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Old 04-10-2019, 20:08   #16
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

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Originally Posted by Rangemarker25 View Post
My primary goal is as I said , "to find out what it's actually like to cruise constantly rather than be on a constant retirement vacation." (and how to prepare)

When I say constantly, this means with the necessary stops for supplies, rest, and human contact

Can you shed some light on this from your past cruises that lasted at least a few weeks off the grid?
OK.. now I’m confused. I thought you were asking about sailing vs cruising.

What are you trying to understand? If you can define what you mean by “constant retirement vacation” vs “cruise constantly,” then maybe we can offer some useful experience.

Oh wait… now you’re asking about the various cruising lifestyles. Hot/cold. Minimalist lifestyle. “Cannot do the canned food thing day after day” — I don’t even understand what this means; most people eat a combination of fresh and preserved foods.

I think Illusion is right, I’m not sure you are sure what you are asking.
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Old 04-10-2019, 21:24   #17
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post

Also, cruising is not a vacation, its a lifestyle. Im just wrapping up 3 solid days of boat work...thats not vacationing.

Most cruisers I think (casual observation, no hard data) are part-time cruisers. Meaning they cruise part of the year and do something else, like live ashore or travel, the rest or the year. This works well with the seasons...as hurricane season is not typically considered an ideal time to be out cruising.

A smaller percentage of cruisers are full-time, meaning they live on the boat full-time. However, most will still seek safe harbor for hurricane season or winter (depending on cruising grounds)...thus they are not typically "cruising constantly" either, but hang out somewhere for offseason.

Does that paint a better picture for you?
I fully agree with these very apt observations. Cruising (or as we prefer to call it, anchoring) is not a vacation. It is a lifestyle and we have chosen to spend about 6 months on the boat and 6 months on land at a home base. The latter is primarily because of family ties. We have a modest boat in terms of size (11.5M/37.5') that is modestly equipped with creature comforts but well equipped for crossing oceans, which we have done. We love being on board and could easily stay on board full time.

When we first decided to go offshore, we had many years of experience coastal cruising with equal amounts of time at anchor and in marinas. We like both. We set the boat up for an offshore passage or two and though I will make further crossings my partner will not do another passage longer than about 5-7 days, non-stop. Which is fine and demonstrates that different people have varying tolerance for long periods of time at sea where it can be uncomfortable, at least in a boat our size.

As others have suggested, experience will dictate how to proceed. My view is that a comfortable cockpit and an interior that is easy and safe to move around in when at sea, is very important. Sailing characteristics are equally important. We don't motor much so at least at the moment we are not interested in a motor sailor but I anticipate that might change with age.

I retired earlier than normal at age 65 which is young for what I do. I am now mixing consulting with voyaging and anchoring and this mix is turning out to be a good idea given our interest in being at home base for about half the year. And as the quote above suggests, cruising is not a vacation, it is a different life style from being on land. I can work from the boat as long as I have a good wifi connection to the internet either on the boat or nearby on land. But it is easier to work on land so I have limited or excluded doing "work" while living on the boat, at least partially because it gets in the way of boat maintenance and repair which I quite enjoy because it is very different from what I do to make money.

Good luck.
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Old 04-10-2019, 21:43   #18
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

Cruisers: people with sailboats who do not race. No? From observation, most all owners of sailboats keep their boats in their same marina. They do not do extensive voyages. They like the dream, like the Pardee's life-style. ... Once had that dream too.
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Old 04-10-2019, 21:49   #19
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

I suppose that it is only fair to point out that there are some of us who are full time live aboard cruisers. Ann and I left SF for the last time in 1989 and have been cruising full time ever since. During those years we have been off the boat for more than a couple of weeks exactly three times, all for major surgery and recovery time. In the early years we would fly back to the states roughly once a year to see kids and grandkids (all born post departure), but as we have aged and gotten further afield, the visits have become far less frequent. Have not been back for nearly seven years now...

In my view there is one specific criteria that determines one's commitment: do you or do you not maintain a physical property somewhere, a "home base" to which you may return at will. If so, not quite as committed as those who do not. I don't mean to say that those who have a home base ain't cruisers, not at all, and arguing about the definition is a waste of time. It's just a difference that I've noted.

We very seldom utilize marinas. To us they are places you go when you need to leave the boat for a while or when some job is made way easier when tied alongside. Occasional slipping is needed, and various boatyards have been used, some fancy, some pretty primitive, but out of the water repairs and maintenance gotta be done. The rest of the time we're at anchor or underway.

And age comes to us all (at least to the survivors!). As octogenarians, our cruising range has been reduced due to the need to be near specialist doctors of one sort or another. Offshore passages have new risks to fold into the equation, and for the last few years we've only cruised from Tasmania to Queensland and back each season instead of going to the Pacific islands that we love so well. This serves to keep us out of cyclone territory and anyplace where water is likely to be solid-state. Works for us!

So, OP, I'm still not sure what you are trying to ferret out, or even if you know what you want to know. Asking a stranger "what's it like" is pretty vague. You've received several thoughtful answers... I hope that somewhere in there was the info you sought.

