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Old 30-03-2011, 15:23   #16
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

Agree it's unlikely you will find too many disillusioned cruisers here, but back when I lived in Ft Lauderdale and sold boats I ran into more than a few.

Most of them were people that had not really done much or any sailing, thought it would be cool, bought a boat and in several cases spent years "getting ready" and when they finally had nothing left to do on the boat, admitted to themselves that going out on the ocean was scary to them so sold the boat.

In a few cases they actually had to go out on the ocean before they realized it scared them but either way, the mose common reason was they were not happy or comfortable going to sea in a small boat.
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Old 30-03-2011, 15:49   #17
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

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From talking to many cruisers, the reasons I've found why people tend to get out is:

1. The had the begeebers scared out of them.

2. Health and/or family health reasons.

3. Money reasons.

4. Marriage issues.
Agree completely. Unlike cabo_sailor we saw many on the West Coast and Mexico that turned around, cut short or otherwise changed "the dream" into something more manageable for them. This was in the 90's so maybe things have changed but I suspect that many of the folks out there doing 6 months at the boat and 6 months at home, etc originally thought they could just sail away and decided at some point that maybe they bit off more then they wanted.
Just look at the number of cruising boats for sale in exotic locations and it gives you some idea. People very seldom sail there boat somewhere fun just to sell it. :-)

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Old 30-03-2011, 15:53   #18
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

Persig wrote a good article on it. A copy and discussion is found here. Crew.org.nz • View topic - Cruising Blues. The gist seems to be this. Variety is required. When you have spent years of work frustration, routine, raising kids, marital variability, bad weather, stress etc etc, the peace relaxation and warmth of say a tropical cruise vacation appeal. As might a weekend, where the envirinment is fresh, and much of the behaviour different.
When most of those past things are gone, yet another deserted bay or another day on passage lose their thrall. Pleasant enough but some contrast is needed to balance and make one appreciate the different aspects.
To fantasise is to build a largely positive picture while reviewing the alternative primarily for the negatives. Little wonder that it draws but may not be realistic.
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:13   #19
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

You post an interesting question. We are full time cruisers but have only been out here for 18 months. I noticed only one response so far is from an actual cruiser and 'Active Captain' is right on but I am not sure I agree with the order. I think Marriage Issues and Money then Health. But that is only my opinion.

We know many cruisers and meet more every day. Happy couples are 'Best Friends' and we feel that is the number one criteria for couples contemplating cruising.

BTW - We are happier than we thought possible and have no plans to go back anytime soon.
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:14   #20
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

The people I see dropping out are for the most part either sick and tired of the maintenance and repairs or they have gotten to the point that it is beyond them physically due to age or sickness. But, there are as many reasons for disillusionment with cruising as there are for disillusionment with any type of lifestyle. One thing I see a lot more of today than I used to are the folks who saved all their lives and now want to "try" cruising as if they are taking up golf for the first time. There is a lot more to cruising than just buying the boat and equipment and "trying" it. In the past most cruisers were people who had been sailing all or at least a good portion of their lives, had worked their way up from small boats to big, had improved their skills from coastal sailing to longer trips, and in general were much more prepared for the myriad aspects of the lifestyle. I admire people jumping in with both feet, but I am not surprised that some of them find it a bit overwhelming. My advice to people wanting to try the lifestyle is to not put all your eggs in one basket, keep the house, buy a smaller boat at first, cruise locally and seasonally for awhile, work your way into it gradually. One thing I see on this site all the time is someone asking about "the perfect boat" for this or that--you really can't get that answer until you try out different boats and learn for yourself what you like and what works for you.
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:27   #21
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

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... I noticed only one response so far is from an actual cruiser...
You know, I really hate it when people say things like this - its both elitist, and marginalizes and devalue comments from people who may have a great deal of experience, maybe even more experience that you...but are currently not on the water for various reasons.

Good luck
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:32   #22
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

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I noticed only one response so far is from an actual cruiser
Depends upon your personal definition of "cruiser." Sounds to me like a lot of good, thoughtful responses in this thread from a bunch of folks who consider themselves "cruisers," and that's good enough for me.
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:32   #23
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
We are not liveaboards (yet) but I come into contact with quite a few.

Every other person that I have met seems to be quite happy. If not, they've never let on.

Rich

This likely means the unhappy ones don't (live aboard) anymore or that living on a boat and actually cruising are mutually exclusive things. Having sailed with my family throughout the Pacific for an extended period, in retrospect it was fun but I'd never want to do it again; kind of like boot camp.

