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Old 08-05-2020, 08:48   #91
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

After 40 years, and still sailing a heavy displacement cutter rig, I consider the critical part of an active life style. I am already looking at downsizing as I realize that I'm not as nimble as I used to be. So looking forward the plan is to downsize to a smaller boat, to keep me active over the next 20 years, then maybe, just maybe, a radio controlled model...……

but the motto is, and will be:

Movere aut mori
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:49   #92
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

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Originally Posted by Mikentosh View Post
I can't help but wonder what the exit strategy is for many full time sailers.

Do you plan to sail until you can't?

Once you can't sail anymore what will you do? Social Security checks?

All you need is money!

This is what I'm thinking about before I start my full time sailing life at age 55, where will I go once I can't do this anymore?

To do your dream you need to dump your wife (which may kill your dream!)

If you don't want to do that, then you need to compromise.
My wife hates boats. She gets sea sick very easily. Its hard to blame her for that. I'm 62 and we both still work. I started working when I was 14. We've been married forever. But due to my job (contractor) I can work when I want. So.. the wife stays home and does her thing and I can roam for some time. Weeks, etc. This is no big change since I often travel for work for weeks. Months get difficult. Still, you can do a lot of things weeks at a time.



Life's a compromise. You can't be crossing the Pacific and hanging out with your grown kids (who have jobs).



After you have been on a boat for weeks, you might reconsider what you want to do. It doesn't have to be all sailing, no living on land, etc. BTW, you can fly to Vietnam and rent a boat. (at least you could before...)



You should recognize that you are running *from* something. You aren't running *to* something. Change what you are doing if you are burnt out.

Then decide what you want to do.


Until we get past this pandemic, a lot of dreams will be put on hold.
It could be years.....
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:40   #93
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

This is a interesting question. Preperation for the future,"Not putting all your eggs in one basket" is always wise. A house properly managed by a good Management Company is in my mind also a good hedge against inflation. Of course that thinking was before Covid. Who knows what the world will look like after this is over.
I believe at least to some degree worrying too much about what you will do when you cant sail anymore is almost like killing the dream before it happens.
Like many on the west coast I kicked off my " I'm going to go to Cape Flattery and turn left until I'm too old to do it any more" by going on The Baja Ha Ha. Like many I got stuck in Mexico for several years. I learned there many Elder Sailors sold their Sailboats and bought small Motor Yachts.
I also saw what I believe to be the number one killer of the world cruising dream. Grandchildren. Grandma's and to a lesser degree Grandpa's that want to be nearby so as to be good grand parents. I imagine the Caribbean is another place the same thing happens. So budget in the ability to fly home once a year. At least for your wife, if your lucky enough to have one that shares the dream.
Another pitfall to the cruising dream is alchohol. "The its "5 o'clock somewhere" syndrome can easily over time take the physicality and mentality needed to function as a full time world cruiser. Which brings to mind " Cruising is really working on the boat in exotic places". After slowly cruising the world (Seattle to Tazmania) this past past eleven years I can tell you there is always more than enough maintenance to do to keep ones mind occupied and the boat safe for Ocean Crossings.
One last, and certainly a very important cause of the demise of The Cruising Dream is loneliness. There are very few men who actually want to do this thing full time. Take that number and ruthlessly divide it and you might come up with the infantestably small number of women who dream of a nest no attached to Terra Firma. So you will as a male cruiser more than likely become a purveyor of websites like Find a Crew and Crewbay. Still for myself,I love this life of amazing cultural exchange and beauty. Wouldn't exchange it for the world. Ha ha ha...."Looking for one good sailing woman"
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:43   #94
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

