The Cruising Life, by Jim Trefethen, and Cruising Financials - Page 13 - SailNet Community
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post #121 of 206 Old 03-08-2009
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Wow, I need to express my thought better some times. I was only upset that the book was saying you need so much money to cruise. I don't tell others what to do only try to give advise if asked. By-the-way my gelcoat may be faded but it is always waxed and looks pretty good. I love all sailboats and man are some of yours nice. Live and let live. No hard feelings to all you rich guys
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post #122 of 206 Old 03-08-2009
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Just to add, you may not even know how it feels to be looked down on because my boat cost less than yours type attidude. I feel it all the time and it's real. It is human nature and some have never felt it because they are on the "other side of the coin" I was to nice on the last post because I don't want a fight either. However, I can handle one if you want. There are many here that don't have that attidude and some that do. And did you not read all my posts, saving me because I don't have a gps. I said I have all saftey equipment on board thats not what I was saying and yes I have a gps infact 3. Just keep your damm genny running and turn up your stereo and don't forget your captains hat and white pants okay because you know you are better at sailing than the guy next to you trying to ejoy the sunset. Oh well, I am out of here and enjoy your shinny boat.
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post #123 of 206 Old 03-08-2009
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"a box of pencils"
If THOSE have barter value, how about the disposable/refillable mechanical pencils, often on sale before school season 6/$1 or so.
Or do you plan to give away sharpeners and then sell pencils?(G)
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post #124 of 206 Old 03-08-2009 Thread Starter
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Cruising Lifestyle, without cruising...

Geez, I had forgotten about starting this thread.

First off, I'm thankful to Jim Trefethen for his book, because it did cast long-range financial issues is a harsher light than most cruising books. The recent financial changes definitely draw into question his ideas about "cruising on the returns" of investments, but those were ideas of his time, when 14% returns were happening in some cases.

We shouldn't also forget that his actual cruising was entirely different-- $25k wooden boat, several enjoyable years with his wife and two school-aged children in the early 1990s. He didn't wait to have a million dollars-- he went. If anything, the book was about wanting to go again, but having the bucks to make it last some how.

Since I started the thread in 2006, we've done a lot. For awhile, it seemed like "go now" or "go later" was the big question, but then we started to think about basic principles, as Tom Cunliffe likes to say over here. We wanted to sail, we wanted our kids to have global experiences, we wanted to live a simpler life with less stuff, and we wanted to see much more of the world.

Anyway, in some ways we're living the cruising lifestyle even though we're not cruising yet (as Trefethen recommended). We sold the big house, the two cars and nearly all the toys. We moved to Europe, have great jobs, the kids love their school, and we own and sail a tough 34 foot boat that's 90 minutes away by train. We don't own a car, and we don't have a yard, and you can forget about shopping at Costco, but we don't miss those things at all. On vacations we sail the English Channel, visit cities in Europe, or spend time with our family in the Pacific Northwest.

Our current boat is paid off, and if something really went awry we could cruise for 2-4 years on savings (with some real concessions to lack of space). At the moment, though, life is good, and we're achieving the basic principles, have health care, have retirement savings, and all that good stuff.

If we can travel and sail enough in our current lifestyle, maybe in the end we will go for Option 3 (as defined in the first post of this thread), even if the means the kids choose between cruising with us or not when they are done with high school.

So, the worst case scenario for me was to live a sort of Walter Mitty life, "saving for the day" that doesn't actually come in the end (which parts of Trefethen's advice sounded like). We aren't doing that, and in my work here in London, it's amazing how many Americans I meet whose entire careers have been around the globe, working for corporations or in schools, and overall they amazing, intelligent and flexible people. (Basically, the qualities maybe most of us hope cruising will lead to.)

That's the update-- it was fun to see this thread come up again.

Jim H

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post #125 of 206 Old 03-08-2009
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You did not read my post carefully, or my meaning did not come through, and I'm more than willing to concede that I didn't get my point across due to my lack of skill with the written word.

I have absolutely no problem with the way you sail. I do not judge you one little bit, not even for a moment. My comment about GPS was meant to be illustrative only, and I was not suggesting that you don't have a GPS or that the Coast Guard has come to save you. And I am not the "rich" guy with white pants or a captain's hat that you seem to think I am (my joking with Xort notwithstanding). I have sailed a Rhodes 22 and a Hunter 34, and though I've sailed some higher end boats along the way, at present I sail a Beneteau, so believe me, I am not of the ilk that believes you need a $1 million boat to go cruising. If you've read my posts over time, I'm confident that sentiment would come through quite clearly.

My only point was that your posts appeared to be quite critical of people who do have money and choose to sail a different way than you do. I tried to make the point by giving examples of things that others might say about your method that you would find offensive (and I seem to have hit the mark). That is, I was trying to explain, by using examples, that you should be careful about criticizing how others choose to sail/cruise, as that same method of attack can be turned on you.

Truly, no offense intended, I hope you don't follow through on your threat of leaving, and you should stick around. The overwhelming majority of people here are very nice (except for CruisingDad, JRP, the Wombat, SailingDog, Xort, Giu, and all the other 1,000+ posters; stay away from all of them).

Fair winds, and peace to you brother!

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Originally Posted by bluwateronly View Post
Just to add, you may not even know how it feels to be looked down on because my boat cost less than yours type attidude. I feel it all the time and it's real. It is human nature and some have never felt it because they are on the "other side of the coin" I was to nice on the last post because I don't want a fight either. However, I can handle one if you want. There are many here that don't have that attidude and some that do. And did you not read all my posts, saving me because I don't have a gps. I said I have all saftey equipment on board thats not what I was saying and yes I have a gps infact 3. Just keep your damm genny running and turn up your stereo and don't forget your captains hat and white pants okay because you know you are better at sailing than the guy next to you trying to ejoy the sunset. Oh well, I am out of here and enjoy your shinny boat.

