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Old 29-12-2020, 02:55   #1
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The plan from someone still not a sailor

This is long very long, I just thought I would put out there how I am thinking. You don’t go to forums if you don't want feedback, I picked a forum, I expect to be here for years. I am sorry this is so long, I have been thinking about it for two years and it’s finally time for me to begin a conversation, there is a start and there is a goal. It’s like I am thinking ok you need to do this and then saying but this is where I want to end up, so I guess in wanting to say hello to a forum, then the forum should understand what it is I am thinking because most have been there done that

just wanted to say hello, I am not a sailor. I am currently living in Albuquerque, NM, US. I am 65 living on retirement income SS only it’s not much 1,525 a month. However old boss would like me to come back to work in a different position, something I could do (once trained approx. 2 years) from any where in the world as long as I have solid 24/7 internet. Job pays any where from 40k to 100k, depends on how good you are but making 40k is something I know I can do. So you take that put that with my SS retirement we are looking 58k and I can do the job as long as I am physically and mentally able to.

At 65 even though I am 60 lbs. overweight doctors are amazed at what good shape I am in. I like walking, lifting weights, I like being active and my heart and lungs are in great shape. I do have a disease there is no cure for, there are no drugs to really make it better. But the good side is I am not affected by it very often. Sometimes 5 years passes before I am hit with attacks, when the attacks happen, they can last for 2 years or so, 5 attacks maybe a month. I have something called Meniere’s disease. It’s an inner ear disease. When bad attacks happen my brain does not know where it is. Let me clarify that if an attack happens while I am crossing the street … it’s not that my brain does not know what street intersection or city I am at.

Way different my brain does not know up from down, left from right, now when it happens, I fall down because the brain does not know where it is in space, so since I fall down, I do know where down is, but it hard to tell which way up is. I also can’t see well; if you have ever been drunk and had the bed spins, it’s sort of like that but worse. Basically if you have had bed spins you know you can put your foot on the floor, and they stop. I can’t stop it, the only thing that helps is to close my eyes prevent light from coming in, doesn’t mean the spin does not stop just means it is easier to deal with. If I open my eyes, I won’t really be spinning, not all the images are whirling around my head, from the front, the back, the side, it’s not like spinning round and round, it’s all images are coming from all directions, awfully bad feeling.

Fortunately, this does not happen often. When the attacks happen, they can be as short as 3-4 seconds, they can also be as long as 45 min. But as I get older the 45 min ones have reduced. It’s 15 years since I had an attack lasted that long.

So what helps the disease, all my doctors agree physical exercise, they have no idea why it helps, being physically active, it’s why I like lifting weights, pushups, anything physical.

So knowing all that you have a guy here, that is planning on returning to ND trucking company (this disease is why I can’t drive a truck anymore, I don’t think you want a guy driving a truck down the highway, in control of 80,000 lbs). So my old boss is offering me a job brokering loads; you have the shipper (he needs his load to show up somewhere. You have the trucker who needs to take a load somewhere. I am the guy in the middle who mates the two.) Average earnings for this job are 60k, put that with my 18k retirement I have a living … I just need top notch internet and cell phone, I can use sat phone (really expensive) but I must have 100% guaranteed internet to make it work.

Here is the plan, next two years I learn my job, at that same time I will become debt free with good credit 720 score. Step one buy a small sailboat somewhere near Seattle WA (reason for that later), I might be paying for this sailboat without seeing it, so I would need to hire an inspector of the boat.
Step two move to Washington put the boat in the water and take sailing lessons on weekends, this would be a 26 to 30 foot sailboat that one person could live on. The idea is to live at anchor, I am looking at Reid Harbor, Stuart Island WA. It’s protected and only a few miles to get resupplied at Roche Harbor once a week. I expect to pay less than 20k for the boat, which means it will need work, I will only dump in as much is necessary to keep it safe while learning to sail it over two years. I will do this on weekends sailing to Duncan BC (to see friends) or to Tocoma WA to see my kids and granddaughter. Two years to learn how to sail mostly on inland water ways. Make myself familiar with all the systems of the boat, learn how to do simple repairs but not sink a lot of money into the boat

Phase three boat is paid for, debt free, credit score of 720, 15k in the bank and minimum of 50k a year, and I know something about sailing. Get rid of the sailboat, buy a new one that I will sink money into, one that I want forever, one that I can be proud of. I think that this plan could take 8 years maybe 10, I will be 75.

