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Old 27-02-2018, 22:28   #61
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

The only time I like to drink onboard is when we are cleaning our guns on board while simultaneously discussing which Anchor is best.
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Old 27-02-2018, 23:04   #62
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

Interesting how many replies. I have found that alcohol is not my friend although some seem to handle it quite well. A well-kept secret is that most will admire you for not drinking while at the same time trying their best to bring you into the frey. A clear head will enhance your cruising experience not detract from it.
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Old 27-02-2018, 23:35   #63
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

Crikeys!! Mountains out of molehills at the least.

We've been cruising for years. We socialize a fair amount, and often invite relative strangers from an anchorage over for "happy hour". In this part of the cruising world, this is understood to mean BYO drinks, something to share if you have it, no worries if you don't. We've had folks with portable bars join us, those with a few beers or a bottle of wine, and those with soft drinks and those with nothing. All have been welcome. None of the ones bringing non-alcoholic drinks have ever cringed when we or other guests had a glass of wine or a beer (not too many yotties do the mixed drink thing when out and about IME). We've visited on dozens of other folks boats, and when invited for h/h we will take a bottle of wine. Some of those boats have been "dry" boats, but no one has ever seemed upset with our modest wine consumption. If they had, we would have put it away, but likely not returned for that sort of gathering. People who are that restrictive in their lives are not likely to desire our company, and that's ok... their choice and ours to make.

So, unless your religious proscriptions are so severe that you can not communicate with or be around folks who don't share your beliefs, you can not only survive but you can prosper with a rich social life aboard. Very few yotties will give your abstinence a second thought. They may offer you a drink, but if you decline they are not likely to persevere or pressure you... or even ask why, and should they do so, you are not obliged to explain. "No thanks" has always worked on those occasions when I didn't want to imbibe.

So,don't overthink this issue. If you can stand the degree of exposure to alcohol that I have described you will have no problems. If you can not, well, there could be an occasional awkwardness, but nothing to keep you from cruising and from enjoying the friendship of most of the fleet. It's really up to you!

Jim
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Old 28-02-2018, 01:15   #64
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

Sometimes it seems the cruising life requires tipsiness at sundown and the conversation goes similarly south...however there are plenty of fun nondrinking cruisers too ~ and often we're the stayers at the beach get togethers too ☺ no-one's ever pressured me to drink, likewise I've not pressured my crew to be abstinent in port... at sea is completely another story though ⛵
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Old 28-02-2018, 02:22   #65
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

Interesting question. I don't think one should EVER feel apologetic about not wanting to drink, for whatever reason. In my case, I simply never developed a taste for alcohol....can't stand the taste, in fact. Apparently, this is unusual enough that, on a regular basis, I get asked if I know where the local AA meeting is!

Which is to say that not drinking is sufficiently "different" that people do notice. For awhile, I simply tried drinking one drink, as it seemed easier, but then everyone would want me to have a second, so for decades I have simply said "no thanks, I don't drink". That has become more acceptable than it once was.

But, from a non-drinker's perspective, I find it disconcerting how many people are borderline abusers, in the sense that they have a hard time socializing or even "functioning" without alcohol, even if they don't realize it. And, many don't. Others don't realize the imposition that boozy behaviour can place on others, particularly when it comes to safety.

Our society is very much alcohol oriented, like it or not, and that applies to people aboard, as well as onshore. Maybe more so...boating and alcohol are closely associated. So, I understand the OP's question, perfectly. For me, it's a bit different, though. I don't mind being around people who are drinking, in fact, I rather expect it. I have some alcohol aboard, and I have no problem bringing a bottle of wine with me. It's the boozy behaviour that gets to me.....life has so much to offer, without it, and the type of behaviour that many will consider just funny, can actually be pretty aggravating. I don't think those who drink have much realization of this, just as smokers used to ignore the consequences to others of second-hand smoke. Many still do.

I am sorry if this offends the "offenders", who probably have no idea how boozy behaviour can be an imposition on others, but it certainly can be, much more so that the "you do your thing and I will do mine" point of view entails.

