from sails it nearly every day.
Point is Curt, if the timing was right? I plan to head south myself. Panama anyone??
That’s awesome Troy. You are right you know it is he right boat as soon as you go up to her. Sounds like she is real solid and will be able to take you any where. Just think in 3 weeks you could be in Mexico taking in the sun,tequila and avocados. Nothing wrong with that, Congrats on your new home
Troy!!! I don’t even KNOW you and I’m totally excited for you!!! Do you have a website or blog. I’d love to see pics!!!
Great blog Curtis! One of my favorite quotes came to mind while watching your latest video “Life’s Choices”.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain
Hi Curt. Great work! Wonderful you are sharing your inspiration with the world and leading the way. My wife and I are on a similar path. We live in Munich Germany but are Africans at heart. My wife Christa was born in Zambia me in Zimbabwe. I have been fortunate that I clearly knew I had just three very important things to do in my life. Fly, sail and travel. I fly a paraglider for my living flying in the Alps and Himalaya. I have lived in 10 countries and travelled to over 60 so far. We have been researching sailing boats to live on for years but knew the first time we saw one what boat I wanted and it is the WS32. Love your WS32 what a ripper. You have done well and it will take you anywhere. Christa and I have 8 months to go before we arrive at the day when we cast off our bow lines from our dry dock here in Munich and leave our wonderful warm urban box/cave and seek out the WS32 of our dreams too. CA seems the best place to buy because we wish to sail the Pacific first so we miss the expense of the Panama. I have searched to find how much you paid for your WS32 but did not see it posted so far. Please let me know. It gives us an idea what we may offer when the time is right. Be great to be in touch with you and maybe meet up one day. Minimalistic, off the grid and off the radar. Great job mate!
Hello Craig Great to hear you are living the dream. It is also great to hear you are a fan of the Westsail. These boats are like tanks and as you know will take you any where. California is also a great place to purchase a Westsail. There are so many because that was where the original plant was. My only advice is to stay away from kit boats. There was both factory finished and kit Westsails and the kit boats can be finished a little questionably. I was very lucky to find my Westsail. She was well looked after and she came with many extras. I could probably cross an ocean tomorrow. After I had the marine inspection I purchased her for $27500. I also received about 15000 in added extras. So I was very fortunate. My boat was also an estate sale the seller was motivated to get things taken care of.
Another great place to look for a Westsail is Mexico. There are many Americans from California that sail their Westsails down to the Sea of Cortez and look to sell them there as it is difficult to sail north up the coast. There are some great deals there
Cheers Mate and we may meet on the seas some day
“Ripper” Curt. Priceless info. Delighted with your help and thoughts. We sure will keep abreast of what you are up to and hope to meet up one day.Many thanks. And happy sailing Craig and Christa
Really look forward to your new posts on youtube. I am currently searching for my own piece of heaven cant wait to get out on the open water.Any suggestions for a 28 to 32 footer i will be solo sailing most of the time. thanks and look forward to your next update.
Hello Jim thanks for watching and reading. I post a video once a week and I will have one posted this Sunday. As far as recommending a boat it depends on what you are looking at doing, size of family you have and budget. If you want something inexpensive and great for weekends pic up a Catalina for under $10,000. Crossing an ocean and safety there is always my favorite the Westsail 28, 32, and higher. If money is no object then Hans Christian. Bristol channel cutter. If you are poor like me then there are many options under $30,000 some great buys at $15,000 if you are handy and mechanically skilled. My biggest word of advice is get a marine inspection no matter what. It could save you thousands and gives you piece of mind.
guess i should have been alittle more forthcoming i am planning on buying a boat as my retirement home,i have just started my research and looking for as much input as i can get,full keel vers others.Hopefully within the next 5 years i will be buying a boat,planning on spending as much time as i need after buying the boat to get her ready for some long cruises.I have a buget of around 20 to 25k for the boat and another 10k for upgrades and fixes.Have been sailing since i was 5 so around 43 years.Any and all input is always a plus cant wait to start my life long dream.Cheers to all of you that are already living this dream,i will be joining you for sure.
Hi Jim well I have to say you have me beat on the years sailing. You probably also know more about what boat is the right boat. I can say this however. When I looked for both my Hunter Legend and then my Westsail it was the feeling I got when I saw the boat that did it for me. I can remember walking down the dock to view my Westsail and as soon as I walked up to her I knew she had to be mine. She just felt right.. Then after that it was a matter of price and what I could fix and what I couldn’t. After looking her over closing, a marine inspection and some intense money negotiations the deal was made. I have never looked back and each day I actually grow closer to the boat I seem to know her movements and temperament better each and every day. Some things I have learned is that safety and confidence is number one. So I would rather have a safe smaller boat with great bones, mechanically sound, and full of safety equipment. Then a large pretty boat that is falling apart but is huge. The smaller the boat the less to operate and the less to fix. I have also learned to keep the systems simple. When I first got on my Westsail it was all about modernizing her and adding all the latest gadgets. Now that I am living aboard I have come to realization I don’t need all that stuff. It is just more to go wrong and more expense. Keep it simple.
most of my sailing exp. has been in local lakes in ohio or on lake erie have never been ocean sailing cant wait to try it though i am sure there is a big difference.I guess thats why i was asking about full keel vrs others i have only been on very small boats,ie. my interlake have also sailed a few thistle’s i am so ready to make a life change.thanks for all the input cant wait to go with you on your adventure.
