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Old 04-08-2011, 18:37   #31
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

Thanks, I see they are the most popular. I'm rather an individualist so what is the extreme opposite of a trawler? LOL

And they are usually on the pricey side, for a good one. I hate pushing a car if it breaks down, I'd really hate pushing my boat!
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Old 04-08-2011, 18:57   #32
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

I have a lot of friends well into their 70's out cruising. Some have medical issues but most are in good shape. I have some back trouble but can wait a few days at anchorage until things settle down. The hip thing will be a NO GO for you. Sorry, but if you can't maintain your balance on a boat, that has a lot of movement, you can't cruise. I have experienced this with unfortunate crew. If you have doubts about this go for a few hours cruise on a boat. It will drive the message home. JME
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Old 04-08-2011, 20:15   #33
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

And Here's another "Go for It" - I'm 62 (I think - I gave up counting after 50 - math was always my problem).

I'm still delivering yachts all over the world to earn my crust (writing this from Singapore - and I live in the Virgin Islands....)

It is said that The Good Lord does not deduct time spent sailing from one's overall Life-Span???? Tony
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:11   #34
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

Hi Kapena, it's not me with the hip thing, it's the old lady I'm taking (obviously she is not reading this...LOL) She has no problem with balance so much as walking long distances and working the joint, that should not be a problem, but getting on or off a boat, jumping off the bow or racing around to assist is probably out of the question. Funny though, she has no problem running through garage sales.

Bv, lucky you! Wish I had your experience. Sounds like you have it made.

As we mature as landlubbers, I think we get tied up in obligations, financial as well as personal. For those with deep enough pockets, financial conserns can be minimal. Personal committments are harder to walk away from as you leave friends and family behind. Being older means that others seem to depend on you for safe harbor and take care of any emergencies. That has nothing to do with cruising for short periods, but seems 6 months or a year would weigh on you.

OTH, you certainly don't want to live life for others entirely.

I guess many of my concerns are really taken care of by proper planning.

If I were to take off on a land expedition, I'd have no problem putting together what I needed, from a backpacking trip to crossing the country with any means of land transport. I can't take everything in my F-150 truck for all the creature comforts, if I really pack it in, there is really no issue of safety (to a logical point) but, in a boat it's a different story.

Cruisers usually evolve from one boat to another over time with experience and are aware of what they really require, what they will accept as living conditions. My boats have been ones that I could camp on for a weekend, but not live on for an extended period. I would think as we get older the level of acceptable conditions leans toward the cushy side. I certainly would accept less than I enjoy now as a trade off to complete my bucket list. We are having record heat here for example and I'm in the hosue with the A/C blowing cold. How many run the A/C 24/7 on a boat, you'd just have to deal with it or move north (again depending on the baot, I would certainly do that, if you can't out run summer you're stuck).
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:05   #35
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

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Originally Posted by Wavewacker View Post
........................Cruisers usually evolve from one boat to another over time with experience and are aware of what they really require, what they will accept as living conditions..................
This wise thought jumped out at me and brought back some memories of life aboard. In our twenties my wife and I lived aboard a sailboat that had little space and few amenities. I was not able to stand inside the cabin. In our thirties we lived aboard a larger 33' boat with our two young children, but without refrigeration. In our forties we moved to a 41' boat with our teenagers in separate cabins. In our fifties we decided a refrigerator/freezer was required. In our sixties we sometimes run our 7Kw generator to run our air conditioners at anchor. I wasn't suffering in my twenties, but I don't think we could live that way today!
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:47   #36
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

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The hip thing will be a NO GO for you. JME
I turned 60 this year and had both my hips replaced 10 years ago. Balance was a problem for a couple of years. It resolved when I decided to take up racket ball again. Having your balance compromised is VERY frustrating for awhile, but IS resolvable. It does however take effort because you are teaching your brain a different way of receiving information about where your feet are. Without the joint the normal nerve pathways (at least some of them) are gone. The bottom line is that with some desire and effort balance CAN return to normal. The key is engaging activities that demand balance and being willing to struggle for a bit.

I still say GO FOR IT
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:18   #37
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

phil weld was 65 when he won the ostar on moxie I think he took up the sport later then some
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:42   #38
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

It's really pretty simple: If you believe that it is too late, then it is. If you believe that it is not too late, then it is not.