So what is the dream? I looked at lots of catamarans, one they are out of my price range and I like them because there was all this space. I am alone what do I need with that. So what appealed to me two boats 1) Vagabond 47 Ketch cutter rigged and 2) Formosa 51, I think I could learn to handle either by myself.

So now saying all this, I need guidance, really, I am starting the thread because, I want friends who want watch me do it, and who can also offer help getting from step one to step two and so on. I don’t mind criticism, but If I listen to every critic, I would not have climbed 14k mountains, I would not have experience scuba diving, I would have not spent 8 years in Iraq supporting troops, I would have never jumped out of an airplane. There are risks in all parts of life.

For those that took the time to read all of this thank you, I am still 2 years from even buying the first 30 sailboat. It takes planning, every mountain I ever climbed, it took planning, … THERE IS ALWAYS A BEGINNING!
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Old 29-12-2020, 03:07   #2
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, gent.
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Old 29-12-2020, 03:14   #3
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Welcome, and I applaud you in your desire to make this endeavor a reality. I think it's entirely possible. As they say, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Getting a smaller size "pocket cruiser" liveaboard boat makes sense for learning. Prior to getting the boat, learn as much as you can from the internet; there a ton of resources and of course read books. NauticEd.com has good self instructed classes online. Obviously, you'll need to make viable decisions in regards to your medical condition. Stick with a general plan and you'll live your dream! No harm in trying.
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Old 29-12-2020, 04:47   #4
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Once yOu have the used 30 footer set up the way you like and have sailing exper with it....why sell and spend unrecoverable $$ on new/er?
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Old 29-12-2020, 05:06   #5
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Hey
I love people who plan! Seems like you have a good plan there...especially about the sailing lessons! Have you sailed before at all? How do you think your disease will manifest on the boat?
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Old 29-12-2020, 05:19   #6
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Wow. There is quite a lot in your introduction. I applaud you for coming up with a plan.

I’ll offer just two observations. First, if you believe that your condition makes you ill suited to drive large vehicles, are you sure operating a large vehicle on a large ocean is a good idea? Second, I believe Elevated Motion Sickness Susceptibility (MSS) can also be caused by Ménière’s disease. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, you may find a home on the water to be intolerable.

I’m not saying you can’t accomplish your plan. But you may need to confront these obstacles.
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Old 29-12-2020, 05:38   #7
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Sounds definitely doable. Just a couple of observations:

1) internet: if you need it 24/7 then unfortunately you will be limited to coastal cruising. Sat Comms are not (currently) capable of providing what you want. They are super expensive and there are still times, frequently, when you can't get a reliable signal.

2) it would be a shame to sink all this time, effort and money into this project only to discover that, for whatever reason, the lifestyle will not work for you. Anything to do with boats is generally glamourised. The reality is rarely in keeping with the expectations. I think it would be good if you could give it a go first without investing too much. Try crewing for someone, for example.
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Old 29-12-2020, 08:02   #8
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The plan from someone still not a sailor

I have an understanding of your disease as I have a family member with it.

It would be fine if you are at the dock , but it would be quite a dangerous disease if single handing underway.

You will need to resolve the issue /risk , my family member can go years without a strike , but then can be laid up for weeks / months with as she describes “ Brain fog

As has been said boats are portrayed as glamorous ( living the dream etc ) the reality can be very different
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Old 29-12-2020, 09:25   #9
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Your doctor is really the only person who can actually give you advice on your medical issues and whether it's compatible with what you want to do. Sometimes, health issues can be worked around. Sometimes they can't. When they can't, you shouldn't put yourself at risk by doing things you know you shouldn't be doing.


On the other hand, what I can say is this:

There is no reason to "give up". If you can't do exactly what you want, then you have to modify your goals so you can do what you want. If that means you have to give up the romantic/nomadic life of living on the ocean in favor of a small boat you can sail on a local lake, then that's what you have to do.
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Old 29-12-2020, 09:27   #10
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Bula from Fiji Gent48dd.

Typically my standard welcome is "Hoping that you'll gain help and useful information from the forum. Do feel free to post your own thoughts, questions and ideas here on CF. The forum only works when people post, and 95% of members here seem reluctant. Don't be a lurker."

But this seems completely inadequate given your lengthy thought provoking post. You invite responses so this is my perception.