Jim
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Old 04-10-2019, 22:12   #20
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

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I’m not a sailor, I’m a cruiser who sometimes sails.
I think you and I would get along great, except we'll never meet because we're both moving too slowly We call ourselves anchorers more than sailors.... we're technically on a circumnavigation, but at this pace it might take more time than we have left (and we're only in our mid-thirties). A few weeks in the Ionians turned into at least a year over a single beer, maybe 2 .... But if you like where you're at, why not stay a bit? The whole point is to enjoy life, FOMO is something we shed a long time ago.
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Old 04-10-2019, 22:31   #21
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Cruisers: people with sailboats who do not race. No? From observation, most all owners of sailboats keep their boats in their same marina. They do not do extensive voyages. They like the dream, like the Pardee's life-style. ... Once had that dream too.
I cruise my boat and also race it, I used to do the longer races in the PNW (swiftsure, northern century etc) but since I went south to mexico it's mainly the odd beercan with the occasional regatta

I don't exactly tear up the podium, but it reminds me to keep the weight down/uncluttered (esp since it's my full-time home), keeps me learning about sail handling and has taught me more about keeping the boat moving even in adverse conditions than anything else would have. Plus, you get a lot more comfortable about judging distance to other boats!
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Old 04-10-2019, 22:32   #22
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Cruisers: people with sailboats who do not race. No? From observation, most all owners of sailboats keep their boats in their same marina. They do not do extensive voyages. They like the dream, like the Pardee's life-style. ... Once had that dream too.
Hmmm, I race, though not nornally on my cruising boat, does that mean I cant be a cruiser?
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Old 04-10-2019, 22:34   #23
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

I just Googled it and this is what came up:

cruising
/ˈkruːzɪŋ/
Learn to pronounce
noun
1.
the action of sailing about in an area without a precise destination, especially for pleasure.


Indicated to be from the Oxford dictionary.

Sorry but it seems to exclude the power boat folks.

Since we know that many power boaters do pursue the same life style and many of us are not limited to any specific "area" maybe "wandering about in a boat" might be more appropriate.
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Old 04-10-2019, 22:35   #24
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

Everybody's different! The ways of cruising are different. Some use the engine whenever it's convenient, others use engine plus sails some of the time, sails some of the time. Some sail part of the year. Some sail all of the year. Some start out with a loose goal, like the Pardeys, for "as long as it's fun." Others have circumnavigation as a goal. Among circumnavigators, some do brief ones (shortest I know of was 9 months), others, for longer times, and some never complete them.

What is cruising like? walking long distances over dusty roads carrying heavy objects; fixing your boat in ports where you don't speak the local language; coping with whatever the weather gods send your way whether you like it or not; dealing with illness in places where you don't speak the local language; and it is also exploring, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, maybe even making side trips to go skiing. It is whatever you make of it.

And yes, on the longer passages, you will be eating preserved foods, whether canned or dried, or a mixture.

What you gain from the experience depends on what you have brought to it: your interests and predilections have a whole lot to do with your experiences, and your destinations, and ultimately that is why the question, "what is cruising like?" is in a way, unanswerable. One can say what it is like for them, but not what it would be like for someone else. In addition, it will change as you age. Your attitudes about some things will change.

Tom Lehrer once said, "Life is like a sewer: what you get out of it depends on what you put into it." I'll leave this at that....for now.

Ann
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Old 04-10-2019, 22:57   #25
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
OK.. now I’m confused. I thought you were asking about sailing vs cruising.

What are you trying to understand? If you can define what you mean by “constant retirement vacation” vs “cruise constantly,” then maybe we can offer some useful experience.

Oh wait… now you’re asking about the various cruising lifestyles. Hot/cold. Minimalist lifestyle. “Cannot do the canned food thing day after day” — I don’t even understand what this means; most people eat a combination of fresh and preserved foods.

I think Illusion is right, I’m not sure you are sure what you are asking.

I am also confused, and I also believe that the OP has not formulated a clear question in his head.


But we like to chew the rag around here with or without a clear question, so that's ok.


If the question is what kind of patterns of cruising are there for those who are not retired, then there is plenty to talk about there. These are limited only by the imagination. Many people are able to manage a business remotely (or while being remote part of the time), or otherwise do their work while cruising (or at least some part of it).


I'm one of these. My cruising time is somewhat constrained by the demands of work, but I like that just fine. I enjoy my work and I enjoy cruising, and I combine them where possible and then do one or the other, when not. For me that's an excellent life, but YMMV and you'll have to work out your own approach to it. I don't want to retire and the idea of living without meaningful and satisfying work is even frightening, but others have different attitudes towards it.



In the context of this kind of life, another great thing about cruising is that you have a moveable home with an infinite number of different spectacular waterfront locations in any number of different countries. When you have to leave the boat to take care of business, you can leave the boat in different places and come back to those different places for a really enjoyable change of scenery. I typically spend four to six months out of every year on board and sail 3000 to 5000 miles. For the first time ever in the 10 years I've owned this boat, I spent one summer with the boat based where I have one of my land homes, and I didn't like it. Going to the boat was no change of scenery and no reason to stay on board if I didn't have time to go sailing. Next year I will do that differently.


