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Old 03-03-2011, 11:52   #1
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My Four-Year Plan

Why didn't I sail around the world when I was 22? I guess my excuse is I was a stupid kid and got a job instead. Oh, yeah - and I was also deeply in debt.

Well now I have a house, a job, a lovely wife and two babies. So now is not exactly the right time to start cruising, but it will be in a few years. Our plan is to keep the house but cruise during the summer. (And who knows, if I'm nice and patient and make it fun the family might be up for a bigger adventure.)

Year one - take a bareboat cruise certification course. Casually leave "Cruising World" magazines around the house. (The ones with tropical beaches on the front, not the ones with articles on storm survival tactics.) Lurk some more on forums like this one and educate myself in all things nautical.

Year two - take the famly on a couple of vacations in Florida that include a daysailer. Sail only in perfect weather. Learn how to drink rum without Coke and ice. See if the kids like it. (The sailing, not the rum.)

Year Three - If all goes well during year two, bareboat charter in the USVI. Start shopping in earnest for a sailboat.

Year Four - Buy and prepare the boat. Sail as much as possible. Secretly plan our circumnavigation, just in case everything falls into place and the whole family loves cruising.

Hello, all! Like my plan? Glad to quit lurking and finally become real. This is a great forum and source of knowledge - and amazingly civil compared to most internet forums.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:02   #2
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Re: My four year plan

- and amazingly civil compared to most internet forums.
Hmmmm... Welcome aboard sounds like a good plan..
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:05   #3
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Re: My four year plan

Welcome aboard. We had a five year plan, and we just passed the three year mark so only two to go. The last few years have been a blast and we've spent a lot of time on the water in addition to living aboard full time.

We also have a seven month old daughter; there are quite a few entries in our blog about having a baby onboard if you're interested in that at all.

The advice I can give you (and I have no idea if this will pertain to you) is in two pieces. One, make sure your wife is confident as a sailor. For us, that involved my wife going to a sailing course and learning boat handling. Some things are best kept in an instructor-student level, and trying to blend that with a husband-wife dynamic can be a bad idea.

The second thing (and again, no idea if this relates to you at all) is incorporate her dreams in there. Find out what countries she's dreamed of traveling or living in, and make sure you plan on spending as much time there as anywhere else you wanted to go.

My wife used to live in France and wants to live there again. I'd much rather be on a tropical island, but I'd even more much rather be with my wife, so we'll do both.

Sailing in good weather is a sound idea. My wife went through her first gale a couple of months ago and if that was her only exposure to sailing she probably would have quit the game right there.

How old are your kids? Renting a little day sailor on a lake can be fun too. Just keep the thing fun as much as you can.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:10   #4
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Re: My four year plan

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- and amazingly civil compared to most internet forums.
Hmmmm... Welcome aboard sounds like a good plan..
You say that now...but his seven year plan might involve drugging his family on a "day sail" and having them wake up somewhere between Panama and Hiva Oa.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:14   #5
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Re: My four year plan

Welcome Mark 1977. General Patton called it the "Stone Soup" approach. I like it and am trying it myself. The kids and admiral are excited about a trip to the Med this year.
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:46   #6
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Re: My four year plan

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Originally Posted by Jeff_Culler View Post
amazingly civil compared to most internet forums.
So very true. As a SCUBA professional who should be keeping up with current SCUBA trends, I cannot stand any of the divers' forums!!! Since I joined CF, the others all seem full of competitive, arrogant know-it-alls!

Here, we have a lovely team of moderators, who do a fab job of keeping everyone sweet, positive and supportive. Yep - that's the key word - supportive.

Welcome aboard - hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:52   #7
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Re: My four year plan

Thanks for the welcomes, all! Yes, the tough nut to crack will be my wife. Our second date was a sail on my Seafarer 23 a looong time ago, so she is OK on the water but not really an enthusiast. She's more about the destination and I'm more about the journey. That's why I wouldn't jump right into a big boat and expect her to learn on it.

I'm thinking it will be more learning and building confidence by osmosis, and the old "here, take the tiller and keep her straight for a couple of minutes. I have to go forward and push on a rope" trick.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:56   #8
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Re: My four year plan

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We also have a seven month old daughter; there are quite a few entries in our blog about having a baby onboard if you're interested in that at all.
I'll definitely check that out.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:13   #9
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Re: My four year plan

Don't forget the rest of the plan, like 5 or more years cruising.

Have a friend who is 17 yrs into a 5 year RTW and they haven't even got out of the South Pacific.

Keep the dream and plan alive anf it will happen

GOOD LUCK and HAPPY SAILING..
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:08   #10
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Re: My four year plan

It sounds like your attitude is a great one.

One tip I think might be useful: Find other sailing couples where your wife really likes the woman and hang out with them. Help her find an on-the-water community/social scene that draws her like the one she probably has on land.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:24   #11
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Re: My four year plan

Hi there,

If you regretted not doing it at 22, DO NOT let another 4 years slip away! Buy the boat now and use it more and more until you are ready to venture further.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:48   #12
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Re: My four year plan

Hi Jeff -- Welcome to the forum. I like your plan.... probably because it is similar to my own plan. We are in year 1. I asked and received a subscription to Sailing and Cruising World for Christmas.

My wife and just attended the Miami boat show. This was a great place to learn about the different types of boats, listen to some talk from "regular" people with cruising experience, talk to sailing schools and charter companies, etc. The weekend was a great experience for her (and me). I think the experience really made the "plan" real and realistic in her mind. I could tell she was starting to engage in the whole concept by the questions she asked of the exhibitors and presenters. Now, we are talking about taking a sailing class or crewed charter together this summer.

So good luck, keep us posted from time to time.
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Old 04-03-2011, 13:23   #13
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Re: My four year plan

That's great advice about the sailing couple, and the boat show.

Sometimes I do wish we could go right now, but to be honest, even if everyone else wanted to do it I don't think I could stand to be on a boat for an extended period with a two year old. At least not without a tranqulizer dart gun and/or a fully-padded soundproof lockable v-berth.
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Old 04-03-2011, 13:31   #14
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Re: My four year plan

I must say it seems a devious plan but a reasonable one Welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-03-2011, 14:36   #15
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Re: My four year plan

Congratulations on the plan! We started off the same way, taking courses and more courses and sailing anytime we could get onboard. My suggestion is to book the courses, pay, and then you will have to do it.
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