Prepare for your return so you can make the most of your sabbatical year!

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Whether you’re setting out for a few months, a year or five years, your way of life will change quickly while sailing.  Suddenly, following the news simply doesn’t interest you. You will check your emails once a week at most, you pay much more attention to your lures or your rig than your cellphone, and the daily sundowner with your boat-buddies has advantageously replaced the meeting with the boss at the end of the day... In short, you have been both “tropicalized”, and become aware that some things are worth experiencing more than others.  Especially the latter.  But, how will it be at the end of your journey, when you have to go back to a so-called "normal" life?


The golden rule for a smooth return is to anticipate. This is the general opinion of all sailors in the long run. To return one morning to your home port after a few months or a few years, without knowing what you are going to do is a guarantee you will quickly sink into depression...

Before departure, you have a multitude of problems to solve. You must try to answer many questions that are all more essential than others for your forthcoming journey. During the trip, there is the daily routine: maintenance on the boat, choosing the next anchorage, finding the right recipe to prepare the fish that you just caught, doing customs clearance, scheduling family and friends who are coming to visit, and finding your boat buddies.  Basically, a life so full that it leaves little time to ask that question about the “after”.

However, one fine morning, the journey ends and a new adventure must be found.  One to give you a reason to enjoy life again, often far removed from your beloved boat and the idyllic anchorages that have charmed you so much.

The key is anticipating it. Putting the boat up for sale at least six months before the end of the journey is the best way to start looking ahead.  The current market is rather favorable.  Resale should not be too much trouble, especially for a well-maintained boat, with a known history and advertised at market price.  At the moment, count on between 4 and 6 months maximum for a well-known production boat.  Less time for a much sought-after boat, but more time for more "esoteric" and less well-known boats. The main thing is get help to accurately assess the value of your boat, which we always tend to overestimate – of course my boat is the most beautiful! ... And that's a mistake that can be very expensive.  There is a price to sell at, and a price to keep your boat: it's up to you to make your choice.

When the first ads start running, you can start planning your return.  Where will you live?  If you left for a sabbatical year, maybe you kept your home or just rented it out.  In this case, the choice is easier. Otherwise, you have to rent accommodation on your return.  The ideal would be to have someone "at home" to help you and allow you to go directly from the boat to the new house...

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