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Old 27-11-2011, 19:49   #61
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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey
I know too many people who love the build, but end up hating sailing...yet they consider themselves sailors. They know all the skills of boatbuilding, know all the best or latest gear, and know very clever ingenious ways of dealing with problems - in sailing, cruising, or maintenance. But, when they are done with the major stuff, and end up having to take the boat out, they are bored or unaccustomed to the lifestyle change. They try to acclimate, but end up selling the boat. {and perhaps buying another to fix up }

The opposite for sailors - they love to sail and know everything about it, but can't stand being in the yard or dock, or educating themselves on maintenance and boatbuilding.

I suppose there has always been both - ship carpenters / boat builders, and seaman. They're not always one and the same.
To me there are a couple more categories.

Dreamers & Planners - planners are making concrete steps towards something. Building the kitty, buying gear, rersearching - they might make it to another category. Dreamers probably never get there and there is nothing wrong with dreamers. Millions of people live vicariously through the actions of others. Whether no money or means or they have other obligations ashore. They might go if they win the lottery or something but I have no beef with the dreamers.

Builders - the building of the boat or refitting has become an obsessive compulsive habit. Nothing is perfect enough, up to date enough, sea worthy enough. I am almost ready to go but Raymarine came out with a new line of electronics and I need to replace mine to be "safe" out there. Maybe next year.

Sailors - Predominantly these folks talk about getting out there but most are coastal cruisers and weekend warriors. They race, they sail lakes, bays and coasts. They might do a passage to the bahamas or mexico. But most don't appear to be long range cruisers.

Liveaboards - These folks may or may not move their boat. They are driven by living and sleeping "off the grid" - not having a landed house or apartment is a badge of honor. Some are in the, "The man has screwed me for the last time" category. I aint paying taxes, I aint paying the insurance company and I aint paying big business. I am gonna find free anchorages and not even pay to park my boat.

Circumnavigators - these folks are on a schedule. It is not really about seeing anyplace in particular. Its about hitting weather windows and going as fast as possiblenaround the planet, in a machine that does 5 knots - LOL. I have spoken to these folks. Many dont want to mix with the locals. I ask one about exploring the south pacific and Asia for about a year - No time. Gotta get to India by next onth and the med in two...

Retirees - been there and done it. Spend a lot of time reminiscing about the good old days of sextants and coal fired steam engines. Most dont have a lot of patience for the modern. If you aint making your own rope outta banana fibre you aint a real saillor.

Travelers - The boat is a conveyance. It gets one from place to place and offers a place to live when you get there. The boat aint fancy all the time but it doesnt need to be. No one is in a rush. Wherever they are they are already there. They tend to stay in one spot for months. They integratemmore with the locals and local culture.

Every one of these categories fits into our mosaic and there is nothing wrong or right about anyone's choices. The only category I dont personally relate to are the circumnavigators. I get that some folks have budgeted a year or maybe two years to fulfill the dream. But you have the boat. Just slow down and smell the roses, folks!

I am currently a sailor. I sail a lot. I do charters and sleep aboards for a week at a time. I race and coastal cruise. I fix the boat when it needs fixing but view boat maintenance as a neccessary chore in order to keep sailing. I hope someday to be a traveller.

My only point is whatever category you fall in, and if you dont like mine, make up your own, be tolerant of the other categories. We all share a love of boats.
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Old 27-11-2011, 20:01   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif

To me there are a couple more categories.

Dreamers & Planners - planners are making concrete steps towards something. Building the kitty, buying gear, rersearching - they might make it to another category. Dreamers probably never get there and there is nothing wrong with dreamers. Millions of people live vicariously through the actions of others. Whether no money or means or they have other obligations ashore. They might go if they win the lottery or something but I have no beef with the dreamers.

Builders - the building of the boat or refitting has become an obsessive compulsive habit. Nothing is perfect enough, up to date enough, sea worthy enough. I am almost ready to go but Raymarine came out with a new line of electronics and I need to replace mine to be "safe" out there. Maybe next year.

Sailors - Predominantly these folks talk about getting out there but most are coastal cruisers and weekend warriors. They race, they sail lakes, bays and coasts. They might do a passage to the bahamas or mexico. But most don't appear to be long range cruisers.

Liveaboards - These folks may or may not move their boat. They are driven by living and sleeping "off the grid" - not having a landed house or apartment is a badge of honor. Some are in the, "The man has screwed me for the last time" category. I aint paying taxes, I aint paying the insurance company and I aint paying big business. I am gonna find free anchorages and not even pay to park my boat.

Circumnavigators - these folks are on a schedule. It is not really about seeing anyplace in particular. Its about hitting weather windows and going as fast as possiblenaround the planet, in a machine that does 5 knots - LOL. I have spoken to these folks. Many dont want to mix with the locals. I ask one about exploring the south pacific and Asia for about a year - No time. Gotta get to India by next onth and the med in two...

