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Old 24-11-2010, 17:30   #31
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Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
There's quite a difference between moving to a new home because of a job change vs a total life change to moving onto a boat.

It's a complete lifestyle change and while you are the parent and can make the decision, making a real life changing decision like this should involve a group decision and discussion.

It sounds like you haven't really discussed it or have you? If I were you, I'd start discussing it as a family to see what everyone's thoughts are on it and if everyone is a go, start planning for it. There's a few blogs I've seen by families that cruise and it seems the best results were those that made this decision as a family and everyone was involved in the planning...etc
This raises a good point and my response to discussing it with my children is 'sort of'. My kids see me surfing through Yachtworld and Cruiser's Forum EVERY day. If the computer is on - they know I've been to the Nordhavn site, and checked out my favourite cruiser's blog. They know that boating = dad and dad = boating. Even when we're not boating (in winter we do day cruises) we go to the boat each week, we do sleepovers (sometimes mono a mono with my daughter when my son has sleepovers, and mono a mono with my son when my daughter has sleepovers), or just check up on the boat. Boating is part of our lives. Cruising is not. Not yet

I don't want to start a discussion with the kids unless the decision's been made - and then its about putting a positive spin on a decision already made and letting them know why its important for us as a family. Again. I'm torn: benefit vs. detriment
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Old 24-11-2010, 19:25   #32
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My kids are 14 and 12. I have done the same as you taking the kids on summer cruises and teaching them to surf. There is defintley a difference between the real lifestyle and the summer vacation. I have taken my kids on cruises up in BC and then took the boat down the coast with friens to SF and then sailed SF Bay on weekends for a few months. From there we cruised Southern California. We finally did the Baja Ha Ha in 2009. I sat the kids down and told them "I am doing the Baja Ha Ha the year. My favorite crew would be you guys. I have wanted to take my kids cruising before you were even born. . . . My kids are fanatic about Soccer (football) and play on a rep side. I arranged it so that the kids would only miss one game. We did the Ha Ha and then kept the boat in La Paz, Mexico and went cruising there twice for a couple of weeks each. I then brought the boat back to San Diego. My daughter entered High School this year so pulling her out of school in the winter is no longer an option. I suggested that we go to a summer cruising ground like Hawaii. They liked the idea. From there over the summer my daughter went to Spain to visit my nephew and my nephew came to visit us. Well the kids liked the idea of going to Hawaii but my son said can we go visit Michael (my nephew) in Spain too. I showed him a map of the world and explained why we couldn't do both. Well my daughter said why don't we sail to Spain? From there we made the decision to take the boat to Europe. We are going to truck the boat to North Carolina and then I will sail across the Atlantic and meet the family in Spain. I told the kids that they had to commit to spending summers in Europe for the next few years. My wife is going to talk to the school about getting the kids out of school for either a semester or a few months. the Mexico trip really set the kids on fire about travelling. Rock soup. Stone soup - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I also figure that this is the last chance that I have in making theis dream happen. My daughter will be going to college in less then four years.
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Old 24-11-2010, 20:05   #33
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Bill,

My 'street cred'...

I HAVE CRUISED WITH MY KIDS (9, 9, and 11). I AM A HUGE HOCKEY NUT. I STILL PLAY COMPETITIVE HOCKEY AT AGE 43. I WATCHED THE GOLD MEDAL GAME AT A BEACH BAR IN BEQUIA. THE FLAGPOLE FOR MY ENSIGN IS A SHERWOOD 5030.

Here is my two cents.

My advice is to take the family on a one to two year trip (we did one year in the Caribbean, but kind of wished we took two). Then you can return home, they can get back with their friends and activities and you and the wife can start planning the next trip for once the kids are off to college.

Our kids, despite having cruised every summer since they were born, were dead set against the trip - up until about a month before we left and then they started to get really excited. Once we got underway... THEY HAD A BLAST!!

The first couple of weeks were a bit slow as we made our way from to Toronto to NY, but once we hit New Jersey we started to meet up with other cruising families heading south and everybody had a great time. From New Jersey to Grenada and back, we always had other cruising families around and our kids had the most exciting times of their lives (so far).

The experiences are so rich, there really is no substitute.

