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Old 20-07-2012, 18:53   #16
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Re: Sailing Commune?

Doh.

You go to any dock where there are two French boats moored and that's what you find.

Unless one of them is an Amel ;-)))))

BTW I find most of the cruising environment to be a sort of commune. It only varies from place to place how closely knit the thing is.

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Old 20-07-2012, 20:57   #17
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Re: Sailing Commune?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Doh.

You go to any dock where there are two French boats moored and that's what you find.

Unless one of them is an Amel ;-)))))

BTW I find most of the cruising environment to be a sort of commune. It only varies from place to place how closely knit the thing is.

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Old 21-07-2012, 05:01   #18
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Re: Sailing Commune?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Long rallies are probably the closet thing to an onwater commune. Ie blue water rally, ArC world etc. however unless you all li e together on a large boat, sailing is a solitary exercise. Even in rallies, sailing boat are rarely in eyesight. So the land based metaphor only works to a point. The other thing is sailing s relatively expensive. Do it's not really for the impecunious.

Dave
Probably the ARC etc is the closest (for boats actually moving somewhere) - otherwise looking at a "liveaboard community", and those seem to be pretty well covered even if not as formal(?) as OP seems to be suggesting and the benefits / co-operation will no doubt vary between locations.

But of course the ARC etc is really just a one off (one way) event, even if some participants are regulars (at least for a year or 3?). In any event I see those sorts of those events as "aspirational" (and of course commercially driven) rather then being a permanent lifestyle / community to join created solely for the benefit of the members.....of course I have never been on one!

As regular readers will know, I am tied to the dock (and with no great dreams of living aboard 24/7 in distant shores) so no first hand experiance of what is already "out there" apart from a lifetime of experiance of the usual boaty people tendency to muck in together when someone is genuinely stuck (rather than freeloading by lifestyle choice ) - plus over here at least boats tend to be a great social leveller - except perhaps when a Marina is involved!, when things have a tendency to get all "Yacht Club", at least in appearance......

.....however I also travelled the world on what were largely extended vacations for a decade or so, even if sometimes a bit (and sometimes a lot ) of money making was involved.......as I used to set off alone the most frequent question I got asked was "don't you get lonely?" - and the answer to that was no.........I mostly got bored and tired of meeting new people. I ended up with sticking to certain places, even if these did gradually change over the years - not simply because they were the "best" places, but because it meant that I developed a network of places and more importantly people I knew well (not to say that everyone was a freind - i.e. no last Rollo from me ) but it does make a big difference to talk (and laugh ) about stuff (and people both knew) from last year, even if me / they not in the locale solidly in the interim. or 5 years (+) ago. or simply from the same reference points relating to wider world in the locale for things in years past.....always a difference between living through events and simply reading / hearing about them. and a shared understanding (the good / the bad / the funny / the frustrations) means that things don't have to always be said - as often the case when new folk are involved, spelt out in crayon . and in practical terms, both you and they being a known quantity (even if not a "freind") means more likely to help each other out as have a good handle on the likelihood of that coming back (and simply who to ask), even if it don't come back from the same person (for whatever reason) - but if others in the locale / social circle know that you are willing to help out then they more likely to help you......whether that help is simply a lend of a spanner ("he always gives them back!") or a few hours of "advice" whilst staring at an engine, sharing a beer or 3 and commiserations. Or being able to get a good handle on the likely comeback from sending someone down a canal (Khlong).

The reason for spelling out the above is that I can see a merit to being part of a more formal community if the goal is to be "out there" forever, not so much for the financial benefits (although there will no doubt be those) but simply from the social side. For me, the Community not litterally being on the same boat (mine or someone elses) is a big plus as I don't mix well with folks 24/7 , besides the fundamental challenge of putting folks on boats into a community is that for many getting away from others or at least not being bound by them / their requirements is part of the attraction of getting "out there"!.........but nonetheless for many, eventually aimless wanderings do become aimless wandering ("hey, look - it's another f#cking perfect sunset. and some palm trees".....if you even notice them ). Some sense of purpose / belonging (and that does tend to involve people, whether we like it or not!) does seem to be important to humans.

