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Old 01-11-2017, 19:40   #1
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New to... everything sailing.

Hello everyone!

First, a little background about me.

I'm 34, living in metro Detroit. Came here from Chicago for work (engineer in the auto industry). I've been working here for 5 years, make a decent living, but looking for a new adventure.

Some of my hobbies include: camping, fishing, motorcycle racing.

I'm a pretty laid back guy that enjoys to just kick back in the backyard and drink a beer watching a bonfire all night.

For the longest time, I've been thinking about selling almost everything I have, get out of all debt, and go sailing for a few years, just to reset my head. To the point I would look at the materials that I have, and think, "it's just stuff" and isn't really making me happy.

Well, the time has come. As of today, I can say that I'm debt free. Student loans, car loan, credit card debt are all paid off, what a great feeling this is.

I don't own a house, not in a lease with my current home, I feel free.

I've been putting a list of all the things I will be selling, and saving as much as I could to buy a boat and live aboard for at least a year, or until my money runs out.

My next steps are to read and learn as much as I can. Im also looking to travel somewhere in the US during the Holiday break and look to be a crew member.

Sorry for the long post, safe travels to everyone, and hope to meet some of you at some point in my life!

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Old 01-11-2017, 20:16   #2
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Re: New to... everything sailing.

Welcome aboard, Joe! I know the itch and the bug you have caught. I caught mine at a younger age though. I say give this dream wings AND roots to survive. Be sure you have a career that you love and that gives you a cash flow and allows you to be a liveaboard and sailor too if you can. I can't say what will work for you, but that is a good question to ask here of all of us: how do you make it work? It sounds like that is the part missing for you, what do you want to do for a living? Boats, like everything need a cash flow to be a realistic long term plan. In my case I was just a young kid (20) and I bought a boat, worked in construction during the day and I was able to sail in the evenings and weekends. I owned pretty much nothing. But construction gave me the means not just to live but to do all the extra DIY stuff on the boat that always pops up. It was a lot of fun for 6 years or so but eventually I realized I had to go back to school to get more serious about a real career. And living on the boat while back in school was great too. Super cheap and no distractions and no odd roommates. As far as the sailing stuff, my usual recommendation for the sport is to get a fast, fun little boat like a Laser to learn on and just sail it everyday. To get good experience crewing I recommend searching for a well-respected yacht delivery skipper locally and see if he or she needs crew for any upcoming deliveries. You might be surprised they may not necessarily be put off by your lack of experience. Sure you need to know some of the basics, but they like to see someone who is trustworthy, eager to learn, easy to get along with and not easily panicked by discomfort. Deliveries are a great way to learn what cruising is like and how to solve problems as they pop up in the real world. Good luck to you!
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
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Old 01-11-2017, 22:39   #3
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Location: Hailing Minny, MN
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Re: New to... everything sailing.

Hi Joe and congrats on being debt free! I think Don is pretty spot on with the wings and roots idea.

Finding a local delivery skipper on the great lakes next year would be a great place to start. Another idea would be to head down to a marina on erie or st clair and start meeting some local boat owners. Most sailors love gamming about boats, especially their own, and with a positive curious attitude folks will quickly open up to you.

Beyond that, if you're like me, also 34, you don't necessarily need a drawn out long term plan. but if you want to sell it all and cast off, knowing a bit about what to expect and what to watch out for will dramatically increase your odds of success. Knowing what you want in the boat is the huge one. And until you get some time on the water that's the elephant in the room. There are a million ways to do it and opinions that are as equally valid as they are widely varied.

Would also just say this.. The cruising lifestyle is a true bastion of freedom. You see places and people you would never see any other way, and in a kind of raw, exposed and self-sufficient manner that can't be beat. But you may eventually tire of living vagrantly on the water and want a place to dry off your feet and find a little stability again, so always leave yourself an escape route!

s/v Soma
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:23   #4
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Re: New to... everything sailing.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Joe.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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