Now we have a nice hefty deposit for our future retirement boat. Whatever boat that turns out to be.
OK, we do still have a place to sleep. But, we've finally gotten rid of our houses in Colorado and Washington State. The Washington house fortunately sold quickly. We had an accepted offer within three days. The closing went off without a hitch and we were excited to have some of our boat deposit in our hot little hands. And then, came time to sell our Colorado house. This was not fast, or even smooth. It took a few weeks to receive an acceptable offer. Then the closing was delayed several times. Nothing was easy. But, it's finally done! Now we no longer have to deal with any of the hassles of owning rental property remotely. No more calls about tall grass, HOA dues, or yearly taxes. There is a weight lifted off our shoulders and we can relax a little. You never know how the sale of a large asset like a home will go until it's all done. We have owned 4 homes over our lives, so this is not the first time we've done something like this. It is however, the first time we were doing a couple at once. At the same time we're selling two homes we're selling all our possessions, moving into a small apartment, looking for our retirement boat, traveling for work, and still getting to Starjewel when we can squeeze in some time to take her for a sail. Needless to say, it's a busy time for the crew of Unwritten Timeline. It will all be worth it in a few short months.
Now we have a nice hefty deposit for our future retirement boat. Whatever boat that turns out to be.
Lisa and I have been extremely busy the last few weeks. We moved all our furniture to the first floor of our house. We put a price tag on everything. Everything must Go! And, it did. You never realize how many possessions you have until you start pricing every glass, every trinket that has a memory attached, and every piece of furniture you bought to fill your four bedroom house. Needless to say it took awhile to get it all accomplished. We would work for a couple hours every night when we got home from work until it was time to get ready for bed.
Then the estate sale weekend finally came. The first weekend we sold almost all our furniture and about 40% of our other household decor. The goal was to finish the sale and get rid of everything in one weekend. We advertised in all the Facebook yard sale groups for the area, Craigslist, and hung signs all over the housing areas. However, we still needed another day for the sale. The following Saturday we opened for 4 more hours and managed to get rid of all the furniture except for our bedroom suite. About 70% of our other things were gone, but it still wasn't everything. We still had several boxes of books, records, candles, vases and all the little things that you accumulate over 20 years. Some items went to 2nd and Charles (used media and book store) for a mere pittance. We donated an entire 12' enclosed trailer of clothes, and other odds and ends to Goodwill. We still have about half of a 12' trailer to be stored in Ohio along with three tuff boxes that we'll take to Florida. The tuff boxes are filled with things we want to have on Unwritten Timeline, but won't fit on Starjewel. Our good friends Brad and Britney live close to where we'll be going to school for our Captain's license when we're living in Florida next year. We'll be based out of Stuart, Florida for the start of our circumnavigation so it works out perfect to keep a couple things at their place until we're ready to take off.
Overall the estate sale went as well as it could have. We didn't clear enough to completely fund our down payment, but it's a good start. Some of the items that we donated to Goodwill could and hopefully will be put to good use in the community. It also gives us a healthy tax deduction and that's ALWAYS a good thing. Another positive is we now have less stuff. There were so many things around the house we had forgotten about until we were displaying it all for the estate sale. All of our remaining belongings, to include the items going to Ohio for long term storage and the stuff we're taking to Florida, fit in the bed of our truck and in the 12' trailer. Not too shabby considering we started with a 4 bedroom house full of stuff.
Our current apartment is less than 700 sq. ft. and we have plenty of floor space available. When we finally move aboard Starjewel, in about 9 months, we should be able to sell or donate the few possessions we have left and get aboard. This apartment is a way for us to get a good feel for our retirement boat. We have less than 700' now and Unwritten Timeline will be a little less than that. This move brings us one step closer to being full time liveaboards.
Be sure to check out our video on our sale
Well it's that time of year again. We're looking forward to doing our taxes and reviewing our yearly budget for owning a 32' sailboat for weekend get aways. We have been keeping tabs on what we spend in the hopes that it will help us plan for when we live aboard. We have just over 1 year left before we finally leave our slip in Pecan Grove for good and we want to make sure we know how much it's going to cost us to have this adventure.
We were actually pretty close to last year's monthly spending. In 2015 we averaged $2,118.46 a month and $2,144.52 in 2016. We did have a pretty significant refit in 2016 when we hauled out at Sailcraft Service Marina. Along with the myriad of projects completed we had some dingy davits installed for over $6,000.00. If we just remove the davit install we would be close to the $1,600.00 I was hoping to hit for our monthly average. We will be doing more work to Starjewel in 2017 to keep her ship shape for living aboard, but I don't think it will be anywhere near the investment. Hopefully 2017 will be a bit more kind to our finances as we get ready to move aboard.
