Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-03-2012, 19:58   #1
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

When I was a kid I read "On Walden Pond" by Thoreau. I was amazed that he lived for two years on like 2 dollars worth of supplies. Among the many lessons that he learned was that a simple life allowed him to explore new regions within himself.
Many years ago I taught Desert Survival- Primitive living to kids. We lived like kings on a cup of tortilla mix and some raisins for a week at a time. Of course these kids were given a kings meal at the end of the week- A can of tuna, some wild onions and rice mixed together with a can of peas. That would feed 5-6 people so full they thought they were going to burst.
Now I am not suggesting either tack for us- 2 dollars went a whole lot farther in the 1700's and most people living primitively are very thin (and healthy).
What I am suggesting is there is a different and competing philosophy to the life of luxury and overindulgence. I think those that take the minimalist road are healthier, have more time to explore, and are happier. That does mean that you cannot have money. It just means that you choose not to spend it for things that consume your time, and ultimately your life.
So this thread is all about Sailing Simply, where it leads you, and why you do it. By definition- if it saves you time or money we want to hear about. If it simplifies your life a lot, please share!
__________________

__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2012, 20:01   #2
Registered User
 
tager's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Vashon, WA
Boat: Haida 26', 18' Sea Kayak, 15' kayak, 6.5' skiff, shorts
Posts: 837
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

I abandoned my obsession with a yacht finish, in favor of a workboat finish. Saves a lot of time and money, just as seaworthy.
__________________

__________________
tager is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2012, 21:41   #3
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,024
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

The Walden dream took hold of me some 15 years ago, and has morphed from being a shack in the woods, to a shack on the sea. The drive is still the same: To live simply and lightly on this planet. To be helpful to my family, friends, and fellow travellers, and to enjoy the mystery and wonder that is existence.

Simplicity is a core value that drives me, and luckily, my spouse as well. Why have more, when you can easily live with less. Why have big, when small is all you need. And yes, why go fast, when you can go slow. Put another way, we try to live with an appreciation of enough. This concept of having enough is a near anathema in our western capitalist societies these days. It doesn't have to be this way...

In practical terms this means simple systems and limited electrical gadgets. Most tools are manual and mechanical, including everything from the windlass, the windvane, to the galley blender and coffee grinder. We sail when there's wind, and we stay anchored when there's not. One knot under sail is better than six under power. And four knots under double-reefed main is better than seven if it means less stress on rigging and crew. If the wind dies completely, we resist using the iron genny as much as safety allows. Avoid schedules!

Our electrical demands are small, and are usually maintained by our windmill. (Solar panels are on the list.) The head will soon be a composting variety (Nature's Head), and we can make wonderful meals from a couple of cans or a handful of dried veggies and meat. The key to good cooking is to have a decent selection of dried herbs & spices.

To me, simplicity and freedom are tightly related. The simpler I can live, the freer I am.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2012, 21:49   #4
Registered User
 
deckofficer's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Northern and Southern California
Boat: too many
Posts: 4,198
Images: 4
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

First boat was the minimalistic approach, a Cal 40 and I enjoyed it. I'm older now and even though I will probably still shower out doors in the cockpit with sun heated water hanging from the boom, I look forward to the other comforts afforded by a nice cruising cat.
__________________
Bob
USCG Unlimited Tonnage Open Ocean (CMA)
http://tbuckets.lefora.com/
deckofficer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2012, 22:00   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,016
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly
To me, simplicity and freedom are tightly related. The simpler I can live, the freer I am.
Right on, man.
__________________
daddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2012, 22:29   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Starbuck's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 827
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

Sensible Cruising: the Thoreau Approach
__________________
s/y Elizabeth— Catalina 34 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." — G. K. Chesterfield
Starbuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2012, 22:41   #7
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,880
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

I majored in Philosophy in college and this type of discussion strikes me as being somewhat self-fulfilling.

Correct me if I am wrong but:
If your budget offers you a choice, then attribute it to Philosophy.
If not, then it is a Necessity in order to achieve your primary goals

No matter how well you wrap it in terms of freedom or social responsibility, your lack of actual choice just makes it a rationalization, based on assumptions that you have never experienced or managed very well.

