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Old 23-08-2014, 05:05   #691
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

There is a prevalent attitude on the forum that anyone can start cruising if they "just get up and do it", but the reality is there are a number of people who have genuinely insurmountable constraints.

Could you divorce your wife and buy a 27' day sailor? COULD you abandon your child support payments and disappear into the polynesian islands on a rowboat? COULD you abandon all considerations of health, family and finance to rush out to sea where you can die in quiet dignity?

Yes, you could but few will.

Still, a lot of the wannabees are "gonnabees". They are still out there grinding away at the millstone, many caught up in the tails of past commitments that they might wish they had not made but which they will not abandon, either.

Those out on the open water should be greatful for the wannabes because they are still on land earning incomes, paying taxes, and defending the many public services the "doing" cruisers enjoy. For those cruisers out there enjoying public health care benefits, government retirement incomes, and other sources of funding while cruising the open oceans of the world, you should be glad for the "wannabes" because they are what keep open the ports and bays where the rest of us love to go to enjoy a cold beer and some fish-and-chips.
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Old 23-08-2014, 06:38   #692
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

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Originally Posted by wswhiting View Post
My next step appears to be taking 103 and 104, but I feel somewhat guilty proceeding with a $2000 expense when I'm not contributing to the family kitty other than my SS. I'm also living in the lower Hudson Valley of NY. Not exactly cruising waters.

My gut tells me to wait for her. My heart says go now. Anyone else experienced these waters? No pun intended.
Does that really cost $2k? How about planning a trip where you charter but an instructor/skipper is along for the ride for the week. There's a few such places down in the caribbean, especially the BVI. Then you get to (a) see if you're even going to like it is much as you think you will, (b) your wife might be a little more onboard with the idea, (c) you still come out with a certification if that's your goal, and (d) it will be fun and at least you're out there sailing. If cost is a concern, go in the off season. Just a thought.
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Old 23-08-2014, 06:39   #693
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

What happened to all us wannabees? As for my wife and I, we came up with a plan to make it happen and then started living the plan.

The 1st step was for the "two of us" to want to do this. No problem there. It was actually my wife's idea to be cruisers. It's normally the other way around. I am a "Motor transport engineer, specializing in consumer commodity relocation" (Truck Driver) and am already used to a gypsy lifestyle. My wife is a factory worker tired of watching the walls closing in on her, and looking at an endless line of soul crushing work stretching out over the horizon, listening to her unhappy, disenchanted co-workers constant complaints about having to work at a job they hate until they die, and perhaps even longer.

Step 2 was to learn how to sail. This was the easiest part. It only took some money for sailing lessons and a little time.

Step 3 was to become debt free so we could afford to be cruisers. We cut up our credit cards and paid off the balances. Paid off our cars. Paid off our house. Started living on a cash only basis.

Step 4 was to break Step 3 and purchase our boat.

Step 4.1 is to pay off this boat in about 2.5 years while learning to sail her well, up here in Lake Erie and outfit her to "Live the Dream"

Step 5 is to save like crazy for 2.5 years and then head out.

This may seem time consuming to some but so far "The Plan" has been working for us. We have both set goals, and we have been meeting those goals consistently in the time frame set.

So yes, my wife and I are still out here. We're not cruising yet, but are well on our way to making it happen. The light at the end of our tunnel has grown from a tiny little dot to an opening we can almost step through. Until then, we still haunt this forum, reading, listening, and sometimes commenting.
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Old 23-08-2014, 06:56   #694
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

Does it really cost 2K? I could do it locally on the Hudson River for $1300. Not something that excites me. I got a quote from a Miami sailing school for $1500 and it would cost me $600 to fly down there.
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Old 23-08-2014, 07:12   #695
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

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What happened to all us wannabees? As for my wife and I, we came up with a plan to make it happen and then started living the plan.

The 1st step was for the "two of us" to want to do this. No problem there. It was actually my wife's idea to be cruisers. It's normally the other way around. I am a "Motor transport engineer, specializing in consumer commodity relocation" (Truck Driver) and am already used to a gypsy lifestyle. My wife is a factory worker tired of watching the walls closing in on her, and looking at an endless line of soul crushing work stretching out over the horizon, listening to her unhappy, disenchanted co-workers constant complaints about having to work at a job they hate until they die, and perhaps even longer.

Step 2 was to learn how to sail. This was the easiest part. It only took some money for sailing lessons and a little time.

Step 3 was to become debt free so we could afford to be cruisers. We cut up our credit cards and paid off the balances. Paid off our cars. Paid off our house. Started living on a cash only basis.

