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Old 02-05-2012, 11:59   #16
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Re: Noob question/Ten year plan?

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Youngster, if you want a slip in Santa Barbara, you've already waited too long. Their waitlist is so long they stopped adding anyone to it years ago. Chances of getting a liveaboard slip for a catamaran in Santa Barbara anytime during your lifetime are less than zilch.
Really? My understanding is they've gone to a market system so that there is no (or very short) waiting list (just outrageous transfer fees, with prices floating to clear the wait list). Did I misunderstand how that works?
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:28   #17
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Re: Noob question/Ten year plan?

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I like your suggesting of getting a smaller boat now, I may look into that for next year. A question: say that I could get out on the lake for 2-4 weeks per year and maybe a couple long weekends, figuring in all the costs of owning (depreciation, putting in/out, slips, maintenance, etc) is owning much cheaper than chartering for those weeks? It looks like it's maybe $1000/week to charter a 32' boat in Superior.
I don't know how the cost would balance. But the thing about owning your own boat is that you will learn a lot more about the sailing/cruising life than if you are just renting. As I've learned (the hard way), sailing is the easiest part of it all.

If you're going to spend $40K over the 10 years then I think you might be at a break-even point if you buy your own boat. A decent boat (monohull ... not sure about multis) in the 28-32 foot range can be had for under $20K. Storage, insurance, and slip/mooring will cost you a fair bit down there, as will maintenance costs. But these are all part of the necessary learning if you really are to shift into a cruising life.

BTW, up here our costs are in the $1000/year range (winter storage, slip and insurance). Come north! We have one of the best cruising grounds in the world up here on the north shore of Lake Superior.

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I think I answered this already, but the obstacles to dropping everything and doing it NOW:

...

In other words, cash on hand: not so much. Non-liquid assets due in 8-12 years: potential financial independence and then some.
I hear you. Life is complicated... Ten years goes by fast though. Sounds like you've got a good plan.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:34   #18
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Re: Noob question/Ten year plan?

I can tell you from experience doing it sooner than later with Kids will be the best thing you could do for your children. I even dear say better than college. 1-2 years is all you need to do. I understand your not a risk taker but things to keep in mind is if you buy right you can re-sell the cat in 2-3 years for almost no loss. Like someone else mentioned the sailing is the easy part it's cutting the lines that are tough.

I apologize for not answering your original question but I just hate to see people living on "some day isle". BTW we were not financially comfortable when we did this. we just made some sacrifices...

good luck,
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Old 02-05-2012, 13:08   #19
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Re: Noob question/Ten year plan?

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1. Is sailing on the big lakes enough experience to consider taking on the ocean? Would I need separate lessons for that? (I'm expecting that will be the case).

Not sure about "taking on" the ocean - but experiance on the lakes will count a long way. Whilst lakes not the same as Oceans, nonetheless if you learn how not to kill yourself on one - you have a head start in not doing so in the other! (both have own ways of killing ya - plus plenty of overlap ). Whether "lessons" would be a required is probably as much down to you (and how you feel at the time) - I wouldn't say it was an automatic requirement (except perhaps if you don't do much navigation on the Lakes).

2. Is sailing 35-50' boats too hard to start at age 60-something? I'm in great shape for a 50 y/o, but some days I swear I can see the deterioration before my eyes. I hate to think about 10 years from now. Do people start to give up sailing at that age because of the aches and pains?

Depends on "you". The thing about most (but not all) older sailors is that they started younger (even if not "Young") and as physical capabilities lessened could use already acquired knowledge to make life easier and more pleasant. Will probably find the learning curve is harder work physically (for you) at 60 than if you had started at 50. What will go before the actual physical ability is the desire / enjoyment (same as for any other activity)....if it's more hard work than the fun it generates, then time to do something else!

Of course to remember that you could be dead by then. A lot of that around .

3. There seems to be so much to learn, and I don't see a good way to learn it without spending a LOT of time on boats. But my ability to spend much time sailing before then is pretty limited. So say I do what I can in the meantime (a week or two per year) and then can find ways to get on boats for 3-5 years after I retire, now I'm looking at being 65-70 before I even consider buying.... is that just crazy?

