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Old 05-12-2017, 08:09   #1
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Worldly Possessions




Day sailing, weekend voyage, a week here or there, summer vacation or liveaboards, we all enjoy our vessels. We enjoy the freedom of travel, we enjoy the sensation of being on the water, we enjoy not being confined by the daily grind of traditional life on land.


More and more we are trading in our land roots for an anchor, we lift that anchor and float, sail, or power away. We all have material items, items that we have grown fond of, items that make life so much easier. We have art, stemware, china sets, kid’s toys, pictures and photo albums galore.
If you are a short distance traveler at the end of your day or destination, you can head back to port and enjoy your home and your comforts. But perhaps you still have a few items that you brought onboard that give you comfort and joy. Items that you prefer no matter what. A comfortable blanket, your favorite mug, perhaps a coffee maker even. On your short trips what do you prefer to have? What are some of the items that you just have to have on board?


If you are a liveaboard things are different. Typically, we sell our homes, our cars, and most of our possessions. We take small items onboard such as dishes, pots, pans etc. Maybe you take a photo album and maybe you take a couple keepsakes. But what do you do with everything else? Those of you the are currently liveaboards, did you sell EVERYTHING? Does anyone have a storage unit with items in it and if yes, what did you keep?


Guys…what about all your tools? The compressors, the saws, and the endless containers of fasteners, the welding machines and anything else that may be in your garage. James, my husband has a full garage, he has a tool for everything and for every occasion and sometimes he even has double the tools. He is a welder/millwright by trade so when it comes time to set sail what do we do with the tools?


We had friends that sold absolutely everything, if it didn’t fit on their boat, it got sold. Ten months into their trip of a lifetime they had an injury and needed to return home to recover. So now what…they had sold everything at the start of their journey. They need their own place to heal and so they found themselves starting over again.


What did you keep? Do you utilize a storage unit just in case? Many of you, I have noticed, have been liveaboards for 5+ years. If you do keep items, at what point to you decide to sell them? Did anyone keep a car?
After you get through all the big items, what you are keeping and what you are selling, do you have that one item that you just had to take? Please share your thoughts with us and with everyone trying to figure this out.


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Old 05-12-2017, 08:17   #2
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Re: Worldly Possessions

Before the job I have now I was able to telecommute, and found that I enjoyed moving frequently. So I converted all photo albums etc to digital (having moved to a high humidity place also encouraged this). I kept a small packet of needed papers in non-digital format. I then got rid of most of my material items. The hassle of trying to relocate them each time I moved just wasn't worth the hassle.

Moving aboard actually has allowed me to accumulate more things (like tools) as I can now feed my wanderlust but not worry about having to move a bunch of stuff each time.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:33   #3
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Re: Worldly Possessions

All personal stuff I own is on my boat. I like having less stuff.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:49   #4
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Re: Worldly Possessions

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the endless containers of fasteners,
I knew a guy who had that beat. Instead of filling up his garage shelves with miscellaneous leftover stuff, he kept a huge collection of assorted fasteners in a secure and climate-controlled storage facility, and there was no charge until he actually needed to use one.

He called it "the hardware store".
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:09   #5
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Re: Worldly Possessions

A storage unit's yearly fee quickly becomes more than the contents are worth, so I would avoid that, unless you honestly aren't sure yet the liveaboard life is for you.

And then make a solemn pact to empty it once you are.

For those few posessions you're still very sentimentally attached to, find them a permanent home with friends or family.
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:07   #6
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Re: Worldly Possessions

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But what do you do with everything else? Those of you the are currently liveaboards, did you sell EVERYTHING? Does anyone have a storage unit with items in it and if yes, what did you keep?

...
We had friends that sold absolutely everything, if it didn’t fit on their boat, it got sold. Ten months into their trip of a lifetime they had an injury and needed to return home to recover. So now what…they had sold everything at the start of their journey. They need their own place to heal and so they found themselves starting over again.
This isn't about cruising in particular. It's something that is part of maintaining (or entering) a mobile lifestyle of any kind -- fulltiming in an RV, moving internationally, traveling frequently, etc.