Whilst, like OP, I am also struggling with the right terminology - my rough thoughts on something that could work is that "The Group" is based around an annual migration path (whether that be USA / Carribean based - or elsewhere......possibly a never ending RTW voyage?!). Not to say that every place visited has to be fixed in stone (it's March so it must be the Bahamas ), nor compulsory for everyone (the fundamental part of being on own boat is doing WTF you want), but nonetheless certain times of the year (seasons?) the boats would normally concregate in a place (ideally somewhere that the group know well), whether that be for the winter or simply for the craic in somewhere that is good (however "good" is defined by the Group - could be great beaches, could be easy working opportunities or simply cheap commuting back home, for work or family). Obviously has to be some self interest in folks congregating, as well as a willingness to put into the pot (whether cash or skills) - how that is done might well be a challenge, and managing the group likely akin to herding cats , probably the case that the core is fairly stable over many years with other folks floating in and out, whether for a few years or longer.....IMO need a framework and clearly stated common goals - but nonetheless loads of flexibility built in with as few "requirements" as possible.

Lets call it a Cult . I'll bring the goats........
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Old 21-07-2012, 05:40   #19
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I have found the cruising world to be very communal. Especially if you have kids and are sailing. Kid boats frequently group together and even travel in groups for extended periods. And when you are with kid boats that you feel comfortable with the parents you find yourself sharing child rearing responsibilities such as all the kids will go to one boat for a day and be entertained giving the other parents a rest day, or sharing babysitting duties etc.

You also can see "communal" like groups when you are in more remote places and are grouping together either for safety or companionship or necessity. Cruisers generally act very communally when there is help needed within their community. You have never seen generosity until you have been someplace remote and there is an emergency amongst the cruisers. The lengths many will go with their time, resources, and even money to help one of their own can be quite inspiring.

It depends on where you are. Many marinas as well as anchorages can be communal, it depends on who is in there. I am not much of a marina person, but we were in Hout Bay in south Africa for two years during a full rebuild of our boat and in all my time travelling this was the most communal and generous group of international and local yachting I have encountered. It may be due to the international flavour of the group, the fact that there were 7 families doing full build/rebuild projects who knows....
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Old 21-07-2012, 13:07   #20
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Re: Sailing Commune?

I grew up in New Mexico in the 60's and 70's. Left in 1996 and other than visits, have not returned. The communal life that you talk about had its merits, some very close friends had their children in the back of a school bus. He went to medical assistant school to be a medical specialist and by the time he returned the commune has disbanded. Why?
Because communes, for all their glory, could not escape the rule that every one in the society has to contribute. Some would just like to go off and contemplate their naval all day- or the equivalent- smoke dope. Eventually the ones making a living threw out the ones doing nothing- and there was no more free love, free stay, free everything.
So that's the key- everyone has to contribute. If that law is in place, it really takes very little to keep a society going. I think most people in the commune were working only a few hours a day.
Many small boats which band together to form a community sounds fun. You could wholesale the larger food items- even getting it from the farms on the river (or coast) and cut out all the middlemen.
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Old 21-07-2012, 13:28   #21
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Re: Sailing Commune?

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(...) Why? Because communes, for all their glory, could not escape the rule that every one in the society has to contribute. (...)
+1!

That's why I hate the s.c. team-work.

For a commune to work, it takes work share and skills share. Too often, none exists, and they end up living off the society.

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Old 21-07-2012, 14:06   #22
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Re: Sailing Commune?

In the ancient pirate world they shared fair and square according to contracts you can probably find somewhere in a history book. Maybe those contracts could be a good guide. I believe the captain was decided by vote.
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Old 21-07-2012, 17:35   #23
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Re: Sailing Commune?

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In the ancient pirate world they shared fair and square according to contracts you can probably find somewhere in a history book. Maybe those contracts could be a good guide. I believe the captain was decided by vote.
This is exactly as I have read in book on Dampier! In their times, pirates were the most democratic of all professions. They had 'health/accident insurance' too!

Apparently, democracy and piracy are just different names for the same thing ... Oooooops!

;-)))))

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Old 21-07-2012, 18:21   #24
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Re: Sailing Commune?

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I grew up in New Mexico in the 60's and 70's. Left in 1996 and other than visits, have not returned. The communal life that you talk about had its merits, some very close friends had their children in the back of a school bus. He went to medical assistant school to be a medical specialist and by the time he returned the commune has disbanded. Why?
Because communes, for all their glory, could not escape the rule that every one in the society has to contribute. Some would just like to go off and contemplate their naval all day- or the equivalent- smoke dope. Eventually the ones making a living threw out the ones doing nothing- and there was no more free love, free stay, free everything.
So that's the key- everyone has to contribute. If that law is in place, it really takes very little to keep a society going. I think most people in the commune were working only a few hours a day.
Many small boats which band together to form a community sounds fun. You could wholesale the larger food items- even getting it from the farms on the river (or coast) and cut out all the middlemen.
I think the OP is wanting something like the Baja Ha-Ha (Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers Rally: Sailing from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas) year round. Does something like it exist on the East Coast? Lots of boats all sailing together and watching each other's backs. But also a sense of a 'neighborhood' type of group. When I was growing up, we had weekly bar-be-que nights at different people's homes in the neighborhood. We would bring a dish to share and such. It was a fun activity.

