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Old 21-07-2010, 01:24   #106
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How is it possible? Some of us just struggle, Kb79. You can see from the pic that my current boat is way too small. I need a bigger one but just have to cope with what I have for the time being.
Troppo - It would seem your boat is just exactly the right size!!
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Old 21-07-2010, 01:30   #107
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fellow cruisers:

there's been a lot of judgement (skepticism? opinion at the very least...) regarding our decision to cruise before we're as financially ready as we could be. since i've been pretty open on other fronts, i'll be open here as well. saltymonkey's interest not withstanding

there are basically five big considerations that are pushing us to leave:

1. as mentioned, there's the kid thing...............
2. i work days and my wife works nights.....................
3. the company i work for is in the process of being acquired...............
4. my family's pretty unconventional................
5. i had a cancer scare about six months ago...............

again, still not looking for advice (at least on that front), but that's a little more of the back story for those who might be curious.
I think you have expressed all the best reasons for leaving and pursuing your dreams. I'm especially with you on reason 5. And 4. And 3. And 2. And 1. In fact, now you mention it, I'm totally jealous. You're doing what I wish I could do.

Good luck with your amazing new adventure, and let us know how it goes. (Well, let me know, anyway - you wouldn't want to risk upsetting the others again......!)
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Old 21-07-2010, 04:02   #108
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I can't get over that in less than a half day we have over 100 posts here. I would love to know what's gotten everyone so riled up.
It was very late. and I was bored
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Old 21-07-2010, 05:17   #109
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Originally Posted by kb79 View Post
fellow cruisers:

there's been a lot of judgement (skepticism? opinion at the very least...) regarding our decision to cruise before we're as financially ready as we could be. since i've been pretty open on other fronts, i'll be open here as well. saltymonkey's interest not withstanding

there are basically five big considerations that are pushing us to leave:

1. as mentioned, there's the kid thing. people have pointed out that we could either wait until returning or have kids before leaving. both are true, however: the wife is absolutely 100% excited and into the trip right now. she may still feel the same way after we have kids, but she may not. i've seen lots of buddies who's lives change DRASTICALLY after kids (actually, i have yet to see any who's lives haven't...), and i think the chances that my wife's eagerness to set out for places unknown with our three year old range from somewhat possible to unlikely. so, having kids before we leave isn't the plan. we could just postpone everything a year, but she's already a little uncomfortable about the age thing. personally i think we'll be fine but i don't want to push her. if there was some issue (infertility, down's syndrome or other), i don't want to have wondered if the extra year made a difference. it may or may not be what each of you would do, but that's where we land on it.

2. i work days and my wife works nights. this results in an unacceptable amount of time apart and it's stressing the marriage (i'm home now and quite literally passed her in the hall as she headed out). changing the schedule would mean a career change for her. possible, yes, but not a slam dunk call when we're talking about leaving (either soon or in a year from soon). the reality of the lives we're currently living is a little depressing, and it's time for that to change.

3. the company i work for is in the process of being acquired. it's possible that i'll be offered a job with the new company or possible that i'll be let go. if i'm let go, then we could actually end up eating into our savings rather than adding to it while i look for a new job in this economy. it makes more sense (to me) to leave. i think it's also a more straightforward story to tell a future employer when i get back.

4. my family's pretty unconventional - my dad went to a prestigious college, got a high paying advertising job in manhattan and then quit with $900 in his pocket, hitchhiked to alaska, built a house in the middle of nowhere and is a happier man for it. i've both got a little familial pressure (he's not impressed by the 9-5 gig and has been encouraging me strongly to make a life change for awhile now) and an example of a life that can turn out wonderfully when conventional considerations are abandoned in favor of pursuing one's dreams.