You have to cultivate the attitude that: Your freedom is more important than your stuff.

You also have to cultivate the attitude that: Your stuff is only worth what people will pay for it now, which is generally far less than what you paid for it originally.

The questions you have to answer is: Which items are you really going to want when it is time to restart your lifestyle on land? How soon is that likely to be? Will your stuff last that long? What will storage cost? Which items can you sell and then repurchase if necessary?

Now, once you do that, you'll probably end up with a handful of small high-value items that you can leave with a trusted friend or relative. Jewelry, firearms, a musical instrument or two, maybe a few unusually expensive kitchen items, maybe some electronics, maybe a few critical items of clothing, maybe some memorabilia. But the more you keep the harder it is going to be to make sure it stays safe while you're cruising.

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Guys…what about all your tools? The compressors, the saws, and the endless containers of fasteners, the welding machines and anything else that may be in your garage. James, my husband has a full garage, he has a tool for everything and for every occasion and sometimes he even has double the tools. He is a welder/millwright by trade so when it comes time to set sail what do we do with the tools?
I have tools, too, and I get it.

Professional hand tools and high precision stuff is small and expensive. It's worth packing away after getting rid of anything you're not going to use and any dups. High quality air tools, also very small and expensive, keep those.

Sell the compressor and any electric tools that you're not going to use on the boat, or give them to a friend on "extended loan."

Welding gear, return the gas cylinders if leased or sell them if owned, get rid of the hoses since they're bulky and don't last forever anyway, the regulators and torches will pack down. Arc and wirefeed welding gear I would just sell, people buy used gear and you should be able to get a reasonable amount of money for it.

Fasteners, chemicals, leftover materials, anything else bulky, give it away or scrap it.

Quote:
What did you keep? Do you utilize a storage unit just in case? Many of you, I have noticed, have been liveaboards for 5+ years. If you do keep items, at what point to you decide to sell them? Did anyone keep a car?
After you get through all the big items, what you are keeping and what you are selling, do you have that one item that you just had to take? Please share your thoughts with us and with everyone trying to figure this out.
In most cases, storage units are the physical manifestation of deferred decisionmaking. Usually people conclude, in retrospect, when emptying a storage unit, that the things they remove from it and keep could have been replaced for less money that the cumulative rent they paid. Keep in mind that stuff deteriorates in storage. Keep in mind that you cannot anticipate your future needs with 100% accuracy and will end up keeping some things that you cannot use.

To the extent that they make sense it all, they are only useful in situations where you have a plan with a fairly specific return date in mind.
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:15   #7
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Re: Worldly Possessions

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All personal stuff I own is on my boat. I like having less stuff.
My thoughts as well. Turn your useless crap (that's what all that stuff is) into cash. Sentimental value isn't an actual value. Harden up, get rid of stuff, enjoy life, not things. If you have to go back to land, sell your boat and buy new crap, rather than the old crap you've been paying to store for years.

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Old 05-12-2017, 10:29   #8
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Re: Worldly Possessions

We sold our house, and most of our stuff, and have called our boat home for the last two years. But we also bought a storage trailer which contains some irreplaceable items (family stuff), a few bigger items that didn’t fit on the boat (like bicycles), and enough household basics so that we could easily set up a land home again should the need arise. Almost all our tools ended up on our boat, b/c that’s what they were geared towards. Those that weren’t needed for the boat got sold.

This approach has worked well for us, although if we had to pay for ongoing storage, I think we’d probably get rid of all the land stuff.

