Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-09-2015, 16:51   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Quarter Life Crisis

Hello all!!!!!

Forgive me if nobody cares, but I need help/ advice. I havenít posted much but have been quietly viewing posts and learning things. The past few months have been a roller coaster. I don't know what to do with my life. I'm 21 and in college but will be graduating with a dual math and engineering degree. I don't know what I want to after college.

I have wanted to sail for years and its all I can ever think about. I donít have much money.( aprox. 20k) and want to buy a boat when I graduate. But again I donít know what to do.

The way I see it is I have a few options.....
1. Hopefully get a job near coast and live aboard while fixing up a older boat.Then go sail, and come back due to lack of money and work my life away.
2. Immediately get a job and work to save money and hope that I can make enough money to live and save without wasting life.

I am not asking for someone to tell me what to do, but rather some pointers or advice. I do not know how I would afford living while sailing, but I would like to cruise Caribbean for a year and then take a small break and then head to pacific islands ...etc
__________________

__________________
Camcmillen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 17:08   #2
Registered User
 
Steady Hand's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Crewing All of 2017 Available Globally
Boat: OPB = Crewing in 2017
Posts: 4,851
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Howdy!

I read your post carefully. I considered it. Just because my suggestions below do not seem to be a direct answer that fits your two choices you outlined, does not mean I did not consider those choices you suggested.

I have a couple of possible paths for you.

Save your money. Make some more money. Gain some experience. Do some traveling.

1A. Join the Navy!
See the world.
Serve your country.
Earn some money.
Get some sea time.
Make new friends.
Learn new skills.

1B. Join the Coast Guard!
See some of the world.
Serve your country.
Earn some money.
Get some sea time.
Make new friends.
Learn new skills.

With your engineering and math degrees, I would suspect that if you are in good health you should be able to get some very good job offers and opportunities (in the Navy or Coast Guard).

Of course this is not the life for everyone but there is no need for you to spend your entire life doing it. Several members of CF have been in Navy or Coast Guard and from what I can see in their comments, they gained a lot from the experience.
_____________________

Or…

2. Take some sailing lessons abroad in a great place to learn and get some very good certifications.

2B. Take those new certifications and get a job on some boats or with a charter company. Gain experience.
__________________

__________________
Ahoy All Sailors! Need experienced crew for a passage or delivery in Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, Med, PNW, ICW, coastal or across an ocean anytime in 2017? I am available on 24hr notice. See my CF Profile "About Me" page for details. Happy to lend a hand!
Steady Hand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 17:13   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Really good suggestions! Thanks! I will definitely add those to my list of ideas! I cant do military service due to 2 knee surgeries. I have never thought about working on a charter boat. Is it hard to get a job with a good company?
__________________
Camcmillen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 17:54   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 38
Posts: 563
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

At 21, I think you have plenty of time figure out how to sail.

Firstly, what kind of sailing do you want to do? Racing? Daysailing? Coastal Cruising? Or long-term passage-making live-aboard? The answer to this question shapes most of the rest of your decisions.

If you want to day-sail, I would consider starting with a Hobie sail trimaran like an Adventure Island or Tandem Island. These boats are easy to day sail and plenty fast. They're cheap at $5000 new and easy to resell without loosing a lot of money. You could do this while you're working and saving money.

For every other kind of sailing, you need to live on the coast. The big sailing grounds in the U.S. are Southern California, San Francisco, Puget Sound, Chesapeake, and Florida. Plenty of other places to sail, but these are where all the infrastructure is located. With your skill set, you're likely to need to live in Seattle, the Bay Area, or to a lesser degree So Cal. I would target San Francisco as being the ideal blend of work opportunities and sail culture for you.

Consider buying an older boat that's big enough to live aboard, and live aboard it. This will help you determine whether long-term passage-making is for you. An older boat will teach you how to repair its various problems, which are all skills you need to acquire. The boat I'm thinking of would be 35 feet or so and cost you around $15,000 for a seaworthy example, needing a fair bit of work.

From this point, you'll get a really good feel for what you want in a boat while living less expensively than otherwise possible. Given that jobs in the Bay Area presume a high cost of living that you won't have, you'll be able to stash money away very quickly. Once you've identified the boat you ultimately want, how much it will cost, and have saved for it, you can make your plan to quit and get on with cruising.

