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Old 14-02-2007, 23:38   #1
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Talking Seeking Advice and Information

Hi to all,

A very nice gentleman that I met at a bar in Ventura Harbor, CA, told me about this website, and I've been monitoring it for the last week now, lurking if you will. I've found massive amounts of useful and enlightening information, and have been reading as voraciously as possible trying to take it all in. I would read 24 hours a day, but that is precluded by my current situation.

I have enjoyed almost all the posts I've read and it's obvious to me that a lot of the folks here have a tremendous store of knowledge to pass on. I was a bit dismayed when one seemingly knowledgeable gent, Sean, posted that it was time for him to move on. I find this terribly disappointing. As President Bush said in his news conference yesterday, we can disagree without being disagreeable. I'm not inviting political comment, or endorsing Mr. Bush in any way, but the point is valid. I have only posted on one website in the past, a forum on alt.com for pipe smokers, back when I could still smoke, and found it to be a wonderful way to meet people of like mind and interests. I trust the forum here will prove to be as enriching and rewarding.

So, here's my story, and I'll try to be brief about it. Grew up in north Florida close to the ocean, and was around boats most of my early years, did some sailing, but moved to the midwest after college, and was away from the sea for a long time. A few years ago, 2002, moved back to Florida with my sister for a time, and started sailing again with friends, enough to reestablish how much I enjoyed being on the water. Moved to California in 2004, and now live near the ocean again, Ventura/Channel Islands area. Have done some sailing here, and for the last couple of years have been festering the idea of buying a sailboat, and maybe even living aboard after retirement, if not sooner. I thought I had plenty of time to make the dream happen. I bought sailing for dummies, the complete sailor, and have read a ton on line. I'm not a complete newbie, but lacking in the knowledge necessary to head out to the Caribbean on my own, which was my original plan, but am now reconsidering based on the thread about single handed cruising.

Here's where the advice part comes in. I've read a lot of posts, the ones about how much it takes to live aboard, the ones on single handed sailing, the ones on which boat is best under certain circumstances, etc. I wish I had the time to read every single post and absorb all the information at hand, but I don't and here's the reason.

About 3 months ago I was diagnosed with a kidney disease, MPGN. The docs confirmed I had the disease, but couldn't confirm the cause. Well, 2 weeks ago, they found the problem. I've now been diagnosed with Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system. I've gone through a bunch of tests, and they are still trying to determine what "stage" the cancer is at. I don't know what the treatment will be or at this point if it even is treatable, that's still to find out. I do know it has changed my perspective on life completely, and has caused me to focus on the realization of my dream now more than ever. It is also the reason I decided to jump in here now, instead of waiting.

So, to wrap this up. I would appreciate any and all advice from any of you out there who has something to share. If you don't want to ramble on in the forum, I invite you to email me off line. I have no privacy issues, and don't care if the whole world knows my email address.

I am looking feverishly at boats for sale. I have read here that 36/38 foot is good for single handing, but I must confess I'm spoiled and would like a bit more room. I've looked at boats in the 46/48 range, and like the extra room they afford below (I'm 6' 1" and hate bumping my head). I also like aft berths and thus would probably go for a center cockpit. I've researched Irwins, Gulf Stars, Masons, Hunters, Cals, and a lot of others. I would like to know what all of you think about living aboard, what you would suggest as minimum (essential) equipment to look for, how I can go about learning what I need to know in the shortest time. I can probably invest up to 125K in a vessel, and still have money to cruise on, although obviously the less I spend on the boat the more I'll have to do other things. Don't know how long I will be cruising as that is still under consideration.

I don't want to give up the idea, but I don't want to be stupid in how I go about this either. I know I can learn a lot by just soaking up advice, like a sponge, so if any of you have information, knowledge, advice, wisdom, or just plain old ideas to toss my way, have at it. I'm all ears.....to the dismay of some of my past lady friends.

Sorry to ramble on so long, but hopefully everyone here will understand. Looking forward to hearing from everyone.
Fair winds to all ,

Rich
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Old 14-02-2007, 23:58   #2
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Thumbs up Welcome aboard Rich T

Sorry to hear about your situation.

As for a boat, and being in your position, one could find a lot of crusing without even owning a boat at $125K. Any boat over 40' for less then the 125K is going to need a bit of labor and I'm not sure you would be up to that, considering.

Looking for a situation were you could lease a boat might be more in your interest. I don't know what your time factor is? My Father-in-Law only lasted 4 months, painfully, with a liver cancer.

But, I'm sure there are others here that may pitch in some good info as well........................................._/)
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Old 15-02-2007, 00:02   #3
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Firstly I wish you the very best for your health. I pray you will get fast diagnosis and that it will be early enough to treat. I wish you the very very very best.
Secondly, Welcome to the Forum. I hope you get a lot from here and make some great friends all over the world. As we all have.
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Old 15-02-2007, 00:20   #4
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To Del and Alan,
Thanks for the welcome and the encouraging response. I have been a biker for many years, have made friends all over the US, and even a few foreign countries. Sturgis used to be like a family reunion for me. I think sailors share the same kind of brotherhood, a common love, and passion, for a particular lifestyle.

I don't know my time frame either at this point, but it doesn't appear to be an immediate problem. I could have 2, or 10 years. Fortunately, the cancer hasn't affected me to the point of being incapacitated yet. I'm still in fair health at this point.

I've been an a/c mechanic for most of my life, and I don't mind doing some repairs on my own, in fact, I think I would enjoy it. There's a certain sense of fullfillment that comes from fixing things with my own hands.

