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Old 02-07-2007, 18:44   #16
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I've given a lot of thought to working from sea. I'm still young trying to get my assets set up. I do programming for a living and could possibly do all my work from a sat phone, nightly code check in. That'd be cool, huh?

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Old 03-07-2007, 01:49   #17
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We did it without a pile of cash leaving in our early 30's for 2 years. We did 2 years working 3 months in non cruising season. You don't need a pile of cash - in fact we managed to live off under 10k NZ each year when we were cruising in the Pacific. It of course is more expensive in other areas of the world to cruise. Jobs are easy to get in NZ and Australia in the off season. My wife and I both have professional careers and found that taking time out and short term contracts for a few months a year has really helped our careers on returning to the workforce this year full time.

We met plenty of younger American couples out cruising in the Pacific having a ball and we all had the same type of money available to spend which meant cheap beer and BBQ's. Go out there and do it!

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Old 04-07-2007, 21:35   #18
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Hi David,

I didn't notice if you or anyone else mentioned self-employment as a career. Maybe think of how you can enter back into the market with your knowledge...on your own terms. I know it's hard to generalize and rationalize this overall, but perhaps you have a skill that can be contracted out later on with an agreeable time commitment for you. Semi-best of both worlds.

Once you cruise a bit you may realize prior 'thing's in your life are a waste of your resources: ie your time to get it vs the time ya got left.

I was self-employed for ten years, sold out, went almost broke cash-wise after seven years of dickin' around cruising and not doing anything financially rewarding. Now I am back in the exact same biz working one year pocketing as much as when I left and back to cash happy....all to be blown on future cruising, of course! Point is - doors close, many open...some might even be revolving doors.

I am now 38, married, one boy to give you an age reference.

Your concerns are certainly legit. Million-dollar question is - how do you define your life? Material things, peer/societal recognition, family, personal challenge, etc.....or a healthy balance of all? Where can you put your body to experience life yet your mind doesn't feel regret or guilt? Adventure with guilt doesn't sound like fun nor does commitment with regret!

Best of luck to you!

- J
ps - go for it!
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Old 04-07-2007, 21:53   #19
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Happy 4th.

Thanks for the comments. I have come to believe that I could in fact step away from work, then come back to it if and when the time is right. I talked to one of my recruiters and he seemed to think that it wouldn't matter where I was- said it was always more difficult to place people that have tasted freedom. But, given that I have a specialized skill set it shouldn't be that difficult to find work- provided I was able to remain current in the field. Spending a few months in the states every now again would make that possible. He also suggested building and maintaining the consulting business, trying to grow it so that it would continue to earn in my absence. Right now, its just me. I'm not sure that's the direction I want to go but its a thought.

So, a plan of working another 3-5 years then setting sail seems good. I've got some things to accomplish on land first. When that plays its course, I think we will go.

Wife and I talked about cruising the other day and seem to agree that a catamaran is the way for us to go- for several reasons. Most importantly, its the best type of boat to accomodate our big dog. Can't leave him home. Realistically, the extra space would allow us to live aboard more easily. That opens the possibility of returning to the states periodically, staying on the boat, to work, maintain contacts etc.

A cat would cost more money than I was planning to spend on a boat. I am getting comfortable with that though because my colleagues are spending considerably more money on their houses than a decent 42 foot cat would cost. Fortunately, I never bought into the big house philosophy. I could even sell the house, move on board- or rent it out.

To those yuppie sailors, did you sell everything you had and move on board or did you try to maintain both a house and a boat. I like the idea of renting out the property to maintain an income and also avoid the realtor costs of selling, then buying again. We love the area we are in now and would likely return here. For those planning on going out again, did you sell the boat after your first cruise?
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Old 04-07-2007, 22:01   #20
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Jaydh- it looks like we crossed paths. Self employment is what the recruiter mentioned. Right now, I consult as a sole proprietor and also spend time on a business I've started. The business doesn't make any money yet but I believe it has huge potential. I'll know if a few years.

Self employment is something that has some appeal. It would be nice if the internet was as seemless on a boat as it was in your living room. If that ever does happen, the seas will fill up with people living on boats. Telecommuniting. Maybe its good the way it is.

How does one define themselves. It certainly changes with the years. I've been successful in school, lived overseas, had some success in business. A new chapter opened last year. Now, its time to create new short and long terms goals. Cruising is an attainable goal. We'll see you out there.
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:30   #21
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Hello there, this is another 38 yr old willing to cruise guy.
Got a good job (airline pilot), got a good boat (42 ft ketch), and a real NEED sail off. Problem is, as usual, cruising on a budget. Read many books about it, including the brilliant Anne Hammick 's "Cruising on a budget". Every book says the same thing : Yes, it can be done....but, how can an airline pilot find a job elsewhere? A medic, a lawyer, a teacher can always find something suitable with his/her background...but a pilot? I am planning to leave in about 5/7 years...but will I have to face the fact that maybe restaurant or heavy duty jobs are waiting for me? (Not to mention my italian nationality...)
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Old 03-10-2007, 07:49   #22
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If big airlines are hard to find jobs in, you might consider trying to find a job with a small charter company. Big Airlines aren't the only place pilots can fly. Could try cropdusting as well, or even going for your rotary-wing license and getting a job hauling some big name executive around in their helicopter.

