29 minutes | Aug 16, 2021
13. Sailing the Gulf Stream & Cuba!
Gulf Stream What is the Gulf Stream? What do you not want to do in the Gulf Stream? What did we decide to do? How did that pan out? What would I do differently? Cuba The entrance at Marina Hemingway Easy all in one place to conduct customs and immigration COVID protocols What was Cuba really like? How was Havana?
31 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
12. Sailing Firsts
Sailing is an interesting thing to undertake. Most people in their lives will never sail or even think about sailing. It is very difficult and can be very rewarding. This last month we started our sailing adventure. Throughout the month we have experienced hundreds of "firsts". In this episode we discuss some of the big "firsts". A few examples are first overnight sail, first sail in the open ocean, first time in the gulf stream, first time checking into a new country etc. When folks talk about highs and lows of sailing they mean it!
29 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
11. Simple Solar System on a Sailboat
Episode 11: Building a Simple Solar Set Up for Our Sailboat (Increasing Self Sufficiency) Topic: Simple Solar Set Up for our Boat Things I want to include this episode: 1.Cool facts on solar a)Found a cool article on solar from GreenTechMedia (I’ll link in the description if you want to read more) which has some cool facts on the decreasing costs of solar and the expectation for the future. It says that solar will be the cheapest form of electricity by 2030 and solar costs will decline by 15 to 25 percent over the next ten years. To take a look back in the past solar installation prices were reduced by 80% from 2000 to 2010 to about $1 per watt. That trend will surely continue in the future. Already I feel like a small system is still relatively affordable. Link to Article: https://www.greentechmedia.com/squared/the-lead/solar-to-be-cheapest-form-of-electricity-across-u.s-by-2030-and-other-trends 2.How to plan for your set up. a)How much power do you use? i.This was something we weren't sure of while planning. Mostly because of our fridge. We have an older Adler Barber cold plate and We had no idea how much power it would use and I was kind of concerned about it. We didn’t have the model number or anything to go off of. Also wasn’t super sure of how much power all our instruments and auto pilot would use. But these are things you can research fairly easily. But really your main power usage at anchor is fridge and at sea you can add all your instruments. We didn’t have a battery monitor to see how much power each of these items was drawing in actuality. So we went off what we could find online. ii.The system that came installed on our boat was not cutting it in hindsight. We were getting very little power production from our solar panel and controller (140 watts peak) and our battery bank was consistently discharging below 60% with almost no draw (lights and water pumps for dinner etc). iii.One of the things we highly recommend is some type of battery monitor so you can see the loads being placed on your battery bank at any given time. You can flick on your fridge and see the watts that begin drawing from your bank. Turn on all your lights and see. Turn your autopilot and instruments on. This is going to give you a really good idea of what your systems “actually” draw. Product manuals are great but it’s nice to see it live. b)How much solar do you need? How big of a battery bank do you need? How many batteries and what kind? (50% vs 95%) i.There are a lot of options and combinations here. I will just give you our idea behind our set up. ii.From the research we had done we noticed that a solid, small system for RVs, boats, etc was about 400 watts of solar with a 2400 amp hour battery capacity system. That was like the cheapest/simplest system template that wasn’t too complicated yet very effective. We have a small boat. This seemed perfect to us and not much of an upgrade really. Plus, it was mostly just replacing components that were already present in our boat. c)Building a schematic and link mine in the show notes. i.Before we started installing anything we went through the system that was already on our boat and made sure we understood how everything was wired and labeled all of wires before disconnected them. Then we built a schematic on my computer. We also labeled wire with its appropriate gauge or diameter in my schematic so we knew how much of each size we needed. d)Affiliate link all of the products we bought. 3.Costs associated with building a small simple solar set up. a)We replaced about 95% of the set up that was previously installed in our boat. This wasn’t something we just immediately did. We used the initial set up for months to be sure that things actually needed to be upgraded and spent a lot of time researching exactly what we wanted and needed for an upgrade. New house batteries (lithium), solar panels, charge controller, and inverter. Most of this stuff wasn’t working on our boat or not very well. We spent about $3,500 on a mostly new solar set up. A lot of this cost is the lithium batteries which will run you about a grand each and we got two. We could’ve done the same system with lead acids for $1,500. 