This was our To-Do list while we were waiting to purchase a boat. Now that we’ve purchased our boat we have a significantly different To-Do list that focuses on getting Horizon (and ourselves) ready for life afloat. We’ve left this list here so you can see what we focused on while preparing to begin cruising. For a more current view of things, check out What’s next?
Sailing and Boat Related
- Learn how (duh) on our MacGregor 25
- Tour more catamarans and monohulls, probably under the guise of buyers
- Attend the Annapolis boat show (necessary? no. cool? absolutely.)
- Meet and talk with as many current cruisers as possible
- Learn more about weather forecasting and diesel engine mechanics
Family and Health Related
- Tell our family. Dan’s brother Kyle and his wife Becca are planning on coming with us, but the rest of the family (namely our parents) don’t have a clue.
- Get LASIK eye surgery. Again, we know this isn’t technically necessary, but our insurance will be paying for most of it, and it should save us some serious glasses related hassles in the future. Plus, we just want it.
- Potty-train Carter. While we know cruisers survive with cloth diapers, Michele is just not interested in hand washing poopy ones. Thanks but no thanks.
- Learn how to cook (better and more). This includes learning how to make foods from scratch and not just pasta roni and boxed cakes. This also includes training our habit away from eating out for every single meal.
Scuba Related (the most fun)
- Buy scuba gear for Dan.
- Get advanced and rescue certified. Michele got her advanced scuba certification and Dan got advanced and rescue certified on our Bull Shoals scuba trip.
- Dan get dive master certified. This one is a minimum for us, since that puts him in official pay-scale range for dive shops.
- Buy scuba gear for Michele. Probably will purchase this slower than Dan because he will need it sooner for his classes.
- Dan get instructor certified. The eventual goal and our fallback plan for money on the boat. PADI instructors are certified to teach PADI classes anywhere in the world, which is a bonus since that’s where we’ll be.
Money (the reason for the wait)
- Pay off car loans. Sold!
- Pay off student loans.
- Build equity in our house.
- Have at least a year’s worth of cruising expenses to start our “cruising kitty”.
- Secure at least $1000/mo income from rental properties. We currently have four single family homes. (We average about $200-300 profit per month per house after accounting for vacancies and subtracting 10% for a property manager… we don’t pay a property manager yet, but we will when we are cruising.)
- Have at least 6 months reserves for each rental property. This is required by banks to get a new rental loan (and also for our sanity).
- Save in order to purchase and outfit a boat.
- Save at least $50,000 in cash. This is the big one that we are waiting on, along with Dan’s scuba certifications. (This is no longer our plan… when we hit $50,000 we decided to buy rentals and investments in order to support us for a much longer time.)