Step 4 was to break Step 3 and purchase our boat.

Step 4.1 is to pay off this boat in about 2.5 years while learning to sail her well, up here in Lake Erie and outfit her to "Live the Dream"

Step 5 is to save like crazy for 2.5 years and then head out.

This may seem time consuming to some but so far "The Plan" has been working for us. We have both set goals, and we have been meeting those goals consistently in the time frame set.

So yes, my wife and I are still out here. We're not cruising yet, but are well on our way to making it happen. The light at the end of our tunnel has grown from a tiny little dot to an opening we can almost step through. Until then, we still haunt this forum, reading, listening, and sometimes commenting.
Sounds like you guys have it worked out! Good luck, it is exciting to read your steps and you motivation!
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Old 23-08-2014, 07:17   #696
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

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Does it really cost 2K? I could do it locally on the Hudson River for $1300. Not something that excites me. I got a quote from a Miami sailing school for $1500 and it would cost me $600 to fly down there.
Hi wswhising, I love Enrique100's idea of trying a charter and have your wife there. I think most people would get on the boat down in the BVI's and fall in love with the idea. I'm not sure on the cost though, if it is more than the $2000, but it's a great idea if it's not cost prohibitive.

My other idea was wondering if you have a nearby lake or anywhere that you could keep a boat and practice sailing? Even if it's an hour or 2, would you drive it and do it? My parents kept their boat 5 hours away for several years until they were finally able to retire and move down to it. Even so far away they got a lot of use and enjoyment out of it until they could be there full time. I'm not recommending that far away, but just thinking is there anywhere you could keep a boat that isn't a haul away?
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Old 23-08-2014, 07:46   #697
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

A quick note on cutting up credit cards. Bank of America has a card that pays you to use it giving back 1% on all purchases, 3% for groceries and 5% for gas. We spend thousands on this card and pay for as much as we can using this card. Every few weeks we have $100 in our "Rewards" account. That's free money. The real kicker is they give you an additional 10% if you put it in your savings account. You can't do that well in the stock market. Of course, you may be Canadian and not have this option. The other kicker is to make sure you pay off your card before they charge you any interest.
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Old 23-08-2014, 09:01   #698
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

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A quick note on cutting up credit cards. Bank of America has a card that pays you to use it giving back 1% on all purchases, 3% for groceries and 5% for gas. We spend thousands on this card and pay for as much as we can using this card. Every few weeks we have $100 in our "Rewards" account. That's free money. The real kicker is they give you an additional 10% if you put it in your savings account. You can't do that well in the stock market. Of course, you may be Canadian and not have this option. The other kicker is to make sure you pay off your card before they charge you any interest.

We also use cards wisely. As individuals, we each briefly carried balances in moments of transition several years ago and together we had a 0% interest balance to purchase our first boat at the beginning of a season, rather than waiting another year. We juggle our cards a bit, making online purchases with one that has bonuses up to 10% at certain stores, grocery with an American Express that gives 6%, etc. The hard part is keeping up with Discover card's rotating 5% categories.


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Old 23-08-2014, 09:57   #699
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

So 8 years after an accidental introduction to sailing at a Christmas party, I am still at it. Now sailing during the summer in Lake Ontario in club owned boat and skippering blue water charter or crewing on boats. I have gone through the learning curve with many sharing skippers and sailors. I now share and mentor my knowledge with newbies. Thanks to a number of boat owners, i am able to experience different types of boat. The better half has settled on a cat. So it won't be long now before i can convince her to stay longer than a month on a boat. Another 8 years maybe, its a long process to get there. But i am in no hurry.
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Old 23-08-2014, 17:16   #700
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

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Originally Posted by Large Luke View Post
What happened to all us wannabees? As for my wife and I, we came up with a plan to make it happen and then started living the plan.

The 1st step was for the "two of us" to want to do this. No problem there. It was actually my wife's idea to be cruisers. It's normally the other way around. I am a "Motor transport engineer, specializing in consumer commodity relocation" (Truck Driver) and am already used to a gypsy lifestyle. My wife is a factory worker tired of watching the walls closing in on her, and looking at an endless line of soul crushing work stretching out over the horizon, listening to her unhappy, disenchanted co-workers constant complaints about having to work at a job they hate until they die, and perhaps even longer.

Step 2 was to learn how to sail. This was the easiest part. It only took some money for sailing lessons and a little time.

Step 3 was to become debt free so we could afford to be cruisers. We cut up our credit cards and paid off the balances. Paid off our cars. Paid off our house. Started living on a cash only basis.

Step 4 was to break Step 3 and purchase our boat.

