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Old 25-09-2015, 11:33   #16
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

If you are coming out of college with no debt I would suggest you make your self known at websites such as crewfinder. Sail on someone elses boat for a year or two. That is what I did and I had a blast. There are actually more boats with people needing crew then there are people to service them. Go to "choke points" and involve yourself in the cruising community (e.g. San Diego, Panama Canal, etc) and volunteer to help people. You will learn the ropes and people are willing to teach. Sometimes the boat you find is great sometimes not so great. Jump off and join a new one. The key to successful cruising is to have enough money to survive. (different amount for different people) once you decide you like the lifestyle go to work and live as cheaply as possible to save money for an extended cruise.

Good luck
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Old 25-09-2015, 12:36   #17
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

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Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
...sail on somebody else's boat and get some mileage before you know what it is you want or don't want to buy...
This. Get some sailing experience first. Save your $. With some experience you can crew on others' boats--even get paid. Don't buy a boat until you know something about boats.
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Old 27-09-2015, 11:59   #18
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Hey everyone! thanks for all of the replies. I am currently landlocked in Texas till I graduate. So far I am thinking about going to get some certs and crewing and learning as much as I can for 6-12 months then buying a boat and being a live aboard. Ive been sailing once before and I have been captivated by it ever since. I am extremely passionate and borderline obsessed if you ask my friends and family. but I am very thankful for all of the advice. So here is the 2 year tentative plan:

-Graduate
-Get experience and skills
-liveaboard while working and saving every spare penny
-refit and get ready
-1-2 years later sail away
-when the kitty dries up head home work some more
-head out again permanately

I always poke around and I have had some replies that suggested boats before for Caribbean island cruising. I stumbled upon this this morning while procrastinating a calculus assignment. would a boat like this suit me in theory? Just wanting 2 cents. I know everyone's needs are different. Cal 34 sailboat/ turn key ready/ price drop
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Old 27-09-2015, 12:24   #19
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

I didn't own my own boat until I had been sailing for six years. During that time I sailed, taught, and worked on dozens of OTHER PEOPLE 'S BOATS. I got all the fun, they paid the bills. I got tons of expertise and got paid. I learned about dozens of different boats before I took the plunge into total commitment of ownership. Food for thought, young man. Not trying to pop your bubble, trying to get you think before you leap. Go sailing now, ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BOATS.
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Old 27-09-2015, 12:40   #20
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

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Originally Posted by jreiter190 View Post
I didn't own my own boat until I had been sailing for six years. During that time I sailed, taught, and worked on dozens of OTHER PEOPLE 'S BOATS. I got all the fun, they paid the bills. I got tons of expertise and got paid. I learned about dozens of different boats before I took the plunge into total commitment of ownership. Food for thought, young man. Not trying to pop your bubble, trying to get you think before you leap. Go sailing now, ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BOATS.
+100!

I did a lot more sailing before I started buying boats. By the time I bought my first mid-sized boat (37'), I was already a charter captain and sailing instructor with about 10 years of experience. Once you own a boat you will spend a LOT of time and money working on it....and man Ive gone thru a ton of both that could have been spent sailing.

I think the desire to own a boat is more about consumerism than sailing. YOU DO NOT NEED TO OWN A BOAT TO SAIL.

OP: Conserve your limited funds and use them to give you the financial freedom and time to sail on other peoples boats.
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Old 27-09-2015, 12:53   #21
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

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Originally Posted by jreiter190 View Post
I didn't own my own boat until I had been sailing for six years. During that time I sailed, taught, and worked on dozens of OTHER PEOPLE 'S BOATS. I got all the fun, they paid the bills. I got tons of expertise and got paid. I learned about dozens of different boats before I took the plunge into total commitment of ownership. Food for thought, young man. Not trying to pop your bubble, trying to get you think before you leap. Go sailing now, ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BOATS.
That is the plan....I really want to sail on other peoples boats first and maybe that is what I should do before even thinking of buying a boat. I just got to get out of the town Iím in for that! I just cant wait! I have some basic sailing classes lined up for December. and once graduation is over, I will probably move somewhere to hopefully find a job working on and around boats.

Belize Sailor: It may be the consumerism speaking, but I really do want a boat to call my own. But that will come with time I suppose. I will look into how to crew and what I will need whenever I get some free time today.

I do have the tendency to just feet first into something without too much thought. However, in my experience, that is what I need to get started and get the ball rolling?
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Old 27-09-2015, 13:00   #22
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Another thought. It is easy to work most technical jobs as a contractor, but you need some experience first. Use your math/engineering to land a job that will help you build marketable skills. Get about 5 years experience, sock away as much money as you can, and then look for a contract job. Take a contract job for a year or so...now you have professional experience, experience working as a contractor (and the contacts that will go with that to find your next gig) and some cash in the bank. Finish your contract, dont burn an bridges by just bailing on them, and then punch out and go sailing for a while. Six months to a year later (dont take too long or your skills/contacts will go stale), take another contract job...repeat, repeat, repeat...