My first boat was a Hunter Legend 37.5 ft. She was beautiful and huge. A full stateroom and lots of room down below. She was a very expensive boat with all the bells and whistles. She as fast and a fin keeled boat. Now my Westsail 32 is much smaller and a 3rd of the price. she is 20,000 lb. and not near as big. The west sail has a full keel and is tiller steered. Now I would sail my Westsail any where on this planet but I would never even think of sailing my Hunter Legend off shore. That’s not to say a Hunter could not make it to say Hawaii or England. They are mainly designed for coastal cruising. So it depends on what you are doing as to what boat you are to get. With an ocean going boat you are usually in much smaller spaces. that way you can wedge your self in bed when the seas are rough. You can brace your self in the galley when cooking. You will have a deep cockpit and many hand holds. A coastal boat will be much larger in side. Larger berths bigger galley and lots of room to stretch out. If you go to sea with one of those it can be uncomfortable but great if you are sticking close to home. The hull on a boat like mine is thicker and the rigging is usually more substantial. There many great boats out there for under $30,000 but what is equally as important is the parts and pieces that come with the boat. Example Epirb $900 self steering vane $5000 SSB $3000 Dingy and motor $2500 VHF, Chat plotter, nave gear $1500. Storm sail, spinnaker, spare sails, drifter $4000, life raft $3500, the list goes on and on. When I purchased Second Wind I received all that with my boat for $27500.00 That was an amazing deal and worth me sailing her home to BC even with the exchange and taxes in Canada I was way ahead.
I think you said you where 2 or 3 years away? Even if you are not in a position to buy right now I would still look and check out boats. I looked for 2 years even though I did not have all my money saved. It was a chance to physically check out boats and get to know what I wanted and better yet what I could afford. I don’t believe in credit but I figured that if an amazing deal came my way I was prepared to get a loan and finance. That’s was only if it was an amazing deal. As it turned out I never had to do that and I found my boat. My dream bot is a Hans Christian but they are far to expensive for me to get with out a loan. I did not want to be enslaved to the bank with a loan on a boat so I searched out what I could afford. Good luck and let me know if you see a boat you might be interested in. Cheers
I am another one of your loyal fans from south Louisiana for many months now, and this is the first time I leave a comment. I am so happy you are sharing your story on this site. Thank you! Listening to sharing your successes, failures and thoughts are terrible festinating to me. I am a fellow life long sailors, and envy your courage to follow your dreams. Their are not many people who are willing to even attempt the things that your already accomplish. Congrats!
How easy or difficult has it been, thus far to get off the merry-go-round of life?
Please keep the blog and the videos coming, I will be thinking positive thoughts for you.
Your number one Louisiana fan.
Thanks for your kind words. This is my last week at work then it will be time to settle in to my new life. It is all new to me so each day at a time. I can’t wait to make this life of mine more and more simple. Once I am done work I will concentrate on my storage locker and get rid of the remainder of my possessions that are not needed on the boat. The final phase will be to live off the hook and as simply as possible. I am trying to take baby steps and slowly Wien my self off society. Its fun and very interesting If you have any suggestions or even have some ideas on what you would like to see in the videos let me know
Cheer and thanks for watching.
I’m a neighbour from Vancouver. Would like to ask you a few questions via email. Would you mind replying to my supplied email address when you get a chance? Thanks.
Hi Cliff, sure you can email me.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary here checking in from Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham. I just happened to find your blog & video and I have to tell you…way inspiring! You are a brave and adventurous soul and many of us could take a lesson or two. We moor our Solstice in Bellingham. She is a Devlin designed 30ft Black Crown design which my wife and I built over a number of years. Maybe you will make it to Bellingham some time. We are definitely coming to Victoria this summer though it sounds like you will be gone cruising. Anyway, a fine blog, fine vision, and a fine life. Kudos.
Hello Gary, Wow what a pretty boat. Her lines are gorgeous. I always thought that if I didn’t want to cross an ocean or head to the Caribbean I would have a motor boat that had classic lines and a traditional look. She looks beautiful. We might see each other anchored in a bay or perhaps in the San Juan’s. I don’t plan on heading too far north this year just the odd trip to Campbell river and the sunshine coast.
