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Old 20-10-2011, 12:30   #1
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Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

Hello All,

This is going to be another would you posts. Yes I know asking a bunch of anonymous internet uses about decisions that affect your life is not always a good idea but here goes…..

Background info: My wife and I are both age 37. We currently have 5 boys. Their ages are 9, 7, 5, 3, 4 months. Our 4th son who is 3 has Juvenile Diabetes.

We are currently self-employed in the Computer field. My wife and I run our business and have around 6 employees. One of our dreams/goals is in 3 – 5 years to leave it all and start the sailing live aboard lifestyle. The area we had planned on exploring was the Caribbean, panama, Mexico area. We had also hoped to stay near the continental US and in summers, sail the Great Lakes. Our extended families are still here, so we can’t completely leave. Just tired of snow and cold.

Sailing Experience: Little to none. We currently own a 25’ 1973 Bayfield that we have sailed around the Lake Michigan bays in Northern MI. We have owned the boat for 2 years now. We have had it in the water for a total of 2 months. The first summer most of the time was spent on fixing it up. This summer we spent most of our time with a new baby, so was pretty hard to sail. In the course of 2 months total, we have sailed maybe a dozen times. We really don’t know what we are doing. We have reached the point where it would be nice to find someone who knows what they are doing to go with us so we can ask lots of questions. I guess the good news is we have not lost anyone overboard, or flipped the boat.

Our original plan over the course of the next 3 – 5 years, take sailing lessons and get a lot more experience. Sell the business and use that money to buy a bigger boat for live aboard and fund our travels for a few years. We were hoping to have enough to buy a 40 – 45 foot catamaran. We have never seen nor been on one, just read about them. With our family, I believe we will spend more time living in one place than sailing. Plus all the things I have read about catamarans the space would seem to fit our family. I am open to other options; just need room for 7 people to be somewhat comfortable. Last summer we lived on our 25’ boat at the marina. We all fit last summer, but there were only 6 of us. This summer, we out grew it. Kids tend to get bigger for some reason. The only option I want to stick with is for sure moving forward is a sailboat of some type.
Where we are today: We have a person who is willing to buy us out of business today. Cash in hand. This has caused my wife and I to re-asses our plans and see if we could do this today rather than wait a few years.
If we were to sell our business and start now, we would have a boat purchase budget of $100k - $150k. We would also have enough left over cash to fund about 4 – 5 years of not having to work. I don’t think we could find a catamaran for that budget, we would most likely have to look at a different type of boat.

So here is the question would you?

Are there any other families out there that have made this switch with little to no sailing experience? If so, would you look back? Or what would you have done differently? Should we let the fear of little to no experience be a major deterrent to us?

Any other thoughts, comments, concerns, ideas would be greatly appreciated while we figure this out
Thanks
Matt
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Old 20-10-2011, 13:44   #2
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

Hi Matt.

Great plan, but IMHO you need to dial it back a little and insert a few steps.

Do some courses. Find a school that will let you take the kids if you need to just do it.

Charter a cat.

Spend at least a season figuring out if you like cats, cruising, sailing, kids on boats, infants on boats, you on a boat etc.

5 boys could be the greatest experience ever. It could also be the worst ever. Before you blow the $$$$ try it with a bit more gusto.

Have fun and good luck
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Old 20-10-2011, 13:53   #3
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

I have not done this sailing - we plan on sailing also in the next few years however I raised my kids alone before tony and i got back together and we were in the wilderness so home schooling was the plan for us.. you can do it and teach with self taught courses you can get. Great way for kids to learn and travel is also a wonderful teacher.. however DO get into every class you can! and go for it.. what an adventure for your family and memories for the kids.. and you of course.. keep in touch..
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Old 24-10-2011, 13:33   #4
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

For me, it would have been very hard to tackle "new to cruising" and "cruising with young children" at the same time. I tackled each of those one at a time, and it was still hard.

My first six months of cruising were difficult. At sea, I did not know anything and did a lot of unnecessary work-- I was completely exhausted. The boat was also significantly less comfortable, since I did not see how to slip her into a stable groove.

Cruising with young children was also very hard for me. Mine were about 1 and 4. I was a lot better at cruising then, but handling them and the boat felt like an enormous undertaking. I joked in the log book about night watches of "reefed the main, changed a diaper, navigated, prepared a bobby, checked the horizon, hugged her back to sleep, reefed jib", but.. it's exhausting to stay up a whole night watch going from task to task like that.

The normal cruising life was also more difficult-- a typical day at anchor, of landing the dinghy on the beach, walking into town to find a grocery store, walking back with as much as you can carry, and then taking the dingy back to the boat through the surf. It was a whole new level to start doing that with a little girl who could only walk about half a mile before needing to be carried, or with baby supplies that need to stay dry, and to transfer young kids from the boat to the dinghy and back in an anchorage...

But we did have a fantastic time.

On the other hand, I am not sure how much sailing classes help. I learned a little from the coastal cruising, but I don't think I really started to figure things out until we got to the Marquessas (the beginnings of the South Pacific). So I am not sure that waiting and doing this incrementally will ease the 'new to cruising' period that much. I am not even sure that coastal hopping is better for new people than just heading off on long passages. I'd actually be more thoughtful about the waters and where you end up when you are still fresh to it.

So to me, the main thing you'd get with waiting four or five years is that all of your children would be walking. And more mature, so that they could help
more and be more a part of the team. And can maybe even jump out of the dinghy themselves on a beach landing and help carry groceries, do dishes, make their own PB&Js, and maybe not wet the bed or need diapers. To me, that would be the biggest difference that waiting will be to you.

