TOP
full time sailing expectations

Full Time Sailing – Thoughts, Expectations & Uncertainties

We had one last hurrah in Texas where we carved out quality time with family, picked up right where we left off with friends and Jason served his jury duty like a good citizen. Now we’re on a mission to drive the 1324 miles from Ft. Worth, Texas to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

It’s time to get serious about sail boat shopping.  We can only do so much of it online and we’re at the point where we need to get on board and out on the water.  We’re looking for a used Catamaran and there seems to be a lot of them sitting in Florida. Our friend Pat recommended a boat broker out of Ft. Lauderdale that’s supposed to be a really nice guy (aka, not a shady salesman). Our goal is to get to FL, get on some boats and figure out what boat (and size) we think will best suit our needs and wants.

I feel like the past 5 years of being full-time RV’ers gives us a useful perspective as we’re heading into this shopping and living aboard a sail boat thing.  We’ve learned a lot over the years that should transition and alleviate some of the shock and learning curve most newbies have…or so we’re hoping.

Living in small spaces, off grid and rolling with the proverbial punches are all things we’re accustomed to.  However, it doesn’t mean we’re free from the anxiety of what’s ahead.

We’re not big planners…we’re un-planners and we don’t enjoy much of the planning process.  We like the doing part.  The learning, the experiencing and the conquering of goals is what gets us springing out of bed like we slept with a caffeine drip.

Sure, we’ve been scouring the watery depths of the internet and watching plenty of YouTube videos but we’ve still got a lot of thoughts, expectations & uncertainties swirling around in our heads.

Our Sailing / Ocean Experience

While we’ve logged hundreds of hours on the water in various motor boats over the years wakeboarding, water skiing and fishing…sailing is an entirely different adventure.

Our first time sailing was January 2013 and you can read about it here: First Time Sailing, with Pirates, in Arizona.  Since then we’ve sailed with friends in San Diego, Chicago and Charlevoix, MI.  We’ve loved each experience and it only deepened our desire to live on the water full time.

Here is the unofficial brain-dump of things we have on our mind right now.  It should be fun to come back in a few years when we’re a little more seasoned and revisit these worries and excitements.

April 2017 UPDATE!!!  We’ve been sailing and sailboat owners for one year now.  Whoop Whoop!  So, we thought it was the perfect time to come back and update our own unknown thoughts, expectations and uncertainties.  To see our one year update video, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/dream-first-year-sailors

Sailboat Shopping

  • Can we get what we want/need within our budget and have enough left over to get the boat ready for living/sailing? Things are no-doubt about to get expensive!
  • Size – We think we want around 35-40ft Catamaran, preferably closer to the 35’ size.
    • Turns out a 35ft catamaran is great for coastal cruising, but not as well suited to sailing around the world.  We landed on a perfect for us 43ft Leopard.  You can see the first time we sailed her here: gonewiththewynns.com/sweet-life-sailing-dream-boat
  • Sales Tax – We’ve heard of some interesting ways of avoiding sales tax…which is worth investigating, but we don’t want to do anything illegal or shady.
  • Insurance – How much and what type of coverage do we really need. We’ve read about a lot of cruisers that choose not to have any insurance, or print fake cards to get past customs.
  • Gadgets – Which gadgets/tools do we need right away?  Epurb VS. Sat Phone / Auto-pilot / Wifi Booster / Cell Phone Booster / Ipad apps VS. installed GPS plotters (or both).
    • Oh baby did we need way more gadgets than we ever anticipated.  One year later we’re still working on getting all the gadgets.  You can see everything our boat is equipped with here: gonewiththewynns.com/curiosity-sailboat 

Stuff To Learn

  • Knot Tying / Vocabulary
  • Safety Lessons / Sailing lessons
  • Weather / Hurricane Seasons
  • Boat Maintenance, engine maintenance
  • Man (or cat) overboard routine
  • Rope Splicing
  • Emergency Sail Repairs & Stitching

Sailing school taught us most of what we needed to know and then Kent and the team at Just Catamarans filled in a lot of the gaps.  Looking back, there isn’t anything that has happened over the past year that we felt unprepared for.  All the investments in education have proved to be more than worthy.  All of our sailing schooled and maintenance episodes can be found using the tabs on the sailing page: gonewiththewynns.com/sailing

 

Transitioning from RV to Boat

  • Selling/donating un-needed items.
    • Check!
  • Sell our little Smart Car.
    • Check!
  • Cancel our memberships (Costco, Massage Envy, AAA, etc)
    • Canceled all of those and signed up for all the boating varieties.  Tow Boat US, Dan Diver Network, ASA…
  • Slowly Introduce the Cats – life vests, tethers, carpet hanging off the boat, toss them into the water.
    • They are great swimmers but even better at being cautious.  They love lounging on the boat and like fishing as much as we do. 
  • We really need to get a tan and get into shape before we start running around in bathing suits!
    • Ha, more like buy stock in zinc based sunscreen and as for the getting in shape…we’re still working on that.
  • Buy a second Stand Up Paddle Board
    • Check!
  • Buy water tight bins to store foods and sensitive gear.
  • How much of our clothing will we get rid of?
    • Still need a variety of clothing (can’t wear bathing suits everywhere) but only a couple pairs of shoes.  
  • What Kitchen Gadgets can we fit in the tiny Sailboat kitchen vs our RV kitchen?
    • Surprisingly all of my gadgets came with along with a couple of new ones. All my kitchen gadgets can be found here: gonewiththewynns.com/store
  • Sailboat refrigerators are tiny and it’s gonna hurt leaving our residential RV fridge.
    • Yes, still miss the fridge space.

Lifestyle Thoughts

  • Finding Wi-Fi is going to be a pain in the a** and upload speeds are going to STINK.
    • Yep, stinks all the way around…get used to it!  Some places it works great, others not so much.
  • Anchoring out will be like wild camping.
    • Dead on!  Nothing beats the freedom of living life on the hook.  With our beefy anchor sleep like babies!
  • Free diving, snorkeling, surfing and fishing trips, no more hiring an expensive charter.
    • Check, check and check!  Living on top of the worlds largest swimming pool and aquarium is beyond stimulating.  Still working on my comfort level with sharks, but I’ll get there. 
  • Should our Dinghy be powerful enough to wakeboard behind?
    • We did go with a powerful motor for the dinghy and it was the right choice. Now we just need a wakeboarding sponsor to send us some gear…because we’re now broke but happy sailors. 
  • Medical care might actually be easier and less expensive abroad.
    • We’re still sorting this one out…we should know better than to put easy and healthcare in the same sentence. 
  • We’re going to make a lot of mistakes…probably ones that will cost us money.
    • Not too many costly mistakes…yet.
  • Will we have to bribe border agents often with booze and such?  We’ve read lots of stories online.
    • So far so good and all legit.  People are mostly good, especially if we go in with the right attitude. 
  • Will we find organic foods, Non-GMO, craft beer, good coffee, etc, or do we need to stock it?
    • Stock up!!!  Remote islands are not good places to shop.
  • How long before we’ll be spearing fish, grabbing lobster and cookin’ fresh crabs from the back of the boat?
    • In the first month!  
  • Is there a way to test fish for Mercury and other toxins?
    • Still not sure about this one but we haven’t searched hard. 
  • Understanding weather both visually and radio reports.
    • Sailing school covered that!
  • How long will it take to get our sea legs and get comfortable sleeping on the boat?
    • No problem at all…not even on day one. 
  • Exercise on the boat and getting in enough land time. Will it be a challenge?
    • Yes, depending on where we are, there may not be trails or long stretches of beach.  We’ve gotten used to exercising on the boat doing yoga and using our suspension bands: http://amzn.to/2qcjDqU
  • Saltwater and humidity are going to destroy our gear 2x faster. How long will our cameras/computers last?
    • It does take a toll on everything.  Computers are holding up okay but the cameras are taking a beating. 
  • Will we have any time to play between scrubbing the deck, doing boat chores, filming, editing video and writing?
    • I won’t sugar coat it…it is a ton of work and yes a lot more work than RV’ing but the rewards are worth it. 
  • Can we afford this lifestyle for more than a couple of years?  The boat alone is going to make a huge dent.
    • The boat was a much bigger hit than anticipated.  So far we’re managing and Patreon is helping a lot.  Only time will tell.
  • Is Jason going to get sea sick often?  He better suck it up and get accustomed!
    • Great success!  So far he hasn’t gotten seasick on our boat!

As you can tell we have a lot to tackle in the coming months and things should start to get pretty exciting.  We’re taking things one step at a time and we’re in no rush.  We want to make sure we set ourselves up for success, and not failure.

If you’ve got tips, tricks or recommendations…we’re all ears! Leave us your thoughts in the comment box below.

However, please refrain from the doom and gloom comments, it’s not constructive or helpful.  We are well aware of the risks, we will take sailing safety courses, we will be as prepared as possible.  We know you only warn us because you care (we love you too) so please try to share any warnings in the most positive and constructive way possible.

Equipment used to film this video:

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (239)

  • Kathy Philipp

    Hi Nikki! I love the clothes you wear. Can you tell me where you shop?

    reply
      • Kathy Philipp

        Good to know! You’ve got style 😃

        reply
  • Mike

    I was wondering why you don’t put a dare on your videos with a year. When I watch your videos on YouTube on autopsy they don’t always play in the same sequence that you post them so its quite confusing to work out where you are in your adventure.

    reply
  • You guys are soooooo good at what you do! I’m always impressed with your work and love watching your journey. This one year update is just one more stroke of genius. Keep up the good work. I hope to join you out there someday. With a wife and 4 kids, it’s an extended timeline to get there, but watching your journey helps keep me inspired as I slowly hit my own milestones.

    reply
  • David and Cynde

    We have heard that cleaning with vinegar will perseve the deck and in the galley. Keeps the shine on the countertops and deck.
    We sold the farm in TN and everything and downsized to a 43 ft RV, and boy oh boy we have learned a lot !!! It’s a learning curve!!!
    We have been RVing for 6 months and looking for the right boat for 6 months ??(our main goal to be on water ) Any info on a good broker or good insurance company to go with in FL??
    We appreciate your tip on blue water sailing schools we will check into that as well … we are like you we want the boat first then do the school, but how did that work out with insurance issues ?

    We have a ton of questions
    Thanks
    David and Cynde

    reply
  • This is so weird…my husband and I bought a 5th wheel in the US 3 years ago and just a few weeks ago started talking about sailing with a catamaran. We followed your blog when we traveled through the US for a year in 2015 and just this morning saw a vlog about you guys on youtube in your catamaran. I told my husband: this is a sign! ;-). We are going to dive into your blogpost and read about your experiences and see if we get even more enthusiastic about the idea!

    We are both in our 40s, originally from The Netherlands but have been living on Curacao (Caribbean next to Aruba) most of the year (the rest of the time we are traveling in our RV in the US or in Amsterdam, our second home). Thom as his own internet business and I’m a painter so we’re quite flexible work wise. If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, please let use know and I’ll cook you guys a nice meal! Our porch overlooks the Spanish water where all the boats are anchored.

    If you have time, I was wondering about two things:

    – How is the seasickness going? No problems?
    – Did you have to get a sailing/navigation license to sail the boat?

    Thanks and feel free to drop by if you guys are in the area. It would be lovely to meet!

    Bianca & Thomas

    reply
  • Greg Bauman

    Just an idea. Friends of ours from here in Carrollton TX had a nasty issue in Saint Maarten when some nut job tried to steal their dinghy outboard. He had lifted the cover, wrote down the serial number and tried to claim it was his. My friend was actually arrested when couldn’t provide adequate ownship papers immediately. But it worked out though and he only spent the night in jail and the other guy was arrested. So just make sure you have documentation available to prove you own everything and copies of every serial number available, just in case. Good luck. Love the vids.

    reply
  • keith brooks

    hey guys I been watching you to learn about RVs iam boater for the last 30 years an the boat is for sale now an planning to buy a rv so iam trying to learn what type of rv I want but I saw your video on yard repairs so I wanted to let you know that boat stands for Break Out Another Thousand you guys will have a ball on the water just
    be safe out there

    reply
  • Mike Post

    Hey you guys it’s Mike from enlightened Creations 34 not sure if you remember me or not but we’ve spoken a few times. We’ve shared the same interest and do the same things you do I just don’t have my blog yet LOL I want to bring something to your attention when I get your updates when you upload a new video there’s a link that’s broken that doesn’t take you anywhere. it’s to your website I get the notifications through YouTube I’ll send you a screenshot if you email me at enlightened Creations 34 at gmail.com. or you can see my post that I share of you on my Facebook which is Michael W post hi there email me or phone me there and I’ll send you a screenshot so you know what I’m talking about. Love you guys keep up the good work

    reply
  • Lynn

    Hi,

    This is a tip from my experience sailing on the ocean and not getting seasick. Simply keep eating and have a full stomach. It really helped me.

