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.
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.
I just found this web site while looking for live aboard groups and I have to say well done. I just moved onto my Northern 29 at the end of August and even though there have been some challenges I love my decision to do this. It has been a dream of mine for many years and I finally decided not to waste another twenty years. I plan on heading south in a few years once I find the boat to do it in in the mean time I am going to love every moment of my new life and enjoy the great sailing of Lake Ontario.
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
I get the same comment over and over “Isn’t it going to be cold?” I have in-closed the deck and so far not having any issues with the cold. I am truly looking forward to my adventure and the day I set my sails towards the south.
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 46 and I have been dreaming this dream for 43 years or longer. I know that life has its way of changing and causing dreams to be put on hold. I moved aboard when I was in my early twenties and my mistake was not paying attention to my heart and I allowed people (family) convince me I was making a mistake. I won’t make that same mistake again, I work in an industry that allows me to work hard and make good money but it also allows me to take time off when ever I want (film industry). I also have people around me now that support my choices and look forward to joining me along the voyage. I would also love to sail up the coast of BC towards Alaska I would have to say it would be a true dream come true. I have a great sailing community where I am as well as a great live aboard community and its the best neighborhood I have ever lived in.
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.
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.