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Old 20-02-2017, 18:01   #1
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Sell the boat or keep it?

Hi all,

I am an experienced cruiser and have been cruising on an off for about 20 years locally but mostly overseas. Early years were with family (4 kids) and later years my wife and maybe a crew member or two. Recently it has been made clear to me that my wife has no further interest in sailing (not that she ever really did). I am trying to decide now whether to keep the boat or sell it. Incidentally I have just about completed a refit that has taken several years on and off and now the vessel is almost how I would like it. I know from past experience every time I sell a boat and am boatless for a couple of years I canít help buying another one. I think it is an addiction!
One of my options is to sail single handedly from now on. Not something I really want to do but at least it would enable me to follow my passion. The vessel however is 50 foot and really too big for the purpose although when we sail two up I pull all the strings in anycase so although not ideal it is manageable.
I would love to hear from other cruisers who have been faced with a similar position as to the decision they made, the challenges involved and how they coped with sailing alone. My interest is not coastal sailing but blue water and visiting other countries and cultures.

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Old 20-02-2017, 18:25   #2
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

It's simple. Do what feels good. I started out with Optimists then Thistle class then a 25 footer then a Catalina 30 on to my current 46 footer. At age 62, I can see myself reversing the process. I have loved most if not all my boats. But the boat has to fit my life today not yesterday. Don't get locked in to a boat or a dream. Make the boat fit your life. Don't make your life fit the boat.
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Old 20-02-2017, 18:35   #3
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Sell the 50.. get a 37-ish and use the cash difference to fund some blue water voyaging..

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Old 20-02-2017, 18:35   #4
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

The wife has no more interest in sailing you say . I think then she made it pretty clear or did she how does she feel about the boat ? Only offshore sailing visiting other countries will do . Are the kids on their own , are you retired ? One option would be single hand to your destination and then fly in your wife .
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Old 20-02-2017, 18:41   #5
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

I would echo the advice of TWB, are you going to cruise to different countries by yourself? Or do you have someone who would like to do that with you, other than your wife? A buddy or one of your children, perhaps? I'm not advocating you take on a mistress.

If not, is the 50 ft boat too large for a comfortable day sail or a short trip? It's all a matter of how are you going to sail? Does this boat suit that?
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Old 20-02-2017, 18:44   #6

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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

Not like it'd be hard to find a volunteer crew if you felt it wise, just do some short sails with them first before heading off to New Zealand!

I commend you on a long-term relationship where you guys are willing to give each other that much space, rare indeed.
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Old 20-02-2017, 19:32   #7
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

Thanks for your responses,

a little more info. I am in my later fifties, kids are independent and I have no debt and do have some assets. Finances are not so much the issue. I really don't want to sell and buy another boat as every time I do this it takes me enormous amounts of time and money to get it to a point where I am happy taking it offshore and I don't think I would be much better off financially doing this in any case. Been there done that too many times!

I had thought about getting crew for the passages etc and I guess this is the sort of information I am requesting. Using family as crew is not really practical as they all have careers with very restricted vacation opportunity. Best they can do is fly to a location and spend a couple of weeks which they have done before. It kinda works.


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Old 20-02-2017, 19:46   #8

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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

yes for sure don't sell that shines through very clearly
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Old 20-02-2017, 19:49   #9
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

Our situations are vastly different and you probably have a lot more experience than I, but I echo boatman's suggest to downsize. I'm part timing it now after 7 years onboard and find my offshore capable 27' perfectly suited. I just bought a trailer to bring it home for the next refit as opposed to relying on a yard somewhere far away. Low overhead, easy to maintain, easy to sail shorthanded, and still bluewater. Ticks all my boxes at least.

Best of luck moving forward.
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Old 20-02-2017, 21:00   #10
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

I've just become a two boat owner. First boat is a Pearson 35 that I've pretty much totally rebuilt to my liking. Have solo'd the boat around SF Bay, to Hawaii and around the Islands. Boat suits me well but my wife who accompanied me on a Cruise to SoPac and living aboard for 4 years decades ago has no interest in cruising or spending much time on the boat. Boat handles poorly in tight situations so hard to get out of and into the Med Tie Mooring slips here. That's been enough of a distraction that I haven't taken the boat out as much as I"d like. Once out of the marina it's no problem other than we have very light winds in the lee of our two 13,000' mountains. Still enjoy the boat because I like to tinker with it almost as much as sail it.