Retirees - been there and done it. Spend a lot of time reminiscing about the good old days of sextants and coal fired steam engines. Most dont have a lot of patience for the modern. If you aint making your own rope outta banana fibre you aint a real saillor.

Travelers - The boat is a conveyance. It gets one from place to place and offers a place to live when you get there. The boat aint fancy all the time but it doesnt need to be. No one is in a rush. Wherever they are they are already there. They tend to stay in one spot for months. They integratemmore with the locals and local culture.

Every one of these categories fits into our mosaic and there is nothing wrong or right about anyone's choices. The only category I dont personally relate to are the circumnavigators. I get that some folks have budgeted a year or maybe two years to fulfill the dream. But you have the boat. Just slow down and smell the roses, folks!

I am currently a sailor. I sail a lot. I do charters and sleep aboards for a week at a time. I race and coastal cruise. I fix the boat when it needs fixing but view boat maintenance as a neccessary chore in order to keep sailing. I hope someday to be a traveller.

My only point is whatever category you fall in, and if you dont like mine, make up your own, be tolerant of the other categories. We all share a love of boats.
Well stated. We seem to all share a love of boats. We just express it differently.
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Old 27-11-2011, 21:25   #63
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Re: The Boat as Idea

This has been an interesting thread, and even if I'm late and missed Jim, it's been a worthwhile read.

A lot of this thread has centered around the "idea" that a boat is a dream, or represents someone's dreams. I do dream about boating in that and other ways, but the idea of my boat is so much more.

After many years in what I shall term the "corporate" or "polo and khaki" world, I gave it up to follow my childhood dream of being a firefighter. It took a couple of years, and a tremendous amount of sacrifice by my wife, but we made it happen. I sit here now, where I can see Big Red from the chair, typing this. I was very blessed to be rather successful at what I used to do, which has softened the financial blow of being civil servant.

I would love to be out cruising the world right now, but unlike some of those here who seem to hate their life and insist that I abandon mine, I love my life, I love my job, and I love the dynamic our family has going. I do have a plan to cruise farther afield than currently, but it does not involve completely giving up what we've sacrificed to get here. Happiness or misery is largely dependent on your mindset. If you can't find happiness in your current situation, I wonder whether you'll find it by "leaving, just go now." The one thing you have to take with you is yourself.

My idea of the boat isn't so much as a dream. It is that somewhat. My idea of the boat is almost like an "airlock" of sorts. It's a lot like the door that takes me from the mindset I am in to the one where I want to be. One thing about this job is that I have to see a lot of very ugly things. I see a lot of really good things too, but the ugly seems to stick with you longer. The human mind has to come up with some way to cope with that bad stuff. That's a big part of my idea of the boat.

I pass by within about five minutes of the harbor on my commute from work back to home. My duty day ends at 8:am, the commute is about 45 minutes, so my wife and the boy are at school by the time I get home (she's a teacher) on weekdays. I often stop by the harbor on the way home and make my way out to the boat. It's a trek, so even if I were to just touch her and go I'd still end up with a nice walk in the harbor.

I usually go out and hop aboard. Some days I take her out, but most not. I might grab an hours sleep (I rarely sleep well at the fire house when we do sleep) and it really helps. Sometimes I'll read, or even do some of the more mundane things like pay bills and answer email. Sometimes I just sit in the cockpit and decompress.

Do I wish my boat would leave the harbor more? Of course. Who wouldn't? We're in the process of trying to acquire a bigger boat to give us a bit more range and comfort to continue "the plan" which now has the next six summers spoken for. I'll probably wish we sailed that one more too.

Just typing this has really allowed me to realize how important the boat is to me even without the dreams of one day sailing away. I have those too, and a concrete plan to make them happen which we are well into implementing. But until then, my boat and the freedom it represents has a concrete purpose beyond as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Rather than the somewhat contentious "Go now" insistence, I would say, "Live in the now" wherever that may be.

JRM
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Old 28-11-2011, 00:41   #64
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Re: The Boat as Idea

I can't afford to own a boat and not live on it, when it is your accommodation and transportation a sailboat is cheap, when it sits at the dock it is bloody expensive.
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Old 28-11-2011, 01:15   #65
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Re: The Boat as Idea

Well, I think it is easy to understand why people buy boats and then leave them on the pontoon without ever going out. They imagine how much fun it will be but don't quite imagine how all-absorbing it is in terms of time, even more than money. If you work for a living, then you pretty much have to devote all your vacation time and practically all of your weekends to your boat, in order to get what we might consider normal usage out of it. So a guy buys a boat, and then his wife and kids pressure him to take that traditional beach holiday instead of sailing, then this weekend there are a lot of things to do around the house, the next weekend his friends are on him to play golf, and . . . pretty soon the boat is neglected on the pontoon.

