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Old 24-11-2010, 07:50   #1
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Cruising - Is it a Simpler Life ?

First posting,
I am considering cruising the world after my kids leave home in 6 years. Did sail dingy when young, have done a bit of keelboat crewing and am keen on ongoing education.

Am just looking at buying a Peterson 30 (Santana) to learn seamanship (coastal cruising and racing). Plan to sell this and get a bigger sloop rigged cutter when it is time to go.
First question:
Anyone know this boat, I have heard best to start on the boat you can afford than the ideal you want.

In my 20's I did a bit of backpacking and enjoyed the freedom. A lot of habits like TV and booze fell away and people just took me for who I was on the day, no history. However, it became a bit shallow just seeing places and not having anyone who really knew me so before you know it wife and kids. I like the idea of finding a lifestyle where I am still connected with people but able to have an adventure that sweeps me along in the present moment. Free from a lot of the complexities of the modern world.
Second question:
Is cruising a simpler life

Thanks for any advice,
Bo
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Old 24-11-2010, 08:08   #2
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It can be simpler. Simple and easy are different things on a boat.
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Old 24-11-2010, 08:17   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo English View Post
. . .I like the idea of finding a lifestyle where I am still connected with people but able to have an adventure that sweeps me along in the present moment. Free from a lot of the complexities of the modern world.
Second question:
Is cruising a simpler life
Thanks for any advice, Bo
- - Second question: No and Yes. Cruising is a different life, with a different set of joys, hassles, and style of life. The hassles of living on land in a house/apartment/condo along with motor vehicles, etc. is replaced by the hassles of anchoring laws/ordinances; communications and legal domicile considerations; and potty police, etc.
- - If you remain in your home country, you are merely substituting one set of complications with another set of complications. In various threads you can see that costs of living "might" decrease as related to getting rid of a large number of square feet of living space and downsizing to a very small number of square feet inside a cruising vessel.
- - A lot of life's complications are self-generated such as accumulating/acquiring tons of "stuff" and then having to someplace to put it all. Living on a cruising boat can "force" you to eliminate a very large percentage of that excess "stuff' as you simply cannot cram it into the boat. It is a standing joke amongst cruisers that we can spot other living-aboard cruisers by the amount of "stuff" lashed down on the decks of the boats and tied along the lifelines.
- - As to being swept along in the present moment - make that being swept along in the present season. Cruising boats live by Mother Natures seasons and where you go and when you move is pretty much up to her. It is fun to try to assert your ego against Mother Nature and go out in weather where wiser fools fear to tread, but it doesn't take long to realize that living with Mother Nature is a lot easier than trying to fight her.
- - So you will learn to live a much more "basic/natural" style of life, less dependent upon 7-11's or Walmarts. The waiting around for good weather has its benefits as you now have time to enjoy and explore the "simple" things like cooking, baking, watching glorious sunsets with friends and other joys like cleaning MSD's, and hanging upside down in the bilge.
- - The complexities of the modern world on land include bureaucrats running every aspect of your life and personal life (if they can). Living on a cruising boat outside your home country involves a major shift in life-style responsibility. There is nobody to "save you from yourself" - you have to take charge of every aspect of your life and make the decisions that determine your safety and whether you live or die.
- - Bottom line you are exchanging one life-style and environment for a totally different one. Whether you can live the cruising lifestyle for more than a short period of time has a lot to do with who you are and whether you are an active or passive person.
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Old 24-11-2010, 08:18   #4
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Depends on what you mean by simpler, boats always need some kind of repair/maintenance. It's up to you how complex that is. The Pardeys, authors of several books and circumnavigators, have never had an engine and only recently have added a battery to have electricity on their boat. The other extreme are the people that need their boat to be their luxury second home complete with Air Conditioning, TV, etc.

In between we all have our odd must haves and don't needs. The only AC electricity on my boat is the battery charger. I put ice in the ice box and don't use the refrigerator compresser that came with the boat because I don't want to have to keep up with the battery usage. On the other hand, I got rid of the drip pot heater (Dickinson) which I can't stand and did a simple install (one 3 foot long duct) of a forced air heater.

John
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Old 24-11-2010, 08:23   #5
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bo.

Great opening query, with some good answers, already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce smith View Post
It can be simpler. Simple and easy are different things on a boat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
- - Second question: No and Yes. Cruising is a different life, with a different set of joys, hassles, and style of life.
... A lot of life's complications are self-generated such as accumulating/acquiring tons of "stuff" and then having to someplace to put it all...
... Bottom line you are [sic: contemplating] exchanging one life-style and environment for a totally different one. Whether you can live the cruising lifestyle for more than a short period of time has a lot to do with who you are and whether you are an active or passive person.
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Old 24-11-2010, 08:24   #6
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I think it all depends on how you do it.

If you live in a multi-million dollar home and go to living on a 30' boat full time with no luxuries, then yeah it would be simpler.

If you go from the multi-million dollar home to a multi-million dollar boat then that's different.