Who knows, if you are valuable enough to your first employer they may even offer you a flexible/contract option. I had early open discussions with two of my employers about this at two different times in my carreer. BOTH offered me increased compensation and reduced months of work to keep me onboard...not a bad option.
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Old 27-09-2015, 13:57   #23
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

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Originally Posted by Camcmillen View Post
That is the plan....I really want to sail on other peoples boats first and maybe that is what I should do before even thinking of buying a boat. I just got to get out of the town Iím in for that! I just cant wait! I have some basic sailing classes lined up for December. and once graduation is over, I will probably move somewhere to hopefully find a job working on and around boats.

Belize Sailor: It may be the consumerism speaking, but I really do want a boat to call my own. But that will come with time I suppose. I will look into how to crew and what I will need whenever I get some free time today.

I do have the tendency to just feet first into something without too much thought. However, in my experience, that is what I need to get started and get the ball rolling?
Not sure how relavent this is but after going to sea at the age of 14 and spending my first 20 years commercial fishing, towing logs and barges around the PNW along with a couple of years beachcombing on my own, I came close to losing my life twice within a couple of weeks and invested in a couple of taxi cabs, put myself through college graduating with an MBA and scored a great job with an international oil company. Through those years, I was fortunate enough to get involved in oil spill recovery and remediation work and started a small but profitable delivery company and spent about 20 odd years driving boats from Panama and Alaska and points between. Once you get the sea in your veins, you will be forever tied to it and find a way to spend time aboard.
I count myself fortunate to have lived into my late seventies with many great memories and few regrets, great kids and grandkids and passable health for my age.
Buy what you can afford now, fix her up and enjoy the sweat equity you build as well as sailing her at every chance. If you can live aboard, all the better. The Nay Sayers who would have you wait until you can afford a 30+foot or have 15 sailing courses under your belt, are not giving you great advice. The best way to learn is by doing... get out there and get experience by crewing, working, reading and associating with sailors who you admire.
If you can parley your fine education into a position with a maritime company, do it. Then lobby for jobs that will lead to sea time with your employer. Suggest it will improve your value to the company as you gain broad experience that includes sea time.
Follow your dream and don't let other arm chair types deter you.
Cheers, Phil
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Old 27-09-2015, 14:06   #24
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

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Not sure how relavent this is but after going to sea at the age of 14 and spending my first 20 years commercial fishing, towing logs and barges around the PNW along with a couple of years beachcombing on my own, I came close to losing my life twice within a couple of weeks and invested in a couple of taxi cabs, put myself through college graduating with an MBA and scored a great job with an international oil company. Through those years, I was fortunate enough to get involved in oil spill recovery and remediation work and started a small but profitable delivery company and spent about 20 odd years driving boats from Panama and Alaska and points between. Once you get the sea in your veins, you will be forever tied to it and find a way to spend time aboard.
I count myself fortunate to have lived into my late seventies with many great memories and few regrets, great kids and grandkids and passable health for my age.
Buy what you can afford now, fix her up and enjoy the sweat equity you build as well as sailing her at every chance. If you can live aboard, all the better. The Nay Sayers who would have you wait until you can afford a 30+foot or have 15 sailing courses under your belt, are not giving you great advice. The best way to learn is by doing... get out there and get experience by crewing, working, reading and associating with sailors who you admire.
If you can parley your fine education into a position with a maritime company, do it. Then lobby for jobs that will lead to sea time with your employer. Suggest it will improve your value to the company as you gain broad experience that includes sea time.
Follow your dream and don't let other arm chair types deter you.
Cheers, Phil
Hello Capt. Phil!

Thank you for your reply! I went out when I was 7 years old on my uncles ocean kayak, and although it is small and minute, I have ever since been drawn to the beach and ocean. After I went sailing once, I was captivated by sailing and has been so ever since.
I have noticed that a lot of the more "seasoned" folks on here say go with it while some of the younger members say that I should wait. I have the kind of free spirit that makes me just go with the flow and follow the wind wherever it may take me.

I am definitely going to try to live aboard while also building relationships and networks while crewing and learning everything I possibly can. Just wish I could graduate today!

Thank you to all the helpful people on here. Even the naysayers on here are more inspirational and helpful than my friends and family since I come from a ranching/ farming/ cowboy family and area.
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Old 27-09-2015, 14:28   #25
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Hi, Cam,

Landlubbers don't "get it," and never will, i think. What you want to do is entirely outside their experience, they don't have any frame of reference for it. Some will try to hold on to you, hold you back from something they're scared of.

