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Old 05-06-2010, 06:03   #1
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Help - What to Do ?

This is the story
I'm 30 a professional skipper and marine engineer.
I own a 1985 modified john pugh steel 15.9m motor sailior. its a very strong and safe and sails ok it has every thing that you could need for long distance ocean cruising. At one stage the boat was let go with regards to maintance due to other commitments with work. so i finally got it nearly back up to scratch .i grew up on this boat with my folks cruising since I was 14. and have sailed about 65,000 nm on her.

last year I hurt my back at work and have been off work since. I basicly walked off the boat at the swing mooring 14months ago and have not been back since so we all can imagine the work that will be requuired to get going again. pumps, batterys, toilets engine antifoul, hull paint etc, I have no idea how long it will be before my back comes good ( it is a very good steel hull with very little rust any where)

so here is the question what do i do.
1 sell the boat and get a smaller multihull
2 sell the boat. and cash out
3 spend the money on her and bring back upto scratch add some power winches and a bow thuster for ease of handling
4 look in to a newer boat.

I have been looking at other vessel but can't really find anything that can compair to her $ for $ i know i might be a bit bias but i believe with my back ground in the marine industry i am justified in saying this.

Please offer some advise form an outside prospective


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Old 05-06-2010, 23:40   #2
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How bad...

Can you tell us how badly you have hurt your back?

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Old 06-06-2010, 01:26   #3
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Yeah sure,

The doctors have told me to find a new career and get of the water for at least the next 4-5 years.
i have done a disc in my lower back which in putting pressure on the nerve that runs down my right leg. they don't want to operate at this point of time.because they think that it may get a little better over time. but they are not sure.

Thanks stuart
Ps my life is the water. well was anyway.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:30   #4
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Sorry to hear about your problem.

Selling it in a less than pristine condition could really knock down the value, especially in the current economy, plus it seems like there is a lot of sentimental value as well.

Have you thought about hauling the boat and keeping it on the hard until you are able to sail again? If you can't find a yard with cheap long term storage you can look into trucking the boat to a spot off the water. Not sure if they have this type of truck down under, but I hired a hauler with a hydraulic trailer that could drop my boat on my own place. It's close to home and rent free.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:52   #5
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The first two options you mention are easier said than done in this present marketplace. Nor should you let your sentimental attachment interfere with this—it’s only a boat. Get rid, get healthy, then when you have recovered, get something suitable for your needs—which might very well be different to what you think now.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:27   #6
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My very unprofessional opinion would be to first do a LOT of research on your medical problem. I believe that sometimes (sometimes) the kind of problems you have can be greatly controlled or mitigated by an exercise regime to strengthen the supporting muscles. This happend with my Dad. They told him to get the operation but he didn't have the money. So he wore a corset. But, over the years the damn thing pretty much healed itself.

With myself I had a really, really bad shoulder problem. The rotator cuff was very painful for years to the point where I had a very hard time sleeping. Docs wanted me to get an operation. But I found a slim volume of exercises. They were basically very low weight with very high repetition.

By the time I finally got to a sports medicine guy (team Doc for the Philadelphia Phlyers hockey team) I was well along the way to recovery. I took a copy of the book with me to the appointment. He looked at it and proclaimed it "excellent" and told me I had healed myself.

Maybe, with the right non-invasive care, you can recoup your health.

Best of luck.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:00   #7
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I am sure you have but just in case, have you gotten a second/third opinion for the recovery options? Sometimes if you let the doc know the full story of your life on the water, your lack or unwillingness to give up the boat life, he may see that it gets down to quality of life, that can trump options the Dr has for you and new options may be put forward.
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Old 06-06-2010, 17:26   #8
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Originally Posted by driftingly View Post

.because they think that it may get a little better over time.

PS my life is the water. well was anyway.
Many times that is the case for disks. relief from surgery vs no surgery are about the same - last time I researched it.

I control mine with simple stretches, sleep with a knee bolster and am very careful when bending/lifting.

It is tough though.

If water is your life then I guess you have to live it.
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Old 06-06-2010, 18:39   #9
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Drift: I think you're getting good advice here. Something sounds fishy here. If it is a common disc bulge treat if conservatively if you have ruptured a disc, man your going to know it! I'm not sure where you hail from. Where? I ask this because Medicine is a BUSINESS!!! Buyer beware. Even if you do require surgery it shouldn't take FIVE friggin year to recover!
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Old 06-06-2010, 18:51   #10
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I had a good friend who was put in a wheel chair at 41 due to an automobile accident.
His home was not accessible to him, however he built this house himself at 20 years old, his 2 kids were born in the home. He loves his home, selling was not an option he was willing to accept. He spent way more modifying the home to meet his requirements then he will ever see in resale. However resale was not a factor to him. I think we have have spent more money on a passion or a love then we logically should have.

If you love your boat they do what you need to do to make her usable for you. If you don't and she is just another boat, then well clean it up the best you can to get top dollar, when you know more about your situation then you can look for a new boat, with our without the upgrades needed to accommodate you.

As far as your back condition goes, tough break, I am not a doctor, but I had a coworker break his back in 2 spots, they were worried he would never walk again. Emergency doctor said he will be in a wheel chair for years, he was then transferred to a specialist, few tests a quick surgery, and he was fitted for a brace, and had him up and walking "assisted" 4 days after his fall. He was out of the hospital in 3 weeks, back to work good as new in less than a year.
Always get another opinion.
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:47   #11
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First get another medical opinion, better yet two. A coworker of mine suffered with compressed discs for 5 years before having surgery. He had two discs replaced and the three vertebrae bolted together and was better than before within two weeks and back to doing all his normal work in 2 months. It was a newer technique where they go in from the front. Don't waste 5 years if you don't have to, back surgery is finally getting more reliable. Do you homework though and get patient references.
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:54   #12
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I'd put it on the market at a reasonable price 'as is' and say definitely the reason is a forced sale, absolutely genuine and absolutely urgent.

You might lose $10,000 but it will be off your hands and it would cost you $10k to moor it and fix it later.

People love a bargain and it can be a win/win deal.

Good luck
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:18   #13
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I'll bet (hope) your back is not as bad as it seems now. I have a herniated disk at L2/L3, others bulging and bone spurs, as well. A Physical therapist was very helpful, do regular exercises and get a proper mattress. Then pay attention to your back, don't push it.

From what you've said about growing up on the boat she's got some age on her, with needed maintenance and the current world economic situation (unless the Oz economy is strong) she is worth a whole lot more to you than what you can sell her for. Keep her and add some labor-saving devices.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:37   #14
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My wife had a prolapsed (=slipped) disc in her late 20s and controls it by bending and stretching exercises. When she detects it getting "iffy" she starts with what has become known as her "soggy press-ups" and moves on from there.

After 20 years she's doing ok, but originally she was hospitalised.

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