As has been said, YMMV.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:48   #26
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

Lots of good answers here to what folks think I'm asking. I plan to reread them several times.

The thing is my boat is small (less than 30' with an 8' beam) so the thought of spending any length of time on it not being on the move is a worry.

The prospect of retirement is another worry, and I'm trying to make some sort of a plan. Cruising seems like a good one, but I'll need some sort of goal or objective.

As far as a land based residence, I provide a home for my ex and a grown son (health problem stable at the moment) so I'll have that if I need time off the boat

The boat I have now I know well. I have a good feel for it since I'm been sailing it almost 10 years now (and raced small boats for 15 years before that), but a bit more performance would certainly be nice which is why I mentioned that C&C 36 in another thread (plus they just dropped the price another $2,000)

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/198...fSource=browse listing

The thing is my present boat has a dodger, autopilots, 5 anchors (two main anchors with 250' plus rode and 40' heavy chain) roller furling jib, 2011 engine, solar/controllers, LED Interior lighting, plus a new tiller!

The C&C has a old 1979 diesel, no autopilot, roller furler, dodger, and I don't know about the anchoring situation, but it appears to be set up for racing so the anchors will probably be the minimum needed. (lunch hook etc)

Also as mentioned in another thread, it might be a good idea to first cruise the small boat then move to that larger, faster, better pointing, and maneuvering possibly fin keel, spade rudder boat later but it sure would be nice to have it now to get used to it
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:08   #27
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

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I am also confused, and I also believe that the OP has not formulated a clear question in his head. But we like to chew the rag around here with or without a clear question, so that's ok.
...
So true. Heck, a lot of our discussions fall into this category . I enjoy them, as long as no one gets too serious. Like most questions, there is no one right answer, or in this case definition, of cruising. My view is, if you say you’re a cruiser, then that’s good enough for me.

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I think you and I would get along great, except we'll never meet because we're both moving too slowly We call ourselves anchorers more than sailors.... we're technically on a circumnavigation, but at this pace it might take more time than we have left (and we're only in our mid-thirties). A few weeks in the Ionians turned into at least a year over a single beer, maybe 2 .... But if you like where you're at, why not stay a bit? The whole point is to enjoy life, FOMO is something we shed a long time ago.
Oh, I know we would . And I like that; “anchorers.” Seems more like what we do as well .

We have no land home, but also only cruise for about 1/2 of each year so far. The reason is simple: Canadian winters. I also work from the boat, or wherever I am, but luckily I don’t have to work very hard because our financial needs are pretty small.

Our pattern is to travel (via sail and motor) to someplace, and then base ourselves there for a few years. This allows us to explore both the physical and human geography of an area. We’re not just passing through. We become part of the area and community. I don’t know if we’ll always do it this way. I do know we’ll keep it up as long as we’re having fun.

So, are we cruisers? Yes. Are we sailors? Yes, sometimes. Are we cruisers who sail? Yes, most of the time. But we’ll motor if we have to.

I still don’t know what we’re talking about … but I’m having fun .
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:24   #28
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pirate Re: Sailing vs Cruising

"Cruising seems like a good one, but I'll need some sort of goal or objective"

Goals are created as you go.. Started humbly.. various ports along the S coast, UK and back to base.. then the goal was across the Channel to Cherbourg and Gurnsey.. expanded to sailing to the Med round the 'outside', then the Caribe and a solo Transat or 3.. I then yearned for the S Pacific and blow me if an opportunity popped up to skipper a boat to Oz..
As others have said, its a lifestyle and like Marmite, folks love or hate it.. the middle road rarely lasts more than a couple of years.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:35   #29
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

I am what I am.

I have no place to be and no schedule to get there.

Cruising is doing boat maintenance in new "exotic" places.

Screw it, it will still be the same level of broke tomorrow.

Weather happens to it's own schedule.

That sucked! But was better than going to work.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:37   #30
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Re: Sailing vs Cruising

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"Cruising seems like a good one, but I'll need some sort of goal or objective"

Goals are created as you go.. Started humbly.. various ports along the S coast, UK and back to base.. then the goal was across the Channel to Cherbourg and Gurnsey.. expanded to sailing to the Med round the 'outside', then the Caribe and a solo Transat or 3.. I then yearned for the S Pacific and blow me if an opportunity popped up to skipper a boat to Oz..
As others have said, its a lifestyle and like Marmite, folks love or hate it.. the middle road rarely lasts more than a couple of years.
I'm thinking you were still quite young when you started the cruising thing.

I'll be late 60's most probably when I start full time cruising/sailing!

But I have been on the water and on boats since I was maybe 6-7 years old having grown up 4 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

Swimming on ocean beaches as a child taught me the power of the waves especially when I got slammed to the bottom thinking I'd never get back up due to a bad dive into a large breaker

This goes back to the diet and exercise. Since I'll be so old when I start full time, I'm trying to stay in decent shape with the exercise, running, diet, and beer!
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