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FAQ 1. What kind of boat do you have?

Our present boat, purchased in July 2015, is a 1983 Amel Maramu. Now Canadian-flagged, our Amel, which we re-named Frost, is a solid, world-traveller. She is ketch rigged, and 46′ long.

Our first boat, Zero To Cruising, was a PDQ 32 catamaran. We purchased that boat in Canada in July 2009, and sailed her south to the Eastern Caribbean. We lived on board her, and travelled around the Caribbean, until June 2013. Between the time that we lived on our PDQ, and purchased our Amel, we lived and worked on a Leopard 4600, running charters in the Virgin Islands.

FAQ 2. When did you set off cruising?

We left Kingston, Ontario on July 31, 2010.

FAQ 3. Did the two of you do a lot of sailing as kids?

No. The truth is that neither of us knew much about sailing at the time that we decided to sell everything and head out cruising, hence the Zero To Cruising moniker. You can read about our progress from the newbie stages by starting at the beginning of our blog.

FAQ 4. Why did you switch from a Catamaran to a monohull?

Although we loved our PDQ, and believe that she is a fantastic boat, in our opinion that cat was just not suited for high-latitude sailing (see FAQ 6), nor could we afford a catamaran that was.

If you’re curious, here are our thoughts on the subject of Catamarans vs. Monohulls.

FAQ 5. How much does it cost to cruise?

You probably won’t like the answer but here are our thoughts on the subject.

FAQ 6. What are your plans?

Our most recent plan is to take a vacation from boating, and to ride mountain bikes from Alaska to Patagonia.

 

Updated: March 01, 2017

45 Comments

  1. Good luck guys! We left Bath in June, should be in the Bahamas for X’mas. If you have any questions just drop us a line or check-out our Blog.

    We’ll watch for you as we head back North next summer.
    Later,
    Mark

  2. You don’t have to do either the Bahamas OR Cuba, you can do both. That’s what we did. Cross from Ragged Islaned to Cuba’s north coast or from Great Inagua (I think) to the south coast.

  3. WOW! Ya’ll seem like you’re in for a GREAT adventure. Too bad you won’t be sailing through North Carolina (mountains). I use to live on the island of Antigua, West Indies. They are in the Leeward Islands south of Puerto Rico. You should visit. Although, that would be quite a trip. Have fun!!

    -Brian Mumper

  4. Just came across your link & will be following it as we are hoping to start our sailing trip next year. At the moment so far this year we are 3/4 of the way to the funds we need just to get the Catamaran. Now after reading your blog we want it even more . Thanks for all the info.

  5. Hi,
    We also have a PDQ 32 (hull 51). Pics at
    ****nelie.hocking.edu/~geckler_e/ADVENTURE.html***
    Click on VAREKAI
    I had the same Dingy & Motor concerns as you.
    My solution was a small crane on the stern works Great.
    If you would Like I can send Pic

    BeD
    Brenda -N- eD

    • Hi guys

      I remember seeing some pics of Varekai back when she was for sale. I couldn’t get your link to work though and I would love to see a pic of that! Thanks.

  6. Hey guys really I enjoy the site…if you get a chance an over night sail to Tobago off of Trinidad, would be worth the trip.. I have sailed Grenada and Tobago and really like the small island with big hills..Keep up the good work..be safe.

    Bob

  7. Hey Mike, Love your blog everyday and just wondered if you have ever watched these Hobo traveler videos of this guy on his sailboat in Rio Dulce Guatemala? Just felt compelled to pass it to you…..Looks like a cool place to be, albeit a bit far from where you are now…..

    http://www.hobotraveler.com/travel-journal/interview-of-liveaboard-sailor-at-rio-dulce-guatemala.html

  8. Just found your blog and will be reading. My husband and I are planning to do the same in about 5 and half years when my daughter has completed college. We have 3 or 4 different financial plans to get there. We are spending some time sailing on Lake Dillon here in the mountains of Colorado. We have been told if you can sail Lake Dillon you can sail anywhere because the winds and weather can change instantly.

    Are there some things you would recommend as we prepare? There is so much information out there and we subscribe to several magazines (Cruising World, Lattitudes and Attitudes, Practical Sailor) and we have a couple books (The cruising Life, the Essentials of Living Aboard a boat), but I am sure there are some other things we could be doing. We too are new to sailing, although I grew up on cabin cruisers in Lake Erie.

    We will be reading your blog, but would really appreciate any kind of suggestions you can give! So excited for you guys!! I’m trying to patient, and it’s not too hard while my daughter is a junior in high school, but when she heads to college it may be harder to wait!!

  9. I was wondering do you use a wi fi antenna to get your signal.

  10. Thanks soooo much for posting your adventure, you really got me off the couch so to speak. I am turning 50 this year and have been in work mood for past 25 years and have 3 year plan to purchase mid 40ft boat and spend 1 year learning and getting boat ready then following in your wake. Going to send you some $ for you have made me $ ( inspiration and motivation )Keep posting love it. You guys rock.
    Bill

    • Hi Bill

      Thanks so much for the nice email. We love comments like this. Please keep in touch and let us know how things progress with respect to the boat purchase, etc. It’s definitely worth it!

