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Old 26-07-2015, 12:48   #16
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

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What does "cruising" mean?

Doing some planning here and trying to figure out what to expect going forward.

For those who consider themselves cruisers, how many consecutive days at anchor in the same spot before moving somewhere else do you think the average cruiser spends a year?

What would you say is the typical number of days per year a cruiser spends in a marina leaving the boat safely unattended to explore on land, or return home temporarily?

When underway what ratio of sailing to motoring does the typical cruiser see over a year?

Thanks!
A question that will get you, at best, a subjective answer. Kinda like asking what a "blue water" boat is. I suspect you already think "cruising" means being away from your home port for several months at a time.

To my mind . . .
1) Cruising is a multi-day trip where you have no hard time schedule.
2) You have a generic destination in mind;
3) Your sail plan takes into account the need for replenishing fuel, food and water;
4) You rarely set sail when conditions are marginal;
5) Sail trim, to get that last ounce of speed, isn't really important;
6) And the biggest difference (for us) is not having to return home by a specific date because ya gotta be back to work.

This is our first season where both of us are retired and the last item is no longer a factor. Prior to this, we could only be out 14-21 days and found ourselves sailing to a schedule and often in conditions where we should have stayed put.

After that, it is all a matter of personal choice and is often driven by your cruising environment. We currently cruise Lake Michigan. The Wisconsin side has very few places where you can anchor for the night and that made us "marina" cruisers; however, sailing on the Michigan side offers us an abundant choice of protected anchorages. We may stop in a marina every 3rd or 4th night and the boat is stocked quite differently when living on the hook (mooring ball) vs. being in a slip every night.

We have tended to stay in one place two nights unless we have a specific destination we are headed toward. We bought a Honda EU2000i to supplement our power needs and are researching solar if needed in the future.

And prior to this year, when sailing to a schedule, we found that we were actually able to "sail" about 20% of the time and motor/motor-sail the other 80%. This ratio seems to be holding true this year too.


Paul
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Old 26-07-2015, 13:13   #17
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

For those who consider themselves cruisers, how many consecutive days at anchor in the same spot before moving somewhere else do you think the average cruiser spends a year?
7 days to 6 weeks in the favorite spots. But many 1-2 nighters between favorite spots. I don't make dtailed plans or goals. Just head in a direction with a general goal of being at a distant destination by a certain time of year.

What would you say is the typical number of days per year a cruiser spends in a marina leaving the boat safely unattended to explore on land, or return home temporarily?
Not many for me. Just leave it anchored. Often with an anchored friend watching over it. Returning home maybe a marina, or even on the hard.
When underway what ratio of sailing to motoring does the typical cruiser see over a year?
Maybe 40/60. or more motoring. Probably because I tend to look for comfortable weather windows, thus less wind, I also dislike moving at less than 4 knots, and am too lazy to fly a chute and look for windpuffs!
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Old 26-07-2015, 15:14   #18
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

It's true that there's no typical cruising or cruiser. Could be someone inching along from harbor to harbor or gunkholing in a local area or it could be someone following Bob Griffith's non-stop with family in tow around the Roaring 40's (netting him the CCA Bluewater Cruising medal that year) ... maybe someone in a 21 ft handmade boat or it could be someone of means with a multimillion dollar yacht. The *past* cruising and cruisers look alot like todays cruising -- read Alan Villiers true story "Cruise of the Conrad" and you'd swear (even though he's on a square rigger in 1931) he's a modern day cruiser--having all the same issues in all the same countries and weather and money problems...and the wide range of cruising conditions that the average cruiser cruising today faces. Same goes for Guzzwell and Trekka, the Smeetons, Hisocks, Roths, and today's sailors out cruising.

As the "idea" of cruising has become a mainstream dream and even a mainstream activity, more people seem to search for definition of what it is. Almost the "when I'm doing xyz, I'll be *cruising*" mindset. I guess that makes sense because these same mainstream folks are often happiest when they fit into the statistical average mold -- 2.1 kids, life in the 'burbs of a big city, car not too new, not too old, same with house, same with everything.

I consider any sort of sailing where one is hopping from place to place and anchoring to be "cruising" whether long trips or short.

I'm amused by some of the differences in idea of what is "cruising" that comes from West Coast vs East Coast USA sailing populations. Here on the west, there are an amazing number of people who don't consider themselves cruising as long as they're in the USA or Canada. I've seen the "rush" of sailors who spent years with their wonderful cruising boat just sitting in a marina whilst they were working...they go rushing down the coast to EXIT the USA and as they say "start cruising" in Mexico. While many do really go places, there are many who once in Mexico may lay for months at a time in a marina (sometimes even just south of the border in Ensenada...) -just like the one "back home" when they were "not cruising"...and then they come back to the USA "from cruising Mexico" some time later. They are cruising per their definition of themselves as cruisers.

