The Great Wander

One Family's Journey to a New Life


Thinking about selling everything and moving to the cruising life is a big step towards not playing things safe.  There’s a lot of things that aren’t playing it safe in that lifestyle and that’s part of the draw for us.  But having said that, there’s still some things that we need to feel a little comfortable in the lifestyle.  The biggest thing to consider is money.

We will have a regular monthly income that in theory should exceed the average costs of living on a boat.  But we want to have a certain amount in savings.  We set a goal earlier this year and I thought we’d be close to that, but life being life has meant that we are going to be further from that goal than we thought we would.  So, we won’t have as much in savings as we’d like and that means that we need to make a few decisions.

Living on a boat, depending on your lifestyle, can cost between $1800 and $3000. This is less than what we think our income will be, so in general each month we ought to be operating in the black.  But boats though can be expensive to repair at times, so having some savings is important so that we can draw on the savings to buy a new sail if need be or replace the standing rigging. 

So, here’s some questions for us to consider…Do we postpone our departure by a year and continue on the current path (with some minor changes) and continue to save?  Do we change what we were thinking of for a boat, spend less on a boat, and use the difference to build our savings for boat repairs?  Should we move forward and one of us try to get a remote job, since we plan on staying close to the coast for a year or so anyway, which might actually let us build up more savings faster?  Do we buy a truck and trailer, get a remote job for year, and drive around North America for a year and invest the remainder for the year and hopefully be in a better spot to by a boat?

Every decision has pros and cons.  Waiting for an extra year, maybe the housing market tanks and we can’t get as much boat as we want anyway, but at the same time, we have more in savings.  If we buy a little less boat, maybe we don’t have the creature comforts we’d hoped for, but then we’re on the water and living differently…seeing the stars in ways that we have never experienced before.  Get a remote job (which is harder than it sounds) you don’t have as much time to devote to learning sailing, but you are building more savings.

There’s a lot of decisions to be made and all three of us have to be comfortable with where we are on those decisions.  Generally, in relationships, you look for compromise, but many of these decisions really are zero sum decisions.  We either sell the house next spring or we don’t.  We either buy a boat next spring or we don’t.  There might be some middle ground on what kind of boat…but really these are decisions that we all have to be able to live with.  At the same time, it’s only October.  A lot can happen in the next 30 weeks.

One response to “Decisions…”

  1. My dad and stepmother loved the sailing life so they moved to St Thomas in ‘93 and moved onto a boat. However, he had a job doing real estate appraisals and she did submarine tours. A hurricane in destroyed their dinghy and drove the boat into the mangroves. They ended up selling the boat and moving into a condo on St Croix. Not sure what year. We visited them in St Croix before Ed died. They did find that sailing had become very expensive and they needed their backup jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

An English diarist and naval administrator. I served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament. I had no maritime experience, but I rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, diligence, and my talent for administration.


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