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Old 20-02-2012, 23:59   #1
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Are You Ready to Live the Cruising Life ?

It is coming to that point in the season when a “new batch” of live aboards are about to be created and move aboard their chosen boats to take on the world.

We did the same last year and at this time I was preparing the boat and trying to get my head around the numerous doubts I had. Mainly they fell into two categories.

a) Was the boat ready and fit for purpose?
b) Was I ready and competent to look after my family on our journey?

Well we are now a year further on so looking back what do I think now?

Well, I had done what I could with the boat and although you always think that there is more equipment you want or things to check you have to set a date, and go as near to that date as possible or you will find another excuse to stay where you are a little longer. Concentrate on boat safety and spares you will need if you have a problem at sea. You can get other things along the way but believe me all those gizmos you thought you need.. You don’t. The best advice I got was sail for a while and then decide. You will change your mind about what you do and do not need.

Was I ready? Probably not, but you learn very, very quickly and some of your worse fears seem stupid when you look back. I started out being very cautious which to a certain extent I still am but places you would previously have not considered going you will not give a second though about. You will soon get to know your boat and your capabilities but with every mile you add a wonderful thing called experience. You will know when things are wrong and more often than not you will know what to do. Passage plans the size of telephone directories will soon dwindle down to what you actually need, you will relax and you will look forward to each new sail.

I am still learning every day but your fears will soon dwindle and in there place will be a very, very large smile.

The best advice I was given when I muted my fears was.. “Just GO”. Now I am saying the same to all you.
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Old 21-02-2012, 00:55   #2
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

So where have you crused to ?

We were liveaboards but are still stuck taking care of our bussiness so after a year we moved to our office/apt which I own and when out on our boat no work just sailing or maintance or plotting charts for our next trip. I'm applying for my SS in a week at 62 with a medical so I'm getting closer to heading out perminately.
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Old 21-02-2012, 01:08   #3
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

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So where have you crused to ?

.
Good luck with your plans. If you want it enough you will get there.
We have been cruising Europe but the blog of how it happened and where we have been are on our website.
Sailing Cygnus III around the world
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Old 21-02-2012, 11:31   #4
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

It's all in the forward planning, Google 'How To Enjoy Cruising in Retirement' , you can get it from Amazon which threw some useful light on preparation. It's not really for ocean sailors, more for European cruising but a good read nonetheless.
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Old 22-02-2012, 07:00   #5
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

As to preparing yourself;

I asked some time ago in a thread, is it too late to start, and the most feedback was go for it now!

That's well and good, and I see the OP had similar reservations. I'm sure that experience would come quickly for the type of cruising one might do. That's not really the issue, it's more about how hard it would be....how hard of a life it would be.

I can't see cruising being compared to sitting at home as far as comfort and just relaxing.

When I go to the lake with the boat, it's work to hook it up, a hassel to pull it and put it in. Being on the water makes it worth while, but crusing over to a shore cafe for lunch the effort continues. All land is up hill from the boat.

Now, as I consider living aboard, staying cool, staying warm, getting fuel, pumping out, trying to sleep when others in the cove are playing music I don't like and drunks yelling. Then, going to wally world or shopping can be an all day affair, getting transportation. I can see being dinged for cash everytime you turn around, fees and paying more for everthing close to the water.

While these seem to be trade offs for the advantages of being out, it is also physically demanding. For me, motoring up or down river requires some concentration so as not to crash, there is a mental drain. If you get tired, you may not be able to stop and find a cozy spot rest, you have to keep going.

Guess I gotta admit, I'm getting a little lazy in my older years, I really don't want to carry an ice chest up or down hill, maybe the trick is getting a 30 something to go with you.

And what really conserns me is winter, staying warm and dry as well as healthy. Right now I have a sore throat and I've been sneezing, so I guess I'm catching something. If I were on a boat, I'd have to keep going, go ashore and get fuel for the heater, food and whatever.

So, before I talk myself out of doing this, what words of wisdom might you have, besides saying this ain't for you! I want to try it, but I feel like I know what is comming. It may end up being a "I been there, done that" thing or it might all be worth it.