I would normally tell people your age to get a job in the marine industry, but with your degrees you'll make a lot more money a lot faster doing what you're good at and keeping the ocean a hobby.
__________________
mstrebe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 17:57   #5
Registered User

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 466
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Well where does one start ? as an old man who can see the end of his life nearing and having the same dreams and being programmed to work your life away as I have I say go for it! I have almost achieved the perfect situation several times,just a little out of reach by my own standards(set by myself) go for it ! your health may dictate the later part of you life
__________________
sartorst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 18:06   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Diego
Boat: Pearson 39-2 "Sea Story"
Posts: 1,109
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

You can work, or you can do it like this:
__________________
SV Sea Story adventures
Greenhand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 18:42   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

hey everyone! thanks for advice. The thing is..... I don't want to just race or be a day cruiser. I think i want to be a coastal cruiser for awhile and then ease in to larger ocean passages. I do have a small sunfish that I have learned to sail on. Yeah! I have also had multiple job offers in south Houston making about 40-50k extra a year when living on simplicity budget that can be used for a refit and buying a boat/ saving for trip.

However, I feel that if I get into a routine of working for a few years knowing me I may not ever stop. knowing me, I could just get too comfortable and keep putting it off. I want to live now while I have the chance because I never know what will happen in future ( based of family health problems).

I am thinking about buying 35-40' monohull that is older and needs work because I have no problem working and fixing things. I have done that everyday at work for 4 years.

Anything else? Thanks again everyone!

and Fair Winds!
__________________
Camcmillen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 19:08   #8
Registered User
 
SVTatia's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Boat: Luders 33 - hull 23
Posts: 817
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Camcmillen View Post
h....I am thinking about buying 35-40' monohull that is older and needs work because I have no problem working and fixing things. I have done that everyday at work for 4 years.

Anything else? Thanks again everyone!

and Fair Winds!
Camcmillen

Option 1) Go off to some coast, any coast, and get to sail on somebody else's boat and get some mileage before you know what it is you want or don't want to buy.... Or else, you'll become a boat fixer rather than a sailor.

Option 2) Buy a boat you can sail anywhere right now, it does not have to be 35'.... that is too big - 27-30 would be ideal, and it needs to be seaworthy, then go off and have loads of fun and learn your way.
__________________
SVTatia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 19:14   #9
Registered User
 
chris mac's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: edmonton alberta
Boat: 1980 san juan 7.7
Posts: 428
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

At your age and skill set, you are an almost ideal candidate for a project boat. To what degree is up to you of course. Personally I would look for something that you can live on and take out for small sails, say a night or two.
Live on it, take a good job with a good income and get to really know that boat inside and out. It will be the cheapest short term way to get on a live aboard. Once you have it fixed up, and some money banked you will still face the age old problem, "go now or build up more money first", but you will still be living on a boat and can easily do weekend and vacation cruises. Or you can cast off and go till broke. It all works, just gotta figure out what works for you.
__________________
chris mac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 19:15   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2008
Boat: Custom cutter, 42'
Posts: 378
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

If you want to go now and only have 20K then forget a 35-40' boat. You don't need a boat that big if you're single handing (which I assume you are). And you don't have the money to keep that boat going.

Get something smaller. The expenses will shrink exponentially. You don't need a big boat to go places, adventure around and live life.

Make up your mind to either go now on the cheap or work for awhile, live cheap and save your money and then go. If you work for awhile you'll make a lot more as an engineer than you will looking for odd jobs out of your boat.

Hey, its life! You've got good options open to you. Make a choice and then execute that choice in a winning way!
__________________
Pauls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 19:31   #11
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Read this post Where to find the right boat?
Follow the links in it, including the one which I posted. And that'll lead you to some other good links as well, including another by me... kind of a rabbit hole, within rabbit hole.

But if you can put up with some of the tripe posted by a jaded few, there's some good information in there. Including, for example, where I describe why a Cal 29's a good boat, & it's weak & strong points.
One of the sweet ones being, that you can pick up one which is decently fitted out for coastal cruising, for $5k or less. And if you start from there, with a boat like that, it becomes pretty easy to figure out what you really need & what you don't... In life, gear add on's for the boat, skills, etc.

Also, as a perk. On a boat that size, it's easy to get a lot of "hand me down" gear from bigger boats. Stuff that they don't want or need any more, think is too small, or perhaps for them is a bit undersized. And when you couple that with your age, a lot of "old" cruisers will take pity on you, & give or sell you gear cheaply.