4.How we executed our plan and our lessons learned. a)It took us about five days to get everything installed. A lot of that time was spent researching, making trips to the hardware store etc. This was the first time we had ever done a solar installation so there were a lot of tools we didn’t have and lots of times we forgot something we needed and had to go back to the store. If we had to do it again we think it would take us a couple days less. We did the installation 100% DIY and I hope no one feels overwhelmed by it. Especially if you keep it simple. b)The system ended up giving us a lot more power than we were used to. Before we would run the batteries down pretty fast with hardly any use and our solar production was pretty bad. With the new panels we can generate 380 watts of power (about 95%) during good sunlight and it charges our batteries up very quickly. We also saw we were pulling over 100 watts at around 9 am and at 7 pm just before the sun started to set. This is pretty amazing considering we were only getting about 160 during peak daylight before. I wasn’t really optimistic in how well a new solar system would perform and was already thinking about wind power, a small gas generator etc to supplement. So far we have been pleasantly surprised and we can’t wait to see how the system does over time. Affiliate Links to products we used. If you purchase any of these items using the links provided we can get a small percentage! Thank you! - 100 amp hour LiFePO4 Batteries: https://amzn.to/2RzFDyb - Solar Charge Controller: https://amzn.to/2P8PWsj - DC to DC Charger: https://amzn.to/3u38usD - Inverter: https://amzn.to/3ryLiRh - Battery Monitor: https://amzn.to/39pNdkO - Solar Panels: https://amzn.to/3m27KRG - Hammer Crimper: https://amzn.to/3dkZmJ0 - 300 Amp Fuses: https://amzn.to/3cvae87 - 50 Amp Circuit Breaker Fuses: https://amzn.to/3w93JzE - MC4 Solar Panel Connectors: https://amzn.to/31vcd64 - Solar Panel Extension Wires: https://amzn.to/3dgeO9s - Copper Terminals: https://amzn.to/3fv6DZL - Wire Cutters: https://amzn.to/3m3p9JQ - Heat Gun: https://amzn.to/3u1WasE - Wire Crimper/Cutter Combo: https://amzn.to/3dj77PS - Battery Charger: https://amzn.to/31tYIn9 - 30 Amp Inline Fuse for Solar Panels: https://amzn.to/39q9wHg
20 minutes | Mar 12, 2021
10. What is a Gap Year and Should I Take One?
1. What is a gap year? A Gap year, also known as a sabbatical year, is typically a year-long break before or after college/university during which students engage in various educational and developmental activities, such as travel or some type of regular work. I think you could take a gap year whenever you want honestly. Emily and I decided to take one ourselves this year. I think in between career paths is a good time, or if you just need a break. I think it may be harder to do, or commit to at least, depending on your financial or family situation. 2. Why would I take a gap year? Why shouldn’t I take a gap year? What are the pros and cons? Why would I take a gap year? Take a gap year to take a break in your cycle of life, experience new things, grow as a person before you continue down your path. You may find that the path you were going down is not exactly what you want after all. Why shouldn’t I take a gap year? There are no reasons. Just kidding. Of course it could be expensive unless you find a program that will assist with the money, you may miss out on events back home, you could have trouble finding a new job or getting into a certain school. Everything in life has its pros and cons.You just have to decide if it is worth it. What are the pros and cons? Pros: Get out of your comfort zone. Too many people spend their whole lives talking about their dreams and planning and never executing. What is really stopping you? The answer is probably you. Growth as a person. If you go out and read stories on those who have shared gap year stories a recurring theme is that they grew as a person. They feel more confident, able to talk to new people, less scared to try new things etc. Travel. You need to experience other cultures and countries if you can. The world is an amazing and diverse place. Learning that where you come from and the way you do things is not the norm in most places on Earth. This could be an eye opening experience and really help you grow as a person. Cons: Honestly the only real cons I can find are Expense Losing momentum in your current path Missing out on events at home or relationships etc. 3. Are there any good programs or ideas for spending the year? ICS - International Citizen Service - For 18-25 year olds and 23-35 for Team Leaders. this is a great program where you can go and volunteer to make a difference/ This is for UK people but I bet you could get in from wherever. That’s not the point though. Gap Force - this has programs for India, Thailand, Fiji, Costa Rica, Ecuador all kinds of places.