5. i had a cancer scare about six months ago. after two MRI's, i've been assured that i'm not actually dying but the experience shook me up a little. planning for the future's all well and good, but there's a certain amount of uncertainty inherent in life, and i want to seize this opportunity while i can.

all that adds up to incentives for leaving that outweigh the pressure to pay off a $10K credit card bill, at least for me. i respect everyone's prerogative to accept whatever financial risk they're comfortable with, and for us where we are now, it's more important to pursue this dream now with whatever uncertainty that brings than to wait for the money to catch up.

sorry for the long posting, but people seemed to be wondering.

again, still not looking for advice (at least on that front), but that's a little more of the back story for those who might be curious.
For Goodness' sake, no one can give you advice about this. You have to follow your own instincts. You shouldn't even listen to other people.

The Russians have a saying: better to be rich and healthy, than poor and sick. That expresses very well the absurdity of the question. Of course, the more money you have salted away the more choices you will have when cruising -- duh!

On the other hand, if you wait until you are in perfect financial condition to go out there, you may be dead already!

So you have to do what feels right and only you can figure that out.

A kind of side issue, expressed too late to do you any good, is the financial design of your life. Spending more money than you earn is a good way to to become a slave to your job and a slave to your possessions. In other words, to misery. The opposite balance gives you freedom and power. And you don't have to be rich to get the positive balance -- it's a question of the relationship between your means and your expenses, not the absolute numbers. You can either earn more or spend less, to achieve it. Of course being rich is the more pleasant way to achieve that, if you can manage it without selling your soul . . .
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Old 21-07-2010, 05:33   #110
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Old 21-07-2010, 06:08   #111
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For every cruiser out here, there are probably three others who waited to cruise "until I have enough money", "till the kids are through school", "till the boat is ready"...and then it was too late.

The hardest decision is the decision to leave, and you have already made that. Good luck on your adventures, and I hope you enjoy the lifestyle. If you do, then when the money runs out you can focus on replenishing the kitty and leaving again.
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Old 21-07-2010, 06:17   #112
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Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
I can't get over that in less than a half day we have over 100 posts here. I would love to know what's gotten everyone so riled up.

Money is such a powerful subject ... could it be the "rich people" phrase? Is it guilt, envy, resentment, arrogance, ..?

Give it some thought.
Here's a theory: at the core, the decision to step off the treadmill and go sailing for a while is very dangerous and threatening to us. It pokes at the basic suspicion we all have that the relentless chase of the almighty buck really is not worth the terrific, soul-killing effort we may have put into it.

We all wrestle with that dangerous and threatening decision in different ways, but at some point perhaps we've all got to get to the point KB79 has gotten to and just step away. I suspect we've ultimately got to do that whether we ever decide to go sailing or not. Amassing wealth is simply not the point of life, and nearly everybody wakes up to that fact sooner or later.

That internal struggle is painful enough, but now a once-in-a-lifetime economic downturn is bringing many of us to that realization much sooner than we would have reached it on our own.

This may be a painful and scary topic, but there have been some delightful and enlightening posts in this thread about how to simplify, have fun on boats, and not have to worry too much about money. Let's not lose them in the shouting.
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Old 21-07-2010, 06:46   #113
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Another 2 cents...........

.........In OP's shoes (and given the motivation described) I would...........sell the boat

Might even cover the loan. Maybe. and then (whether paid off the CC / Student Loans or not) would head over to SE Asia with da Missus and practice making babies

My thinking is that as long as you keep away from the 4 star hotels in the big cities and don't seek to "live it large" in the Tourist hotspots that the budget described would last very nicely for a couple of years, whilst providing the opportunity for much the same laid back / carefree lifestyle with occassional adventures - no reason why you couldn't end up somewhere with a sailing dink, a couple of canoes or a smaller Cat to spend a few months (or years) exploring a foreign locale - and the time to build them yourselves

The big advantage however is not increase in monthly budget spending budget & power, it's limiting the chances and downside of unexpected expense(s!). Plus wherever you are usually only 2 days and a plane ticket away from you & all your worldly goods being "home".