Obviosly these are extreme examples, but I think the cruising life is whatever you make of it. It can be simple or complicated. Since you want the simple life, you can certainly make it that way.
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Old 24-11-2010, 08:51   #7
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A lot depends on where and how you cruise...You will have responsibilities that if not met may cause you to loose your boat or die.
This varies from not doing proper maintanance...to not entering or departing a foreign country in a lawful or timely manner.
There may be things required of you that are absolute.
In my experience, its seldom like that on land.
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Old 24-11-2010, 08:58   #8
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There is nothing simple or easy about it..
So much of the time, we forget the sail changes at 3am because we dont want to remember the feelings we had at the time..
So, on our last trip our, I kept a log of the GOOD, the BAD, and of course the UGLY to remind me of not only what I went thru but what i put my wife thru..
Here are a couple random pages from the writtings.......

Getting up this morning, my right hip really hurts and I have this purple bruse on my right leg that I dont know where it came from. need to get moving, its laundry day and have to bags into the dink and make the walk downtown..
(THE GOOD)
cruising from port to port keeps you from owning a car, so much of your time is spent walking, giving you the time to "Slow Down" to smell the roses..
(THE BAD)
cruising keeps you from owning a car so much of your travel is done by walking, developed a blister on my left foot on the top from my Crocks and a sore spot on my right foot, and damn, my hip still hurts..
(THE GOOD)
Pulling out of Santa Barbara this morning for a lite sail down the coast to the channel islands, should be peaceful..
(THE BAD)
leaving Santa Barbara the price of slips is going up to over $1.50 a foot for the night, need to find a slip for a couple days to work on the boat, no sight seeing,
(ITS NOT A MATTER OF WHAT MIGHT BREAK, EVERYTHING BREAKS, ITS JUST A MATTER OF WHEN) and if you just put a bandaid on it, you soon have bandaid on everything ....
(THE GOOD)
finding an anchorage, and at no charge, finally resting for the night, just laying her in the birth next to the wife and looking out the hatch at the stars above..
(THE BAD)
here at anchorage, finally able to relax, laying next to my wife in the berth, and I hear the bilge pump kick on, and thats ok, but 3 to 4 minutes later, I hear it again..
and damn, got to get up and find out whats wrong.......
(THE GOOD)
and the anchorage is so peacefull, quite, relaxing............
(THE BAD)
and the cove, its littered with mooring balls that they are charging $50 bucks a night to use, so we anchor outside the mooring field, (IN 100 FEET OF WATER) and letting out that 400 feet of chain has worn a hole in my glove and is scraping the skin.. (The next morning the wife asks what all the blood is doing all over the front of the boat)
Everyone talks about the good times while cruising but seldom covers the day to day termoils it takes to keep a boat on its feet..
Setting at the dock or doing weekend jaunts is one thing but day in and day out is another..
The good part of cruising is that NORMALLY, more good happens than bad and for some reason, we weigh out the bad and only see the good..
Dont let it fool you, cruising is about 10% dreaming and 90% work....
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Old 24-11-2010, 09:01   #9
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There is nothing simple or easy about it..
Simple and Easy are two different things. It can be very simple depending on your definition and current lifestyle.
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Old 24-11-2010, 09:09   #10
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What one person finds difficult. Another will find a pleasure. If you don't mind messing with boats, and having some discomfort at times. Then the perfect sails, sunsets, and new friends will be well worth it. Is your glass of life half full, or half empty?........i2f
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Old 24-11-2010, 09:16   #11
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most all of my belonging fit in a duffle bag aside from shoes, lap top and monitor. Thats simple.

the boat needs work all the time, thats complicated. Its all perspective.
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Old 24-11-2010, 09:26   #12
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I think it's important not to over-romanticize the cruising lifestyle. There was a great thread recently about why people give up cruising, and one common reason discussed was that cruising involves so much work. One of our forum members defines cruising as "repairing boats in exotic locations."

If you want to simplify your lifestyle, you could certainly accomplish that via cruising. However, a boat can also make your life more complex. An apartment dweller never has to worry about where to anchor in a storm, or how to fill the water tanks.
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Old 25-11-2010, 02:30   #13
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All the above is true. But crusing is simple and very enjoyable. Yes, you have to fix things, but that's sort of fun when you get into it. You can't just buy things..You want those shoes? Then which current pair are you going to give away?

But overall very low stress and so many fantastic times.

We have only been cruising for five years, but still can't imagine going back and living in one place all the time.

It's a great life!!
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Old 27-11-2010, 16:30   #14
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- - A lot of life's complications are self-generated
- Cruising boats live by Mother Natures seasons and where you go and when you move is pretty much up to her.
- - So you will learn to live a much more "basic/natural" style of life, less dependent upon 7-11's or Walmarts. The waiting around for good weather has its benefits as you now have time to enjoy and explore the "simple" things like cooking, baking, watching glorious sunsets with friends and other joys like cleaning MSD's, and hanging upside down in the bilge.
- There is nobody to "save you from yourself"
- - Bottom line you are exchanging one life-style and environment for a totally different one.

Thanks for the feedback.
I don't want to over romanticise cruising,
I anticipate a fair bit of hard work,
Your answers are helpful to decide if this is a lifestyle direction that would suit me and mine.
I will check out the thread on why people quit cruising.
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Old 27-11-2010, 17:00   #15
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Like everything in life... its as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it...
Some of us say you can start out on 15K... others on not less than $150K...
Its all down to your aspirations...
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