Thanks for sharing the picture you and your wife must be proud.
I am going to be in Victoria next week and am wondering if you can recommend a well stocked chandler there as I will be looking for some parts for my Windrose 18 trailer sailor. We don’t have such a store where I live.
I would recommend http://www.trotacmarine.com/ this is a great marine store with lots of parts and pieces.
Good to hear your news about being free
I still maintain an apt. and have my boat on mooring in Tsehum Harbour
working towards freedom
Hey Curtis. I think your videos are just fine. Personally im bored with the boat projects (as well as you are im sure.) As you push off and cut the line I’m sure they will get more exciting. But stay true to your pace as far as creating videos are concerned. Remember the goal is cruising, we are just tagging along living off of your courage my friend.
I think I am going to keep the weekly blogs he same and perhaps post additional ones when I am out sailing and exploring.
I’ve been looking all weekend for your weekly post. Hoping you’ve untied the lines and dropped the hook someplace and enjoying it so much you haven’t had time or the internet connection to post. Really enjoy watching the videos and will be joining you as a liveaboard (other coast though) in the next couple years. Still have my dad to take care of.
When you were looking at boats what was your budget and what types of boats were you considering? I’ll probably look in the $20,000 – $40,000 range preferring to stay as low as possible but get a good strong boat. Any suggestions?
Sorry for the delay n the video it will be up this evening Monday night.
When I set out to look at boats I had a figure of $40,000 tops. Remember I pay cash for every thing a I don’t want to be part of this monetary system. I am a slave to no one. I figured that my purchased would be in the states so I new I would have duty, taxes and exchange to pay as well. That was all in the over all budget of $40,000. I had also knew what type of a boat I needed. Notice I said needed. The boat I want is a Hans Christion with a pull man birth cutter rigged and fully equipped to cross an ocean. The ony way I was going to get that was to use my $40,000 a down payment and to finance the balance. That was not going to happen. So reality I had a actually budget of $35,000. I love traditional boats like Westsails, mariner Ketch, Bristol channel cutter, Ingrid’s. Cape George Cutter. So I knew the type of bat I wanted. it took a year and I actually found 3 I wanted. My Westsail 32 , Cape George Cutter and a Fantasia. The Westsail was the winner as she came with over $15,000 in extras and I new I could purchase her for around $28,000 . The deal was done and here I sit. I had to make sure she was sound, and mechanically sound. I am no mechanic or rigger. This two aspects where sound on Second Wind. All she needed was cosmetic work and some attention to the cabin leaks. So far I am very please and she will be my home for years. Good luck, There are boats out there for $15,000 you just have to look hard and you will find one.
I watch your videos with tremendous enthusiasm. I have enjoyed watching your journey to freedom and the purchase of “My Second Wind”. It’s been fun being your constant yet unseen companion.
I’m in a boat hunt of my own these days and have spent months scouring the internet and visiting marinas. No luck yet, but I do have several prospects.
Tell me, what conditions/requirements did you set for yourself when you decided to buy a boat to live on. What I mean is, how did you come to decide to look at the types of boats you were focused on.
Many would argue that a boat that carried its beam width far aft would have made a more suitable live aboard in terms of space and comfort. I’m very curious what drove you to the Westsail, Cape George, Hans Christian, yon know the more traditional as opposed to the more modern hulls.
Your insights here would be a great help to me…as I said I’m searching for a live aboard boat now and like you am drawn to the more traditional boat types. So, it would be very interesting to me to learn about your motivations to look in this category.
I understand the budget, and keeping the transactions all cash and that probably removed some candidates right from the start. I’m interested in the stuff beyond the cost.
Thanks Curt, again I enjoy your site and the videos you post…keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see you in some exotic place.
Hello again Mark,
It is so hard to give advice on what is a good and suitable boat. Number one I am no expert. I am just a guy with a passion for sail boats and tradition. I can really only give advice on what suites me and my life style. There are so many factors that goes into a boat decision and I really don’t posses the answers. That being said I am speaking for myself only.
My first consideration was cost of boat. I had a budget and knew I had to be in that budget and with out a loan. Second was style of boat. I am big on purchasing some thing I find appealing appearance wise. What I mean by that is I have to like her looks. An example for me would be a Volvo car. They are amazing cars, safe, used ones can be a good price but there is only one problem. I don’t like the way they look. I could never own one. So there are many great boats out there but I don’t care for their looks. I would not be happy. Then if was a matter of what am I going to do with this boat? ell my dream I to cross an ocean. o with all of this in mind I was able to narrow it down. I love a Contessa 26 They are mazing blue water vessels. They are for sure in the price point. I love the looks and the tradition. The only problem is they are two mall for me. I could not sleep in their short bunks. The galley is mall and there is little storage. So a Contessa was out. For my self I knew I had to have a boat that was at least 32 ft., had to be under $35,000, had to be safe and easy to sail. She also had to be built like a tank and be comfortable on the water. The Westsail 32 ticked all those boxes.
