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Old 04-06-2013, 07:55   #1
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41 Year Old and Seeking a New Life in Sailing

Hello all, I am 41 and am seeking to jump out of the rat race and seek a life of adventure. I know this seems a bit idealistic but after all these years of complete unhappiness with clock-in clock-out, "yes, Sir" because your my superior, "Do it!" because I am your superior. Work, Soccer, Home; Work, Soccer, Home; Rinse and Repeat. I AM FED UP. I want to live the life I always dreamed of. Since a kid I though I would have a yacht and be exploring the world. I still want to be a good father to my kids but I must LIVE. This not just a rant and I will pose a question shortly but please let me qualify my self first. I have never been into Getting Rich or living the "so-called" American Dream. My life dream has been Happiness and Freedom. Of these, I have found little. I have been different than most people I meet in the since that I have not desire to be "Still" but have moved around and sought adventure but within the restraints of maintaining the 40hour per week job and a roof (that i didn't want; I wanted a damn boat).

Here are the questions or requests for feedback:
(1) Are there other over Forties out there that have made such a life change? Please share some Pros and Cons.

(2) Anyone else feel free to add your Pro and Cons; Hell, you can even Debunk the Myth of Adventure if you want.

(3) What are Options for a person that is not super rich? (but I don't see this stopping me. Stubborn)

Thanks all,
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:23   #2
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

I'm 35 in a couple of months and working on doing what you are talking about right now.

learn to sail
get a boat
outfit boat
save money
travel

not particularly in that order, you can figure out the order.

I'm in process right now, so can only offer advice up to the fit out your boat and save money part.(already knew how to sail)

There are many who will say learn, learn, learn, it is dangerous. I am in the just do it crowd. Just start small and work your way up, that way mistakes are small and not as dangerous regarding money and safety.

example. gibe on a pram dinghy, probably won't kill you. Do the same on a larger boat with no control and damage could occur.

cost to find out you don't like boats...cheap with a dinghy, expensive with a larger boat.

ease of learning. fast with dinghy, longer with larger boat.

get a dinghy off of craigslist today and get out there this weekend. Go to a beach where the wind is blowing back on shore....when I was a small kid. my Dad tought me to sail. One of the "rules" I always followed a young one was to travel out upwind, that way when you want to go home, it's fast. Often my/our adventures pointed into the wind first. If the wind is blowing back on the beach, you'll get there eventually even if you don't know how to sail. read a little first, it's really pretty easy once you have down the concept. The rest is scaleable.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:02   #3
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

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Originally Posted by Carolina Blue View Post
Hello all, I am 41 and am seeking to jump out of the rat race and seek a life of adventure. I know this seems a bit idealistic but after all these years of complete unhappiness with clock-in clock-out, "yes, Sir" because your my superior, "Do it!" because I am your superior. Work, Soccer, Home; Work, Soccer, Home; Rinse and Repeat. I AM FED UP. I want to live the life I always dreamed of. Since a kid I though I would have a yacht and be exploring the world. I still want to be a good father to my kids but I must LIVE. This not just a rant and I will pose a question shortly but please let me qualify my self first. I have never been into Getting Rich or living the "so-called" American Dream. My life dream has been Happiness and Freedom. Of these, I have found little. I have been different than most people I meet in the since that I have not desire to be "Still" but have moved around and sought adventure but within the restraints of maintaining the 40hour per week job and a roof (that i didn't want; I wanted a damn boat).

Here are the questions or requests for feedback:
(1) Are there other over Forties out there that have made such a life change? Please share some Pros and Cons.

(2) Anyone else feel free to add your Pro and Cons; Hell, you can even Debunk the Myth of Adventure if you want.

(3) What are Options for a person that is not super rich? (but I don't see this stopping me. Stubborn)

Thanks all,

YEAH, GO FOR THAT BOAT TODAY!!!!!!!

And later in life....at 41 you're just a kid.........you will maybe realize the most important thing is being with your family. Sure, soccer can be a time drag but these years with your kids are so important. It is your life and only you determine where to place values. I look at my boat as a toy. Have you considered training for more interesting employment? Another comment, if you truly want to get on the water, take boating courses, think about periodically renting a boat.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:08   #4
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

Age really doesn't matter. I dropped out and went sailing for 10 years when I was in my twenties. Moved back to land and lived in the rat race for 30 years and am about to drop out and go sailing again.