Some very interesting views and comments. I had a dream. I always wanted to own a Flying Dutchman, never did. When I remarried, my wife came from the mid-west and had no knowledge or interest in boats of any kind, but I have always been a sailor. She claims within a few days of marriage I started the offshore conversation, I claim it was at least a week. She sailed with me and would pull whatever rope I asked. Women rarely look up, men often do, to see what the rope is attached to. My dream lived on. 2 years later I crewed as the bow man on a MacGregor 65 in the Vic Maui. You may recognize me in the CBC documentary 'Sea of Dreams'. 2 years later, she did the Vic Maui to see if it was at all possible, and to have her own experience. Later we bought a 6 year old Pedrick Cheoy Lee 41 offshore and moved aboard, leasing out the house after loading up the mortgage. 2 years later we left for a fabulous year around the Pacific. Lived aboard 2 more years after returning and then reclaimed the house. Then we found our place in the world, I in my early 40's and she mid 30's. We found (enough) wealth in our 50's and still sailing Duet II. At 56, I suffered a severe spinal cord injury training for a triathlon. After 9 1/2 hours of spinal cord surgery and starting 2 years of rehab, it wasn't safe for me on the boat and we sold her. We went 8 years boatless until we bought the Carver 40 we use today. My physical health has returned but my desire to sail has diminished. Journey versus destination. I sold my business in '08 and now we use the boat all summer and the minute rains and cold arrive we head south to our Mexican home. Moral of the story? Never give up on your dreams, always have a plan, and plans can change. I golf down south 60-70 times a season and I am still not shopping for a rocking chair. PS this is the short story version.
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:46   #95
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

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Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
Ok, you started work at 6 years old?
I think that mean, 4-5years
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:09   #96
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

At the end of my world cruise, this same thought hit me like a ton of halyard blocks.

I wondered what I could do to take the place of such a full, busy and wonderful lifestyle such as sailing. I had arrived back in Honolulu and I went through a grim, unsettled time which lasted a long time, it was depressing, and uncertain and static...

Then a hurricane struck the Hawaiian islands... namely hurricane Iniki, and Kauai got the brunt of this cat. 4 storm.. it literally raised 60% of the buildings on this emerald jewel in the north Pacific. A friend came to me a few weeks later and strongly suggested I sail across to Kauai and work. There was more work there than you could shake a winch handle at lol... and I went across and I worked and earned money but still the nagging question, "What now?"

I realized after some thought, that it was pointless carrying on "sailing out into the deep blue" to what end? Once your dream has been realized, it really is best to move on... look into what was your second best hobby or dream or love??? Mine was music...playing guitar actually and electric guitar at that.... I wanted to play lead guitar in a Santana style band... this was my next big goal...

But first I needed to write the 'book'... strict orders from a wise father. So I spent some time back on the family farm in South Africa writing this book "Days of Deja vu" and had it published, then I found myself back on Kauai, I bought my boat back again just to sail on week ends and inter island, and entered into a rigid self imposed "lockdown" on my boat learning to play the guitar all over again, as it was something I had always wanted to do, and properly, not just campfire strumming...

Well many years down the road it has all worked out very well musically and I still have my boat and I feel that choosing one's second love in life may be the best thing to do... I kept my boat for personal reasons but I could have survived without her....and yes I do long for those halcyon days of wonderful carefree sailing around the world, what exquisite days they were.... and I am grateful I had them, so many people do not have the memories or experience of that... I hope this helps you consider your options ...
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:26   #97
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

What to me out of cruising was a case of vertigo. Balaance is shot, can't look up without falling over.

Took mr a long time before I finally gave up and sold my boat.

I had some money and bought a condo that over looks the ocean.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:55   #98
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

The big issue for me was my eyesight no longer let me look above to work on many things on the boat. Eye glasses actually are very hard to use in tight spaces since you can't get your neck to the spot where the glasses are in front of your eyes. Lots of things need work above you on a boat where you can't lie down.


The other thing was my shoulder. Bursitis that can't be fixed by surgery and it is progressive. Hard to winch when the pain gets too much. Along with back pains etc etc. It's a bitch getting old. I'm 69. I quit my corp job at age 50. Bought a boat with my wife and we took off 5 years later. So age 55 was great. Had a blast for the four years cruising.


Bought another boat and worked on it until it just got to be too hard to do. We planned to go again and I would have been fine dying on the boat. We both loved it and would love it again. But carrying fuel jugs and propane tanks a mile each way would have been a real problem.


