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The perfect sailboat is the one you can afford.

When I started sailing forty years ago, the perfect sailboat was 37 feet long. It was big enough for offshore voyaging, and it was small enough to be affordable.

Today people sail for a year or two in boats that are 45 feet and up, but their voyage is usually truncated by the need to work to feed the boat. Not the crew. The boat.

Big boats are extremely hungry. They eat dollars at an fantastic rate. They don’t nibble at your wallet. They swallow the whole thing.

Today, most people want boats that have it all, that replicate everything found in a shoreside lifestyle, except that you are on the water. They expect to have washers and dryers, hot fresh water showers, and dozens of other things that bring shoreside life to the water.

There is nothing wrong with that if you are independently wealthy, and you have someone who likes to spend time fixing all that fancy stuff which is not designed for the marine environment. But most Real Ocean Cruisers are not independently wealthy, and they would rather go sailing than spend time fixing stuff or paying other people to fix their complicated systems.

The thing I like about sailing is getting away from it all. It’s not camping, but it’s far removed from a shoreside lifestyle.

I want to sail to remote locations where an uncomplicated yacht is easy to maintain and all systems are go.

When we sailed around the world, we saw countless yachts tied up in marinas spending their money waiting for spare parts to fix their complicated systems. While we were sailing the beautiful turquoise waters of Fiji, they were tied up in the Suva marina in a holding pattern. Their cruising kitty rapidly vaporized, and they were not cruising. They were docking.

40 years ago, the perfect offshore boat was 37 feet long, and 42 feet sailboats were the exception rather than the rule. The thirty-seven footers had simple systems, and more time was spent polishing teak than fixing fancy systems that replicated life on shore.

Most people are not Real Ocean Cruisers dedicated to an uncomplicated and simple lifestyle that is away from it all. Most folks are on a short term sabbatical, and they are not willing to sacrifice everything they had on shore. They have way too much boat with way too many complicated systems, and they end up on a sailing adventure that lasts one or two years because the boat eats their wallet.

I have met many yachties on this voyage who have told me they are sailing to Tahiti, New Zealand, or Australia to sell their yacht.

When someone tells me their master plan is to go sailing so they can sell their yacht in Australia or New Zealand , I know I am not talking to a Real Ocean Cruiser. These folks are not committed to the sailing lifestyle, and their heart is somewhere else. There is nothing wrong with being a short-term sailor, and they frequently have memorable adventures until their fancy boat swallows their wallet.

The purpose of this short homily is not to denigrate short-term sailors, but to encourage people who want to become Real Ocean Cruisers to get smaller boats that are affordable so they can have an adventure that keep on keeping on.

WhenI refitted Exit Only, I invested a great deal of money into the refit because I wanted to have an adventure that was not truncated by problems along the way. When you do a complete refit, you have a boat that will go for five years without any major expenses. I know that Exit Only will only nibble on my wallet for five years rather than swallow it whole.

I am a committed Real Ocean Cruiser, and an uncomplicated lifestyle works for me. My small boat can take me anywhere I want to go, and it can do it in an affordable manner until I am all used up.

Life is good on distant shores when you cruise in a small affordable cat.

Dr. Dave

Captain Dave - David J. Abbott M.D.





Exit Only

See what it's like for a family to sail around the world on a small catamaran

Captain Save Our Souls

Awesome music video that captures the essence of what it's like to sail offshore in a catamaran around the world when conditions are less than perfect. David Abbott from Too Many Drummers sings the vocals, and he also edited the footage from our Red Sea adventures. This is the theme song from the Red Sea Chronicles.

Red Sea Blues

Sailing up the Red Sea is not for the faint of heart. From the Bab al Mandeb to the Suez Canal, adventures and adversity are in abundance. If you take things too seriously, you just might get the Red Sea Blues.

Red Sea Chronicles Trailer

If you like drum beats, and you like adventure, then have a listen to the Red Sea Chronicles Trailer.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 1 - When Flying Fish Attack

Flying fish assault Exit Only in the middle of the night as we sail through the Arabian Gulf from the Maldives to Oman. And so begins our Red Sea adventures.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 2 - Pirate Alley

Sailing through Pirate Alley between Yemen and Somalia involves calculated risk. It may not be Russian Roulette, but it is a bit of a worry. Follow Team Maxing Out as they navigate through Pirate Alley.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 3 - Aden, Yemen

Stopping in Yemen was just what the doctor ordered. We refueled, repaired our alternator, and we made friends with our gracious Yemeni hosts. We also went to Baskins Robbins as a reward for surviving Pirate Alley.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 4- Gate of Sorrows and Sandstorms

After you survive Pirate Alley, you must sail through the Gate of Sorrows (Bab Al Mandab) at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The Gate of Sorrows lived up to its name with fifty knots of wind and a sandstorm that pummeled Exit Only for two days. Life is good.

Save A Tree Bookstore

Although I like the feel of a paper book in my hand, I love trees even more. When people purchase an eBook, they actually save trees and save money as well. Ebooks are less expensive and have no negative impact on the environment. All of Dr. Dave's books are available at Save A Tree Bookstore. Visit the bookstore today and start putting good things into your mind. It's easy to fill your mind with positive things using eBooks. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can pull out your smart phone or tablet and start reading. You can even use electronic highlighters and make annotations in your eBooks just like paper books.