23 minutes | Dec 28, 2020
9. How to Purchase a Boat and What To Do Afterwards
Intro: We are back with the final piece of our Boat Buying Series. Part 3: The Purchase. Last week we talked about the survey and sea trial and negotiating the price. This week we are going to cover the final three steps which are the payment, the documentation, and the insurance along with what happens after you actually buy the boat! Payment There are several ways you can execute a payment or a combination of these below. It will most likely vary as well if you are working with a Yacht Broker or just dealing with a private owner. Deposit - Once again this can vary depending on the cost of the boat, if you are working with a private owner or broker. You will most likely need to put a deposit down on the boat before you have it surveyed and taken out for a sea trial. You have to put your money where your mouth is! It may be a percentage of the cost of the boat or just an agreed upon price. A broker will require this typically and a private owner might as well. Cashier’s Check - Most likely what you are going to use. A Cashier’s check is a certified check from a bank guaranteeing the funds. Cash - This is the easiest way if you are buying a boat that has a relatively low asking price. Makes things very simple! Be careful walking around with a lot of cash though. Wire Transfer - This method is quick and there is no middleman involved. You send the money directly from your account to the owners. Bank to Bank Transfer - This method will be done if you are financing (getting a loan) for your boat and the boat still has a lean on it (another loan open on it). You will need to get a payoff quote from the owner’s bank and provide that to your bank. They will then send the funds to the owner’s bank and a title transfer will occur between the banks. Documentation Bill of Sale - The Bill of Sale is an important document. (Insert example of what a bill of sale looks like?) This document is required in most states. The bill of sale details all the vessel’s information, who the buyer and seller are, their addresses and the agreed upon price and method of payment. Both the buyer and seller sign. The bill of sale may need to be notarized depending on your state. You will need this to get a new title in your name and register the boat at the DMV. This is a very important document! Title - Once you’ve executed payment of the boat you are going to get your hands on this. The owner should sign it over to you and hand you the title. If the boat had no lean on it and you paid with your own money (no loan) then you should get the title free and clear and are the owner of the boat! If you get financing for the boat then you will have to send the title or a copy of it to your bank. They will hold it until you have paid your loan. Registration - Once you’ve purchased the boat it is time to head to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and get your paperwork straight. Just like a car. At the DMV you can register the boat in your name and have the title redone in your name. Check your state’s DMV requirements for vessel registration before you go. You can have your boat registered with the U.S. Coast Guard if you wish. We won’t go into that here but it is an option that some boat owner’s choose. If you do make sure your state doesn’t still require registration if the boat will be in those state’s water’s for a certain amount of time per year. Insurance This can get a little wild depending on where you live (The hurricane belt), where you plan to use your boat, and how much it is worth. There are several options out there and your choices are going to depend on how much your boat is worth, how old it is, and where you plan to take it. If you choose not to insure your boat be aware that some marinas will require at least liability insurance for you to be allowed to utilize a slip at least that has been my experience. Marinas in other countries or states may be more lax on this. Another thing to consider while shopping for insurance is to get Tow Boat U.S., Sea Tow, or some other type of towing service. You never know when you will have an issue like running aground, engine failure, dead batteries etc. and need a tow back to the marina or to a safe and protected location to fix your boat. Post Purchase After you’ve purchased your boat you need to figure out where to keep it. You may be able to take over the slip the boat currently resides in or you may have to find a new one. Start making calls because a lot of marinas will be full and there may be a waitlist in your area. Others may go straight to living on anchor or sailing straight to the Bahamas! Whatever floats your boat!
