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Old 27-06-2015, 08:57   #76
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

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It's not your age, it's your health, and your attitude. I know people who are 70, who look and act like they are 40, and I know people who are 40, who look and act like they are 70.
This is precisely true... BUT you cannot stop the normal aging process. It may proceed slower in some people... but everyone experiences a "decline" with age. And it's hard to sense it. People with hearing loss often don't notice it until they realize that they keep asking people to repeat what they said and no one else seems to be asking that.

Many older people "think" young... but that is only one aspect of taking off and cruising.
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Old 27-06-2015, 17:14   #77
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

I will 70 in a few months and plan to go cruising in my 50" ULW 8.5 tons cutter. If you take the leap you will be far better health & spirt wise. Believe me it is more then worth the effort...just buy the boat you want learn yours and its visces and go when your ready.
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Old 27-06-2015, 17:26   #78
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

A few of the things I DO like about getting older is that I have a far better knowledge of myself than I did when I was younger, I have experience in life (and, in my case, in sailing) and I am far more likely to be cautious when required.

A better knowledgeof myself allows me to know my limitations. For instance, I have serious hearing loss at high frequencies and when there is a lot of background noise. I have an artificial knee which causes small limitations in my nimbleness around the deck (still doesn't stop me from working the foredeck) and I'm missing the last one third of the middle finger of my right hand. These things are disabling to a point and it's appropriate that I work within those limitations.

On the other hand, one doesn't have to be severely limited even with extreme disabilities. There used to be a boat in Sydney named "See No Evil - Hear No Evil". She was owned by two fellows who loved to be out on the water so they went as often as possible. The name of the yacht derived from the fact that one was blind and the other deaf. The blind fellow stayed in the cockpit and trimmed sails. He was the best I've seen (which was more than he could say about me) and he used the tension in the sheet to tell him when the sail was drawing perfectly. The other fellow generally stayed on the helm but not always. They communicated in a variety of ways like nods, pats of the shoulder and signals. But they knew their limitations and never left the dock without at least on other crew member.

To me it seems obvious that if you have severe heart troubles or you're prone to strokes or something else that's severe, that single-handing just isn't clever.

For all of us, growing old means our brain does work slower. Not always a lot slower but our reaction times are definitely reduced. Being aware of that means we tend to reef a little earlier, have changes of sail prepared in advance of when we might have done when younger and entering and leaving anchorages and marinas a little slower and with more awareness. Our experiences in life also assist us in these situations as we are more likely to expect the unexpected. We've simple seen more of it.

Related to all that is the tendency to be more cautious. The old saying "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" is never more obvious than on the water. I think that many of us have seen utter stupidity far more often than we care to remember. There was a classic case a few years ago when two men set off on a passage making voyage just before a serious storm arrived. They simply didn't check the forecast and lost their yacht. You can't teach stupidity - it comes naturally to most. Experience teaches us to be cautious and that same caution can save our lives.

Our experiences and limitations can be positives rather than negatives. We need to use them in positive ways and for some of us that means rearranging our thinking. One of the things I've learned is that there is no time like the present to get out there and enjoy yourself because you can't retrieve wasted time.

Just recently, I missed the chance to purchase the ideal-for-me yacht recently because my employer wouldn't grant me leave when it was owing. I understand that in my job one simply can't look to a temp agency for replacements so I bit my tongue and tolerated the situation. I should have quit when he became obstinate and jumped on a plane to "over there". I would have been sailing back by now had I done so. If the right boat comes up again, I won't even hesitate. Sounds foolish, doesn't it? If I took and early retirement, I wouldn't complain at all. Personally I think I was foolish not to take the opportunity when it presented itself the first time.

For what it's worth,
David
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Old 27-06-2015, 18:18   #79
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

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Did my first voyage of the South Pacific on my second boat at age 19.



Still willing and able at 61. What I found on a recent singlehanded sail of 5,000 miles, Panama to Maui is that although I am still capable of sailing long distance, I find I am increasingly asking myself why I'm still subjecting myself to this.

The reality I find, is that for all the ideallic times, there are days on end of punishing conditions to be overcome. Yes I can do this but why am I doing this to myself.

Make no mistake, there will be many frightful and challenging times, many sleepless nights, very stressful and unavoidable weather related situations.

Met a 92 year old singlehander anchored in the Lahaina roadsted. He set off west from California with every reason to believe he was on his way to Valhala. He kept on west until he had crossed his outbound track.

Although a bit slow getting in and out of his skiff, he's still going strong.

The dream is what matters. ARC may or may not be realistic, I guess you'll find out. Just start working in that direction and see where you end up.