Just don't know......And I can't see how some folks stay aboard for 20 years as I have read about. Wow!
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Old 22-02-2012, 07:25   #6
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

Wave... I also can't see "cruising being the same as sitting home and just relaxing." As a matter of fact, after an extended time on the boat I find that coming home just isn't relaxing at all! I sometimes feel like I can hear the electricity running through the walls because there is nothing as quiet as sleeping on board in a quiet cove!

I digress. If you reread your post, you will see that you are your own worst enemy. I completely understands the physical and mental strains of boating....I have two little girls on board with me when I go out....but all of these 'strains' always leave a smile on my face. They are frustrated while we are sailing (board) and I am frustrated while we are on the hook (because I am usually baiting a hook of some kind). But when the day is over, I usually get the best sleep of my life because of the level of 'tired' I am at. It usaully isn't a stressful tired....but a fulfilling tired.

If you continue to see the negative...you will get the negative, and this is a rule that applies well beyond boating! But at the end of a sail, if you are left feeling that you wish you would have stayed at home....then by all means...it isn't right for you! But after your day is done, after dragging the keel at low tide, having to reset your hook because it 'just will not grab', or in my case....after the about the 50th catch and release... you still wouldn't have it any other way.....then you are in the right spot!

Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one....it is up to you to decide which ones stink!
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Old 22-02-2012, 08:08   #7
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

Hi Wavewacker, It's all about what you want out of life, what type of cruising you wish to do cos there is a type for everyone, as you will see from the posts on here some cruise the oceans of the world perfectly happy. Me ?I'm just cruising through the largest vineyard in the world at the moment, if I want to stop I just pull into the bank and tie up, jump on my bike and off for some wine at around 80 cents a litre. I also go to sea and cruise the Spanish cala's.
First choose what you want out of life, and then go for it ! if you like my kinda cruising then Google 'How to Cruise in Retirement' it will take you to Amazon Kindle, download the kindle reader to your Laptop for free and off you go mate. You've got one life, Live it to the full. Only the late JC got a second chance !
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Old 22-02-2012, 09:47   #8
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

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I can't see cruising being compared to sitting at home as far as comfort and just relaxing.
Then you're doing it wrong

My boat is my home. Nice little HDTV, comfy memory foam mattress, lots of tv/movies for me to watch, 2 lines of internet access, cold beer in the fridge, warm meal cooking on the stove, green tea in the pot on a candle warmer, my tablet with hundreds of books to read, composting head takes care of my waste, sweets treats in the side lockers, kayak hanging on the port side J hooks, rod and reel in my starboard lazarette next to the folding bike, fresh water in the tanks, down pillows to lay against, and micro fiber felt blankets to keep me warm.

My evenings right now consist of watching a bit of TV and then sitting out at night in my cockpit with my warm cozy blanket and down pillows propping me up. Sip down a cold beer, read some on my tablet or if the sky is clear just lay down, listen to music, watch the stars and dream about sailing to an area where the city lights don't drown them all out.

I'm comfortable, content, secure and have never had as much financial or personal freedom before in my life.
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Old 22-02-2012, 09:51   #9
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

Wavewacker
From what you have said I would say this cruising life is not for you.
I have seen so many people such as you finding excuses not to go rather than to go.
The best part is if you don't go it just leaves more room for the rest of us to live ourlives to the fullest and enjoy every moment.
I don't mean to be hard but cruisers find excuses to go.
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Old 22-02-2012, 09:54   #10
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

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Right now I have a sore throat and I've been sneezing, so I guess I'm catching something. If I were on a boat, I'd have to keep going, go ashore and get fuel for the heater, food and whatever.
Curiously, I find it just as easy to sneeze on a boat as I do on land.
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Old 22-02-2012, 10:26   #11
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

Gelfling, I guess so, I need an attitude adjustment!

Most of my boating has been on three lakes in the Ozarks and on rivers around here. That really doesn't qualify as cruising....(does it?)

Table Rock, Bull Shoals and Lake of the Ozarks are all nice lakes and they are tourist traps for us inlanders. Hard to find a quiet cove in the summer, marinas have camp grounds and while they are to get quiet at 11 or so, someone always seems to be raising kane again.



Irish, if I were in Europe, I'd live in a open skiff if I had to as I really miss it there, but it's been awhile, I'm not the young man I was (LOL, I'll only be 61 in a few days!)

