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Old 21-03-2019, 08:57   #1
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Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

We are 5+ years from retirement, and are considering cruising for (probably) 1-5 years, then selling the boat. It seems that most CF members sell everything and set out indefinitely, or are weekend/vacation cruisers. We have a permanent home that we fully expect to return to after cruising and the idea of being without our home doesn't appeal us at all. We live in the central US with a navigable waterway that leads to the Mississippi River within an hour from home. So, it would be possible to bring a sailboat home (48' max air draft or step the mast), take a break, and then continue cruising if we so desire. Sailing on inland lakes doesn't appeal to us. IMHO, most hobbies don't last as long as people think they will last. I don't often read of people setting off with such a short term live aboard/cruising plan. Thoughts?
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Old 21-03-2019, 09:26   #2
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

First off, I think you are incorrect in saying most CFers sell everything before heading off. I think we are the exception (I am in this category). My sense is most people keep some anchor on shore, be it a home, or a rental property, or something.

Secondly, how much actual cruising have you done? I ask because you appear to have a number of fixed notions about the lifestyle ó things that ďdonít appeal.Ē Most of us find that what we thought we knew about cruising changes once we gain actual experience.

Before making any large decisions I strongly suggest you gain some experience cruising. Short term chartering is ok, but itís not the same as actually owning your own boat and cruising on it for weeks, or preferably months, at a time.

As to your specific question; of course you can take a break if you want. There are no rules here. Of course you can move your boat to wherever it will float. Heck, you can put it on a truck if you want. Itís up to you how you want to approach this life.

Thatís part of the joy here ó there is no One Right Way for everyone. This is why personal experience is needed.
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Old 22-03-2019, 01:54   #3
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

We did sell everything and set out and glad we did. HOWEVER we have a lot of friends and family members (once out here we are all family) who sail 6 months and go back to the land for 6 months.


There use to be a commercial that said have it your way and you can do that out here. Just plan it out - it works. One size does not fit all - God made us all different so celebrate that difference and do not feel guilty about it.
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Old 22-03-2019, 02:17   #4
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

Kids 4 Sail posted this question on their Facebook page. 113 families kept or rented their house 93 families sold everything before cruising.
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Old 22-03-2019, 09:20   #5
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

We have a home and live on a lake in MN. We also have a 43' monohull that we sail (currently in the NE Caribbean). We started living aboard while working in the Philippines and Asia, retired, sailed her to Thailand and spent a year there, then spent 3+seasons sailing the eastern half of the Medd (spring/summer/fall, then at home in Mn during the winter???). And are now we are in our 5th season (summer+fall in MN, winter+spring on the boat) here in the Caribbean. We chose to keep our boat up on the hard, secured, at Puerto Del Rey marina, Fajardo, Puerto Rico) during the summer/fall....we rode out Irma and Maria on the hard(with no damage!), and fly back and forth. It works for us; it can be done, and gives you the best of both worlds.
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Old 22-03-2019, 11:43   #6
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

Having an "anchor" to windward is the way to go. I cruised for one year and now just charter in various locations. But if I were to go again, I would alternate between home and boat, thereby keeping the experience fresh. There were times that I felt if I could push a button and find myself home again, I would have done it. I'm not ashamed to admit that I missed reading the Times, seeing movies, catching up with friends and relatives and the usual melange of daily life. Being able to take a break from your boat can rejuvenate you and your mate.
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Old 22-03-2019, 18:43   #7
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

.."how much actual cruising have you done?"
I haven't done any cruising for pleasure. I have worked on commercial fishing boats, I've been deployed on Navy ships and I've owned several small power boats. So, not new to the water but definitely new to cruising and sailing.
We've spent enough time on the local lakes that they don't really interest us much any more.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 22-03-2019, 18:55   #8
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

Many people sell everything because they need the money to pay for the boat and cruising. If you are lucky enough not to have to do that, best to put personal things into storage, sell off furnishings and rent out your house. Cruising doesn't last forever for almost everybody. You may be out for a month, a year or a decade but would bet most people don't cruise for more than 3 years. Do your cruising and sell the boat when done. If you still have the sailing bug, buy a smaller, cheaper, more easily handled boat that you can keep closer to home. If you happen to live in a temperate zone, talk about oxymorons, might hang on to the boat as Pied a terre to escape the white stuff over the winter after your full time cruising is done.
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Old 22-03-2019, 19:13   #9
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

Quote:
Originally Posted by fox9988 View Post
.."how much actual cruising have you done?"
I haven't done any cruising for pleasure. I have worked on commercial fishing boats, I've been deployed on Navy ships and I've owned several small power boats. So, not new to the water but definitely new to cruising and sailing.
We've spent enough time on the local lakes that they don't really interest us much any more.

