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Going Liquid
Old 05-26-2015, 11:23 PM   #1
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Going Liquid

Invited a real estate agent over to discuss what improvements should work on for the house over the next few years to make it saleable. That was three weeks ago. Since then did a bathroom reno, listed the house, had an offer, accepted the offer, and subjects were removed. We are homeless in 6 weeks. Set a new record for price per square foot in our neighbourhood - 26% above the average over the last three months. There is nothing like selling into a hot market.

So now we will be renters. Starting the dematerialization process. Tools will be the hardest part. My lathe, cabinet saw, dust collector, milling machine, planers, chop saw, band saw drill press, compressor, media blast cabinets. etc. None of these things fit well on a sail boat. I know I will want these things again one day, but it makes no sense to pay storage on them for a decade or so while we are cruising.

It's very strange but now 95% of our net worth will be convertible to cash with a mouse click. The new town home which is our fall back land dwelling / rental income source will be ready early next year. Need to figure out what to with a bunch of cash for half a year.

It is very interesting being entirely liquid. We might experiment with a little urban living in a concrete building with a parking garage. When you aren't buying it, why not try something new? No desire to mow grass.

So let's see. The dog is dead. The little house is bought. The big house is sold. Debt free. Next up I guess we sell the little boat, buy the big boat, launch the kid. And oh yes the inlaws.

Getting closer to escape velocity. Less gravity is the key.

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Old 05-27-2015, 04:34 AM   #2
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Congrats. Being debt free and having options is wonderful !

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Old 05-27-2015, 05:26 AM   #3
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I just started with the very basics of sailing, with a possible thought of going the same route as you. I am thinking a horizon of three years, maybe five. I'm 35 years old right now, single with about three quarter million USD in assets.

Can you maybe talk a bit more about the following:
  • How much experience one likely needs to be able to safely go around coastal areas singlehanded - starting from zero as I do.
  • How much additional experience for an ocean crossing
  • What budget you plan to allocate to boat maintenance and total cost. Just rough thoughts, whatever you have I'd be happy to hear about

I've found some numbers on-line (like the magical $500 usd a month quote), but it's hard to understand them as they are usually lacking context.

Any ideas or sources on how to build towards experienced sailboat living, also appreciated.

Thank you!
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
  • How much experience one likely needs to be able to safely go around coastal areas singlehanded - starting from zero as I do. It's not that difficult to learn to handle a boat for coastal sailing, as long as you don't force yourself into unsafe weather conditions. And it will also depend on the size of the boat and if it's layed out for singlehanding.
  • How much additional experience for an ocean crossing. A lot, now you will have to be prepared to handle very rough weather, and learn how to fix everything on the boat yourself. Provisioning, sleep management, outfitting, navigation are an order of magnitude more difficult than coastal. Sailing the boat is the easy part.
  • What budget you plan to allocate to boat maintenance and total cost. Just rough thoughts, whatever you have I'd be happy to hear about Again, depends on boat size, many sources of info online. Learning from someone with experience is invaluable IME vs just reading.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:58 AM   #5
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Interesting thread. I'm waiting right now for buddy to pick me up to go to coast to work on the 34' sailboat we bought together. I'm 64 and have very little sailing experience; he's got a lot. I've pretty much concluded that I'll never captain the boat; only go out with someone who has much more experience than I. I knew going in that it was a tad crazy, but I'm looking at it as just that: a crazy idea. If it works out fine, if not that's ok too. Maybe I can get enough time in before the body deteriorates to sail it myself, but I just can't see myself taking the responsibility for DW or anyone else in my hands. We've already has some excitement that has taught me a great deal of respect for wind vs. sails. Like the time I accidentally let the roller reef loose (20 knot wind) and the full jib spun out, then the line jammed in the winch and only with my last ounce of adrenalin was I able to unjam it! My hands still hurt!
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:59 AM   #6
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GoingSailing, you are probably the closest match to our plan I have found on here! You are one step ahead with the sale of house but we plan on doing that this summer if lucky. We also want to live on a sailboat eventually, but first are touring land in a camper.

Getting rid of the tools is very hard...especially for someone who likes metalworking. I have a gigantic CNC machine with tool changer that can't possibly go on a boat as it weighs more than the keel of a 40 foot yacht. I am building a mini version of it that I CAN take on a boat or RV.