Realistically, you will expend far more energy than a 65 year old that has been sailing for a while. It's a lot of stress on your body, especially when you aren't tuned to it. So keep exercising and stay active and it may work out fine. Like many people,,you may find that the dream, and a scaled down version of voyaging may be all the fun you want. You'll see. It's fun and adventurous just doing coastal cruising or a Caribbean cruise.

Just charge forward and see what happens. Gotta have a dream. So many sailors never actually do what they originally intended, finding satisfaction in much more modest endeavors. The dream is pretty important though. I know old guys that never sail their boat, but to sell it would be a game changer, psychologically. I guess that can sound kind of depressing but who cares if you just day sail and work on your boat, or cruise the island, or Pacific Northwest. You kind of need to do stuff like that to get ready for and ocean passage, and may find that it's all the fun you need.

But by all means please charge forward! If you're one of these guys that's gonna live to 90, you have a lot of living to do.


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Old 28-06-2015, 01:36   #80
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

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Haven't read the responses so forgive me if this has been stated... Age DOES matter. I began sailing in in my late 30s and I still had perfect eyesight, hearing and a robust body capable of lots of hard work, lifting etc.... more strength and stamina.

I bought my boat and began to learn about the sea and sailing and after 6 years entered the Marion Bermuda race in '91. That was a real test and at the time in my early 40s I was not phased by it.

Now 25 years on, same boat, but I am well aware that in the last several years as I arrived at the mid to early 60s... I was not the "physical" man I was in my 40s. My eyesight has degraded and I need glasses for near and far, my hearing has degraded and I use hearing aids (which help but do not restore hearing acuity to what it once was).. and my strength and stamina is quite diminished. If I do the sort of physical things I did back in my 40s... I pay the price in very sore muscles and back pain which can last weeks! So I've given up doing a lot of Spring prep work and pay the yard... even for things like lugging my dinghy OB over to the shop.

I think my sense of balance is off and I also think my memory is not what it was. Whereas I would not be concerned to single hand off shore and did so many times back then... I would not do so now. In fact, if I did sail off shore I would do so with a strong younger sailor as crew. For coastal cruising I am fine with all the navigation enhancements and power assisted things like windlass and winch bits (powered winches).

Of course there is much enjoyment in coastal cruising and for passage making you can pick up crew and then once you are "there" you can handle coastal work.

Years ago... '92 or there abouts... I arrived in Bermuda one Fall sailing with my GF who was not much of a sailor. It was a pretty rough passage. A day later a Hinkley 40' arrived with an couple of old timers. They were pretty beat up as was the boat. I thought it appeared as if this was too much for the older couple.

On the passage to the Antigua they had to hand steer when their AP died... And for several days this is very difficult at best... for a crew of 2. Again, I thought this was too much for a couple their age.

Accept your physical limitations and work WITH them and you still can enjoy and get a lot from sailing.
Everybody should consider this post. Continuing on into your 70's when you have little sailing experience can be pretty fraught...and sometimes not. It depends a lot, i think, on the general state of your health; on the depth of the patterns you've built for handling situations; on how low your pain level is; on how high your balance is; and on how much rest you require when active.

We fly the spinnaker less often nowadays, and we do more day hops. Because conserving energy is really the task of the short handed crew. One does not notice this very much when younger; Jim and I notice it now. 'Nough said.

Ann--28 yrs. cruising full time (except for surgeries)

Ann
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Old 28-06-2015, 02:15   #81
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

I'm 70 having lived aboard and cruised continuously since I was 59. I honestly believe that if I had not just said bugger it and threw the mooring lines onto the dock and sailed off when I did I would be dead now. I have some medical problems and if they put me on one more lot of pills will consider myself hopelessly geriatric. But I have no doubt that the active life style I pursue rather, than sitting in front of a TV just waiting to drop off the perch, is far better for me and actually keeps me from becoming more of a burden to the society of which I am a part.

Sell the house, buy the boat, throw the lines off, and go for it.
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Old 28-06-2015, 06:14   #82
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

If you think your "To Old" your to old. Age is a state of mind, I have friends in their 80"s that are more full of life than most people in their 40's BTW I'm 67
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Old 28-06-2015, 09:56   #83
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

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This is precisely true... BUT you cannot stop the normal aging process. It may proceed slower in some people... but everyone experiences a "decline" with age. And it's hard to sense it. People with hearing loss often don't notice it until they realize that they keep asking people to repeat what they said and no one else seems to be asking that.

