Liveaboard Sailing Podcast
Expert interview: Selecting a good bluewater sailboat
In this episode I bring you something a little different as I interview John Neal from Mahina Offshore Services, and we talk all about what makes a good bluewater sailboat. John has decades and nearly 400,000 nautical miles of experience so he is the perfect person to help me understand how to avoid making boat buying mistakes and how to focus on the right things when looking at sailboats. This chat was incredibly useful and educational, so if you want to learn more about sailboats and what qualities to focus on (and what to avoid!), definitely give this one a listen.
John offers boat buying and selecting consultations for anyone looking to buy a sailboat, and as part of that he has created a lot of great books and resources that are available on his website mahina.com/books. These include my absolute favourite Selecting and Purchasing an Ocean Cruising Sailboat that is available for FREE, and I also found the 5 page list of Boats to Consider for Ocean Cruising very helpful and educational. There are a lot more resources available on the website so do yourself a favour and click yourself to the website! John also runs pretty epic sounding sail training expeditions that are definitely worth checking out.
View all episodes
Liveaboard Sailing Podcast Trailer02:23Hi there, and welcome to the Liveaboard Sailing Podcast! It's your host Annika here.I’m hosting this podcast because I want to learn everything that I possibly can about the sailing lifestyle, specifically about becoming a liveaboard cruiser. I do this by talking to liveaboard sailors as well as industry experts, and find out all the essentials about boat shopping and selection, the costs of full time sailing, and exactly how people made their dream a reality. Join me and you will get real-life advice, practical tips and maybe you’ll even avoid making some costly mistakes. After listening to these truly inspirational and hugely entertaining stories, you and I will be better prepared to start our sailing adventures.
1. The reality of liveaboard sailing: Epic adventures and sleepless nights47:26My first guests are Darren and Amanda from SV Panda and oh boy do they have a story to tell! Their journey has taken them from Florida and the Caribbean to the UK, and one could say they took the scenic route as they crossed the Atlantic via Greenland. They've done all this in two years - did I mention they started with zero sailing experience? Not only do Amanda and Darren share the details of their adventure but we talk about what the liveaboard sailing is actually like, both the good and the bad. They also shed light to the financial aspects of sailing, like the cost of their bluewater sailboat and its outfitting, and the on-going monthly costs of liveaboard sailing.Here's what you can expect from this episode of Liveaboard Sailing Podcast:5:10 The reasons why Amanda and Darren decided to abandon a comfortable life on land to go sailing10:40 The reality of the sailing lifestyle 15:30 How Amanda and Darren made the switch to the liveaboard sailing life in a matter of months21:20 Going from zero sailing experience to crossing the Atlantic via Greenland28:10 Their long term financial approach that allows them to keep sailing33:40 The cost of their bluewater sailboat and outfitting + monthly costs of liveaboard sailing38:05 Two things they would do differently knowing everything they know now after two years of sailing41:20 Buying a sailboat without much experience44:10 Darren and Amanda's advice to aspiring liveaboard sailors For more of Amanda and Darren, follow Sailing Panda on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and Patreon.
2. Working full time from a sailboat while travelling the world56:23Have you ever dreamed of working from a sailboat while exploring the world? Today's guests, Roxy and Phil from SV Sonder are doing just that. In this interview they give practical advice to anyone hoping to work from a sailboat and they also talk about some of the challenges they faced with banks and insurance companies when looking for sailboat financing and insurance.This episode is a must-listen to anyone who's hoping to work while sailing. Roxy and Phil are so helpful, full of advice and just a delightful inspiration!Here's what you can expect from this episode of Liveaboard Sailing Podcast:5:20 How Roxy and Phil changed their lives so that they could work from anywhere while sailing8:35 The lightbulb moment that made them realize living on a sailboat and slow travel around the world could be a possibility10:55 How long it took to find their ideal sailboat, and the features they were they looking for12:50 Their financial strategy to buying a sailboat + buying a sailboat in the US Virgin Islands16:35 Financing a sailboat and challenges with banks and insurance for an older liveaboard sailboat20:50 The surprises Roxy and Phil faced in the liveaboard sailing life24:05 Things to consider when thinking about the size of a sailboat + comparing owning a 28 foot sailboat and a 47 foot sailboat32:55 Running a business from a sailboat and working with a remote team33:35 Internet connectivity and working from a sailboat in the Caribbean vs Europe37:25 Advice to anyone who plans on working from a sailboat full time41:45 Roxy and Phil's budget as liveaboards in the Caribbean and in the UK49:05 Recommendations to anyone hoping to start the liveaboard sailing lifeFollow Sailing Sonder on Instagram, and check out Roxy and Phil's business and PopLife Cards - they're gorgeous!