    You guys are awesome!
    Lynn

    reply
  • Holly Hooper

    Hey there Wynns & everyone else! A couple of people have mentioned a “Hard Liqueur” that is good for seasickness, but not the name. I know of two: Pernod (Anise) & Ricard (Pastis), which are basically the same thing and made by the French company “Pernod Ricard.” They are dry anise liqueurs that you add water and ice to (or at least water.) Both given to me when I sometimes felt queasy while living and sailing on a tiny French sailboat in the Med with 3 other people having the time of my life – queasiness and all! That experience turned me on to the cruising lifestyle back in the day when liveaboards called themselves “boat people.”

    reply
  • Carl Davis

    On a happier note I think it is awesome that you are concerned if your dinghy will be able to pull a wakeboarder. These are the important questions in life. Having learned on a relatively small boat we found it helped to have the boat start in a direction perpendicular to the line and wakeboarder (a longer line helps). That way the boat can get on plane before it really starts pulling hard on the rope. You just have to make sure the rope is tight the whole time so you don’t whiplash the guy. I am sure there are other ways, but that is how we made due.

    reply
  • Carl Davis

    With no personal experience I would say that ciguatera is the most immediate concern as far as fish toxins go. My understanding is pelagic fish are generally safe. Don’t eat reef fish unless you are sure the reef isn’t infected. Never eat top predator reef fish (barracudas). There are test kits, I think they are like $10 a piece. S/V La Vagabonde had a relatively minor run in with it (it can kill you or cause a lifetime of pain). I think it is pretty easy to avoid as long as you are aware of it.

    reply
  • Ron McKay

    My wife and I love boating, we sold our 44′ motoryacht last year and want to make our move from our executive lifestyle to live aboard catamaran owners. We are in our late 50’s with minuscule retirement savings. We would like to sell our one home and use that to help pay for half of our cat. Our health is okay, little overweight but we are reasonably fit.
    We read and watch your posts with excitement and say to ourselves “we can do this”. We have looked at 100’s of lagoons, leopards and fountain pajot. Your postings are inspirational so keep them coming and share with us the missed steps, problems and of course the good things.
    Hope to see you in the open water.

    reply
  • I’m interested in what kind of “hard liqueur” is used for seasickness as someone mentioned in a previous comment? Do you know if there was a specific type? We are fulltime rv’ers but own a boat that we use while we’re in the Keys. I tend to get seasick so if I have to drink hard liqueur, I guess I’ll just have to. 🙂
    We have cats ourselves so I’m interested in how to keep the kitties safe. The carpet hanging over the side is a good idea.

    reply
  • It all looks so glamorous on sunny, calm days but what happens in squalls, rough seas and hurricanes? Maybe you should experience it before making such a huge commitment. Is it really a risk:reward you can live with? A friend of mine was really into water sports – kayaking, canoeing, boarding. Having lost several friends he would often tell me how easy it is to lose your life on the water. Make safety priority #1! Best of luck, I’ve learned so much from your videos. When I’m ready for an RV I know I’ll be a much smarter shopper but swimming in a pool is as close as I’m getting to a water lifestyle.

    reply
  • Valerie

    I have been reading your blog for years. I like every single one of your advises and implemented most of them in my RV. Thank you. We are not fulltimers (yet), but own a motorhome that we use for ski bum adventures and charter sail catamarans in the summer:
    1..Finding Wi-Fi is going to be a pain in the a** and upload speeds are going to STINK. – not an issue now days
    2, Anchoring out will be like wild camping – no!!!! This is not relaxing at all, it usually means very little sleep for the captain and watches for the crew. Btw, unlike RV there should be a captain on the every boat.
    3. Free diving, snorkeling, surfing and fishing trips, no more hiring an expensive charter – Yes!!!
    4. Should our Dinghy be powerful enough to wakeboard behind? – Yes!!!! and aslo to function in higher winds/waves. 15hp is good compromise, You aslo need to be able to pick your dingy up and securely beach it without anybody’s help, so do not go too heavy. Also, do not get the one with with helm, it takes up too much space inside, heavy and make you do multiple trips when you load supplys – major pain! Also, catamarans are weight sensitive when it comes to speed, which is your safety.
    5. Medical care might actually be easier and less expensive abroad. Unless an air lift to Florida hospital is in order, you should have all supply and skills on board. You see, local clinics often look like 3rd world country barber shops (know from personal experience). Please, get skilled in emergency medical care before leaving mainland.
    6, We’re going to make a lot of mistakes…probably ones that will cost us money – you will be fine, just take it slow, RVing is MUCH faster life then sailing. But sailing is much more unsafe (the way I see it). All systems on the boat work the same as in in RV. Power management is much easier with solar/wind batteries. You do not have to worry about gray and black water. Do get a fresh water maker.
    7. Will we have to bribe border agents often with booze and such? We’ve read lots of stories online. Overrated.
    8. Will we find organic foods, Non-GMO, craft beer, good coffee, etc, or do we need to stock it? – Here you made me laugh hard! Being foodie does not go with sailing on a budget. You do not think in terms of organic, Non-GMO, craft and good…You think interms of non-perishable, proteins,carbs, water, portions, stocking up, rum… You eat 1/10 amount of vegetables and fruits that one would consider healthy. Sometimes you get to pick fruits from the trees on the streets
    9. How long before we’ll be spearing fish, grabbing lobster and cookin’ fresh crabs from the back of the boat? In a week?
    10. Is there a way to test fish for Mercury and other toxins? Sailors do not bother with this. Eat it while it is not spoiled. see #8.
    11. Understanding weather both visually and radio reports. – and compering with your own measurements every few hours and intuition and internet reports and change in wave pattern… and if you see it visually, it is too late. Do not underestimate this one!
    12. How long will it take to get our sea legs and get comfortable sleeping on the boat? – Best sleep ever, from the first day if you do not have to worry about your anchor. You might choose to sleep in the salon on the hot days as it gets much more air.
    13. Exercise on the boat and getting in enough land time. Will it be a challenge? Yes, you will have to work hard on this
    14. Saltwater and humidity are going to destroy our gear 2x faster. How long will our cameras/computers last? It will be ok.
    15. Will we have any time to play between scrubbing the deck, doing boat chores, filming, editing video and writing? Sailing is SLOW, lots of time
    16. Can we afford this lifestyle for more than a couple of years? The boat alone is going to make a huge dent. That I can not wait to hear from you! Please keep blooging! Btw, 40ft is the magic number, anything smaller makes me feel unsafe, but that is just me. Also, catamarans are very safe at high seas
    17. Is Jason going to get sea sick often? He better suck it up and get accustomed! Little bit of hard liqueur BEFORE the sea slickness may become a problem repeated at regular intervals always takes care of it for us – it is very scientific, works the same way as special pills (but no side effects) – it makes your vestibule center to relax and not over react.

    Please continue blogging!!!! Good luck!

    reply
  • Dennis

    Hi Nikki,

    I really have enjoyed your RV adventures and advice. However, the boat thing is a mistake like so many before you have discovered. I live in Palm Beach County and I know tons of people who have done the boat thing and very few that said it wasn’t a mistake. But since I predict you will ignore my advice and do it anyway, I wish you the best and hope you don’t become a statistic like so many before you.

    I don’t pretend to be an expert in boats, but I’m pretty sure a catamaran is an inland / intracoastal sailing vessel. I don’t think you can safely take them out on the high seas. When I went out Jet Skiing with friends, I remember several of them abandoned in the Lake Worth Lagoon near Peanut Island. They used to belong to people just like yourself, husband and cat.

    One last thing is that you should _always_ wear some kind of flotation device. In rough weather you should add a tether. Since you guys are fairly thin, you will likely sink like rocks without proper flotation gear. You can only tread water for so long. Here is the latest news: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-missing-boaters-stuart-deputy-20160411-story.html Such misadventures are so common I tend to ignore them. Last years tragedy was Austin and Perry.

    So whatever you do, please don’t sell your RV. You’ll want something to come home to. Buying a sailboat is a mistake that you are going to have to find out for yourself. I hope you have a bunch of good times on it to help offset all of the bad ones. Be safe, and I hope it works out for you.

    reply
    • Rick L.

      For my 50th (ten years ago), I chartered a crewed Moorings catamaran with a couple of friends of mine. It was a 47 foot cat with four cabins and four heads. What impressed me about the Moorings (aka Leopard) cats (made by Robertson & Caine) was each one is delivered from South Africa on their bottoms. And they are delivered all over the world. So, these cats can do blue water and have the delivery cruise to prove it. There are many YouTube videos of Moorings/Leopards being delivered on their bottoms. Here’s an example of a 47 foot Powercat being delivered to the Bahamas, over 6,600 nautical miles:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mtAO77SuxA

      When the Powercat 37 came out in 2008 or so, I remember watching a YouTube video of a Powercat 37 being delivered on its bottom. Same captain delivered the 37 as did the 47 above. If it’s a Moorings/Leopard, it’s been on blue water, probably lots of it. Good luck in your search. And you’re right … finding an owner’s version is really hard! That one you guys looked at was sweet. The enclosed helm station would come in handy during really nasty weather. Cannot wait for your cat adventures (boat that is) to begin. I think you two are made for the water! For training, keep Colgate Sailing School in mind. They have a great cat program:
      http://www.offshoresailing.com/

      reply
  • Nikki, I just found your site!!!! My husband and I have been nomadic RVers for three years. If you read this and are still in the Keys, drive to Marathon and buy an ice cream at a little parlor right next to the Publix and Walgreens at mile marker 50. The smiling ice cream “girl” is a happy 70 year old living on her sailboat in the Keys. She can give you and Jason a tour and has lots of info. about transferring your dream from land to water. Best of luck and you can do it!!

    reply
  • Christina

    So excited for you both, and happy to have found your youtube channel and site. We are also 36-40′ cat shopping in Florida on a budget. 🙂 Planning to move aboard and continue working on land initially. We live on the west coast of Florida but have put some serious miles on our car the past few weekends. Fair winds!

    reply
  • Doug

    I’ve found your Youtube channel and your site thanks to links to your ‘Finding a Boat’ project. Great work so far, I look forward to the rest of the adventure.

    Remember that you may need to mod your boat considerably – think solar etc. So buying an expensive yacht with lots of bling may not be ideal. You’ll loose a lot selling it due to the market difference (buying a shiny one and selling a robust, modded and well travelled one).

    In the past we read lots of sailing books, and getting a couple of good reference books is essential. These days, Youtube can help dramatically. Look at channels like this: Sailing La Vagabonde https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZdQjaSoLjIzFnWsDQOv4ww and see how they started, learned along the way and developed skills. See even how they finance the project. You can see the sorts of things that can go wrong on a fancy new fibreglass yacht and perhaps at this point anticipate some and plan accordingly.

    reply
  • Greg

    Can you explain your interest in a Catamaran and a sailing one at that? We have RV and boat cruising experience and I see a move to a coastal cruising, non sailing setup as a much more logical step. The RV life does help with some systems knowledge and adaptive living but docking, anchoring, weather, navigation, etc are only the beginning of running a home and keeping it afloat. Something seemingly simple like corrosion has its own painful learning curve as well. A single engine trawler with decent range would go long way in teaching you about all of the non-sailing aspects of life afloat and bring your skills up for the next level if you decide to go there. Sport boat to 40+ft sailing rig is a much bigger leap than it would seem. Like pup tent – class A pusher.

    reply
  • Trevor

    Enjoy your new adventure with sailing. One piece of equipment you must have onboard is an AIS (automatic identification system). It transmits valuable information about your vessel to other vessels nearby and helps them see you and you see them, even in restricted visibility. I currently sail on container ship that transits the Caribbean and see many small vessels without one. It is much harder for you to been seen by sight and radar without an AIS. I personally have radioed other ships to alert them of a small vessel nearby because they didn’t see it. This is probably the most valuable piece of equipment you can buy for your catamaran. Also consider reading the USCG “rules of the road” to better understand your responsibility and the responsibility of other ships on the ocean or inland waterways. Fair winds and following seas.

    reply
  • You have both inspired me to take a sailing class this summer! Thank you!

    reply
  • One comment I can provide is make sure, even with “un-planning” to plan and know the “terrain.” Ocean sailing can involve scary reefs, especially in the great spots to go. Be prepared to know how to quickly reef a sail ( reefed jib only in bad storms).

    There is a lot to learn with sailing. Sailing classes can be a lot of fun and teach you how to best utilize the sails. Using a spinnaker is a lot of fun but takes some experience (and a strong neck) to fly the “kite”.

    Have fun! I have done a few Mackinac races (Port Huron to Mackinac) in Michigan. Being out at night is spectacular, you can see so much more of the sky!

    Love your RV adventures! We are just getting or toes wet with blogging our adventures in farming and rving!
    Julie @ livelifefarm.com

    reply
  • You can do it, but start slow. We moved aboard and cruised on our boat with no experience 5 years ago. Chesapeake Bay is a great place to start in the summer time, then try the ICW down to Florida, Keys, Gulf Coast, then try crossing Gulf Stream and the Bahamas. Baby steps. Don’t plan on circumnavigating (at least not yet). Oh and get unlimited Tow BoatUS.
    Boating is expensive, even if you do all the work yourself.
    Best of all, have fun and enjoy.

    reply
  • Elmo Harris

    The best advice I can give you is don’t listen to anyone. If you listened to all the advice I’m hearing here you will just end up scaring yourself and never get off the dock and what kind of adventure would that be? I’ve met too may people who ended up scaring themselves so badly that they got dock rot and did nothing. You’ve got this, now get going!

    reply
  • david chapman

    keep the costco membership and add a sams club

    reply
  • Hi Guys – Have you read “Bumfuzzle – Just Out Looking For Pirates” by Patrick Schulte ? This is a true story about Pat and his wife, a youngish couple from the midwest, who quit their jobs, bought a sailboat and sailed around the world for 4 years. Their experiences might be interesting for you before you embark on your next adventure. Enjoy!

    reply
  • Stephen Keith

    Enjoyed your RV’ing videos. Now that you’re about to venture into the sailing phase, you are going to get more advice than you actually want or need from every sailor you come across. Having circumnavigated the globe twice over an 8 year period, was the best time of my life. The thing about advice is, nothing anyone says will actually prepare you for what you will encounter while at sea. Only actual sailing experience will build the confidence you need, and that will take time. Every sailor has gone through this learning process and you will too, there’s really nothing to be afraid of, you’ll overcome your fears by building your confidence with experience, just as you’ve done with your RV experience. Enjoy yourselves and I look forward to watching the videos of your experience.

    reply
    • Elmo Harris

      The best advice I’ve read so far!

      reply
  • You must know the Bumfuzzles, right? They went around the world in a cat, and are now traveling in an old Travco RV. We are full-time RVers doing art shows with our handmade jewelry.

    reply
  • IF YOU TWO DON’T MIND AND WOULD SEND ME SOME SPECIFICS ON YOUR PERFECT CATAMARAN I THINK YOU’RE LOOKING IN THE 38′-42′ RANGE I THINK $300K RANGE BUT SINCE I LIVE WITHIN THE AREA OF MANY FINE YACHT BROKERAGES I WOULDN’T MIND DOING A SEARCH OR SO TO SEE IF I CAN COME ACROSS SOMETHING FOR YOU. IF I FIND SOMETHING THAT WILL SUIT YOUR NEED’S I’LL JUST SEND YOU THE LINK OR INFO AS YOU TWO HAVE REALLY HELPED ME ON WHAT RV DECISION AND QUESTIONS I’VE NEVER HAD THOUGHT TO ASK AS A DREAMER AND A NEWBIE. SO LET ME KNOW AS I’D REALLY LOVE TO HELP. THANK YOU.

    reply
  • I can see you’ve received lots of advice. We cruised for about five years (sailed 15 yrs total) and now RV (age). I loved being on the boat – transitioning to the RV has been an issue to me even though I raised my kids camping and love the outdoors.. Life is simpler on a boat, stuff you listed in your transitioning won’t matter that much once you’re on board. I cooked great meals on my boat – my galley was more efficient than the one in the RV. I loved the reefer (frig) – deep – a lot more room than you think. I maintained a daily blog while sailing, wifi isn’t that hard to find. Sickest I have ever been was on my own sailboat crossing the Gulf Stream. I learned to take the med the night before going off shore and then the day we left. It has to be in your system BEFORE you leave. I purchased my from the Bahamas – Sturgeron – can’t get it in the US to made sure I had plenty on hand but only took it when we first went off shore. Once I was on the boat for a day or two, I was accustomed to the rolling and didn’t get sick. Sleeping on your boat at anchor is the best. Weather – be patient and learn how to read the weather – lots of great sites, we used http://www.passageweather.com and never ran into a problem. The problem with the crossing mentioned above was because we jumped off too soon. Sailing is a patient lifestyle. Simpler than RV’ing. Less stressful being on the water than on the roads! It can be a passion. It was mine.

    reply
  • Dirk Van Essendelft

    Ive been a sailor my entire life and been out on both day sailing and ocean going yachts. Yes it is a LOT of fun, but it is also a LOT more expensive and riskier than RVing in almost every way. I don’t want to discourage you, none should go into this kind of thing naive either.