I think you nailed it - no substitute for spending time on boats. How much is a judgement call. But people do start with less experiance than you already have (on the Hobie Cat) - not to say that it always ends as intended, but that a seperate matter . In your shoes I would buy before the 60 push off date, even if only a year ahead and that means flying down a few times a year (as if a Charter boat) and once you hit the magic bye bye date then taking time to learn as you go along at your own pace .....doesnt mean you can't go places, including to different countries - even if that means leaving the Cape Horn passage for your second Week .


My ideal goal would be to retire a few years early (don't see how), get a slip in Ventura or Santa Barbara and sail the west coast until we've seen it all, then maybe cross the Pacific or, alternatively, take the Panama Canal and spend years in the Carribbean and Mediterranean. I'm just not convinced I've got enough strong years left for all of that. Has anyone else here really *started* cruising seriously during their retirement years?

I will leave others to answer that one - save to say, a few dollars in the bank can "solve" a lot of the hardwork by bringing on extra crew (or even a captain) as and when needed - it's not as if you will doing major passages every week. Plus of course if you find that the itinerary you currently plan is more hardwork than fun - then simple to change it. Places in the world that could spend a lifetime exploring and still not "do everything".


Given the constraints you have mentioned, I would stick with the Hobie until it starts being more hard work than fun (are there many 50+ Hobie sailors around?!)....and if still a few years until retirement think about getting something small and cheap (to buy and to moor and to maintain.....on the Lakes)....if can mix that up with time on other peoples boats and maybe some charter time then all the better (variation is a useful learning tool)........all time on the water counts .
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Old 02-05-2012, 13:46   #20
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Re: Noob question/Ten year plan?

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, I would stick with the Hobie until it starts being more hard work than fun (are there many 50+ Hobie sailors around?!).
Thanks for the lengthy reply (and to everyone else, even if I didn't specifically thank you). This part in particular struck me, it didn't even occur to me that someone my age could be a rarity on a Hobie. (I think my brain still thinks I'm 30). My dad farmed until he was in his 70s (and would've gone longer if not for colon cancer) so I'm hoping I have the good genes to sail into my 70s. I know it's work, but it can't be harder than throwing hay bales around for 8 hours in 95 degree heat....

Thanks for all the great replies, this is a lot to think about. Keep them coming!
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:20   #21
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

Quick answer, sooner is always better than later. That said:

Your 10 year plan is not unreasonable, and you won't be "too old" by any stretch of the imagination at that age. I am on the 14 year plan myself. Just went through a very nasty divorce, have sole custody of my 10 year old daughter (and a court order prohibiting me from keeping her out of the U.S. for more than 2 weeks at a time) and a lot of financial issues holding me here. I will start getting large monthly sums (tax free because it is a settlement annuity) in 14 years, so that's when I go. I'm 44 now, will be 58 when I cut the dock lines. I plan on living aboard/sailing for at least 20 years. It all comes down to health, and you have to plan for that. I quit smoking last September, started a regular routine at the gym (at least an hour of cardio every other day plus yoga) at the same time. I have lost 20 pounds since January. I've started watching what I eat. I plan to make sure I'm in the kind of health that will make the plan work. Its simply a matter of dedication to the goal. The way I look at is, the worst day sailing is better than your best day on land. Therefore, the enjoyment I might have gotten from being fat, lazy and smoking on land the next 14 years is NOT worth the reduction in the number of years I'd be able to live on the boat.
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Old 02-05-2012, 16:32   #22
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Originally Posted by hblask

Really? My understanding is they've gone to a market system so that there is no (or very short) waiting list (just outrageous transfer fees, with prices floating to clear the wait list). Did I misunderstand how that works?
Yup. The only place to put any size cat is an end-tie. There's one available, but it'll cost you $20 grand to the city to put it in your name, and a cool $1,000,000+ to the current leaseholder to sign it over. Gotta love Santa Barbara. Our 30' slip currently has a market value somewhere north of 3 times the boat in it. Shameless plug: the Catalina 30 in it is for sale, and you can "buy" or sublet the slip. Shameless counter plug: you could drive 30 minutes down the road to Ventura or Channel Islands Harbor and pay nothing more than a first & last deposit and monthly rent. Still not much room for cats though.

We've got a sort of similar plan that we pushed back a year (we drove across the US last summer instead of cruising, 9000 miles in a month). Channel Islands and Catalina this summer. San Francisco and the Delta next summer. Then the Puget Sound area summer after that. Progressively longer trips, one to three months in duration.

