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Old 05-06-2018, 15:22   #16
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Re: When is the right time

Another question to ask is when to buy the boat. Any boat you buy, new or used will need outfitting to your liking. Since you apparently do not/have not owned a boat this process may be a surprise to you.



To me, one of the most important things about cruising is knowing your boat inside out. While cruising the marine trades will be far and few between. Basic mechanical and electrical skills are as important as sailing skills.



As an example, I have owned five boats. When I bought my ultimate cruising boat in 1990 I already maintained my own boats for years. I pretty much knew what I was getting into. We customized and upgraded that boat for two years before going off on our world cruise. Through the years since I have done a lot of additional upgrades and just plain maintenance. I know that boat better than anyone, including the people that built it. I still own it today.


Knowing the boat and being able to fix most things gives me the confidence to take it offshore. I have known a few boaters that couldn't fix much and spent a lot of time at the mercy of boat mechanics. Don't be that person.
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Old 05-06-2018, 16:15   #17
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Re: When is the right time

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Originally Posted by sailingis.fun View Post
Good afternoon everyone. I have been reading this forum for several years now and decided to finally join so I could participate. My wife and I plan on retiring in about 10 years so we have initiated our 10 year plan. Our goal is to retire at 55 (52 for her) sale the house, cars and "stuff" and live aboard and cruise a Cat for a few years while we find our perfect beach. We just passed our first certification last weekend (101 keelboat) so the first step has officially been taken. I grew up sailing but my wife is new to it. So we joined the local sailing club so we would have some access to smaller boats to really start practicing. Next year we will take our coastal cruising cert then our bareboat. Our youngest, as of today, is schedule to finish college in 9 years so hopefully we will be done with that just in time. We plan on getting these certs so we can get Insurance most of all, but then we also plan on moving to FL. for the 10th year and buy and live aboard a boat while spending a year refitting and getting to know her on coastal weekend type trips. So I have a couple of questions. First, will these certs be enough or do I need to go up the chain of courses some more (I don't desire a captain's license at this time)? Second, and I know its asked all the time, is 55 too old or do you think I should try and speed up plans? I really only think about speeding it up for the kids. I see tons of people saying don't wait, find a way to make it happen sooner. We have worked hard over the years to save anything we could but I am by no means a millionaire. Plus, my wife is a teacher and once she hits her 30 years we qualify for group insurance for retirement as well. So you can see we have planned this very well and the timing and insurance and money should, SHOULD, all work out right if we stick to the plan, but this is my real ask.... Our children REALLY love the life as much as we do (my 16 year old got certified as well) and they always get mad when we talk about our plans and the fact that they won't be able to do it with us. I can't help but to think they would be so much better off if they had that experience. If they could disconnect and actually look at the world and visit foreign places. With online school and my wife being a teacher its possible... but the money may not last. We may screw with her retirement if after 5 years we can't find jobs. I think you all know where I am going with this because I bet every single person here has gone through similar quandaries. So what say you all? Speak to me. And be honest, I'm not going to take anything personally, I truly need insight here and sometimes it's harsh. In today's world I can't help but to feel that we need to stop putting off "until". I have this gut feeling I need to just take the step and land where I may. Thanks in advance and thank you all for all the years of advice I have received from you.
So now that you have “answers” when ae you leaving?
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Old 05-06-2018, 16:29   #18
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Re: When is the right time

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Originally Posted by slowneasy View Post
Sailshabby, Are you in the market for some gently used kids? lol.


I agree with others Certs are not needed for anything. If you want the knowledge the classes can be very beneficial with a good instructor. The rest of the decisions are highly personal and only you and your family can decide what is the best choice. Welcome aboard sailingis.fun
Possible he means "wife included for free...."
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Old 05-06-2018, 17:29   #19
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Re: When is the right time

We live in Florida and I have owned several power boats for past 35 years. We purchased a 35 foot sailboat and all the insurance company wanted was safe boating course and to know about past boating experience price was a little more than the home owners insurance.
We are late 40s selling everything to leave figure we can get 3 or 4 years before having to find work again. Thought is going before physically unable, so far we sail every weekend it is getting me back in shape all the pulling pushing up and down the stairs I have lost 10lbs in the last 3 weeks.
Remember work is always out there somewhere and living on a boat makes you mobile to move to another area till work is found. The clock is always ticking knees and hips get older arthritis sets in. You can work with bad hips, knees and arthritis.
Just make sure everyone is on board with the change, there are many sacrifices to this life style. A lot of things we have now on land at the house without thought is not the same on the boat like power, water even using the toilet. As the batteries supply power and need charge, water needs to be filled rationed and toilet everything in has to be pumped out. We use the saying part of the ship part of the crew when something has to be done and we do not want to or are to tired to lol.
Going through all the stuff accumulated over the last 30 years has been a real chore. We had no ideal how much stuff there actually was when you do leave make it clean do not pay for storage sell it and save the money. Swedish death cleanse lmao saw this the other day it’s an actual thing......
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Old 05-06-2018, 18:19   #20
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Re: When is the right time

sailingis.fun you've got some great suggestions. Some key points you made were:
1. Your wife is new to sailing
2. She's going to be eligible for both pension AND health benefits. These get more and more important as you get older.

The suggestions that made sense to me is either the sabbatical if you can pull it off or buy a boat and ease into it. $$$ and insurance can give you guys (and your kids!!) great peace of mind.
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:07   #21
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Re: When is the right time

I am a big believer in mini-retirements. We are saving for our mini-retirement now, and plan to take off in 3 years. I'll be 46, my husband will be 43. My older son is grown, and we will have 2 little ones, ages 4 and 3. We will sail as long as we desire/can afford to.

