My advice for young people cruising -
Are you under 20? Go. Just go. Watch "Hold Fast" - you now have a low bar to aim above. Get out on other peoples boats until you find one for a song. The experience from sailing is probably more an asset at this point than an opportunity cost.
What to avoid? Here's my obvious lessons learned (aka stuff I wish I had known at 26)
1. Stay single
and guard your dreams. More partners have caused anchor-swallowing than have lack of resources. Choose a partner who embraces a minimalist lifestyle if you have to have one. You are more likely to find a sailing compatible mate out there than in your home town. So go single
2. Use protection. Unless you are committed to a hippy lifestyle, and you are CERTAIN that your partner is programmed for this as well, kids
will introduce a lot of scripts, infrastructure expectations, and 10foot-itis on your boat
sizes. You can cruise
happily with babies, kids, teens - but not if you are sub-millionaire and subscribing to the edicts of our culture that say you need a load of stuff and a village of services to raise a child. Again, your partners views are key to this.
3. Materialism is the enemy. Unless you are a 1%er, the stuff you own starts to own you too. Cruising will teach you that when you return to a storage
container of stuff you realize you don't miss too much. Being young hopefully means you still don't have all that crap. Don't start now. The boats material needs will be more than enough on your resources.
4. You will need money
, but don't delay until you have "enough" - you never will. If still not convinced see 7.
5. Fixer uppers cost time and money
, and you may not do much sailing. If you want to become confident with your boat
(and you should) being able to work
all systems is key. Be careful with project
boats - I spent 7 years and a lot of "tuition" restoring a beautiful boat, but only 1 season sailing her. Given a do-over I could have gotten a better deal and obtained the same amount of experience. In fact, I did just that with the next boat.
6. Get out on other peoples boats and figure out what kind of sailor you are before you sink money into your own hull
. The reality of blue-water is a thing best experienced and digested. Every boat ad seems to pander to the dream, but there's nothing wrong with discovering you prefer to island hop and avoid the deep blue. Knowing that early can save a lot of time and dough, and get you into a boat appropriate to keep you in your happy place.
7. If you are getting into the 30s and have financial stability or sustainability in mind - have a look at "Mr Money Moustache" to get there. Its the conservative route
, but if you are starting to use words like "opportunity cost" when thinking of cruising and career plans, there is hope with minimalism and thrift in the mix.
8. Dont do it for the likes. Non social media folks probably know this already, but do it for yourself. The oceans school
us pretty fast to be humble and force us to look inwards upon our reasons for being out there. Make sure the ocean calls you, and not what you think the ocean will say based on books
, and youtube videos. Those guys are life-stylin' for various reasons, like with most social media presentations. Your mileage WILL vary. Find out how much before you invest.
Now to practice what I preach... and save up for the next boat.