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Old 29-03-2014, 12:05   #61
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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I agree with 99% of what you posted. I'd just like to add that not every man makes a good father or father figure. My father died when I was 4 and my mom remarried, it was the worst thing she ever did.

It just depends on the individuals. In a perfect world, mom, dad and 2.5 kids would live happily ever after in the suburbs with a white picket fence. Reality is often far different. Based on my experience, the best thing mom could have done was just stay unmarried. She truly needed no one's help, and it was never a struggle. But that was probably a one in a million scenario.

I agree. there's a difference between a sperm donor and a father. This sport/lifestyle is still very much a male dominated one. If a young boys natural curiosity is not stifled, the OP might be surprised how many good male figures in a marina and being around boats that a boy will run across.
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Old 29-03-2014, 15:03   #62
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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I agree. there's a difference between a sperm donor and a father. This sport/lifestyle is still very much a male dominated one. If a young boys natural curiosity is not stifled, the OP might be surprised how many good male figures in a marina and being around boats that a boy will run across.
Well said, Tellie.

It is not irresponsible to start over fresh after a "horrible divorce"; the lad's father lives in Brazil, and apparently will not be involved with this son, for the foreseeable future.

This boy will have the role model of a mom who did not go belly up and who picked up herself and started again, who takes loving, considered care of him and of herself. This will be good for hiim.

As Tellie suggests, her son will meet many positive thinking, capable, friendly men. All pluses, in my book.

Ann
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Old 30-03-2014, 01:42   #63
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

I agree 100% with Ann and Tellie.
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Old 30-03-2014, 02:34   #64
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

I thoroughly agree with all the above positive comments about raising a child while living aboard a boat. But like one brave poster, you need to consider or at least weigh the possible negatives.

Most of the negatives involve peer pressure and what the "outside society" might think about a "living on a boat." This may or may not cause you problems if there was a "custody" issue with the child. I would hazard that most landlubbers think that living on a boat is akin to living under cardboard under a bridge or overpass.

And additionally, you may find that the cost of living aboard in a marina is more expensive than living in a small rental apartment. Florida is full of old road-side motels that cannot compete with the big chains so rent out their "efficiencies" at dirt cheap rates. We don't know your financial situation, but buying a small boat as a live aboard in Florida also has liabilities if the boat is not maintained and kept "presentable." This involves expenses that are not found in living on land.

If you can live with and accept that you may not be saving any money by living aboard a boat, the positives of raising a child on board a boat are almost universally good.
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Old 30-03-2014, 08:00   #65
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

There is also just the entire issue of changing too much, too fast. This issue is an important one for both you and your son. Perhaps combining too many steps can complicate things. Talk it over with your son. If you do move to a boat in Florida make sure it's running to something that's really right for you and not just running away from the past. Perhaps take it all in small steps. Do some boating and see how that goes. Talk about Florida. Maybe a trip. Maybe move and an apartment and discuss the dream of a boat with him. Then maybe you find that boat and go look together and talk about living on one. But before living on one permanently at least find a way for a week or two on one. Find out how the things you both will be sacrificing truly will impact you. Some things you might find easy but then you might be surprised by some.

For you both, you've lost already, you've lost a marriage and a husband, your son has lost a father and what his previous definition of family was. Moving then involves losing all your friends. Yes, you'll communicate a little at first. But in essence you're both alone. Moving involves losing all familiar surroundings. We moved to Florida and love it and don't have a single regret. But we do sometimes miss certain things, certain people. In fact we have a trip to NC planned in a couple of weeks to see what we miss most. Not our friends or work or family. No, we miss an orphanage we were very involved with. We miss those who run it, but mostly we miss the kids. Yes, we're involved with one here, but the kids there are where we gave our hearts and souls and were a passion. We'll drive up and, if we see old friends or go by our places of work, then fine. But they aren't the reason for the trip. It's "our kids" as we think of them. Each one. Especially those about to graduate and move on and where will they go and will we see them again. Thank god for email and the ability to keep in touch. Make sure you have those means for you and your son to keep in touch with those you want.
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Old 30-03-2014, 08:41   #66
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

