Del Sloneker, Little Rock, AR asks:
Subject: What does it take to make a dream, a reality?
For starters, thank you for your time and for sharing you knowledge/experience with those of us who are currently land-locked. I am a 27 year old medical student who dreams about long distance passage making in my own boat one day. I love your boat and the fact that you made your dream a reality. That said, it takes some serious "bacon" to pull off this dream. I know from your previous posts that you worked your tail off to make it happen, and I respect that. What would you tell a young man about what it takes financially to pull this thing off? I know this is a personal subject, but it's a reality. As you know, Nordhavns don't just grow on trees. What were your financial goals as you worked toward early retirement, and what are the monthly expenses associated with long distance cruising in a great vessel like yours? Thanks, and keep it up!
Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Del, cruising the world aboard a Nordhavn is the pinnacle of international cruising. As a recent graduate from medical school without income it would be difficult to purchase, have the time to learn your new discipline of blue water cruising and make a significant voyage. Dollars and cents and time don't add up.
However, there are a number of ways to make a post graduate voyage that are within reasonable limits. Let's start with the simplest. Just yesterday a boat arrived in Richards Bay (South Africa) with a 40ish owner and two Scandinavian (just guessing) mid to late 20 somethings aboard as crew. The owner is South African who saved his money, flew to Florida and bought a modest sailboat that had just finished a circumnavigation with an American couple. He spent the past 5 years cruising and surfing his way from Ft Lauderdale to Richards Bay. Somewhere in the Pacific he picked up this couple. Typically, young couples or singles like this pay their own food and crew for free to learn and see what they may with the time they have. We saw many in the Pacific doing just this having the time of their lives before work and kids and the rest.
The next level is to buy a modest, bluewater sailboat and set out on your own. We saw this time and time again with post university students from primarily Europe and a few from North America. They, too, are on a time restricted voyage and again, they, too, are having a grand adventure with a modest budget.
The bottom line here is, if you have a will there is a way with almost any income. It's the trip, not the boat. A boat is just a tool for the trip. A Nordhavn is the finest tool in my opinion for a number of different reasons but if you don't have the horsepower to purchase an N there are other options. However, if you do intend to travel by Power you may NOT make the slightest compromise to safety.
To answer your bottom line costs question I'll give my stock answer that is so true. You spend what you have. Good luck to you.