I think that the harsh reality is, as another poster alluded, living on a sailing boat doesn't have much glamour (currently I am having a hard time fighting all the bitey bugs trying to eat me). For a large number of people it's actually just a caravan park on water. I think in your part of the world you call these a trailer parks. There are huge numbers living on boats that never actually go anywhere. I'm not knocking that, nor am I suggesting it's a bad way to live, but it is a common reality.

If you talked to them they'll have reasons for not sailing. But for most of those people their normal is that they are doing a job, perhaps on board, perhaps on shore. But they are living on the water, and the boat home is a comparatively cheap option. Sometimes the boat is a project boat and they tinker on their boats, forever buying another bit of gear or another drum of epoxy. For those people their boat soaks up all their money and time.

And believe me, it is easy to spend money on a boat. I've just replaced much of my running rigging (running rigging is what we mean by the ropes on the boat). Didn't need to replace, but to me the old cordage was looking tired and dirty and felt hardened. Sometimes I visit a boat shop and see some cool gizmo and can't help myself, So I have a dozen or so gizmos waiting to be installed, some I've had for 5 years. One day! And you'll commonly find this so at least I know I am not alone.

You're talking about a 50 foot boat. Dude that is a huge machine for a guy of your age and inexperience. And whatever design will also be significantly complex, and require either substantial work by you or by paid labour. Just anti fouling such a beast each season will be an expensive and significant undertaking. When something breaks and it will (quite often and regularly) then she will soak up money, and big boat means big money.

And I don't understand using a smaller boat as a pathway. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a 30 footer both to live and to sail. And as some said, maybe sailing isn't for you, who knows.

My advice, join the local sailing club and go sailing. Forget lessons and courses for the next 12 months (waste of money till you know you have a passion). Just go sailing. Most keelboat skippers at every Club need crew. Be crew, make friends, go sailing. Ask questions, many questions, and start most of the questions with 'why'. Where possible go out on different boats, you'll begin to see how they are all differently configured. Wander round the boatyards and docks looking at different boats.

But beware, many many people turn up just like you and we see them maybe 3 or 4 times and then never again. Same on courses (I am a sailing instructor). So I would suggest keeping your dreams to yourself when hanging out with other sailors, at least until you come to know people.

Go sailing, meet other sailors, hang out and be an active member. Help with things around the club. Help the skipper/owners when it's time to do boat work. In Wellington we have a Classic Yacht Assn. Just a very small bunch of people that find very old yachts, acquire and then refurbish and sail them. Huge amounts of work, but a wonderful way to learn skills, hangout with other sailors and also go sailing. Maybe there is a group like this where you live.

Being from a trucking background you might have the impression that boats are like trucks or cars. They're not. Most of the boats that most people can afford are bespoke and at least 40 years old. They might have had a production run of 6 in total. And there have been 40+ years of owners who made changes and modifications and added gizmos etc. Also it means hunting down parts or more likely improvising. There is no part shop you can go to for much of a boat. That aside there are some boats that have had large production runs as a result of being built for many years.

The other thing I would counsel is to go old school. Forget about Youtube (cos most of it is bs as you say in America). Read books, and old blogs. Here is one I highly recommend to start: Atom Voyages. In 3 months when you've read through all James' work drop me a pm and I'll recommend another.

But seeing as how you are already in the forum. Here's a thread to read: Babsam (buy a boat, save a marriage). Also read some of Jane's blogg posts (the links are in the thread). This is the tale of 2 people who bought a very expensive boat and had no idea what they were doing. Nor did they have any aptitude. And they never got better, just went from disaster to disaster.

Did I mention you should also go sailing? Oh and keep a log; right from day one. When you've clocked 100 (nautical) miles then post here and we'll celebrate. That is about 500 hours sailing (not including getting boat ready and putting her to bed again).

I do not for a moment wish to put you off, quite the opposite, hence recommending James' web site. What he has accomplished is amazing, and his writing so matter of fact. But more importantly it is inspiring and I hope that you will be inspired.

Good luck, go sailing!
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Old 29-12-2020, 09:40   #11
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Oh gosh I forgot to comment on the health thing. I get bouts of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Bloody awful but never lasts more than 2 weeks. Plus ear infections are a problem where I am, periodically very painful (dirty sewage polluted water).