In other words, attitude, not age, is the limiting factor.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:01   #39
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

No... 64 here. I know folks that are in their 80s who still spend months aboard every year. My perspective is that the boat is a necessary challenge; both in the sailing and in the fixing. There is no schedule, no pressure to get things done, no pressure to sail or not to sail or where to sail to. Therefore, I find a lot of satisfaction in the entire scope of sailing. It's important to avoid self-imposed pressure and often difficult to consciously extract yourself from the hamster wheel most of us have been on for our entire adult lives; all the all too often inane, asinine, crap we've endured to please others. Everyone needs something to present challenges which become harder to find once you "retire" from the workaday world and actually have the time to consider what makes you happy. The important things are to NOT get in debt, nor have it become a worrisome financial burden. This can easily occur with boats. Budgeting is really important. Things like finding Yuppie-free places to keep your boat where you can do your own work, avoidance of $4/ft/night places to be at a dock, cooking on board, and being on the hook most of the time can make cruising affordable for almost anyone. For some, the planning, learning, and intensity of sailing are worth the effort no matter if you sail around the world or just stay close to shore.

That said, boating can be too much for some. It's often physically uncomfortable: hot, cold, wet (sort of like camping). Many things you take for granted ashore are not going to happen on a boat. There's constant maintenance. Everything is somewhat unforgiving: the weather, use of water, food, fuel, etc. There is a steep learning curve if you've not grown up with boats. It's easy to get in over your head very quickly, the results of which can be disastrous. Anyway, lots of decisions and research are in order before plunking money down for a boat.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:07   #40
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

You best be looking at boats over 30' if you plan to spend much time on it double handed. There just isn't enough room in the typical boat under 30' to fit the accoutrements of long term cruising for a couple. The Vancouver and Bristol Channel Cutters are two boats that are under 30' and might work but both typically cost more than longer boats. Think about an older Tartan, Pearson, Morgan, if you want cheap.

Get a boat with a good diesel already installed if you must have a diesel auxillary. It could easily cost $10,000 to do an engine swap. Don't automatically dismiss an Atomic 4 gas engines as boats with them tend to be cheaper, however. They are very reliable, smooth running and cheaper to rebuild but use quite a bit more fuel if you anticipate long powering stretches. I'm a sailor so use an engine only as a last resort. I really only that it will start when asked.

As far as jumping and running, you might want to have your lady handle the stationary stuff like steering and engine while you do the physical work. Worked out fine for us as my wife is just too little to handle things that take much strength. Probably a lot better at acrobatics, however.

Forget A/C unless you are going with a generator on a 40 plus foot gold plater. Being on the water automatically makes it cooler and at anchor the boat usually will fair into the wind. Awnings, windscoops, and fans make a boat quite livable if there is any breeze. There is nothing you can do with 100 degrees and high humidity except rent a motel room, however, BTDT. At the dock you can rig up a house wall unit but energy use is just too great to use cruising without a 24/7 generator and too big to take with you. We spent two southern summers in French Polynesia and never felt the need for A/C. Had a full boat awning and windscoop that kept the sun off the deck and the breeze flowing through the boat. If you can't live without A/C, cruise Canada in the summer. A/C is not needed in the tropics in the winter.

One thing you can't fix or replace is time. We built a Westsail 32 from a kit. It was a great experience and actually fun but it ate up nearly two years before we actually left. At our age, the next breath is uncertain so don't waste time on trying to find the perfect boat or buying one that will take a whole bunch of repairs to get ready. For most things, customization can be done underway as find a need for it. Lots of things that I thought were absolute necessities were discarded along the way as they proved useless, too difficult to set up and use, or took up too much space for the very times I needed them. There always seemed to be a cruising boat owned by a gadget guy that would either lend and/or rent tools and/or do the work you needed done.
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Old 05-08-2011, 14:13   #41
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

Don't forget, the longer you wait the older you get.
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:27   #42
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

Thanks again everyone. What others have evolved to, late starters need to begin with so to speak. It makes the selection more critical than being 30 and experimenting. That is made harder as I'm not in an area of larger sailboats. On our lakes, anything 30' and over is probably a Formula or a houseboat. It would be nice to crawl over some without having to drive to Florida.

I have a high mechanical aptitude, I'm not a mechanic. My carpentry skills are probably better than most, but I'm no professional.

