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Old 05-11-2012, 21:59   #1
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What the heck have I been thinking!!!

For over 30 years my husband and I have been planning to go cruising. We have a lot of experience and thought we understood fully what the life was about.

But over the past week of following the "I am walking away from my boat" thread, the "Bats, Rats and Roaches" thread, the "I quit" thread, the "What's the smallest boat you'd sail offshore in" thread (with all the capsize, broach and pitchpole horror stories), and a few others of similar nature.....I am really beginning to wonder if we don't have a screw loose somewhere for even entertaining this idea.
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Old 05-11-2012, 22:17   #2
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

Keep the Faith!!! But 30 Years??! Time to go I'd say, no more procrastination.
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Old 05-11-2012, 22:28   #3
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

Shake it off.

Hurricanes shake up the entire cruising community. A time like this becomes an impetus for those who need to quit to quit. They figure, perhaps rightly so, that there's no sense restoring/maintaining/building/purchasing a boat if it means that you'll ultimately have to face the big wind.

If we could reset the forum back to Katrina days, you'd notice the same phenomenon. Every conversation thread ends up worrying about, as you put it, "capsize, broach and pitchpole horror stories."

Look at what the real cruisers are talking about this week: buying new sails, replacing standing rigging, electronic navigation aids. Sexy features for interior design. Diesel maintenance, and a few old arguments about whether sextants are useful.

When spring comes, we'll all be talking about BBQ grills and bottom paint. Those of us who stuck around.

What goes around comes around.
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Old 05-11-2012, 22:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldragbaggers
For over 30 years my husband and I have been planning to go cruising. We have a lot of experience and thought we understood fully what the life was about.

But over the past week of following the "I am walking away from my boat" thread, the "Bats, Rats and Roaches" thread, the "I quit" thread, the "What's the smallest boat you'd sail offshore in" thread (with all the capsize, broach and pitchpole horror stories), and a few others of similar nature.....I am really beginning to wonder if we don't have a screw loose somewhere for even entertaining this idea.
It's the whole "cut the docklines and go!" nonsense that leads to these problems, in my opinion. Yes, you need a deadline or you'll just screw with the boat forever and never leave. But you need to do shakedown cruises, practice, build skills, and figure out what it takes to make you happy. Some people like marinas, some people like being at anchor. Pick what works for you and screw everyone else's opinion because they're not coming with you. Don't be pressured into moving at any given pace or thinking that there's some way you should do it. The boat is there, ultimately, for your enjoyment so just have fun. If you want to go somewhere, go there. If you don't, don't. If you want to sit in a marina and futz with your dodger for a month, feel free.

Regarding the roaches and broken boats, there are a lot more boats unbroken with no roaches. No one writes about the nights they didn't drag anchor, etc.
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Old 05-11-2012, 22:38   #5
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

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Keep the Faith!!! But 30 Years??! Time to go I'd say, no more procrastination.
It's a retirement plan. When we can both draw our pensions we'll go. No hurry though. We've been sailing all along, living aboard at times. We haven't been wasting our time, and we've been taking care of business, raising our kids (and helping to raise our grandkids), living a good life.

There's all kinds of ways to enjoy the sailing life. Full time cruising is just one of them. But it's one we'd like to try someday. From the sounds of the threads lately it doesn't sound like anyone is having any fun out there though. Just had me wondering WTH.
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Old 05-11-2012, 22:49   #6
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
I am really beginning to wonder if we don't have a screw loose somewhere for even entertaining this idea.

You may have missed a few
These are must read's in my book


CREOLE-BELLE's problems
Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company

And my favorite

rebel heart's comments on this page regarding a composting head
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f115/thinking-of-yanking-the-holding-tank-91368-4.html


Many of us here have owned many boats , we would not have kept buying boats if it was not the lifestyle we choose

This lifestyle is never boring ,just look at all the different personalities here on the forum

I'm wishing I was in Australia so I could meet up with Boatman
I bet you he has some good stories to tell that could not be posted here lol

Trust me,the fun will out-way the tough times
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Old 05-11-2012, 22:52   #7
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

Becky,

In over thirty years of sailing, on everything from small day sailors to 70' maxi racing boats I have never pitch poled, and never broken a mast on a keel boat while sailing (did it once on the hard when a crane line snapped). Sure it happens, but like most risks if you play it safe, and don't push the likelihood of suffering from something terrible is remote.

Sadly a number of people do wind up buying boats that need lots of work, and don't realize exactly how much time and money it takes to return a distress boat back into shape. What's worse look at almost any thread entitled "found a wreck, is it crazy to fix it" or similar, and you will find people almost universally recommending staying away from these project boats. Frankly I consider anyone who would ask this question to not be well informed enough about boat maintenance to consider this type of project.

The trick is to buy a boat you are comfortable with, that is in good enough shape right now to go sailing. You may pay a little more upfront, but just being able to go sailing makes doing the maintenance much easier to deal with. To me the worst is people who wind up buying boats, spending huge amounts of money, and never getting to sail them.
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Old 05-11-2012, 22:52   #8
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
...From the sounds of the threads lately it doesn't sound like anyone is having any fun out there though...
Maybe the ones having fun are too busy enjoying their lives to post!