Plus, don't be too proud to dumpster dive. In our whacked out culture, people toss out perfectly servicable (even almost new) items, as they want the next latest thing. I've found a string great stuff that way, over the span of many, many years.
Did it starting when I was 22, on my Ranger 33. As did my "older" neighbors (25'ish) on their Cal 34. Both great starter boats for $10k if you look around, & are careful as to what "necesseties" that you add.

Borrow someone's Dashew's Cruising Encyclopedia, Vol. II & read the section where their daughter & her friend pooled their $25k, bought a Santana 37', & took of cruising themselves.
BTW, even those are findable for $20k or less (as are 38' C&C', plus lots of others, similar in size & age). It's what you add (or not) that's pricey. -> See Voyaging on A Small Income by Annie Hill.

Bottom Line: Just figure out what's highest priority on your Bucket List, & go for it. Don't let anyone, or "rules" get in your way... Or as said by "another famous sailor" -


A QUOTE FROM STERLING HAYDEN’S BOOK, WANDERER

To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… “cruising” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

“I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Sterling Hayden



PS: BTW, don't think that the question before you is a new one, especially, now that you're non "school-encumbered". Don't go full on pulling a Christopher McCandless (perhaps semi), or... something like Jameson Whitbeck ->





__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 19:53   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

you guys are great! I'm loving all the ideas! Uncivilized: I am about to go down the rabbit hole. I will be unencumbered by school in few months. not quite yet.

also, I don't want a 35-40' just yet! I should've specified. I am thinking something around 25-30 feet. however I'm leaning towards the larger side to do Caribbean passages.

SVTatia: wow. Great advice! never thought about that! I am definitely going to borrow that saying.
__________________
Camcmillen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 20:08   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 30
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

just checked craigslist and found two or three boats near by that are <10k

including a catalina, a hunter 33' and an erickson.... I just need patience!
__________________
Camcmillen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2015, 20:48   #14
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

When it comes to size, $ things aside, one thing to keep in mind is that (knock on wood) all but the most extreme chores can be manhandled on boats under 35'. Unless you go with something super heavy, like a Westsail, or other full keeler.

Though it's still wise to get into the habit of using the mechanical advantage which you have at hand. That way, when it's an emergency, you'll still fix things the same way. Instead of trying to pull on something by hand, which is now 4x more loaded than is the norm.

AKA, even on a 30'er, it's more than worth getting a manual anchor windlass. And more often than not, the pre-loved ones are better quality anyway.

The biggest catch, for me, is where to stow the dinghy (and still have an accessable foredeck) on a 30'er?


PS: Some time, when finals next Spring are a distant memory, come back here & tell us how it all turned out.
__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2015, 00:28   #15
Moderator
 
carstenb's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Copenhagen
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Fast 40.3
Posts: 4,942
Images: 1
Re: Quarter Life Crisis

Here's my 2 cents (my advice is probably not worht 2 cents, but you're going to get it anyway)

Sail with womeone else. Pay to be crew. The Danish Ocean Cruising Association does an excellent job of matching people to boats that need crew. You'll have to pay, but typically this is in the range of 20 bucks per day plus foood, booze and anything you like to do.

There are boats cruising all over the world and you can pretty much pick you area.

With an engineering degree, youll be welcomed with open arms.

The association's website is in Danish but you can write to them - they all speak excellent english.here's the link , down near the bottom on the left side column you'll find the word "Kontakt" (contact).

http://ftlf.dk/index.php?id=2

Take a couple of months on a boat (or why not a couple of months on several boats, one in the pacific, one in the carribean?

You'll learn a lot about sailing, iving aboard and have a great adventure at reasonably low cost.

Then you can decide what boat etc etc etc.

PM me if you have difficluties.

good luck
__________________

__________________
I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
carstenb is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Quarter Decks Ben M-P Monohull Sailboats 9 19-10-2010 12:50
Challenge:Who Has Carved Out / Reclaimed a Quarter Berth from Giant Lazarette Space ? YOG Challenges 10 10-08-2010 10:32
Mid-life Crisis? Nawww! =;) Jay Jennings Meets & Greets 21 27-11-2009 21:33
Icebergs off the Starboard quarter Alan Wheeler Cruising News & Events 36 27-11-2006 20:20
Quarter Moon signing in... Quarter Moon Meets & Greets 7 10-04-2006 05:50



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:08.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.