Hatching a Plan to Sail Away

Ok, so you’re broadly in on the overall plan to sail away now. In reading this second post, I can only assume you are either a) family or friends – and therefore somewhat obliged b) you are lost, or c) you are actually moderately intrigued as to how this seafaring tale might pan out and therefore dipping your toe into a second instalment. How is this ridiculous Mancunian-converted Southerner possibly going to fair in life at sea? (If you missed it, the first post can be found here – ‘selling up to sail around the world‘).

Plan to sail away.

Well, I’m kind of with you on this one, to be honest. Who knows? But… as with all good plans, I am hoping that the key to success will be in the preparation. The dreams and discussions have happened all of my life, but turning theory into practice is frankly… another bottle of rum. Time is rumbling on in Manchester and suddenly it feels like time has compressed, days feel like hours and weeks feel like days. There is a LOT to still to get done.

Whilst T is busy wrangling solicitors into completing on her beautiful little flat in town, I am wildly cramming any remaining possessions into the storage hatch I had built in the flat in the hope of getting it ready to rent on time. Work is ongoing for both of us, but we are doing our best to tick-off jobs otherwise. Last weekend we gave the hallway a lick of paint in a lovely (horrible) ‘Aquarium Blue’ colour (turns out, it is better to get the little swatch pots, rather than hoping for the best and doing an all-over-your-wall-swatch in a colour you end up hating) *breathe*. Still, perhaps it’ll dry lighter? Or look better with another coat…? (probably not).

I digress.

Time to go boat shopping.

Top of the majors list is still boat shopping. Now, I feel compelled to pause for a second and manage your expectations on this one. Firstly, this is not going to be the luxurious retirement abode that many people conjure when you say the words ‘buying a sailing yacht’. I am on an extremely strict budget. I am selling up and drawing down on everything I own. She will most likely be quite small, quite old, and in need of some TLC. Most important two pieces of criteria though, of course, are seaworthiness and safety… more about that later though. Back to shopping.

We have now spent hours (if not weeks and months) on YachtWorld comparing boat specs, navigation equipment, sails and various cabin configurations (bedrooms). We have sifted the forum debates on production boats versus bluewater, lifting, fin or encapsulated keels and to insure or not to insure.

I have read countless books offering personal accounts and opinions on why, what and how to buy a boat. I have also (it feels like), made some new friends with several sailing YouTube channels, including La Vagabonde, SV Delos, FollowTheBoat and Yacht Ruby Rose to name just a few. All of whom have been amazing sources of knowledge, experience and advice. T is also fully embroiled in the yacht-buying process, an expert now in galley and storage solutions, which amuses us greatly considering her first sail was about six months ago! Fully embracing the challenge though, she is actually taking her Day Skipper theory exam as I type. All in all, it is fair to say that our notebooks and brains are completely at capacity. Turns out the sailing community are extremely happy to share – which is brilliant, but also exhausting.

Next steps.

There is so much information out there and we’ve come to the conclusion that the next step, is to simply get on as many boats as possible. I am hoping that much like falling in love when we find ‘the one’ (the right boat that is), it will… (as well as matching all the safety, basic equipment, survey and sea-trial criteria) simply… just feel right. So this week we’ve booked flights to Corfu. Made a lovely Greek broker friend called Micol and are bound for Lefkada to do some serious porthole shopping.

Wish us luck and with love.


  • Log 0.0
  • Date – 13th February 2018
  • Wind – 163° SSE, 8kts, gusting 24kts
  • Position – 53°47’64.9″N  02°23’85″W
  • Miles – 0.0
  • Comments – Manchester, drizzle

sailing boats in a marina with still mirrored water and clouds in the reflection
silhouette of a sailing yacht at anchor with orange sunset
victoria 34 sailing yacht sailing at sea
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