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Old 03-10-2007, 17:41   #31
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Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
This is VERY important. I am living proof that you can't just "go now" if you don't have vast savings and/or a paid for boat.

While we aren't worried about careers anymore (who needs one!), we certainly can't afford to hop around the world paying for everything while paying off a boat. It's just not possible unless you have a pile of cash.

You can always get back and get into the swing of your career, but make sure you are ready financially for the cruise. We weren't.

Now we are selling out boat since we can't use her after putting $23K into her in a massive refit to cruise in '06.
Sorry to hear that but on this board and all the others I have read there is very little from those that have tried it and are no longer cruising.....for whatever reason.

I have all the questions for you in your circumstance.
What did you start with?
What did you spend and why?
No work along the way?
Insurance, boat / health?

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Old 03-10-2007, 20:27   #32
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In a nutshell, don't cruise if you are still owing the bank.
If you are balancing when to cruise against what systems to cruise with,


Go debt free.

Go asap.

Go with what's paid for.

ENJOY what you have NOW!

Steve B.

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Old 04-10-2007, 06:05   #33
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I would echo the above post. At the end of your life you regret the things you haven't done. Lifes short and has ways of throwing you curve balls, you can always work for "The Man" and make more money, you might not be able to sail. A great read for you would be Sterling Haydens "The Wanderer" given to me by my father, I wonder if he knew how it would change my life.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:31   #34
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
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...
Ex-Calif - You, of course, are right - what you are saying here is exactly what we are planning to do. I will pm you with more information so that I do not hijack this thread.

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Old 04-10-2007, 08:34   #35
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Originally Posted by sluissa View Post
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.
Thanks for answering, but ain't easy like that I am afraid.
Anyways, decision has been made, and will be sailing off in 5/7 yrs.
My flying licenses will be expiring few months after untieing the last knot from the home port. But, as someone else has rightely written before, life experience is more important that money in the bank...and eventually I will find something to do...maybe, why not, teaching to fly.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:47   #36
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I don't agree about cruising while in debt. If you can afford it, go. We had no problems, paid mortgage, car payments, insurance, food..... but our financial assets covered everything. I was not born from rich parents or married into a rich family. We worked to build a nest egg that would support us for life.

Going cruising is about life planning and action. Determine your targets. The boat you want, the time you want to be out, where do you want to go, expense while out including nice to haves and work backwards. SET A TIME FRAME and STICK TO IT! Sorry about the yelling but I have met many people with different goals and the time frame or target was fuzzy. I.e. when I retire, when the kids finish college, yada, yada.

Focus on education to attain higher and better paying jobs. Live below your means. Minimize your un-needed or wasteful expenses, like going out to eat and to the bar every other night. Invest like it was a job, you will never get rich working for a living.

If I waited until everything was paid off I would have only been able to buy a boat that myself or my wife would have disliked and the 1 year trip would have only been one year and no plans to go out longer. And we would have missed the bet 2 ½ years cruising. We picked the boat we liked worked to get it and responsibly fund it. So we spent 2 ½ years out with plans to get another boat and work our way into the Pacific and around the world with in 5 years (start date). We still own Makai, but this is an opportune time to upgrade.

If you can afford it go. You never know when the last day of your life may be, but still plan as though you will live to a hundred.
Captain Bil formerly of sv Makai -- KI4TMM
The hunt for the next boat begins.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:14   #37
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Everyone has their own perspective, but I can't imagine waiting to go cruising again until after my children moved out. Why would someone not want their children with them while they had the richest experiences of their lives? When I was about to go cruising the first time, I gave my father a book called 'Enchanted Harbors' that was full of photo's of great sailing destinations, and told him to pick one and we would meet him there with the boat. He died suddenly just before we left on the trip, and we were never able to do that. My children and I look through that book sometimes now, and we talk about the grandfather they didn't get to meet, about the harbors that their mother and I did see, and the ones we will all (hopefully) go to together for the first time. I think the quality of my life is far more important than the size of the estate I leave behind. The stakes are too high from my perspective. I won't risk the chance that fifteen years from now, I will be able to buy back all that time I spent away from my family working at a job that only enriched my wallet and nothing else.
I wouldn't advocate fiscal irresponsibility, any more than I would taking off in an unsuitable and unprepared boat. Set the earliest reasonable (to you and your situation) departure date and try to stick to it. I still have to routinely ask myself, 'What would I do if I wasn't afraid?' Taking off sailing seems crazy to people who are fighting through traffic to get to jobs they often hate. I think that gives them funny credentials to judge, but those are the people that surround us on land. When you have been out there, often in the company of other cruisers, doing anything else seems crazy, and if you are ever off your boat somewhere and see a big cruise ship full of sunburned tourists being herded like cattle to a tee shirt shop for their five day trip to paradise, it gets really clear who has the saner perspective.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:38   #38
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Originally Posted by TAREUA View Post
Everyone has their own perspective, but I can't imagine waiting to go cruising again until after my children moved out. Why would someone not want their children with them while they had the richest experiences of their lives?
TAREUA - I agree 100%! I did pm Ex-Calif and told him our full plans. We eill not be abandoning everything and sailing off into the sunset - but neither will we be waiting until the kids are grown and gone to do so either. We will start with limited cruising and going from there.