After that it was a matter of searching for one that also possessed the good mechanical qualities Good rigging qualities and last but not least she had to be well maintained.
When it comes to a couple on boards I would suggest a boat with as much space as possible. It is hard to get alone time in a small space. So an aft cabin or a forward separate V birth would be an asset. Storage is al a huge factor. If you plan on staying on the coast then a Hunter would be nice as they are huge down below, priced well, and luxurious. They are capable of crossing an ocean but they are also light weight for a boat their size and can pose a problem with living aboard at sea. So many factors to consider. Make a list withy our wife and narrow down the boat search.
Looks like you have two Mark’s corresponding with you Curt! I guess Mark was a more popular name 50 years ago.
I appreciate your responses! I spend way too much time reading sailing/cruising/liveaboard blogs, books, magazines, forums, etc. Since I’m still taking care of my dad I can’t get to that lifestyle yet but am working hard on the knowledge/practice/saving that it will take to get started in a year or two.
Since it’s just me (newly divorced after 32 years, she wasn’t at all interested in the water or giving up anything on land) and the fact I’ll probably not get any further away than the Bahamas and Caribbean I’m looking at possibly a lighter boat that will handle well in marinas and anchorages. Am pulled towards Catalina 31-36′s though I’m also looking at every other boat in the $25-$40k range. I’ve seen some nice Endeavor 32′s and 37′s that look pretty nice also. When the time comes to get serious I’m sure I’ll get some much better advice from liveaboards like yourself before I spend my hard earned cash. I too want NO debt!
Looking forward to your next update!
The nice thing about Catalina is you get allot of boat for the money and they are perfect just like you said, around marinas and anchorages. There are also so many of them that parts are cheaper and easily found. I think all the boas you mentioned kind fall in the same category. It would be a matter of style and space down below that would dictate for me which way I went. I do like sail options how ever. The sails are the engine of the boat. I like a cutter rigged type of boat so there are more sail options. Furled sails are also important for a single handed sailor.
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, I know your a busy guy. Thanks also for the tips….My guess is, and correct me if I’m wrong, but you like the traditional lines of the older model boats. Do you think that the full keel or modified full keel heavy displacement boats with keel or skeg mounted rudders are a safer choice. In your reply you mention that the boat you chose had to be built like a tank, is that a function of early design boats or specific to a certain builder.
Like you I see boats that are Volvo’s in appearance, and I think if your going to drop 40 or 50K+ on a boat she should make you want to look at her…Having said that, is there any more modern hulls out there that you would consider taking across the pacific. Also, do you think you Westsail is suited for such a voyage?
Well, thanks Curt I enjoy conversing with you. You know every time you do a segment with some kind of Mexican dish you have my full attention. lol The salsa recipe was right on…remember, I’m a Texan…
So, how did all the painting in the forward cabin and head come out….still haven’t seen the finished, finished product. I know you were having some leak problems too as I recall, any luck getting those sorted out along with your inner core issue. Might make a good episode.
Thanks again for the info and insight, good luck with the projects and life without a boss.
I have not tackled the leaks yet as there is too much rain happening this time of year. I need dry conditions and lots of time to do it right. I am thinking of July to get that done. A Skeg hung rudder on a full keel boat is the way to go for me. I like the fact that the rudder is hung in two places. It makes for a much more sturdy rudder. I also like a tiller over a wheel. I like the feel and it is allot easier to rig up self steering etc.
There are basically too types of cruisers out there besides racing boats. there are coastal cruisers and there are blue water vessels. Now cruiser and blue water vessels can go and do any thing. You can race them, Cross oceans with them or cruise the coast line and local islands with them. It is a matter of overall comfort and stores that come into play.
When I had my Hunter she beautiful. Large open spaces and lots of storage. She did lack hand holds for large seas. She lacked water and fuel storage for long distances. She was also light weight and fast. She was not ideal to cross an ocean with because of all the things lacking in the boat. My Westsail is the opposite. Smaller spaces with lots of hand holds and places to wedge your self in when experiencing large seas. Lots of water and fuel storage Thicker fiber glass hull and full keel. Slower yes but steady and heavy. She can do 110 nautical miles a day some times more. Westsails have won long distance races. She is also cutter rigged with a stay sail so many sail options for light air.
In many cases the wife is not always on board so to speak. So she might have certain demands that you have to contend with. I would be listening to her because woman seem to require more luxuries then us guys. lol
Hey you know the old saying. “Why go fast when you can go slow”. I have no interest in a sped boat, if I were in a hurry I’d buy a plane ticket. As you say space is very important as well as stowage. On the other hand I don’t want to feel like we are living in a cave either. I like the idea of the protection you get from a heavy full keel, I would think the ride would be better too. Those classic lines are real head turners aren’t they? Too bad no one is making a full keel, wide beam carried aft boat these days.