We can pull it off and still keep our jobs, and the kid in school. It seems good so far. If after that we still all like each other, we'll move on to bigger stuff. Sort of a "have your cake and eat it too" progression. I started out with grand plans to leave it all behind and sail off. Then, after much ponderous thought, realized I got a pretty good thing going here, and I probably shouldn't blow it. I'm lucky (heh, sorry Randy) in that I live a five hour sail from great year round cruising grounds, and have a job that gives me four and six day weekends each month.

We've had the boat for about three years now, and the short trips we take are great. More like camping than cruising, though. We're looking to upgrade to a bit bigger boat, to further us along the learning curve.

You can do it, and it doesn't require selling all your possessions and leaving forever. It is possible to take things in steps. Besides, do you really want to roll the dice on $300K first time out the gate?

JRM

-- btw, I used to flit about in a Hobie 16. It's almost, but not quite, entirely unlike cruising.
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Old 02-05-2012, 16:43   #23
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Re: Noob question/Ten year plan?

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Thanks for the lengthy reply (and to everyone else, even if I didn't specifically thank you). This part in particular struck me, it didn't even occur to me that someone my age could be a rarity on a Hobie. (I think my brain still thinks I'm 30). My dad farmed until he was in his 70s (and would've gone longer if not for colon cancer) so I'm hoping I have the good genes to sail into my 70s. I know it's work, but it can't be harder than throwing hay bales around for 8 hours in 95 degree heat....

Thanks for all the great replies, this is a lot to think about. Keep them coming!

The funny thing is that if you had posted: "I am 50 and thinking of starting on an 18' Hobie" then most people (me included!) would have said something like "act your age" .....and get something more appropriate.

I have no idea how common it is for Hobie Sailors to be in their 50's - I am just guessing that you started a few years earlier. I am also guessing that how you sail her has changed as your years have advanced (going upside down not so much fun? / not such a regular event?) - that sort of adjustment pretty much what you will be looking at with a bigger boat. Don't stop things being fun - just changes how you go about having fun.....with age comes the experiance to do some things a bit smarter that make your life physically easier.

FWIW I too come from "good genes" both parents now in late 70's, and father at least still very active (and boating - albeit nowadays a motorboat and not so much - but that as much to do with crew / freinds being dead, at his age he gets that a lot )....but nonetheless me Brother died in his early 40's (and he lived clean) and me (mid 40's now - where did that come from ) has a few health concerns at the moment. But most of those long since bought and paid for from a life lived badly . I only mention that because "good genes" not everything.

and as today as been a funny old day - will also mention that whilst I have never been "out there" on a boat (despite growing up with them and pretty much always having had one, at least in the family), I have nonetheless travelled the world - mostly having lots of fun for a lot of my life (call it enjoying an early retirement / extended childhood - can worry about financing old age when (if) it comes).....and whilst I do understand those who say "go now" (I did - albeit sans boat), nonetheless it did come at a cost (apart from any health stuff)...........in the next 10 years I won't be finishing off the raising of 2 kids (don't have any) and won't be spending the next 10 years with my own Missus (her getting dead a few years back ). My boat is (fairly!) ready to go now (and me too is able to - aside from the need to keep near the hospital at the moment - it's free / I've already paid) but truth be told I would swap "being out there" on a boat for 10 years with da Missus (not entirely sure about the 2 kids thing though ) in a heartbeat. Hell, I would swap both legs for that.

I guess what I am saying is that easy to discount what you already have for a "tommorow"......that may never come.

Anyway, time for another beer........
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Old 02-05-2012, 16:50   #24
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

I lived in Minnesota a LONG time and learned to sail on the lakes. I met a lot of really fine sailors there too! Should you master the Great Lakes you'll be qualified any place in the world. Best advice is to sail any way that works and seems like fun. You can do that today (now that Spring has reach the far north).

As far as larger boats go I would say they get easier to sail but more work to keep up. You still need all the things you learn sailing smaller boats but the systems and gadgets get to be a bit more taxing.

Age is not a barrier. Good friends sailed a 230 boat into their 80's and I know a lot that sail in their 70's. At 57 I don't see 60 as a barrier. I wouldn't wait to learn but there comes to a point where you can match how you sail with your abilities. All sailors have to do that be it from age or skill. This is a fun activity and you don't just go off and risk your life without some thought to it.

There is a lot to learn but I find it fun doing it and learning it. All sailors that get good and have fun enjoy the process of learning. You must find ways to keep it fun all the time if you expect to sail in years to come. If you just like talking sailing and reading and just sitting on a boat you probably could get quite good.