Thanks for the replies.
Why not take some sailing lessons and then charter a sailboat for a week or two? It's not like full-time live-aboard life, but it might afford some idea if this lifestyle might be for you; and if sailing isn't your cup of tea, a powered yacht might be an alternative.
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Old 22-03-2019, 21:11   #10
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

Quote:
Originally Posted by fox9988 View Post
We are 5+ years from retirement, and are considering cruising for (probably) 1-5 years, then selling the boat. It seems that most CF members sell everything and set out indefinitely, or are weekend/vacation cruisers. We have a permanent home that we fully expect to return to after cruising and the idea of being without our home doesn't appeal us at all. We live in the central US with a navigable waterway that leads to the Mississippi River within an hour from home. So, it would be possible to bring a sailboat home (48' max air draft or step the mast), take a break, and then continue cruising if we so desire. Sailing on inland lakes doesn't appeal to us. IMHO, most hobbies don't last as long as people think they will last. I don't often read of people setting off with such a short term live aboard/cruising plan. Thoughts?

Retired-The end result of 30-40 yrs. that you & yours worked your ass off,followed somebody else's rules,paid taxes,scrimped &(hopefully) saved for-so that you could "do your own thing" for (usually) a very few remaining healthy years.
If you & yours feel like doing something for fun -do it!!! --your way!

You have earned the right to "retire" from doing things for others,or by other's standards.
However,there is nothing wrong with asking for advice on how to do it frugally,safely,etc.
Congrats/ Len
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Old 22-03-2019, 22:00   #11
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

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IMHO, most hobbies don't last as long as people think they will last.
Hobby? This is people's chosen life. I can't imagine going back to the limitations of a house.
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Old 23-03-2019, 01:08   #12
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

Much like another poster said, after cruising, I couldn't imagine the limitations of having a fixed address. I've moved or traveled almost nonstop for most of my 42 years (yeah, even as a kid). Cruising is the only way to sustain that AND what amounts to a house, complete with favorite books, pets, etc, to be able to do that worldwide despite age. Ultimate freedom! Only truly advanced age will make any of us consider stopping at this point, and frankly, in a minor way and no offense intended Jim and Ann Cate on this forum are inspirational to me, as far as i've gathered I believe older folks but still tearing it up in the south pacific doing things most people will never do at any age...

NB: That in mind, one fun thing we do is keeping a list of places the three of us have sailed to and that we all love and could see ourselves settling down in the twilight years. Palma de Mallorca is one of the more recent ones But I can't wait to find many more over our years of cruising.....
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Old 23-03-2019, 08:35   #13
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

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Hobby? This is people's chosen life. I can't imagine going back to the limitations of a house.
And this is where we probably differ from a lot of CF members. I'm just trying to be realistic. Sure, I can dream of circumnavigating, or maybe we'll burn out before we even set off as some do.
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Old 30-03-2019, 03:55   #14
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

The most current boat was selected and purchased with a 3-5 year "life chapter" of global travels in mind (nearing year 5). Keeping a house will take some % of your attention away from the travels but can offer some piece of mind until you get comfortable with the cruising life style.

If lucky like us, when on the boat you want to stay on the boat and when at the house you want to stay at the house: always both excited and content with what is under your feet.
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Old 30-03-2019, 07:16   #15
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Re: Getting into cruising with an exit strategy

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Many people sell everything because they need the money to pay for the boat and cruising. If you are lucky enough not to have to do that, best to put personal things into storage, sell off furnishings and rent out your house. Cruising doesn't last forever for almost everybody. You may be out for a month, a year or a decade but would bet most people don't cruise for more than 3 years. Do your cruising and sell the boat when done. If you still have the sailing bug, buy a smaller, cheaper, more easily handled boat that you can keep closer to home. If you happen to live in a temperate zone, talk about oxymorons, might hang on to the boat as Pied a terre to escape the white stuff over the winter after your full time cruising is done.
Not sure where you got some of the info. But a lot sell their property because of the issue of dealing with it from distance locations - did that once and never again. And as for the stuff - put in storage and see what you really need when you get back. We could have kept our property and dealing with a repair or an agent in the middle of who knows where when you have a lot of other things to worry adds more stress and why??

As for the 3 years - we know lots of folks who are out a lot longer than that - for us it is 12 years now.
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