Less is definitely more in this lifestyle — at least for me. All my clothes fit in a small duffle bag. Almost everything I need is on board.
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Old 05-12-2017, 18:20   #9
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Re: Worldly Possessions

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill352 View Post
I knew a guy who had that beat. Instead of filling up his garage shelves with miscellaneous leftover stuff, he kept a huge collection of assorted fasteners in a secure and climate-controlled storage facility, and there was no charge until he actually needed to use one.

He called it "the hardware store".


But that presupposed that you are cruising in an area with easy access to said facility
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Old 05-12-2017, 18:36   #10
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Worldly Possessions

I have a hanger that has an antique aircraft in it that I will not sell.
It also contains all sorts of stuff, all my tools, reloading equipment, Scuba etc. it also has two cars.
Our antique furniture and other irreplaceable sensitive things like guns, my wife’s Grandmothers hand made afghans etc are in a climate controlled storage facility.
One day cruising will end, hopefully not for a long time, and maybe one day I will get rid of everything, but now I have nowhere for it to go, and I got tired of giving things to charity by the truckload.

The concern is this lifestyle is temporary, it will end one day, and likely there will be a life after cruising.
I went down to visit Hudson Force in Tallahassee the other day, some of you may remember him, he and his Wife lived aboard and raised Children for decades, yet their cruising has come to an end due to age and infirmity.
It’s just another stage in the journey, but it is inevitable. I’m just trying to prepare for that stage.
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Old 05-12-2017, 18:38   #11
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Re: Worldly Possessions

Just buy a house in a So Cal brushy canyon, wait for a Santa Ana driven fire to come through, instant no more stuff to worry about.
Right now, about a half dozen fires and a few hundred homes gone.
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Old 05-12-2017, 18:43   #12
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Re: Worldly Possessions

Who says you have to sell everything to become a liveaboard? Just buy a larger boat.
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Old 05-12-2017, 19:04   #13
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Re: Worldly Possessions

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The concern is this lifestyle is temporary, it will end one day, and likely there will be a life after cruising.
So true… And I would take this a step further to say everything is temporary. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. You can (and should) make reasonable preparations for the future, but how things will actually turn out is never 100% knowable or controllable. It’s a mystery that only gets revealed as time goes on.

Some people can live with greater levels of this future uncertainty, or mystery. Others need greater certainty. This is why we see such a wide range of opinion over everything from necessary safety gear and communications technology, to security and insurance. Everyone has a different threshold of acceptable uncertainty.

Some cruisers sell it all and leap. Others must keep the house and all the possessions to feel comfortable. There’s no right or wrong answer. There’s just what works — for you.
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Old 06-12-2017, 15:40   #14
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Worldly Possessions

Before you move aboard and cast off you don’t know if this will be a permanent way of living. My wife and I decided after 45 years of costal weekend and vacation sailing to give it a go. We committed to each other to give it a year and then decided what we wanted to do. We rented the house, sold or gave away a lot of things, put a lot of our things in storage, gave away one car and stored one, gave up our slip and cast off.

After one year we were still having fun so we continued. After three years family issues caused us to decide to move back into our house. So it turned out to be a good decision for us to keep it. A year later we are still trying to empty the storage unit. I don’t know where we ever put all this stuff before. As we unpack things that one or the other of us wanted to keep we are throwing out nearly half of it and don’t really need or want a quarter more. Of course the cost of storage was more than the value of the stored stuff...but we just weren’t ready to get rid of it before. And we decided that if either one of us couldn’t part with a thing it was worth storing it.

So, you really just have to decide for yourselves what’s worth keeping and for how long.

Now we are happily sailing weekends and weeklong cruises again. It is for us a win either way.
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Old 06-12-2017, 16:32   #15
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Re: Worldly Possessions

A lot of the stuff that filled my house 20 years ago now all fits inside a laptop computer.

The workshop tools are the main thing that I can't transfer to the boat. It has occurred to me to "give" them to a relative, with the provision that I could come back to work in the shop as needed, forever. If only I had a relative who was stable and trustworthy...
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