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Old 07-07-2008, 15:19   #1
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How to become a cruiser?

Hello everyone. I'm new here. I've joined this forum because I desperately want to leave my current life and be a cruiser. This may sound idealistic, or that I'm trying to run away from something, but I assure you that this is far from the case. To the the contrary; it is because I don't want to leave loose ends unfettered that I am unable to attain the life that I want. But alas, everyone on this forum, whether living aboard or still trying to make the jump like me, has already or is currently dealing with these difficulties. Although I am not aquainted with large boats, sailing is not an unknown concept to me. And I am not expecting that a crusing lifestyle will do something magical for me. I was born on an island and I was aquainted with sailing on a laser as a child (although far from where I was born), then later I was the sailing director at a boy scout camp teaching kids to sail. Now ten years later I am trying to extricate myself from the web that I've spun.

I am hoping for some advice. I don't have much money, which I've been led to believe one needs to become a cruiser, but I work tirelessly to try to make money. I have a job and I have endeavors on the side, so it's like having two jobs. I don't live a lavish life, instead I try to focus on what I must do to reach my goal of cruising. It is simply heartbreaking when, after not squandering money, my resources are continuously drained by factors beyond my control such as the stock market and the economy. It is in times like these when I feel that all my efforts are for naught. So I wonder, maybe I'm sabotaging myself. Maybe I'll never make it. Maybe I'm not psychologically ready to make the jump. My question to all of you cruisers is: how do I leave without losing opportunities, or worse, setting myself up to destroy all that I've worked to achieve (that which I hope will yield dividends in the future of my professional life and for my future finances)?

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Old 07-07-2008, 21:57   #2
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Just do it

You just do it. Get a boat, just about any boat, and try it out. Life is short. You'll make a lot of mistakes no matter what new life you choose, including cruising. But that's how you learn. You'll find out what works for you, not what others say works (that does not mean that what others here and elsewhere say is wrong; it's just that it is right specifically for them - sailing is highly individualistic).

There will be times you hate it. There will be times you love it. There will be a lot of times when you think you're not really cruising, but fixing your boat at a rate slightly slower then it is deteriorating, lol.

The one day, you wake up and realize -- hey, I am a cruiser! It's been two years! lol.

I wish you the best of luck! The people here are great, the knowledge unlimited. Take what's offered, try it out, keep some and discard some. A couple of years from now you'll be doling out advice, too!

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Old 07-07-2008, 22:22   #3
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Originally Posted by maple View Post
Hello everyone. I'm new here. I've joined this forum because I desperately want to leave my current life and be a cruiser.
I met a lady in California last year. She was one step removed from living in her car and her car was a POS. She ran a dinghy sailling program for the city. She knew everyone and everyone knew her. She was outwardly one of the happiest people I had met in a long time. I guessed she was in her mid-40s.

She was definitely not rich, but she was living her life on her terms.

In many ways it is about compromise. For some reason as a species we demand (or maybe aspire) to have it all. There are ways to live a life of sailing if sailing becomes your number one priority.

For most of us, we have multiple priorities to balance and that's OK too. Just don't get to the end and wish you had done something different...
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:42   #4
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You have to just do it...My wife and I plan on sailing where ever the wind blows when I turn 55, eight and a half more years. We bought an old smelly 25 footer to learn on, and oh boy, are we learning. In three years we will buy THE BOAT and have it payed off by the time I'm 55. We are by no means rolling in dough,as a matter of fact it is paycheck to paycheck existence. It took us years to crawl out of credit cards and overdraft but we did it. We only owe on a car. We will not owe a cent when we take off. thanks to pure luck, I will have two small pensions to sustain us, (Both pensions are from working, not disabilty if anyones wondering)... My only regret was that I never started this in my twenties, my wife gave me the balls. By the way, we haven't decided on what boat, the length will be between 35 and 38 feet, probably a sloop/cutter maybe a ketch or yawl. I do love the looks of a schooner but I have never sailed amulti-masted boat before. For that matter, I have never sailed a cutter rig either!

My long winded point being, just do it, life has a real funny way of working out when you really really want to do something.