We thought about getting a power boat and just cruising in the local Pacific Northwest. We live in Anacortes so easy to do. But working on powerboats is the same issue. And never wanted pros working on my boat ($$ and quality and time). So I can't work on a power boat anymore than on a sailboat although no winching.


We love living on the water though and all our friends are boaters or retired boaters. We have fun and those who no longer have a boat all miss it terribly. Live goes on though.


We plan to do more land cruising - hiking, traveling, and remembering all the fantastic times we had on our boats. Best times of our lives. We never worried about stopping although we knew it would come to an end for some reason or another.



Just go, and go now! No regrets if you go. You'll have plenty if you don't or just put your mind in to enjoying all the other things there are to enjoy.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:13   #99
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

Good question.

My wife and I started cruising full time as in good bye career, cut all ties, when I was 42. We did lots of part time cruising and living aboard for 10 yrs before. Our philosophy was to cruise while we were young enough and healthy enough to really enjoy it. It worked! I am now 76 yr old, still sailing some, (but not live aboard cruising). And still Scuba diving some. When cruising became more work than fun, and the costs kept climbing, we quit the full time life style at about age 70. Could we have continued? Sure, in a much more conservative way. And we did for a while. But there comes a time when you get tired of the bending, twisting Knuckle busting sweating and cursing that is part of the cruising lifestyle.

As far as the financial, we agreed that we were going to go cruising now! And worry about tomorrow tomorrow. We knew that retiring early, we would have less when we were older. My business associates from the past have retired with much more money and assets than us, but! I think that most are envious of our choices and many would have gladly traded with us in hindsight. Some are still in business busting ass, and seeing no good end to it. They will never learn to enjoy life with less.

I think that what we learned out cruising the world for nearly 30 yrs was just how happy you can be with less. We have all the essentials in life and still really enjoy life. We buy almost everything used. We bought a 20 yr old quality diesel pusher motorhome, have cruised the continent in it. We still are. We ride motorcycles for fun and adventure outdoors. Great buys used. We have a blast on very little money. We have an inexpensive home in NC. (Low cost area), and rent it while traveling (which we mostly do.). One of my hobbies is astronomy, born from using celestial navigation. We carry an 8” telescope, camp out in the wilderness and enjoy the beauty of the skies and nature. It’s near free! Yeah still have to buy diesel. Ha ha. Once in a while we will get friends together for a bareboat charter. That’s enough for a cruising fix. My best advice, go for it! There is a lot more to life than money, and as I have said to so many of my friends that have busted butt through their late sixties and seventies “you know all that money and stuff you have? You can’t take it with you”! Don’t get caught chasing the dollar. I know that your wife is still working, but does she have to with a reduces cost of living? rent or sell home? Sell other “stuff” that you don’t NEED!
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:44   #100
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

I'll be 79 years of age in two weeks. Before leaving for a life of full time cruising in 2004 I bought a house. From the many cruisers I've met, that is the opposite of what they did. I bought a nice home on a natural lake in western Nevada. Before this, I was living in rental apartments as I was moving around seasonally with work and boat construction. While cruising, my partner and I have returned to the States annually for various reasons, such as deaths in the family, and off seasons in the cruising grounds were currently in. I can see the curtain coming down on my cruising life but I have no intention of selling my boat. What I would like to do is return to Mexico and rent a permanent berth for the boat. It would be in easy commuting distance from my home on the range so if I can fly I can take advantage of both the boat and landside residence. Another thing on my bucket list is to do the American loop. I would buy a moderately sized power boat and spend a few months at a time doing the loop. That could go on for years. I have many other ideas as well. No shortage there. To sum it up, I have no intention on slowing down as long as I'm able to physically and mentally move around on my own.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:34   #101
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

I cruised for 14-years (1984-1998), ~100,000 miles and 2-circumnavigations. I have terrible arthritis in my wrists and cranking winches was becoming unbearable. Besides, I was just done........ been there...... done that.