I'm off the hamster wheel so to speak being retired. So on the financial side, I'd like to go the really cheap route which I know is a catch 22. Buy a cheap boat, I'll be making repairs (that would need to be paid for), buy a more expensive boat and have an asset that might be hard to sell (especially in my area if it were sold here) and take a beating. I know sailing is not free and motoring costs more.

I have read that one can live on less on the water, that course sounds good to me. I'm not interested in living in a slip, except in winter months if I'm not further south. I may be getting ahead of myself as I was not really considering living on the water, but plans may evolve to that. I would think the Loop would be a good year, perhaps longer. I'm willing to "suffer" a little for that, compared to being in the house and setting the thermostat. That's not to say I would rely on scoupers, fans and natural 100 degree winds. I must have A/C and heat. I was thinking that RV/boat units would surfice, if they are too expensive I would consider an automotive A/C unit adapted for a small space. Hopefully I can incorporate off-grid techniques sufficient to survive. A small fridge is another issue, I'm not hauling ice in or buying bags at a dock. Swamp collers could be an option as well and I thought the water could be drawn in from the cooler depths to improve comfort.

I also see motoring more than sailing, since much of my cruising will probably be rivers, I would sail in open areas. I would like to have a trailerable boat, no, I need a trailerable boat, so I'm down to 8' or something that can be expanded at the launch. Again. ease of launching needs to be fairly easy, no cranes, no semis or F-450 required. Starting out this is pretty much the way I need to go. If my situation evolves to a full timer, then that could change.

I wanted to take my dual sport motorcycle for transportation, that's a big problem needing an 8x3' space. My cruiser would be better, but it's heavy. I may have unrealistic goals, the other option seems to be an RVer and pull a boat, but that does not meet the goals of my bucket list and really doesn't excite me very much.

Attitude, that's a good one! I'm an old Army Pathfinder type, when I was 30 there was the no fear relying on advanced training and attitude, now I have the same attitude, but it's tempered with more wisdom and common sence. I can't bench press 250 anymore I'm sure (haven't tried lately, lol) can't run a mile in less than 5 minutes any longer either, I can run across the yard. As we get older, attitudes are usually greater than real capability, the mind says we can and the body says "what the heck are you doing?"
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:09   #43
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

A few weeks ago I picked up a used copy of "Sailing on a micro budget" by Larry Brown. Very good book so far, with lots of ideas. One of the best so far has been that if you start thinking more about the object than the activity, then you become a materialist. If you want to go cruising, then get a cheap boat and get on the water. Experience will tell you what parts you can do and what you need to learn more about. Don't look for the perfect boat, as was said above. Look for something to get your self and your sweetheart started and hop aboard. You can futher the experience by getting off the couch and cleaning out the closets. Get used to living with and worrying about less. My wife refers to this as "blessing someone else" with the stuff we've been clinging to. We've given up a lot in the past few years and doing so has lifted a large emotional load off our shoulders. Leam
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:21   #44
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

I have a friend who is 84 and single hands his PS Dana for weeks at a time. My dad is 74 and can barely get off the couch. Both have similar underlying health issues. One has a better attitude and outlook on life. Guess which one?
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Old 06-08-2011, 15:24   #45
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

LOL, Leam, good idea, cleaning out the closet and blessing someone else...LOL. I doubt I could get my family to take my crap, we all have the "hording gene". But true, I can get rid of much of it, my GF thinks she wants to store stuff. Storing stuff at 150 bucks a month for stuff you would buy at a garage sale for a total of a grand....

Anyway, and Rover88 I would guess your older friend.

I'm thinking of that old song (can't remeber the name or who did it) saying "get out the back Jack, make a new plan Stan, you don't need a Decoy Roy, just get yourself free" It's not as simplistic as that, but that's the attitude.

Since cruising boats are rare here, I thought I might have to go to Flordia or Texas (where ever) and buy a boat there and start from there. That's a scary thought. The other thought was actually building a small cruiser, yes, build one. I've looked at some simple plans and I'm starting to think I could do that. I like the small cats, Slider, Eco 6, Miss Cindy, Gato, as I think I mentioned, or a dory hull mono, maybe a barge style. But I doubt I can go over 24', seems it gets too hard to build something larger without heavy equipment. Just a thought. Building would give one confidence in the boat as they would certainly know of any weakness.
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