I get a lot of use out of my boat, although I live a few thousand kilometers from her. I had 52 sea days last year, and this year maybe more, plus at least that many days again on the boat but not at sea. But it is all-absorbing. There is no thought of any other kind of vacation. I spend roughly half the weekends of every year either sailing or working on the boat or, more usually, both. This fall, since my three-week summer cruise in France, I have done nothing but work on the boat and/or sail back and forth the 40-odd miles to Poole, with the odd stop in Cowes or Yarmouth. Is that really such an interesting way to spend all one's non-working time? Many normal people would say that I'm crazy. But I simply love being on the boat, and I simply love being on the ocean, whatever the weather or circumstances.
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Old 28-11-2011, 01:16   #66
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Re: The Boat as Idea

G'day, Jim. Hope you're still around. Our boat as a more sustainable lifestyle. Living off the grid for long periods of time, conserving water and energy in a relatively small space at the mercy of what ever mother nature brings you. We sail to do laundry, do a shop up, meet up with family and friends when they come visit to name a few. All the best with the article. Cheers.
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Old 28-11-2011, 03:11   #67
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Re: The Boat as Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRM View Post
I would love to be out cruising the world right now, but unlike some of those here who seem to hate their life and insist that I abandon mine, I love my life, I love my job, and I love the dynamic our family has going. I do have a plan to cruise farther afield than currently, but it does not involve completely giving up what we've sacrificed to get here. Happiness or misery is largely dependent on your mindset. If you can't find happiness in your current situation, I wonder whether you'll find it by "leaving, just go now." The one thing you have to take with you is yourself...........

..........Rather than the somewhat contentious "Go now" insistence, I would say, "Live in the now" wherever that may be.
Nicely put and sounds like you have already won the lottery
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Old 28-11-2011, 04:13   #68
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Re: The Boat as Idea

We see the boat as the means to travel the world, to see life aquatic. But, most of all, sailing on our boat puts the world in a whole new perspective: on one hand, the world becomes smaller, with only your boat, weather and other boats in your immediate attention; on the other hand, it's the whole world, all the oceans that start being of interest.

When we're sailing, all tasks become "sharper", more in focus, and after 2-3 days you reach a sort of meditative state: your mind quiets down and only your boat, the ocean and weather, and other boats become important. Your mind is at ease, while still remaining alert. I think people go to monasteries for that and we, boaters, can get to this state so much sooner.

And when you're stopped somewhere, how cool is it to live in a prime real estate right on the water where you can swim before breakfast and be rocked to sleep by the waves?
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Old 28-11-2011, 05:20   #69
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Re: The Boat as Idea

Problem seems to be that people always have either time or money, both at same time exceedingly rare
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Old 28-11-2011, 06:56   #70
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Re: The Boat as Idea

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Originally Posted by jimcarrier View Post
The piece is about boats as "ideas,"
Going one step further...


Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory | Video on TED.com

Fascinating!!!

Do you enjoy the day to day experience of the boat or does it represent something which makes you feel better about the concept of how good your life is?

Another question, would you still go cruising for a month of you could have no photos afterwards and wouild not remember any of it?

Big yes for me, years cruising I definitely remember being intensly happy in the moment, amongst many other times cursing the boat or whatever bit of it was broken that day But the human mind is very good at filtering out those bits The honeymoon of "wow look at me sailing the world" wore off a while ago. "Wow, nice fast beam reach and nothing has broken yet" is much better anyway.

So how much of it is the actual day to day , moment to moment experience and how much what the boat represents?

be honest now....
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Old 01-12-2011, 21:35   #71
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Re: The Boat as Idea

I'm still reading, fyi
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Old 01-12-2011, 23:05   #72
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Re: The Boat as Idea

My dream was put on hold last month when the chilli cook was bitten by a spider. I had hoped to be working my way down to the Bahamas and to warm weather but I'm sat here looking at pictures.So yes, I still have to dream. I still have to go through all the jobs I need to do in my head and I get more frustrated with each passing day.
So the dream is on hold until January. Still a dream but still attainable and it will happen.
I find it amusing that when I told family and friends about my dream they thought it was the most fantastic idea. When I told them we had bought the boat and the dream was going to happen they were " DAMN!! you really bought one, please take me with you,, I'd love to do that"....Then when this situation arose with the spider bite and I ask if anyone wanted to help me move the boat......"Sh%t no!!! you gotta be crazy..what if it sinks??? ".
I need to be on my boat that can move to warmer places. This house doesn't move an inch and is getting colder. I need new friends that don't think every boat will become a submarine as soon as they get on it.
For tonight I'll keep on dreaming.....aye.
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Old 26-12-2011, 10:28   #73
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Re: The Boat as Idea

I'm writing the piece now. Thanks for all your interest. Jim Carrier
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Old 27-12-2011, 10:30   #74
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Re: The Boat as Idea

Dear JRM:
I'd like to use some of your great post in my piece, but I'd like to attribute to a real name. May I?
You're still in Santa Barbara?
Thanks,
Jim Carrier
Cruising World
jimcarrier*at*msn*dot*com
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