    While it is definitely cool to pull up to a beach on a beautiful day, it is also absolutely terrifying to be caught in an unexpected squall (which has happened to many who spend a lot of time on the water including me). You are taking your life into your own hands every time you go out. Bad stuff can happen really quickly on a sail boat and if you don’t know what your doing you can get into life threatening trouble in seconds.

    At the very least please take sailing lessons and charter a boat for a summer before you commit to buying a boat and going out on your own. its not that expensive to charter a boat for a few months and my experience has been that your annual maintenance and dock fees will at least be that much for a comparably sized boat depending on where you charter.

    Ocean sailing (more specifically blue water sailing) isnt something somebody should just jump into with no experience. There’s nobody to help you if you get into trouble and often the coast guard can take several hours to respond. You have to be self sufficient and confident in your abilities to do this safely. That only comes with experience and a lot of money.

    reply
    • Karen

      What Dirk said. Plus, I find myself worrying about your kitties A LOT. Wonder if maybe finding them a temporary co-human/home while you guys tackle the major work (and learning the ropes, ha!) of living aboard might not be a bad idea?

      reply
  • John

    I’m sure you have considered the inland waterways of the U.S. and Canada but just wanted to say there are probably 2 to 3 years worth of rivers and canals that are inexpensive and weather and pirate safe to travel with lots of history. The New York canal system alone is 600 miles and just about free. I have also traveled the historic Rideau canal near the Trent Severn waterway in Canada. All of the waterways around the whole country are pretty much connected inland. Just a thought!

    reply
  • Tom

    I’m a retired Air Force weather forecaster and I’m also a Ham radio operator and can offer you guys some insight on both weather and communications over the airwaves.

    reply
  • Its funny how I found your website a few years back. And you guys are going the opposite direction we went. We were full time live aboards from 2005 to 2010. After arriving a shore in Tampa, FL we decided to try out RVing. I found your website and it was very helpful back then. Funny thing seeing you guys going the exact opposite direction we have done. I was working full time during out boating experiences and I am still full timing with the RV thing. I would love to go back to sailing on our Hunter 460 but the cost was way more expensive than RVing. We did a lot of “staying on the hook” while travelling by sailboat so dry camping comes real natural for us.
    As for internet back then? It was terrible. But things have changed I would recommend going with Verizon based internet up the ICW.
    You have to go to the Bahamas at least once. Abacos is a good start. You will have to use Batelco for cell and internet while in the Bahamas. It works almost anywhere.
    As for hardware on your sailboat? A good GPS chart plotter is worth every penny. The next thing is radar. It had saved us many times in thick pea soup fog and at night with large container ships on auto pilot (we are a sleep at the wheel) ships. Some boaters will swear by water makers but we never got one. We figured out how to use our decks as a water cistern. Water is 50 cents a gallon in Bahamas so figure out something good before you go that way. A stand alone VHF radio that is water proof is a valuable tool while ashore a lone. Its always nice to hear your boat name dragging anchor when your on shore. (not funny). Good foul weather jackets are must because the weather never cooperates while your travelling. I still have mine in the RV which comes in handy when it pours down. A good hard bottom dingy with a 15hp outboard is going to be your car for getting ashore. We had 2 dogs so it was shore time twice a day. And there are some real bad shell shores in GA and SC.
    If you have not bought your boat, a low mast (anything below 55′) would be optimum for travelling the ICW. Your “draw” should not go below 5.5′. We drew 5.5′ and we scraped a lot. We also had a single hull which a lot different from your double hull cat. You will have more space but your “blue water” travelling will be real rough if its not calm and flat.
    I can go on for ever so if you want to know anything in your new adventures I would love to pass them along. You guys helped me get started in RVing so I would love to pass the help along to you.

    David
    s/v Second Wind

    reply
  • Sheila Hagadone

    A lot of sea sickness is due to an inner ear problem. If, in fact, that is the case, Jason can’t “suck it up & get accustomed”. May I suggest he go to a doctor & get medication for sea sickness before going out to sea. Just a thought……

    reply
  • Dennis in Florida

    Congratulations on your decision. Properly prepared, you will enjoy the life style. Everyone has suggestions they feel are important as do I.
    1. In my experience and given enough time, all electronics eventually fail. Learn how to navigate using the stars and sun. Also take a Coast Guard Auxiliary course on seamanship and coastal navigation.
    2. Take community college courses on the mechanical equipment you have on board. If you are going to go true ocean cruising you will need to be more self-reliant than you ever have before. Diesel engine and outboard engine repair came in handy for me. I learned how to repair electrical and non-circuit board electronics.
    3. Carry spares for all filters, certain engine parts like water pump impellers, autopilot, etc.
    4. Protect yourself. Find a recommendation for a marine surveyor that has no connection to the sales facility or the previous owner.
    I loved living on my boat and have many great memories of our cruise destinations. I hope the best for you also.

    reply
  • hello guys saw the boat shopping video. Of course I had to then watch other sailors vids also. The guy southern cross I thought had some very good talking points about buying the right boat for yourselves. I picture mainly Caribbean island hoping and close to coast sailing as being what you are interested in. Resolute sets sail doing the west coast looked pretty cool also. good luck and happy shopping.

    reply
    • Hey guys! We plan to start close to shore with some island hopping then who knows where the seas will take us. The world is literally our oyster 🙂

      reply
  • Adam

    Hey guys! I’ve been following your adventures and living vicariously since I stumbled upon your channel a while back. My wife and I hope to live a similar lifestyle one day. However, we envisioned going off grid more on a sailboat that anything. My recommendation for y’all is to subscribe to SV Delos on YouTube. Brian did what y’all are attempting years ago. If you have the time, start watching his videos from the beginning. You’ll learn A LOT about going off grid on a sailboat and living on your own schedule. Enjoy!

    reply
  • It will be a great adventure and I think a reasonable progression from RVing. I am a Naval Architect/Marine Engineer (Boat Designer) who has cruised around the Carribean and then US to New Zealand. It is a GREAT lifestyle, but it isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. A common definition of cruising is fixing your boats in exotic places, and in my experience this is very true. I am lucky to have a great mechanical and electrical engineering background so often found myself helping other boats as well, but even with those skills, parts are often times difficult to get and experienced service technicians even harder. Reverse Osmosis watermaker is A MUST! Get a big one. We power our big 1800 GPH unit off inverters so can run with either the genset or main engine running (would deplete batteries quickly without some charge going in), but if you have enough solar which isn’t hard on a cat, you might be able to make water without an engine running. Being able to wash the boat, do laundry, take showers, etc. is a great luxury. Satellite internet isn’t as expensive as it once was and is quite fast. Probably still too expensive for Youtube uploads, but it is doable. You can read my review of two different systems at http://www.panbo.com/archives/2009/10/voj_satellite_broadband_testing_2_the_install_.html You can also find a tutorial at panbo.com I wrote about Saildocs, a free weather file e-mail service (http://www.panbo.com/archives/2008/06/saildocs_a_gram_schweikert_tutorial.html). You can read about our trip to NZ at vofj.blogspot.com

    reply
  • Kevin and Amy

    What a logical choice : Cruising, It’s an amazing way to continue the journey. We did our dream a little over 20 years ago and are hoping to return to the lifestyle after a “teardrop” excursion to to Alaska. We came across your blog while researching that adventure. Keep in mind that the Bahamas are very accessible and much of your elective equipment considerations can be put off till your actually out in the cruising grounds and your actual needs surface. Your years doing off-grid RV’ing will be invaluable making an adjustment to cruising. Our inspiration of what was required to go cruising was Robin Lee Graham’s book, “Dove” . Our mantra was what did Robin need? Saved us $ big time! Don’t be afraid of older glass boats. We, my wife and I, are amazed at the deals available. Last but not least…. don’t over complicate the objective. You already have most of your answers, credits are transferable 🙂

    reply
  • Anthony R

    I’ve enjoyed following you for awhile now.Reading the excellent advice from many of the people writing in this section. I wish both of you all of the best. I’m sure you will be solar powered on the water but also look into have a water desalinator installed on board. Plus have a hand held desalinator for the life raft. Redundancy on the water is a smart thing. I’ve owned several boats and lived aboard for awhile. Nothing as adventurous as you are planning. I look forward to following both of you on your future endeavors.

    reply
  • Dale Offret

    I am a licensed Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) operator from Texas. I like to share with other how technology can help them in specific situations. On the water, reliable communication over long distances is near impossible or expensive. Obviously a Satellite phone will get you a connection to whomever for $2.00 or more per minute. Plus the expense of equipment purchase and monthly subscription fees. While not a sailor myself, I found it interesting how others were using equipment to send small messages for free over “fair distances”.

    Many sailboat owners traveling to exotic ports become Amateur Radio licensed. The license is universally accepted within most countries with reciprocating transmission privileges.

    A popular “volunteer” service is WinLink. Volunteer coastal stations around the world setup automated equipment in their home or place of business to assist sailors in sending small text emails and attachments up to 100 miles away over the water.

    Note: Amateur Radio is prohibited from transmitting conversations or “data” of a commercial nature. Example, if I run a taxi company, I can’t dispatch my drivers using Amateur Radio frequencies. I could us my radio to connect to a “telephone enabled” radio (autopatch) to order a pizza from Dominos.

    “That sounds nice Dale, but I may need to send an email that contains commercial information, etc.” In that case SailMail would be a ready alternative. Subscriptions around $250 per year get you started.

    While Team Wynn gets many suggestions, I wanted to give back in a small way. I have enjoyed all your travels. It has been a childhood dream of mine to own and travel in an RV, but a large family and life delayed that dream. You both have given me courage to not “give up” on my dream.

    Finally, two links for starter reference information about Winlink and Sailmail:

    https://winlink.org/content/thank_you_note_mid_pacific
    http://www.oceannavigator.com/March-April-2015/Do-you-copy/

    73s,

    KD7SSL
    Dale from Texas

    reply
  • We would love that! Good luck with the shopping!

    reply
  • John Kenney

    Now would be a good time to become licensed amateur radio operators! Yes, there are specific frequencies for maritime communication, but unless you’re a licensed ham radio operator, you’re missing out on a primary means of emergency communications and lifelong camaraderie. You still have to pass a simple test to get started, but the requirement for learning Morse code is no longer part of the entry process. At minimum, add it to your list of things to investigate before you set sail. You’ll be glad you did. Good luck! May fair winds and following seas be with you during all of your adventures!

    John
    (licensed amateur radio operator since 1976 – WB5NFC)

    reply
  • What a great adventure you are about to begin! First I think you need to fully decide on what kind of cruising you really are going to do. If you are sticking to coastal waters, intercoastal, etc. or do blue water cruising and make great passages. No one boat serves all of these different types of uses. You’ll find boats meant for coastal cruising are significantly less expensive than blue water boats. Also, don’t worry about weather – you can get XM/Sirrius satellite weather information overlayed onto your Garmin chartplotter – really handy and safe. Eventually I’ll get a cruising boat to do passages, but for now, I got a trailerable trawler to explore the many lakes, rivers and intercoastal waterways around our country. You can see what I opted for on my blog. I think it’s a good transitional experience between the RV and full-time cruising. You could even experience what they call boater-homing. Good luck in what you decide!

    reply
  • Dale E. Baker

    Some suggested good reading / research for you. “The Annapolis Book of Seamanship” by John Rousmaniere. Any and Everything by Nigel Calder, such as “Nigel Calder’s Cruising Handbook”, “Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual”, “Diesel Engine Repair”… “Chapman Piloting – Seamanship and Boat Handling”. These are good reference books to have on board, and much to be learned about boat handling, anchoring, weather, safety….
    We’re doing the reverse of you. Still working full time as an RN after retiring from the Air Force. Been sailing New England / Long Island Sound and the Bahamas for 15 years. Plan on retiring to our new-to-us 40′ motorhome and following your paths in two more years. Good Luck and Fair Winds.

    Dale & Cindy Baker
    2001 Holiday Rambler 40′ Diesel Pusher
    1995 Catalina 34′ Sailboat
    100 ton USCG Licensed Master (Captain)
    MSgt, USAF Retired

    reply
  • Team Wynn,

    You are headed down a path well-blazed, as you are seeing in these comments.

    Most of these recommendations are good and I won’t repeat them.

    Except for these:
    1) Try before you buy. Head down to the BVIs and charter one or more boats on your short list. Live on them for a while. Take notes. (The sailing there is as easy as it gets. You’ll also get exposure to the local cruising community and, as noted in a prior comment, that will be your new tribe.) Renting is a *great* way to get a taste of this new life and will be money very well spent.

    2) When you’re ready to move beyond the coast and the Caribbean, I highly recommend you contact John Kretschmer and book a passage with him to get a taste of what crossing an ocean entails. You will gain the most from this experience if you know your way around a boat so do this after you complete your training and have done some charters. Again, money very well spent. http://www.yayablues.com/index.htm

    Cruising, especially passage-making, does require a lot more self-sufficiency than full-time RVing in the U.S. and Canada. It’s a lot more like full-time overlanding in developing countries than what you’ve experienced so far. (BTW, full-time overlanding in developing countries is also highly recommended.)

    And that’s as close to a downer as I’m going to get. 8^)

    Full-time sailing will be a fantastic experience and I predict you will rock it just like you did full-time RVing.

    PS – Read the books recommended in these comments. It won’t take you long and they are invaluable where you are headed.

    reply
  • I’m traveling right now with a couple who were previously lived full-time on 2 different sailboats (a monohull and a catamaran). They greatly preferred the catamaran, so I think you’re definitely headed in the right direction! They now are part-time RVers, and I can tell at times that they really miss their sailing community– they say it was much more social (nightly happy hours) and everyone helped everyone out much more (as broken things tended to be more urgent for survival than with RVing). While they now enjoy the ease & comforts of RVing, they have zero regrets about their couple of years on the water– an ultimate test of extreme living. Bon Voyage!

    reply
  • Bryan from Canada

    Hello Jason and Nikki…

    I’m thinking seriously about this lifestyle too and have been researching for awhile… here are some thoughts…

    In no particular order:

    Cat vs mono? Both have plusses and minuses. I lean towards a mono hull for various reasons. You can take more with you on a mono, there is only one engine to maintain, and usually they are self righting.

    Blue water capable… make darn sure it is. I’m looking at Amel sailboats, off shore capable and proven ocean yachts. Designed to cruise. I am looking at a minimum of 45 feet long, but they get expensive as they get bigger.

    Sat phone… do your research! They are expensive but have the capacity to give internet anywhere in the world. In some countries like India, they are not allowed.

    Hire a good reputable surveyor. This is a must. Again, do your research, make some calls, ask questions on blue water forums. A good surveyor can catch most faults, especially in cats, as they have structural members in them that could lead to failure.

    Last but not least, go as crew on a boat. Brian Trautman and his sailboat S/V Delos, are looking for crew right now! get in touch with him, he is an easy going guy who can teach you so much!

    This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you pointers in your new direction. Listen to constructive criticism, do your research, and listen to your heart!

    Fair Wynns and smooth seas!