Cramped space, constant motion, all kinds of obstacles to planning, difficult to buy what you want/need, limited lifestyle choices, loss of contact with family and friends, etc.. are all challenges which must be weighed against whatever enjoyment one gets from cruising.
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:54   #24
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Cramped space, constant motion, all kinds of obstacles to planning, difficult to buy what you want/need, limited lifestyle choices, loss of contact with family and friends, etc.. are all challenges which must be weighed against whatever enjoyment one gets from cruising.
Sorry to be somewhat cynical but " cramped space constant motion" what did you think you were getting in to , limited lifestyle choices what do you mean , that gym membership was hard to keep up.

Sorry but I think you've missed the point. First you have to love boats love sailing and love the sea. Else it's merely an archaic transport system that gets you there slowly and wet. Then you accept the maintenance frustrations etc as " balance" for all that love.

Otherwise buy a round the world cruise ticket.

With couples the key thing is understanding how to live together on a small boat. That is the single thing in my view that drives couples out of cruising.


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Old 30-03-2011, 17:10   #25
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

I like living on land and staying put makin' money.
I like living on a boat at sea, moving around and spending it.
I like living.

Work? Can't get away from it...it's just different.

##
Couples - met a tayana 37 couple a few months ago. very experienced. You could tell they had issues living on a boat and each other because of it (or maybe they learned more about themselves and now they know more about their partner)...yet...despite not liking each other...they go anyway.
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Old 30-03-2011, 17:19   #26
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

totally disillousioned with life on the land in the 1st world,the people suck,9-5 sucks ,the police state sucks,the weather sucks,the cost of living sucks,fuel prices suck,retail rip off prices suck,local politicians lining their pockets suck,speed limits suck,not being able to own guns sucks,nobody smiles sucks, the petty crime sucks................may be time to go sailing again soon.............
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Old 30-03-2011, 17:22   #27
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

right atoll - time to move to another sucky place only now to find all those wonderful things in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th world.
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Old 30-03-2011, 17:26   #28
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

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If so, what factors most influenced the disappointment?
Even the people who love it and keep doing it have moments when they hate it. I think there has been a moment on almost every long passage I have done when I was lying in my bunk thinking I had made a terrible mistake and wished I had a garden and a dog.

Part of the life is that one moment you are having the very best moment you can imagine and then a short while later you can have the worst possible time, and many people just don't like that emotional roller coaster. They want to go back to shore to the steady consistency and predictability.

It's said that to be a good cruiser you need a short memory (to forget the bad times) and I think there is quite a bit of truth in this. The wonderful times are way better than any time you have ever had ashore, but there are bad times and they are BAD.

Beyond that, it often costs more than people expect so they run out of money. The boat breaks more often than people expect. The wife is bored stiff. The parents or children need help back home.
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Old 30-03-2011, 17:36   #29
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

Great question. Cruising means different things to different people. I'm sure there are folks who think that if you're not crossing oceans, you're not cruising. And, there are folks who cruise almost exclusively on the ICW (describes my last 8 years), but keep on the move and live aboard full time. (I have also sailed across oceans) Here is my take on things.

I think the 'disillusioned' cruisers are those who set out to "live the dream". As a previous post said, they have certain expectations for what it will be like. Rarely are those expectations met, because it's not a dream.

It is a real lifestyle, with rewards and challenges and disappointments like any other lifestyle. It takes skills, dedication and a willingness to endure unwanted surprises. A strong desire to learn goes a long way to making a successful cruiser. I would say that most share a certain wanderlust - a desire to move and see scenery go past the windows. I think most who continue to cruise have a certain self-sufficiency too. If you expect that you will always find someone to fix your problem, you are destined to be a frustrated cruiser.

After a few long ocean passages, I found that I much preferred the 'being there' over the 'getting there'. Days and days sailing offshore didn't really fulfill my desires; getting to those destinations sure did! One can fly to most places far easier than one can sail there. On the other hand, I love to live aboard, and I have found that I like the easy, (mostly) drama free cruising on the protected waters of the ICW.

So, perhaps I thought at one time that I would sail to distant places, I gave that a try and found out it wasn't for me. Does that make me disillusioned? At some inner place, I admit to some disappointment, because I did dream of that. But, I am living a content lifestyle; and when I meet folks who aren't boaters, they always say "Wow, you're living the dream!" I just smile and say "I get by."
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Old 30-03-2011, 17:41   #30
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Re: Disillusionment with cruising?

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right atoll - time to move to another sucky place only now to find all those wonderful things in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th world.
they copied us so well......is there any where left that hasent been soiled by consumerism?
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