Many others sail far and wide, of course.

On the east, there are people who define their trips from Florida winters to mid-Atlantic summers (with the occasional jaunt further North) to be a cruising life. Some only motoring up and down the intercoastal waterway a few hundred miles per year. They are cruising per their definition of themselves as cruisers and may only be within a single state.

Of course, many others sail far and wide, too.

Then there are those sailors who don't define themselves as cruisers at all and who may or may not call their sailing "cruising" but the rest of the world thinks of as cruisers. Example is Bob VanBlaricom who won a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the CCA and since I have sailed with Bob, anchored adjacent him, and had many sailing chats with him, I can say he describes most his sailing as ocean racing or oftentimes just "sailing" even though others would call it cruising. His sail from the UK to San Francisco in the 60's is likely the only thing that he would call "cruising" besides his Alaska trips and attempt on the NW passage in the early 2000's. No, I think he wouldn't even call those "cruising" as, to him, and me those were "expeditions"...ah and there's a distinction. Difficult, rare, not-the-everyday thing that others do--- those are not often called "cruising" as they are called expeditions,(or sometimes they are races) by those who undertake those particular seafaring adventures.

I hope to see you out there somewhere adventuring, seafaring, voyaging, racing, sailing, or pretty much doing whatever you'd like to be doing in your own version of "cruising."

Fair winds, Brenda
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Old 26-07-2015, 15:21   #19
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

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Ann, thanks the input. So weather patterns can keep you on the move. This is another justification for expecting a more dynamic cruising itinerary. Also, we are big on visiting attractions. And getting out of rolly anchorages when given the option. Under what circumstances, if ever, do you find yourself living at anchorage for more than say 7 days straight?



Actually, quite often nowadays, but that has changed over time and with health issues. We spend most of our time at anchor, going into marinas for doing boat jobs, or to leave the boat and travel elsewhere, but less land travel, too, as we aged. We have some places we like to hang out, where provisioning is convenient and we've made friends. At first it was all about secluded anchorages, later it became more about the people we met. We'll stay at anchor for events like folk music festivals, or Regatta Week; we like volunteering at some events. Might stay 2 weeks. Eventually one gets "itchy keel", and wants to move around some.

How often and when do you elect to stash the boat in a marina for a break? Not often at all. It is quite possible to leave the boat at anchor for a day trip; furthermore, cruising changes you and your tempo, you lose the "have to do it all NOW" frame of mind that 2 week vacations give you...or at least that's how it was for us.

And would you care to hazard a guess at your sailing to motoring ratio?
Coastal cruising, where there are entrances with bars, and a lot of impounded water means for us that if we want to go in there, we have to arrive at 1/2 tide or more into the flood. If there is too little wind, we will motor to make the entrance, but normally we are able to plan a day's sail that will only require running the engine to get the hook up, and set it. However, the boat name should tell you that we really like sailing One year, we motored 2 days in a row to avoid getting hit by a frontal passage. Mainly, we do about 300 engine hrs./year, but some of that is just idling around an anchorage, or stationary battery charging. FWIW, we've had this boat 12.5 yrs, have only done 45,000 mi, and have put 3,000 hrs. on the engine in that time, Jim says.

I'm thinking you don't really need to know what others do, but to get out there and do what YOU want to do, then if you keep records, you'll learn where and how you prefer to spend your precious time. It will change, the first 5 years of cruising will bring you many unanticipated changes because cruising is an interactive process.

You know the change has begun when, like Rich Boren wrote, the mechanic tells you maybe tomorrow it'll be done, and it's okay with you that it means "not today" and will be done------whenever it is. Cruising teaches you to accept that which is out of your control.

Enjoy. We do it for fun.


Ann
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Old 26-07-2015, 15:36   #20
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

Paul (MSN Travler) -

Thanks for that input. After a few thousand miles into and around tropical mexico we can say anchoring times and marina stay frequencies and our motoring times are quite similar to yours. And indeed similar to our local cruising grounds back in Southern California.
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Old 26-07-2015, 15:48   #21
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

Cheechako,

Can you give me an idea of what holds you in an anchorage for more than 7 days? What cruising grounds would this be? What would you be doing during this time? After months in tropical mexico, even with all its beauty, and the water sports we love, that seems like a long time.

In tropical Mexico we don't feel comfortable leaving a boat unattended at anchor. Too much changeable weather. Are you at anchor primarily to save on marina costs or is it some other reasons you do not like marinas?