Given your budget (and non existent reserves) I can quite easily see circumstances conspiring to end up with a boat in need of repairs ($$$) in a distant land unable to return on it's own keel (plenty do - see Google ) whilst owner returns to find work and repay the loan on a rapidly depreciating (and out of position for sale) "asset". Bad enough on $150k a year. that debt gets a lot harder on $50k.........would make the baby stuff even more challenging.........

So my advise is...........Go Now! Go Onshore!
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Old 21-07-2010, 07:06   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia Bu View Post
Here's a theory: at the core, the decision to step off the treadmill and go sailing for a while is very dangerous and threatening to us. It pokes at the basic suspicion we all have that the relentless chase of the almighty buck really is not worth the terrific, soul-killing effort we may have put into it.

We all wrestle with that dangerous and threatening decision in different ways, but at some point perhaps we've all got to get to the point KB79 has gotten to and just step away. I suspect we've ultimately got to do that whether we ever decide to go sailing or not. Amassing wealth is simply not the point of life, and nearly everybody wakes up to that fact sooner or later.

That internal struggle is painful enough, but now a once-in-a-lifetime economic downturn is bringing many of us to that realization much sooner than we would have reached it on our own.

This may be a painful and scary topic, but there have been some delightful and enlightening posts in this thread about how to simplify, have fun on boats, and not have to worry too much about money. Let's not lose them in the shouting.
I think that's a pretty good theory.

As someone who has worked with individuals and their finances, I always find our relationships with money to be very telling. It is very difficult to get people to discuss their finances, so I applaud the OP for putting himself out there. We had a saying in the profession that it is easier to get someone to talk about their sex life than it is to get them to talk about their finances.
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Old 21-07-2010, 07:31   #115
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The short answer is, if you pay someone else to do the work and/or you aren't resourceful/motivated enough to find "deals" (i.e., you routinely pay the 500% marine surcharge), it is only for rich folks.

Many marine "professionals" are anything but - and they will charge in the neighborhood of $100/hour for their "expertise." There's some pretty shoddy work out there and the less likely you are to stick your nose down in a dirty bilge (or whatever) to inspect their work, the more likely it is to be half-assed.

If, on the other hand, you're handy and dedicated (the skills can be acquired, the dedication has to be innate), you can get a cruiser in decent shape and do the work yourself to make it right. You can further cut your expenses by living aboard. This is what I'm doing. But, like I said, it's not for everyone.


My job this summer is one most people cringe at: I am doing a total deck recore. About 1/2 done and going well. It's far and away the biggest thing on my to-do list and once it's done, the other stuff is more manageable.

And contrary to popular belief, I do get out and sail. I did the Delmarva this year (8 days) on a friend's boat and I routinely slip out for a short sail on a Cal 20 I'm sharing the use of.

And prior to this summer, I got my own boat out of the slip fairly frequently, though admittedly not as frequently as I'd like. I also club race on a C&C27. So, I got my share of sailing in.


The biggest obstacle is time. Work, kids, chores, etc. all take time. Even keeping socializing and other hobbies to a minimum, it doesn't leave a lot of time. And then there's the weather - right now I am alternating between enduring 90-100F heat and dodging thunder showers.

The biggest advantage is you really get to know your boat. I know so many people who don't have a clue what's behind the floorboards or the storage spaces on their boat. That's because someone else has done all the work for them. Fine, maybe, when you're 10 miles from shore, but what about when you're 1,000 miles away?
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Old 21-07-2010, 07:53   #116
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You're all missing an important point

kb79 is not average. He's obviously smart. Maybe a little naive, but give him a break, he's half most of our ages.