Taking your kid(s) along could be the best education they could have. Nothing makes geography more fun that seeing it in person. Math is not a chore when you're learning navigation or converting dollars to some foreign currency. I could go on but you get the point.

BUT, boats and cruising ain't free. There are plenty of people that figure out how to go cruising on the cheap but it takes a lot of work, planning, and skills to do and it's a lot harder with a wife and family.

First step, you need to go boating. Don't have to spend a few thousand to charter in the Caribbean although if you have the budget that's a great way to test the waters (so to speak). However you do it you need to get out on a boat in the real ocean to see how you react. I have had friends that got seasick the second we left the dock and were deathly ill the whole time (even in very calm weather) and bailed out at the first stop never to return. This is very rare but it could happen to you, or your wife. On the other hand, I hired green crew that had never been on a boat in their life that took to it like an old time sailor, never got sick even in really nasty weather.

So, spend a summer vacation as a crew for someone that needs a hand moving their boat. Lots of people commute from New England to FL or the Caribbean and frequently want help for the long hops. No pay but no charge and usually pay your expenses.

The other thing, how do you and your family do living in a small space? Every go camping and spend a couple of days in a small tent? Ever spend a two week vacation in a small RV? Unless you spend a few hundred thousand you are going to have a boat with limited space and need to know how that works for you.

Good luck. Ask some more questions.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:16   #5
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

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Originally Posted by Carolina Blue View Post
Hello all, I am 41 and am seeking to jump out of the rat race and seek a life of adventure. I know this seems a bit idealistic but after all these years of complete unhappiness with clock-in clock-out, "yes, Sir" because your my superior, "Do it!" because I am your superior. Work, Soccer, Home; Work, Soccer, Home; Rinse and Repeat. I AM FED UP. I want to live the life I always dreamed of. Since a kid I though I would have a yacht and be exploring the world. I still want to be a good father to my kids but I must LIVE. This not just a rant and I will pose a question shortly but please let me qualify my self first. I have never been into Getting Rich or living the "so-called" American Dream. My life dream has been Happiness and Freedom. Of these, I have found little. I have been different than most people I meet in the since that I have not desire to be "Still" but have moved around and sought adventure but within the restraints of maintaining the 40hour per week job and a roof (that i didn't want; I wanted a damn boat).

Here are the questions or requests for feedback:
(1) Are there other over Forties out there that have made such a life change? Please share some Pros and Cons.

(2) Anyone else feel free to add your Pro and Cons; Hell, you can even Debunk the Myth of Adventure if you want.

(3) What are Options for a person that is not super rich? (but I don't see this stopping me. Stubborn)

Thanks all,

Carolina Blue, I did it at age 64 (and, by the way, I'm a single female). If I did it, you can.

There's no "myth" to the adventure. Because of my age, it isn't wise for me to live anchored out, and I don't want to anyway. I WANT to be connected to my life on land. I have a friend who lives on his moored boat. When he goes out to his boat, he's basically out of reach until he comes in the next morning. It might be more isolated than you want to be. I would suggest that you first rent a live-aboard slip and learn the tricks and turns of living aboard before settling on a life anchored out. It takes a lot of organization to not have to row to show yet one more time because you forgot pet food or something else you absolutely can't get through the night without.

Are you familiar with boats enough to work on them? My friend makes a good living working on boats, but he has excellent (beyond excellent) skills. You would not believe what he can do with a piece of teak -- or Lexan. But he has a shop in a rented storage facility on land that he uses as his workshop.

You have to think about how you will get an income. I have what most would consider a "drone" part-time job, but it supplements my retirement funds, and it's not the center of my life. When I'm done I come back to my boat. A weather system will be coming through soon and that will probably make the boat rock in its slip in a way I love. I'd get a lot more of that anchored out -- but i would also have to bundle my work clothes up and wrap them in plastic to go from my mooring to work.

A lot of things take longer than you might expect on a boat, and keeping things organized is a constant challenge if you want to actually sail your boat as well as live on it. Most live aboard sailors I know will move to a trawler or even houseboat when they can't sail any longer, because living on a sailboat is an ultimate compromise between life's demands and the realities of your living space.

