So of course we started doing what any wannabe sailor does, check out yachtworld.com. Being new to the game we quickly found many boats that we liked and thought could be suitable for us. We had already decided from the beginning that we wanted a catamaran as we feel that space is important. From there it was a matter of finding the best match. again we researched and felt that anything between 36 and 40 foot would give us enough space and also allow us to invite 2-4 friends once in a while. If history teaches us we will have many more friends than we think we do as even now we get the occasional emails a-la ‘do you still remember me from when we met once back in 1992? oh and by the way, can I get a good deal at your hotel in Maldives?’…
Narrowing it down further we now focus our search on the following:
Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36
Fountaine Pajot Athena 38
Clearly there are plenty available of these models, if you live in the US or the Caribbean, that is. we on the other hand live across the globe in the Indian Ocean and all of a sudden the choice becomes either very small or non-existant. no problem, we thought, we’ll just look for something in Europe and get someone to sail it to us via the Suez Canal. Wrong again, it seems that this is a no-go area due to the constant pirate issues in that part of the Indian Ocean.
Posting a quick post on the CruisersForum we received some hope by posts that maybe some cruisers would be happy to sell their boats once reaching this part of the world from the Asian side, so maybe we will get lucky there. but realistically, our search is now focused on places like Malaysia, Thailand and Seychelles.
another big hurdle is the import tax for Maldives. any boat that remains in these waters for more than 90 days must be imported and operated under a Maldivian Flag, which automatically means 25% import duties on the value of the yacht (or whatever the customs officers feel the boat might be worth). this is a hard thing to swallow, as 25% is not a small number.
a little glimpse of hope is that there is a change of law in discussion in parliament that could have a big impact on people like me and might allow us to temporarily import a boat with much less fees for a period of up to 5 years. If all goes to plan, we should be well into our cruising life by then! lets keep fingers crossed that this new ruling will become law…
After having caught up with work after our recent holidays it was time to start going online to get some first ideas of where to start. let me tell you, there is a LOT of stuff out there, enough to keep us busy for quite some time.
Thanks to google, we just grabbed the first available ebook that seems to tell us what we want to know. So we downloaded ‘The essentials of living on a boat’, exactly what we needed to know.
280 pages later, the one amazing thing that we learned is this: apparently there are a huge number of people out there living on boats just for the sake of just that, living on a boat. these people never (or hardly ever) leave the dock, which in my opinion defies the purpose of having a boat. in any case we learned a few things such as the first few technical terms needing to be used when talking about boats. so from now on I guess we have to stop using words, such as cabins, beds, kitchen, front, back… you get my drift.
so as this book did not really give us what we needed to know about living on a boat and actually sailing on it, it seems we must look a little further.
we need to get back to basics and learn a little more about the lingo and about sailboats, it seems.
and then we found a book that seemed to match our current status: ‘Sailing for Dummies’, from the famous ‘for dummies’ series which has helped so many people doing all kinds of stuff. This book, however, will only reach us in a couple of weeks, since Amazon does not deliver to the Maldives and we have to wait for a friend to bring it to us early August. Let’s see if we feel any smarter after reading that…
okay, back to work
We just returned from a long holiday in the Bahamas and US. While many try to tell us that this was indeed a very long holiday (3 weeks) we sort of feel that it was just starting to get interesting.
one of the main things we flew half way around the planet for was to visit the dolphins in the Bahamas and we managed to swim with quite a few of them (in the wild, not in a tank I would like to add). however as we joined a boat with others we had to follow the schedule and left the trip feeling that we would like to have done more of that.
So this again confirmed out thought that it was time to take our idea of a floating life further, buy our own boat and stay as long as we like, where we like.
Having snooped around the web some more recently it actually seems possible to not only buy a boat and take it out once in a while but to actually live on it for some time and explore the oceans in your own floating home.
well for now, we have the idea stuck in our heads and now need to figure out how to actually go about doing this.