Narrowing the Boat Search

Though our blog belies it, we have been rather consumed lately with all things cruising.  We booked a charter for the Bahamas, bought a sailing dinghy, and have started our boat search in earnest, to name just a few of the things we have been up to.  Margaret is currently writing about our dinghy and her experiences learning to sail on it.  And I am sure we will have more to say about our Bahamas trip (in fact, I have been vaguely working on a post about preparing for that charter) as time goes on. So, I figured I would write a short post about our boat search.
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Decisions, decisions…and flowcharts!

It seems like every day we get more serious about buying a boat.  Over the last two days we have been considering these two yachts:
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Our Transatlantic Crossing (or not)

Eating lunch at my desk yesterday, I googled two-cabin, bluewater boats.  Currently, this is our preferred cabin layout, as it would allow us to comfortably accommodate visitors.  We have come across a few different models with this arrangement (e.g. Passport 42, Caliber 40 LRC), but have yet to identify and investigate all the possible yachts in this category.  As I slowly added a few additional boats to our list, I decided to peek again at Yachtworld’s listings for Valiant 40s, a well-regarded cruiser that is high on our list.  Immediately, a new listing in the Azores, at 50,000 dollars, caught my attention.  With only a single outdated picture and the scant text that indicated it “is in cruising condition, ready to continue” voyaging.  Emailing the listing to Margaret, I put aside my lunch and prepped for class, but not before filling in the details missing from the advertisement.  I imagined the boat’s perfect condition, its long list of new, desirable gear, and its recently overhauled rigging, well-tended sails, finely maintained engine, and sound hull.
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Thoughts at the Beginning of the Semester

It is the beginning of another school year.  While we endure the regular routine of constructing syllabi, crafting new assignments, and getting into the rhythm of the semester, we are also thinking about three Septembers from now when we will be outfitting our boat, or maybe even already sailing.  To say I (and to a slightly lesser extent, Margaret) cannot wait would be an understatement.
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Interview with Margaret

As we drove to Rochester a few weeks back, we interviewed each other to help pass the time.  Below is the transcript of Jeff asking me questions about sailing and our plans to cruise. You can read the interview with Jeff here.
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Interview with Jeff – Part 2

Margaret interviewed Jeff while on our road trip the other day.  This is part 2 of 2.  You can find the first part of the interview here.  We will be posting the interview that Jeff did of Margaret in the coming days.

How have your friends and family reacted to your cruising dreams?
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Interview with Jeff – Part One

We have been road tripping around the United States the past couple weeks and are now in Rochester, New York.  We will write more about these travels in the coming weeks and have a few videos for you.  However, in the meantime, we have been feeling bad that we have neglected the blog a bit.  So, while we were driving the other day, we interviewed each other about cruising. We will be posting these interviews over the coming days, as we get a chance to edit them and upload them.  Here is the first section of Margaret’s interview with me…
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Heading West: Part I

Hello from beautiful Primm, NV! Today we are sitting poolside at Buffalo Bills Resort and Casino, relaxing after a whirlwind two-week adventure. We are half-way through a month-long excursion. We apologize for our lull in blog activity over the past few weeks, but promise great photos and videos in the near future!
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Health Insurance for Cruisers

One of the concerns of many cruisers (and their land-lubbing family and friends) is medical care and health insurance while cruising.  After reading hundreds of blog posts I have come to the conclusion that there is no consensus, but rather a wide spectrum of ideas on what is the best and safest way to cruise.  On one end of the spectrum are those that feel going without health insurance will surely bring about catastrophic results, both health-wise and financially.  At the other end of the spectrum are those who think health insurance is an expensive ruse and would rather take their chances going without than spend a dollar for something they will probably (hopefully) never use.  While these are the extremes, most cruisers seem to be somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, wanting some form of coverage for catastrophic health issues, but also not wanting to break the bank for comprehensive coverage.
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Don’t Know Much About Meteorology

There are countless things I need to learn more about before we go cruising, and one of those many things is weather forecasting and routing. Before today, I thought I comprehended some of the basics of pressure, fronts, and the like, but knew I would not be comfortable making decisions about passages and routing with my current knowledge level. Moreover, I knew I was even more clueless regarding the methods of receiving information while we are at sea, or at least away from the internet. But I did not realize just how profound my lack of understanding was (though I did manage to break the world record in this weather routing game!).
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