What is a blue water cruiser?
A blue water cruiser is the term given to someone who lives on a boat for a few months, even years. They tend to explore the oceans well past their home port.
Many cruisers have asked themselves this question and can confidently answer it. “Why sail?” “Because adventure is out there,” they’re most likely to respond. “Because the ocean is my life.”
In a given year, an estimated 10,000 small boats, sailed by families and individuals, are out exploring the world’s oceans. -CNN
Cruising World wrote a funny (but true) breakdown of the types of cruisers that exist. The truth is that not everyone cruises for the same reason. Some people may be going it alone, while others sail as couples, while some even have families and children onboard. Everyone has different reasons for why they’d want to be living on a boat long term. Some people want to check adventures off their bucket list, others enjoy the travel and the ease of life, while others are looking for something to do in the wake of a career transition, and others still, are looking for a sunrise to sail into in the wake of their golden years.
Finding the Right Cabin Cruiser
Cruisers (the boat) are built for comfort not speed. Boats built for speed have little carpentry work, and their furniture (if any) is purely function; you’re not likely to find aesthetic elements on a speed boat, but you’re likely to find “the creature comforts” designs on a cruiser, as cruisers are built for comfort.
What is a Cabin Cruiser?
Cabin Cruisers are power-driven with one or two motors. Experienced sailors barely need to turn on the engine since they are so versed in using only the sails to navigate. Cruisers are built to go on long distances, to tour waterways and travel along coastal waters. These types of boats provide comfortable accommodations within the hull of the vessel.
What to Know Before Becoming a Blue Water Cruiser
Before you buy the boat, you need to have your sea legs. It’s imperative that you learn the boating basics, including boat navigation, anchoring, and mooring. Understanding the terminology, and knowing the types of sails and how they function with the currents will help you make it out of the marina. Coincidentally, one of the most difficult parts of sailing is coming in and out of the marina. New cruisers who haven’t practiced are likely to hit other boats, the dock, or get their anchors entangled with other boats.
Yachts vs. Cabin Cruisers
Many boaters choose them for their efficiency, comfort, and relative ease of operability. Cabin cruisers are between 17 feet to 55 feet, but the average length is between 25 to 45 feet. Unlike a yacht, cabin cruisers generally do not require a professional crew and can be operated by a single captain. However, due to their design they offer many of the same features as larger yachts including a smooth ride in open water.
Living the Dream
The dream of circumventing the world is what attracts many people to this lifestyle. Indeed it is possible for a couple to live on a cruiser for less than $1000 a month.
How do you know if a cruiser lifestyle is for you? In order to successfully transition into this lifestyle one must become one with the boat.
Understand every system you have on your boat. This requires that you become the plumber and mechanic of your own boat. For instance you may come to find that “every 200 hours a generator needs a service” or “every 200 to 300 hours the engine needs a service.” Being equipped with these things, and making it a priority that you checklist every time you leave the marina is crucial.
Choosing the right boat for your lifestyle is also important. Some boats are more prone to make people seasick while some boats are safer for children. Figuring out where you’re going to go with it. Make a plan and sail the boat around before you commit to purchasing it. It’s oftentimes during storms and near-death experiences that new cruisers realize all the machinery that needs to be fully operational on a boat. This is not just a house or a car, this is your cruiser! So take care of it.
First figure out your big picture and plan ahead. How many people are going with you? Will family and friends attend? “Something that can block a lot of people is not knowing where to go,” says Kim and Simon, a couple that has been cruising since 2014. Their website offers tips for boat owners who want to make cruising a lifestyle.
- Talk to other cruisers.
- Go out rent a boat for a week and see if it works for you.
- Get on all the different boats you want to see. See the boat, survey it yourself, take it put it in the water, put it in the water, see how it sales. Do not buy “sight unseen.”
- Get a professional surveyor who has nothing to do with the broker or the seller.
- At every opportunity, (like when anchoring for an hour or anchoring for a night) take the opportunity to find out whats broken on the boat.