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Old 12-05-2009, 05:51   #61
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My son just had to make TMOAC. His honey wanted a career in Philly, a house & picket fence, kids, and a cat. Son wanted more. It wasn't easy for him, but he made what he believes to be the right decision & now lives on one of my boats on the Chesapeake Bay. Life is too short to surrender your dreams to somebody else's.

I agree that others may benefit from this thread. I think the best time to make the house v. boat decision is before you're sucked into the game. At that point, I can hardly see what the question is. Once you're sucked in, it takes a herculean effort to get out & I tip my hat to all that can do it.

I like to think that my son's choice reflects positively on me. I've brought him up to think clearly about his future. He knows you can work your tail off your whole life & end up with little more than if you went sailing. Your retirement can disappear thru a bankruptcy, your life savings thru a single ailment. There are no guarantees. I've taught him that it's OK to get into the game, but only after making a clear decision that it's what you want, not what you should want. ...and it's OK to stay on the sidelines.

How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
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Old 12-05-2009, 15:00   #62
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I really appreciate all you guys taking the time to write and give advice. Some of the comments I've read here would've never crossed my mind. I feel I've learned a whole lot. Attempting to put things into perspective now, makes a lot more sense.

It seems I should talk a bit more about me and my family and why I think the way I do:

I was born in Puerto Rico. According to my mother, I was probably conceived anchored off a little island called Vieques. The boat was a canary yellow 1979 21' Chris Craft cuddy cabin with two Johnson outboards. For the next 12 years I would travel dozens of islands around the Caribbean in that little 21 footer. No sails yet. We would camp on the islands for weeks at a time. Fish, snorkel, skimboard, bonfires, etc. etc. I learned so much about the ocean in those years! No sails yet... A few years later my father sold the Chris Craft to "upgrade" to a bigger boat, a 1981 Regal Ambassador with the crappiest Volvo Penta engines on the face of the planet. Therefore, the following couple of years were spent half of the time in the water, and other half working on the engines! So, I learned a lot of wrenching. I was in my early teens when I my dad got the Regal.

When I was maybe 6, my father won one of the original BIC windsurfers in a raffle. I still have pictures of him trying to learn to ride it off the beach at Palominito, PR. I was 10 when I first attempted to uphaul that heavy sail out of the water. I could do it with the help of my brother After a few years I finally learned how to windsurf and ended up getting my own gear. At some point during this time, along with the windsurfing I learned to sail a Sunfish and a Hobie Cat. I got really got a slalom skiing as well.

I went to some of the best schools in Puerto Rico. American schools actually, and as good as many of the best schools in the US mainland by any standard. To the point where I actually found college to be a lot easier than high school! Now, I always envisioned myself having a fun lifestyle. If I was to have a normal job, I wanted it to be fun. That's when I decided to become a graphic designer.

When I turned 16, things where getting considerably more complex. My father had moved up the corporate chain working for the biggest oil company in the Caribbean. He was searching for more money. I always thought he needed to do that since he came from a poor family and really wanted to feel like he broke out of that. We were never a liveaboard family. We had a house, and went to a regular school, but every single weekend we'd be on the boat. Unfortunately, as my dad moved up the corporate ladder, our family time shrunk. Eventually, we were out on the boat maybe once every two months and eventually my dad sold the boat. My little 16 footer ski boat was all that was left. Still, my bother and I put more hours on that boat, than we ever did on the Regal (since the volvos were always busted).

Ok bear with me... At age 16, I picked up music. Drumming to be exact. Off boats for the most part, but on a sailboard a couple times a week, I was playing music in church and in a rather successful local rock band. I began to learn guitar in order to write my own music. During that time I was busy working on my bachelor's degree in Graphic Arts at the University of Puerto Rico. This is where I met my future wife.

The following years were spent playing music and spending time on the water with my girl, soon to be wife. We both share the passion for music, and although she didn't grow up on the water like I did, she proved to be well seaworthy. In fact, I'll get seasick way before she ever will. I remember a time when we where anchored off Palomino, on a northern wind night. The wind was coming into the anchorage and the boat was rocking all night long. She slept like nothing was happening!

In 2002 aged 23, with a degree under my belt, pro-skills as a musician and even better skills as a windsurfer, my new family (including our 1 year old son) decided to move to Hawaii. I was to pursue becoming a pro-windsurfer. So, when does kiteboarding come into the picture...? Well, I had just picked up kiteboarding 2 months before I left to Hawaii. My wife had realized that I was getting better at it than windsurfing and suggested I stick to it. So I did. It took me only a year to get sponsored and competing in pro events. I actually did pretty well, travelled a bit, got a few magazine covers, etc. etc. The only problem: Kiteboarding is a small sport and there's not much money in it. So, after a few years we decided to move to San Diego to pursue other things.