But also where I am here there are at least a half dozen people (including 3 yanks) in their late 70s, early 80s. One had a stroke a year of so ago and can't talk. One has bad arthritis, especially his hands, another has diabetes, can hardly walk at times and periodic hospital stays. But they're all still doing it and I doubt any of them will give it up till they're put in a box. We help each other out, tell stories, drink beer, lend a helping hand to the older fellas, and yeah, go sailing.
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Old 29-12-2020, 16:02   #12
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

@gent48dd,

I guess it's my sad duty to tell you what I think. With the Miniere's you don't get enough warning to be safe alone at sea; and really, not even as crew. An attack at a moment when all hands are on deck can have you overboard in a fraction of a second. It would be an extra burden on any skipper, and terribly cruel to fail to disclose, as well. Imagine this happening at night, them risking themselves to rescue you, almost impossible.

Suppose you had a Force Fifty. At 52,000 lbs., you're docking the boat, get an attack. Just as bad as in a big rig on the highway, man. You'll tear heck out of the dock. Maybe even get tossed off the boat when it stops and you roll off.

If you go overboard and have an attack, would you be able to coordinate to swim?

**********

Sailboats require maintenance. Stuff breaks on old and on new boats. Fixing them under way in a seaway can be seasick-making. Would being seasick trigger an attack?

Unfortunately, since you cannot trust your body to not send you a Miniere's attack, I think you need to make a totally different plan. If you go back to work and are good at this brokering job, then possibly crewed charters in the places of the world that you most want to visit could be arranged.

We all come to the time when we shift from being an asset as crew to "too much worry." It is a hard factor to come to grips with. But we do have to accept the things we cannot change, and then decide how to move forward.

I am a sailor with a lot of miles, and struggling with the "too much worry" stage now. I regret writing so negatively, but I really think you should not go forward with this plan in its present shape. You may feel free to risk your own life, but the enduring pain you risk giving to others if you persist is really huge. I do not think we should do that to others, or risk doing it.

Ann

PS. You might look up cinnarizine HCL (called Stugeron in the UK). It is a drug that has been used in larger doses than those for preventing seasickness for the treatment of Miniere's Disease. It is not generally available in the US, as the producer did not want to pay for FDA testing. It is available, however, via mail order from Canada. Then, maybe you can arrange a Zoom consultation with a specialist in Canada. Be sure to have a letter from your physician, with all his/her thinking about your particular case, like a proper referral. Maybe some hope lies in that direction.

A.
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Old 31-12-2020, 13:09   #13
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

A bigger boat is a long way, way off, I might be very comfortable with what I originally buy. Also I said 50' that may way to big, but then again I might be adding another crew member, never know, thank you for your comment.
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Old 31-12-2020, 13:16   #14
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraleeG View Post
Hey
I love people who plan! Seems like you have a good plan there...especially about the sailing lessons! Have you sailed before at all? How do you think your disease will manifest on the boat?
I learned a long time ago just jumping into something you know nothing is usually I bad idea, learned that with trucking, just jumped into owning my own truck and learned the hard way. Now I plan things even things a long way of set small goals, achieve that goal, if you can't achieve the small goals what makes you think you can do the big ones. So right now I am centered on getting debt free, I am about 30k in debt, I can do that and while I do that read. While I can't gain practical knowledge, I can gain basic knowledge. Thank you for responding.
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Old 31-12-2020, 13:28   #15
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Re: The plan from someone still not a sailor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandor View Post
Wow. There is quite a lot in your introduction. I applaud you for coming up with a plan.

I’ll offer just two observations. First, if you believe that your condition makes you ill suited to drive large vehicles, are you sure operating a large vehicle on a large ocean is a good idea? Second, I believe Elevated Motion Sickness Susceptibility (MSS) can also be caused by Ménière’s disease. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, you may find a home on the water to be intolerable.

I’m not saying you can’t accomplish your plan. But you may need to confront these obstacles.
I am watching my disease, it has been easing over the past 10 years, last time I had an attack was 3 years ago and it was very light last only a few seconds. On the advice of my doc, he actually thinks I could return to truck driving, that said there is no telling with this disease. Since my 40's it has come and gone, each time the periods seem to extend before something happens again. I have been sailing but only in the Peugeot Sound and Cancun never in the ocean and never long enough to experience motion sickness. However I have experienced flying in the hold of a C-130 for 18 hours through rough storms with 130 lbs of tactical equipment on me jam packed shoulder to shoulder before being delivered to a drop zone and while other were puking I was fine other than being exhausted and was so happy to finally see the door open to blue skies so I could get out of there. Thank you for commenting it is why I joined this forum, I need people who have been there done that.
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