    Bryan from Canada

    reply
    • Actually that would be a great name for their boat – Fair Wynns

      reply
      • Bryan from Canada

        @RonMerritt
        You sir, are a genius! I’llsecond it right away… and all this time it was under my nose…
        Bryan from Canada

        reply
  • Sounds very exciting! We are in North Palm Beach on our Lagoon 380 and we love it – boat life is wonderful.

    reply
      • We’d love to have you over for sundowners and show you how we have set up the boat for cruising and liveaboard (although she is a work in progress of course!).

        reply
    • JonK

      We have an RV and a Lagoon 500. Boat life is great very different from RV life. If you have any shopping questions feel free to let us know and we’ll be as helpful as we can. Make sure to not get an “orphaned” brand of boat.

      reply
  • I am so excited for you! What an amazing adventure. Can’t wait to learn with you!! Wish you all the best. 🙂

    reply
  • Dave Snyder

    reply
  • Brenda King

    Live the dream…life on the water is a totally different perspective. We chartered many boats before actually buying one 13 years ago. They always look to big at first but eventually you just want five more feet. We have gone the gamut, from a sailing charter to now a 42 foot powerboat. Don’t be afraid of an older boat, especially if the owner is/was a type a neat freak!

    We are ready to shake things up, quit the rat race and the summers on our boat and the winters in the big ass RV.

    Can’t wait to read about your new adventures. Drop us a line anytime!

    Brenda and Wally

    reply
  • illya

    maybe if needed one of the experienced sailors here could go out for a few days or however long to help them get used to the boat and teach hands on? I’m sure we would have a list of volunteers 🙂

    reply
  • Guy Owen

    We catssss hatessss waterssss!!

    (good luck with that!! we will miss you!!)
    🙂

    reply
  • Greg Welling

    Have you discovered mjsailing.com? Blog of a young couple that has spent the last several years living full time and sailing aboard their yacht. Thought it could be very helpful as you begin the process.

    reply
  • Bill thompson

    Bill, 71, Submarine sailor, never boatless, have owned dozens of RVs, and Debbie, 65, who lived aboard full time sailing the Bahamas while raising children, full time rving parents (25 years). We have been together for the last 8 years, owned numerous boats and RVs, mostly full time.. We presently own a 58ft Hatteras LRC (in the Chesapeake and Charleston) and a Redwood fifth wheel (mostly permanent in Key West). We are on the opposite cycle from you…selling everything and buying a new Class A to trek through the National Parks of America. No doom and gloom here. You are embarking on an excellent slice of life. It seems obvious that you have the major required character trait… an adventurous spirit. Nothing else matters very much. Mistakes will be made and you will love making them. That said, Debbie and I agree that boating is a step up in the “pucker factor.” It requires a bit more of all of the traits of a good RVer. Your attraction to dry camping is probably a good sign. Over the long haul, boat ownership requires significantly more attention to detail, love of “do it yourself” repair work, and willingness to plan than does RVing. There will be days (and nights) where you are in constant stress with no relief in sight. And you will enjoy it. You will be far more dependent on your own resources than you can imagine. And enjoy it more. One magical sunset in a lonely anchorage will easily offset weeks of nasty weather in a boat needing repairs. Some of your daily RV skills will transfer, most will not. You aren’t looking for repetition are you?
    I mention the following:
    Chesapeake Bay is the best all around boating ever
    Ft Lauderdale is the best homeport ever
    TowBoatUS is your new best friend

    Fair winds and following sea!

    reply
  • KathyP

    Question for which I don’t have an answer (I did in 1985 but forgot): Harvesting season for seafood, i.e. spiney lobster in Bahamian waters.

    reply
  • Carl Rennell

    Hi Jason and Nikki,

    Thanks for the many tips about RVing. I have enjoyed your website since we purchased our RV one year ago. I’m primarily a boater and we live on the water in Pinellas County Florida near a place called John’s Pass. So we are on the Gulf of Mexico. Our home has a solid dock complete with electric and water. We can easily handle a catamaran up to about 40 feet. I have logged tens of thousands of miles on the water as well as under the water traveling the Pacific and growing up on Lake Champlain in Upstate NY. You are more than welcome to use our dock where the dolphin and manatee visit often. We will leave a light on just for you.

    Here are my tips:

    1. Know the Rules of the Road;
    2. Always allow the other sailor to pass safely even if you have the right of way. Never run into anyone or anything;
    3. Know the waters you are sailing. Study your charts and plan each journey. I know you don’t like to plan, but you will need to study your charts;
    4. Don’t rely on one form of navigation like a GPS. Have a solid secondary system, plus your charts;
    5. Take as many boating safety courses as you can. Start with the Coast Guard Auxiliary course and move up from there for navigation and charting;
    6. Pay close attention to the weather. Never venture out for a long journey without knowing what the weather forecast is between where you are and your next destination;
    7. Pick up a few books on safe gunk holes around Florida and wherever you travel. You will always need very safe anchorage for the night and day if you stop for any length of time;
    8. Always have an escape route planned ahead to avoid changing winds;
    9. Your best nighttime anchorage can and will become a nightmare at some point. Therefore, always be on the ready to power up, hoist the anchor and leave. I found myself nearly on the rocks once when the anchor got tangled in grass and the winds were pushing us to shore and the rocks. My wife manned the storm anchor while I went to shore and removed our stern line that was tied to a tree. That situation was just another learning experience;
    10. Oversize your storm anchor as well as your rode with plenty of it so as to have plenty of scope when needed;
    11. Carry a spare storm anchor and rode, just in case you need to cut rode and abandon your anchor in an emergency;
    12. Experienced boater looks for the new boater when maneuvering. They are easy to spot. The new boater generally have all new lines and everything is bright and shinny;
    13. So plan ahead very carefully and be extra prepared. Remember water is vastly different than a highway. Most people that drive a car know the basics and are fairly good drivers. Most boaters are seasonal boaters and they forget what they learned from one year to the next, that is if they knew much to begin with.
    14. There are no lines on the water to keep people in their lane. So you will need to watch the bow of the oncoming boat to determine if that boater sees you and which way he is going. Learn to point your bow, so fellow boaters know what you are doing.
    15. Lastly, remember that there many times went you won’t have the right of way. Learn all of those times and then if all else fails, don’t hit anything;
    16. One more thought. Don’t ever try to stop your vessel with your arm, as that is a good way to break your arm or wrist or both. My mother did just that and fell between the dock and sailboat. She is now OK.

    Good Luck
    USN Submarine Service (SS)

    reply
  • Pete Litton

    I sailed the South Pacific many years before GPS so learning navigation is a must. Learning basic use of a sexton and reference books in case of GPS failure is a suggested backup as well as having an appreciation of how it used to be. A ham radio is a useful tool as well.
    I met a sailing couple in New Zealand who went ashore after many days under sale without ports of call and came back to find that their cat had pretty much destroyed their boat’s interior. Maybe it would not be as bad with two cats, but that one sure did not take kindly to being left surrounded by water. The boat was anchored out.

    reply
  • Sue Dyer

    Hi Nikki & Jason….You helped me immensely when I was trying to decide between an RV or a horse trailer with living quarters. Now it’s my turn to return the favor. My late husband and I left everything behind in Seattle in 2005 with the goal of sailing around the world for the next 10-15 years which was my husband’s childhood dread. We went through what you’re going through now and like you had little to no experience in sailing. I would love to share numerous (too many to share here) thoughts of what we learned and what we would do differently if we had it to do again. We spent 10 years on our sailboat and I just sold her in 2013. My very first thought, and most important IMHO, is don’t buy anything yet. I’ll explain and answer any questions you might have if you contact me. We owned a 47′ sailboat and made it to Ecuador before my husband became ill but what we learned was priceless. Don’t let anything deter you.

    reply
  • James B Colter

    You appear to have your minds made up about a catamaran. However I would encourage you to go see James Knight at yacht tech sales in palm Beach Gardens. You may find that a powered yacht fits your lifestyle better than sailing.

    reply
  • Cheryl

    Nikki and Jason, I have to honestly say I will miss seeing your RV adventures and such helpful videos/blog that I have been following since you started. You have been such an inspiration over the years with all the sharing of information that has helped so many with the rving lifestyle. I am sure that you will master the sailing experience as you have with RVs and as with any new experience there will be doubt and fear but just follow your gut (and heart) and you will be fine! In part due to your website and some others such as Technomedia and Wheeling it, my husband and I will be picking up our newly built Newmar Canyon Star in 2 months and are so excited to have new adventures, especially when he retires next year! For now we will travel part time, taking our grandsons occasionally and enjoying the scenery! If you happen to stop in New Hampshire for awhile before setting sail please email me as you are welcome to boondock in our yard, we would love to meet you! I think the advice of sailing with a crew for a little bit of experience was a great suggestion even if it is just to reinforce your dream of pursuing this new lifestyle. Wishing you the best!

    reply
  • A lot of good suggestions in here. You will be fine. I used to live and work on boats. I can’t wait to hear your adventures.
    We have a place in Fort Lauderdale. Hope to see you.

    reply
  • Define your goals, read Seaworthiness the forgotten factor, smaller is better. Minimize electronics, gizmos and gadgets. Strong rig, proper sized anchors, do it by the book and don’t bother with insurance. I lived aboard about 20 years, extensive travel, no significant problems. Fun on a 30′ full keel ketch.

    reply
  • You’re may already be familiar with http://roadslesstraveled.us. If not definitely check them out. They traveled for many years in a sailboat and RV (they used to do 6 months each) and have a ton of good info in their blog. Definitely looking forward to following the adventure.

    Nina

    reply
  • Scooter

    You are about to make a big step in a completely opposite direction. I have boated for 30 years, RVed for 10. My suggestion is to take sailing lessons and a safety class. be prepared for these comparisons
    1. When a boat stops with no wind or gas you are stuck. don’t call AAA or Coach net.
    2. If you are on a budget make sure there is plenty of money for what is really needed. Radar is nice, GPS is definite, a Plotter is very nice, and have every thing intergrated. FM and aM radios for communitation. There is no help on the water always depend on yourself, nobody goes the same direction you did
    3. Buy fly swatters by the case, you cant go fast enough to loose them so you will need a big kill zone since they can fly faster than you can cruise.
    4. It sound good with the idea of cruising when your fuel is the wind. Remember this when leaving a marina at the crack of dawn and arrive at dusk and have gone 50 miles. Sounds thrilling.
    I wish you luck in your new adventure.
    I also spent time in the US Coast Guard seeing very degrees of seamanship. The water is very unforgiving if you don’t feel comfortable with a leg of a trip don’t go. Weather can be forcasted but somer times it can be wrong. Don’t ferget the fly swatters

    reply
  • Gary Obrokta

    When you say your friend Pat, is that by chance Bummfuzzle? http://www.bumfuzzle.com/adventure/ They did it I’m sure you can.

    reply
  • Allan Kirch

    Wish you lots of luck in your new endeavor. You’ll do fine no matter what boat you choose. You’re being careful and prudent.

    Many of your posts show you firmly committed to solar power. Here’s an article about some of the latest technology that incorporates solar panels into the sail itself:
    http://www.uksailmakers.com/news/2016/3/4/uk-sailmakers-frances-solarsails-wins-pittman-award?mc_cid=61c6682b96&mc_eid=5143a399a9

    reply
  • Anna Futrell

    I lived aboard my sailboat for about 5 years and most of the chandlers will buy your items by giving you credit in their shop. I had credit for pipe berths, sails, through hull fittings, etc. There’s a couple of books on buying the best used sailboat that would be good to read and make sure you get a survey before you sign. Oh, and you don’t need a tan, you need big brim hats (with a draw string), large thin white long sleeve shirt and lots of sunscreen. No amount of makeup can undo sun damage. I worked as a makeup artist – local 706, and grew up at the beach when baby oil was in.
    Have fun, I loved my boat and am thinking about another one.

    reply
  • After reading your profile it occurred to me that spiders may be one of your biggest challenges. Having been on sail and power boats for decades the one constant I have observed is that spiders can be anywhere on a boat. They pop out when you aren’t expecting. Often when raising a sail the spider that found a comfortable place for the night or several days will just drop down on whoever or whatever is underneath. They love to put up their webs where the breeze will blow dinner their way: around the cockpit, near an open porthole and across a hatch. Right now we are living on a canal boat in England – 240 sq ft of living space. Having been on a sailboat before made the transition easier.
    Good luck and enjoy the transition. When we are done here we are back to the US for an RV so will be spending time in your archives.

    reply
  • Mark

    Thank you so much for you’re post, really looking forward to this season for you. Before buying an RV in 2015 my goal was to purchase a sailboat and travel. I went to a coast guard school for a week to add to my skill level but then was re-directed to stay on land by my wife. Her advice was to travel on land and then charter a boat at some destinations, maybe a good idea, maybe not my idea but we’ll see. So your travels have my hearts attention as always.
    Again looking so forward to following you and yours as in the past.

    reply
  • Vickie

    Check out this couple’s blog. They have experience in sailing and RV’s too. http://roadslesstraveled.us/

    reply
  • Chris

    NIki I just have one question, what kind of sunscreen are you going to use? I know you are a makeup artist, so you probably are pretty knowledgeable but being in the sun 24/7 would wreak havoc on my skin ;(

    reply
  • Dean

    I have read your blog for a couple years and based on that you will be fine switching from an RV to a sailboat. The cat is a good choice for live aboards. It has a lot room, dual engines in case one goes down, and a very shallow draft. My advice would be to start your sailing journey where you can’t get into too much trouble. Then you can learn and get your sea legs for more adventurous trips in the Caribbean. The Chesapeake in May, June, Sept is a great option. Mostly mud if you run aground, plenty of quiet anchorages, visual navigation and minimal crowds during the week. Once you go south the Abacos are the next easy area to cruise. Good luck on the boat shopping!

    reply
  • William (Bill) Weaver

    Wow, lots of comments. As you can see, there is a lot of concern, help, and love for you guys out here. I’ve been a power boater for 50 years and an RVer for 40. For me, sailing is a different thing. I’ve been on friend’s sailboats on the Great Lakes and off the coast of FL, but I am NOT a sailor. On one trip off of FL, we got into a storm and we ran aground on a sand bar. The keel of the mono-hull was stuck hard. The experienced skipper knew what to do. Using the dinghy, we took the anchor away from the boat and dropped it. He raised the sail and laid the boat on it’s side and freed the keel from the sand bar. I’ve never done that in an RV! There is a lot to learn. That being said, there are some great memories. Raising the sails, shutting down the engine, the sounds of the hull cutting through the water and the breeze in sail, feeling the breeze on your face and looking at the horizon. Living life at a 30 degree angle. Still gives me chills. Go for it!

    reply
  • Good luck on your new endeavor. Just like an RV is a house on wheels, a boat is a house on the water. Expect some of the same challenges and add a couple related to the seas, salt in the air, corrosion, etc. But, don’t let that stop you. For me, there is no more peaceful place than the ocean during a sunset while moored in a calm cove.

    Think a lot about what your boating life will be like. Are you planning on using the boat as an apartment of sorts and leaving it docked or moored most of the time or will you be on the water, island hopping and sailing often? If the latter, look for a boat that is good for sailing/cruising. What does this mean? Some catamarans are really designed to be charter boats, mini condos on the water that are taller boats and designed to be a home away from home for vacationers. Boats built to sail and typically lower in profile and designed for moving through rough seas while still maintaining the creature comforts of home. In bad weather or rough seas, some of the higher profile “cats” will “crab” or tend to get blown sideways a little or a lot depending on the weather.

