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Old 18-09-2011, 18:06   #31
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

Burppp... Good idea.
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Old 18-09-2011, 18:08   #32
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

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Burppp... Good idea.
Thank you.
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Old 18-09-2011, 18:11   #33
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

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Hi Paula,
Welcome.
I do not feel you are ever too old. Maybe health issues can cause some compromises. At 73 I feel much more fit than some folks half my age, but I do have some problems.

Single handing any boat is difficult, a big catamaran even more so. Assess your experience and knowledge of the many things a sailor must know.
Routine maintenence - there are no mechanics at sea.
Navigation - sounds easy with GPS, etc. but there is more to it than that.
Watch standing - there are many overnighters in the Caribbean.
I have been sailing over 50 years, USCG licenses, crossed the Atlantic, 18 years living aboard, 9 years full time cruising, etc.

I would not consider cruising the Caribbean alone! The dog will be a comfort and good security, but can he stand a watch? I, personally consider single hand sailors to be a HAZARD at sea.

I suggest you charter some catamarans, then try some real boats. I am not totally biased about cats, I have had several beach cats and loved them. I have been invited to sail with my 78 year old friend on his 37' cat.
Who knows I may like it?

Finally, I would never consider going to sea without my best friend, my wife of 30 years. All of things you have mentioned are much better when shared with a significant other. If you wish, you may speak to my wife. She will convince you to go cruising. e mail bobbie@bshmarine.com

Tom
Thank you for the advice. Sounds like you are enjoying a great exciting life. I certainly will do a charter before making such an investment.
Paula
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Old 18-09-2011, 18:21   #34
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

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Hello. I hear you say catamaran Paula, and worry for you. With physical difficulties already, you might consider joining the dark side, i.e. a power boat. Yes, I have engine issues (sailboats do too) but for me, I simply do not have the strength nor stamina I had 30 years ago.

UNLESS you want the compounded problem of having to pick up crew whenever you wish to move your boat (bad!!!) then it's my belief that whatever boat you chose should be something you can handle alone. Relying on others isn't a good thing and no matter how cheerily folks might be willing to help you...

So, though you might wish for the stability of a cat, perhaps the living space and comforts of home may best be found aboard a smaller power boat. Mother used to say "The ideal boat sleeps two, feeds four and parties six."

P.S. - Smaller means less time spent cleaning and scrubbing and more time for reading (even if it is a manual on how to fix something that's broken)

P.S.S. - Australian Shepherds are brilliant dogs -- very bright, and I would not worry about training her until you're aboard. My girl adapted quickly (less than one week) to the puppy pads; the one problem I had was initially she treated the dinghy as "outside" (if you get my drift) so I started putting her on the swim platform until she performed. Now she asks to go out to use it -- indeed there are weeks when we don't find the need to come ashore at all. And yes, she wears her life jacket when on the platform (she's fallen in enough times that I keep her puppy shampoo tucked into a locker by my sink!) Believe me when I say she's not her most attractive wet.

Good luck with your decision, but definitely THINK SMALL.
Thank you for all the supportive words and I really liked the quote about sleeping, eating and partying.

I plan on taking sailing lessons and doing a charter before I invest the big bucks. Right now I am feeling things out as I am like to try things out vs. a read the book type of person. I just purchased some of those wee-wee pads and will see how my boy does with that. He is a service dog and fly's with me as well. So, on long flights he might need to use one. He doesn't really hike his leg and more or less squats so we'll see how that goes.
Paula
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Old 18-09-2011, 18:24   #35
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Re: Am I too old?

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Great Zee, thanks for this I have never heard of it in 22 years living in Mexico.


iamsteelrose: No you are not too old I give you an few+ years and I am about to start again, and it will make you feel much much younger day after day.

Go for it!
Thank you for the advice. Maybe as an aside it will help my memory too. LOL.
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Old 18-09-2011, 18:26   #36
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

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Aloha and welcome!
I don't think 60 is too old. The shame would be if you reach 65 and haven't done it yet and say, "I think I should have started sailing 5 years ago."
kind regards,
How right you are. I am thinking now I wish I had done it at 55.
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Old 18-09-2011, 18:49   #37
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

Age is not a factor at all in boating. I do short handed and single handed sailing at 55 years old. Strength is a factor you have to deal with even with good hands.

You will want larger jib winches and maybe a power winch for the main, and windlass for the anchor. My little sailboat has a mast and is easy to sail by myself. Its not a fast boat, but then again it does good enough for me.

I would recommend maybe charter a crewed cat first as most sailing lessons are on mono hull 20-22' sailboats. Different experience from a cat.
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Old 18-09-2011, 18:52   #38
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

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Here we go again.

Mono v. Cat is one of the classic fights on Cruisers Forum. I'm a mono guy myself, but I have to disagree with Roverhi. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with a cat, if that's the way your taste runs. It is really purely a matter of taste. Cats are NOT more expensive than monos, IF you compare them properly. They are actually not faster, either. That is because you can't compare them by length. A 40' -- 42' cat is more or less equivalent to a 50' mono in cost, interior volume, and speed. So really it is just a question of how you prefer your boat to be laid out, and what your preferences are concerning boat motion and heeling.
I understand and respect your point of view but know I am more of a CAT person.
Thanks
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Old 18-09-2011, 18:53   #39
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

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Age is not a factor at all in boating. I do short handed and single handed sailing at 55 years old. Strength is a factor you have to deal with even with good hands.

