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Old 25-02-2019, 08:59   #106
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Re: What to do for college...

Plan for change ---it all will with age!
Flexibility the only constant in life is inconstancy
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Old 25-02-2019, 09:14   #107
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Re: What to do for college...

Originally Posted by Jake Mundok View Post
Hi all,
I know I want to sail as soon as possible and live aboard. I want to set myself up to sail the world one day .... Just looking for ideas .... Really excited to get out of high school and experience the world!
Hi Jake.
I havenít read all the comments here. Thereís most likely a lot of good advice and a fair bit of poor advice. I think the main problem is that you ask for ideas and get advice. Perhaps thatís because youíre so young, but I still think itís better to adhere to what you actually ask for.

The quote above is what seems to be the core of your intention here. I think you should focus on your own intention, dreams and wishes, not on anybodyís opinions or advice. Sure, you can plan 10 years of education to make sure nobodyís afraid that you might not become respected, but even though education is useful, as a tool, donít ever think itís important. It gets useful if you have a specific plan for what you want to use it for. If the education doesnít match your plan, education is mostly a waste of time, (but never completely so.)

The main problem for most long distance cruisers isnít that their boat isnít good enough or that theyíre not competent enough. The main problem is normally that they have no income while cruising. If you can be creative with education pointing that way, itís probably smart. Itís possible to get work in the places you travel to, but expect to meet a fair bit of trouble with that, and that wages can be very low. Fixing things for other cruisers is better paid, but also no gold mine, Remember, they also have no income... If you can have an online business that doesnít need continuous attention, thatís probably the best bet. Some cruisers have a very good income from their YouTube channels etc, having that as a full time work, but the vast majority donít manage to get an income that is anywhere near worth the time they spend. I would not go that direction...

If I understand your plan correctly, it seems smart to just go sailing as much as you can. Not for practice. Sail for fun. When you have fun, you learn. When you think your boat has too important shortcomings, try to improve it, or eventually upgrade to a boat you like better. That process will teach you incredibly useful skills. Donít think you need to have an awesome boat to go cruising very nicely. The most important ingredient is to know what your abilities are, use them and gradually expand them. The next ingredient is knowing the same about your boat.

Know also that you learn essential sailing skills extremely much better on small boats than on bigger boats. They give much clearer response so you get it installed into your backbone. Fast one man dinghies, like a Laser and many others, are the best teachers, and the best fun you can have with your clothes on. :-) Learning fundamental sailing on a bigger boat is like learning to ride a bike by being a passenger on a bus... A sailor that has not learned intuitive sailing on a dinghy is sub par on an important skill. This claim will annoy many sailors, but itís still 100% true.

You can borrow a dinghy in a sailing club, if youíre a member. If you have no sailing club, find one. Not one of those posh ******** clubs but a nice one where the point is sailing. That kind of club is a great way to get sailing in more boats with more people. Youíll learn some good stuff and some that is actually faulty, but spotting that is also an important skill.

Thereís an enormous amount of things to learn, but you donít need to know everything to go cruising far. Otherwise, nobody could ever leave. ďHe who thinks heís finished learning isnít learned. Heís just finished!Ē Cruising is very easy. Have fun sailing. When you feel like it, just leave for a longer trip.

Good luck Jake! Youíre very young and you do have a lot of time, but I totally support the idea that you should not postpone it. Go sailing!
I'd rather set my goals high and reach them, than set them low and fail.
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Old 25-02-2019, 09:14   #108
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Re: What to do for college...

Do some serious homework and study for a degree that is in demand, plenty arenít. Go to a school that has an academic reputation. As far as service academies, going to one so you might sail is the very worst reason. You join the military because you want to be a leader, serve your country and kill our enemies. I personally think you can get a four year degree and sail as much as you want. I spent that much time in bars and graduated. Oh, also in the reserves at the same time.
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Old 25-02-2019, 09:39   #109
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Re: What to do for college...