    I don’t want to mention names here, but you’ll see the difference as you continue shopping.

    Regarding thoughts on what you will need, here a couple of ideas.

    EPIRB (lets the Coast Guard find you if you’re in an emergency situation)
    VHF Radios (have at least 2-3, just in case. The handhelds are good and the newer models have GPS tracking)
    For a live-aboard boat, a water maker would be great (just like an RV, water tends to disappear quickly)
    Dinghy (you have to get to shore while the boat is moored or anchored)
    Solar Panels
    AC (not only beneficial during extremely hot days but also good to keep your interior furnishings lasting longer)
    Sat Phone (trust me, there will be places your regular cell phone will not work)
    Chart Plotters/GPS (Raymarine and Garmin are great. Having 1 inside the cabin and 1 at the helm is desired, this
    way, you can plot a course inside the cabin even during bad weather)
    Electronics (AIS with transmit and receive capability) this allows your vessel to be identified and to be able to
    identify other vessels in your area)
    Convection oven instead of microwave
    Radar (depending on the area you’ll be cruising in)
    Water heater (optional, but is a good thing to have)
    Generator (a must)
    Auto-Pilot

    I have a power yacht for personal use and a catamaran for my charter business and have lots of time on the water in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands) If you have additional questions or want more specifics, e-mail me anytime. Also, we follow Trio Travels on YouTube and they may be good folks to communicate with regarding being liveaboards.

    Good luck, you’ll do well and have lots of fun.

    reply
  • Gaetan Goyette

    You guys are fantastic, what a wonderful project.I believe you are the perfect type of people for the seagoing life. One tough i would like to share is that it might be easier and faster to both test and learn about your new lifestyle by shipping on as crew members on other people’s boats. The sea is,as you suspect,a totally different and wonderful environment but it will not forgive a mistake.Keeps your wits about you. One hand for the sea one hand for you and ” Bon vents”
    Gaetan

    reply
  • Richard Hubert

    Another new adventure – great! We cannot wait to have you continue sharing your experiences with us, especially as your videos continue to get better and better (better content, better video quality, and more “up close and personal”.) We have followed your RV lives for years, and would not dream of stopping here just because you are moving to yet another mode of transportation.
    BTW – as you have probably already heard – buying used is most definitely the way to go because often the prior owner(s) have bought a lot of extras ($$$) which they usually throw in with the boat sale (life jackets, rain gear, winches, instruments, ropes, extra sails ($$), dinghy, etc.. So not only should you save on the “new over the curb” depreciation which the original purchaser had to bear, but you can hopefully end up with a much more fully equipped boat. It seems that while many boaters love getting into the whole boating experience and are willing to spend a lot to do it right with their initial purchase, after a while it gets old, their interests turn elsewhere, they don’t have enough time to use the boat any more – whatever, and they want out. Even a docked boat can be costly to maintain, insure and pay mooring/marina fees.
    A few years ago that happened to us – a friend with a 26′ sailboat just finally realized he was not using it much, he was spending far too much time washing, cleaning and teak re-finishing it, all while spending too much $$ docking and insuring it. Looking around the marina he saw how many boats were up for sale – and not selling – that he offered the whole package to us – for free (including the Zodiac dinghy and new motor). Also because he saw some abandoned boats in the Marina as well – which owners had just walked away from that they could not sell. We really appreciated his gesture but we saw the same issues as he did, and we did not want to assume that cost for an occasional sailing outing.
    The point is – look beyond brokers as well. Read boating periodicals for “tired” boater leads, and talk to people around marinas and at boating stores about your plans and see if you can get referrals to those who would love to help you out with their boat setup which has become more of an anchor to them. You never know.
    Anyway – we wish your the best in your new adventure, and cannot wait to hear a lot more!
    Rick & Barb (Pomona 2014)

    reply
  • Diane Sanderbeck

    One of the best sailing blogs I follow is http://astrolabesailing.com/. Viki Moore lives in New Zealand and has been sailing for many years. Her blog is full of very useful information and great articles on sailing, navigation, and loads of other fun things. Two other blogs I love are http://www.sailingchance.com/ written by Kelley Gudahl and http://turftosurf.com/ by Tasha Hacker. Kelley has been involved in complete refurbishment of two boats and it’s amazing what she and Jason have done! Her blog is loaded with pictures of the work they’ve done to the boats they’ve owned and the how and why they did it. Tasha and her husband, Ryan, have just purchased a new catamaran and are sailing around the world. They have been sailing for years and have lots of good sailing information to share also. You can also find Tasha on YouTube at ChaseTheStory.
    I am a wannabe sailor without a boat! Lucky for me I have friends with boats and get to tag along on occasion. There’s nothing, simply nothing, better than messing about in boats! Good luck in your research and have fun!

    reply
  • Sheila Hagadone

    I just got done reading & watching some of the web sites that were given you in your comment section. May I suggest watching on YouTube: pV5gOBFWHNU
    You’ll like it!

    reply
  • Ian Brown

    Actually, guys… For Long Range WiFi, you’re 95% there. When you gut the tech from your rig, take the WiFi Ranger with you!

    The WiFi Ranger setup uses a Ubiquiti Bullet M2HP Titanium radio on top of the rig piped down to a MicroTik router inside, with some of their own custom software to make on-site configuration easy. Aside from the software, all the gear is off-the-shelf, so it’s a simple matter of swapping out the antenna provided by WFR for something more directional and a much higher gain.

    Check out the AirGrid line of dishes, as well as the Yagi style beam antennas. If you add an old fashioned VHF antenna rotator and put the whole thing on top of the mast, sucking in WiFi from the shore should be a cinch! The extra height on the mast will improve your Fresnel Zone, which makes the signals come in stronger and clearer than when you’re closer to the ground. The extra elevation will cut down on signal echo and lock in SOLID!

    Those antennas will give you laser focus, and both the AirGrid and Yagi style have very little solid surface area for the wind to whip around. I know a few folks with similar setups that can tap into resort hotels from over a half a mile offshore (in prime conditions).

    After you change the antenna and point it at land, the rest of the connection will work just like the WFR does in your rig!

    If you want more info, please feel free to reach out. I have a lot of experience with Ubiquiti products and long range WiFi links. I was doing the same as WFR does for ages before they created a turnkey product, so I have a lot of time working in the technical interfaces of those radios.

    reply
  • Lawnboy

    hi guys!!!!!!…..you are going to be inundated with emails and comments on this transition. I have done both…currently….I have sailed my 37′ Irwin from Seattle to Desolation Sound…extensive cruising in gulf Islands and San Juans…then to Mexico for 5 years….now…after I retire..a world cruise for who knows how long….

    also, I winter in my 40′ Alpine Coach for 2 months in so cal while training on my bike…and do Moab etc as well.

    My point is this: RV and Boat is a seamless transition. you have learned all the important talents to living off the grid…its all the same. dont get overwhelmed with electronics etc. I have redundant systems for all nav aids and much like you know my boat (or coach) inside and out. You will do fine. and, there are cruising net’s you can hook up with. get your HAM license for sure! I have transitioned much of what I did on my blue water boat to the coach….water or tarmac…it’s the same deal…albeit…weather is your foe….pay attention to the SSB and HAM nets for that.

    fair winds!!!
    Lawnboy!!!

    reply
  • lisa weed

    Hi guys: This adventure you are about to embark on is one we’ve been doing for over 40 years. We wouldn’t change a thing. Just a word of caution regarding the kitties. Watch for eagles and otters. Cats lying on the dock are targets for hungry predators. We lost two cats in this manner and that was the end of having animals on board for us.

    reply
  • I applaud your ‘eyes wide open with sparkly enthusiasm’ approach.. what I love about you guys!

    Back in 2009, we too started catamaran shopping (hah, In Ft. Lauderdale, no less) with the same vision. In 2010, we moved to a cruisers community on the island of St. John for a winter as part of our consideration of the lifestyle. After talking with enough full time sailors, even doing some day excursions with them, we came to the determination that we personally weren’t up for it quite yet – not while maintaining our careers. That whole internet challenge and boats needing much more attention than RVs.

    I can only imagine the naysayer responses you’re getting right now- and what lead to needing to make the request for positivity. We weren’t all that visible then as RVing bloggers back then, and our introduction to the cruising community was.. umm… unwelcoming, to say the least.

    Keep your enthusiasm and spirit. I know you guys will make an informed decision, approach this with consideration while embracing your dreams. Thanks for taking us all along on the journey.

    reply
    • Lawnboy

      boom!!!

      reply
  • Lisa

    I have good friends who spend 7mos on a 50′ sailboat in the Med every year. They have lots of suggestions but say it’s the best. She turns out fabulous meals in a tiny galley no matter the seas. You will be able to get food but please open yourselves to new foods since that will be parrt of the experience. (And if you go to St Croix there are THREE organic farms so you’re sure to find others.
    Several of my friends either grew up on or raised theirkids while living on a sailboat. I envy you!! Lovevthe Richell’s suggestions.

    reply
  • If you can find the boat you want, great. See if you are able to locate the same vessel in Oregon– no sales tax. There are a lot of sailing enthusiasts around Oregon, especially down south near Brookings/ Harbor, but of course not near as many as Florida and the gulf states. Praying for your safe travels!

    reply
  • Laurawl

    Have y’all thought about what the humidity does for your hair?? ?⚓️

    reply
  • Mike Jackson

    Interesting move. We’ve just moved to RVing, though not full time, after living aboard and cruising for over 16 years – five years earlier for Mike. Loved the lifestyle! The transition was easy, after all, small spaces, lots of DIYs, you name it. We had a 46′ 1957 Richardson (gas). Rebuilt most of the interior, including the galley, so that we could have a regular frig. Hope you keep your RV blog up – too much great stuff there to loose. Good luck, and may you always have a favorable wind and a following sea.

    June & Mike

    reply
  • Deborah Kerr

    Oh yay, a new adventure!! I can’t wait to go too!! Sorry, I know nothing about sailing, but will anxiously wait for your updates!! Listen to the song “Sailing” by Christopher Cross, if you haven’t already 🙂

    reply
  • Sheila Hagadone

    Nikki & Jason,
    You would NEVER catch me dreaming about living on a boat….the 1st & foremost reason, I CAN’T SWIM. The good ol’ YMCA gave me a FEAR of water when they THREW me in the deep end & I SANK. Of course, that was 58 yrs ago when I was 6. I’ve tried & tried swimming lessons….I can float on my back, as long as the water doesn’t cover my face. But as far as for you guys, GO FOR IT!!! Learn as much as you can, practice as much as you can & then GO FOR IT!!!! You only live once. When you are on your death bed & you’ll look back on your life & you’ll say, “Man, what a ride!!!”

    reply
  • Jim Short

    Nikki and Jason,
    No advice from me only an observation. I love sailing and think you are very brave to do this. I owned a sailboat at the age of 14, it was only an 8 foot dingy, but I also belonged to a sailing club so I could experience the larger club boats. My oldest brother owned a 35 foot sailboat and I was lucky enough to captain it up the Columbia River for an afternoon sail. Wind is so different from power! I find that I’m much more in touch with the elements when under sail; so fun and fulfilling.
    All that being said I don’t ever want to sail out to sea. As a youth I’d fish at the mouth of the Columbia with my dad and that was as close to sea as I want to experience. However, my late Brother-in-law did exactly as you are planing; retired, bought a boat and sailed from Portland to Mexico then on to Hawaii, arriving just in time for hurricane Iniki in 1992. They rode it out in Honolulu. Made for very good stories, but I believe that it also tempered their enthusiasm for ocean sailing.
    I know that we, your followers, will want more stories, cat tales and information from you as you sail and we’ll have to be patient waiting for you to establish a link, but I, for one, am 100% behind you.

    reply
  • John Puccetti

    My wife and have spent some island time in the Caribbean and it is pretty tame. I think you have picked a great place to start your new adventure. Much better than the Pacific Ocean where we are now in Ventura. Take you time. I cannot wait to see you two in Cuba!

    reply
  • Bob Rogers

    What will happen with the RV?

    reply
  • gil

    dont rely on electronic charts!! you need paper charts. one very important class to take is a coastal navigation class. we learned to sail on some friends boats, but it was an entirely different routine when we bought our own 12′ sailboat and attempted to sail on our own the first time – fortunately we can laugh about it now. it will be neat when you can feel the wind on your face and set the correct course without consulting the wind vane at the top of your mast. GOOD LUCK !!!

    reply
  • We sailed for many years and now new to RVing. When we dived into offshore sailing we went down to Moorings at Virgin Islands and had a captain for a few days which gave us confidence. Now we have done several trips by ourselves. Like RVing you have to be very flexible with your plans and respect Mother Nature.

    reply
  • Gregory Jackson

    Hi there!
    Be sure to research this rhyme:
    Red sky’s in the morning sailors take worming. Red sky’s at night sailors delight. Also check out where you have to dock. Slips in most marines will not fit a cat. You will find most cats way out at the end of the dock or anchored out.
    Did you know that most sail boats will right them selfs if tipped over? A cat will not. Safty first. (Just saying)

    reply
  • Carri Garbus

    We drove from Austin, TX to Florida two years ago in our RV. How long do you expect it will take you? Will you be making stops? As one of our stops we stayed in New Orleans at the French Quarter RV resort, 2 blocks from the french quarter. It was a very nice city campground and had a beautiful pool and hot tub but it was quite expensive. It was surrounded by a brick wall and barbed wire because it is in such a dangerous spot! We walked into town. Just ask if you would like any suggestions on campgrounds in Florida. We have been camping there for 20 years at least! Have a great trip!

    reply
  • Katie Arnett

    I think your new sailing venture is exciting. I’ve enjoyed reading and seeing your RV travels and look forward to seeing the boat you pick and reading and seeing your travels at sea. Good luck on your new venture.

    reply
  • Ann Chapman

    You have probably researched the internet well, but in case you missed it, there are good Youtube videos on people who sailed around the world on catamarans. My favorite are the “Antares barefeet 44” videos by Chris and Erin, who sailed around the world on an Antares 44 ft catamaran. They have a good series of videos that cover many of the issues you are researching. Here is a link to one of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_mG45hZkbU. I’m thinking you might want to contact them (or others like them) personally for more specific information. Best of luck to you!

    reply
  • Artie Shaw

    Look up and read the cruising books by Lin and Larry Pardey.
    Have fun never turn your back on the ocean.

    reply
  • Wow. We met a couple years ago in Alabama Hills. Love your blog and we are full timers in RV (3 yrs), but I used to live aboard my sailboat many many years ago both in Seattle and San Diego and in between. Many live -aboard similarities.

    Once had a dream to travel abroad via sailboat. I also had started building a trimaran even before the liveaboard (monohull). Cat a cool idea. your Cats will love a Cat. My dog used to love to jump in the water. Cat not so much. hehe.