In about 8 years he has built a career that earns far more than most posters here. He could probably fall flat on his face a couple of times, and you know what?... I'd bet dollars to doughnuts he'd be back on his feet again in a few years. (Don't worry about SaltyMonkey's attacks... I suspect he's a fast typer and sometimes his brain struggles to keep up, but I'm sure he means well)

I've earned more, and less, accumulated a few assets (wealth to some), lost it, did it again... not a huge amount by any measure, but now, 3 decades later than you, we're about go cruising on a modest boat ($100k) with a modest income, but for as long as we choose. I've been lucky with good health but I'd be seriously pissed off if I wasn't.

You know what's ridiculous?
At 30 I was building a Roberts Mauritius 44... got to hull stage only. We were going to go cruising. Wife fell pregnant and everything changed. It's a hormone/instinct thing with some women I'm sure. She could not see beyond a house in the suburbs, white pickett fence deal, so that's what we did.

Boats have come and gone... wives have come and gone... money has come and gone...

My point/s?
1) go now... you and your wife are young and smart... you'll work it out
2) once you're cruising you can decide the next steps as you go.
3) no plans, or outcomes are set in concrete, and even the ones that seem to be, well, a few sticks of dynamite
4) your biggest assets are street smarts and coping with change... kinda like sailing
5) some of the best kids you'll ever meet are kids of cruising couples so don't close your minds to that possibility.
6) I like your Dad already...
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Old 21-07-2010, 08:33   #117
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Sailing IS NOT JUST FOR RICH PEOPLE. You can do whatever you want to with what you have and what you are earning if you have a good plan and stick to it. But if you act like a drunken sailor in a new port you will wake up with a hangover and no money in your pocket. I made a good living, wasted a lot of money on enjoying myself when younger but I had a plan, when I retire I was going to go cruising. I saved, I looked for a boat for almost 2 years. Then an amazing thing happened. I came across a 1977 DE 32 in excellent shape at a lien sale. I offered $ 22,000 for it and now it is mine. I put about $ 12,000 into it to make it cruise ready. Chart/plotter, radar, tillerpilot, electric windless, 12v refrigeration, SSB and now me and my boat are leaving in October heading south to Mexico and beyond. I have some savings but will live mostly on my $ 1574.00 a month SS. I am 62 in good health and will enjoy every single part of the trip good or bad. NO NOT RICH with money BUT RICH in the fact that I have the freedom to go anywhere the wind and my desire takes me.
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Old 21-07-2010, 08:45   #118
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<snip>

as far as the debt advice goes, i appreciate the concern (truly), but this is what's right for us and we're leaving now.

period.
<snip>
This is the conversation-killer as far as I'm concerned. You've made up your mind, you're not interested in advice, you just came here to tell us what you're doing.

Ok, fine. It's a free country, it's your life, knock yourself out and thanks for sharing your plans with us.

I'm a big advocate of freedom. I only have one request of you:

If after embarking on your journey, you discover that you have planned poorly, be man enough to accept the consequences of your actions and devise a correctional plan that enables you to dig your way out without begging others for assistance.

Look in the mirror and be honest with yourself, and handle the situation. Don't be what I call a "professional victim" and blame "bad luck" or your boat, or your spouse.

I don't have a problem with people making reckless choices, I only have a problem with people who do that, and then expect a handout, a bailout, or whatever. I call this the "EPRIB Syndrome".

"I'll do whatever I damn well please, because I can always punch the EPIRB and someone will save me."

So good luck to you, and I hope it all works out.
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Old 21-07-2010, 08:54   #119
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The Polynesians sailed around the Pacific in not much. How rich determines not if you can own a boat but how luxurious you can afford.
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Old 21-07-2010, 08:56   #120
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This is the conversation-killer as far as I'm concerned. You've made up your mind, you're not interested in advice, you just came here to tell us what you're doing.
You are correct, and nowhere does he ask for our advice. He had two questions:

Quote:
so to the extent that there are any questions in this thread, here they are:

if i'm rich (which i think i am - making 3x the median income in the richest country on earth makes me, in my opinion pretty damn well off) does that mean all you guys are too?

if not, how the hell is that possible?
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