Afterward, whenever we decide its time, we will find new jobs and continue on with our careers, or maybe our experiences sailing will lead us in new directions financially - who knows! That's part of the exciting unknown.

I refuse to let fear of finding a job someday prevent us from achieving our goals today.

From a book that changed my life called Live on the Margin, let me end with this simple, yet enlightening thought: "You can always make more money, but you can't make more time."
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Old 07-06-2018, 15:54   #22
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Re: When is the right time

I'm with the others...make it happen now.

When I met my husband he was 48. and had wanted to build a boat and sail back to the Solomons since he was a Marine stationed there during WWII, but wife and kids came first for the next 20+ years. I was 26 when we got together to begin building our boat...35 when we launched and moved aboard/Bill, 57...then, 65 when we finally cast off dock lines and went cruising. I, at 43, I had no real understanding of how much more difficult the physical demands of passages were on my big, strong, capable husband. After four years he wanted to "go home" but instead indulged me in "one more year." Four years later we permanently dropped anchor but remained living aboard though maintenance dropped off.

When Bill died at 83, I was 61, have continued living aboard, fully assuming his responsibilities for refitting Pilar.

It has only been since entering my sixties that I began to fully understand how age affects decisions and abilities, even though the heart and spirit remain strong. Everyone has different physical/mental abilities, but none are exempt from inevitable changes. Bill had his dream come true, he made it happen, was rewarded by the reality, but it cost him more than it would have if he'd done it years earlier. He deserved it when he was young. You and your family do, too.
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Old 18-06-2018, 06:57   #23
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Re: When is the right time

Buy a small cheap mono asap to build experience on the water. If you buy well, and look after it, you'll be able to sell it again without great loss. Something under 30 feet can provide good amenity on short trips, and be great fun in and around coastal areas. Good that you are thinking and planning, but really there's no substitute for decent on-the-water experience. And you might find it changes some of your current views on things. Regardless, good fortune to you on your adventures afloat
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Old 18-06-2018, 07:47   #24
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Re: When is the right time

As far as we are concerned the right time is as soon as possible. We also highly recommend trying to liveaboard for awhile before you leave to see how you will adjust to the liveaboard lifestyle and make sure it is for you. We lived aboard in Vancouver, Canada for 15 years before we left in 2009, currently we are in the Caribbean. We were both in our early 50's when we left, now in our 60's and still going strong, albeit a little slower perhaps. Our son grew up sailing and living on boats, he went sailing for the first time at 10 days old and we moved onboard when he was 9, he is still in the sailing lifestyle, owns his own boat and is General Manager of a boatyard.

The marina we lived in was a liveaboard co-op marina that was specifically built for liveaboard boats and had many families living there, it was an incredibly diverse community with people from all walks of life. There were several families with children that had done extensive cruising, both coastal & offshore, and without exception the children were a joy to be around, well behaved, mature, grounded and worldly. Their values reflected the diversity that they had been exposed to and all of the families, including ours were and are very close knit.

While cruising we have seen many examples of people that waited until the "right time" and by the time they left their health was not good enough to really do what they wanted and they ended up abandoning their dream in some foreign port and selling their boat at a loss in order to return home.

Many people ask us when are we "going home", we explain that we are home wherever we are! They also ask if we have any regrets and the only one is that we didn't leave sooner! Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.
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Old 18-06-2018, 08:27   #25
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Re: When is the right time

I played around with various boats until I was 65 with the view that I/we would get serious when I reached that age. Iwas srong, athletic and energetic. When I reached 65, literally the month I turned 65 and started receiving pensions, I developed shingles, was diagnose with colon cancer and veryshortly afterwards needed hip surgery. My advice is don't wait. Do it while you can; you never know what is around the corner.
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Old 18-06-2018, 09:46   #26
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Re: When is the right time

This is such a personal decision, dependent on the factors like when pensions kick in, and what your personal preferences are. In my case, I bought my boat three years ago, knowing that I would continue working for a while, with the idea that I would do coastal cruising, trips to the Bahamas and the like, but not bigger trips - yet. This has worked out for me, and now I'm about a year from retirement, and I've done lots of sailing, figured out all the stuff that needs to be fixed on the boat, and I'm basically ready to go whenever either a) the recession hits and I get laid off, or b) I decide I've had enough of work and I have, in my opinion, enough money in the bank to support the wife and me. One other advantage of owning a boat for a couple years before heading out on your big adventure is you will get a clear idea of what costs will be, and of course you will gain valuable experience. If it were me, I'd make sure to lock in the wife's pension first.
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Old 18-06-2018, 11:06   #27
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Re: When is the right time

I am 58 (at least for a few more weeks!) and my wife is 52. We have been planning to retire and move aboard when she reaches her retirement age 55 (as determined by her employer's pension) for about 4 years. We have a 38' motor yacht and enjoy it almost weekly. Although I love sailing, because of our age we plan to buy another motor yacht. We are hoping that the ease of operation will allow us to cruise for many more years than if we tried to sail. I know this is probably not at all helpful if you are only interested in sailing, but it is an option for older cruisers.
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Old 18-06-2018, 14:32   #28
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Re: When is the right time

The right time is as soon you can.Buy a boat, 32/35 feet,and start sailing.You will learn and realize wath you need and improve your sailing knowledge before you retire
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