    One question(s). do you plan on blue water sailing? or just in Caribbean and up the atlantic seaboard? Sailing thru Panama Canal and up to Alaska? hmm, how about across atlantic or pacific? if atlantic, will width of catamaran get through EU canals? just askin.

    reply
  • I am so excited for you two, and a little worried at the same time (safety). However I know it will be a trip we can all enjoy with you both. And did I miss something? where is cat #2?

    reply
  • OK, no gloom and doom. I’ve owned two sailboats, both on Lake Tahoe … so land locked. I agree with the saying, “the happiest day in a sailor’s life is the day he buys the boat and the day he sells the boat”. I think you will also find the saying, “a boat is a hole in the water in which to throw money” to be true. It sounds like you have mapped out a plan and you probably are already following sailor blogs like yours with an RV. Good luck with your new adventure.

    reply
  • Funny – I was just now researching sailing courses here in Toronto. We’re toying with the idea of buying a cat ourselves, use it as a floating cottage during the summer. Toronto has a number of islands around the harbour that feel a hundred miles away, but are 15 minutes by tender from the mainland.

    I used to sail at school and loved it. There are challenges with catamarans – they are an absolute bitch to maneuver in confined conditions, and a mono-hull will generally be better bang for the buck. On the pluse side, they offer fantastic space, important for us with three kids.

    Have you talked to Pat at all, from bumfuzzle.com? If anybody can give you advice on this, it’s him.

    reply
    • Andreas

      Duh – Pat recommended the broker. So sorry, it’s been a long day.

      reply
  • Heather

    Hi Nikki & Jason,
    You two are so darn inspiring! My boyfriend and I LOVE your videos and blog.
    You guys are doing all of the travel stuff we want to do, except you have 2 cats instead of 2 dogs.
    So, I am glad you guys are about to set sail. For one, it seems super romantic & dreamy to sail off into the sunset or tie in around Mykonos or some beautiful spot. For two, I have always wondered what the protocol was for arriving at a port in a new country. Is it like Customs, and they board your boat? A “Show me your papers!” scenario. Or is it more chill and you just pay for a slip and get to explore the place without hassle? So there’s a video request for the future.
    Also, don’t listen to the naysayers. The best way to learn is to jump right in. As long as you take some classes, take notes, maybe ask to video whoever is training you so you can check it for future reference, you two are gonna be fine. You’re both smart & you’ll figure it out. And what a great adventure!
    Hope you find your dream boat soon.
    Thanks for all the amazing RV videos and can’t wait to see this next step in your adventure.
    Happy Trails,
    Heather

    reply
  • I wish you the best in this newest of adventures! When you decide to sell the Smart car, drop me a line, as I am interested and I live here in Florida on top of Lake Okeechobee. Sailing, like anything new, has it’s ups and downs, but since you have done the full time route, you should be fine. Just get good advice and a reliable boat.
    Having done the full time adventure, (RV) ourselves for 6 years, no matter how much you read and are told, there are always unforeseen problems that arise. Have fun and keep the sail side up! lol

    reply
  • Pat Cundy

    It’s a new adventure guys more power to you both, remember how it was when you started out rving.? Like you say you won’t know until you try. May all your dreams come true. Happy sailing

    reply
  • Dave Roy

    Hey Niki and Jason, this is Dave over in Tampa/St Pete, Fl area. I have been following several of your travel adventures with great interest. I have some thoughts about your future sailing adventures, and being a sailor my whole life, I can share some experiences with you. I was a Boat/US STORE MANAGER, before they sold out to West Marine. I would prefer to communicate via personal email, instead of your blog. My brother works at a large sailing supply company in St Pete, and he might be interested in working with you in barter for equipment, vs video photography. He is much more knowledgeable then I in sailing, as he has built two 30 ft + sailboats. He also gave some very good suggestions about boat purchases, and learning about sailing, on the West Coast of Florida, in stead of trying to learn all about what you want to do on the expensive East Coast. Any way just a quick thought, I am truelly excited for you both, and if I can share resources, knowledge, and especially how to be safe on the water, that may be helpful to you. The West Coast of Florida, is definetly more forgiving (and less expensive) then the East Coast, for learning about sailing, possible boat purchase, Marine Supplies etc. Again best of luck, and continued safe travels. My wife and I are going the other way, sailboat to RVing. (Grin) we have sailed extensively on Tampa Bay and the West Coast of Florida.

    Be safe and have Fun

    Dave

    reply
  • Brad and Eva Richell

    Jason and Nikki
    1. Your size sailboat is probably best for costs of sailboats
    2. Epirb a must, Ask my wife, Also multiple radios and cell phones
    3. Your Solar experience and various other RV comparisons will serve you well.
    4. Practice along the USCoast and intercostal waters .
    5. The Bahamian ministry has numerous caravans going across the Atlantic with others. They provide you with experienced, friendly, safe marinars to make your trip across fun , safe and keep out out of unsafe waters.
    6. There are many apps for your phone. Drag queen anchor alarm, GPS, tide apps, etc
    7. Stop in Daytona, Florida when you need a free marina spot and a a vehicle to sight see (Jeep). We got you covered.

    reply
  • Peg C

    Check out Ann Vanderhoof’s blog and excellent memoir books. They are from Toronto and did what you are doing. Non sailors who took off from Toronto to the Bahamas and their adventures from the get go plus recipes. http://www.spicenecklace.com/
    I’m excited for your journey!

    reply
  • Best wishes in your new sailing adventures. I’m looking forward to seeing what you end up with.

    reply
  • scooter

    Engine cut off time is awesome!!! Nothing better than cruising at full sail. If you get back to So Cal there are many places locally for boat shopping near Long Beach, Huntington Harbor etc…and RV storage also near the Long Beach airport.

    reply
  • Rob

    Ahoy Crew,
    As a USCG licensed captain, ASA instructor having taught many people to sail from beginners to off-shore cruising and as one having spent a lot of time sailing multihulls and living aboard;
    1) I commend your enthusiasm and interest in sailing but there’s a lot to learn and experience before committing to buy.
    2) a 35′ cat is about like like a pickup camper
    3) cats are great to sail off the wind but maneuvering in close quarters especially in any wind is challenging at best.
    4) many options exist for a great monohull and you’ll get more for $ over a multihull.
    5) living on a boat can very hot and also very WET, DAMP and cold.
    6) stay in the mohome and learn to sail well and rent a few.
    7) check out the American Sailing Association for classes including multihulls.

    Best wishes, love your blog,
    Rob

    reply
  • John S.

    Wow – so many great replies, and it’s only day one!

    I feel that adding suggestions today will be like dumping the water bucket on the coach at the end of a game – too much too fast. But I would like you to have a look at one link – it’s to a poster that I saw at my flight school many years ago.

    Because I grew up in Vancouver and spend lots of time on boats (wife’s family were huge into boating) I knew enough about boating that the words on this poster had a profound impact on how I operated on the job.

    What this says about boating was true 1,000 years ago and will still be true next year:
    http://i.imgur.com/Zmf6f.jpg

    reply
  • Jeff

    The ocean is a beautiful, peaceful environment. You will have a great time and many adventures. It can also be quite unforgiving and when things go wrong at sea, it can become serious fast. Treat it like flying, two of everything and take your time learning your new world. Have a great time.

    reply
  • Steve C

    Hey guys,
    The older I get, the less risky things I do. In your case, do ‘um while you can. However, I wouldn’t quit your day job! As in: I wouldn’t sell your RV just yet. You might think of just renting for 6 months or so until you really think it’s your thing. Hell, I’m getting antsy about just driving my truck camper along the Gulf Coast as hurricanes can come through when it’s not even hurricane season. You might think of cruising rivers if you really want to live on the water. Have you thought of a house boat? 🙂 They’re like an RV only on water.

    reply
  • George Procyshyn

    A cat is by far the very best choice for you and while many people have done journeys in 30-35 footers, if the budget allows, you’ll soon fine your much happier in something as close to 40 foot as you can. Robertson & Caine build the Leopard catamaran and are arguably the finest & largest mfg. out there. The leopard 40 from a few years ago is a wonderful live aboard boat as well as the leopard 42 (NOT the older 43) I think they made a 36-37 foot version too that would work nicely.

    One caveat about cats though is they are UBER popular with the rental crowd and despite what the rental companies tell you about maintenance, they are VERY well used and NEVER a good investment. You’ll be TOLD they are, but remember, the people telling you that have a financial agenda. DON’T believe them. They also almost always are 4 berth boats with 4 heads. This is something to avoid at all costs. This is the mark of a rental boat. What you NEED to find is a 3 cabin boat with the owners suite on one side. These boats have a larger owners head and a shared head on the other side for the other two berths. MUCH MUCH better long term living arrangements.

    Also, you need to look at engine hours as well as generator hours, these things are expensive to rebuilt and there are some out there that rarely leave the dock “party boats that only did some day trips” You DONT want a high hours gen OR engines boat. These prime cherry boats are what Everyone wants and you will pay more and they are MUCH harder to find, but DON’T settle for an ex rental boat under any circumstances or you WILL regret it. You wouldn’t buy a used taxi cab, the situation is much worse in a boat.

    Unfortunately insurance is a must have. If your out to sea and you have to abandon your boat for some reason (steering failure for example) when you step onto that coast guard vessel anyone has rights to salvage, but likely the weather will sink the boat. Another part of this is a rescue raft, an expensive equipped and covered rubber boat too keep you alive if you loose your boat. Fortunately you can long term rent them, but don’t go hundreds of miles out to sea for weeks at a time without one. You’ll soon learn the differences between the equipment necessary in a “coastal” equipped cat and an “ocean going” cat. You guys are headed in the right direction, you just need to learn more than you might realize. BEST of luck, this is an adventure of a lifetime.

    reply
  • Cary

    You might want to check out http://ourodyssey.blogspot.com/. They made the move you are making, except not a sail boat. They have been on their boat a few years now.

    reply
  • mickey

    Wow sailing, you are so Brave. I believe you will achieve your hearts desire! You both continue to inspire and amaze!!! Thank-you.

    reply
  • Lou

    Come stay with us!!! The Villages, Fl!!! Good beer.!!

    reply
  • I just thought of a name of your new boat….well with the cats on board and all the hungry fish in the sea, you should call it “The Chum Bucket”

    reply
  • I should mind my own business, but sailing a cat vs. mono-hull is like driving a school bus vs a sports car….

    reply
  • Matthew Paul Malloy

    J & N:

    Survival suits are expensive…& priceless. I like your blog & reading about your adventures. Please take all emergency drills very seriously. I really think that you two will be OK.

    Matthew Paul Malloy
    Veteran: USAR, USA, IAANG

    reply
  • Sandy

    Don’t forget to include Dominica in your list of places to go. It is called the Nature Island and boy do I mean nature! Hiking is excellent, so is scuba. Whale watching is a must do. If you get to that area, talk to Hubert Winston and Dominica Marine Center. He can handle all your needs. http://www.dominicamarinecenter.com/ He has been a friend for about 10 years now. BTW, his father (Sukie) has the best bread on the island.

    reply
  • Congrats on your new life style!
    We have been full-time cruisersfor almost ten years now. It’s a wonderful lifestyle. We are “reformed” sailors, spending our time cruising in a trawler now. Great live-aboard cruising boat.
    A couple of comments.
    Licensing? What’s that all about? Certainly it makes sense for both of you to take some classes in pilotage and navigation but there is no requirement for licensing for recreational boaters. Even if you took the course and passed a test for a captains license, you don’t have the sea time necessary to get your license “active. Guess how you are going to get sea time!
    My suggestion is that after you find your boat, cruise the east coast of the US for a year before heading abroad. The east coast and its ICW is a wonderful cruising ground and a great place to learn while you go. Annapolis, the Chesapeake Bay, New York City and points north are all there for the taking. ( We’ve been as far south as the Bahamas and Keys and as far north as Ottawa and Montreal) Next fall, head back to Florida, refit , reprovision and head to the Bahamas. You will leave with a greater knowledge base and can head to the Caribean and elsewhere better prepared.
    Insurance? It’s a horrible expense but we have it. Our boat is too big an asset to loose. If you are going to finance the boat you don’t have a choice…the bank will require it.
    I could go on and on but the final bit if advice is that the hardest thing to do is untie the dock lines. So many folks spend so much time and money getting the boat “perfect” that they never get away from the dock.
    Just do it!

    reply
  • Another suggestion, if I may…I am sure you know this or have thought about it: Corporate Sponsorship or Patreon. You have 57,000 subscribers and certainly more who aren’t subscribers who follow you and want to see a continuing flow of content from you. There is something most people do not understand…content is NOT free even when it’s free. Somebody is paying something and it costs something to deliver that content. Even free over the air broadcast TV is not free. In every box of Cheerios or gallon of gas or the pair of jeans you buy you are paying in that purchase price profit to the service provider or manufacturer a small percentage for marketing and advertising to support the product or service to keep coming. So it is with YouTube content and so it will be in the future. It is not ebegging, it is supporting the content providers to give you the hours of viewing pleasure and excitement you continue to desire. It’s a lot of work, and fun too, to produce that content.

