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Old 24-09-2006, 11:36   #1
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Did I miss the boat?

Hello to everyone out there! My name is Rick, and I have deveolped a very strong case of the wannabe/gonnabe sailor blues. The trouble is, I am starting this a bit late in life, it seems. I am 52, and I am just a novice. I have a dinghy (bluejay) that I have taken out just a few times in the last month, and I have been reading a surfing voraciously about cruising. I also have signed up with the Power Squadron in my area, and am taking an engine maintenance course now, and a seamanship course next month (all that is available!). I've also crewed a couple of times this fall, but I live in the northeast and the season has come to a close.

The thing is, I have this dream to end up live and cruising on a sailboat. It will prpbably take 4 years as I have 2 children who live with me full-time and my youngest is 4 years away from college. I will be 56 by then - and I wonder if I will be too old as my plans now only include me, no partner. I have never been offshore in a small boat, though am able, in good shape, and resourceful. I have every intention of learning all that I can - perhaps taking one of those week-long liveaboard courses that ofer ASA certificaiton. Certainly, from the armchair side, I am a very good researcher, avid learner, and am committed to learn all I can about systems, engineering, structure, etc.

Any suggestions out there? Anyone in Connecticut, where I live?
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Old 24-09-2006, 12:02   #2
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Welcome aboard Rossir! You have THE dream!

Sounds like you have a fairly solid plan - stick with it (life has a funny habit of asserting it's timetable on us) as best you can. There are cruisers out there in their 80's. It all depends on YOUR physical capabilities and limitations.

Next year be sure and hang about those racers and try to crew as much as possible - do NOT over state your qualifications - believe me when I tell you that any skipper would rather have a novice, eagar to learn, willing hand, than someone who thinks they know it all and wants to do it their way. Once captains learn that you are ready, willing and able (and AVAILABLE - be free with your phone number!) you'll be on a rapid pace of learning sailing in the 'hands-on cram course'!!

One of the things that you might do is add a bit of info to your profile here. You can do that by clicking on the word PROFILE at the top right of this screen. This will help others understand how to phrase or explain any answer they have to your questions.

Enjoy!
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Old 24-09-2006, 12:21   #3
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Thumbs up missing the boat

Age is less of a factor than desire. I've sailed on the Great Lakes for a few years to learn the lines (ropes) as it were. Bought a boat in Florida (30 ft) took my first extended cruise to the Keys in 05 ; I was 68 at the time. Last spring (06) took off for 10 wks in the Bahamas and I'm currently in the process of getting ready to go back. Bottom line...the dream doesn't die...you do
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Old 24-09-2006, 12:32   #4
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Heck, 56 isn't old. Go for it

Rick in Florida
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Old 24-09-2006, 12:49   #5
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Aloha Rossir,
Welcome aboard!! This is a great place to get information and encouragement.
Aah to be 52 again!!
I've noticed a lot of us on this forum have passed that age. A desire and drive to live your dream is more important than your age.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 24-09-2006, 12:52   #6
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Hey, if ya can breath and still have one or two movable limbs, you can sail.
Don't wait till kids have grown up, take them with you. I can gaurantee they will learn more than they ever will in a school room.
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Old 24-09-2006, 14:09   #7
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Hi,
Agree with all the others. Go for it!
Met a great guy John Button two months ago. He's gone round the world four times over past 18 years - and I'd be suprised if he was under 70 (sorry John if you are not).
But if I'm right - by my reconing he must have left the US when he was 52 also - and he's still going strong.
Cheers
JOHN
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Old 24-09-2006, 16:10   #8
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rossir,
Here's a quick read that never fails to inspire me. It is called the "200 Pound Millionaire" by Weston Martyr. There is a saying in mountaineering that the Eiger is a mountain that every 20 year old wants to climb and every 30 year old wishes he had. Not all sailing is the epic battle of youth against the sea. Take care in your research, join a yacht club. Have fun.
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Old 24-09-2006, 16:39   #9
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52? hell, I got BVD's older than that.
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Old 24-09-2006, 17:19   #10
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Rossir............
...........the water is great.
If you have the Passion, don't let anything stop You.

Go ahead & start taking the formal classes either ASA or US Sailing. It will give you the knowledge & build confidence. Plus build your Water time with any/all opportunities like the ones already mentioned + once you get into the scene, you will buddy up with other sailors at all levels, so you can team up, crew for each other, practice, etc.
Good luck
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Old 25-09-2006, 05:01   #11
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Rossir,

I am 52, my wife is 52 - We purchased a 40 foot ketch two years ago and are in the process of getting her ready to sail. We dont really know how to how to sail, at least not this 30,000lb Ketch. The boat we purchased was only a shell, we are putting in all new systems all the way down to cleats, bilge pumps, hoses for the head,fabricating new spreaders for the mast... you name it we are doing it. I too am resourceful, and once I see somebody do something or read about it I can do it. That is not to say it is easy, but I will know the boat inside and out. We are in CT as well and hope to have her in the water in a week or two for the first time, just to test the engine, even though we will have to pull her out in a month or so. Bottom line after all this retoric is that we will be 54 or so before we are able to leave on our dream, but we will do it come it come hell or high water. While I do have some offshore expeirence (I worked offshore fishing), I do not yet know how to sail my Ketch. Crazy? some may say so, screw them, we will do it, you can do it and should do it!!

Good Luck with your dream!
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Old 25-09-2006, 06:00   #12
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Wow! What a bunch of great responses! All just inspire me further!

For S/V Elusive: I will add to my profile...

dockgoody: Very interested in your taking a 30footer to the Bahamas - which make did you select and what do you see as needs for deeper Caribbean cruising?

Wheels: of course, I am trying to slowly slip the kids a mickey...

swagman: amazing! what kind of boat did he have?

Hey Canibul: I believe you because that's a joke only us older folks would know!

Island Mike: Why did you go to shell? I've heard stories that could go either way as far as funds go, though I certainly understand the benefits of knowing her through and through. How did you go about finding her? And what is your plan for getting up to speed on sailing in general?

Rick
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Old 25-09-2006, 06:23   #13
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Rick,
I am 55, spend a lot of time on the water, and see absolutely no reason whatsoever I wont be able to be cruising on a small catamaran as soon as we find the right one.

My father is 80, and can still put in a full day mowing hay with a tractor in the Texas sun. He says he's so old he wont even buy green bananas anymore...
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Old 25-09-2006, 07:48   #14
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Rossir,

Why did I go with a shell?... Because I am a moron! Big Boat little Money. Seriously, in retrospect I am glad I am getting the opportunity to basically build a beautiful classic ketch from the ground up. It is not hard to find a big ole boat for little money, the key is to find one that is sound and worth the rebuild and of course be prepared for the expenses. They weren't kidding when they said "a hole in the water in which we pour money". I know the fundamentals of sailing, but will probably take a basic sailing class next summer. And then learn as I go...
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Old 25-09-2006, 20:51   #15
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Nice to see so many (middle agers) out there I am 53 and feel that I am now in the prime of life. Sailing is a passion. Now is the time to really enjoy the wind in your face.
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