One more issue Jake. If you feel like nerding out and reading up on loads of very competent knowledge, go to Attainable Adventure Cruising, That’s by far the best source of such knowlege. To get full use of it, you need to pay a membership fee, but that’s ridiculously cheap for the amazing value. 24 dollars per year. AAC is not a forum like this here is. The information is organized as a large amount of articles. A new article comes every week or so. Under each article there’s a discussion thread. Sometimes the discussion is just as interesting as the article. The articles are organized in online “books”. There are a lot of those books and as a member you have access to everything there. Any serious cruiser needs to be a member there. However, there is one danger with this site. The amount of information and the focus on the myriad of details can be an overload to make you think all has to be done before you leave. However, this site is an ongoing education without an exam. If you keep this clear in your mind, you will gain much here. I’ve sailed for 50 years and still learn every time I’m there.
I'd rather set my goals high and reach them, than set them low and fail.
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Old 25-02-2019, 09:55   #110
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Re: What to do for college...

If you want to learn sailing and the sea, head to the Maritime Academy. However, if you want to live on the boat while earning a degree, consider Empire State College which is part of the State University of New York. The Center for Distant Learning is online so you could stay on the boat rather than stay in a dorm and attend regular classes. You can get the information and register online.
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Old 25-02-2019, 11:15   #111
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Re: What to do for college...

Not sure how it works on your side of the pond Jake but here in the UK we have apprentiship schemes. Pendennis super yachts run an award winning course, you spend 4 or five years working for peanuts but get to go to college and get some usefull industry related qualifications, whilst getting first hand experience in various fields of yacht building and maintainance. At the end of the apprentiship, assuming you've put the work in, you can pretty much land a very well paid job, travel the world at someone elses expence, gain a shed load of experience whilst saving up for your dream boat.
If that kind of formal structure doesn't suit ya and I know a lot of people who get by just fine by being hands on. you can hang around boat yards help out as many people as you can to develop a skill set that you can use to earn a crust. Just to put it in context. I know one young guy who did the appentiship route, he earns the equivalent of $150k per year, travels all over the world and is very happy. I know another guy who lives on a 24ft yacht, earns a bit of cash here and there doing odd jobs for people on their boats (cleaning, antifouling varnishing and a bit of mechanics etc) as soon as he has enough money for a few months supplies of food and fuel. he sets off and goes sailing until his belly starts rumbling and then he stops to pick up more work. I would say he is just as happy as the wealthy guy but just in a very different way.
You are lucky enough to be young enough to make a bunch of mistakes whilst you find out what works for you.
Good luck on your journey
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Old 25-02-2019, 11:32   #112
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Re: What to do for college...

Looks like there are lots of good ideas. I did not have boats in my pre high school years. 2nd year in high school I joined a local sea scout ship and have been involved with them for over 50 years. I learned and then I was able to help others learn and go into careers that they wanted to pursue. I did go to college. I was a State Park Peace Officer and did a lot of water related job activities. You have a great adventure ahead. Fair winds and good sailing.
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Old 25-02-2019, 11:36   #113
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Re: What to do for college...

Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Sometimes though a ticket into the world of educated people doesn't necessarily put food on your table or help to pay off student loans as you somewhat touched on. (my degree was a BA In History (GI Bill) which I somewhat use but mainly it's the tech training)

The degree, especially one in the liberal arts, allows you to "see" things better I believe. You can better understand the engineer counting his trees individually or the artist not seeing the single trees or what type they are but the overall effect

As far the military, that's a tough one. You have to give up lots of your freedoms when you join.

Another thing to be aware of as a young person listening to older folks describe their good ole/glory days is that they may be leaving out the worst parts

Like the fact that it is very hard for family life
Special knowledge can be a terrible disadvantage if it leads you too far along a path that you cannot explain anymore.
Frank Herbert 'Dune'
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Old 25-02-2019, 12:18   #114
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Re: What to do for college...

consider thinking where you would like to be at 28- back up to 23, and then figure out at 17 how to get those goals. When considering college figure what are the most options available-or where are the graduates going?
You mentioned Texas A+M Galveston- awesome school- also consider the five state maritime schools, Maine, Mass, NY (SUNY) , Texas, California, and Kings Point (US Merchant Marine Academy). All provide the bang for the money. A degree, a vocation (USCG deck or engine unlimited license) and if desired-a direct commission into the military.
All have sailing teams, all have water, some have really beautiful girls.
Good luck.

