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Old 15-05-2012, 21:29   #1
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Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Is it possible to cruise with someone who is disabled to do several health problems?

My husband and I have been thinking that when it is time to retire (in 6 yrs) we want to buy a boat and go cruising, even if they are just short cruises. The problem is that my husband has several health issues and is disabled because of them. I'm just wondering how likely it is that we can actually do this?

Some of his health issues - heart attack at 35, emphysema, cirrhosis, sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia. I'm sure I have missed a few others but those are the major issues.

I think the lifestyle would really benefit him, fresh air, healthier food, a little more activity, etc..

What is your opinion?

Luna
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Old 15-05-2012, 22:43   #2
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with someone who is disabled to do several health proble

You could always buy one and give him a Viking send-off with it... That's if he lasts six years more with all those ailments!
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Old 16-05-2012, 00:11   #3
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with someone who is disabled to do several health proble

My hat (if I wore one) is off to you for approaching the topic. I have always been inspired by this...
“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?”
- Sterling Hayden

Now that being said, You obviously have some hurtles to overcome. Most of them sounds like your peace of mind. Perhaps a way to get into it would be a charter somewhere for a few weeks with a captain to see if it's something that is doable.
In a thread I started... Never Give Up!
I outline my claw back from health issues which I know will be with me to the end...when ever that happens. I was told that my sailing days were over but they didn't know me. I have fought back. I would not take no for an answer. They basically told me to give up my freedom, lay on a couch and take lots of medication to slow my system down so it didn't have to work so hard. I took a different road and so far...so good. Your circumstances are totally different than mine but we share love for our freedom and sense of adventure. I wish you and your husband all the best and if we cross paths in some off beat tropical no where, I'll buy you both a beer and the unhealthiest juiciest cheeseburger in paradise there ever was...
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Old 16-05-2012, 01:43   #4
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

The Sailors with disabilities crews have done Sydney to Hobart 17 times.



So go for it.

http://www.sailability.org/links.cfm



http://www.sailability.org/links.cfm
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Old 16-05-2012, 03:40   #5
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

I dont see any reason why you cant go sailing.

In my younger days we taught sailing to both mentally and physically handicapped children as part of the summer programme. There were of course challenges to overcome but they were addressable.

With the right research done to determine the most suitable boat and ideally speaking to your Doctor NOW about what your husband should
be doing to maximize his potential health and mobility later there should be no reason to not go sailing.

I think recognizing potential limitations but not being frightened or restricted by them would allow you to do what you please.

Understanding the physical requirements of crusing would be a good place to start, possibly start with a 1 week Skippered charter in the Caribbean and see how that goes? Or if you have sailing freinds to go with them for a weekend?

Fear is self limiting - you cant know your limits unless you give it a shot
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Old 16-05-2012, 03:50   #6
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Luna.
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Old 16-05-2012, 06:06   #7
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Hi, Luna, and welcome to CF.

Being out on the water, even if only for day-sails or weekend cruises, can do wonders for a person's mental and physical sense of well-being. My wife and I bought a boat and had five wonderful years of all sorts of cruising after we retired; one of the best times of our lives. She has a degenerative spinal condition, but was always happy on the boat, and managed to do her part, though it didn't include driving, docking or anchoring. There came a point when selling the boat was the right thing to do, but we have some great memories of our times together on the boat.
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Old 16-05-2012, 06:48   #8
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

I've got to agree with Celestialsailor on this, when he suggests chartering. Jumping into the deep end, by buying a boat and sailing off over the sunset, is probably not the best idea. Not when you don't really know if you'll even enjoy the lifestyle, let alone whether or not your husband is physically up for the lifestyle.

Take a one or two week long lesson. Do a few charters. That way you can find out if it is going to work or not, and whether you really enjoy it or not, without sinking the whole nest-egg into an experiment.

However it works out, good luck to you.
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Old 16-05-2012, 07:20   #9
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Simple answer is 'yes' but obviously boat selection and really good health cover is your main concern.

With the boat, get as small as you're comfortable with and try to automate as much as possible, electric winches, windless, etc. Also such things such as access to and from the main saloon should be considered, going up and down steep companionway steps can get pretty tiring so a small Cat' or Deck Saloon layout would be better to minimise the amount of steps you have to climb.
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Old 16-05-2012, 07:39   #10
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunadragnstar View Post
Is it possible to cruise with someone who is disabled to do several health problems?

My husband and I have been thinking that when it is time to retire (in 6 yrs) we want to buy a boat and go cruising, even if they are just short cruises. The problem is that my husband has several health issues and is disabled because of them. I'm just wondering how likely it is that we can actually do this?

Some of his health issues - heart attack at 35, emphysema, cirrhosis, sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia. I'm sure I have missed a few others but those are the major issues.

I think the lifestyle would really benefit him, fresh air, healthier food, a little more activity, etc..

What is your opinion?