    Anyway, another suggestion…ff

    reply
  • Alan

    So the adventure begins! Sound like a lot of interesting reading ahead.

    reply
  • Cheryl Robertson

    Sounds so exciting, and that you are thinking about all the right things. I’m just wondering if you have ever been out on blue water in a sailboat. I hadn’t, and have been an inland lake sailor my whole life until I crewed for a friend who had a 42′ Morgan that he lived aboard. As it turns out, much to my surprise, although I can handle very rough lake sailing, I get seasick with the swells on the ocean. If you have not been out in swells, it might be a good idea to go for a ride in a boat on a day like that before you plunk down all that cash. Just a thought…

    reply
  • Sandy

    LOVE seeing the planning and doubts phase. I’m going through that right now just to hit the road in a travel trailer. Can’t imagine doing that full-time on the water….well, might be able to imagine some day. Thanks for this process video.

    reply
  • Kathy Siske

    Hey guys, If you haven’t already you should read Zero to Cruising’s blog. They started out knowing nothing and are now both licensed captains. They even have their catamaran ZTC for sale. They have moved up to a large monohull. You could also look at sailingjeannius.blogspot.com

    reply
  • Amanda

    Do you mind sharing what you are looking for in your catamaran? I think you said you were in the 35′ to 40′ range but what are your other must-haves and wants, price-range (if you want to share) etc. Great network of folks on here connected to many different networks of sea-faring people that may be able to help you find the perfect one for you.

    reply
  • Debbie

    The show is Distant Shores, sorry

    reply
  • Debbie

    I would reach out and ask the couple that host Sitant Shores on the AWE Channel. They travel the world and live on their boat full time . They have a sail boat. Just an idea. Let us know if you get over on the West Coast of Florida. We live in Venice, South of Sarasota.

    reply
  • I started out on a fishing boat in Alaska at age 5 and after a few storm’s and a whale breaching and bumping the boat at about 10 at night. I was done with water and boats of any kind and not to mention getting sea sick at both ends. And now I stay on land…thank you. The name of the fishing boat was the Emansapater after almost 60 years she is still afloat in Cal. somewhere.

    reply
  • Elizabeth Lewis

    Latitude 38 is a great publication available free, online. Lots of info about sailing, cruising all over the world. You guys are going to have a blast!

    reply
  • Sherry Johnston

    Sleeping under the stars in open water is quite, you though the desert was quiet you haven’t heard quiet but getting up early & watching the sunrise w: a hot cup of joe is beyond compare. Sure you’ll make mistakes but if you don’t those people are called dead. Can’t wait to read new adventures

    reply
  • Sell your Smart car? That’s crazy talk!!

    reply
  • Peter B

    Here are three series that you should folow
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkYfFeySHGN4DPrOc9So7PA

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR_Bc26eSZCu9c8kHBR7lGw if you can find these kids from the start their vlog starts at the beginning somewhere closer to where you are at.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZdQjaSoLjIzFnWsDQOv4ww

    reply
  • Dennis

    Still haven’t seen if you have booked the licensing school in Ft Lauderdale. I really think you will enjoy the 3 week course and of course you should have it if you really plan on any open water or other country adventures. A open water captain license would be a must I would think. I will miss you RV post as I really credit you guys for my first RV purchase and many other great things you have posted on your forum. Good Luck and always be safe, the ocean is a wonderful, unexplored place on our earth and very unforgiving.

    reply
  • I and I am sure everyone who has been following you for years wish you the very best of luck during this transition. It sounds like you are doing your homework so all will be fine. I would like to make one suggestion…amateur radio…much cheaper for longer communications than a Sat phone. I have been a “ham” for over forty years and maritime mobile operations is an integral part of the amateur radio community around the world for a long long time. Every day on 14.300mhz the Maritime Mobile net meets where operators on their boats and ships around the world meet to check in or pass along “traffic.” You will of course must have a VHF maritime rig to check into harbor masters and connect with other boats on Channel 16. But I really do suggest you also put on board an SSB radio and that one or both of you get at least a General Class amateur radio license. There are radio clubs around the country who will assist you in studying for and testing for the license, it really is easy to catch on fast. I can only assume but I am fairly confident that at Yacht Clubs in Florida you will run into, many boat owners who are amateur radio operators also find that SSB communications when you are in the middle of nowhere on the water is a true godsend. Anyway, that’s my experienced suggestion. The Amateur Radio Relay League is a great source of help and information. They are the trade organization for ham radio…www.arrl.org…$39 per year to join. That’s about it, best of luck, anxious to hear of your progress….Fred Fichman, WA6YVA, http://www.frederickfichman.com

    reply
  • Tom

    It’s a whole different world on the water from RVing on land. When you break down Jason better have the skills to do the repairs, whether it be a halyard, rudder control, clogged water intake valve, stuck line up the mast, etc etc.
    Good Luck !

    reply
  • I love the excitement of a new adventure. Wendy and I are looking forward to your future videos so we can be right there onboard with you. My only piece of advice — and this is important — get a really good sound system. When you’re out on the ocean you can crank it up! Happy sailing!

    reply
  • Amanda

    Great feedback from some folks on here. I think, like anything in life worth doing, is worth doing well and that includes preparation. I think the suggestion that resonates with me the most is the ability for the four of you (I mean cats don’t typically like water, do yours?) to actually spend a good chunk of time on a boat similar to the one you think you are leaning towards, or at least as close as you can get. I would highly suggest chartering something that has onboard captain or someone very skilled in the art of sailing that will be a great teacher for you both.
    You are both very capable people and have proven that you can figure out anything given the right amount of time and sheer determination. This will be no different.
    Oh…and SUNSCREEN.

    reply
  • Ausonius (Winnie View RV)

    Much success in your new adventure! (And please remember: zinc-based SUNSCREEN is your friend!)

    reply
  • Fresh water, fresh water, fresh water! Always be able to make fresh water. Also, consider a fish finder/depth finder.

    reply
  • Ken long

    Wow..really impressed with some of the responses your getting. Take care and measure twice before cutting…..loose..

    reply
  • Peter B

    Slow and safe. Your “need to do” list is good. Rules of the road are very important. Tides and currents as important. contrary to comments above a Catamaran is, in my opinion the safest and most stable vessel. Usually with lots of space. I’ve had both and would choose a cat any day.

    reply
  • If Pat and Ali can do it ….that should give you hope. Send Jason to Massage school to replace your ME membership 😉 Jib Ho!

    reply
  • Jeff Markwick

    All of the above. You can never have enough redundancy with your navigational needs. Latest electronics are a must but always have paper charts at your disposal.
    Just think, all of your solar education translates to the boat as well.
    Looking forward to your adventure. No doom and gloom here.

    Fair winds

    reply
  • I LOVE following along on your new journey. This is something that we definitely want to do after we RV for a few more years. There are just so many things to think about. I thought RVing was work, but sailing seems much more tough. Can’t wait to see what boat you choose 🙂

    reply
  • So your first boat is going to be a full time livaboard situation. Without a permanent moorage. Well, good luck. You’re in for a drastic change in lifestyle. Baptism by fire.
    And I promise you there are going to be times when you regretted even considering buying a boat. And if you’re not able to, or willing to do a lot of work yourself you will be taken advantage of by boat yards.
    I’ve been sailing for 14 years and a full time livaboard for the last 4.
    There’s something called “credit card captians”. Just sayin’.
    With that being said, good luck. This’ll be fun to watch.

    reply
  • Check out couchsailors.com, they’re also on Facebook… Probably a good inspiration since they’re a pretty cool young couple who have written about their experiences transitioning into a sailboat. Theyre pretty honest and write about both the good and the bad!

    reply
  • Debbie LaFleiche

    Looking forward to following your newest adventures. It’s funny the entire time you were talking about your fears, I was thinking those are all my fears about going fulltime RVing in 2017. Doing something for the first time is always filled with a mix of fear and excitement. It’s the journey!

    reply
  • Billy B

    Red sky at night sailors delight, red sky in the morning sailors warning.

    reply
  • Billy B

    Should our Dinghy be powerful enough to wakeboard behind? *rolls eyes*

    How long will it take to get our sea legs and get comfortable sleeping on the boat? Depends, I take right to it, love sleeping on the water. Take two more anchors that you think you will need, and vary the types.

    reply
  • Debra Young

    Excited for you that you are enjoying and taking advantage of different life styles how awesome is that. We Will miss your RVing videos being we just recently purchased a 2016 Tiffin and we really haven’t got started yet enjoying it just a few close overnight trips. Like you getting started on something new the same here with us in the RV. Still nervous and trying to get a little more confidant in the RV. We live here in Florida on the east coast and we also had a sailboat, lots of fun. So enjoy and keep the videos coming. Plenty of beautiful boats in Lauderdale. If ever on the space coast give us a shout we would love to pick your brains on RVing

    reply
  • Hal Lucas

    We have a friend whose son and daughter-in-law have been living full time on a large catamaran for the past five years in the caribbean. I’m sure they would have lots of advice for you. Let me know if you would like to get in tough with them.

    reply
  • Billy B

    I used to hang out at a marina a lot (had a 32 foot boat there) and I’ve talked to a lot of folks that have lived on boats and traveled all over the world, I knew one man that died out there, they found his boat on the barrier reef, but he was an old man that lived on his boat 30 years and figured he would die out there. Another old couple had lived on sail boats all their adult lives, they had plenty of stories to tell. You won’t have as much freedom out there as they did thirty years ago though.

    Maintenance shouldn’t be too much of an issue, you’ll learn the ropes fast enough. Weather will happen, storms often start on the oceans without advance warning and sail boats don’t move all that fast either. Everyone living on sail boats have been through some, expect to lose a mast at times. It can at times be days of boredom interrupted with hours of sheer terror.

    Expect to pay bribes in some countries and there is still some pirates out there.. Get one with a diesel engine 35 to 40 feet long. A 50 becomes a real chore to clean and maintain for one couple, I would want a 40 foot ketch (two masts). Australia and New Zealand seems to be favorite destinations for most folks living on the seas.

    You might want to avoid the roaring forties, that zone can be a bugger. I think you can get internet almost anywhere out there these days but some of it may be expensive. There’s some great books by folks that have lived on the oceans. Speaking of drinking make sure you take booze with you, when a bad storm hits sailors will often batten the hatches and get drunk and ride out the terror. Take some good first aid and medical books.

    Make sure you get a seafaring GPS, they are different than one used on the highways. Radar can be pretty handy also. Good breeds of water dogs and be useful guards. Build up your muscles before moving aboard. Don’t expect to find fish everywhere, the oceans have great expanses of ‘desserts’ but near land will usually net some. Bon Voyage, you can have great adventures, mutter, mutter.

    Catamaran, I wouldn’t want one, they can flip and make your live miserable. Good sailboats are self righting.

    reply
  • Michael Chaitin

    I have spent the better time of my 66 years on boats and 50 years of sailing on the Great Lakes on 36′ sloops.

    So you’ve decided to get into sailing. Let me give you a couple of downsides. My father and 6 others each with 40 years of sailing almost didn’t make it from Bermuda to MA. A well known restaurantuer who was a very experienced sailor with a crew on a 40′ sloop , sailing from the Bahamas to West Palm Beach disappeared never to be found .

    Ok, so that said, I would look for a boat where all the sheets and lines are lead to the cockpit. Also, you want to find a boat with an in mast main and roller furling jib. The reason, if the weather turns bad or the seas get rough you do not want to have to get on the deck to deal with the sails. Life jackets at all times.. I would suggest you learn how to sail and all maneuvers on a small boat first . This is critical. If someone falls off the boat you have to learn how to jibe the boat for a quick pick up. I would suggest see who trains on Colgates. If your engine doesn’t work you have to be able to maneuver into a dock. Complete radio work, GPS which is different then GPS on a motor vehicle.. Celestial navigation if something happens to your power. The difference between RVs at boats is obvious you can’t pull over and wait for someone to stop by. You are out there all alone. Carry a gun and be prepared to use it as they’re pirates in and around the Carribean and Bahamas.

    reply
  • Harold McCarty

    check out pamwall.com. She is in Miami. She can be with you the hole way. Pam Wall Cruising & Outfitting Consultant
    Pam Wall’s consulting services offer the expertise, advice and security of over a decade of Outfitting Management with West Marine, years of raising a family on a sailboat while circumnavigating the globe, and a lifetime of cruising the waters of the world. Consulting can come in many forms, but what you gain is the knowledge, comfort, and an understanding of coastal and bluewater cruising that will allow you and your family to enjoy your time on the water, with the peace of mind that you are prepared.
    Seminars by Pam Wall are given at numerous conventions, yacht clubs, and boat shows around the world. The price of these are dependent on the location she is lecturing at, but many times they are free for those participating in the event. The seminars highlight different aspects of important topics involving sailing, cruising, and life on the water. Pam is also available to give private seminars for your organization, crew, or club

    reply
  • This sounds like an amazing adventure! I hope you guys have so much fun.

    Definitely get your “man/cat overboard” system down PAT. My husband’s uncle, a very experienced sailor, almost died last year in a man overboard incident, and his aunt and the dog had to do everything right to save him, the boat, and themselves. The story is frightening! But it was having their safety plan in place and super well rehearsed that saved them. You must be prepared for problems, for sure.

    That said, this is going to be great! I don’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer,” just want you to prep for anything.

    reply
  • Cal 20 Sailor

    KISS: “Keep It Simple, Stupid” rules, IMO… Get Don Casey’s and Nigel Calder’s books on sailboat maintenance and repair. For advice on how to set-up for cruising, get the books by Beth Leonard, Hal Roth, Eric Hiscock, and Lin and Larry Pardey — classic, old-school tomes on why “less is more” for those who want to keep moving rather than spending time and money on repairs, since the marine environment is brutal on all things technological. Also refer to John Rousmaniere and/or John Vigor for their descriptions of what attributes a good seaworthy offshore boat should have. Get the Active Captain app (https://activecaptain.com/articles/misc/gettingStarted.php) to keep current with hazards and facilities through crowd sourcing and social networking, as well as advice on internet access and other communications, etc. Best of luck!

    reply
  • Bob Gubbins

    Hi guy’s I really don’t have any advise to give you….
    But my time on the road is coming up soon and was hoping to meet you at some point in time, who knows may still happen….
    I want to wish you two the best of luck and well wishes!!!! Sounds like such a fun adventure for sure!!!
    Keep us posted it’s fun watching you learn!!!
    Bob

    reply
  • Brent

    Add navigation chart reading and learning navigation aids (signs, channel markers, etc). Put it at the top of your list along with all the things that can save your life. Learn man overboard boat rescue. Add harness and jack lines to your boat, consider asking some experienced blue water cruisers to make your first passages with you or hire a professional captain to go with you on your first offshore passage. You can gunk hole along the coast pretty easy but offshore you can get killed so learn learn first. You will see naive sailers who bought a boat, figured out which end was the bow and took off usually relying on luck. There are many stories of coast guard rescues of these hapless sailors. Don’t be one. Catamarans are roomy and some are capable passage makers but many are built for coastal cruising only and would be dangerous in storm conditions. Figure out how tall a 15-20 foot wave is and you’ll have an idea of what could flip you over sideways but frequently its stern over bow. Monohulls are not roomy but many have gone through hurricanes. If you are considering buying a boat coming out of charter plan on a complete engine / transmission replacement (because the engines are run 2 hrs a day for refrigeration and batteries. Go solar and add a water maker.

    reply
  • Linda

    While I will miss the RV reports, I wish you the best on this new venture. By all means take some serious classes on boat handling and navigation. This is a serious undertaking. I too would recommend that you crew for someone for at least a few days and nights. Be sure this is what you want to do. It’s a lot easier to buy a boat than to sell one.

    I learned not to ‘doom and gloom’ when an acquaintance told me she and her husband and children were going to take off sailing for a year or two. Her husband had virtually no experience, nor did she. (Although I did talk her into taking a basic sailing class taught by women for women.) But, hey, contrary to my expectations they survived, . So there.

    Good luck.

    P.S. you might read the books by Lin and Larry Pardey about their experiences aboard Seraffyn. I learned a lot about sailing from them.

    reply
  • A Stone in the River

    At sea you need to be your own EMS, Police and Fire department. Have the tools and be prepared for that. I can not stress enough how much time you should spend in preperation and research before you buy your boat. Get hands on training and charter or crew a trip (in the area/type of water you want to cruise) BEFORE you buy a boat. If you plan on staying between Florida and the Bahamas, a catamaran is not a bad choice because of the shallow draft (Florida and the Bahamas have lots of shallow water). If you want to cruise the world and get stuck out in the hairy stuff… You will wish you had a mono hull. If a big cat gets rolled or pitch polled… It is stuck upside down.

    reply
  • Mike R

    This sounds super exciting. My only concern would be less videos from you guys, so try to keep us updated somehow!

    I actually have a question… are you going to buy the boat first and THEN learn how to sail? I wonder if you could somehow get your lessons on your own boat.