You can see our 2016 yearly totals here. You can also check out our month to month breakdowns of our cost of sailing for 2015 here.
In the military we spend a lot of time planning things, usually too much time. However, there comes a point when you get close and start to execute the plan. While we were at the Miami Strictly Sail Show we toured the Fountaine Pajot 40 Lucia and decided that is going to be our boat. Or, at least, that's the 90% solution. W were ready to put down the deposit to secure our slot right then. But, afer talking to Erick the FP representative from Atlantic Cruising Yachts, we decided to wait. With our expected timeline of 2018 and the build time of 10-12 months we don't need to tie up the funds in an escrow account yet. We can have the money work for us until the time gets closer. Unless another builder does something spectacular before next year we'll be setting sail on the FP 40 Lucia.
We have been keeping tally of the costs associated with owning our own sailboat. We’re not living aboard yet, but still wanted to track expenses to hopefully give us a glimpse of what to expect. You can see our 2015 ownership costs here, and all of our years here.
We are averaging around $2100 a month in expenses for 2015. This is quite a bit more than what we were originally planning. I was planning on around $1600 for this boat since we aren’t living aboard. I don’t think I originally planned for all the maintenance we would be doing to the boat. Some of it is self induced pain. There are some things I could easily have put off for the next owner of Starjewel, but I wanted to make resale a little easier and to get the experience. Instead of wallowing in remorse I’ll list the good things we get for our $2100 a month.
The average daily rate for a sailboat rental comparable to ours is around $350 a day. If we chose to charter instead of purchase, we’d have to charter for 6 days a month to reach $2100. We have been spending at least that many days a month on the boat. With owning, we are also more likely to use our boat. If we’re paying for it we want to use it. Factoring in the costs of renting a comparable boat and we’re already breaking even. There are a lot of intangible benefits to ownership. We have learned a lot about maintenance. I worked on cars growing up and am pretty mechanically inclined, but I’ve never; ran rigging, cleaned a hull, installed a VHF, worked with multiple battery banks, or thought about vessel documentation and registration. All these problems, and more, that had to be worked through, have contributed to our ever increasing skill set for sailing.
Since we own the boat we get to see what we like and don’t like onboard. If there is something we want to try out we can. If you want to try a new mattress or change the VHF radio out, most charter companies will be a little irritated when you break out your saw to start enlarging the slot for the new VHF. When you own you can feel free to try new things. You also find things you never thought about that you love. Our boat came with a canvas cover for the companionway that snaps into place. We looked at several boats and never noticed or thought about this. This is the best thing we never wanted. It keeps the bugs out and keeps the A/C or heat inside the cabin. All without putting the slats in and out every time we go in or out. Just a couple snaps and you don’t have to mess with the doors. It is a great idea that we never considered.
There is also a different feeling of responsibility when you are on YOUR boat as opposed to one you can turn in and not worry about maintenance. If a line on your boat is chaffing you’re going to want to fix it before it snaps off sending your sail into the water.
While we’re not getting by as cheap as we’d hoped, we think we’re getting more out of it than we bargained for.
Let us know if you think it's worth it.
Well, we're selling more stuff this weekend. Lisa and I got up early this morning, had breakfast and went out for what is probably our last ride on our Harleys. It was bitter sweet. We have enjoyed riding with friends or just riding to work on beautiful summer days. I think it's hitting Lisa a little harder. She really liked the relaxing rides back from work. It seemed to just wash the day away. I guess this is just an end to one chapter of our lives. We thought about having our boat modified with a crane on the bow so we could store the bikes on the boat and take them all over the world for ground transport when we docked somewhere. But, I don't think the salt water would be too kind to the beautiful chrome and craftsmanship of HD. Also, it's hard enough to get proper registration moving from state to state. I don't want to even think of how the DMV is in Brazil, England or anywhere else. Not to mention, the tax man would probably get to vote if we could even disembark the bikes. It's all for the better though. I'm guessing a crane system would cost a pretty penny and who needs 1200lbs of bikes sitting on their bow as they crest waves in the open ocean?
We will miss our fantastic riding friends and the great community that comes along with it. Hopefully our new sailing community can make up for it. They have big shoes to fill and they don't even know it.
If you're interested in picking up the good times where we left off be sure to check out our bikes on CL or cycle trader. We even have all our gear posted on CL. If you're looking to grab these bikes I'm sure Lisa and I could be talked into one last ride for a delivery to you. Let us know.
CL Fat Bob
We have started this blog to let our family and friends know how we're doing on our sailing plans. We hope any new readers enjoy our site. Check back for the latest news.