Nothing wrong with that, but it does not have “preaching from the pulpit” value......
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2012, 22:51   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

I have way that I simplify my sail- I am reducing my electronics to a VHF, and a GPS . Oh and I have a transponder too.
Really for coastal work- charts and a handheld compass are all you really need. A handheld GPS for when you loose sight of land for a long period of time.
Your right about the topsides- yet I hear from my local shipwright guy every year about them...
Pelagic- I would say 90+ percent here do have a choice. Why would it be a rationalization? To live on less requires discipline, and to be happy with less requires that you turn away from the basic tenants of first world society.
I can see you saying that somebody from the slums of Calcutta that just getting on a boat would be all they could aspire to, but for one of us on this forum purposely using less resources is not self fulfilling, it is self discipline. Maybe we could use the extra resources to go to India and help there....
__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 00:18   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Montegut LA.
Boat: Now we need to get her to Louisiana !! she's ours
Posts: 3,421
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

newt, you said it so much better then I ever could ! Thank you
__________________
Bob and Connie
bobconnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 03:56   #10
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
I majored in Philosophy in college and this type of discussion strikes me as being somewhat self-fulfilling.

Correct me if I am wrong but:
If your budget offers you a choice, then attribute it to Philosophy.
If not, then it is a Necessity in order to achieve your primary goals

No matter how well you wrap it in terms of freedom or social responsibility, your lack of actual choice just makes it a rationalization, based on assumptions that you have never experienced or managed very well.

Nothing wrong with that, but it does not have “preaching from the pulpit” value......
Whilst I agree with you, easy to make no choice into a virtue (and IMO fundamentally nothing wrong with that - until it goes all preachy ).

Nonetheless I have always lived fairly cheaply - sometimes I have earned good money , sometimes SFA .....what is has always given me is options, whether that be to continue doing SFA or piss money up the wall on an industrial scale .

I also treasure the ability to say "no" which actually works very well when it comes to making money.

My motivation has partly been that I can be a tight arse!, although I do have a weakness for "shiney things" I don't really have any great material needs (and I certainly don't know any "Joneses" let alone have any desire to keep up with any ) and for a long period historically I liked the ability not simply to pack my belongings into a suitcase and leave within 5 minutes (without looking back) but also never even have to return to my "home" to collect anything - should the need arise, or the building burns down suddenly (not everyone has liked DOJ - some of them even had a point ).
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 06:01   #11
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,310
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

I doubt anyone who has means really can live a minimalist life, not really a minimalist if you know you can stop anytime you wish.

You could probably live a simple life. But a simple life could mean lots of things depending on the eye of a beholder.
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 06:31   #12
Registered User
 
callmecrazy's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Boat: Tartan 30
Posts: 1,548
Images: 1
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

I could live a very good life on shore. It's pretty easy for me to start a business and make decent money. Have a good car, nice apartment, etc...

I chose to give that life up and take my chances with a sailboat, knowing I would no longer be able to work for myself (not easily anyway) and have to take meager jobs to make it all happen.

I made that decisions for exactly what has been described. I understand the benefits of hard work and the efficiency that Thoreau describes. I also believe in leaving a small footprint, as silly as that sounds to some people, and this sailing thing was the best option I could come up with that gives me everything I desire and still provides for all my needs. The travel is a strong attraction and ultimately what sealed the deal, but it was only a small part of what brought me here.
__________________
My Blog
callmecrazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 08:34   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

Callmecrazy- you sound sane to me.
Don, back in the day when my income put me way above the 99%, I would take a few weeks off and with my sons, live on less than 10 dollars a week:
living in caves,
making all our own tools (with the exception of a blanket and an old rusty knife),
living on ash-cakes and berries (and the occasional rattlesnake),
and loving every minute of it.
The point is (as DOJ put it so well) is that living way below your means gives you so much freedom! And as long as you don't compromise your health, and you loved ones are in the same frame of mind it is a great way to go. My wife, being normal kept me from abandoning society and living up in the hills probably from the early 80's onward...Oh well.
But I still get to live my dreams on my sailboat
__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 08:53   #14
Sponsoring Vendor
 
Tellie's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hollywood, Fl.
Boat: FP Athena 38' Poerava
Posts: 3,046
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

The head will soon be a composting variety (Nature's Head), and we can make wonderful meals from a couple of cans


Sorry Mike, I couldn't resist.
Tellie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-03-2012, 10:47   #15
Ram
Registered User
 
Ram's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cruising Greece
Boat: Cat in the med & Trawler in Florida
Posts: 2,298
Images: 27
Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
The head will soon be a composting variety (Nature's Head), and we can make wonderful meals from a couple of cans


Sorry Mike, I couldn't resist.
Is this what is know as a potluck?
__________________

__________________
Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sailing

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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:16.


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.