When I returned home, I knew that I couldn't (or didn't want to) pick up my old career as a Car Dealership Service Manager. I just couldn't take the stress. I had to do something because I was close to broke and a long way from S/S income (I was 51).

Another sailor, close by on the San Diego Bay moorings was getting ready for his cruising life-style. He was still working as an Apartment Building Manager at a large complex in Beverly Hills. One day, he was over having a beer and he said, "Hey, why don't you take over my job when I leave?" My first thought (out-loud) was that I knew nothing about property management. He said that he would train me if I came and stayed with he and his wife for their last month. I figured, what can it hurt to try.

That ended up being the best move that I could have made. I sold Kanani (my Passport 45 ketch) and moved (so to speak) into the apt. I got free rent, all utilities paid, a decent salary plus I got to charge $35 an hour for any repairs that I did in the building.

To make a long story short, I worked there for 14-years and saved enough money to buy 2 houses (1 rental). The house that I live in is on 2/3 acre in San Diego, CA and retired comfortably on rental and S/S income.

I only post this to let you know, there is life after sailing even if you return home broke if you are creative. I highly recommend apartment management because if you can find a good property, you can live for nearly free.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:34   #102
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pirate Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

At 60-something, I don't sail all that much anymore, but still enjoy being on the water.

Here's a thought, I also have a fishing boat now to keep me busy and love to go fishing.
I wasn't particularly interested in fishing, but a deal came by that I could not refuse.

Additionally, there are some young studs in my neck of the woods that also like to fish.
With them onboard, I have no worries. I can go way out into the ocean, and usually do, to catch fish, and should anything ever happen, they are perfectly qualified to bring the boat back. Has happened once when I put a gaff thru' my foot. Don't ask......

Nonetheless, the fishing boat gets me out on the big water and with a bit of luck also puts fresh fish on the table.
Some days I just enjoy being back out in the big water and let the lads fish.

The fishing boat is kept in a drystack building, so it is instantly available, but it could also be trailerable. A drystack service is the ultimate luxury. The boys take it down and put back up when done. The lads I fish with, will wash it down, clean the fish, etc.
I supervise

I never thought the day would come when I'd have a fishing boat, but I have grown to love the sport

It's not hard hard to round up folks that like to fish either and helps feed the engines their liquid intake.

Many areas have active fishing clubs that you could join, have some fun and catch some fish as well.

There is such a wide variety of fishing boats available that you pick and chose exactly what you want.

Just a thought.....you'd likely enjoy it.

I do !!
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:40   #103
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

I don't really understand your question, why should fear of what to do when you get too old put you off from doing what you want now? I think it's a bit weak really and sailors spelt with an O are made of sterner stuff normally. I started off round the world at retirement (65) and I am half way round 5 years later. I have no fear of what to do when I can't sail. I think you need to grow a pair.
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Old 08-05-2020, 14:43   #104
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

My crew has instructions to tie 2 feet of anchor chain to my ankles and put me over the side. Hopefully they will wait til I'm dead.
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Old 08-05-2020, 14:46   #105
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Re: what do you do when you can't sail anymore?

Suppose I’m lucky, as I have lived in my house on a tidal river with a nice beach where the family can have a great time in or on the water. I can look at my sailboat on her mooring and have been sailing for about 40 years. I’m 67 now and starting to think about selling my boat in a few years, as arthritis in my foot will only get worse and I don’t want to take a spill that could jeopardize my health. My wife loves the boat as well, but not for more than a week at a time. What I plan on doing is getting a pretty simple motorboat as the little grandkids can have some fun, and of course I’ll get them the Yacht Club for sailing lessons.
The thing is, everyone has their own agenda. My agenda has changed from wanting to take the boat down the ICW to wanting to spending more time with the grandkids as they get older. There are always compromises too. I just might get some crew and move the boat somewhere where I can expand my cruising grounds and be able to work on it more often, such as a warmer climate than New England has to offer. Working on her is my ‘release’, being somewhat of a solitary , but happily married man. Luckily my wife understands this.
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