31 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
8. How to Place an Offer on Your Dream Boat
Hi we’re back again with our next installment of our three part series on buying your dream boat! Last week’s blog covered the first stage (finding the boat). This week we are going to cover placing the initial offer, setting up a professional survey and sea trial and your re-negotiation of the initial offer to come to a deal. The Offer So you’ve found your dream boat and are ready to make an offer. The first thing to do is look at the asking price from the seller. Typically that number is around 10-20% higher than what they will actually sell it for. I mean why wouldn’t you post your boat asking for more than you know its worth? Free money! I’d account for that and then get my new number. At this point you have done your first survey on your own. You’ve done your research and read some books and did your best to locate any issues or needed repairs. Go through everything you found in the survey and think about how much that is going to cost you to repair. Deduct that from the original price. This may take some time to research material costs, labor costs etc. Don’t forget if you have things that have to be done below the waterline. An example would be replacing the cutlass bearing, new bottom paint, repacking the stuffing box, replacing thru hulls. That is going to cost you ~$1,000-$1,400 for a medium sized boat just to have it hauled out of the water, pressure washed, and placed on blocks. Then you will start to pay by the day by the foot normally. This can add up quick! That’s why it is important to think about the repairs you are going to need to do and how long it may take. One thing I have learned so far is marine materials and labor are expensive! Take all of this into consideration and make your offer. If it is going through a broker then there may be some paperwork and a deposit that has to be done before the offer is legit. Dealing with a private owner is more simple but you can have the ability to guarantee the boat based on an offer and it can’t be sold out from under you etc. Dealing with a private owner you may not get the same treatment. Once you submit your offer you should hear back with a counter offer or an acceptance of your offer. Okay so you’ve come to an agreement on a price with the broker and owner. The next step is the Survey and Sea Trial. How in the heck do you do that!? The Survey and Sea Trial The next step is to find an accredited, reputable surveyor to take a professional look at your boat. They will spend several hours digging through every inch of the boat, ensuring all systems function and taking the boat out for a sea trial to test engine combustion, temperature and all kinds of other things I don’t fully understand. They can diagnose problems that the average person would not be able to diagnose. The bottom line is you are hiring a professional whose job it is to take an unbiased look at your boat prospect and give you a detailed report on its condition and value. This is invaluable especially if the surveyor is a good one and is a critical step depending on how much knowledge you have in boats. I know some other boat owners who would say they wouldn’t hire a surveyor the next time they buy a boat or that they had a bad experience with a surveyor who didn’t do a great job. This can happen but if you do your research you can find a good one. Another thing that will help is you actually BEING PRESENT for your survey. I know some people cannot but if you can BE THERE. Your insurance company will most likely require a survey to be complete before they will insure you and the same for financing if you require that. So you are going to need one. So how do you find a GOOD surveyor? I’m sure your yacht broker could recommend one right? WRONG! Don’t get their recommendation unless you absolutely have to. To avoid any conflicts of interest between broker’s and local surveyors I would do some research and find my own surveyor to work with. Disclaimer: I am not making a statement about surveyor’s and broker’s character and am not saying surveyors and brokers would ever do such a thing. I am just saying it could happen and you might as well protect yourself from it if it ever should. So hop online and start looking for a SAMS (Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors) or NAMS (National Association of Marine Surveyors) credentialed surveyor. You can find them here: SAMS (https://www.marinesurvey.org/) and NAMS (https://www.namsglobal.org/). Type in your location and search! A lot of these surveyors will have their own websites and I would go check them out. Sometimes they will have examples of their survey reports so you can see the quality they produce and if they don’t have an example on their site I would ask for one. Once you’ve found your surveyor you have to set up a time that works for a survey, haul out and sea trial between you, the surveyor, broker, seller, whoever is going to serve as the captain during the trial