Life Aboard a 35-foot Sailboat in the Caribbean—on $1,000 a Month.

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Chris-Craft 35 Caribbean boat

Life Aboard 35-foot Sailboat the Caribbean—on a Month

on April 2011 by Pierce

The of retiring a Caribbean with powder-white clear blue and tranquil life is, many people, a fantasy. the expense worry about, then you to find island that’s for you.

what if told you you could to them and spend time island-hopping worrying about taxes or bills? And you could it for $1,000 a

That’s what wife Julie I did 1994. And tell you secret… You need to a lifelong or know about boats spend your sailing around Caribbean.

You need to to live dream that Buffett sings Let me In 1990 wife and took a cruise on liner. When docked in Thomas, in U.S. Virgin we were for something to do.

a whim, signed up a four-hour excursion on 36-foot sailboat. wife and had never on a before and asked the owner plenty dumb questions. by the we sailed into port knew we to live this.

As our ship left Thomas that I looked at the bobbing in Amalie harbor. I promised that in years I be down with them my own

At the I was successful commercial estate broker Houston, Texas. faced the obstacles to cruising that probably do I knew about sailing anything nautical. that wasn’t to stop

Over the four years prepared, taking baby-steps approach sailboat life. read everything could get hands on sailing and We started sailing lessons Kemah, Texas, miles from home. We sailboat vacations the British Islands with captain and And after such trips, started taking trips by

In January we chartered 35-foot sailboat three straight in the Virgin Islands. found out we really do this! we returned the U.S. started shopping a boat.

summer we a 35-foot Packet and her Shadowtime We spent weekends on boat, docked Kemah, getting to sail the Virgin in November. I an sailor by No way. back, I’m amazed at little knowledge had. But had our

For the trip I two friends; who had little sailing and one was a friend and less than did about After 18 at sea stops in West, Florida, Marsh Harbour the Bahamas, dropped anchor Jost Van in the Virgin Islands.

passage hadn’t a smooth We made real bonehead but we something new day—nautical on-the-job I flew for Christmas, wife quit job, and January 1995 started living our sailboat six to months a

For the eight years, had an ball. We 90% of time swinging the hook some of most beautiful on Earth. especially enjoyed anchored off resorts that $500 a We paid and had much better without noisy During the we would ashore to resorts, using dinghy, and the grounds enjoy the for free.

boat Shadowtime leave the until we her in We sold for $118,000, what we to buy eight years And we found out she is sale again, the same Proof that you get right boat will maintain value.

Do you to pay much money enjoy sailboat Not at We saw 20- to boats that been sailed all the from Europe. boats can purchased for to $25,000. met one German fellow had circumnavigated world twice himself in 24-foot boat. was selling for $10,000. a $10,000 can take safely around world twice, same boat certainly keep safe cruising the warm of the

We were to sell boat and really miss stressfree lifestyle. we put boat up sale we thought anyone meet our but they and with parents it time to closer to It’s so You eat meals onboard anchoring is Once we on the in the we spent $1,000 a

Getting around islands was We copied locals and the bus. a regular but most the time vans, which called maxi-taxis. much? In the local cost seven In the Virgin Islands maxi-taxi was dollar.

It seemed always knew when we into a anchorage. Sailboat stick together; quickly fi out what going on and where buy staples. can share cab with few other to take tours and to the farmers’ market. stay in in harbor the VHF You can all over Caribbean with single-side band which you not need license to

Chris-Craft 35 Caribbean boat

Our annual went something this: Return the boat the U.S. to November. four daysgetting boat ready splash, then island-hopping up Windwards and (in the Antilles).

The passage is miles and is simple: these Caribbean (except Anguilla Anegada) are so you see where are going. from Trinidad the Virgin and return Trinidad by We did three times. winter we in Trinidad really must Carnival at once) and

Today when tell people we retired a sailboat questions they are predictable. they concern safety, including getting mail health care

First on We never of any being hijacked. far as safe ashore, the same sense we use in U.S. we had a in eight When we our schedule, would have mail forwarded an island office along way, which fi ne.

far as care is we found doctors and were excellent, that the difference between and U.S. was the

The biggest to people this dream thinking that have to more nautical a larger or more before you cruising. My Take the that you and go… longer you the more current lifestyle tell you you cannot this. You Listen to dream if to a is what want.


Experience Required

get started everything you get your on about and cruising. out at docks and and go sailing Someone day sails probably charge a person.

Take sailboat This is crewed chartering, you can the boat the watchful of the The boat with a too. A vacation on 50-foot boat, from $8,000 $9,000 for to eight and covers meals. Volunteer crew. Once have a experience you offer your in return food and training aboard else’s boat.

you’ve mastered skills you do what’s bareboat chartering. other words rent a and you’re captain and A 32-foot for a will cost in the and $3,000 the prime months. For 50-footer (big for four $4,000 in summer, $6,500 the prime months. Winter the best for sailing you avoid summer rains hurricanes.


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