    Another thing you may want to consider before heading out is fishing lessons. If that’s going to be a main source of food, it would probably be handy to know stuff your typical recreational fisherman wouldn’t necessarily know.

    reply
  • Al Lipscomb

    Be sure you know what the rules are for pets in some of the places you want to go. If you are going to bring the cat you may find places that won’t let an animal in.

    reply
    • Alan

      Hawaii comes to mind. 60- or 90-day quarantine is mandatory.

      reply
  • Jim Fox

    Linda and Steve Dashew have a website http://www.setsail.com/ that covers sailing and live-aboard in a way similar to how your site covers RVing. I built my own steel hull power boat and would suggest steel or aluminum hull over fiberglass because they are stronger. If you bump into floating logs or debris with fiberglass you end up with a hole in the hull, but with steel or aluminum you end up with a paint scrape or a bump but no hole. Aluminum doesn’t need much upkeep because the hulls are rarely painted. The new two-part epoxy resin primers and paints cover steel hulls so well that rust is rarely a problem anymore. Also repairing a steel hull can be done by any good welder. Repairing a fiberglass hull requires some expertise. Off-shore access to WiFi is possible using a hand rotatable Yagi antenna. Some Yagi antennas produce 15 to 18 dBi of gain at 2.4 GHz. Combining that level of gain with clear line-of-sight access to a WiFi service provider can yield long distance coverage. Over water, under extremely good conditions, you can lock onto a signal a couple of miles away, but the transmission speed is very slow. They also work better when docked in a marina. A Yagi, directional antenna can also be used with cell phones to access cell towers along the coast line. The most reliable and most expensive is satellite up/down link service but, expect to pay big bucks monthly. Take a look at SPOT Satellite Messenger service for position tracking. Get a Ham Radio license, no Morse code test is required these days. It will allow you to call home, access weather nets, and marine nets from anywhere in the world. Good sailing.

    reply
  • Glenn Draper

    The United States Power Squadron has excellent boating classes. http://www.usps.org/?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Text&utm_content=Membership&utm_campaign=Grant_Account The Sea Scouts have a great website full of good boating information. http://seascout.org/manual-resources-center/ Also, having a Ham radio–and a General Class radio license–will keep you in touch with other sailors. Contact the ARRL: http://www.arrl.org/ The best of luck to you guys, and we are looking forward to more of your on-the-water adventures.

    reply
  • What a fabulous adventure! I get sea sick myself on anything rougher than a lake, but I can’t wait to follow along on your next adventure! Best of luck!!

    reply
  • bayrider

    You’ve got this. World travel via personal sailboat is definitely apex adventure. It’s always been a fantasy of mine but I get motion sickness so easily I can’t imagine handling stormy seas. I’m fine on sailboards even in extreme seas but horrible on boats and light planes where I can see the horizon. I will be interested to follow you and see how you deal with it. Is it an issue for Jason?

    Our good news is that our house is sold this month and we are liquidating everything at this time to finally begin our fulltime RV nomad adventure. I think we’ll be very content with that for the near future.

    reply
  • Brent

    Check out Facebook for Sailing, Simplicity and the Pursuit of Happiness. Ben and Carey teach an offshore sailing class with offshore, weather, passage making, safety, etc. you might want to consider taking it for a week.

    reply
  • illya

    I’am so happy for you guys! I always figure whats the worst that can happen? death? well we all have to do that anyways so there is not one reason for anxiety or doubts. There are so many amazing things in the ocean, the beauty of some corals is just out of this world. I mentioned i used to grow and sell them. http://thumbs.ebaystatic.com/images/g/9RoAAOSwwE5WVQw1/s-l225.jpg thats just a random pic of the chalice types i used to grow.

    While it would be great to have the knowledge of 15 books under your belt from experienced sailors i doubt you have that kinda time. Let alone maybe 1-10% may be useful as who can predict what situations you might face?
    I think books on your boat and equipment specifically, would be a good idea, like a chiltons manual type of thing that you could reference if you had a problem. And of course backup equipment doesn’t hurt, spare inverter, whatever. I think this is gonna be like 100x more amazing than anything RVing has been. Taking classes and all your doing is plenty im sure. I watched a show of survival that was fantastic you may enjoy, Steve Callahan was on the series “I Shouldn’t be alive” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq_MnC2HBhQ entertainment only of course. one of the best ones i’ve seen though.

    It would be cool if you could get some kind of bottom scanning radar and find shipwrecks, you never know what you may come across. For me the corals and reefs would be enough to see, you guys have like the greatest opportunity in the world to do and see so much. Thank you for taking us with you 🙂

    Thanks, illya

    reply
  • Dick Hein

    I would keep the Costco membership. They have stores in Mexico and Panama. Very good place for batteries and oil in addition to the usual stuff.

    reply
  • There are sailors out there that provide serious sailing experience for a fee: http://www.mahina.com/ & http://yayablues.com/ come to mind. Mahina will assist finding the right boat for your needs. Do you know the people at http://theboatgalley.com/ ? Great source of information – and they are in Florida – recently bought a Gemini ? catamarran – which is very reasonable, I think. That particular cat I think would be easy to handle.

    Check out my posts at http://www.facebook.com/CaptainRickoAndTheSvSecondWind (I update often) or http://www.svsecondwind.jimdo.com (not so often)… and/or contact me if I can be of any help/advice!

    Cheers! & Fair Winds!
    ~~ _/) ~~

    reply
  • Mark G.

    Hello Jason and Nikki,
    I’m sure you have heard of the blog ‘Our Odyssey’. These folks started in a motorhome and are now in the boating lifestyle. Sean has the ability to rebuild things almost blindfolded. His skills are amazing.

    I wouldn’t want to steer you one way or the other as that’s your personal choice. I really enjoy reading your blog and watching your video’s. A friend of mine wants to start full-timing in a RV, so I directed him to your blog.

    Ourselves, we have 45 coach and try to travel once a month (since ’07), we love RVing and the people we meet.

    Mark G.

    reply
  • michael

    Many good comments. One author I would recommend is Capt Fatty Goodlander. He has circumnavigated two or 3 times. Lived on a Sailboat for his entire life…literally. He was raised on a Sailboat. He is a wealth of knowledge about sailing, doing things frugally etc.

    http://fattygoodlander.com His recommendations are literally from a lifetime ( over 50 years ) of solid experience on the sea.

    Fair winds and following seas

    reply
  • Chris Lassaline

    What if you were to swap your RV for a like minded sailing/cruising couple that wants to hit land for a year or so? You could each learn from each other. And if you didn’t like it you’re not out any serious mulah? I’m thinking you’ll like these two; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZdQjaSoLjIzFnWsDQOv4ww

    reply
  • Harley

    Greetings, consider amateur radio. General license. You can communicate to the 24/7 nautical net on 14.300 MHz, they can relay info for you and update you on weather. You can also send email/pictures over radio with a pactor 3/4 modem.

    reply
  • never choose between EPIRB and Sat phone – have both for sure!

    reply
  • Anne

    On the east coast, Annapolis sailing school comes highly recommended. (Maryland)

    reply
  • June Wonder

    I love you guys, you’re so fearless and eager. Can’t wait for this next adventure. I’ve done a little sailing in the Bahamas and my dream would be to live on a boat there. Good luck!

    reply
  • Roy B

    Best of luck in your new adventures. There are so many resources to help you in the transition to sail on youtube. Look up Monday Never (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk7fx_UC6Zjv08gc6OdCXuw/videos), they sold their apartment, and are sailing in the Caribbian as you are planning. WhitespotPirates, DrakeParagon, CruisingLealea, Antares44 Barefeet, so many excellent videos.

    reply
    • Roy B

      You would do well to watch the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV5gOBFWHNU series of videos. A couple just sits in their boat and explains to a group their experience in beginning an adventure like you. They explain very clearly what they experienced on buying their first boat, how to learn about it and then sailed around the world over several years. Very funny series, and serious at same time.

      reply
  • Two things that jump out – don’t forgo insurance! Anything can happen out here and you’ll lose everything. It’s tempting but not worth it. Get in touch with Liz at [email protected] and tell her Summertime Rolls sent you.

    Also, if you get the boat in FL, hire a captain to take you out for a few days to help you get to know the boat – we can’t recommend Bruce MacBain enough ([email protected]) – again, tell him we sent you!

    reply
      • Rebecca Hammond Vaughan

        If you have ANY questions, just email! Our survey / sea trial was 3 years ago today, so it brings back those newbie feelings!

        reply
  • Pam W

    It is so exciting that you are doing this! If you focus on the bad in anything you are sure to find it. I would bet that the risks to life and limb in a sailboat are not much (if any) higher than driving down the interstate. You will have a BLAST and you will handle the challenges as they come (you always do). I’m looking forward to seeing your adventure unfold, Godspeed!

    reply
  • Sad and excited for you guys at the same time. Enjoy your new ocean-bound adventures!

    reply
  • Julie Brumm

    Our family is so excited for you two, and proud that you are living your dream! You will do just fine on the ocean and you will have a blast! Thank you for sharing your adventures with all of us…you have always inspired us!

    reply
  • salmon Hunter

    Volunteer. Volunteer ,on a working boat for at least one month. Make sure it is a working boat not necessarily a fishing boat any crew time is really helpful in your quest. Get your time on the water whenever you can. It will be difficult to crew for a long time with the cats you might have to board them up when you are gone. Anyway spend as much time on the water as possible before buy a boat. Remember you have spent your whole life on land so there is a large learning curve. But what I always say remember to always have fun no matter what you are doing.

    reply
  • Jim Costa

    Sailboat voyages are all about planning, you will have to get a grip on this concept. Climate and weather, immediate weather windows and time frame vs. movement capability , consumables endurance, on board inroute commo schedule (because it will be via satellite and be potentially mega expensive) destination customs and visa requirements, GPS route considerations, plans B & C in all categories will eat away at the carefree dream of spontaneous choices on the water. It’s still ok actually, you can be spontaneous at anchor or in the new local waters once arriving, but you must address all of these issues in some fashion to make a crossing of even short endurance. A very common statement to this regard that has been a touch stone among sojourning sailors is this sentiment .. “No wise Captain ever risks his vessel in an unknown harbor.” Which translates to you must study your course and arrival intently. Planning is what makes a passage successful . Here’s a reading list of classic accounts, guides, and how to for you, by very respected authors on topic… 1. And first for many reasons, Anything by Beth Leonard, but especially “The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising” 2. Anything by Jimmy Cornell, but start with “World Cruising Essentials (Boats, Gear and Practices that Work Best).” and 3. For a planning reference “World Cruising Handbook (covering all of the maritime nations of the world)” 4. The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat (guide to essential features gear and handling) by John Vigor 5. “The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat, the Definitive Guide for Liveaboards” by Mark Nicholas 6. On sailboat maintenance, any thing by Don Casey, and they are usually published in topical areas i.e. “Hull and Deck Repair” and “Canvaswork and Sail Repair”. All of these are TEXTBOOKS to any serious open water sailor and remain in their libraries and heads. For recreational reading on good seamanship reread Joshua Slocum and Robin Lee Graham. HA ! Now go do your homework LoL. Fair winds and following seas… Seadog.

    reply
  • Lorne

    Check these guys out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZdQjaSoLjIzFnWsDQOv4ww. They took a similar path to sailing.

    reply
  • We full-time RV with our two young children and have been doing so for about 3 1/2 years. We also decided to sail, and started looking at catamarans in Ft. lauderdale. However we ended up putting a offer in on a monohull and head to survey this Wednesday… Let us know how you make out! Clark Jelley is our broker and we highly recommend him. Our blog is http://www.wheresmadison.com
    Best of luck!

    reply
  • Keith

    If you haven’t already, you should check out the Sailing La Vagabond YouTube channel. Their story reminds me of what you two are trying to do.

    Best of luck!

    reply
  • Steve

    Hi,
    My name is Steve and I just transitioned from sailing to RV’ing. I sold my Fountaine Pajot Athena 38 in Aug 2015 in florida and can offer lots of advice if you would like it. I sailed the Caribean for two years and never sailed a day in my life before starting that little adventure. Email me if you would like me to offer my little tidbits about setting out on the ocean. Feel free to email me if you would like me to offer my thoughts in detail on the questions and concerns you have posted here.

    If not well the adventure is worth it and far less onerous than most make it out to be. I lived off the grid out out if marinas for two years and the cost was about $800 USD per month living pretty high on the hog.

    Good luck and have fun with your new adventure.

    reply
  • Redds

    Best of luck guys and can’t wait to follow your journey

    reply
  • Thank you for sharing your journeys with the world. First to all of the nae Sayers, life is meant to be lived by the choices we make, not lived by the Fears we choose to believe in. Nikki said it best in the video “we do not let fear rule our lives”.

    So congratulations to you 2 for going the next exciting adventure of your lives out on the open water. I am truly excited to see where it takes you.

    My question is; Once you get to say another country and dock your boat will you need your passport or any other identification items in order to go and explore?

    reply
  • Mark & Margaret

    Hi Nikki & Jason,
    A Catamaran is the way to go as they stay flat all the time, so seasickness should not be an issue for Jason.
    Bigger is better, so if a 40 footer is in your budget then start there.

    Get a catamaran that you can get a 360 degrees of panoramic view form the Saloon and galley up, so you can enjoy the great views all day long.

    1000 watts of solar is pretty easy to do on a 40 foot cat, so you guys will be pro’s at that part already.
    Composting heads will also work well on a sailboat, so you guys are already pro’s on that.

    We just sold a Fountaine Pajot – Mahe 36 sailing catamaran that we sailed for 7 years. Wonderful cat.
    We are now moving up to a Fountaine Pajot – Helia 44 this year.

    Oh, My wife is the Sailor. She just takes me along for the ride.

    Love your posts, so keep up the great work.
    Cordially,
    Mark & Margaret

    reply
  • Angie McGeachy

    Have you looked into a SOS device? The DeLorme inReach you can also use as a GPS paired with your cell phone and you can text from anywhere in the world. It’s pretty cool as you can give your friends and family your website address and the inReach will show where you are and give them updates as often as you tell it to (every 2 minutes, 10 minutes etc). Plus having an option of hitting an SOS isn’t a bad idea, and quite often owners use it to call help for other people they come across that are stranded/hurt.
    Super excited for your adventure! Good for you for not letting fear stop your living.

    reply
  • Pat Costa

    Our last boat was a Grand Banks 42 Classic. It was a beautiful boat but we aren’t really campers. If I can offer one thought, it would be buy a boat that has the least amount of exterior wood. You will spend a lot of time, especially in tropic climes, scraping, sanding and varnishing teak. You can let it weather, but it just doesn’t (to me) look good like that.
    For internet when you are out of line of sight (no bars on your cell phone), Iridium is probably the cheapest option, albeit not much fast than dial up.
    By all means take classes in boat handling, safety and navigation, it might make sense to volunteer to crew on a boat going on a longer voyage.

    reply
  • Just to break the true reason everyone of your subscribers is trying to dissuade you from this adventure, most full time sailors tend to not wear many cloths in those wonderful tropical waters. That thought of Jason’s white pasty body is just really scary.. !! Hee hee hee 🙂 (zoom tan Jason !! )

    reply

Post a Comment