Since we met, my wife and I have always been into the music. We have now written and recorded several songs for an upcoming album. I have also been playing on and off in church and in other bands for the last couple of years. As I write this, I'm preparing for a big show this coming Friday at a big venue down in Mission Beach with a friend's band. My wife and I have would like to continue pursuing our music in the coming years.

Now, I tried to make this story as short as I possibly could. If I had written all the details, I would probably flood 100 pages worth of an autobiography. But one thing I must point out are some very key things:

My father: He has continued his working spree since he sold the Regal 24.5 about 15 years ago. He has gone through a few boats and now owns a Sea Ray 37 that cost him about $250,000, a Porsche, a huge house, an apartment by the beach, etc. etc. He never got into sails. He only has time to use the boat maybe once a month and sometimes 3 months go by and the boat is still sitting at the dock. He owes money for every thing that he owns. Only his pickup truck is paid off. He is now 60. This is not the the way I want to do things. Heck no!

My brother: He was never as attached to the water as I was. While I went to college in Puerto Rico to stay close to the ocean, he went off to Wisconsin for school. The good thing, he thought "money" and put in the hard work. He recently graduated with a Doctorate's in Chemical Engineering. He is 28. He is Married and bought a house 2 years ago. In Wisconsin. I'm happy for him to an extent. I hope the money he is making will really make him feel good about spending 10 hours a day in a lab.

Me: I'm now 30, I have a fulltime job as a Graphic Designer and I'm getting paid better than most graphic designers I know. Not great or impressive by any means, but still good. I like to think that I'm one of the best. I also have many freelance clients and if I ever want to be mobile, I can work from anywhere. We've been in SD for 3 years now and I'm being faced with many important decisions I must make. As this thread states, I must decided whether or not I want to buy a house. Whether or not I want to continue working a 40 hour week chained to a desk. Whether or not I want to become more flexible. Whether or not I should buy a boat, live in it and cruise. What am I'm going to do about the career in music? Etc. Etc. The reason to write my story was to give you an idea of the way I think. I'm not conventional. I don't like the wide road. I'm not conservative. I always think outside the box. Thanks to this I've been able to experience life in a much wider sense than my parents have. My father tells me so all the time. He's proud of me, yet deep inside he'd be happier if I were a doctor driving a 2009 Corvette. That's just his way of thinking. I have to admit that I'm now feeling sucked into the standard USA lifestyle more than ever. I am sometimes a bit terrified of it. I like good things, just like anybody else. And I can get in "spending mode" like anybody else. My wife is a bit more conservative than I am. She likes the house, she likes decorating (she's an interior designer). But, when she sees a sailboat she is also captured by the dream of living aboard and spending time together on the water. Unfortunately, we have to sacrifice some things in order to have others.

After reading all the posts here, I keep thinking that I should probably buy the house. It seems to be the most financially correct thing to do. Yet, if I do. There's a big chance I will not live in it. Somebody else will probably be doing that. And paying me rent. On the other hand, I still need a studio for my music endeavors. It seems a bit foolish to buy a house and rent it out, buy a boat to live in and rent a separate location for a music studio. But then again, this is very probably what I will end up doing. I can close the studio anytime, put the equipment in storage and go cruising. I can then come back to them when I'm ready.

Again, I'm in no hurry. It could be 6 months before something has been done. I'll make sure to keep you informed.

Again, many thanks to all who have taken their time to comment. I really, really appreciate it.

Kinds regards, Danny Cruz

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Old 12-05-2009, 15:39   #63
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It was a long story but it yours after all. Iwouldn't worry to much.

Again, I'm in no hurry. It could be 6 months before something has been done. I'll make sure to keep you informed
Not being in a hurry is the key to cruising. You already know that part. There is no one way to do things. You appear to be someone that will know when they are ready. We hope to still be here when you are. Hang out and read about things here and you learn some new things for when you are ready.
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Old 12-05-2009, 19:04   #64
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I just found this thread, and whoa! that was a long read. Very worthwhile though, as I'm in the same dilemma We moved up the coast (used to live in Carlsbad- as renters) to the Monterey Bay area. The difference though is that it always seemed to be the biggest pain in the arse to find a marina that would accommodate liveaboards down there. I'm sure they exist, but there's likely a waiting list. When I asked at Oceanside, I was told there was something like an 8 or 9 year wait for a liveaboard slip. (How about I pay to get on that waitlist and bequeath it to my grandkids when the slip actually comes available?).
Figure the time owning either a house or a boat is going to be for several years. Where do you see yourself happiest? If you buy a boat (less expensive, one would suppose), you can always invest in something other than real estate with the money you would otherwise be putting into your mortgage payments.
There are pluses and minuses with either choice from a financial and from a comfort standpoint. I'd both househunt and boat shop at the same time. You may get a gut level response that will set you in the "right" direction. Good luck! I'll let you know what my wife and I do when that bridge is finally crossed. And for what it's worth, paying an exorbitant rent or living in a ghetto is not a good option, in my opinion.
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Old 06-04-2010, 18:26   #65
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