and the boat yard. Lots to do! Each surveyor I’m sure is different but I would go through the entire survey alongside them and learn as much as you can about the condition of the boat and what to look for. Their knowledge is invaluable! This whole process is going to cost you at least $1000 USD so you might as well take advantage of the opportunity because if you pass on the boat you lost that money and might as well get some education. Renegotiation of Offer and Deal Final step! You and the surveyor conducted the survey and sea trial and you have received the survey report. Comb through this thing. What needs to be fixed according to the surveyor? What problems did they find? Are you willing to tackle those projects? How much would it cost to fix them? Do some serious thinking about all these things because the next step is buying the boat. You now have an unbiased professional opinion on the condition of the boat and you can use that as leverage to re-negotiate the price. The goal is to reach a new agreed upon price for the boat armed with your knowledge of the survey. Sometimes both parties cannot agree on a price and walk away from the deal. This is okay! Do what feels right and makes the most sense. Don’t get overly emotional because I know you want that boat bad! Once you have reached a deal you are ready for the final part of the boat buying process. Good luck! The offer, survey and sea trial are critical parts to the boat buying process. We covered how to come up with your initial offer, how to find a surveyor and how to negotiate and come to an agreed upon price. Next step is buying your boat!
36 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
7. Searching for a Good Enough Cruising Sailboat
How to Find your GOOD ENOUGH Cruising Sailboat 1. Intro Introduce each other Talk about what the podcast is going to be about (The topics covered in the agenda) 2. Step 1: How do you even know what boat you want? Where to start… We started by watching a lot of sailing channels on YouTube and making a list of all the things we thought our boat needed to include. Initially, some of the priorities we had were: existing solar, refrigerator, electric windlass, self tailing winches, center cockpit or large aft berth, folding table, comfortable layout, and autopilot. After the initial “nice to have list,” we started to break it down and rank our list based on our budget. What is your budget realistically? How long do you plan to cruise? Are you going to be working from your boat remotely? Are you going to have to go to work physically? When you start looking at a boat think about thousands of dollars in upgrades that you will need to make to your boat based on your requirements and how you plan to use the boat. What are you going to do with your boat? Live on anchor? Travel the Caribbean? Stay in a marina all the time? Cross oceans? One thing to really think about is all the upgrades you will need for your boat depending on what you plan to do with it and add that into your budget. Now that you have an idea of what you want to do with your boat and how much you want to spend on one now you can start looking for the right model(s). For us finding the right model based on our priorities of how the boat needed to be outfitted changed over time. Looking at different boats, researching and learning about new things and becoming increasingly aware of what it would take to live aboard a boat. In the beginning I know I didn't really know what we needed so I was looking for a great cabin layout, nice kitchen,, great aft birth like a center console model and as far as the systems of the boat I was mostly looking to make sure they were clean. For me personally my priorities changed to not really care much about the interior and the layout of the cabin and focus more on the engine, the sail’s condition, furling mains and how easily the boat was to operate as a single handed sailor from the cockpit, anchor size and type and chain, windlass, autopilot, solar set up, wind generator, things like that. Luckily we found a boat that has a lot of those systems as well as a well maintained interior. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Is it a great boat for the price? I believe so. 3. Step 2: How do you actually find a boat? Where do I look? After you decide on a budget and some major things that you are looking for in your new floating home, start the search! I’m sure in the old days people used classifieds in the newspapers and word of mouth to find boats for sale but luckily you have the internet at your disposal. We used www.yachtworld.com , www.boattrader.com , facebook marketplace and we actually found our boat on www.sailboatlistings.com I would use these sites to get an idea of what is out there in your price range. Do some research online for some opinions and reviews on some models you find and see if others have historically used that boat for your intention as a guide Be patient, finding a boat can take a LONG time. If you live near boat yards you can take some strolls along the yards and there are normally quite a few boats for sale that you can take a look at in person. I think I probably looked online and in boat yards for about two months before we found the boat we wanted. I actually contacted an owner and stepped foot onto about 4 or 5 boats of all the ones WE looked at online. Luckily I lived in Florida so it was easy to see a lot of boats. Others who are planning on moving across the country to move onto their boat won’t have as much opportunity as someone already on the coast. 