I agree with you on the salsa recipe. Great stuff!
BTW, where are you at in Texas? I’ve lived the past 10 1/2 years in Oklahoma City. Are you looking for your boat mostly in the Houston/Kemah area or further away? I’ve been to Kemah a couple times in the past year and loved sitting on the Boardwalk watching the boats go by. Except that I want to be on one also.
I live in the San Anotnio area, north of SA actually. Yes most of my boat shopping has been in Kemah. There are a ton of boats there. Kemah, Seabrook and Leage City are very nice and that where we will home port most likely once we have our boat.
I have followed you as you started looking for a boat. I found someone head smart but a bit shy on experience (like me) yet willing to dive in and take control of his life. I watched and read while you moved her home, and smiled at your trials and tribulations knowing it will be my turn soon.
I cant help but wonder, after the last few videos, if you have lost your way? Salsa and cat crap, a camera over the side ruining your day? Is this the guy soon to head off, chasing the sun, distant horizons and warm sunny climes? What of his dreams?
Who cares about the camera? I know it was expensive but are you in this to film videos for the likes of me or to get your ass out there and be free?
I want to know what charts you have been looking at, what guides, what type of compass and why? I want to know where you are headed and what you are reading and why. Any problems gearing up? Tell me. Any observations as you become more a sailor and less a landlubber? I want to hear from the adventurer I first got to know, not the house boat owner.
With all due respect, go. Be the guy and do the things you started out to do. That’s the guy I want to hear from, listen to, laugh with. Do this, because I’m going to, and it would be great to have someone to watch and learn from.
Eyes on the horizon my friend,
Hi Dave and thanks for sharing your thoughts . I actually read your message 24 hours ago but took a day to think about it before I responded. When I first read your words I thought wow this guy is an ass hole. I am just being honest here. That being said after thinking about it you are not and when I am honest with my self you are correct in many ways.
I designed Living aboard boats both the web site and the blog to be a place to document what it is like to free ones self from societies grip on our lives. Both of these venues are to share just a small part of my life to the public. I wanted to help others with similar thoughts and leanings. That being said it I different from say Drake Paragons site where he talks about sailing, charts. navigating and boat projects. It is not like Cruising Lea Lea where they talk about travel spots and exploring the oceans and coast lines. It is different then Sailing Simplicity where they do ocean research and look for Icebergs. Mine is about a guy living a simple life and living the life style. I try to relay to the public about my thoughts and feelings on what it feels like to quite my job, sell every thing I own and move in to a 200 s ft. space. I document what it is like to live with an animal on board, cooking simple foods and doing projects on the boat. I also talk about the finer things in life like a bottle of wine and great foods. It is my life and that’s how I live it.
I also talk about the journey and what I feel like from week to week.
There are many subscribers that send me emails and comments asking for more videos on cooking. I get some comments asking to see more boat projects and I also get many on wanting more sailing videos. There are many requests and some times it can get over whelming trying to answer all the comments or thinking of way to tailor the site to meet every ones needs.
Where you are correct is I need to get out and document my sailing and navigating more. I have only been out on the ocean a few times since I have had Second Wind. I have a list of excuses why but that not important now. I do need to priorities things a little more and do what is important . You are correct it is not about cooking and living with a cat. It is however not just about sailing exploring . it is about living a life as free and simple as possible and that is what I am trying to do. Thanks for your insightful comment. Curtis
Hi Curt & Dave,
Dave you have a point but you also need to consider the huge life changing events that have occurred in Curt’s life. It simply is not realistic to expect a man to shed all of the baggage of modern living within a few weeks and head out into the wild blue yonder.
I’d like to see more sailing videos but those will come this spring and summer when the season arrives here in BC. I certainly would not want to head out on a 4k mile trip without having adequate time to shake down my new boat (that is 35 years old).
Curt, take Dave’s comments as a nice reminder of the places you’ll go and things you’ll do… when you’re ready. And based on the videos and posts that I’ve seen so far, you will be ready soon.
By the way, Dave, I used to live in Depoe Bay and later in Newport. The Central Oregon Coast is one of my favorite places on earth.
Man I just watched your video where your camera went over the side, sorry to see you are so bummed when you mostly make the best of it all, I’ve been following your progress with much interest and have enjoyed your videos, We am in a similar situation where we are planning to sail offshore in two years time after near on a lifetime of dreaming, the house is on the market and we plan on living aboard once it sells until we go. Anyway keep your chin up, it’s only a camera although you do great work with it and I hope you find a way to replace it, Good luck and keep up the great work.
Cheers Steve Liv.