Step 4.1 is to pay off this boat in about 2.5 years while learning to sail her well, up here in Lake Erie and outfit her to "Live the Dream"

Step 5 is to save like crazy for 2.5 years and then head out.

This may seem time consuming to some but so far "The Plan" has been working for us. We have both set goals, and we have been meeting those goals consistently in the time frame set.

So yes, my wife and I are still out here. We're not cruising yet, but are well on our way to making it happen. The light at the end of our tunnel has grown from a tiny little dot to an opening we can almost step through. Until then, we still haunt this forum, reading, listening, and sometimes commenting.
I don't usually include long quotes when responding to a post, but to me, Large Luke' contribution is an excellent road map for the wannabes of this world to follow! Yep, this is how most successful long term cruisers got where they wanted to be -- no magic quick fixes, but a lot of hard work, dedication to deferred gratification, and hard headed fiscal realities.

Well done, Luke. We look forward to your departure one day and perhaps sharing an anchorage out here somewhere.

Jim
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Old 23-08-2014, 18:51   #701
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

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I'm going to go against my better judgment and post our wannabe story.

About 31 years ago, having never stepped foot aboard a sailboat, I bought and read a Hal Roth book, "After 50,000 Miles." When I finished it I handed it to my husband of 2 years and said "I want to do this." He read it and said "I want to do it too." The dream was born.

At the time my husband was in the Navy, we were young and had 3 children to support (from previous marriages) so this was a l-o-n-g range early retirement plan. But our mindset towards our lives changed and we started making decisions based on the long range goal. We learned to sail a year later, spent time playing with the 14' Lidos and Capris at the Naval sailing club, bought our first boat 2 years after that and have had a love affair with sailing ever since.

When my husband retired from the Navy in 1993, which is the time we had always thought we would do it, we had 1 child in college and the real estate market in CA had collapsed so we were upside down on our house. We couldn't have sold it if we had wanted to. Derailment #1. My husband went back to college and started a new career in education.

Since then we have had grandchildren come along. Our daughter, who has a disabling illness, has gotten a divorce and is struggling as a single mom raising two kids alone. We help, a lot.

Have we ever stopped wanting to go cruising? Well, maybe once or twice, briefly, but not really. The dream has changed. My husband is 62 and I am 58 now, and we still have a few years to work. We no longer want to go around the world. The idea of weeks at sea doesn't even really appeal to me any more. I've lived at anchor for months at a time and have no problem with that idea, but want to be able to put my feet on terra firma on a more frequent basis. Coastal cruising and island hopping in the Caribbean would be more than sufficient. My husband's family lives in Barbados. I can easily see myself just parked there for months at a time. (Does that qualify as cruising??) And we're not saying we're going to do it forever, we just want to say that we finally did it.

But in the meantime, we have owned many sailboats. We have rescued several derelicts and rebuilt them stem to stern. We have spent a total of around 5 years living aboard several of them. My husband taught sailing at the Naval Academy and cruised to Bermuda with the midshipman every summer. We have used our sailboats to entertain naval officers from several other countries when my husband was attached to a navy ship that was an "ambassador ship" in Pearl Harbor.

So....are we still wannabes? I suppose when it comes to the complete severing of the docklines and sailing off into the sunset forever, we are. But I see how much we've experienced and what we've learned since we first picked up that book 31 years ago, how many beautiful nights we've spent at anchor, how many cockpit hours shared with friends, memories we've made with our kids and grandkids, landfalls in new places even if they weren't an ocean away. We've been sailors, and cruisers all along, in our own way. I sure do hope we sever those docklines someday. But no way will I feel any sense of "failure" if we don't.

There are a lot of different ways to be cruisers. Is someone less of a cruiser because they only cruise the Great Lakes, or the Chesapeake Bay? Because their cruise only lasted a year instead of a whole lifetime? Or they only cruise part of each year?

We've made choices along the way to fulfill obligations to family or take advantage of opportunities and we have no regrets. And we have had an absolute blast on boats the whole while. And the oceans aren't going anywhere. (According to Al Gore they're getting bigger, right?) Good Lord willing we'll get out there someday.
We're still here.

Since I made the above post back in October 2012 we have acquired our cruising boat, a Cape Dory 33, and are currently in the process of refitting her and getting her ready to go. She had suffered a lot of neglect and we have a lot to do, but we find our energy level is fueled by a renewed commitment to the dream.

