Voyage of Egret Forums

Doug Bright, Perth, WA AUS asks:
I just wanted to say hi and congratulations on your progress to date, and that I have downloaded and printed all your Captain's logs and am still reading them. I have got up the Beagle Channel so I've almost caught up with you!

You will love Chile - it's one of my favourite spots! For a great (but mind-numbing) drink, try a good "Pisco Sour" while you are there! It's made from lemon and some distillate from a cactus - served chilled! It's the only drink I know that paralyses one from the feet up!

I know that you are endeavouring to provide inspiration to other and would be Nordhavn cruisers - I am the latter although I have done some cruising before by sail. I just wanted to tell you that it IS working and that your efforts are not in vain.

This sentiment has been reinforced by the recently announced sale of the beautiful N62 #35 "Someday Came", after years of planning and construction by the owner, who, upon reaching commissioning day, suddenly announced that due to health reasons he would not be able to keep the boat and was putting it up for sale. A salutary lesson for us all to not put everything off until "someday" - how I feel for that guy. So sad!

Hence, most of my day to day life now is becoming increasingly geared to shedding the earthly bonds, decluttering home life and dumping superfluous stuff.

I am only looking at Nordhavns now, there is plainly no other boat that comes near it for sea-cred. So a lot of my time is taken up with establishing craft specifications and what I need vs what I want or would like.

So, that brings me to ask, did you settle on the N46 out of budget considerations or because it was enough boat to do what you wanted? If so, how do you find it for liveaboard space, especially in port, for a couple and/or with/without crew?

Without wishing to be too personal, what sort of daily budget do you work on for cruising? From my own past sail experience, it can be quite a lot higher than many people envisage.

I'll keep reading the rest of your prodigious output as there may be more answers to my other questions that I would therefore not need to bother you with now.

If and when you get to NZ no doubt you will think of Australia thereafter. I'd be happy to meet you and assist you with whatever I can.

All the best and safe passage,


Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Doug, congrats on starting the process of shedding your 'stuff'. If you haven't already you will soon see 'stuff' isn't important in the big picture. We ordered Egret in Feb, 2000. The only models available were the new at the time N40, N50 and up. We traveled to see an N40 being commissioned but we felt it wasn't enough boat for what we wanted to do, spend the rest of our traveling years aboard, plus we wanted a midship stateroom. The N50 new build was out of our price range. We ordered a new boat to get exactly what we wanted. Used N46 pricing (and they were getting it) was so high new made sense plus we weren't in a hurry. This was a transitional time for PAE moving from dealers to their own outlets. As we did then as does everyone today pick up the dealer discount that was tacked on top of PAE's net price. This is a substantial savings in price and value. Dealer markup doesn't leave the dock with you. It is gone forever. (We used to co-own a boat building company and sold builder direct as well. It was hard to convince folks the 25% markup (in our business) doesn't leave on the trailer when you tow it off the lot. Some could understand the value, others didn't get it. Obviously this is a long story but this is the financial nuts and bolts of what we did.)

Most long term cruisers find guests they expect to join them don't show. Most of us are anxious to share our good fortune and sights with others however most folks have other distractions and you spend most of your time by yourselves. The N46, or today the N43 and up is what we would consider a great platform for full time (years), long distance liveaboard with occasional guests. When you do get guests these boats do well having two staterooms, two showers/ heads and so on. You are not camping out. Another thing to realize, folks joining you are so excited to be doing something so special the slight inconveniences don't matter. (Like looong showers, looong hair dryer use and so on)

In port as we are now, gasp - marina queens, underway or on anchor Egret is plenty big enough and we don't feel pinched even after six years aboard. Per foot we have at least double, and that is being generous, the space as our fellow long distance sailboat cruising buddies. With the flybridge we have 4 levels (staterooms, salon, pilot house, and flybridge) to move around. And for super entertaining in anchorages we launch both dinks, lay the inflatable fenders inside the rails on the boat deck and one in the flybridge to hold up to 25-28 folks. Thanksgivings and a few wine tastings come to mind. (Wine tastings with that many folks are brutal fun)

Boat size, style are budget and personal wants/needs driven. There are several N40's WAY 'out there' plus the rest of the Nord gang. They all will do it. As for budgets, we twice answered the budget question replying to Forum questions. Look back under Forums a bit and you'll find them. One thing I will add to the budget issue is when we started the thought process of selling all and leaving 'forever' it wasn't without a bit of soul searching and financial trepidation. We took a 40 hour course on retirement, read everything we could and so on. One thing we learned during the retirement course compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. We have found this to be true making the initial financial pressure we were so worried about no longer an issue.

Thanks much for your generous offer to help in Oz. We have no plans beyond New Zealand. We basically have three options after NZ. Travel north to the South Pacific and return to New Zealand for another summer season, keep going north thru Japan, Aleutians, Alaska and so on or turn left. Turning left to Australia means completing the loop and a major commitment. Now is not the time to even begin planing the next big move. We have plenty on our plate this year just getting to NZ.

Picso sours are the Chilean equivalent to rum punches in the islands. Taste good, BIG hammer. Take care and good luck.

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