Lauder, nice boat BTW, I'm probably considering all this in the wrong boat anyway. If you guys remember, I'm the nut that wants to take his motorcycle along. That now means I have to build the craft as nothing in my price range will do that really. It will probably be a scow with a ramp in the bow and an aft piolthouse cabin, double bed, galley, head and small dinette about 14' worth of living space, 4' rear deck and the rest of the 30' reserved for that dang motorcycle. A small OB will push me along cheaply amd maybe a small sail plan and leeboards for downwind. My plan is the Great Loop, rivers mostly, so I don't think I'll really be getting away like you blue water types.....which is what makes me think it will be alot like my lake areas.....

Nostro, another issue, I'm ok financially, I can't rent my properties out and would hate to sell now. I'd have the expenses of homes plus cruising. If I did sell and cruise for a few years and have to move back to land, could I get another home or would I get stuck in some apartment...kinda of the unknown. Which means long term cruising might not be right for me, so try it out for the few months required for my great loop trip....then see....

Bash, you are absolutely right.....atcheuuw!
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Old 22-02-2012, 10:27   #12
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

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I'm comfortable, content, secure and have never had as much financial or personal freedom before in my life.
Kind of sounds like my dream. It would be so nice to be free from the stress of the "real world". Enjoy yourself!
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Old 22-02-2012, 13:41   #13
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

Wavewacker, read Lauderboy and Dan 78's post.
I've lived aboard full time since 85,you can keep your houses it's the cruisin life for me, you are as old as the woman you feel, Jeez at 61 you're only a pup.
When you choose to cruise you will meet new friends, and old friends on the way. You will join the greatest of brotherhoods, nobody gives a **** about race, religion, money or the size of your boat we are all equal, you can see from the posts here how everyone is willing to give a helping hand to each other if they have a wee problem. Go for it !
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Old 22-02-2012, 14:32   #14
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

Wave....so what! So what that you haven't been on 'big water'. And if you are 'afraid' of what there will be left to come back too...then you will never make it! Okay, so you are 61 now. I am 40 and in my marina I am the youngest one! Well, the youngest that I have seen out there...and I am there quite a bit. Do me and my family cruise around the world like most members of CF do? NOPE. My 8 year old has a mental illness and my wife has a valve replacement. Does that mean we don't 'cruise'? NOPE! We have an entire Chesapeake Bay that we explore. Little coastal areas like the Chessy are a great place to cruise and hardly ever see the same place twice! On top of it all, the marina slip only runs me about $130 a month! I used to pay more a month in campsite fees!

So maybe do what we are doing....we call it our 'extended planning period'. Get yourself a boat in a nice 'economical' coastal area. That way you can 'Try it out'. You could easily cruise the Chessy for a couple of years and not explore everything. If you like warmer weathers...maybe even the gulf side of FL would be a good idea. In both places, boats of all kinds are always for sale, and are always being sold. Sure, there is a bit of financial risk...but you will find that there isn't as much risk as you might think. If you are thinking that something like the Chessy is a good idea for ya, hit me up in a PM. I will share all I know about it!

PS - I had a trailer sailer before we got this one. Yeah...between putting up the mast...taking down the mast....in and out of the water....it will put a toll on ya! You will find it different when your boat is your home....promise!
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Old 22-02-2012, 14:58   #15
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Re: Are you ready to live the cruising life?

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Hard to find a quiet cove in the summer, marinas have camp grounds and while they are to get quiet at 11 or so, someone always seems to be raising kane again.
Yeah, let me guess, young kids on small power boats drinking beer and whooping it up all night.

If you haven't been to the Florida/gulf area, pop on your bike and cruise south for a field trip. We're all old foggies down here with a lot of quiet anchorages and some cheap places to hang out. If you're really attached to up north, that's one thing. I have family up that way that likes being around other family and would never move south. Otherwise it's at least worth looking at things down here and see if you can rent, borrow or hitch a ride on something for a peek.

Or plan B, there's a lot of state parks down here on keys with camping on them that will give you that "watch the sun set over the gulf" experience.



I used to kayak out to these islands and camp on them. Seeing the boats anchored off just drew me into the life. That's Cayo Costa in SW Florida which is a state park and has a nice little anchorage behind the island. But there's a ferry that runs to the island with cabins you can stay in or a you can bring a tent and camp out.

Life can be very good, don't settle. You're not getting any younger.
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