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Old 04-10-2007, 10:45   #39
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Great thread as usual. like the weather there are hi's and low's. Everone agrees on going but you must be prepared to deal with "What am I doing here" once in a while. Annapolis is a starting point for many cruisers. We see some that do not get out of the Bay before they want to kill each other. Make sure your "Mate" (If you have one) is on the same "Course" so to speak.
Will & Muffin
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:39   #40
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A very good point, Will, Muffin & Lucy. I have seen so many cruisers give up or not enjoy themselves because the spouse could not stand cruising or sailing for that matter. The spouse (usually the wife, actually, in my experience, always the wife but someone might know of a case where it was the husband) goes along grudgingly to experience the husband's dream. The dream becomes a nightmare, long stays in marinas, all sorts of sightseeing trips ashore or diversions but it is difficult if one partner just doesn't like it and would feel better at home. I remember once, on the way home and pulling into the hospital anchorage in Norfolk. Saw a guy on a boat that I'd met on the way south. The first words out of his mouth were "she's gone, Mary's gone home". He singlehanded back to Maine. Count yourself very lucky if you have a spouse that shares your passion for this way of life.
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Old 04-10-2007, 18:15   #41
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Its good to see that this thread has come back to life. We often talk about making sure that one is financially prepared to go cruising. However, what that means is different to all people and I'm curious, how people make that decision. Is it simply that you have no debt? Too risky for me. If you consider your savings- how much do you need to have. As its all based upon your expenses, your age etc then what metric do you use to judge when you are ready to go. How will you know you are ready to go? It seems overly simplistic to think one can define a number like $100k, $500k or $1MM.

I've looked at retirement calculators and see why people never go if they require enough money to never have to work again. In my case, I'm certain that I've saved more than most in my age and income bracket. I'd like to know that I could go away for a few years and still have enough in the bank that I am not sacrificing my modest lifestyle when I get back. I'm relatively young and life can be long. God knows, I also don't want to work till I'm 80. Right now, I'm enjoying my land life and and working toward the goal of not having to worry about money when I leave in five years.

How will/did *you* know when you have/had enough funds?
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Old 05-10-2007, 03:57   #42
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Vieux Malin (and others)
I also am an airline pilot. In my early forties I sold my house, paid off the boat and took an 18 month sabbatical. I lost all my seniority of course, but was lucky enough to find a left-seat job on my return to the UK. With hindsight, I would have been better off to have rented out my house, but that's the UK housing market, it may be different elsewhere. I was also financially attempting to recover from a divorce, but that's another story.
I went to the Caribbean, knowing that after 18 months I needed to work, but flying jobs are not that easily come by (I won't bore others with why, but you know what I'm talking about). I ran out of money, sold the boat came back and started again. Next May, when I'm 55 I'm off sailing again, so the first experience can't have been that bad.
So my advice to anybody thinking about taking a career it.... but make sure that either you are debt free when you go OR in the case of a house, make sure the rental income covers the mortgage repayment. You may or may not pick up your career where you left it, but you'll be 'richer' for the experience. How much you need to cruise for a couple of years really depends on lifestyle, it is possible to live very cheaply (depending on where you are, of course). How much you need to go off 'full time' is another matter. I would suggest that you need a property to come back to, you will (eventually) leave the boat. I'm budgeting on £1000 (sterling) per month, which incidentally is a reasonably comfortable retirement income in the UK (provided everything else [ car, house] is paid for). This will give me a modest lifestyle, maybe eating out once a week, in cafes rather than restaurants and drinking beer rather than rum cocktails. I'm prepared to lower my lifestyle-standards and go off round the world, but that's me. Others might react with horror at not being able to eat out 5 days a week.
So, yes take a career break. Give yourself a time-scale and decide how much money you have to spend. Don't go with any debts that aren't covered by income (you can't rely on working en route). Consider working for a few months each year to top up the cruising kitty, but make sure that you are actually making money on the deal. If you have to pay to have the boat laid up whilst you're working, pay for temporary accomadation and transport etc whilst away from the boat, are you actually ahead on the deal?
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Old 05-10-2007, 05:59   #43
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Dear David
We have nearly decided to sell the house and rent as needed. In England a car can get us from sea to work alot easier than the States. Realising our current assets will put a boat on the water and about the same in the bank.
Set sail at 65 yr old and how long will it have to last. Sell the boat at 75 for about the same number, half the value plus saving all spent and we'd have a quarter of our money left. Well, if we retired landside how much would we have left.
Can't wait. Two years to sailing away. MUST SURVIVE THREE MORE YEARS then it won't be a wasted life.
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:09   #44

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Ahhh... I see this difference. You are all much older people who already have the "pile of money" I was talking about. Don't forget... my wife and I "just went now" at the ages of 32 and 25.

My post refers to people who, without regard to finances, just end up "going now" like we did.

Trust me... it can't be done.

If you have a big boat, a big loan, no savings, no assets, no investments and no inheritance or trust fund, you are doomed. Working along the way pays squat now and pays less every year.

Don't "go now" until you have a pile of cash like the other posters above.
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:24   #45
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Have to disagree with you. Every year we meet young couples, usually in smaller boats but sometimes in 40 footers who have "just gone". The boats (never new) are paid for and they will be ashore again in a year or two to replenish the kitty. Some work the summer and cruise all winter. One guy I know, works at WM and his partner works as dockmaster at a marina where they get a free slip in the summertime. Not big bucks but adequate for their lifestyle. Of course when they're working ashore they don't spend their time at Starbucks sucking back $8 lattes.

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