I also agree with the cautionary posts as well. It's easy to get caught up in all the positives in anything and disregard the negatives which may even be staring you in the face. But talking the talk and walking the walk have always been two different things in my book. I travel the state of Florida with my business. So if the OP Ali would like, and when you might be ready, I'd be more than happy to help out with looking at a boat you might seriously consider and to give my opinion on before you buy or start sinking money into it.
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Old 30-03-2014, 09:04   #67
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Yes.. totally irresponsible.. innit great to be able to do that..
Have a chat with Hopefloats and some of the other ladies on here.. there's a women's section here on CF and you'll likely gain some good insights especially from Helen who's doing a great job of it and all appear to be having a ball.
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Old 30-03-2014, 09:30   #68
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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I went through a horrible and sudden divorce more than a year ago that left me the 33 year old single mother of a 6 year old boy with virtually no ties to any particular region. We live in Raleigh, NC, but I've been contemplating returning to my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida and buying a sailboat to live aboard. (Jacksonville-Just because I miss the water and weather and know the area)

I have been sailing a lot when younger, but I've never learned myself.

Am I being crazy? I've done some research on boats, living aboard, sailing lessons, and what's available in that area. I would still need to go to a day job everyday, so I'd have to stay in a marina.

I've been called selfish and irresponsible for considering "subjecting" my son to that type of life. I'm looking at it as a unique experience to shed material things and develop a richer quality of life than we would have as apartment dwellers. Am I being unrealistic?

In the meantime, I'm enjoying reading through other posts on this forum.

Thanks,

Ali
In all honesty I can tell you that it is a much better life than the rat-race. I can tell you that it is neither, selfish, irresponsible, nor crazy. Choose your boat carefully and within your financial means and use the experience and knowledge of a live aboard owner when doing so. You will meet all kinds of people living aboard a boat, many of whom are wonderful people. Of course, just like in any other circumstance or surroundings, there are some people we learn to avoid.

Try and meet some sailors who would be happy to take you out on their boat and show you the ropes and you will quickly show your son a very different life that has much to offer. Amongst many things this life will teach you patience, build fortitude and hone characteristics such as perseverance and determination, amongst many others.

Ignore the nay-sayers and go for it. You will grow and your son will make many friends, as will you. If it turns out in a few years time that the life is not for you, you will not have lost anything. If you are still doing it in your retirement years you will have spent a rich life and your son will have grown into a man. Perhaps having discovered a love for the sea and sailing that might turn him into a great sailor.

Kind regards and good luck with your plans.
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Old 30-03-2014, 09:42   #69
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Well said, Tellie.

It is not irresponsible to start over fresh after a "horrible divorce"; the lad's father lives in Brazil, and apparently will not be involved with this son, for the foreseeable future.

This boy will have the role model of a mom who did not go belly up and who picked up herself and started again, who takes loving, considered care of him and of herself. This will be good for hiim.

As Tellie suggests, her son will meet many positive thinking, capable, friendly men. All pluses, in my book.

Ann
Well said Ann.
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Old 30-03-2014, 09:49   #70
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

At 6, you son is at a perfect age to start "learning the ropes", so to speak. He will remember this adventure that you shared with him for a lifetime and it will play a great role in who he becomes in the future.

Irresponsible? Not at all...at least in my book.
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Old 30-03-2014, 14:51   #71
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Ali, listening to the warnings, I thought of some more ideas. Children can be very cruel, particularly to those they perceive as "underlings'. It is very important on how you teach him to phrase things. Even though you wouldn't normally cross your mind to use the word "yacht" to describe your living conditions to other students and teachers, it's might just be a smart idea. If and when it comes up, "We live on a sailing yacht" or even "small sailing yacht" might be a good description for your son to use at school. The definition of yacht can be pretty broad these days but always conveys prestige.

The fact that you've lived in Brazil is another plus. Remember, a lot of people have never been out if the states. So to some people, he's an intriguing world traveler. As long as he retains his dignity, but never acts snobby, everyone should be very nice to him.

When you give the school you address, I would suggest:

_______Street, # ___ (which sounds more like an apartment)

rather than

______Street, Slip #___ .

It's far more comfortable to fly safely under the radar and not "ruffle feathers" than to dodge red flags.

~Sharon
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Old 31-03-2014, 07:55   #72
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Thanks again guys, for all of your replies! I will clarify a couple of points about our situation.

My husband is a Brazilian national. Upon obtaining US citizenship in 2012, he promptly announced his move back to Brazil. We keep things civil, he emails me to check on his son and that's the extent of our relationship. It was a shock to everyone who knew us.

He has abandoned us in every way. But you can't control other peoples' actions. You can control your reaction, though, and I think carefully about the way I approach every situation since I have a 6 year watching my every move. I know that I'm teaching him how to deal with life-good and bad, and I'm proud of this little guy! We have adapted just fine. I have a strong personality and my son has come through in a remarkable way.