One way to TEST whether you would like it would be to rent a SMALL RV for a couple of weeks. We did that when our children were 5 and 8 andwe all agree it was the best vacation we had, including the minimalist life style. An RV is easier to live on than a sailboat but it would give you some idea.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:10   #6
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

Raku gave you excellent advice Carolina. I find that people who try to leave their old life behind get a new set of problems which are often similar to the ones they left behind. If this is a long term dream for you be willing to spend some $$ and time in preparation. If this is a "I have to get out of here" moment I would suggest a road trip. Sailing is just too complex and will disappoint.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:19   #7
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

My motto for the last year has been,"if not now,when?"
Last August at 33 I quit a corporate job in NYC, got rid of most of my things, and moved to the fl keys. In the process of buying my first sailboat with the plan of living aboard and learning to sail it.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:28   #8
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

I quit at 46 with a disabled wife and a disabled kid. Bought a boat and sailed away.
One piece of advice.
Bring some money.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:38   #9
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

I started in boats at 44 and went cruising at 60, so yes I say go for it!

Two things though:
be very careful what you dream for because they can come true.

Never burn the bridges behind you because, just as when sailing, sometime a 180 course change is the smart thing to do.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:49   #10
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

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The other thing, how do you and your family do living in a small space? Every go camping and spend a couple of days in a small tent? Ever spend a two week vacation in a small RV? Unless you spend a few hundred thousand you are going to have a boat with limited space and need to know how that works for you.

Good luck. Ask some more questions.
Thanks for this. I am getting excellent info and encouragement. I am only mildly concerned about seasickness. I grew up on deepsea fishing boats and spent much time on/in the ocean in California. Admittedly I have only spent 5-6 days out to sea on a 6 pack.

My Wife will not be on this adventure (sigh, long story). The kids will spend much time with me and things will be set up to make sure this happens. Thanks for the advise; I can easily see how mismanaging the details of the family can lead to much failure and disappointment.

Also grew up camping.

Should i take classes near the Sea our are the inland classes acceptable? I am thinking about the ASA series.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:00   #11
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

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I started in boats at 44 and went cruising at 60, so yes I say go for it!

Two things though:
be very careful what you dream for because they can come true.

Never burn the bridges behind you because, just as when sailing, sometime a 180 course change is the smart thing to do.
What he said above.

I knew a guy that quit his job and sailed away having already owned a Tayana 37. He was back in less than a month wishing he hadn't sold his car and let his apartment go. (and quit his job)

But, he had taken up drinking heavily again!
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:17   #12
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

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Originally Posted by Carolina Blue View Post
Thanks for this. I am getting excellent info and encouragement. I am only mildly concerned about seasickness. I grew up on deepsea fishing boats and spent much time on/in the ocean in California. Admittedly I have only spent 5-6 days out to sea on a 6 pack.

My Wife will not be on this adventure (sigh, long story). The kids will spend much time with me and things will be set up to make sure this happens. Thanks for the advise; I can easily see how mismanaging the details of the family can lead to much failure and disappointment.

Also grew up camping.

Should i take classes near the Sea our are the inland classes acceptable? I am thinking about the ASA series.

Is there some kind of way you could spend the summer near a sailing comunity? WITH your kids ... and all of you learn to sail. For instance, in St. Petersburg there are numerous places for both kids and adults to learn to sail.

You could do eomething like work at Wal-Mart part time pretty easily.

Man you should see how much rain they just forecast for us. I have to drop everything and go do the laundry NOW or walk through a monsoon later. That's one of many realities about living aboard.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:25   #13
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

Hi
There IS only one life and that is the cruising life!!
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:31   #14
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

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I started in boats at 44 and went cruising at 60, so yes I say go for it!

Two things though:
be very careful what you dream for because they can come true.

Never burn the bridges behind you because, just as when sailing, sometime a 180 course change is the smart thing to do.
Beautifully said. I will take heed to both of these pieces of advise. Thank you!
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:45   #15
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Re: 41 year old and seeking a new life in Sailing

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I quit at 46 with a disabled wife and a disabled kid. Bought a boat and sailed away.
One piece of advice.
Bring some money.
I am sure it depends on the trip but how much money would have made you more comfortable?
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