Checklist for going cruising - 10 steps to take you from inspiration to departure!

Countdown to cruising: 10 steps to take you from inspiration to departure. 

(Resources noted in most steps; any book links are my affiliate links. - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

So you’ve decided to go cruising. Now what? Tick off each step and you’ll be out there before you know it!

(note: this is a little bit tongue-in-cheek. Each of these steps takes a while, though some are steps you may already have ticked off. I’d love to help you with any of them if you want more in-depth conversation!

General resources:

            The Boat Galley podcast



            Women Who Sail facebook group


1. SO IMPORTANT! Learn how to sail

       Local sailing lessons/crewing for racers

            ASA sailing

            Sail Caribbean for your teens

            Learning charters with Captain Suky Cannon



2. Decide what that cruising means

    Weekends? Week at a time? Months at a time? Forever?


3. Decide on the budget

            Really look at your finances, the cost of leaving your job, the availability of remote work. As a ballpark, take your monthly expenses and remove any commuting costs, work-related costs like travel or clothing, and vacation costs. Double your maintenance costs. Your housing costs will be boat costs. Your food costs will be similar.

            You’ll find endless blog posts and videos. Many people leave out big numbers, like health insurance (Americans) or storage units or internet access or even boat mortgage. Make sure your “template” includes all your projected costs!

            Blog posts/articles I like on budgeting:





4. Decide on the boat

            How many people will be with you? Where are you going?

            Some good boat recommendations for those considering a longer cruise:




5. Set a date

Why yes, we'll move onto the boat next year. SET A DATE!

Why yes, we'll move onto the boat next year. SET A DATE!


6. Buy the boat

            How Not To Buy a Cruising Boat


7. Fix up the boat/learn boat maintenance

    Note: even if you buy a brand new boat, you will have work to do

            Essential references:

                        Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual

                        This Old Boat (even if your boat is not old)

                        Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair

                        The Sailor’s Sketchbook


8.  Learn galley “stuff”

                        The Boat Galley

                        Nica’s Tasty Thursday video playlist


9. Tell all your friends and family

            This can happen at any point, though my recommendation is to wait until later in the game so as to minimize the effect the naysayers might have on your plans.

10. Sail off into the sunset