This is the story behind the plan and how we are achieving it.
We have never been that much about boats before, but by “accident” (2005) we came across an old Marieholms Seacat (21 ft), we sailed that for a couple of months at a local lake (we live in the middle of Sweden). But we really enjoyed the feeling of freedom and soon we started to think of getting a boat for the Baltic sea (after a while the local lake was getting smaller and smaller….). We found an old Shipman 28 (Inger) in Stockholm that we bought and at the same time we started to look for a docking place in the Baltic’s. We did get a spot in Jämjö (Hallarumsviken). In the spring of 2006 we did sail Inger from Stockholm to Jämjö.
We did sail Inger for a couple of years around the archipelago of Blekinge and we even did a trip to Bornhom. A lot of trial and error when it comes to sailing, docking and so on. Better to run into things in a cheap boat.
Since the kids grew older we realised that Inger was a litle bit small for 4 persons. We started to look for a bigger boat, what boat to get? we had many thoughts about that, lot of hours spent on different sites to get an ide’a on what we really wanted. There are many nice bouts out there, HR, Najad and Forgus was of interest but the price level for that type of boats where to high for us (at that time we have limited economical resources). We landed on the fact that a better choice for us would be a mass-produced German or French boat. Said and done, we found a 1996 Beneteau Oceanis 352 laying in Holland for a reasonable price. The boat had originaly been a charter-boat in Greece, bough by a dutch guy who took it to Holland. First look at the boat did not impress, all the personal stuff from current owner was still onboard, even tothbrushes in the head. Well we actually said no to the broker at that first meeting where we looked at the boat. We went home somewhat dissapointed and we talked back and forth and finally decided to give the broker an offer anyway. We did manage to get the price down at a reasonable level, which was according to the state of the boat this was in October 2007. We started to make the preparations to sail the boat to sweden in the spring of 2008.
I managed to get a couple of friends to help me with the sailing home from Holland. We should have been able to do that in 2 weeks, but unfortionatly we had north-east winds for two weeks and we just made it to Falsterbo where we had tot let the boat sit for a week (had to get back to work). We did sail the boat from Falsterbo to Jämjö the weekend after.
We keept on sailing Alwa for some years in Blekinge, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. At the same time we did a compelete overhaul of the boat. New engine (Beta 38 instead of the old Yanmar 30F which had 5 500 hours on it). New autopilot, new sails, gennaker, fridge, boiler and instruments (we did not earn any money on that boat).
During 2014-2015 we started to formalize the idea of an early retirement and to go sailing full time, ok how could we manage to do that? Would Alwa really be the best boat for that? Well we started to look for boats that really would fit that purpose and found a Hallberg Rassy 36 from 1991 in Germany. We made the deal in October 2015 and had the boat on the hard in Germany that winter, i quit my job the 31st of May 2016 and then we started a 3 months sailing in Europe the 1st of June 2016. We thought that it would be a good idea to test if we could live on a boat for that amount of time, well it went really well and we could have stayd on the boat forever. But reality catches up with you. Liselott had to go home and continue to work and i had a lot of work to do on the house. 2017 we swapped mooring from Hallarumsviken to Ronnebyhamn, Hallarumsviken was not that good, when the water level was low we barely could get out of the marina.
Ronnebyhamn is a good communal owned slip with nice facilities it is very shelted from bad weathr sourounded by smal islands.
Why quit a good setup with work, house and everything else?
Well there are probably a lot of different reasons for different persons. Our thinking is that we would like to see the world and do something before we get to old to do that on a boat.
Of course there is a lot of other reasons as well, one of them is that there has to be more things in life then collecting things (money, property and other stuff).
The plan now is to continue maintaining Olivone to get her in good shape for the big adventure, if everything works out we will leave the dock in 2024 for the mediterranean.
Before that can happen a lot of things need to be fixed, not just with the boat, the house needs to be prepared for letting out, build a new small house to increase the rent income, convert the garage to be used as a temporary place when we are visiting home.
It is not cheap to travel around the world (or parts of it) in a boat. We have figured out that we need enough funds for 9 years of traveling (until pension is kicking in), how much is that? Our plan is to have Olivone in tip- top shape before we depart, which means that (probably) the maintenance cost can be held down. Cost of living on a boat if you stay out of the expensive marinas as much as possible could maybe be held down to about $1500 a month. 9 years time $18 000 equals $162 000 in total. Looks like it is time to role upp the sleaves and get to work……