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Old 05-10-2010, 16:29   #1
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Definition of 'Cruising'

So how far does one have to go and how long does one have to be aboard for the activity to be considered "cruising", as that term is used here?

I get the impression that the term usually implies living aboard for extended periods and very long distances; i.e., international/transocean (or trans other large bodies of water). But what about doing basically the same thing ("living" on the boat) for short distances and short times?

My "cruising" grounds so far consist of the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding rivers, bays, creeks, coves and inlets.

If I go out on the boat for a weekend, sail say 10 miles up to a nice little quiet anchorage, spend the night, then sail back the next day (I hafta work during the week, after all), is that "cruising"?

What if I took a 5-day trip up the Chesapeake and back - say, from my marina just off the Piankatank River up to Tangier Island and back?

It's highly unlikely that within the next several years I would be sailing to the Bahamas or even anywhere outside the Chesapeake (although I could see heading down to the Core Sound and Pamlico Sound if I could make that work). But I do plan on making as many trips as I can to explore the various parts of the Chesapeake.

So - is that "cruising"? Maybe just on a much smaller and simpler scale...
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Old 05-10-2010, 17:21   #2
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"Cruising" is when you go someplace nice to work on your boat. You did not mention anything about boatwork, so no, it is not cruising.
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Old 05-10-2010, 18:06   #3
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I'd say anytime you leave the dock or mooring to head off somewhere you are on a cruise. It could be for two hours or two years. I don't think it matters. In years past I've traveled long distances to get to some places. Lately I've sailed to some nearby places that I've over looked before and been wonderfully surprised that I had never thought about going there before. The main thing is to enjoy the journey and the surroundings. But, the critical thing is you need to move the boat to be cruising. Otherwise you really just have a floating beach chair. The distance IMO is not so important.
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Old 05-10-2010, 18:30   #4
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Cruising is like when one goes sailing and the gets bored, frightened or runs out of cash and starts cruising.

Sometimes you can meet sailors cruising a specific area - e.g. Polynesia, where anything else is simply too expensive.

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Old 05-10-2010, 18:50   #5
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I think the definition of 'cruising' can be pretty encompassing. I also think that to be a cruiser, you have to engage in this behavior as much or more than any other type of lifestyle.

But anyone who has a boat and moves it around for the purpose of enjoyment, relaxation or even transport is engaged in the act of cruising.

At least, that's kind of how I see it.
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Old 05-10-2010, 18:55   #6
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Originally Posted by ShipShape View Post
"Cruising" is when you go someplace nice to work on your boat. You did not mention anything about boatwork, so no, it is not cruising.
Ha!

Well I've had the boat only about a month and a half, but I definitely will be doing work on it. I've already done a little bit, but there are plenty of projects to be done. It's not a "needs TLC", or a "fixer upper" but it does have several things needing attention. Mechanically and structurally it's very sound, though, so I can sail it in the meantime.
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Old 05-10-2010, 19:02   #7
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To cruise you must go somewhere for pleasure only. It matters not how far. If you are just going out for a sail you are not cruising.

I used to cruise to the beach near my marina. When anchored there I was closer to my parked car than while in the slip...
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Old 05-10-2010, 19:06   #8
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To be cruising you must sail to some place exotic. We've been to Tippity Witchity and Crissy Swash and found these places to be mundane; therefore, as long as you are not in Tippity Witchity or Crissy Swash, then you are cruising!
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Old 05-10-2010, 19:17   #9
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No place to be and no schedule to get there..........on a boat!
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Old 05-10-2010, 19:48   #10
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it's in the attitude

I keep a J/27 a half hour drive from my house. This summer my son and I spent a week on the boat. My wife dropped us off, so we had no use of a car. We still had use of the yacht club refrigerator and showers, but did not accept car rides and explored the lakeshore instead, walking down the train tracks one night to a restaurant. We anchored out on the nights it was not forecast to storm, the other nights going to one of two yacht clubs. We socialized with friends who were renting a cabin on one of the islands. I called that cruising because we got into the world and the rhythm of boat life (albeit with very little headroom. And by the way, I did work on the boat that week.
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Old 05-10-2010, 19:53   #11
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No place to be and no schedule to get there..........on a boat!
Well, duh! That is because it IS a boat, and you are busy FIXING the boat and you don't necessarily have all the parts. This requires frequent trips to the cockpit to ponder, procrastinate, imbibe, and watch dolphins and sunsets.

Here I am cruising in the Florida Keys - see how easy it is?

Click image for larger version

Name:	<a title=engine work.jpg Views: 126 Size: 419.3 KB ID: 19856" style="margin: 2px" />
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Old 05-10-2010, 20:51   #12
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Just for fun I thought I would check Merriam Webster:

1 : to sail about touching at a series of ports
2 : to move or proceed speedily, smoothly, or effortlessly

3 : to travel without destination or purpose

#1 obviously applies to many on this site.

I think #3 also captures many here perfectly. It does not matter if you are gone an hour or a decade. It is the lack of destiantion or purpose that defines the activity.
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Old 05-10-2010, 21:32   #13
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2 : to move or proceed speedily, smoothly, or effortlessly
I have a serious problem with #2
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Old 05-10-2010, 21:33   #14
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when I first called myself a "cruiser," all it meant was that I no longer considered myself a "racer."
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Old 05-10-2010, 21:41   #15
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I don't like the term cruising to be honest and rarely use it. I like sailing and living on board our boat full time. We do a lot of sailing trips throughout the year and have plans in the next few years to sail to far away places and try to do a circumnavigation. Never got into the "cruising" term and I don't find it a necessary label for describing anything I do or want to do. No one outside of sailing knows what it means, and inside of sailing if you tell people you're doing a circumnavigation for five years on a heavy displacement boat with your wife and baby, the image is fairly well established.
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