Recently bought a Sabre 28 in SF that I'll be sailing down to SoCal as soon as the WX cooperates. That may be never the way the fronts are rolling across the Pacific to California this year. Because of the grandkids in Carlsbad, we're spending about half our time there and wanted something to keep me busy and hopefully get the grandkids into sailing. The interior of the boat is large enough for my needs though definitely short the large storage capacity of the Pearson. It's a dream to sail, holds a heading well, turns on a dime and excellent light air performance. Where I need a winch on the Pearson, can usually muscle in the sheet or reef line on the Sabre. Needed to turn the boat around in the slip which I did by myself without giving it a thought. Would have had to wait for help to do that with the bigger boat. All in all, I'm enjoying the smaller boat way more than I thought I would. It's big enough to take to the Channel Islands, can carry enough supplies for at least a week at achor in some out of the way cove and probably much longer if Mexico beckons.

That's got me thinking about selling the Pearson. I don't need that big a boat. Biggest negative is I waited five years to get a slip in the local marina and hate to give that up. Our interests are switching to the mainland and there is the possibility that we'll sell out here and move back to the real world. That will be a major change as we've lived here for more than 40 years after getting our anchor stuck in the lava on our way back from FP.

Anyway, seems you'd be best off selling the boat and getting something smaller. If you have long distance voyaging in mind, something in the 30'-40' range would meet your needs and accomodate your wife should she want to fly in occasionally. If you just want to go sailing on short hops in the neighborhood, something 30' or less would give you the most bang for he buck.
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Old 20-02-2017, 21:18   #11
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

It is always difficult to give advice to others. My feeling is that either the boat or the wife needs to go. It is just not optimal to sail such a large boat by yourself and usually it is difficult to find crew when you need it. May be you can find someone locally who has a smaller boat that is also kept to a very high standard but who wants to upsize. S/he will still need to pay for the difference in value but at least you would not need to spend time and effort on the smaller boat. Such a person would also appreciate your boat better. As to the second option, I do not recommend it but I have seen it happen.
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Old 20-02-2017, 21:26   #12
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

If the boat is how you want it, fairly easy to operate, money is not an issue and sailing is available to you...

Here is how I feel about this situation...keep it. THe future is ahead and the time to change will be on your terms.... Even to go down to the dock and get on board a vessel you love is worth it.

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Old 20-02-2017, 23:18   #13
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

Very wise, weavis.

To the OP:

If things are good with your wife, other than that she doesn't want to cruise any more, then why not ask her? about the boat choice, I mean? Involve her with what you care about, if she'll play. Might she be interested to cruise with you once you reached destinations? Would you want her with you? The big boat (more comfort) or the smaller (easier to handle)?

For Jim and me, I've always felt it my duty to be his backup. As I age (I'm 77), I'm finding it very difficult to be good crew. Medically, I have not been too lucky. We are on the cusp of having to deal with this together, and with a great deal of love between us. So, from where I sit, I support your keeping the boat you've made how you like it, but I also support hearing your wife's side of it.

Here's why. If your wife will cruise part time with you, so that she has time for the grandchildren, and perhaps, personal interests, would that be an acceptable-to-you compromise? Jim and I are in finding compromises land. There may be some things your wife would like to have you around for. Maybe the two of you can negotiate quid pro quos, neither gets the whole ball of wax, but both get a portion of what they want.
Might that work for you?

In your mid 50's, and an experienced cruiser, you have some good cruising years left in you. More and more, I'm wondering if something has gone agley between the two of you. If that is so, let me pass on to you some of the best advice I was ever given by a good friend: he said, if you know in your heart it is not going to be able to work out in a relationship, then terminate it before you become bitter. I did have to do this once, and it was very hard to leave someone whom you love, but the relationship doesn't work [any more]. And it was the better thing for me to have done. It did open up new opportunities.

Here on CF, there are some who will tell you dump the wife. Most of them are people who are still unhappy with a previous woman. Some might tell you, keep her, because you have children in common, the child raising years (which included cruising which presumably both of you enjoyed). But I really think the two of you need to have a heart to heart. Whatever's not right might not be too hard to get okay, if you work together, if you still have the will to work together......... that is the question.

Good luck with it, for both of you. I have known too many 50ish women suddenly deserted to support you more, at this point.

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Old 21-02-2017, 00:51   #14
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

I tend to agree with Ann. I think there is a more going on behind the scenes in this case (not that you need to air your dirty laundry for us).

Are a type A Capt. Bligh and that's why she has no interest (think about don't answer) or is it just long open water passages she doesn't like or does she just have no interest in being on the water? Could you tailor your cruising to meet her needs while still getting time on the water?

If your relationship is still strong and she just isn't interested in spending time on the water, moving to a smaller boat makes a lot of sense.

Maintaining and cruising a 50' boat is a major life commitment. I can't see spending that large of a part of my life on a hobby and not sharing it. If I was that set on cruising or doing open water passages, I would consider a weeks charter or crewing on a passage once or twice a year.
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Old 21-02-2017, 01:03   #15
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Re: Sell the boat or keep it?

Is there a part of you that wants to sell the boat also. Dig deep and take an honest look at that. For me, it's pretty lonely sailing without my wife.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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