On leaving hockey... If your kid is a rep player today, he may still be a rep player when you return (after some work, of course), but it's unlikely he's going to leap up to AAA. But he's probably not destined for AAA at this point anyway and hockey - first and foremost - is for fun and I can tell you firsthand that the houseleague kids have just as much fun as the AAA kids.

Anyway, I could go on for hours about how great this trip was for our kids (and all the other great cruising kids we met along way). If you still need convincing, feel free to email me at crew at sailbojangles dot ca. You can also check out our blog at www dot sailbojangles dot ca

Lastly... don't consult your kids too seriously on the question of whether to cruise or not. They are not sufficiently mature yet to make that decision. They won't want to leave their activities and friends behind. That's a natural reaction, which shouldn't factor into your decision. Certainly discuss it with them, but do not give them a vote.

If you have a choice, take a sailboat. Most other cruisers with kids are on sailboats, so it'll just make meeting folks easier.

Shoot me a message if you want to chat.

Cheers
Colin
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Old 25-11-2010, 09:16   #34
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Thanks for your responses (yesterday I checked out Colin's blog and my kids watched the videos and thought it was all pretty 'cool'). As to the suggestion of going for a year or 2 - I just have to wrap my mind around how to do that. My business is not one where I can continue it while away for more than 2 months (hence my ability to cruise in the summers but not for longer). The business can't be put on hold and that means starting from scratch later if we are to resume our land life and its inherent expenses (and currently those expenses are ridiculous - even if I ignore the hockey related expenses ). I suppose that the house could be rented out rather than sold but again, re-starting the business may be a difficult process and we would need that high income we have been used to to continue our land life. Maybe that means I can't afford it yet - not if affording it means that my back-up plan (return to previous life) may not be possible yet....
Cheers,
Bill
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Old 25-11-2010, 09:57   #35
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why not cruise part time and play with kids the rest-- prep em for your ultimate departure-with or without'em--eventually you will be without them, but, until they are grown, would be good idea to go with the kids.... mine told me, after i had worked hard to raise him--had to work nights-- that i was a rotten mom because i wasnt there for him, but i was--he is now 37 and still saying i wasnt a good mom-- -so-- RAISE THE KIDS FIRST. then leave forever--- until then-- coastal hop and be with the kids... is alll goood--- you arent wasting time-- you are letting your babies have parents...OR...
rip them out of their lives and be selfish. OR.....
if they had been raised on board would be one thing-- but they were raised in a house with real school instead of home schooling, so they rent real boat babies, so they may take offense at relocation, as did my sis when we relocated per dad's job from her home of 13 yrs to midwest-- she turned brat. so take into mind all the lil things kids feel are important and go for the best compromise you can think up... goood luck-- teenagers are weird critters--dont even seem as if human sometimes,,, but they are worth the effort-- the sea isnt going anywhere-- relax and enjoy and see some of the local sites-with and without the kids..
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Old 25-11-2010, 11:08   #36
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Maybe that means I can't afford it yet - not if affording it means that my back-up plan (return to previous life) may not be possible yet....
When I was a kid used to spend extended periods on the boat for the summer (sounds pretty much like you do already). and also in a Caravan ........but for us France (Europe ) is only 15 miles away - so easy if sometimes me Father wanted to return home to work (or when he got bored of us kids? ) for a while. Dunno how practical some variation of that would be for you........keep the wife and kids abroad?, even if only 6 months a year and you have to come home a few times in that timeframe. Most places nowadays not too far away by Plane(s).

Writing your own rules can sometimes involve having your cake and eating it
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Old 25-11-2010, 11:20   #37
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Hi Zeehag,
I can't help but smile when you say the sea isn't going anywhere...with global warming - there's just more of it - whole other topic.... My wife and I will get to have the cruising life - so its not just about us - its about whether we should give our kids that gift now or never - boating yes - cruising life uncertain. Yes, its a radical change from what they know - and it happens to align with my passion - but there's many things we do that don't align with our passion (in fact things we don't want to do) which we do for the good of the kids. There's things the kids don't like which we make them do cuz its good for them. I admit, this is a BIGGY... All the input helps - its data to assess....Thanks,
Bill