Hi Steve, Thanks for the message and reading my blogs. Yes it was a real bummer to lose my camera. I was actually more upset with my self because I had this thought some thing like that could happen and I never did any thing about it. That being said it is just a camera and although it was upsetting I am over it now. I can bounce back pretty good. Life’s lessons. It is not about the camera gear but about the journey. Thanks again for watching and reading,
Sorry to hear about your camera. Expensive mistake! Hey, we’ve all been there! You know, you are doing something that most of us can only dream about. You are on the boat, you live your life on your terms. Each day you get up and are privileged to have a boat, beautiful scenery and unlimited possibilities out on the water. I’d be pissed off if I float tested my camera too, so you’re entitled.
As for the cat, well I’m not a cat person. I have a cat, it’s my daughters and we have had her for nearly 16 years. I don’t care what you feed them or what kind of litter you use, when they crap, it is the foulest, most ungodly smell known to man. The best thing you can do is scoop it up and get it out of there as soon as you can.
Not sure about your cat, but mine is now dis-inclined to cover her crap anymore. Not sure if its her age or what, but she now leaves these shinny, steamer turds right on top of the litter for us all to enjoy.
Good, luck with the cat thing…I’m sorry I can’t be a help in that area.
Thanks for your condolences on the camera. I am over it now and have moved on. I will use the iPhone I have and see what the future holds.
Now the cat thing. this beast is over 18 years old with no signs of slowing down. She always seems to know when to leave me a gift. Right in the middle of dinner or when I have a date over. Usually it is around 5 am when I am sleeping and she wants me out of bed to feed her. Mine too has stopped covering her little putrid presents. I wonder if cats can swim Perhaps she can dive down and get my camera. Just wondering.
Oh and by the way, your first instinct about Dave was right! He is an ass hole.
18 years young, wow now that’s old for a cat, ” I think”. You could always try and float test her. lol Hey, hand on to that iPhone…we like to see the vids. Good luck Curtis, with the cat and the camera.
Ever see the movie Capt Ron, Remember the part where he let go the anchor and really let go the anchor. The bitter end of the rode went right through is fingers. Well he taped some bricks to the shoes of the swab and tied a line around his wast. Maybe you could rig up something similar for the cat and camera.
Hi Mark, Good idea about Captain Ron. Here kitty kitty
I have cats too. One is 16-17, and is like yours in the not burying issue. However the smell isn’t to horrid. I feed any completely grain free foods I decide to try this week/month. I also have two dogs, one is 12, the other is 9 today (April fools dog! lol). Scuff’s (the 12 year old dog’s) hair started falling out about 6 years ago, in the middle of a 20deg F week. His hair was falling out in clumps like spring, in the middle of blizzards. I took him to a vet, but they wanted $1000 to run a full blood workup. Instead I dropped all grain. It worked so well, that I did it with my cats too. I’m not saying it’s pleasant smelling even now? Just that it’s not nearly as foul. My theory is/was,.. Cats and Dogs are not built to eat grain. Plain and simple. Next thing I found was my cat prefers soil to litter. So much so that using cheap used potting soil or yard dirt stopped her marking corners and furniture (Not to mention cheap).
So, I look forward to her demise in many ways because she is NOT a friendly cat. More something I did that still haunts me 17 years later (She has a fetish for eating aluminum foil too! I thought it’d kill her, but NOPE!).
Lastly, and I feel terrible saying it, But,… My Aunt’s Orange tabby lived and was pretty healthy,.. 29 years!!
So, even as a Non religious man,…Let us pray! lol
I was laughing my ass off until I read the part about your Aunts cat living for 29 years. I looked at my cat when I read that and screamed nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!
I see the ham radio, looks like a Kenwood. Are you a ham or is that just for email? If you are a ham what bands/nets do you frequent. KM4OC is my call and I would like to meet you on the air.
I really enjoy your videos, just wish I had found them sooner, could have saved you lots of worry with the stove. LOL
All the best,
I am not a ham guy yet but I have one. It came with the boat. The stove has proven to be challenge. I am going to replace the burners to get a cleaner burn.
You’ve been pretty quiet Curt. Are you out taking a nice cruise thru the islands??? Getting that time of year for sure!
Just taking it easy over the last few days. No time lines
Hi Curtis! I have been watching your latest videos since I have been searching after some “living aboard” videos on youtube and I really enjoyed them. It’s a matter of fact that I bought a wooden ketch and I am restoring it planning to go in a ten’fifteen year trip witch suppose to start in 2020 when I will be forty. It’s a big work to caulk the hull and I still have to re-deck the boat, repair the rouf and entirely re-equiped the 30 foot boat. It is really nice to see how you find out lots of things. I am really concern with the questions of budget and organisation belonging to the life when you have such plans. One more thing: I have the luck that my boat stay now in a wherehouse wich belong to a non-lucrative association in Le Havre in France and really hope that will continue this way to store the boat because it will cost me really more if a I ad to move it from where it is. Kind regards. Julien
It is so hard to come up with an expected budget for living aboard in a foreign country. I meet a couple from Seattle Washington. They live aboard their boat in Mexico. I asked them what it costs to Live in this third word country? They said for the two of them it costs $500 per total. That includes all food, personal items and beer. so for one person you would be looing at around $300 to $350 dollars per month. This excludes boat repairs and flights home. In Canada it is about $700 if you live on the hook.