3. Getting ready for long-distance cruising while growing a Youtube channel47:13In this episode I talk with a lovely sailing couple, Alie and Ben from Breaking Waves Sailing. They are currently cruising in British Columbia and are preparing to sail south to Mexico - once they've spent a winter onboard. We talk about how exactly they are preparing to do all this, as well as sailing with a dog and working from a sailboat.Alie and Ben also talk about what's it like to have and grow a Youtube sailing channel, and they share some absolutely hilarious stories about some mishaps they've faced as boat owners.Follow Ben and Alie as Breaking Waves Sailing on Youtube, Instagram,Facebook and Patreon.
4. Leaving the comfort zone and making life of travel the reality48:43This week I chat with Brooke and Gary from SV One Life, who traded the American dream for their dream, meaning they now live on a sailboat and explore the Caribbean! This couple is so inspirational and they really show what can happen when you just decide to go for it. In this interview we talk about how and why they made their sailing dream happen. Brooke and Gary talk about the reality of living the dream life and what kind of challenges they've faced, and what they would do differently. We also discuss what it costs to live on a sailboat in the Caribbean and what it's like to manage rental and AirBnB properties remotely. Follow Brooke and Gary as Sailing One Life on their website, Youtube, Instagram and Facebook. If you want to message me, you can find me on Instagram as annikarautiola.
5. Sustainable cruising lifestyle in British Columbia36:23Have you ever thought about the liveaboard life as a sustainable lifestyle alternative? This week I chat with Taryn and Logan from Wayward Life Sailing whose desire for travel and a more sustainable, close to nature lifestyle led them to buy a sailboat and move onboard. They were in for quite the adventure that saw them buy three (!) boats in just two years but despite a few hiccups, they are now indeed living their dream. Taryn and Logan are one of my favourite Youtube sailing channels with their realistic, down to earth and inspiring stories. So definitely give them a follow, you can find them as Wayward Life Sailing on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook. They also have a website and blog, the-wayward-life.com with great blog posts about all things sailing related. If you want to send me a message and tell me what you think about this podcast, you can find me on Instagram as annikarautiola.
6. Building confidence before grand adventures in Alaska and beyond48:56Do you have a dream of starting with local sailing adventures, building experience and confidence and then heading out to explore the world? This week's guests, Jenny and Mac from Cruising Maya did just that. They started in the Pacific Northwest, living on their 37 foot sailboat year round before starting their grand adventure in April of 2021. This amazing couple is full of advice and we talk all about surviving through winters on a sailboat (with great tips!), sailing with a dog, and about the cruising lifestyle in general and what attracted Jenny and Mac to start sailing in the first place. You can (and should!) follow Cruising Maya on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook or check out their website cruisingmaya.com!
7. Young professionals living on a sailboat in Seattle41:26This week I chat with Cory and Chris from SV Constellation, a lovely young professional couple who live on their 45 foot Freedom sailboat in Seattle. When deciding on the next step in their lives, they chose a life on water over the traditional land life, which seemed like a natural fit for the experienced sailors. In this episode we talk a lot about finances related to life on a sailboat, from financing and buying a sailboat to liveaboard costs in Seattle, and much more! Follow the PNW sailing adventures on sailingconstellation.com, or find Cory and Chris on Instagram as SV Constellation.