Congrats on the fast sale and future sail!
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:03 AM   #7
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We did the opposite, finished all the major remodeling a year ago, just listed. Made the realtor job real easy. We were going to sell last spring but decided to stay another year to enjoy the new master suite. We had a garage sale at the beginning of every month, letting go of everything got easier each sale. We now have just a few possessions that fit in 8 x 10 storage locker and the staging furniture in the house.
We leave tomorrow for 3 weeks vacay at the beach to mull over buying a fixer and living there 2 years before flipping to qualify for the next cap gains exemption.

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Old 05-27-2015, 09:23 AM   #8
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When I posted "Going Liquid" I was thinking this was an asset allocation / financial position sort of thread and folks would chime in on what is the best thing to do with $400k for six to nine months while my townhouse is being built.

The other interpretation of "Going Liquid" makes it a sailing thread. I hadn't actually thought of that. We didn't go liquid to go liquid so to speak. The sailing (and FIRE) will be a couple of years away. We went liquid because we are having the best real estate market in 30 years and it was an excellent time to sell without having to replace the old butyl plumbing and 30 year old furnace to make the house the most attractive among a range of buying options. This was a "here is my asking price and if you want to make an offer subject to repairs found on inspection, no problem there are other buyers waiting" kind of sale.

The experience required and cost required for living aboard are vast topics. When we last went we met good friends who lived on million dollar trawlers with spare engines, deep freeze, gen sets and air conditioning with an unlimited budget. We had other friends who lived on a $15k boat from the 70s. Both seemed to have equal happiness and enjoy the same anchorages. Likewise we had friends who bought a boat after a bit of experience on the lake and took off with their family from LA to Mexico. We had other friends who were on their second circumnavigation. All were surviving and thriving.

I had mixed advice about how prepared do you need to be to go. Some advised that I was insane for taking a 34' sail boat down the west coast of North America with a young family. Others told me, no worries, Polynesia is full of little boats loaded with Europeans having the time of their lives. (And big expensive boats loaded with North Americans waiting for parts to be delivered). I knew I was ready when I was able to call bullshit on all internet advice received and make my own decisions!

The truth is you need some experience and you need some money. More experience and more money make life easier. There is some threshold level below which your safety and comfort and are compromised.

We have a budget of $150k for the boat, $50k for refit, 50K a year for spending, and we plan to live on $40k a year (ie. $10k of cushion - don't want to come home to work, only to visit friends). These are CND$. We expect to live comfortably and enjoy a reasonable lifestyle. Though honestly if you are fishing to add a little protein to your diet of rice and beans or you are fishing just because you enjoy it, who cares - you're still fishing.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:02 AM   #9
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Congrats on the house sale and taking advantage of the current sale conditions. I am confused, did you buy a small place ("the little house is bought")? I think you are going to rent that out for a while when you are on the 10 years sailing trip? But the little house (condo) is not ready until next year? So you need a place to live for about 1 year while you get rid of stuff and prep for the sailing trip.

I would suggest to keep the money from your big house sale in an account that meets your risk tolerance for the period you need it. Most investment type accounts will be liquid, you just need to figure out how to invest it for your timeframe.

I am not sure on what to say regarding selling the tools off. Since you have no place to store them without cost, it is probably best to sell. That would be very hard for me, but ultimately you can find replacements when you are ready.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:24 AM   #10
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The "little house" is a townhouse not far from a large ski resort community. Great place to live. Excellent rental market allowing for different lifestyle options. We would have no problem renting it out 6 months of the year and living it in ourselves during hurricane season. Maybe rent it as a 2 bedroom and lock our stuff in a third bedroom so we aren't in and out of storage or having renters using our stuff. Year round rentals are also no problem there.

The little house has two problems. It is not built until February and it is an hour and a half drive from my son's high school. We aren't going to move him for his final year, but aren't that worried about where home is when he is in university.

So we are thinking we will rent for a year, move into the townhouse, and when our son is somewhat settled in after a year or two, maybe untie the dock lines and slip away. What's wrong with coming home for Christmas to Tonga?

The tools are the toughest. But there is no point in keeping a $1200 table saw if it is going to trigger $12,000 in storage fees over a decade. I think I will sell them or send them out as long term loaners to friends.
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:39 PM   #11
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We are as liquid and mobile as we have ever been. We have been renters for 3 years; we let go of the house, the tools, the yard, and more than half of our possessions (we kept just enough to furnish a 1,000 sqft 1/2 bedroom apartment); we are down to one car; and we moved to fully liquid investments (no more rentals or other privately-traded investments, all of our investments can be cashed in quickly). We can move anywhere, anytime (though I personally prefer to stay on dry land). We feel freer and it feels really good.

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