4. Step 3: What do you do when you find a boat you’re interested in? Call the broker or owner and set up a time to see the boat. Do some research on the boat and see what typical problems that specific boat may have from other owners. I joined facebook groups for owners of my boat. I read Inspecting the Aging Sailboat by Don Casey you can use our affiliate link here if you’d like to buy the book: https://amzn.to/2VwBY2W This book is all about how to do your own inspection and to recognize problems. This was huge for me because I had no idea what to look for. At the back of the book he gives you a quick inspection list that can be done in 30 minutes which is perfect for your first look at the boat. I would highly recommend you read this unless you have a lot of boat experience. Talk to people who actually know about boats! Emily’s grandfather has been a sailor all of his life and had a lot of important knowledge to share with us about boat systems and what to look for when buying a boat. Show up to the boat showing and get to work. Have a plan to cover every inch of the boat. Make sure the owner turns everything on and shows you that everything works. I mean EVERYTHING. There are things I find on my boat still that are not working as they should be and it is because I just FIGURED it would be functional. Just be very thorough is my point. If you are interested in the boat still after your quick inspection you can either ask to spend more time digging through everything or ask for another appointment where you can have a longer chunk of time to really get into the weeds. 5. Conclusion Looking for a boat is time consuming, can be a little stressful but is ultimately so much fun and something I will never forget! The key takeaways from the podcast should be this.. Do some research and make sure you know what type of boat you want and how you plan to use it. Find a boat that fits those needs and your realistic budget. Get on all of the boat listing websites and spend a lot of time looking at boats and comparing prices, models etc. Be patient and find what you actually want! Prepare yourself before you step foot on the boat. It could be yours soon and anything you miss you will inherit. Be very thorough and don’t feel bad about asking them to show you things are operational and don’t be afraid to dig through everything.
41 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
6. The Journey to Discover Our Values
We go through how to find your initial values set, how to narrow them down to what really matters to you and how you see your life moving forward. We then talk about some different personality tests to take to determine how you tick. This is great to do with your significant other to help understand each other.
31 minutes | Oct 4, 2020
5. Creation Over Consumerism
We talk about how we see consumerism in our every day lives, how the pandemic has led to more consumerism in restaurants and too many single use items that we continually buy. We discuss having more creation in your life and how it makes us feel more connected.
26 minutes | Sep 17, 2020
4. Simplicity Not Minimalism
We discuss the differences in minimalism and simplicity, or simple living and we plan to implement simple living as we prepare for the liveaboard life. We talk about the willingness to spend money on certain items we need for the boat and travel expenses to live our dream!
31 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
3. Our Journey from Corporate to Boat Life
Tanner just moved to Florida and has a lot to share. From Colorado to Florida, from military to boatie. Tanner shares all as he transitions from a day to day corporate job to living among other sailors and liveaboards at a marina in Florida.
39 minutes | Sep 4, 2020
2. Preparing for a Major Lifestyle Change
As we prepare to move to Florida, find our sailboat and get to cruising we decide to stop and talk about our planning process. How do you prepare for a major lifestyle change like this? What are the steps you can take to organize this undertaking and allow you to be successful? We go through, in depth, the process we follow and how we are implementing it in real time as we prepare for an extreme shift from Colorado military life to remote sailboat life. You wont be disappointed!
28 minutes | Aug 28, 2020
1. Our Story
Emily & Tanner discuss their backgrounds, careers and hobbies. They discuss the way they met and how things came together and decide to move to Florida and find a boat!