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Old 03-11-2015, 22:48   #1
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...better late than never

Hello! I've had a profile for a while, I realized I haven't posted here yet, so here it goes...

Born and raised in British Columbia I had a few opportunities to catch a ride on a sailboat, but never really thought much of it other than acknowledging the fact that I love the water. It was in BC where I learned to dive, and with my boyfriend studying to be an oceanographer, I think I spent about 3 years underwater waiting on him and being told, "just 5 more mins".

One thing led to another and I landed myself in North Carolina for a decade, Colorado for a few years and eventually Indiana - ewww. It was 2010 when I realized I needed to be on the ocean... on, in... surrounded by - I was a fish out of water. Plans had to be made!

I had been an EMT for years (for 'fun') but worked as an accountant. When I was working on my paramedic I realized that I should be doing 'this', not grinding out ratios and financial statements...so I went back to school and changed careers. This was a brilliant idea because I also learned about travel nursing around that time, and travel nursing meant three things: travel, money, time off! (not difficult to see where this is going)...

So now, here I am, a critical care nurse stuck in Indiana. I would love to up and travel, but my teenager needs to finish high school first. She would move onboard if I could make it happen right now, but that would be a difficult path to take at the moment. If money falls from the sky, I'll buy sooner, but for now, I'm impatiently waiting to buy my sailboat and live aboard.

I sail when I can on the Great Lakes, take those longer, liveaboard ASA classes just so I can spend more time on the water, and meticulously plan my escape to the coast with what little free time I can find. The more I learn the more I realize I need to learn, but I am a knowledge hound so it's all good.

Is it normal to think about moving aboard my s/v daily? Probably not... but I have no interest in a 10-step program to cure my fixation.

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Old 03-11-2015, 23:54   #2
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Re: ...better late than never

Your best bet (and maybe you are doing it already) is start spending more time on your boat, like weekends, holidays maybe even short vacations and see how well it sits with you.


May the good winds always be with you
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:27   #3
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Re: ...better late than never

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Your best bet (and maybe you are doing it already) is start spending more time on your boat, like weekends, holidays maybe even short vacations and see how well it sits with you.


A) I don't have a boat, hence the two statements about chomping to buy one.

B) I definitely don't need to "see how well it sits" with me, per my other comments.

I love being aboard and I have no questions whether the lifestyle suits me. I'm a minimalist who loves a smaller space, I love the water and the constant movement...there is no need to see. I do spent whatever time on a boat, whichever way I am able since I don't own one yet - such as holidays and short vacations. I'm actually hoping to hookup with a boat that day races for 2016 out of Michigan City if I can find a team that will tolerate the fact I have to work the occasional weekend.


Happy sailing!
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Old 04-11-2015, 14:21   #4
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Re: ...better late than never

NorthernSeaWolf,

Well, you're a bit of a fish out of water, huh? Yes, it's normal. Before we left to go gruising, Jim used to have a picture of a boat in the ocean on the wall of his office at work, and he looked at it many times a day. Whereas I already had a poster of a beautiful Hawaiian beach on the wall over the sofa in my living room, placed there before we even met each other.

Welcome aboard, and good luck with your ventures, and also for your daughter, good wishes.


Ann
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Old 04-11-2015, 17:44   #5
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Re: ...better late than never

Ha, I can relate! My screensaver has been a Hans Christian 38 since 2012, although I admit I'm become more enamored by the HC33... I've studied currents and passage maps, and for the past two years, if it's not suitable for the liveaboard life, I don't buy it! I'm so very ready to bail on this cornfield!


Thanks Ann!
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:38   #6
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Re: ...better late than never

I never sailed before except for a few weekends in a basic sailing class and lived in Colorado, Texas, and a few other places but never considered cruising really. But the Admiral and I felt like we were in a rut and ready to do something different. No kids but had a big dog who hated the water. We just decided to do it and fortunately had enough cash to find and buy a boat and move to where the boat was and where we wanted to learn how to sail and to own a boat. We did it. It probably hurt us in many ways, mostly financial, but we would not have it any other way.