I own a home here in Raleigh and that's my only tie. I have great tenants renting it, but could put it on the market pretty easily if inclined.

Jacksonville, Florida is not new for me-it's my hometown that I've been away from for 5 years. Although I'm not particularly close to them, my entire family lives there. My father is a tugboat captain there in the city. What's new to me is the boating scene there!

I've been downloading books on my kindle and purging some possessions and it really feels good just to even be considering this possibility.

My son and I have been watching videos, talking about what it might be like (pros and cons), and he's expressed a lot of excitement over it as well.

I make a decent salary and haven't ever had trouble getting a job in my field. But I'm not really going into this thinking that I'll save any money at all. My thought was more like I'm upgrading us to a better quality of live on the same salary. I'll wake up and see a sunrise. I won't spend two hours a day sitting in traffic to commute to work. I'll meet new diverse friends. I'll live a simpler life and experience new challenges. I'll freeze my ass off walking up the dock in cold rain to go get groceries and I'll deal with it. I'm not a woman who cares much about luxury or possessions and I'm raising my son to be the same way.

And if it's nothing like I imagined or hoped, I really haven't lost much anyhow. I can always go rent that apartment and say I took a chance and have a cool story to tell.
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Old 31-03-2014, 08:06   #73
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You have a good head on your shoulders. I say go for it.
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Old 31-03-2014, 08:39   #74
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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Thanks again guys, for all of your replies! I will clarify a couple of points about our situation.

My husband is a Brazilian national. Upon obtaining US citizenship in 2012, he promptly announced his move back to Brazil. We keep things civil, he emails me to check on his son and that's the extent of our relationship. It was a shock to everyone who knew us.

He has abandoned us in every way. But you can't control other peoples' actions. You can control your reaction, though, and I think carefully about the way I approach every situation since I have a 6 year watching my every move. I know that I'm teaching him how to deal with life-good and bad, and I'm proud of this little guy! We have adapted just fine. I have a strong personality and my son has come through in a remarkable way.

I own a home here in Raleigh and that's my only tie. I have great tenants renting it, but could put it on the market pretty easily if inclined.

Jacksonville, Florida is not new for me-it's my hometown that I've been away from for 5 years. Although I'm not particularly close to them, my entire family lives there. My father is a tugboat captain there in the city. What's new to me is the boating scene there!

I've been downloading books on my kindle and purging some possessions and it really feels good just to even be considering this possibility.

My son and I have been watching videos, talking about what it might be like (pros and cons), and he's expressed a lot of excitement over it as well.

I make a decent salary and haven't ever had trouble getting a job in my field. But I'm not really going into this thinking that I'll save any money at all. My thought was more like I'm upgrading us to a better quality of live on the same salary. I'll wake up and see a sunrise. I won't spend two hours a day sitting in traffic to commute to work. I'll meet new diverse friends. I'll live a simpler life and experience new challenges. I'll freeze my ass off walking up the dock in cold rain to go get groceries and I'll deal with it. I'm not a woman who cares much about luxury or possessions and I'm raising my son to be the same way.

And if it's nothing like I imagined or hoped, I really haven't lost much anyhow. I can always go rent that apartment and say I took a chance and have a cool story to tell.
It sounds much to me like the way might be relocating to a rental apartment in Jacksonville, near the water, and then from there finding your dream boat. Once in Jacksonville, it will be much easier to take him sailing, develop that mutual interest together, and then to look for the boat together while dreaming of life on it together. And will be much easier at that point to search for that perfect boat. Plus give you a chance to find and settle into a job, him into school.

Being back near family will be good for both of you. Your father can help you nurture the interest in the water with your son.

Just as a side note, the opposite of your situation is very common in South Florida. Beautiful young Brazilian girls meet American guy, get married, three years later become citizens, divorce follows.

Very glad at least you have been able to keep things civil. That's a tribute to you as it's never easy.
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Old 31-03-2014, 09:05   #75
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Ali,

Thanks for the clarifications. I hope you didn't receive what I'd written as disparaging to you or your circumstance. It sounds like you have a pretty commendable grip on a mighty unpleasant situation.

There's another sub-forum here on CF for North Carolina sailors. HappyMdR complained that we don't have enough females, so consider yourself invited. We're pretty spread out up and down the coast, and can help if you decide to explore live-aboard marinas here.

The NC sub-forum is here. Come sail with us, if you'd like.

JAX is a good place too, from what I hear. And I know good people there.
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