PS its snowing here - which is not a factor affecting our thought process
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Old 25-11-2010, 11:32   #38
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Hi David,
Our original back up plan was to sell everything, buy a 2 bedroom condo, rent that out and go cruising - after the kids had grown. That way with a depreciating asset (any boat) we'd still have an appreciating asset or at least the means to return to land life if we couldn't cruise anymore (or chose not to). Our cruising kitty is/would be enough to just use interest without touching principal. However, that back up plan wouldn't work if we were to do this with the kids - we'd need a back up plan that would allow us to buy back a sizeable nice home. Alternatively, we could rent our home - but either way we'd need an income similar to what I have now to keep up the old/current life. That may be possible but there's a risk it wouldn't be. Perhaps I'm not giving myself enough credit regarding keeping or starting up my business again... Cheers,
Bill
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Old 25-11-2010, 11:46   #39
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If you stay, you've got another 6 years at least. I was first thinking you should stay if the kid is good enough to get a college scholarship from hockey. But unless the kid's really, really, good it's too early to tell. So... go.
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Old 25-11-2010, 11:48   #40
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Bill,

If you want to do it with your kids, then do it. Lots of people do (including me) and I've yet to meet one family who regretted it.

If this is your dream, work your life (and lifestyle) around the dream. Don't try to work your dream around your lifestyle. I know that sounds trite, but it's true.

It's also 100% true that the biggest challenge in any cruising adventure is getting that first mile away from the dock. Once you're out there, things get a whole lot simpler. And as for re-entry into a shore-based life, I'm sure you can figure that out too.

You seem like a bright, capable guy... Make it happen.

(BTW - you notice how the conversation is no longer about kids' hockey, but about lifestyle and career issues? Hmmmm...)

Cheers,
Colin
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Old 25-11-2010, 11:53   #41
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There is an article a few years back in Good Old Boat

Growing up afloat
by Theresa Fort


Article Number: 2886
Issue: 47-mar/apr 06
Page No: 4-9, 59
Read Online: Not Available Online


You might want to dig up a copy. It was intriguing to say the least. Seems a group cruising kids are way ahead of the average kid. If your son has self esteem issues perhaps standing the night watch my be the confidence builder he needs to feel useful?
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:17   #42
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Bet there are a LOT more hockey playing kids than there are ones who got to cruise! In the end just one more kid that played hockey compared to someone who got a lasting event. - When you are 30+ and talking about your youth , which is going to gather more listeners?
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Old 27-11-2010, 15:03   #43
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It would be the best part of their life. They can pick up sports a year later, can keep in touch with their friends. It grows responsibility and world experiences no other kid they know has.

You can fly home for a 1,2 or 6 month stretch. Alternatively, your family can fly in to the location you have taken the boat. So many options - all positive.

Cruising kids are always better educated, social adept and resposible than if they stayed at home.

Only had one kid to make this statement by, but met so many cruising families. All would say the same.
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Old 27-11-2010, 15:13   #44
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Thanks for your post rusky. My wife and I are now discussing the issue openly in front of our kids...
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Old 28-11-2010, 12:43   #45
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Your very welcome Bill,
We rented the house and just moved back 6 weeks ago after being away from it for 7 years. Had to do a quick reno as expected.

I think 'one' needs a home base to hold onto as 'home', if or when you want to get off teh boat. It is also an appreciating asset as you mentioned. That takes the pressure completely off the huge step you were contemplating.

We started a business, built it up and sold it. That actually bought the boat and gave us a years kitty. I worked each cyclone season for 3-4 months. This was comfortably enough for the rest of the year including any maintenance.

We took Golf clubs and played at island resorts on occasion or on the beach other times. My son used to email his friends daily if we were in range. His primary school class in year 4 had a map of Queensland and a pin to show where he was that week.

At the age of 5, he could effectively read a chart, knowing which beacon was next and which side to go around it. He could be left in the cockpit, steering while I went below for something. He got bored zipping about in the dinghy, until another kid or kids were in the anchorage.

As for schooling, he was in the extension classes for science, maths and English from teh begnning of high school. He has done well in sports, up to regional level.


The lifestyle has been great for me and my family, I believe. There is no reset button in life so who really knows. As long as I leave a happy footprint, all is good.

cheers and good luck
David
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