You can do it if it is your priority. But it will be at some "cost" and will involve some anxiety and even fear may be. You have a young girl to be responsible for but kids are pretty darn resilient, much more than some parents give them credit for. And if she says she is already ready then you don't have to stress that part. Whatever happens it won't hurt her.

Sure, you could both get killed in a boating mishap but no more so than any other way to get killed. Much safer than going out on a weekend night in a car. It can get expensive though so you have to carefully manage your money and set reasonable expectations. And you need to set yourself up for success, not failure. Go somewhere you can reasonably live on a boat. May be there are some folks who live on their boats on the Great Lakes but it sure sounds cold and difficult. You have very transferable skills as a nurse so getting a job should not be the biggest problem.

But this is not a trivial deal. Lots of logistics to sort out. Figuring out how to buy a reasonable good boat? Moving? Budgets? School for the kid? And friends and family may try to talk you out of it - too dangerous, too irresponsible, etc.

If you did it could you regret it the rest of your life? Always possible but what most people regret when they get older is not having done those things that later they figure out really weren't that hard to do after all. There are lots of people who have done what you are considering. You don't have to jump in full. Move to an area with boats and liveaboards. Get a good job there. And then jump in learning from people who are already doing it. Or, if you think you can figure out the right boat before that, and you can find a place that will let you liveaboard right away (sometimes a bit of a hassle but depends on where you want to do it), then start now with your research and make some plans.

I'm a big list guy so I always plan and write everything down. I look at the pluses and minuses, and the risks of what could happen. After all that we (the Admiral and I) made a commitment to try it. First job was to find a suitable place so we visited some likely candidates and found one. Then bought a boat. Only rule: do it as long as it is fun and quit if it wasn't. We're still at it. And lived aboard and made it to Mexico and the South Pacific, came back, and now have the second boat and planning to do it again.

But boats are not cheap and keeping them up is not cheap so your biggest issue will be financial. And deciding what your goals are - just live on a boat, have a boat and go weekend sailing, full time cruising to other places, etc. This is a big factor on what kind of boat you get and where you keep it. And boats for cruising can cost more because of the need for more equipment. Pretty intimidating list of things but people do it. Wish you the best luck in all this.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:15   #7
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Re: ...better late than never

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
You can do it if it is your priority. But it will be at some "cost" and will involve some anxiety and even fear may be. You have a young girl to be responsible for but kids are pretty darn resilient, much more than some parents give them credit for. And if she says she is already ready then you don't have to stress that part. Whatever happens it won't hurt her.
She would liveaboard, but just considering her separately, this is better for her at the moment. Her dad is a US Marine, and as such she has moved around a lot and dealt with a lot. Right now, she's really happy on the dive team and I think she finally feels a little sense of belonging. It seems like a good time to chop out the debt and let her enjoy some time with her friends and high school.

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But boats are not cheap and keeping them up is not cheap so your biggest issue will be financial. And deciding what your goals are - just live on a boat, have a boat and go weekend sailing, full time cruising to other places, etc. This is a big factor on what kind of boat you get and where you keep it. And boats for cruising can cost more because of the need for more equipment. Pretty intimidating list of things but people do it. Wish you the best luck in all this.
This is the biggest issue, because I changed careers and went back to school as a single mom after the financial onslaught that was my previous marriage. Being a former accountant, I have made detailed, (and a little OCD) spreadsheets, and really up and moving now vs buying a little later is the difference between being reasonably out of the hole in summer 2017, or struggling financially until 2020. It just makes more sense to be patient for a little longer and move ahead with a clean slate and money in the bank, than rush it because I really do want it now but pay for it for several years to come.

