Originally Posted by MarkJ
Its hard for me to tell because I had been on boats since I was a kid and ocean raced etc (as in the long ocean races of 3 or 4 days). However, it must be pretty daunting for someone new to it now... But I doubt it needs to be. More like what Sailorboy said: " I think all you need to know are the basics that could be learned in a few days. There you could start out doing small hops along the coast till you feel more confident and go longer and longer."
But thats just the initial learning
part untill one takes off. Then in the Caribbean
, or Pacific, or Med we are not meant to be who we were but try to emulate some old seadog. Thats not why I went cruising. I went so I could travel the world, see things and experience things I couldnt see in any other way affordably. The boat to me is just accommodation and a conveyance - it gets me from point A to point B and lets me chow down cheaply.
Also for many people who are choosing retirement
I wonder if they wanted to exchange the office with dirty hands? But they feel compelled to become a grease monkey because thats whats expected of cruisers? Crikey, I did some high level creative jobs and didnt retire early to take up a new profession of amateur sailing ship captain/ motor
mechanic/ toilet unblocker.
Is it daunting for those with the dream to be confronted by an internet
forum? And is it necessary?
Anyway, as I said, I just thought the question as a philosophical bit of revery.
I really like this tread. Thanks for posting
Here is how I am looking at some of this. First, my experience level. Sailed small dinghies as a kid and sailed on my aunt and uncles C&C
24. Took some years away from my late teens until I was 30. Bought my aunt and uncles boat. Sailed that for 5 years while only doing the bare minimum as far as maintenance
. I did learn a fair amount about outboards during that time. In 2010, we bought a Catalina
310. The learning curve really went up then because I didn't know anything about diesels, 12 volt systems, plumbing
systems for boats, etc. I took on all of the maintenance
and didn't hire out any of it. This month we are selling our house and becoming full time live aboards. Our plan is to save for another year plus and then cut the lines and head
off towards the Caribbean at 40.
My philosophy on learning to work on my boat didn't start as replacing my 9-5. I am a geologist working as a consultant cleaning
up after major oil
companies. It doesn't pay very well. I knew I would have limited funds and the best way to extend my cruising time was to learn how to do the boat things myself and not loose some of the kitty having someone else do the work. However, as I have learned more and gotten better at it, I now think this would be something I would enjoy more than working in a box. I would guess I would be on the lower level of knowledge of boat maintenance for full time cruisers but I am very high for day/weekend sailors.
When it comes to boat handling/seamanship I want to have good skills here because its a matter of safety
. I feel I need to be able to handle my boat in the conditions I could encounter if I make a mistake picking a weather window. We sail/cruise locally and that has given us some great experience. We also read a lot! This is because we don't feel we have to burn our hands on the stove to know it's hot. We can use the collective knowledge of others to gain experience as well as first hand. So internet forums
like this, blogs, books
, magazine article, etc. are all tools to gain experience without putting ourselves in danger
. But I have to admit, when I back my boat into a slip and a couple of old salt
looking types make a comment about how easily I did it I do feel a sense of pride in my seamanship.
As to my philosophy as to why we are planning to go. Mark summed that up well when he said "I went so I could travel the world, see things and experience things I couldnt see in any other way affordably. The boat to me is just accommodation and a conveyance - it gets me from point A to point B and lets me chow down cheaply." The boat is freedom. It allows us to travel to places and spend extended periods of time that we otherwise couldn't afford. If we had endless funds would we still travel by boat? Maybe in some areas. In other areas we would probably hope from luxury hotel
to luxury hotel
So to your last question in the post I quoted above, I do think forums
like this are necessary. I remember when I read the book "The Cruising Life
" that the author had a discussion in the first chapter about how many people like the idea of cruising, how many people actually buy a boat to go cruising and how many people actually make it out cruising. He estimated these numbers that 2,500,000 people like the idea, 250,000 people actually buy a boat but only 25,000 people are out cruising. He gave a few sources and it seemed to be a decent estimate. He also talked about why people drop off at each stage. I think forums like this are necessary to weed people out as you go down that list. If you want to go cruising because you think it will be all white sand beaches and drinking frozen rum
drinks, you need the reality check. You read the forums and realize there is a lot of work. The ones that make it past to buying
a boat then get hit with the reality of their first time changing a joker valve. Many will realize it's not for them at that point. So hopefully the ones that actually cut the lines and go do so being more informed of the problems/challenges they will face and don't call it quits the first time they end up in 10 foot seas in a 35 kt blow.
Like I said, thanks for this thread.