How selfish!
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Old 05-11-2012, 23:35   #9
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

I've been wondering if the Internet enables people to overdevelop the nerd part of their sailing brain and get ahead of their love for it. This vast information transfer can be grounding, since it replaces uncertainty (or maybe fear) with a kind of nerdy trivia or series of problems and solutions that can be solved in a front-brain, rational way.

So one can, on the surface, know everything about sailing. And could be a great sailor, who knows all about anchoring and boats and navigation and electronics and all of that. But maybe lack the well developed and odd aesthetic sense to really love it, to appreciate all the little moments that it adds up to.

And without that love it's a completely ridiculous undertaking, and thus the first string of bad days transforms the boat into an enormously expensive, empty, toy.

I want to express this thought without ego, and so am not pretending to be better -- just curious, if anyone else has wondered this from the limited view of other people we have here. The stories of disappointment seem so ... calculative, and in that context sailing never makes sense.

My own path was recent and thoroughly modern, but before the ubiquitous Internet. And so I left knowing much much less than folks do now, but I feel that not having a well trodden path laid out before me in minor detail also meant that I had very few expectations, the story was wide open in my mind for how it would turn out, and that left room for an immediacy of experience that developed the love, first hand, that can be hard to find when sailing is approached entirely as a technical exercise solved with linear thoughts, and a huge set of expectations filled in from other peoples 'best of' narratives on their blogs.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:18   #10
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
For over 30 years my husband and I have been planning to go cruising. We have a lot of experience and thought we understood fully what the life was about.

But over the past week of following the "I am walking away from my boat" thread, the "Bats, Rats and Roaches" thread, the "I quit" thread, the "What's the smallest boat you'd sail offshore in" thread (with all the capsize, broach and pitchpole horror stories), and a few others of similar nature.....I am really beginning to wonder if we don't have a screw loose somewhere for even entertaining this idea.
Becky, if you've been bitten by the sailing bug (and I don't mean roach LOL), don't be discouraged. It is the bad stuff that makes for good discussion, so you are hearing a disproportionate amount of it.

Been cruising full time for just over five years now and I've had the very best five years of my life by a long shot, and that is saying a lot as I had a good life before .

This was our anchorage taken the day before yesterday. Just another week (or two, you lose track after a while) spent in paradise:

PS You forgot the "Security - What do You Do?" Thread
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:31   #11
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

Quote:
It's the whole "cut the docklines and go!" nonsense that leads to these problems, in my opinion. Yes, you need a deadline or you'll just screw with the boat forever and never leave. But you need to do shakedown cruises, practice, build skills, and figure out what it takes to make you happy. Some people like marinas, some people like being at anchor. Pick what works for you and screw everyone else's opinion because they're not coming with you. Don't be pressured into moving at any given pace or thinking that there's some way you should do it. The boat is there, ultimately, for your enjoyment so just have fun. If you want to go somewhere, go there. If you don't, don't. If you want to sit in a marina and futz with your dodger for a month, feel free.
Therein lies some very sage advice. Ive always been unhappy , with the " cut the lines and go" advice. Sailing means very different things to different things and the ultimate goal of all sailors is not to disappear over the horizon.

Enjoy your boat, its meant to be fun, its not necessarily a "big adventure", unless you want it to be.

Dave
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:31   #12
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

Becky,

Yeah, well, lots of horror stories. But if you want to know just how dangerous blue water cruising is, there is a spreadsheet made by the insurance industry that says cruising is just slightly more dangerous than golf, but less dangerous than riding a bicycle.

So perhaps no too dangerous. I sail a lot, in all types of weather and have (knock on wood) never experienced anything worse than a knockdown (when I first started). No big deal, the boat righted itself and aside from a lot of adrenalin, nothing happened.

If you want to the problems - make your your boat is well-maintained, that you keep a close eye on the weather and that you don't sail in conditions that you don't have the skills for.

Keep those 3 things in mind and chances are you will never have any problems.

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Old 06-11-2012, 04:08   #13
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

No it's not all fun and if you want to enjoy cruising don't go with the belief that it's endless parties and perfect locations.

Yes we get bugs and engine problems and petty officials but they should be treated as what they are, part of life's rich pattern!

If you are going to sea as some form of escape you will be sorely disappointed. Cruising brings you closer to reality, in every way. Personally I like it that way. The perfect days sail, the successful repair give a much greater 'high' when you have also come through bad weather and coped with an influx of fruit bats!
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:13   #14
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
There's all kinds of ways to enjoy the sailing life. Full time cruising is just one of them. But it's one we'd like to try someday. From the sounds of the threads lately it doesn't sound like anyone is having any fun out there though. Just had me wondering WTH.
Not having fun????

If you read a forum on sex, you'll find lots of threads about contraceptives, STD's, impotence, etc., etc. But by what logical leap would someone conclude from such a forum that no one is having fun having sex???

I'm not going to say that sailing is more fun than sex -- such a public statement would get me in a lot of trouble . . . but let me just ask you one question -- why would anyone put up with endless boat repairs, new sails which cost as much as a house, hurricanes, death by going overboard, sinking, broaching, knockdowns, etc., etc., etc., if sailing were not . . . . . fill in the blanks yourself
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:35   #15
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Re: What the heck have I been thinking!!!

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Keep the Faith!!! But 30 Years??! Time to go I'd say, no more procrastination.
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