Oh, the downside of going for your dream is this; I now despise my job, what tolerable about it is that it is a means to my goal. We are both jealous and resentful of anything and everyone that keeps us from our old smelly boat....Later....Allan
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:39   #5
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There are an unlimited number of ways to sail and there probably is a way for you that you might even like. It would be a huge mistake to think all people here are very similar. There is a wide range of styles of how to sail. You do need something economically stable. Living on a low budget still has to balance just as any higher budget does.

I would start with the idea of sailing more and grow from there. You only need a way that works for you. Finding it is more a matter of fit than suggestion. We all have limitations but you can work on overcoming many of them. Starting the whole thing requires you to take some action.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:56   #6
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Sounds to me like you have it easy. You want a sob story? You can P.M me if you wish. It's a matter of attitude. It's a matter of shrugging it off, and making it happen. Dreams can come true through extreme luck, lotto, inheritance etc. etc., or hard work, and pulling up your boot straps once again. I am one to never rely on luck.....BEST WISHES, and stand tall, and strong like the tree........BEST WISHES
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:34   #7
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Eliminate all debt. Save and pay cash for everything. You will no longer be a slave to your job.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:43   #8
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Start Sailing.
If you dont then you don't

I'll be onboard soon.
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Old 09-07-2008, 19:03   #9
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see below....
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by
the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw
off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the
trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover"
Mark Twain
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Old 09-07-2008, 21:53   #10
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I was once in a position such as yours and dreamed about cruising. I started with much smaller boats than I have now and then moved up. I came to find out, it doesn't matter if you have the flashiest boat around, the view is the same no matter what boat your in . It's all in where your head is at and what you can afford. Go for the affordable boat that won't put you in hock and move up later when you gain more experience. In another words, start small then work up. Good Luck.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:55   #11
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Hi Maple.

I read your question several times and it was like I read something I would have written.
I am also new. To be honest I joined the forum yesterday.
As the rest of the fellows sailors said Just do it.
This is what I have decided. I have never experienced with boating before (I am 40) and it all started from a neighbor of mine who was speaking to me about his hobby one day, and this is how it all started in the beginning of this year.
I got a daily sailboat and am making it fly like hell already, and soon I will buy a big boat. It like I just said - Just do it. This is what matters.
Its not that I am trying to run from me my self or my job by I know being realistic that I can not be all the time long until pension CEO.
An every one needs a change. So go ahead.

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Old 10-07-2008, 09:05   #12
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Good Advice

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm not sure what I was expecting when joining the forum, but it is good to know that there are like minded people out there, and that I'm not crazy for wanting to go sailing. The concensus seems to be "Just Do It!", which is so obvious that I should have been able to come to that conclusion myself. Unfortunately, the simplest answers are often the most elusive. Once when I was struggling in a class in grad school my professor told me, "You know what you have to do. Just do it." He was right. I didn't want to fail the class, so I changed my ways and did the work. Now, about 6 years later I am struggling with life. But the answer hasn't changed, I've just lost sight of the goal. It's been years since I've been sailing. My Dad still has the Laser on which he taught me to sail, but he lives in FL and I don't. Maybe I'll see if I can ship it. It's not much, but here's to a new sailing beginning...
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:23   #13
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As someone who has been in your situation - I do understand how hard it is when you first start your dream - I had an email yesterday from an old work colleague who said "you are living your dream!" but when I was working with her a few years ago I had no boat and no money just an idea and desire in my head to go cruising - I take it for granted in a way now but of course she was right I am living my dream - I have been cruising in my own boat for a year now!
One piece of advice - let go! Let go of material land locked items - I sold everything I had and stored only some small personal items - develop a business that you can run via the internet and do not rely upon your "home" country for anything - become self sufficient and release yourself from all the rules and regulations that hold you back on land.
Take it step at a time - write down on paper the type of boat you would like to cruise in - look at cruising routes - plan and prepare before you even get your boat - desire is a strong emotion - use it to get what you want - make it a reality in your head and it will come true if you desire it enough!!
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:55   #14
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Looks like some adjustment in your thinking. Good for you young fella. We all at times get a little down once in a while, and just need a little boost.....BEST WISHES in getting back on the water, and everything else will fall in place!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 14-07-2008, 19:45   #15
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Aloha Maple,
Welcome aboard!
If it is what you truly want you will make it happen. Lasers are fun and if you can find a body of water to sail it in it is even better. You mentioned being landlocked so I won't suggest you trade your apartment for a boat at a marina.
Kind regards,

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