But, the issue is when it is done with boats, who dictates where the boats will travel to? What about storms, illness, and such slows down a boat? What if one boat or subset of boats wants to go or stay someplace else for a week or two? I can also see the benefits to having a large group of boats all with a similar plan.

I would like to see this happen, and it would be nice to cruise with a group of your friends. But, I think it would be better to look at the YHA (youth hostel) model. Where there are lots of similar setups in every city you will go to, and while the people are different, there are local activities that you do with fellow travelers and meals at the hostels a few days a week. The Marinas probably should be like this, or the local beach bar that caters to cruisers should be setting this type of 'structured society' up.
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Old 21-07-2012, 19:45   #25
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Re: Sailing Commune?

In my youth I lived on a couple communes, but found them boring. The men went up into the hills and cut firewood and smoked dope (I, of course, never inhaled), the women stayed at the converted chicken coop to wash clothes, garden, kill and butcher chickens, bake bread, scrub clothes, and do all of the ghastly work. Then I went to Hawaii and met a bunch of folk, calling themselves "Ocean People", who introduced me to multihulls. I was hooked, lined and sinkered. The key to it was that you created your own vessel, you were responsible for your own survival and maintenance and relationships. If you couldn't do it, you found another option. It ruined me for life. Now I am an older fart, still messing with boats, enjoying the unique lifestyle and the folks that follow it. I don't have the financial security I might have had (and sometimes regret, especially at the end of the month), but I am prouder of myself for being able to get from here to there, repair anything (including my own trauma), and have wonderful conversations, meals, and adventures with like-minded people. You only get to do this experience once. So far, so good.
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Old 22-07-2012, 06:28   #26
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Re: Sailing Commune?

As several others have pointed out, cruisers ARE a community...they don't have to live communally with the same people day after day and sail with them too. Sailors often do not have the same destination in mind when they decide to leave.
Wherever you go you will find cruisers/liveaboards (and btw, not all hippies live in squalor.....I was one in the sixties and my home is a pretty catamaran!) and, more to the point, you will find HELP with whatever you need. As long as you make the effort to go and greet other cruisers when you sail into a new-to-you anchorage or marina, or greet new arrivals when they sail into yours, you will remain part of that community and subject to all its benefits.
Twelve years into this lifestyle my only regret is that I didn't do it waaaay earlier!
Hope to meet you one day......
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Old 22-07-2012, 09:04   #27
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Re: Sailing Commune?

Jerome FitzGerald tried to get a seastead going, he wrote a book about it, "Sea-Steading: A Life of Hope and Freedom on the Last Viable Frontier". He called the group the Oar Club because everybody sailed engineless - seemed like an EOTWAWKI group. It failed, and now he and his followers are living "sustainably" in Hawaii, shopping at Costco and all that. The Seasteading Institute, www.seasteading.org, is cities built on stilts in the ocean, very different concept.

When you are cruising mostly due to weather you naturally get into groups that sail together. People go to the same good anchorages to wait for weather windows, and leave together. This is an incredible amount of fun. (Too much fun if you are owned by a project boat. )

That is very cool you are homeschooling your kids! The most interesting, well-adjusted kids I have met have been home-schooled cruising kids. Your wife is a nurse?? Lots of traveling nurses living aboard and cruising....
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Old 22-07-2012, 10:40   #28
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Re: Sailing Commune?