Since it's not just me, I do feel the need to be more methodical and have a plan. Kids are resilient - as mine have already shown me. Maybe I would think differently if mine had grown up with a stable, "white picket fence life" prior to me wanting to shake things up, but that definitely wasn't the case.

I do get what you're saying though; and it's a very valid point!

Some spend their whole life planning and never really jump in. They're just always waiting for the time to be perfect, conditions to be perfect... I assure you that isn't the case here. Perfect conditions would have me waiting until about 2020 - when I could buy my boat with cash... but I'm not waiting that long either... just trying to find the best happy medium.

Depending on what plays out here, I may jump a little early, but for now I'm really trying to hold on and be patient until June 2017. Morgan will still get a few years with me on the boat, seems like the intelligent place to bail on the cornfield...we'll see how that goes....

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Old 05-11-2015, 12:32   #8
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Re: ...better late than never

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Is it normal to think about moving aboard my s/v daily?
Doesn't everyone

Before buying our cruising boat I used to call our various small houses, "The land-locked sailboat." I even suggested we put up a mast. My wife was not amused .

I too struggle with finding the sweet spot between wisdom and insanity. My wife and I are probably leaning a bit closer to the crazy side right now, but life only comes around once ... or so I say right now .

Find the balance. Get prepared. Go at your own pace, but be wary of the traps of perfection or security. Life only happens once.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:45   #9
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Re: ...better late than never

NorthernSeaWolf - lots of ways people have started with your dream and managed to get there and do it. Many have had the dream and not done it either. We were fortunate to get it done and haven't finished with it. If not for money we would still be out and about - who knows where. But life happens and you do what you have to do. If you can, get to know some people who sail regularly, or used to sail, and chat them up. Find out what they thought was important and what was not, understanding that there are so many divergent opinions, all valid, so you have to do your own thinking and feeling. Enough people like you have done it to prove it can be done. Not only did we say we would do it until it wasn't fun, we also said we would never regret having tried if it didn't work out for us, for whatever reason. It was an emotional and rational escape hatch we never had to use but felt good that we had it. Good luck to you and your daughter. Sounds to me like you have as good a chance as any, and your daughter is a lucky gal.

P.S. I grew up in godforsaken west Texas
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Old 05-11-2015, 13:39   #10
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Re: ...better late than never

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Find the balance. Get prepared. Go at your own pace, but be wary of the traps of perfection or security. Life only happens once.
I could be pushed over with a feather in a moment of weakness...it is difficult to stay balanced. I have a pirate flag hanging outside the house... a mast you say?
Thanks for your input!

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P.S. I grew up in godforsaken west Texas
Yikes! Ha... then you know really do know my pain.
Thanks for the great advice!
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Old 05-11-2015, 14:20   #11
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Re: ...better late than never

Ah, you've caught the bug. I HAVE a boat and I think about it everyday! This passion and inspiration you have is like a wave and IMO it should be ridden. Now I AM NOT being critical, and Hans Christians are great boats, but how did you settle on that one? There are many other well-built boats, great live-aboards, that may be more affordable. And every once in a while a great bargain pops up. But if HC is still your only passion that's fine, we'll just have to try to round up the best 33 we can find for you here. I would say though that the more you learn and experience, you MAY see your taste in boats change. To whet your appetite for a while may I recommend a daily serving of sailing a Laser or something like that around whatever water is nearby? And stop by boats that look interesting and ask the owners lots of annoying questions, we secretly like to be asked lot of annoying questions about our boats.
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Old 05-11-2015, 14:38   #12
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Re: ...better late than never