I think your goal of going cruising for 4-5 years is perfect. Many people are ready to move on to something else after that long.

But whether to go now or later. I don't know. We aren't immortal, so I often feel, if you can-- go now. You never know what will happen, time is precious. But I also think one has to be realistic and go into an adventure with both eyes open. If a couple years will make it so much easier, then that's something to think about, too.
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Old 24-10-2011, 18:13   #5
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

I don't want to be negative but it could be hard to pack 7 into a boat for 100 to 150.
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Old 27-10-2011, 14:56   #6
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
I don't want to be negative but it could be hard to pack 7 into a boat for 100 to 150.
How about this one:
1993 Lagoon TPI Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

boys would need to double up some...
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Old 27-10-2011, 15:25   #7
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

Before you sell everything and move aboard. Try a charter with everyone on board. Your children, especially the 7 & 9 year old may not share your dream.
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Old 27-10-2011, 15:35   #8
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmort View Post
How about this one:
1993 Lagoon TPI Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

boys would need to double up some...

Looks good.

Do the boys have thier own rooms now?
How many electronic devices do they currently have each?
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Old 27-10-2011, 15:43   #9
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

Charter a Cat Charter a mono hull.. You may find a mono may met your needs get more boat for your buck, reduce maintenance and dockage fees which will keep u out there longer..
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Old 28-10-2011, 01:02   #10
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

Yes, I would. And yes, you can.
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Old 21-01-2012, 23:07   #11
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

Hello,

I was excited to read your post about what was happening in your life and the decisions you were up against. We were in a similar situation with 7 children (ages 1-11), we sold the house to buy the boat with little sailing experience. My husband had some; I had none. We made the change last April. We have had no regrets in our life change. We bought a mono-hull that needed repair and have been working on it as we go, along with learning. I agreed with the post that stated by just getting out there you learn. As far as a cat or mono, we chose a mono full keel for it's stability and advantage of heaving to in bad weather. I have heard from one cruiser that they were glad that tried both a cat & mono as they knew which they preferred when they bought their own. I hope all is well with you as you work toward your dream, whether now or later.

Molly



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Old 21-01-2012, 23:45   #12
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nadejda View Post
Hello,

I was excited to read your post about what was happening in your life and the decisions you were up against. We were in a similar situation with 7 children (ages 1-11), we sold the house to buy the boat with little sailing experience. My husband had some; I had none. We made the change last April. We have had no regrets in our life change. We bought a mono-hull that needed repair and have been working on it as we go, along with learning. I agreed with the post that stated by just getting out there you learn. As far as a cat or mono, we chose a mono full keel for it's stability and advantage of heaving to in bad weather. I have heard from one cruiser that they were glad that tried both a cat & mono as they knew which they preferred when they bought their own. I hope all is well with you as you work toward your dream, whether now or later.

Molly



Molly & Peter, so happy to here you are doing good. We met you guy's in Eureaka, Ca.. Congrats, Michael & Brenda..
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Old 22-01-2012, 10:17   #13
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

I think the kids are still a little young, not that they can't handle it necessarily, but that you still need to carry 1 or 2 of them too much of the time. I can't imagine piling 7 people and a stroller into a dinghy full of groceries and beach launching.We just started cruising and it's hard, harder than I thought. It's not all sunshine and mojitos, there's exploding poop tanks and storms and dead engines with no radar in the fog, too.
I usually say "JUST GO!" on these threads but I can't recommend it this time.
I say buy a boat someplace warm and live aboard in a marina and do some weekend trips, take some lessons, and grow some kids for a couple more years.
We should have waited a bit longer and practiced a lot more but we didn't and now we're kind of stuck waiting out crappy winter weather, trying to run for someplace warm and not getting anywhere fast enough and hurricane season is going to come this June no matter what we do.
Sell the business, yes, get rid of all of your junk, yes, try some boats and buy something that fits, yes, but then get comfortable and experienced. There is a lot on the line once you leave the dock.
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Old 25-01-2012, 07:41   #14
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

We encountered the same type of negative comments when we started full time RVing with our boys. The negative comments are the same on all the RV forums and sailing forums. Most are made by people that are well intentioned, but never tried it themselves; some are just jealous that they didn't do it. Of the people that have either full-time RVed, or cruised with children, the consensus is usually 9 out of 10 say it is worth the extra effort. Consider keeping the business and maintaining that income flow. Maybe, sell half to a partner (for the same $$ as you are considering selling the whole thing), then take 30% of the profits (the partner will be doing double the work of you) as a steady income stream. Before taking the plunge, rent or lease for a few weeks as a trial run. locate a slip to keep the boat. It is a buyers market now, so you may get the right boat for half or less (see the threads about the boat market and the deal they grabbed) of what you normally would pay (deals of 75% below book value are not uncommon).


The experience and memories will change your perspective of life forever. You will see how sad and materialistic the American dream has become. People enslaved in jobs they hate so that they can pay for junk that they don't need. Many have mortgages and debt that are nothing but a huge anchor around their neck, sucking the fun right out of their life, sucking the life out of their being. All because they bought the lie that they needed the bigger, newer house, the new car, the latest electronic gizmo, etc.

Start making a list of what needs to be accomplished (baby walking, kids swimming, CPR and first aid classes for the family, etc)

List the daily costs and weekly costs and monthly costs of boat ownership.

Read the threads detailing maintenance, slip rentals, electronic needs, boat repair, etc. You will then be better prepared to start the adventure.


In conclusion, GO FOR IT!!!!
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Old 27-01-2012, 11:06   #15
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Re: Another 'Would You . . . ' Question

I would also go for it, as said above you don't know what the future holds. If it doesn't work out you have at least tried it.
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