Don't underestimate the types sailing you can do. There are a lot of styles and if you find any of them fun them repeated application is just too easy to pass up.

There are cheaper places to sail than Santa Barbara - just about everyplace. It's really about finding the way that works for you and what you like and enjoy. Here at CF we have an very large international set of members in just about any place with water and some that are nowhere near the water.
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Old 02-05-2012, 16:51   #25
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

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I have no idea how common it is for Hobie Sailors to be in their 50's
At 57 I love them
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Old 02-05-2012, 17:11   #26
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Re: Noob question/Ten year plan?

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If I could go now, I would. But my lifelong goal of being a responsible, boring citizen meant tying up my money for the long-term. If I dropped everything now, I'd have to declare bankruptcy. In 9 years, I get access to my 401K, then more becomes possible. Also, I live on a farm that is zoned to become dense residential in about 10 years. Between those two things (and a few other similar items) I go from clipping coupons to living dreams in a very short time.

In retrospect, I had a chance to do this in 2005, I just didn't know it, or really even realized that this whole lifestyle existed. If I could go back to 2005, I'd be out there with you guys now.....
Makes sense. Well, like I said, my dad sailed around the world at 70 with my mom, so age is not as much a factor as health.
The Great Lakes is big water. In fact, the carribean will be much easier to sail. Anyways, have fun learning. Maybe see if you can buy the cat earlier since the market is sooo cheap for the buyer right now.
Cheers,
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Old 02-05-2012, 18:16   #27
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

Visit some of your local marinas & ask about some of their abandoned sailboats. I offer free sailboats if a new customer will rent a boat slip.
If a sailboat is on the hard for more than one year and the tarp blows off, chances are it has some water in the hull. A little work but you have a free boat.
My son (a power boater who had never sailed before) got a Cape Dory from me two years ago and sailed it all over Lake St. Clair. Last year he was a crew member in the Chicago to Mackinaw race.
I'm 70 and just bought a Privilege 39. I have zero sailing experience but I'm going to try.
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Old 02-05-2012, 18:16   #28
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

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Yup. The only place to put any size cat is an end-tie. There's one available, but it'll cost you $20 grand to the city to put it in your name, and a cool $1,000,000+ to the current leaseholder to sign it over. Gotta love Santa Barbara.
OK, now that's just crazy. You could get a nice little shack for $1M in some parts of the country. I love SB, but I'm not sure what's up with the prices there. OK, so I'll cross that off the list as even a remote possibility, and be content to visit there.


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You can do it, and it doesn't require selling all your possessions and leaving forever. It is possible to take things in steps. Besides, do you really want to roll the dice on $300K first time out the gate?
That's where this seems like a chicken and egg problem to me... you can't get tons of experience without a boat, and you can't justify a boat unless you know you love it. The only alternative seems to be charters and hanging around yacht clubs making friends and being willing to help out. Not that I have a problem with the latter.....
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Old 02-05-2012, 18:22   #29
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Re: Noob question/Ten year plan?

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The funny thing is that if you had posted: "I am 50 and thinking of starting on an 18' Hobie" then most people (me included!) would have said something like "act your age" .....and get something more appropriate.

I have no idea how common it is for Hobie Sailors to be in their 50's - I am just guessing that you started a few years earlier.
Really not that much earlier; we've had ours for about 6 years. I learned sailing basics a couple decades ago but then moved around the country, changed jobs, got divorced, etc. I took my second wife on a Hobie and she fell in love with it and we bought one within a month. I've never raced or tipped it, although I've had a few scary moments when a friend drove an hour to come try sailing and there were whitecaps on the lake, but I didn't want to disappoint him.... he got his money's worth...
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Old 02-05-2012, 18:26   #30
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

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There is a lot to learn but I find it fun doing it and learning it. All sailors that get good and have fun enjoy the process of learning. You must find ways to keep it fun all the time if you expect to sail in years to come. If you just like talking sailing and reading and just sitting on a boat you probably could get quite good.
This is why I like sailing. My wife likes it because of the sun and the water and the lack of engine noise. I like it for all of those reasons but especially because there is always something to do and learn, to figure out what works, and to analyze the conditions vs your boat's capabilities. It seems like that part won't change regardless of the boat size, but then the bigger boats have all these toys and things to play with, what's not to like?
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