There is much more research and planning with a trip like this.. Initially the plan was to buy a newer sailboat and refit the ship to a blue water crusier and sail around the world for 2-3 years. But after a quick budget check, we realized that would be a major economic project in itself. At first the total turned out to be a bit over the top. We would need around €120,000, which was a bit more than we could afford, at least not without selling the apartment. Since I have fairly limited sailing experience, and Hanna has none at all, this was not the right way to go.
After a few weeks of playing around with the budget, and Hanna pointing out the fact that I allready owned a ship, I realized that the Rapier 28 could actually work. It is a bit small to be really comfortable, and is currently lacking a shower, but there are only two of us and it could be completely refitted and the interior rebuilt for about €20,000. (At least with the current budget.) But I will get into more detail on the budget in a later post.
Since our combined sailing experience is limited, I have sailed a few times in some smaller boats, windsurfed, and sailed to Denmark with my fathers boat once. Hanna has no previous experience. But there is a big difference between windsurfing and blue water sailing.
The way sailing works is the same, you need wind and a sail. But living on a boat and traveling the seven seas requires much more than you think. The more research I do, only leads me to realize that we need to learn alot.
- In Sweden for example you do not need a boating licence for any vessel that is shorter than 12m, not wider than 4m and doesn’t have an engine with more than 15hp. (If I remember correctly) There are also more rules if you carry more than a certain amount of passengers or if it is a comercial vessel. But currently, as long as we stay in Sweden, we don’t need a licence.
- If you are planning to visit an other country you may be asked for a VHF radio licence. Only one person aboard needs one, but easy to miss if you don’t think about it.
- You need to have a plan for any unexpected event that can happen while you are sailing and do practice drills. What do you do if someone falls overboard? In calm sea? In a storm? If you run out of electricity? There are a lot of things that can go wrong.
- Pirates! They are real. But not in the way that you think. Most acts of piracy are petty theft, like the dinghy being stolen while you have dropped anchor in some bay with a fantastic beach. But I have also heard of actual break-ins too. Most of the time it is non-violent, but that can happen too.
- Navigation. That should be a no brainer, but you might be surprised how foolish how many people don’t have the faintest idea of what they are doing. (Take a look at the video further down.) Sure it is simple to sail using GPS plotters and other electronic navigational equipment. But what if you have run out of electricity to use them?
- Visas, Harbor fees and other costs. In each country which we visit outside the eu, we will need to stop and check in with imigrations. Not to mention the cost of mooring somewhere were you can go visit a market to restock on supplies.
- Supplies. Will they cost the same as in my home country? Less? The same? Will the products that I am used to, be available?
There is a lot to think about. Probably more than I have listed here. But since we are doing this thing together and I will be documenting as much as I can. This can be a great trip if one is prepared. Otherwise it might turn out like this “Credit Card Captian”