My point is, big airlines aren't the only places for pilots to find jobs, there are plenty of opportunities out there, even giving lessons to private pilots.
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Old 03-10-2007, 08:07   #23
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Just a word of warning, or maybe encouragement, David. After a bit of cruising you may never want to work again!! I took off on a year's cruising sabbatical in my late forties and that was it. Gave me a chance to see the foolishness of work. Never went back.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 03-10-2007, 08:48   #24
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I actually did this. Everyone has different circumstances so one man's experience may not be applicable to your situation.

I got into sailing at 38 when I bought the boat I still own 22 years on. I hoped to one day cruise full time. I spent 6 years fitting the boat and me for this. I completely enjoyed getting immersed in sailing. It was the best and most rewarding thing in my life. I'm not interested in property or wealth, have no children, nor need lots of material possessions (except a good ship).

Six years after I got the boat, I found myself with little work.. self employed architect... parents had died... and I was divorced. In short... no reason not to sail off. I had less than 60K and off I went.

Four years on I was spent, having sailed the caribe, the canaries, and so on... lived aboard for 4 years so it was back to the work market. Even as an architect and skilled woodworker it was very hard getting re established at 48 yrs old or so. I have never returned to the same level of income I once had. I need even less now, and use the boat for weekends, but getting back in some professions is not as easy as one would like to believe.

Worth it? Yea...

You only go around once.

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Old 03-10-2007, 09:00   #25
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This is the exact thing that I haver been struggling with also. The same questions. There is a twist though in our case. The twist being 5 kids the oldest being 11 years old now. I would love to take a couple of years off and cruise while the kids are still young. My wife is more stuck in the societies rules of "you have to have security and be stuck in an 8 to 5 job all of your life and do what the boss says".
As it is right now, we have our home on 10 acres in the hills, we have a boat that is too small (but we are in the process of trading up to a little larger boat). I have a "secure" government job (which I dislike - but it is somewhat secure). We homeschool the kids. The kids are all excited about going cruising.
So that is the basic situation.
I am the type who sees what can be - I fully agree with those who say that life is not renewable - money is.
As far as my work situation, I do side work in network consulting and web development. Doing this I make a couple of K per month by working a couple of hours a day on the computer as long as I have a decent internet connection. I believe that limited cruising with this type of income may be feasible for a few months at a time.
Many questions, thoughts and concerns as always though.
Before I went to work in the government job I had worked for myself in a small construction business (which failed). We had very little money then, but were far happier (and that was not even cruising!) I can't help but think that we would be happier once again by being self employed and cruising for short periods. I believe that the kids would benefit by cruising in ways that they will never be able to sitting at home doing school work.

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Old 03-10-2007, 10:48   #26
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How many people on their death bed recount their life and say... "I wish I had spent more of my life making money and less time having fun".

Answer: None.

Go cruising while you are still in good enough health and physical condition to do so. There is more than one way to measure how rich you retired. Rich in money or rich in lifetime experiences. Sure you may miss out on some rungs on the corporate ladder but what really has more meaning?
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:19   #27
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:30   #28
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My goal is to end with no money in the bank.
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:00   #29
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I am already half way to your goal!
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Old 03-10-2007, 16:37   #30
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Originally Posted by defjef View Post
My goal is to end with no money in the bank.
When I go the check to the funeral parlor is going to bounce...

Clausont - I am gonna go out on a limb here. Don't take this the wrong way. Your wife is right. These aren't societies rules that say you have to work and have a job. These are responsibilities you assumed when you chose to have 5 kids. And spaced between 11 and 0 that prbably feels very claustrophobic to you right now. Some will call it a mid-life crisis but I don't - It is a feelilng that you wake up one day and start to examine your choices and wonder if it all means anything.

You probably could sell the farm, get a bigger boat, pull up stakes and head for the setting sun. The reality is that it has a very low probability of success. It's very romantic and all but think hard about it.

The good news is that you do have a boat. My advice is get on that boat as often as you can. Do vacations and weekends. Carve out a war chest payment so that each month you are dropping at least a few bucks into it. And then set your sights on 10-12 years. At that point most of your 5 will be out of the nest and moma will be more receptive.

Seriously, 10 years is not a long time...

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