To the OP, you may find it difficult to find others who understand your point of view, but they are out there, as this discussion has shown. And, if you can tolerate being around people who are having a drink, your circle will be much wider, believe me. But, don't feel you have to socialize with boozy behaviour. Nobody gains from that choice. Best of luck. You WILL find your peer group, as you do ashore. And, cruising CAN be about the sailing and the beautiful places you visit and the interesting activities and cultures you will experience. Sadly, for many, it's about living without rules.
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Old 28-02-2018, 02:26   #66
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

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Originally Posted by ransflyer View Post
As we study sailing and cruising, my wife and I are more excited each day to buy a boat, outfit it, and sail away. But we don't drink. Is it possible to be real cruisers, if we don't consume alcohol? Everywhere we turn it seems that booze is an important part of the scene.

There are lots of related questions as well. Here are a couple starters:

1. When invited to dine on other boats, we can only bring another dish to share rather than wine. Is that rude?
2. When we invite others aboard, can we politely explain that we prefer to be an alcohol free boat? What is a good way to say this?
3. When visiting remote locations, it's polite to offer the chief a gift. What are good alternatives to a bottle of liquor?
4. Is soda pop an acceptable option for some or all situations?

Feel free to suggest other potential situations/questions and answers.

While this won't stop us from exploring the world, it seems that it's an important social issue that we haven't seen discussed and we'd like to be prepared.

Thanks in advance for your help.
People who have a healthy relationship with alcohol won't have a problem and will respect your choices. People who don't, won't.

You'll find both so you should prepare for both. Having said that, I would never apologise or feel that you're, in some way, a problem. It's about respect.
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Old 28-02-2018, 04:16   #67
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

Don't be self-conscious. Be yourself, and if someone can't deal with it, find others to hang out with. But as others have said (among the more serious responses), cruisers are mostly pretty open minded and flexible, much more so than is typically the case on land.

I like my sundowners, normally, but I don't drink a drop underway, and I also go periods without drinking, sometimes months at a time. Unless you are desperately trying to conform and fit in, it's not going to be a problem. If people are getting actually drunk and the party becomes dull for a sober person, just move on. Even drinkers do that sometimes
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Old 28-02-2018, 07:52   #68
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

A slightly different take on the questions. We do enjoy our sundowners, but the rub comes with guests drinking while moving. As skipper, I never ever drink while in command of the boat. Life safety, changing conditions and docking all need me as sober as I can be. When i am in responsible charge i take that seriously. And guest seem happy with that as its their lives at stake.

The rub comes from guest wanting to drink both while moving and at anchor before returning to the dock for the classic "Three Hour Tour". As i have gotten more confident with the boat i have reduced my no drinking while we are moving for the passengers but still find myself uncomfortable being seen as uncool. most are respectful and haven't had anyone get to excess. but we all know walking forward on a sailboat even to sun bath can be tricky in any condition.

Interested in how others on the move or taking guests daysailing deal with passenger consumption and what friendly rules work for you.

Trying to be a responsible skipper.
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Old 28-02-2018, 10:30   #69
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

Yes alchohol to a greater or lesser degree is a part of the cruising culture. That said you have many more important things to consider than booze edicate. For starters you should both become proficient sailors on other peoples boats singleurlerly and later together. I strongly suggest weekly beer can racing. Later try to get crew positions on some crossings of a week say. Sail,sail, sail. At some point one of you will be the more proficient sailor, and you will have to decide who the Captain is. Is the other person going be ok recieving direction when the wind or any number of possibilities arise. How will you and your wife handle being together one on one for weeks at a time. What kind of cruisers do you want to be? Many cruise in close proximity to the States, say Mexico or the Carribean. Nothing wrong with that, tho that makes a huge difference on what type boat to consider. Coastal cruiser(much more interior space for guests etc.) If you are sure yo want to cruise the world then it would be a good idea to consider an offshore boat. One with heavier rig and sail plan.
There are many good books to tell you what makes a good boat, storm tactics, etc.
Are you aware of the cost of maintaining a cruising boat and the budget required after purchase. Talk to couples that have finished up from cruising a decade or two or are still cruising.They will tell you the truth. I like to say “Cruising is a lovely way of life, just not real refined”. Cheers from SV Philiosophy. Jill and I are currently cruising New Zealand having “Turned left at Cape Flattery until I’m too old to do it anymore in 2010
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Old 28-02-2018, 10:52   #70
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pirate Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Crikeys!! Mountains out of molehills at the least.
Jim
Exactly.. Theres more to the sailing life than boozing..
Out there one is respected for what one has achived in getting to ones destination not how many beers or rums, whiskeys whatever one can sink after tying up..
Personally I like a couple of beers or three when I hit Peters Bar after 24000 odd nm.. but if I offered you a drink I would think none the less of you if you asked for a dry ginger or a fruit juice..
You'd be a fellow seaman.. and thats all that counts.
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Old 28-02-2018, 10:53   #71
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

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I would suggest that the OP might reconsider allowing cruisers to BYOB; cruisers are a live-and-let-live lot, and to some it may feel coercive to prohibit their consumption of their own drinks on your boat (will you not sit with them in a cafe if they have a beer?). This is just the nature of religious beliefs, and in any event you will not likely be interested in socializing with those who value drinking over your company so the choice may not have much real world impact. Cruisers, as in the real world, are varied: some will be your friends, some won't, no matter what you do. Just be yourself and you will find your place.