We have also decided to move our retirement date up by two years. We will be putting our house up for sale this coming spring and if the real estate gods smile favorably on us and she sells, we hope to pull in the dock lines and head south in the fall of 2016.
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Old 23-08-2014, 19:42   #702
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

Here's our story FWIW.
-First we decided we wanted to live aboard and cruise. (This is when we lived in the Canada rockies but my wife was from Australia)
-We then secured her Dual citizenship and moved to Australia later I secured mine along the way
-I bought a Dinghy and started learning to Sail
-Restored the old Heron Dinghy and sold for profit (after using for 2years
-Bought a trailer sailor plus have one child (we planned to have a family
-Restored Trailer sailor while using it to sail and sold for profit (used 2 years)
-Bought our first Keel Boat up the coast and sailed it back (have second child)
-Use keel boat restore and sell (Broke even as market slumped)
-Combined our savings and boat fund to buy the boat we want to live and cruise on
-Refit boat with essential jobs that would be difficult to do while on board with family (were within 2 months of finishing this phase)
-We will Move aboard then and I will finish the rest
after we are aboard we will have the rest of debts cleared in about 4 years (we had to buy a new car) but we will be able to do some cruising in the meantime. At that point we will also have the boat completely ready for any long term cruising.
It's been and is a long road for us and we have adapted along the way. Having kids really slowed me down more than I thought because I just refuse to miss out on them growing up so I spend most of my free time with them and then try to squeeze boat projects in around that.

We also opted for the smallest boat we felt we could do this in and in doing so I find it vital that aesthetics play a big part. So I have spent countless hours on details to make it what we want.
It is also vital to us that she safe sound and ship shape.
All the while we have continued learning and Both my wife and I have our Coxwains and I have my MED 2
My wife is a stay at home hands in Mom and I work 2x2day jobs and Fridays on the boat and whenever else I can squeeze in time without taking away from the kids.

In the end we will get there and I have left out lots of little steps etc. But 15years ago when we were in Canada with a mountain of bills and had decided we would; immigrate back to Australia, both get Dual Citizenship, have a family and move on to a boat it has been a steady progression to that goal and any ups and downs along the way have not deterred us. Looking back we could have got to this point earlier but there were many other things hobbies and goals I wanted to do along the way. Plus the Kids now love sailing and are excited to move aboard.

Hopefully this will help someone
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Old 23-08-2014, 21:34   #703
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

Well done, mischief! Keep on truckin', and Yes, I hope your post helps many.

Ann
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Old 24-08-2014, 00:29   #704
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

Here is my two bits worth for this for this topic. I believe it s important to really be bit by the sailing bug before doing anything else. Go sailing first it may turn out to not really be your cup of tea. Secondly buy a small boat first, something trailerable, they are the most fun, easiest to use, and least maintenance. If you get past these steps and buy your cruising boat before you make any major modifications other than getting it in sailable shape do some cruising on it your ideas will change to meet your needs. I believe a lot of wannabees get caught by the romanticism and don't realize how demanding it really is.
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Old 24-08-2014, 08:52   #705
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Re: What happens to all the wannabees?

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I believe a lot of wannabees get caught by the romanticism and don't realize how demanding it really is.
Exactly. I've been mentoring as it were a woman for two or three years now who is no closer to living aboard her boat than she was when we started talking. AND, in all that time she has been on a boat for all of ten minutes!

She says she wants to sail "across the pond" (she does have a grasp of the terminology) yet she doesn't listen to weather reports. Having some degree of long term knowledge of weather patterns is helpful in my opinion.

And ten minutes on a boat doesn't mean you're going to like the tilt of a sailboat under sail. Heck, it doesn't tell you if there's enough space inside for your Stuff!

I don't know that she'll ever live aboard much less move her vessel. So far there are lots of dreams. Lots of talk. And lots (and lots!) of money spent on making her boat safe.

And none at my recommendation either as I advocate using before improving -- you never know what you'll find unnecessary after living aboard. I know even with decades of experience I was wrong on some costly items that I'd bought because I "knew" I'd need X, Y and Z to be happy aboard.

Hers is a clorox bottle (and nothing against cheap plastic production models --there's a reason they are so prevalent) however spending thousands of dollars, albeit in $500 increments, isn't going to make that thing a world cruiser. Not in my opinion. (It's a 22' Venture)

I do wish her well but as I tell anyone who asks: buy the cheapest boat you can use today, and use her for a time. THEN and only then, will you have a clue as to if this life is for you.

If it is, great. And if not, you've not spent your life's savings on a dream destined to fizzle. If you need to see fizzle, go to any Do-It-Yourself boatyard and walk around the back lot.

Those are dreams that didn't work out as planned. And lo and behold, I'll bet you could have one for a song. Just make sure it's not a Funeral Dirge you're buying into.
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