To Sail Or Not To Sail – Now What


As I noted in the earlier post, To Sail Or Not To Sail – What we Did On Our Summer Vacation, we have made the decision to explore the feasibility of retiring on a sailboat.  Having made that choice, we hit the first hurdle, which is simply put as “Now What”.

Our first step was to visit a sailing shop of some sort.  These are fairly rare when you live in an area without access to your typical sailing venues.  We are kind of landlocked with no big lakes close by, which is not really a good thing.  We did find a shop (Glenmore Sailboats) in Calgary and popped in for a visit.  Very friendly place and very willing to discuss sailing and live-aboard.  As first moves go, this turned out pretty well.  We asked questions, he answered.  We asked where people sailed in the area and he listed off 4 places.  These are Chestermere Lake, Glenmore Reservoir, Ghost Lake and Newell Lake, Alberta.  We now had some places to check out.  We asked about lessons and he recommended the sailing school at Glenmore Reservoir.  We asked about live-aboard and if people actually do what we were thinking.  The answer was a resounding yes.  He knew of many people who do it.  Some succeed, some don’t, which makes complete sense.  Preparation is key.

We left feeling pretty good about things, other than the answers creating even more questions.  I’ll leave that to later and concentrate on our next moves.  Lori arranged lessons on the reservoir through the Calgary Sailing School.  These were to start on June 1 and were on Lasers.  I’ll leave that experience for the next post.

Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary

Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At this point, we now know that we are going to seriously look at this, that it is doable as people do it all the time.  We immediately went into lala land and started casing out costs and boats.  I was shocked.  Check this one out.

Pretty impressive living space.  The pricing is amazing to.  Sailboats in this class can go for anywhere from $75-125,000.  The other part we looked at was living costs including maintenance.  This is where it gets hairy.  We have read that you can do this for anywhere between 500 and 5,000 a month.  Both ends I see as extreme and the most common number I see is 3,000.  The idea suddenly becomes a bit less crazy.

I’ll leave off here and take you to our adventures on Glenmore Reservoir on my next post.

About John

I enjoy travel, sports, music and anything else that jumps up at me for the moment, which is why I blog. There will be lots of music and travel posts and a smattering of sports and humour. I enjoy promoting Canada and am unabashedly a proud Canuck.

Posted on September 21, 2012, in Alberta, Calgary, Canada, Sailing, travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Very impressive! Really looking forward to hearing how this develops.

  2. Rough life, John.

  3. My dad had a sailboat around the same size as the one shown. He wasn’t a natural born sailor, I’ll say that. He would turn into a nervous wreck every time he tried to bring it into port. It takes a certain personality, I think, to feel at home and relaxed on the boat. I can see you doing it, John. I guess you really have to envision yourself living in that small space for a long stretch of time. If it goes bad I guess you could turn your adventure into a book? haha!

    • We are travel loners to a great extent. Our upcoming trip is solo except for a weekend in Barcelona when Lori’s cousins from England are joining us. We tend to do better on our own. As for the boat, we are pretty laid back in most situations. The small space has a couple of very huge advantages. When we travel, we hate packing, unpacking and lugging luggage. The boat solves that. A backpack and we are gone for a couple of days, leaving all our stuff behind. Another is the storage. You actually can own stuff and take it with you, without worrying about weight. The space is small granted, but we only are interested in the bed. Once we hit a port, we won’t be spending much time aboard, and in some places, will be abandoning the vessel for days on jaunts inland, carrying that back pack I mentioned. There is a surprising amount of space on these things and don’t forget the deck. A book, what a great idea. I guess the nuts and bolts are right here. Must be subliminal, I just posted this on my music blog. http://therealcanadianmusicblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/song-of-the-day-father-john-misty-im-writing-a-novel/

  4. I was wondering if you had considered buying an island. From what I’ve seen, if you don’t mind living near Central America, Southeast Asia or Nova Scotia, you can get one for less than $50k.

    I think that may be my total inexperience with boats talking.

    • Hmmm, found this in my spam filter. I guess that spam problem you are having is still around. You in real estate now? We are trying to satisfy our wanderlust, economically, and solve the living out of a suitcase thing. RV’ing won’t work as fuel would bankrupt us. Wind is free, and solar panels, and windmills.

      • Buying an island would still satisfy your wanderlust. All you’d need is a dock. You could explore hours in any direction from the island. At this point, I might be talking more to myself than to you. Ha ha! And solar and wind energies would still apply.

        I guess for me an island would be the stepping stone. Practice with supply lines and resource management and such, without having to use a boat too much at first.

        • We figure that once we are licensed, we can rent boats in the Caribbean, or somewhere else and take off for 2 or 3 weeks, This is what we are thinking as a stepping stone. We may hate it, we may love it. Either way, one hell of a lot of fun.

      • I’m a “shopper”, not an agent or anything, but here’s an example of what I’m talking about. $65k, off the coast of Belize which is an English-speaking country. You would have the whole Caribbean to explore – just like pirates! But if you didn’t want the boat at first, you wouldn’t have to get it – just a smaller one for 1-hour trips.
        http://www.privateislandsonline.com/islands/long-caye-island-property

        • Belize is a cool place. Went cave tubing there. As I go along, the small boat idea is one we are looking at. We found the spot, Kootenay Lake in BC. A 20 or 25 foot day cruiser can set you back 10 – 30,000, but the practise is crucial.

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