I like the idea of a travelling nomadic tribe of sailors, who go down to the South in the winter and to the North in the summer, it sounds very appealing. That Marinas would cater to this, as Sun Devil suggests, is probably not going to happen. My experience with marinas is they are out to make a living, and the more they can charge you the happier they will be. No I think we would have to anchor out, and perhaps raft up. I know of a few places up in Washington/British Columbia where we could stay the summer. Summers are beautiful up there BTW. So where do you want to stay the winter? It would have to be below the hurricane belt of course. Panama? I think I like it cooler, so I might go all the way to Chile.
We could form a tribe, and demand wholesale discounts on food and other items perhaps.
It definitely sounds fun. And each one would be responsible for his own boat. Of course we would help each other. And we would have to be responsible. No "just buy the food and I will make it up to you" We don't have to use money, but we do have to barter honestly. One of the lessons I learned early in life (was if from my hippy friends??) was to pay for things before I get them. But once on your own boat you can do you own thing, live life as slopply or neatly as you want. All accepted, that can make the journey. Kinda like the Sioux and their once nomadic lifestyle. If I ever get there, I would be happy to be your physican.
Yeah, that might work.
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Old 22-07-2012, 14:48   #29
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Re: Sailing Commune?

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We could form a tribe
A tribe sounds the closest to what OP was suggesting (I think) - appreciate that lots of other "Cruising Community" options available, as mention on this thread. Of course a Tribe won't be for everyone, but does not have to be.

Maybe make the Tribe into full members (who make most of the decisions) and associates (who can drop in and drop out).


Quote:
And each one would be responsible for his own boat. Of course we would help each other. And we would have to be responsible. No "just buy the food and I will make it up to you" We don't have to use money, but we do have to barter honestly. One of the lessons I learned early in life (was if from my hippy friends??) was to pay for things before I get them. But once on your own boat you can do you own thing, live life as slopply or neatly as you want. All accepted, that can make the journey. Kinda like the Sioux and their once nomadic lifestyle. If I ever get there, I would be happy to be your physican.
Yeah, that might work.
I have never been into the "Hippy thing" - and certainly I would have no interest in a commune where the idea is to live dirt poor and barter beans & rice between each other (errr, I mean live in a self sustainable way ) away from the joys of the modern world.......but a Tribe that was willing to also be part of civilisation might be of interest. By that I mean being very willing to make money (from outside the Tribe), both collectively and individually - between the Tribe certainly barter and simply lending a hand would be more the norm, but cash also not being frowned upon.

For that I am thinking the annual Migration route, including (for a US originating Tribe) back to the US - both as somewhere folks can make money (with no visa problems - and the money earned goes further elsewhere) and also for family reasons. Whether that be Winter. Summer or another time of year...could possibly even commercialise the annual migration south (and back north?) by taking along folks (newbies?) just for their first big trip (before waving them bye bye!), and possibly also selling them "how to live on a boat" etc etc courses (kinda like a mini / more informal ARC / Baja?).....all that on a Tribe basis (i.e. money goes into the Tribal Treasury).

I could see an attraction for folks with kids onboard (shared child care / schooling and simply freinds) and possibly those of more mature years - as well as those on a budget that does require topping up now and again to maintain an endless cruising lifestyle.

My thinking is that membership of the Tribe itself won't pay all the bills (even on a Barter basis) - just that being part of would provide some financial benefits (as well as the social side and non cash benefits of being part of a group "pulling together") - whether from Group buying power or Group earnings. But at the end of the day up to each to provide for self - otherwise the caravan (Tribe) does move on.......actually the moving on thing would be a good way to ditch those who are a drag on the Tribal resources (whether cash or time) as am sure their will be those whose boats are tied together with wishful thinking and string and who expect others to pick up the slack / bill to keep them on the road (sea!)........

Probably easiest to manage if the Tribe was based around a religion! Inventing my own Religion / Sect / Cult is on my bucket list........
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Old 22-07-2012, 17:36   #30
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Although not being in line with the hippy commune thinking, but more towards the capitalistic side of things, the idea of a virtual, barter based currency might be something to build a community around . The sailing community might actually be perfectly suited for it, if the unit (boat buck!) was something fairly large (1 hr or task = 1 buck), relatively cheap to initially buy (easy to get in), and closer tied to time vs skill. The idea would be to not ruin the "helping someone out, just because " yet for those in the community, it would help build some sense of "tribe", help in paying it forward, and could solve both the freeloading problem (out of bucks? have no skills? How about bottom cleaning? ) as well as disconnected and infrequently participating members.

For example, i would be happy to trade a couple hours of computer work for the same amount in babysitting my kids. I typically charge a beer or two, because I generally only help friends, and I know that sooner or later they'll help me with something. Cruising, you may or not run into someone again, and you may or may not be as lucky when you need help, but if I "got" a virtual buck that someone would accept in the next port to watch the kids, or look at the diesel, or something I needed at the time, I think it could be interesting.

Anyone actually participating in some of the barter networks already out there?
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