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Old 06-09-2016, 08:30   #16
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

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How many people, on average, would you say have the dream to get into sailing but then realize it's not for them.

I'm obviously asking this because I myself have doubts.

My wife and I have lived in a 1900 sq ft house for 15 years, just wondering if we would enjoy the downsize.

I retire from the military in a little over 8 years. What we are thinking about doing in the meantime is buying a smaller boat for Lake Champlain in a few years and sailing to a friend's camp on the weekends, which is about a 5 to 7 hour sail, and spending the night on the boat (as well as other destinations).

I don't know, just so many ideas and fears running through our heads. Seems like a big risk for some reason.

As a reminder to all the miserable bastards out there - Be nice! lol
You have the right idea! Getting the smaller boat first will let you know if sailing and cruising is for you. Graduating from weekends to weeks to months at a time will also help to validate. And it is never too late. My wife and I (pushing 70 now) retired 6 years ago, sold our 1900 sq ft. home and went full time RVing. We just finished purchasing our 30' Ericon sailboat and will start our cruising/liveaboard life on the Great Loop in November. As this normally requires about a year or so to complete, our plans are to redo it annually for as long as we can or until we tire of it (LOL-there is so much to see over the 6000 miles that it would be hard to imagine one would tire of it). By the way, it also helps for us that we have previous live aboard experience as we lived aboard our 36' Piver Trimaran in the Hawaiian islands in the early to mid 80s while raising our 4 kids. So... if you both want to do it, it's a wonderful life! And no, you are not alone in the consideration, there ate 1000s doing it and 1000s more who want to. Fair winds and following seas. Bruce V
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:38   #17
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

Based on my very limited experience, it would appear that an extremely small number of people end up living exclusively on their boats. Those who have not found themselves on boats as a result of extreme financial necessity, usually spend time taking extended land side 'vacations', leaving their boats and either enjoying time with land based family and friends or simply enjoying time away from the routine of sailing.

When we made the decision to go cruising on our boat, we made a conscious decision that it would not be our forever choice, instead choosing to lease out our house while we took a year off to live and cruise exclusively on our boat. After that first year we joined the sizable ranks of commuter cruisers. In our case, enjoying the cruising season on the west coast of Mexico (Oct. - May/June) and returning home during the hottest part of the year in Mexico.

I would guess there are five percent or less (including those souls, who due to financial limits find themselves permanently at anchor but enjoying life on the water in a relatively inexpensive tropical paradise) who live exclusively on board. Of those, many still spend a significant time away, visiting land based friends and family.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:43   #18
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

Go on flotilla's with your wife and see how life is on a boat for a week at a time. There are several run by OffShore Sailing School and by the ASA. It would give you a great idea of what life is like on a boat. I sailed for a week with Fatty Goodlander and there is thus, no going back.
Starting out on the Lake is a great idea. Make sure you go on overnights with camping out to get the taste of sailing, camping, showering, provisioning and cooking etc on the cheap.
Think "a relaxed boot camp refresher with your bestie...and no drill sergeant .
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:46   #19
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

Blimey, Im 'out of Africa' and still love cruising. To my mindset one of the biggest causes of giving up sailing is lack of cash and the second is family / friends back at base.

[QUOTE=boatman61;2206911]
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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Who sounds like the 'miserable bastard'?
You can't even think of what would excite you as a passtime now and into your retirement!
But you have an African elephant as your avitar? Is that an adventurous mind or an inside joke?
QUOTE]

Likely means he's a 'Republican'..
Often wondered why they picked something 'Out of Africa' as their symbol..
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:53   #20
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

Dream is a marketing thing for youngsters...

Cruising and living on a boat is a goal and offers many rewards and sacrifices as well as risks.

Having a goal is good thing and you need to work toward it. I dream of being a doctor.... how charming... now get into school and study and pass exams and work toward your goal and get into the real world of adults.

I took a "sabbatical" for 4 years got rid of everything, closed my practice, sold my machinery, gave my car to a friend and sailed south. I could have followed the wakes of many others and gone round the world. It would have been interesting. I ran out of money and sailed back and started again and kept the boat. I have no regets and still am crazy about sailing and can't do it enough. But it's different. No goal to escape the land lubberly life.

My guess is that some one who dreams of cruising is probably not mentally in the right place to get on with it.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:01   #21
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

I'm in the group that feels the only thing a small boat provides is learning the sailing basics. It provides nothing for learning to cruise and liveaboard a boat. Cruising on a sailboat barely has anything to do with sailing. Sailing is easy really, do it for a week or two and move on to something else to prepare you for cruising unless you find you just like to sail.

I got into boating to travel. I got into sailing because I didn't think we could afford the fuel for a power boat. It turns out we like sailing so it worked out. But, I question whether those that get into cruising to "get away" really last once they learn all they did was trade one thing to run from for another.