I do know people living aboard in Panama and they get world by doing charters for cash. Fixing and making canvas items and doing small engine repair. They live on about $8000 a year. He gets his fruit from the jungle, fish from the reef and other item from the super market. not a bad life
Good luck it sounds like you are on an amazing journey. Keep me informed of your progress
I am very curious…where did you winter in the water and manage to survive this brutal Canadian winter? When I think of living aboard in Canada it is the ever present challenge. It was -30+ where I reside…there is a local sailing company that kept their boats in the water with bubblers but no one lived on them!!
In my part of Canada the ocean does not freeze. so the problem of ice is non existent. It does get cold for about 3 months and it was a challenge to stay warm. Between electric heaters wool blankets and warm cloths I managed to stay warm.
I’ve got a perspective on that! My wife and I are living on our 43′ steel Bruce Roberts Ketch just outside of Toronto. The winter of 2013-2014 was our first. You’ve heard of ‘trial by fire’? Ours was ‘trial by ice’! Actually, all in all we fared quite well. Other than our ‘bubbler/ice eater’ crapping out at the start of February we did ok. We got frozen in tight for most of February, and March. The only damage was to the paint on the waterline. We are in the middle of a major refit so a bit of paint damage is the least of our worries:)
Anyway, at the risk of making it appear that I’m hijacking your blog, if you want to see a bit of video I made this past fall and winter check out my videos. They are nothing special, just a few 5-6 minute video diary entries. You can start here http://youtu.be/KAjC3cgHIJo
Hopefully one day we will get to bring Goshawk to BC via the Caribbean, and the Panama Canal. Heck, the way things are going, maybe we’ll end up going via the ‘North West Passage’!
Anyway, excellent blog:)
I have actually watched your video vlogs in the past. We never had that much ice in my area but I know what it feels like to like in the cold. I tell people that living a sailing boat in the winter is like living in a ice bath. We are surrounded by water. It a great life and even in the cold months.
I just found your site. Very nice. What did you decide about your windlass? Which model do you have? With our SeaTiger 555 we get about the same that you reported. Manuals are about mechanical advantage, not speed. !
Hello Captain Curt,
I’ve been enjoying your videos for a few months now. Have seen them all and eagerly await new ones.
As per your lighting problem, a good place to start troubleshooting is at the panel switch.
1: See if the switch is good. With multimeter set to Ohms, set the switch to the on position and check for continuity between to two switch terminals. If none, bad switch, easy fix.
2: With multimeter set to DC Volts, in the 12 volt range, connect the negative lead to a 12 volt negative source you know has continuity to the battery. Check both terminals of the switch there should be 12 volts to one of the terminals. If not, your problem is between the switch and the batteries. Possibly a bad connection; cut wire, loose or corroded termination.
3: If 1 and 2 are both good and the circuit is compleatly dead then problem is between the switch and the first device in circuit, or the negative connection i from the battery is bad.
Hopefully this gets you to the problem quickly, if not email me.
Inside Journeyman Wireman,
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Retired)
Hi Bruce and thanks for the helpful information. I am going to tackle and conquer this electrical system. today I am taking the panel off the fuse panel and getting out the volt meter. I will document it in my next blog so you can get an idea on how things progressed.
Well, after having watched your videos, I’m very happy to see someone showing things as they are on a sailboat!!
I’m a sailor as well, and my wife and I just bought our final boat which hopefully will take us around the world. As your ‘My second Wind’, our Blue Moon, a Corbin 39 center cockpit, is paid for.
We share your way of looking at “freedom”. If all goes well, we will be there in a few years. Since this is not our first rodeo (we restored a West Indies 36), please feel free to contact me with questions. It would be my pleasure to be able to help.
What I enjoy most about your videos is your positive personality. Often you will see captains irritated and overwhelmed by the attempt to restore a sailboat. Seeing you taking it a challenge at a time, and keeping your cool, is very refreshing!!
Hello Ernst and thanks for watching my videos and reading my blog. I love the life style and always wish that more people would embrace it and try to live as free as possible. I still find it interesting how many people look at my life style as odd or different. it amazes me because I think most people would be better off trying to live as free as possible. Each day brings the simple things to life and the more I embrace this ay of life I seem to realize it is more and more for me. Cheers and good luck in your adventures..