You will want larger jib winches and maybe a power winch for the main, and windlass for the anchor. My little sailboat has a mast and is easy to sail by myself. Its not a fast boat, but then again it does good enough for me.

I would recommend maybe charter a crewed cat first as most sailing lessons are on mono hull 20-22' sailboats. Different experience from a cat.
Thank you I appreciate a straight forward answer with good suggestions.
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Old 18-09-2011, 18:56   #40
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

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PS: I'm sure you don't want to hear this but frankly, with the challenges you already face, taking a pooch with you is probably just going to add to the complexity and create problems you just don't need. Leave the pooch with a friend and send it a postcard from the places you visit...James

My concern about the dog is that it's an Aussie shepherd. They need lots of exercise and lots of stimulation. They're incredibly smart and need to be stimulated. I don't see how that could be accomplished on long cruises.

It is possible to train a dog to pee somewhere, and the bow is a favored place, but I have a friend whose dog went overboard from the bow. They were very lucky and were able to rescue her.
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Old 18-09-2011, 19:10   #41
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

I am!
But I refuse to throw in the towel. Can't see spending the rest of my time in a rocking chair when the boat will do the rocking for me.

Oh, that's right! CATs don't rock. Just go bump in the night.
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Old 18-09-2011, 19:38   #42
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

The best thing I know of for arthritis is a little dementia so you forget about it and activity so you stay focused on something else! All kidding aside (well, for a few seconds anyway) .......a workout that strengthens up your legs, and some basic upper body strengthening would be in order so you aren't starting out doing something entirely new with no conditioning. It's also helpful to know how to use your legs for the heavy stuff (body mechanics) rather than your arms. 60 is NOT old! As a physical therapist I see loads of folks who are very physically active well into their 80's! Just keep moving! Dancing is great for cardio and balance.....sailing can keep you young!

Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than what you did....Mark Twain
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Old 18-09-2011, 19:42   #43
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Absolutely not. People with all sorts of issues cruise. The dog will adjust. Go have fun and fulfill your dream. Charters, classes, talking to folks in area yacht clubs etc. SC
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Old 18-09-2011, 19:46   #44
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

1) you are NOT too old, as you will have gathered from other posts.
2) you may have strength issues, but your health and strength will probably improve as you go along.
3) there are ways to get around strength, for the routine stuff, by power winches, on sail boats, if nothing else. A power boat gets rid of many "strength issues" and should definitely be considered. (I am a sailor, but understand this)
4) where strength is an issue is in the unexpected things. Like moving a boat around a dock by yourself when it is blowing. Like lifting a dinghy. Like going up the mast by yourself. Etc. Etc. Etc.
5) stamina is also a big concern, even bigger if you plan on singlehanding. Don't underestimate this. Exhaustion breeds bad mistakes. You may want to develop a list of friends who might like to accompany you on anything longer than 24 hours. If you think ahead, there won't be too many legs longer than this. This life really IS much more rewarding when shared.
6) both monohulls and multihulls should be considered. I have lived on a mono for 19 years, and a cat for 7. My own personal opinion is that you would be much better off on a cat, but that you should be wary of a big cat. Cat's are safer, not for the reasons that cause most arguments, but because you are less likely to slip yourself, or scald yourself, or all the other things that can happen when you are heeling, if you aren't pretty nimble; and you have told us that your strength and condition is a bit compromised, so I imagine your mobility might be, too. Cat's are much bigger boats than the equivalent sized mono's and if you don't realize this, you might really bite of too much too chew. I can easily singlehand my 45 foot cat ( I am 62), but I have been at it for a long time. A whole lot bigger would be pushing it, even for me. But, don't forget, if things get to be too much, you can often simply slow down.
7) every harbor has at least one boat that seldom moves because it is really a bit too big for its (often singlehanded) crew.
8) I had a dog aboard my 33 foot monohull, and it greatly improved the quality of my life...made it much easier to meet other people, too. There is no doubt that it will be a hassle, but nothing in life is free. In my opinion, pay the price and take the dog.
9) visit your local marina, sailing center, or yacht club and tell them what you are trying to do. Many will tell you not to (after all, most of them aren't trying to do it, and that affects their opinions). Ignore that, but try to get a feel for some different types of boats.
10) charter a boat somewhere, at least with a captain, maybe with full crew. Before you charter, tell the captain what you are up to. Try to find someone sympathetic and patient. Maybe a bit older. Maybe a dog lover. Maybe a teacher. You will find that person will probably turn out to be an enthusiastic and encouraging mentor. Might even give you more truly useful instruction than the formal stuff in a sailing class.

Finally, good luck, and keep at it during the moments (they will occur) when you feel discouraged or simply insane. They happen to all of us, young or old. You have the advantage of handling them with more maturity than most.

And, do take the dog.....and probably on a smaller boat than you first might want.

cheers,
Tim
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Old 18-09-2011, 20:03   #45
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Re: Am I Too Old ?

Darling, see if you can rent a boat for a week, or two. Don't take it away from the dock, just live on it...and yes, take the dog with you. If you feel okay with that, then ask the owner if you can hire him to take you out sailing for a day. See if you can do some of the things you would need to do. Take the dream in steps...little steps.
Domenic
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