Just saying and it may not apply to "you".
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:08   #22
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

[QUOTE=neophytecruiser;2206960]Based on my very limited experience, it would appear that an extremely small number of people end up living exclusively on their boats. Those who have not found themselves on boats as a result of extreme financial necessity, usually spend time taking extended land side 'vacations', leaving their boats and either enjoying time with land based family and friends or simply enjoying time away from the routine of sailing.

When we made the decision to go cruising on our boat, we made a conscious decision that it would not be our forever choice, instead choosing to lease out our house while we took a year off to live and cruise exclusively on our boat. After that first year we joined the sizable ranks of commuter cruisers. In our case, enjoying the cruising season on the west coast of Mexico (Oct. - May/June) and returning home during the hottest part of the year in Mexico.

I would guess there are five percent or less (including those souls, who due to financial limits find themselves permanently at anchor but enjoying life on the water in a relatively inexpensive tropical paradise) who live exclusively on board. Of those, many still spend a significant time away, visiting land based friends and family.[/QUOTE


I would agree with your accessment that you have limited experience. There are many including myself who are not incumbered by the demands of owning property. At nearly 70 years of age, I have been down that path. Fortunately, being a military brat, I was prone to regular displacement and infected with the travel bug at an early age. That coupled with a love of the water did allow me to experience what I found to be an envious lifestyle. Like living in a house, it is only limited by your finances. There are those spending more than most home owners on their luxury yacht. As a retired teacher and coach, I do not have that privilege but I do not find myself in wont. It is not realistic to assume anyone lives aboard out of financial necessity. Although some may choose to do so, they are among the very few. There are far more bums and indigents living on the streets and park benchs than there are vagabond liveaboards. Again, it is a chosen lifestyle and requires funding appropriate to how you choose to live.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:05   #23
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

when life gets boring risk it. but only if you have little or no doubt i suppose. in that case can't help.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:11   #24
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

My wife gave us two years to
do serious cruising. She is currently planning our 5th year cruising.
That's called being blessed.....?
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how long has this been going on and why wasn't I told about it earlier.....
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:15   #25
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pirate Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

Maybe you should read Gadagirls Thread..
It covers what seems to be a major American obsession.. SECURITY.. in all its forms..
Pretty silly really when one is considering venturing into an extremely insecure lifestyle... in all forms..

Ya canna have yer Cake and eat it..
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:24   #26
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

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The military is a big risk as well to many.. unless your just a desk jockey in DC... then its the commute home thats the big risk..

I think he is full time National Guard or something, I never got to live anywhere for more than a few years max, and certainly didn't think I'd still be there eight years later.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:29   #27
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

What's there not to like about it?
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:56   #28
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

To my knowledge, there is only 1 real way to know: just do it. Getting a boat & sailing Lake Champlain is an excellent beginning. I've been sailing the lake & most of the Caribbean for over 40 years. You will get to know whether or not it's for you.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:07   #29
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

Bruce V, I obviously did not make my response very clear. My intent was to indicate very few people live on their boats 24/7/360. Those who have had the good sense to choose this life style (again, based on the few cruisers I personally know who have made this choice) still find respite from their boats by taking sabbaticals visiting friends and family. The circumnavigators we've had the pleasure to meet are also a mixed bunch. Some continuing to enjoy life on the water while others take time off for land travel and sometimes swallow the anchor completely. Like it or not, there is also a fraction of souls who made (in my estimation) a conscious choice to live a peaceful, comfortable life on the water with limited resources. The comment was not meant to demean their lifestyle. Rather, it was to point out that there are those out there, whether on land or water, who may not be in a position to effect a change in their choices due to financial considerations (no value judgement intended, just a reality which may or may not support their choice). I'm not a military brat. I am 70-years old and have been messing around in boats since 1956 and am still open to learn and listen to others. I apologize if you feel I may have been condescending in my response. I have nothing to prove or defend. It's only MHO and just like a**holes, I respect that everyone has one of their own.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:24   #30
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Re: The sailing dream - How many people...

We've met plenty of people who set out to sail around the world and never got further than the Caribbean, if they left from the East coast, or someplace in the Pacific (usually New Zealand but sometimes sooner) from the West coast. It happens.

We left our 3,000 Sq.ft. apartment in Boston (for me, ideal living), got on our sailboat with the stated intention of sailing to -maybe- the Caribbean for a few years and probably returning to continue working. Well, we just kept going, and 16+ years later we sold our boat in Singapore and came back to the States. Dirt dwelling lasted less than a year and we found a power catamaran (PDQ) to live aboard and cruise - north in Summer, Florida and such in Winter. That lasted another 12 years, and now we are old and reluctantly fully dirt dwellers.

We both miss our liveaboard gypsy life, though we have consoled ourselves with various River cruises the past 5 years, and that helps - lots to see and we don't have to do the heavy lifting anymore.

It just worked for us that way. So, as has been suggested, take your time, maybe charter a boat in the Caribbean on your vacations, gunkhole near and far, see if the difference in lifestyle is comfortable for you, and don't be afraid to bail out if it's not.

Fair winds,
Jeanne
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