Thank you so much for your kind words. Once you stick you head out of the box, it doesn’t take long to completely leave it!!
If I may, I have a suggestion concerning your videos. I found that not all of your videos are on your web page. When searching for them on youtube, it’s hard to find/view them in chronological order. Could you just put a numbering system into the title of the video like #27? It would make it much easier to view them in order.
Thanks for the message and I took your idea to heart. I just added numbers to my videos to make them easier to go thru for the viewers.
Thanks for the impute.
I recently stumbled upon your videos, and have been enjoying your adventure. In one of your video logs you mentioned that your Autohelm would function for a short time and then go to standby. I have an Autohelm 3000 that does the same thing. I’m thinking that mine might be an amperage issue but have not yet tested its amperage draw under load. Did you find a fix for yours? If so, your fix might work for me. I’m looking forward to catching up with the rest of your videos.
I am still not sure what it is because it works some times then just decides to shut its self off. it is really weird.
Hi Captain Curt,
Many thanks for your videos and blogs. I could not agree more with your views on freedom and life choices.
Personally I am still stuck in the rat race. My first boat adventure (ownership not sailing) went tits up and left me 20 k in the red. Since then I have been an armchair sailor, drewling over pictures and internet data about dream boats I will never be able to afford.
Your videos have truly been an inspiration and I will try to get myself out there with a healthier attitude, being a bit more realistic about choice of boat etc.
I know what you are saying about a boat putting you in the red. My Hunter Legend set me back a pretty penny and was way to expensive for me. I lost my shirt when I sold it. That being said I have come to learn that there are all sorts of boats out there and some are very reasonable. This time around I wanted to make sure I could pay cash. I wanted a boat that could take me any where if I so choose. I also wanted to spend as little as possible. It took a year and a half but I found my Westsail 32. It ticked most of the boxes. My advise to any one purchasing a boat is go cheap and take your time. A friend of mine purchased a 40 ft. Cheoy Lee for $15,000 US dollars. Amazing price. it has been 6 years and he is sailing all over the Caribbean and still fixing up his boat. As long as the bones are good and she runs then she is worth purchasing.
Long time fan of your video blog…was wondering how the whole 12v thing worked out. I was watching you attempt to trouble shoot your panel with limited success and then no follow up. Sure would like to see how that all turned out.
Glad to see you are out and sailing, it must be a great feeling to get some wind in your sails and be underway, making-way. The shots on your trip to Desolation Sound and back were great, wish they were a bit longer but still very nice. Why don’t we ever see your daughter or her friend on video?
Anyway, looking forward to the next installment, and I can’t wait to see how you tackle your couch roof project. Cheers! Fair winds and following seas.
Hi Mark, Thanks for watching the vlogs. I really enjoy doing them. They keep me motivated because I have a You tube audience to answer to. That being said I am have been guilty of not getting allot done these days. It is summer of course and I have been enjoying both the land and sea. Currently I have been working on the Air Head and the 12 volt system. I would really like to rip the whole thing out and start over but it is far to big of a project at my level of expertise. Which is very little.
I have one more video in the Desolation Sound Series then I am back to the weekly video updates of Living aboard. I didn’t put my daughter and her friend in the videos because I felt it was our time together and I wanted to keep that part of my life separate. Cheers and thanks again for watching
Glade to see you out and about. It’s good to remember why you’re doing all this in the first place. I am very familiar with the area you are sailing in, I was stationed in Tacoma on an old Mine-sweep, USS Implicit (MSO 455). Love the area, it’s nice to see the shots as it brings back lots of memories. Spent a lot of fun liberty in your neck of the woods too. Victoria is a great town, love visiting!
Best of luck with the 12 V system, I take it by your comments you haven’t solved the problem as yet. Been doing a tremendous amount of research on composting toilets myself, curious to see what you think after using it for a while. Hope there will be some video (not of you using the Airhead) lol. You know what I mean.
Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Welcome aboard. It great to chat with another live aboard. I agree I am not wasting any more time either. I have been working on my Westsail to get her ready to move aboard. I plan to be on her full time at the end of December Every one says won’t you be cold? I always say it is going to be a life style I have to get use to . Freedom is not always free we need a little struggle one in while. Check out my You tube channel as I try to post a video blog each week
That’s great to hear. Are you a young guy or retired? the reason I ask is I am always curious when it comes to earning an income long term. I my self try not to make long term plans as I have learned thru life that things never go according to plan. I will say that sailing south seems to be more and more the plan every day. I would like to sail north as well and see the BC coast up to Alaska. Time will tell.
I am 47 and have had my live aboard dream since age 15. I too have experienced friends and loved ones question my dreams but I think most either do it out of love or perhaps out of their own fear of experiencing dreams. Perhaps I will see you when I cross into the Caribbean or maybe you will be anchored in Nuka Hiva French Polynesia one day.