Greg
Hi Greg,

Thanks for your post. I think we could be comfortable with the BYOB concept. The question arises how often would we then be dealing with folks who over-indulge on our boat?

We are OK if you like some wine or beer with dinner, but we aren't cool with you downing a fifth of the hard stuff by yourself for dessert. We would then need to get you safely back to your boat somehow. Sort of takes the fun out of meeting new friends.
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Old 28-02-2018, 11:34   #72
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

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C'mon honey, cruising isn't the skull and bones society, nor is it high school... The whole point is to do what you feel like and make yourself happy, find some sun and fun in the way that YOU want in your life. Me and mine, we love our prosecco and red wine...can't go a day without a few bottles. If you rock up to say hi, we'll invite you on to meet our kittens and have a bottle of prosecco. When you say no, we'll say, oh hey, more for us! No worries. Like someone said, you might not have as many social gatherings on your boat, but if anyone can't go an hour or two without a drink to hang out a bit, ya probably don't want that level of alkie on your boat in the first place



If you don't want to even be around alcohol (as in presents for other boaters), then DON'T. Bring over a handful of ripe pears and a wedge of brie to go on a cheese plate and you're golden.



As for coffee, Ann, whoa, I'm a 2 pot a day person no you cannot board cause that's just strange.... how do you even live


Bingo... best answer yet!

Do whatever you want - nobody cares. Be anything you want but normal.
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Old 28-02-2018, 12:34   #73
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

Just remember. as boat captain you have a LEGAL responsibility similar to a car driver....and DUI is severely discouraged....penalised..etc.
Bill


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Do whatever you want - nobody cares. Be anything you want but normal.
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Old 28-02-2018, 12:58   #74
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

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Originally Posted by ransflyer View Post
Hi Greg,

Thanks for your post. I think we could be comfortable with the BYOB concept. The question arises how often would we then be dealing with folks who over-indulge on our boat?

We are OK if you like some wine or beer with dinner, but we aren't cool with you downing a fifth of the hard stuff by yourself for dessert. We would then need to get you safely back to your boat somehow. Sort of takes the fun out of meeting new friends.
Completely up to the hosts.

I would state up front "I don't drink at all, if you want to have one or two with a meal fine but I'm not comfortable with people getting tipsy on my boat"

End of story.

Some people may be worth letting it slide, but for me not many.

Entirely up to you, each person will be different, no "rules" other than where you want to draw the line yourself.
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Old 28-02-2018, 16:13   #75
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Re: Can non-drinkers be cruisers?

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Hi Greg,

Thanks for your post. I think we could be comfortable with the BYOB concept. The question arises how often would we then be dealing with folks who over-indulge on our boat?
It isn't usually a problem at anchor - most of the drunkenness is when tied up to the dock. And it can be very dangerous even then (in a little over a year two people lost their lives in Gibraltar trying to get back to their boats drunk). The first thing you can do is state your concerns and ask guests to stay sober enough to get home safely. Cruisers will generally respect your concern for their safety, and preference for sobriety. I really doubt you will find this to be a problem, in part because you and the heavy drinkers will not be drawn to each other. It really is a non-issue, and if it does come up you can address it directly at that time. It certainly is not something that should deter you from cruising, and will not be an issue for making friends and joining in once "out there". If you want to go cruising then work on your skills, your boat, and your plan, and then go do it.

Parenthetically, it is not unusual for would-be cruisers to have concerns like this. I remember one couple that weren't sure that they would like cruising because of the bugs - mosquitoes, roaches, and the like. There are far more mosquitoes in northern summer places like Alaska, Canada, and Minnesota than I encountered in the Caribbean or Central America. Two or three times I had roaches but they were easy enough to deal with. The world of cruising is the same world we live in ashore, not some scary unknown. Just have faith and you will find it will all work out.

Greg
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