This would be the dream of many people, save up enough money to buy a decent yacht, sell the house, sail around the world to exotic locations or at least spend your winters cruising around places like the Whitsundays or the Carribean.
In my years as a professional seaman, I have seen many people do just that. I call them the middle class yachties, they do it reasonably comfortably,utilise marinas for the convenience (sort of like caravan parks) and usually maintain their boats with adequate funds to keep them seaworthy and comfortable.
I have also witnessed the extreme ends of the spectrum. On one end you have the
millionaires/billionairespeople with obscene amounts of money who have huge yachts with professional crews and are like floating palaces.
Mostly seen around the ports of the Mediterranean and Carribean where they are like a status symbol. They cost a fortune to maintain and in a lot of cases the owner is lucky to spend a month a year aboard because he is too busy running his empire to actually enjoy his boat! To be fair some of these vessels are at the cutting edge of technology and certainly have a real “wow’ factor about them.
At the other end of the scale are the people who build a boat in the backyard or scrimp and save to acquire a vessel that is of sometimes questionable design and seaworthiness. I liken them to sea gypsies. They are living the dream on limited funds often scrounging parts and cobbling things together to keep going, or working along the way to keep cruising.
They are often seen on the fringes of harbours or anchored off because marinas are too expensive, their boats often have a scruffy, down at heel look about them. No shiny stainless steel here nor insurance either!
The interesting thing is that they help each other out in many ways from sharing information about anchorages or the cheapest ways of doing something to giving a hand to anti-foul before the tide comes back in.
They also probably cover more miles and see more deserted anchorages than many cruisers. They may not do it in absolute style and comfort but they do it and I have an idea that they are probably the most contented because they are doing it their way.