The merchant marine life- generally working six months of the year, would provide an occupation that permits both reasonable income and time off to live aboard and cruise the world. But do not let me convince you. Wander down to the Delaware Pilot Station, introduce yourself and ask the experience.
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Old 25-02-2019, 12:18   #115
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Re: What to do for college...

All good advice.
For those who advise college, think about how much the cost has gone up since you did your degree. I don't think an undergrad degree is worth years of debt. If you work a few years first, (especially if you get a trade!), then decide on college, you will be more focused, get more out of college, and, hopefully, be able to pay for it as you go.

I never did an undergrad degree. I decided I wanted to do some graduate studies, later. I wrote a three page letter, where I had been, and what I had accomplished, in 20 plus years of adult life, with letters of recommendation from some academic friends, and was accepted into grad school.
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Old 25-02-2019, 12:24   #116
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Re: What to do for college...

Originally Posted by Mediator View Post
The Naval and Coast Guard Academies have some excellent programs... and excellent sailing teams.
Do not overlook the USMMA @ KingsPoint.. They have a world class sailing program, teach maritime skills like Navigation, Ship Handling and practical skills like rope work. They also send you all over the world sailing as a cadet on merchant ships during your 2nd & 3rd years. You will graduate as an officer in the US Naval Reserve, have a US Coast Guard license as a merchant marine officer and make big bucks. Greatest part is that the education is virtual free. One must apply with a member of Congress for an appointment.
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Old 25-02-2019, 12:39   #117
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Re: What to do for college...

Go Vikings!
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Old 25-02-2019, 13:50   #118
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Re: What to do for college...

It's an interesting question. In my day, people went to school, got a good job, got married, kids, house, mortgage, retirement plan, and eventually (if they were lucky) they got to where they could afford to buy a boat and do some cruising.

A lot of folks from your generation (Gen Z) don't want to wait. They want to skip straight to retirement. Amazingly some folks seem to be pulling it off. These guys for example:

If I had it to do again, I'd use one of the crew finder apps and sign up as crew for someone sailing to someplace I found interesting (probably Caribbean or S Pacific for me).

I'd work odd jobs, try to meet lots of people, and make friends whenever possible. I imagine you'd come across some great opportunities.

If, after a year or 2, you still think college is the way you want to go. You can always sign up. I'm sure they'd be glad to have someone w some experience.

Good Luck! And keep us posted

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Old 25-02-2019, 13:51   #119
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Re: What to do for college...

Work for a marina/yacht services company and learn the trades like electrical work, engine repair, fiberglass repair etc. Become a sailing instructor. Save up some money and go. You will be able to find that work at most places. I didn't start college until 22 and am doing just fine, so you can fall back on that if needed later. Read up on the lifestyle and live on the cheap. Start a YouTube channel to try to supplement income but don't count on it to succeed.
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Old 25-02-2019, 15:33   #120
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Re: What to do for college...

You are probably under a lot of pressure for college. I understand all that, however you need to pick the right coursework for your future. 4 years in college to graduate with nothing of direct value, meaning you end up finding work outside your college career path and 4 yrs almost wasted. 16 is young to make a lifelong commitment to any particular field.
If I were you I would build on your strengths. You have been sailing since 10. You have had a boat for a period of time. You are in an excellant position and already on your way to a master's license. You need 720 4hr days to qualify for capt with aux sail. Have you counted how many days you already have. You can go back and get sign offs from every person you sailed with and now that you have your own boat you can easily make up the needed time. With a captain's license and a pleasing personality you can bring your boat to the Caribbean and find day charters on airbnb. You now have money coming in. Do that for a while, and watch for opportunities to step into a crewed position on a charter yacht. If youhave a great personality, like SCUBA, a captain's lic and divemaster is a killer position on a charter yacht. If after a few years you liked engineering and went back for a degree in marine engineering you would be looking at a 6 figure income in less than 10 years working on a megayacht salary plus tips.
If you don't like that kind of work you have a license under your belt and can look for related schooling with all the advice from above. What you have accomplished is sailing your dream until it has either become reinforced and rewarding or you have found something better. You have a passion for sailing that was obvious to whoever gave you the boat, so i would pursue that to the bitter end. No reason to give it up. You can always go back to college and after a few years in the sailing industry it will only give you more focus on what you want to do so you can approach that with the same passion.
Best Regards, Capt. Joe
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