I am open to a all options at this point, which is why I turned to the folks in this forum, who may know of avenues I have not considered. Heck, there may even be a nice lady out there with a boat that would like a companion and an extra deckhand, for a while anyway.

Thanks again, and keep those thoughts coming.

Rich
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Old 15-02-2007, 01:02   #5
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The happiest single hander...

The happiest single hander that I ever met was sailing a Beneteau 350 Oceanis some years ago.
I met him in North Queensland where he sailed his boat up to the wharf in Shute Harbour, stopped for a relaxed chat, and then sailed off. He had his boat under total control at all times.
He had sailed from Europe.
The second happiest single hander had an old clinker stink boat, about 20'. Didn't draw much water and the engine was powerful enough to get him between the North Queensland ports before any nasty weather came. The boat only drew a couple of feet of water and I got the impression that he could duck into the mangroves if he had to.
Cost him next to nothing.
My point is that a boat like the Oceanis 350 is light and "easy" for one person to handle while still being seaworthy.
Try the modern equivalent at the local sailing school and see how you feel.
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Old 15-02-2007, 02:13   #6
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Welcome Chris and like the other guys, wish you well.

Good luck in achieving the dream - and look forward to hearing more.

JOHN
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Old 15-02-2007, 04:14   #7
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Welcome aboard....a cautionary tale for others...........

I have a tendency to plan for the worst on the basis that it is only the stuff I never think of that happens to go wrong

On this basis maybe consider that at some point in the future you may find yourself living aboard tied up to a dock 24/7 for an extended period (even if only temporarily and hopefully not at all) in which case you may want to think about a vessel that tends more towards home comforts rather than something that is 110% deep water voyaging with accomadation designed to match.

Also consider that a 45 foot boat will be more aggro to handle (especially when docking) than something even 5 foot smaller, their may come a time when you are still capable of handling the 45 footer, but are less inclined to do so..........I would be tempted to go for a good 35 / 40 footer where you can afford to pick something that suits you a lot more than stretching for something a lot bigger........
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Old 15-02-2007, 10:14   #8
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Hi Rich,

Sorry to hear about your health issues. I fully understand your urgency in finding a boat since you are now concerned about your mortality.

I had a similar situation. I had an aggressive form of Leukemia. I was persistant about finding the right place for treatment. I live on the east coast and ended up in Seattle. I had incredible care at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The "Hutch" is not the best place on the west coast, or the country. They are the best in the world. I met many people from all over the world being treated there. Survival rates are higher based on their experience and leading edge medicine as they are also a research center.

I would give them a call and hop on the next plane to have a consult with them. They won't give you an hour of their time but most likely an entire day dedicated to your diagnosis and possible treatment.

If you have a chance to get your health back, I would at least start there before buying the next boat. I was suppose to be dead 8 years ago at age 47. Thanks to the Hutch, I may have many more years of sailing ahead of me.

Good Luck,

HERON

PS, I am also a long distance motorcyclist with well over 100,000 two wheel miles on my butt.
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Old 15-02-2007, 10:41   #9
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Hi Rich,
Welcome aboard!! Best wishes for more years.
I'm the guy who always says go no bigger than 36 feet LOD, fiberglass hull, diesel inboard, aft cockpit, cutter rig. You'll find a very nice boat in that length with the money you are able to spend and you won't have to spend years on rebuilding and maintenance.
Please note that Heron has a Westsail 32. They have more than enough headroom for 6'1". Most boats do.
At any rate good to have you here and hope you get lots of good information.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 15-02-2007, 11:51   #10
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Welcome Rich, I'm sure you'll find lots of helpful folk here!
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Old 15-02-2007, 12:25   #11
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Heron,

Thanks for the encouragement. It's good to hear from someone who's been there and understands why this has become so important to me. I have a good doctor here, and she has talked about having me go up to Stanford for additional testing and a second opinion. Hope to find out the results of all the tests early next week, then go from there, after looking at treatment options.

I think I passed the 100K mile mark somewhere back in the 80's, hard to be sure since I've been riding since 1965, and for a while, when I was lucky enough to have 5 weeks vacation every year, made 2 or 3 long distance rides every summer, Tucson/Sturgis, Omaha/Florida, etc.

Based on what I'm hearing so far, I'm thinking maybe I should scale back my search to something in the 36/40 foot range. John, you mentioned Herons boat only being a 32'. I have looked at several boats in the 30 to 36 range, and maybe I'm just picking the wrong boats, but of the ones I've seen so far, most have minimal headroom, just barely over 6' in the salon, and none have had a stand up aft cabin, even the center cockpit boats.

Can folks here suggest a good compromise? 40' or under, reasonable head room, aft berthing area, good sailing attributes, less than 100K? Any and all suggestions gratefully accepted and appreciated.

Thanks to all for your kind response. Thomas, hope to see you at HiCees, Fri???
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Old 15-02-2007, 12:28   #12
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PS, John, how come if you would go no bigger than 36' , your boat is listed as a 42'??
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Old 15-02-2007, 12:50   #13
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Rich Hi!

Here is a nice 38 footer for about 100 K.

I bought my 36 foot morgan for 11 thousand.
Good luck man.

Paul
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Old 15-02-2007, 13:11   #14
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Paul,
Thanks for the lead, gorgeous boat. I'll try to go look at it tomorrow or Sat. A 36' for 11K??? Heck, around here they want more than that for a beat up 25' Catalina. How come I never find these kind of deals? Reminds me of my buddy in Florida who found a 30' Alden for 5K, tied up behind some guys house in the St. Mary's River in Georgia.

Rich
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Old 15-02-2007, 13:31   #15
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I found my boat on Craigslist

Check it out. Here is a good start.

43 ft World Cruising Sailboat
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