We have found the same sailing paradox to be true. Avoiding strong weather leads to less sailing.
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Old 26-07-2015, 16:06   #22
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

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Originally Posted by Schooner Chandlery View Post
It's true that there's no typical cruising or cruiser ... it could be someone following Bob Griffith's non-stop with family in tow around the Roaring 40's (netting him the CCA Bluewater Cruising medal that year) ... Example is Bob VanBlaricom who won a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the CCA and since I have sailed with Bob, anchored adjacent him, and had many sailing chats with him, I can say he describes most his sailing as ocean racing or oftentimes just "sailing" even though others would call it cruising ...
There are reportedly non-CCA members who are also "cruising" although I cannot just now supply first-hand evidence.
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Old 26-07-2015, 16:28   #23
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

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There are reportedly non-CCA members who are also "cruising" although I cannot just now supply first-hand evidence.
LOL. Yep. Actually the first fellow I mentioned related to CCA-- Bob Griffiths wasn't a member and most all of the recipients of that Bluewater Cruising medal aren't CCA members. Check the list of medal winners. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Water_Medal


Neither David nor I are CCA members and we find it a bit interesting how much push-back the CCA gets from various quarters--sort of like how some people push back at YC's without thinking of the benefits of YC's. During the 20th century and today the CCA has been instrumental in many offshore guidelines and they do a great job identifying impressive cruising activities and we love learning about the people who have been selected for the Blue Water Cruising medals.

Fair winds,
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Old 26-07-2015, 16:38   #24
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

I think cruising to my wife and I means that we never go to weather unless caught out. That the only time we are in a marina is to take on fuel or water. It's the ability to move from an idyllic anchorage that we've been in for weeks, hoist the sails and move 5 miles to another one. It mean communion with friends old and new and living through the hangover. It means forgetting that you are aging and loving every minute of the process. We have acquaintances on shore and friends on the water. It means the respect given and received from all our peers on the water. Our statistics remain 85-15 sailing to motoring because if there's no wind it must be calm and if there is wind from the wrong parts then we stay safe in our hidey hole.

Gene
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Old 26-07-2015, 16:39   #25
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

I've never liked the idea that you had to be retired, very wealthy or a bum to cruise.

To me cruising is a mind frame. If you're exploring new places, over coming challenges and having a good time on a pleasure craft you're cruising.

To me cruising is exploration by boat for pleasure. I think racing is racing, sailing around your local harbour or bay is sailing, sailing beyond your local waters (as defined by you) is cruising.

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Old 26-07-2015, 16:45   #26
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

Cruising is visiting various harbors by boat and over (usually) nighting on the boat. Kinda
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Old 26-07-2015, 17:14   #27
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

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Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
What does "cruising" mean?

Doing some planning here and trying to figure out what to expect going forward.

For those who consider themselves cruisers, how many consecutive days at anchor in the same spot before moving somewhere else do you think the average cruiser spends a year?

What would you say is the typical number of days per year a cruiser spends in a marina leaving the boat safely unattended to explore on land, or return home temporarily?

When underway what ratio of sailing to motoring does the typical cruiser see over a year?

Thanks!
Cruising means living on your boat outside your hometown marina.

Cruisers spend 1-90 nights in one spot before moving on. We spent almost 60 days in Banderas Bay, Mexico.

Cheap cruisers never leave their boat unattended in a marina. Rich ones always stay in the marina and rent cars to drive inland for a month.

We motor 1/2 the time. We put 300 hours on the engine in 6 months. The engine is used to charge batteries and run refrigeration and the watermaker too.

Hope this helps, more info is on our blog, Aboard Astraea.
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Old 27-07-2015, 07:53   #28
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

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I think cruising to my wife and I means that we never go to weather unless caught out. ..

Gene
Do you really mean you never "go to weather" where the expected translation of "go to weather" means "sail to weather" or "sail upwind" ??? Or, you do mean that you do not sail in rough weather conditions?
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Old 27-07-2015, 08:11   #29
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

Mrs Flare and I will wait until wind is on the beam or abaft. Like Debgen, we sail about 85% of the time.

We did a trip for the month of May from Groton, CT to Delaware Bay, through the C&D canal, down the Chesapeake then one shot from Norfolk to Montauk. We motored far more than I would have liked. With a Perkins 4-108 at .85 gals/hr we burned 46 gallons of fuel for the whole trip.

If Mrs. Flare hadn't wanted to get into warmer weather ASAP I would have burned 1/4 that.
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Old 27-07-2015, 09:29   #30
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Re: What does "cruising" mean?

Cruising to me means going to new places on your boat


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