  11. Hi Mike,
    Great blog and what a wonderful story. It’s a fun read. I’m a landlocked sailor. Used to have a 37′ double ender that I built and sailed in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. That was a while back before I met my wife. She gets seasick when I mention boats so it’s not in my future to go sailing as far as I can see. You never know though. But the good news is that she is worth the sacrifice! Now I am writing sailing stories. If you have a Kindle, I’ll send you my latest novel. Something to read when you’re taking it easy. It’s fun to follow you guys. Thanks!!
    Michael Matthews

    • Hi Michael

      That’s too bad about your wife and seasickness. I actually used to frequently feel seasick in most kinds of rough weather. Now I very seldom do, especially if I stay out of the galley while underway. As you said, I’m sure she is worth the sacrifice though.

      Thanks for the offer to send me your latest novel. I’ll send you an email. 🙂

      Mike

  12. I just want to say thank you for the blog. I’ve been reading it for the past few months, and had been dreaming for years of choosing life off the beaten path. You two have made it seem a much more reasonable adventure to undertake and I hope someday to cross paths. I’m still at the beginning though, about to buy my own boat. Casting off is likely still 2 years away. Thanks again for the inspiration and showing that anyone can do it.
    Fair winds and following seas.

    • Oh and you are dead on when it comes to TRX. I got introduced to it while in Afghanistan. Greatest portable workout system I’ve ever used. It is so versatile you can do anything with it.

  13. Greetings! Just checking in from the Azores – nice to catch up with you through your blog – you look like you are still definitely enjoying the cruising life – we are hoping to make it to the mainland soon – just didn’t think we’d have to continue to watch out for hurricanes over here but had one go through the Azores recently (fortunately a different island & no major damage) . Heading to a more protected harbor on the next island on Monday while we wait for things to hopefully settle down. Take care & best wishes to you both! – Bob & Janice

    • Hi guys

      Great to hear from you!

      Yeah, you’d have thought that you successfully dodged the hurricane issue by heading over there. Glad to hear there wasn’t any serious drama for you.

      Keep having fun!

  14. Mike, don’t know if you remember us from barnaget NJ, but we have a little over a year before we leave on our catamaran to head south. From what it seems you are not overly fruggle and not spendthrift. What is an adverage monthly cost of YOUR cruising. We have an older Gemini 3000 with a 30 hp outboard so is gasoline a huge expense?

    Tom and Linda

  15. Hello. Just recognized the crane at Collins Bay Marina that was doing the haul in and haul outs of your PDQ and was wondering if you had heard there was a mishap there last year and it collapsed when one of the stabilizers gave way. Henry Fiertz was at the controls. It made the CKWS news. Thankfully everyone was okay. There was damage to a monohull. Glad it wasn’t your cat!
    Best regards.
    Mike.

    • Hi Mike

      Yes, I had heard about that. Unfortunate mishap and it happened shortly after Mich and Hub sold the marina. Henry was always the guy who ran the crane for them though and he knew what he was doing. Fortunately, as you said, no one was hurt.

  16. Thank you for the blog. I have just caught up to you- having started at the beginning. My husband and I are about 3 1/2 years out from our cruising date. When I started reading your blog we were firmly in the monohull camp. This Christmas we are headed to California (from Oregon) to get on some cats to check them out- now think that that is the way that we want to go. I really enjoy your informative writing style. You have answered many questions- and raised many others in our minds as well. We have been doing lots of reading- and now that I am caught up on your blog I will branch out and start with some others. Being on the west coast I will be seeking some blogs in areas closer to us. We have been buying books on Amazon- and in the future we will do it using your link. We just bought a Dremel through your link- hope it was enough to get you a beverage of your choice! Look for more comments from me in the future.

  17. WOW! I am very impressed by you guys and what you have done. Especially starting from zero!!! I have done my fair share of travels, but that was all land based. I am currently in the planning stages of setting off cruising and not a few days after I settled on a PDQ, I stumbled onto your blog. Although I have yet to catch up fully ( there are STILL 150 pages to go!!) I can tell you already that I will be reading it all.

    I hope that one day our paths cross and I can buy you a drink (or three) in thanks for the info you have so freely given.

    Keep up the travels and I’m excited to see what happens next.

    Cheers – Rick Griffin

  18. Who’s idea was it originally? I’m really interested in doing something similar, but my wife is more apprehensive. Just curious. Take care

  19. What I was asking, was who came out and said hey maybe we should sell everything we own, buy a boat and live on it. Just curious. Good news though. I showed Juli your blog and she says she is all in! Thanks for writing your blog and showing that it is really possible.

    • I understand what you were asking but to tell the truth, I can’t say who said it first. Regardless of who said the words though, we were both all for the idea right from the very start.

      Glad to hear Juli is in as well. Now the fun begins!

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