Many older people "think" young... but that is only one aspect of taking off and cruising.
Yes, you have to have kept yourself in some kind of physical shape. I was lucky to have a career that demanded that, otherwise, I'm not sure I would have kept it up. I see friends from high school my age (57) who do not look like they could handle the physical aspects of sailing a boat the size of mine (42 feet). But, I see guys all the time in their 70's who look fit enough to do darn near anything.
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Old 28-06-2015, 14:18   #84
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

G'day,

I'm 67 next week and have spent the last two years sailing from Sydney Australia. I'm currently in New York anchored just west of the Statue of Liberty. I've done more than 25,000 miles and they have all been singlehanded. I'm off across the north Atlantic come August to Briton, then down to the Med as fall approaches. I'll think about going home one of these years!

Of course you can do it!

James
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Old 28-06-2015, 23:02   #85
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

Would add that if you do decide to buy something suitable for your adventures, you may want to shop for deals around the Euro zone (Greece?) after/if the dust ever settles.
Cheers, Pappy
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Old 29-06-2015, 23:13   #86
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

If your health is OK, then all you need is experience. Lots of experience. I am about your age. Here's what I did. I am a recreational sailor from the Midwest. I took courses like you did, and for many years I chartered 2 weeks a year in really safe places like the Virgins and the lesser Antilles. Then I signed on a school ship for some blue water passages (google "Alaska Eagle"). Then I signed on as crew (unpaid, but the deal was that he would teach me) on a delivery with an experienced captain. Now I spend every winter sailing the eastern Caribbean. You get the idea. Find ways to get experience.

When I stopped working full-time, I bought my first boat, an ocean-going catamaran. I increased the difficulty of my passages in a planned, graduated way, so I didn't put myself in danger. I read every book I could get my hands on. I kept a sea log since I was a teen. When I had enough days, I took the OUPV exam at the Coast Guard exam center. Then the 100 ton Master exam with sail endorsement. I was prepared. the exams weren't hard. You can do it too, if you keep learning and get experience.

Go for it!
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Old 29-06-2015, 23:40   #87
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

I agree with pretty much everything stated before.
However..... I really would suggest getting in a bit of offshore time in OPBs ( other people's boats) before making the plunge and investing.
Case in point.... 50 something friend ( proff big ship mariner) some years ago.... dreamed the dream for a long time ... came away with me for a fortnight in Bass Strait... caught out in a big NW'er... ran back down hill to a safe anchorage where we spent 4 or 5 days with zero reading material on the boat. He discovered religion and bought a hill farm. Other crew was a newbie who was a wheat farmer in the Wimmera ... loved every minute of it.

Biggest issue for me is getting into awkward places to fix stuff... ie under the galley etc.. longish story...

Don't just hone you sailing skills ... work on 'fixing stuff' ability as well

El Ping ( 69) and about to head out for another ten or so......
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Old 30-06-2015, 06:25   #88
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

Think how many people you see or know, in their 20's, 30's and 40's, who would probably drop dead of a heart attack, (or at least just drop and lay on the ground sucking air) if you told them they had to do a two mile run in under 20 minutes.

It's like asking if a car with 300,000 miles on it can go from New York to Los Angeles without breaking down. Some can, and some can't. It depends on how well they have been kept up, and what kind of condition they are in, and how they are driven.
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Old 01-07-2015, 17:36   #89
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

Some disconnected ramblings.

I bought my first ever sail boat at about age 53, a 33'er. My first sail was solo up the coast of Nova Scotia. BUT my life experience had helped prep me. 4 years USCG, electrical engineer, pole line work, etc. we're all related to sailing.

For the past few years I've worked deals on get extra time off for sailing. I took a hit in salary but I still make enough. We have lived aboard part time these last few years, we made it a transition. After retirement we rent the apt. And go full time.

At 60 I took our 44'er on a 4,000 mile trip around Newfoundland. 3,000 miles solo.

I'm still scared of full retirement. I don't handle change well. Being scared is not a reason to not do something, it is a reason to slow down and consider your actions.

Read Annie Hill Voyaging on a Small Income.

Go to our sister site, google "FIRE CALC" and spend several hours there over a few days. It is a VERY good financial planning tool.

The BEST thing about getting older is more and more ladies look more and more attractive.
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Old 01-07-2015, 18:13   #90
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Re: As a late starter am I too old to do serious cruising?

As an example, I know an 82 year old that RUNS 25 miles per week and pumps iron on a regular basis. He is fit as a fiddle AND mentally sharp. Physically he can put MUCH younger men to shame, as can many if one is blessed with good health and are willing to work at maintaining a degree of fitness.

IMO, you're not too old to start at all. Age is but a number...an old cliche', but true.
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