Luna
If one takes one's shore-side habits to sea, one will suffer the same consequences as one does shore-side. Those who tend to drink too much on land may find that the tendency is exaggerated once they retire and begin cruising unless they very conscientiously moderate themselves al la Gary ("Fatty") Goodlander of Wild Card fame. Those that smoke may find that they smoke even more often once they are not in an environment that discourages smoking (i.e. an office setting), at least so until they run out of cigarettes without a way to obtain replacements (I do know of one fellow that sailed upwind for 200+ miles to get cigarettes. Fortunately, for him, it took so long that by the time he's arrived he'd gone without for so long that he decided to quit entirely, although that's a pretty rough "cure" in my view.) In any case, if one can moderate or discontinue shore-side habits, many of the collateral issues also resolve themselves and one finds oneself healthier and happier.

We have some friends that are now finishing their second season of cruising the Caribbean and will be leaving their yacht in Trinidad for hurricane season. She suffers from ALS and was given a very dim prognosis. Notwithstanding that, they prepared and set off on their yacht and she has enjoyed a quite remarkable improvement both in her health and spirits and they have enjoyed the time of their life.

Give it a go....

FWIW...
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Old 16-05-2012, 08:04   #11
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

what kinds of activities is he able to do ?? there is a lot of physical activity in sailing. it isnt a magical remedy for ailments, unless one can consider the ultimate end a benefit.
if you have never sailed, you must learn that skill. if you have never done something then decide you MUST do that thing, you may fail, you may succeed. i gotta say his list is kinda serious. will you be able to handle boat when he has a day of inability?? they will occur.
i sail with reynauds disease--not phenomenon/syndrome, but DISEASE--there IS a difference.there is total system involvement with disease, not with phenomenon/syndrome. yes i have my days--i take them off and rest. when i am not having a bad day, all is gorgeous. BUT i learned to sail at an early age and i manage to deal well with these days. i also first started symptoms of this disease at age 7--same year i started to sail.
someone who has not learned the skills and how to compensate well may not deal as well with the bad days. you will be left solo sailing. are you capable of that task?
it CAN be done, yes--anything CAN be done. is just how willing are you to shoulder the load?
with the heart condition--has he remained active or has he become a cardiac cripple?
with the liver cirrhosis--has he3 started to look grey and or orange/yellow?? what degree/stage of failure is his liver currently?? can deteriorate rapidly, no matter where ye are--sailing will not cure liver failure.
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Old 16-05-2012, 08:11   #12
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Yes, he can do it. The emphysema will be the though one. Disability come in different forms of treatments, some require doctors/ therapy once a week some once every 6 months or so. That can interfere with fun.

How does he feel about it?
If he is 'gong ho' I say go for it! A small trawler will have the power requirements you need to run the equipment he may need on a daily basis. Also a trwaler will have a more maneuverable layout to walk around. Stick to the coast of Florida, the keys at first. You are near doctors offices and pharmacies, and PTs. Speaking of PTs, tell your doc what you want to do, maybe he can script some PT to get your hubby's body better prepared for the new/different activity.

I think you are on the right track, If you need anything just PM, we are on the road right now ( yes, I said road not water) anyways, there may be a delay in reply.
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Old 16-05-2012, 08:11   #13
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

Luna,

I think perhaps one way to know some answers is if you guys start cruising small way before your retirement. Start slowly, take single steps under guidance / support from respective doctors. This may be easier, safer and give you better judgement of what is possible, desirable and safe, and what is not.

I believe you can ask doctors in each specific field if sailing/cruising is OK with these specific conditions and what (if any) precautions should be taken. If there is a strong reason not go, they sure will tell you.

Since you say it is still 6 years before you retire, this seems ample time to rehearse the challenge. Should you encounter any issues, you will have time enough to find solutions. Should you find you do not like sailing, you will just go ahead and do something that you like.

This much said, I have a friend who is in a wheelchair and who (all by himself) runs a big power boat. I have also met many sailors with various conditions who sailed anywhere from local lakes to extended offshore passages. Apparently, ban a most unfortunate health condition, it is hard to keep a sailor from the boat.

All the best, and happy sailing!
b.
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Old 16-05-2012, 08:24   #14
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

have you thought of a small trawler other than a sailboat. Heading throughout the bahamas then down to the caribbean. Lots of sailboaters use there engine more than they want to admit. Medical help and medication is available i the bahamas and caribbean at every major port. Less work on a trawler. Sailing can be demanding at times which might prove a challenge for both of you. motor-boating is easier physically.

Just need to find a boat that is diesel and gets good milage. Some people call them maw and paw kettle boats but they work. You will see lots of them heading north and south on the ICW every year doing 5-7 knots enjoying there time together.
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Old 16-05-2012, 08:30   #15
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Re: Is it possible to cruise with crew disabled by health problems?

not saying that this is the boat for you but somehting to think about,,,,,great loop can be done,,,

Great Loop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1550&url=
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