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Old 21-06-2014, 21:31   #1
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Something I Thought was Long Dead was only Lying Dormant.

Life takes strange twists and turns. I never dreamed that I would be a long haul trucker, or that I would be contemplating owning and expanding my own trucking company, yet here I am looking at at least semi-retirement in the next 7 years and spending months in Florida to get away from the cold. Here I am weeks away from paying off my first truck and making plans to add a second truck within 18 months. Here I am thinking of learning to sail and buying a sailboat. So, how did I get to this point? Stay with me and Iíll tie it all together.

As a teen we lived in Bonita Springs FL when it was so undeveloped you needed a topographical map to get around and residents were the ones giving little dirt roads names after themselves. My dad was the pastor of one of the churches in town and we were only a mile from the Gulf. The result was that he soon got into fishing from a boat. He liked fishing and I liked exploring the mangrove swamps. Give me a chart, a compass and the tiller and I was a happy camper. We moved from Florida to West Virginia and boating went away, but my love for nature never went away, it just lay dormant.

Years later I thought I wanted to backpack, but found a canoe worked better. Who wants to measure their gear in ounces? The week before I met the woman that would become my wife I spent a week in the BWCA that really taught me what was important in life. That was my last time to canoe alone. We used to go together until life took a turn away from that. My wife decided she liked flat water canoeing more than rivers since hitting rocks with a hand built fiberglass canoe is not a good idea. I thought all of this was behind me until a driver on the Truckers Report truck forum started a thread about the yacht that recently sank as they were launching it. Now I realize my love of nature didnít go away, it just went dormant once again.

This driver was trying to engage in a bit of class envy, but I started looking into who owns these boats and what they are used for. That led me to the idea of a private cruise since next year is our 25th. That led me to realize I still enjoy being on the water. The result is that instead of 5 grand on a 1 week private cruise on a Morgan ketch, now Iím thinking about taking sailing lessons in the spring of next year and possibly purchasing a used Catalina 22 that can be trailered and launched reasonably quickly. My wifeís boating experience is limited to a canoe with me and my daughter has never had any real boating experience. My total experience of sailing is a single half hour on a Florida canal in a dinghy, but my overall boating experience is a lot more and frankly I miss it. Iím thinking a good first step would be to celebrate the payoff of the truck by taking an ASA introductory sail to find out if sailing truly is for our family. If we decide this is what we want to do then it would be fun for the 3 of us to do the first 2 classes in a weekend next Spring. A little family competition to see who is the best sailor would be typical for us.

A lot of the reason for sailing rather than a power boat is that we donít want the sound of an engine when trying to watch and listen to nature. We arenít so much interested in an around the world cruise as sailing to interesting shorelines. I guess what we are looking for is more of an r.v. on water. For now our sailing would have to be limited to the lakes around the middle of Illinois and maybe the Illinois River in Peoria.

Thanks for reading, and yes writing is also a hobby.
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Old 21-06-2014, 21:48   #2
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Re: Something I thought was long dead was only lying dormant.

Welcome to Cruisers Forum

There is a wealth of information and knowledgeable people here. I think you'll find it a great community.
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Old 21-06-2014, 23:46   #3
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Re: Something I thought was long dead was only lying dormant.

First, welcome aboard.

You'll find some of us pretty forthright; others will only say "go for it!"

A Catalina 22 is a tender little boat with minimal accommodations. When my husband Jim sees your thread, maybe he'll tell you about various camping adventures he had in his as a young man.

They took no lessons, taught themselves to sail. He had a lot of fun in his.

I'm not quite sure what it is, but something about the three of you taking the same classes and "competing" puts me off. Maybe it's because sailing a trailer sailer with 3 adults has to be a cooperative event, not sure, really.

Personally, my recommendation would be for each of you to take the courses separately, as what you each take away from it would be slightly different, so that your combined learning would be greater. In sailing lessons, women tend to defer to their husbands when the latter are present; they really do better with separate instruction, generally speaking. Also, I'd think the daughter might blossom more unshadowed by parents.

FYI, I'll include this bit of background, we have been cruising continuously for the greater part of the last 25 years, with timeouts for dealing with medical issues. We were both sailors when we met.

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Old 22-06-2014, 12:17   #4
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Re: Something I thought was long dead was only lying dormant.

I appreciate the warning and know many families that are highly competitive. Sorry my comment may have indicated we are one of those. When my wife and I were going through pre-marital counseling her pastor gave us worksheets that we were supposed to do separately. We didn't do anything solo. When I say seeing who is the best sailor has more to do with a bit of teasing and bragging. We just enjoy being together and doing things together as a family. Have you ever looked at the size of a truck sleeper? My daughter goes with me for a month every summer and my wife kicks her out of the truck so she can go with me for a week. My wife is even considering getting her C.D.L. when my daughter graduates from high school. Either way she wants to travel with me full time. In short working together isn't an issue, we just enjoy being together.

As far as the sleeping accommodations, I don't see us doing much more than an overnight at most. I'm looking at it from the idea of being able to sleep for a night, or two, head even if it's only a port-a-potty and food. The other purpose is that of a trainer where we can learn to handle a sailboat. On down the road my wife and I can decide what we want to do as far as a larger boat, or just day/weekend sailing. Our daughter will be off to college in about 5 years and we will be empty nesters. That is the point I would like to become a Snowbird.
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Old 22-06-2014, 13:30   #5
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Re: Something I thought was long dead was only lying dormant.

Instead of one larger boat you may want to look at getting three boats. So each of you can skipper their own. A lot of smaller boats have tripple and quad stack trailers so you can tow them all, and are light enough to move easily. Something like a laser. Easy to find, relatively cheap, and a lot easier to learn on than a bigger boat.

It does restrict you from weekending on the boat, but when that has a priority you can usually sell a boat like this for what you paid for it. If it's in the same condition.

You could also go to a slightly larger two person boat like a V-15, or 420. A little more complicated, but easily sailed by one or two, and has a lot more storage capacity.

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Old 22-06-2014, 13:45   #6
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Re: Something I thought was long dead was only lying dormant.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 22-06-2014, 14:03   #7
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Re: Something I thought was long dead was only lying dormant.

Originally Posted by Gaspee View Post
............. The week before I met the woman that would become my wife I spent a week in the BWCA that really taught me what was important in life. ..............
I thought many might not be familiar with the BWCA,- Boundry Waters Canoe Area. Members of my extended family run an outfitters base and lodge outside of Ely, Minnesota. I can see how small boat sailing can be similar to the joys of the BWCA. My son & I have sailed our canoe across Moose Lake holding the tent cover as a downwind sail between our canoe paddles. "What is important in life" comes with me from places like the BWCA and our cruising grounds from Maine to the Bahamas. Many choices of what you gain in sailing instruction can suit you well. 'best of the future,- keep us posted!
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 30-08-2014, 19:31   #8
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Re: Something I Thought was Long Dead was only Lying Dormant.

Aloha and welcome aboard!
A Catalina 22 was my first boat to own. I'd sailed a lot of others before buying it. It was a great boat to learn sailing and maintenance on. I do recommend it. Mine was a fin keeler and not generally trailerable.
I do canoeing too and the Catalina is a big step up. Just realize that sooner or later you may want something larger. However, also realize that the 22 is very easy to get underway and you'll probably do more sailing on it if it is near a launch or dock than you ever will on a liveaboard or a large cruiser.
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