We're in Indiana (Elkhart) also (and winter is coming). Waiting for my husband to sell some real estate holdings before I can retire and we can buy our boat and leave. I have boat pictures in my office (C.P.A.). I just have to sit and wait for him to make it happen. We got sailing certifications and we both dive. Going to spend some time now learning Spanish and maybe French while I wait. Also go to a Crossfit gym 5 times a week so that I will be healthy when we finally, if ever, leave.
Try not to think about it on a daily basis or might go crazy as I am not a patient person by nature, so I understand how you feel waiting. Just make a list of everything that might be helpful when you finally do get to travel and start working on those areas while you wait. I have a boat hopechest. dishes, egg holders, collapsible strainers and containers, etc. For Christmas we are getting some new diving equipment as that will be needed and we can use it while we wait.
Just seems like it will never happen, but planning should be half the fun!
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Old 05-11-2015, 15:56   #13
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Re: ...better late than never

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Now I AM NOT being critical, and Hans Christians are great boats, but how did you settle on that one? There are many other well-built boats, great live-aboards, that may be more affordable.
If I weren't on my way to work, I could really go on with this question.... I don't even have a boat yet and I could talk for days about her! In a nutshell, many look good in the pics, but don't live up to the feeling when I step aboard. I love the thick hull, I love how she feels safe when you're in her belly, I want a bluewater cruiser, one that makes me feel safe, even if it costs me speed, I like that I can work on her (probably a lot with teak) because it just puts more of me into her, I like how she feels solid - so many boats feel cheap... the list goes on really - (biggest run-on sentence ever!)... I love her layout, especially the HC33 because I can drop sails and such through to the bathroom in what's normally a vberth... etc, etc, etc, and the list goes on.

I think I have my eye on every HC-33 out there for sale, just waiting for the money to fall from the sky...

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We're in Indiana (Elkhart) also (and winter is coming).... Try not to think about it on a daily basis or might go crazy as I am not a patient person by nature, so I understand how you feel waiting. Just make a list of everything that might be helpful when you finally do get to travel and start working on those areas while you wait. Just seems like it will never happen, but planning should be half the fun!
Hello neighbor! I'm in the same county; go figure!

That is exactly what I'm trying to do. Literally I have it broken down into biweekly (paycheck) sections, simply as a means to measure time against the plan. Planning is fun to a point... but staying still is really difficult.

I'm excited for you! Every person who escapes Indiana (especially onto a sailboat) is a champion my books! Thanks for writing!
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Old 05-11-2015, 17:22   #14
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Re: ...better late than never

Back to the original question, speaking as someone in a vaguely similar position, I can confirm that it's normal to obsess over it. (I spent the afternoon poring over charts of Lake Champlain because it's a place that I might easily go sailing in the spring.)

You're at least close to the Great Lakes - so talk to everyone you know about sailing. (Don't be a bore, but bring up the subject.) You might be, as I have been, surprised by how many of your acquaintances have experience or interest. Maybe one of them has a boat and is looking for crew.

It's all about to freeze up in our northern climes, but watch next spring for my "crew available" ad here on CF and see if that approach works for you.

Looking for charter companions? My wife and I will be looking for friends to join us when we get around to Lake Huron / North Channel, and we've had a touch of Coastal BC and will want to go back. Maybe you and your daughter would be a fit.

So, yeah, I'm now trying to do what I should have done 25 years ago and, as I am doing, I encourage you to chase all the little opportunities while you wait for the big one to fall from the sky.

Luck.
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Old 06-11-2015, 20:27   #15
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Re: ...better late than never

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Back to the original question, speaking as someone in a vaguely similar position, I can confirm that it's normal to obsess over it. (I spent the afternoon poring over charts of Lake Champlain because it's a place that I might easily go sailing in the spring.)
It gives me such pleasure to mentally engage in all things sailing, I have to remind myself to pull my head from the clouds some days...

I've talked sailing with those around me, but unfortunately the only other person who was even remotely interested is a fellow nurse who is also (ironically) from Vancouver, BC. Go figure~

Lake Michigan is close enough, if I can make the time I'd like to day race as I mentioned; I think its a great way to up skills on a budget. As far as chartering a boat, I probably won't bother in the near future; it's money that we can put towards our own s/v, but well keep you in mind!

Thanks for your input!
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