In our early cruising years, we met a number of young cruisers, people with boats in the 20-26 foot size range, some singles, mostly couples, and they were all having fun. These were the days of minimal electronics cruising: sextant navigation, cautious route planning and execution. They were having "too much fun", with very little.

Having a can do attitude is one of the greatest assets you can have for this sort of endeavor.

Finish up with the schooling, then pick the route offered above that works best for you. I liked Carstenb's plan: it would give you experience in two geographical areas you are interested in, and multicultural, which is always "broadening."

Good luck with it.

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Old 27-09-2015, 14:30   #26
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Don't know how you got the idea that all the people who advised you to get some experience first are naysayers and young, and someone sit ting on a powerboat on Lake Tahoe (close to an armchair ) telling you to "go for it" makes more sense. Indeed, and by all means buy a boat as soon as you have graduated . Just hope you get lucky and don't buy a fixer upper and spend six years in a boatyard on the hard trading dreams with the rest of the guys who are"fixing up" their broken dreams fixer uppers. I'm sitting on my twenty sixth boat in fifty years. But then, I've been around the world several times, crossed oceans , built boats,delivered boats, skippered boats, delivered boats and I'm no frigging armchair sailor.I'm just trying to, like others , give you a little hard earned advice. Mainly,before you jump in with both feet, you impulsive little scamp, know a little bit about what you'll be jumping into. Naysayers my ass.
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Old 27-09-2015, 14:46   #27
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

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Don't know how you got the idea that all the people who advised you to get some experience first are naysayers and young, and someone sit ting on a powerboat on Lake Tahoe (close to an armchair ) telling you to "go for it" makes more sense. Indeed, and by all means buy a boat as soon as you have graduated . Just hope you get lucky and don't buy a fixer upper and spend six years in a boatyard on the hard trading dreams with the rest of the guys who are"fixing up" their broken dreams fixer uppers. I'm sitting on my twenty sixth boat in fifty years. But then, I've been around the world several times, crossed oceans , built boats,delivered boats, skippered boats, delivered boats and I'm no frigging armchair sailor.I'm just trying to, like others , give you a little hard earned advice. Mainly,before you jump in with both feet, you impulsive little scamp, know a little bit about what you'll be jumping into. Naysayers my ass.
I wasnt calling everyone a naysayer. I was referring to what Capt. Phil called a naysayer. Im sorry If I offended anyone. Maybe I was a little off key I made the comparison. I am willing to listen to everyone's advice. Even if It goes against what I originally wanted to do! I am very appreciative of everything!
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Old 27-09-2015, 14:52   #28
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

I agree with Capt. Phil. You have already figured out you will need experience. You dont strike me as lacking common sense. You are discussing steps towards your goals. Life is one step at a time, so you are headed in the right direction.

The one thing no one tells you, when you are young, is that your real dreams are just as achieviable as the socially acceptable compromise one might be tempted to make.

What you really need to do is just decide where to start. No matter what you do life will give you choices and consequences for those choices. There is really no "risk" because life is not guaranteed. None of it ever. It's all "risky". But some belive the way to living is through mitigating pain and heart ache. Others go forth a little more boldly seeing the knocks of life as all part of the experience of living. But I would guess you are somewhere in the middle. I don't see any evidence that you are thoughtless and reckless. I see no point in badgering you to slow down.

Go ahead and crew with others. Get your liveaboard too. Boats are expensive, you won't be able to afford a boat and a dirt dwelling too just yet. So why not live aboard and sail when you can?
Your first boat doesn't have to fulfill your requirements for your entire life. Just the life you choose right now. That can be pretty humble.

Since I am on a roll, I suggest reading "Voyaging on a Small Income" and "Get Real Get Gone". Neither will answer all your question but both share an attitude of thought that may be helpful.
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Old 27-09-2015, 14:54   #29
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

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Don't know how you got the idea that all the people who advised you to get some experience first are naysayers and young...
It is simply an ad hominem attack against those of us with decades of hands-on experience. In my nearly 72 years I have sailed from Florida to the Panama Canal, and Canada to Cabo. Been a boat builder for decades, ocean raced for years, and lived aboard 1/2 my life.

Naysaying? Learning to sail before buying a boat is just common sense.
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Old 27-09-2015, 15:20   #30
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Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Okay, CamC Millen, lost my temper, and for that , I'm sorry. I don't know how Ann T. Cate can possibly know who is or isn't scared or any thing else about people who are not personally known to her. I don't know any of the people posting on this forum, and I'm not trying to establish myself as a "sailing sage ". I suppose everyone wants to be taken seriously on the forum and not thought of as a blowhard. Sailors are a prickly bunch at times and rarely agree on anything. Just follow your gut. As someone pointed out; what have you got to lose ? Illigitimi non Carborundum. Good luck, Pilgrim.
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