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Old 07-12-2014, 16:28   #1
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Very-long term plan - cruising at age 48

My long-term desire is to retire from the military in 14 years and use my pension to cruise at age 48. I will be able to afford it, but my oldest girls will be in high school and may say "hell no." I am also worried about my health (I already have painful osteoarthritis), and all those little life things that come up.

In the meantime, it's 60-hour work weeks, saving money, and spending my time off with my family. Every now and then, I browse here, day-dreaming about a less-stressful life, scuba diving with my wife and kids off the Great Barrier Reef, exploring a fishing village in Indonesia, or just reading a book while watching the sunset in the Caribbean.
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Old 07-12-2014, 16:43   #2
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Re: Very-long term plan - cruising at age 48

Howdy and welcome aboard this forum!

Dreaming of sailing or cruising (power boat) is a nice dream we all share.

Since you mentioned some of your worries, I have a few friendly suggestions:

1. Take the girls on a charter sailing vacation (not on a cruise ship) on a crewed sail boat in a nice place like the Caribbean. This should be fun, adventure every teen should enjoy, sunshine, water, and an excellent chance to see how they would like being on a boat in such a place. It may just get them hooked on your dream too.

2. Buy a small sailboat (you can buy a dinghy sailboat used for about $1,000) and take it sailing where you live now. Get time on the water, and see if your kids like sailing small boats (lots of kids do). They may get hooked on your dream this way too.

3. Don't wait till you retire to take a trip of a week or so on a boat. With or without the kids, you could join someone else on their boat and see if you really like the lifestyle.

One never knows what life has in store for us. So, enjoy your dreaming, but make some of that dreaming come true now or soon, rather than waiting till you are 48.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your time on this forum.
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Old 07-12-2014, 22:49   #3
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Re: Very-long term plan - cruising at age 48

Consider boarding school and holidays afloat with you for the girls once they are high school aged.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:14   #4
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Re: Very-long term plan - cruising at age 48

Yes welcome!
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:49   #5
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Re: Very-long term plan - cruising at age 48

I really like Steady Hand's input:

1) it gets you on the water to accustom your body to it (and I've found that mostly, your body stays able to do what you make it do daily, or at least, frequently)

2) it has the potential to give your daughters the hobby of dinghy sailing, which, if they (and the whole family) take to that, it will work to everyone's benefit

It is really important, I think, that if you want to go off cruising, the whole family be on board with the plan, and it needs to be fun for all.

Ann (living aboard and cruising since 1986)
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Old 08-12-2014, 17:21   #6
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Re: Very-long term plan - cruising at age 48

Thanks everybody.

We're currently tossing around different ideas of what we want to do this next year. There is an active sailing club at the lake we go to a lot, but the average windspeed is less than 5 mph. It might be fun to do some ASA courses with friends also.
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Old 09-12-2014, 17:39   #7
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Re: Very-long term plan - cruising at age 48

1. What I want to do first is take an overnight "sunset cruise" like this one in the next couple months, taking our small children with us. No expectation of doing anything strenuous, without a big time or money commitment, and letting our kids experience a sailboat.

Sail the Sloop, Panama City, FL


2. In the spring/summer, I'd like to join the sailing club and go to one or two of the races, maybe get a little racing dinghy eventually if I like it:

South Winds Sailing Club - Lake Allatoona, GA


3. Take the ASA 101 certification with friends over a weekend:

Windward Sailing, Amelia Island, FL (cheapest)

Reef Runner, Panama City, FL (most expensive)

Stem to Stern Sailing, Panama City, FL

Sail the Sloop, Panama City, FL

Dunbar Sales, Savannah, GA (does not offer full range of classes)


4: Then maybe learn to sail a little more while on a charter with a captain in BVI from somewhere like this (somewhere on their website, it says a captain who can certify ASA costs $200 per day extra). Ideally, we would take some family with us to help with the kids and defray the costs:

BVI Catamarans - BVI Yacht Charters


We're still throwing around some ideas.
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