Dan Goldberg

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post #126 of 206 Old 03-09-2009
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"a box of pencils"
If THOSE have barter value, how about the disposable/refillable mechanical pencils, often on sale before school season 6/$1 or so.
Or do you plan to give away sharpeners and then sell pencils?(G)
I guess I'm giving away my age when I say that I can recall being able to sharpen wooden pencils without a pencil sharpener. Maybe as gift the clutch pencil is good but for on my boat, only wooden pencils. If I have to, I can sharpen them with my teeth!!

Anyway, the reason for my post is just to share some experiences that I have had. Firstly, if you are planning on selling your skills to less skilled sailors, you need to be careful about making friends. I have had several occasions in anchorages where I have invited poeple to our boat, put up a decent (but inexpensive) meal, opened a bottle of wine and in discussion spoke of a problem I was experiencing (as we all do). I would get advice and assistance from the guest, freely offered, only to discover the next day that he charged another boat for the same advice because they just up and asked him. By being freindly, I got the service for free. This will happen to you too except you'll be giving. It's hard to charge your new buddy!

An example: A guy's wife wanted desperately to call home. The local phones were rubbish. We had an Iridium phone on board. After a liesurely dinner, she made a $10 call to the US and her husband spent the next 4 hours helping me solve a problem on my boat for free. And he usually charged EVERYBODY by the hour.

The other thing is not to understimate the effect of small gifts. We once used a mooring in a popular anchorage in the Pacific that ordinarily cost $25 a day. Unwittingly, my wife gave the children of the owner of the mooring a whole lot of fun but almost valueless toys. They were so thrilled the gifts, and their dad was so thrilled at us taking the time to be nice to his kids, that after staying on his mooring for 5 days, he bluntly refused to charge us anything for the stay and, on top of that, allowed us to to refill our water tanks FOC where other boats were paying for the pleasure.


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post #127 of 206 Old 03-09-2009
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Blu,

I think when we do the big cruise it is going to be very much with a shoestring approach perhaps similar to yours.....Like I said in my above post we have a modernised and slightly modified 'Pardey' approach.

We currently have a 27 footer, yet are members of club where most of the cruising folk are retiree's in 40-50 footers. We sometimes get the reaction you talked about as well, but most of them are pretty welcoming and aren't much worried that we are slumming around with them in our little boat. Alot of them started themselves in similar sized boats.

I think Sailnet is pretty similar, I don't think there is a fight to be had here Blu. No one here has ever judged me for the size of my boat or the style of my sailing here.

I also think Cam made a very good point earlier as well....

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As I read these threads with the theme "go now...go small...but go" I think about all the cruising couples we've come in contact with over the last few years and it seems to me that the vast majority of the boats that I will call "campers" have packed it in. Some because the money ran out, some because it wasn't fun anymore and some because one of the two said "enough".
Living on a small boat at anchor for extended periods of time requires a LOT of adjustment and most couples are not up to it. It is tough enough on a larger boat. Interestingly, I see a lot of single guys on small boats that have been doing it for a while and seem happy enough.

OK...I'll get to my point. If you are considering living aboard and cruising, it is easy for the dream to obscure the reality. I think you have to be very realistic about what level of comfort and inconvenience you can put up with for years on end. If you are not honest about this with yourself, you will end up unhappy and with a short cruise. There is a huge difference for a couple living aobrd a 40+ foot boat with complete systems and going off on a 30 footer. It costs a lot more to buy AND live aboard the larger boat so that means delaying cruising or adjusting the duration planned if 40'+ is what will work for you.
None of this is to say "don't go small"... just be sure you BOTH can handle it. I do subscribe to the theory of GO as soon as you are able to do it in the manner which will make you happy!
I guess its simple, most of us spend what we can afford to spend at a level that provides an acceptable level of comfort.

Having said that.... Could we all benefit from toughening up a bit?? Probably

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post #128 of 206 Old 03-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"a box of pencils"
If THOSE have barter value, how about the disposable/refillable mechanical pencils, often on sale before school season 6/$1 or so.
Or do you plan to give away sharpeners and then sell pencils?(G)
I was citing it as an example of cheap and common items I can carry in bulk that may translate to trade goods in certain places. A waiter at my boat club came to Canada from Cuba 3 1/2 years ago and said that the plan I got from a now-dead cruiser to bring lots of kids' T-shirts to Cuba was still a great way to make friends and meet people...because Cubans have difficulty getting T-shirts.

My point is that simple trade activity can supply simple items that are not necessarily in ready supply in all places without seeming to be either exploitive, akin to a bribe, or an "in your face, Third World!" move, none of which are liable to make for a happy anchorage. Obviously, I can pay for stuff on passage, but if the point is to see the people of other countries, and not just while they are working for peanuts in Western-style marinas, then I think some effort should be made to engage them in a way that offers them some incentive.

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post #129 of 206 Old 03-09-2009
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I guess I'm giving away my age when I say that I can recall being able to sharpen wooden pencils without a pencil sharpener. Maybe as gift the clutch pencil is good but for on my boat, only wooden pencils. If I have to, I can sharpen them with my teeth!!

Hey, if you have teeth that strong still, you're probably good for a few years yet.

Anyway, the reason for my post is just to share some experiences that I have had. Firstly, if you are planning on selling your skills to less skilled sailors, you need to be careful about making friends. I have had several occasions in anchorages where I have invited poeple to our boat, put up a decent (but inexpensive) meal, opened a bottle of wine and in discussion spoke of a problem I was experiencing (as we all do). I would get advice and assistance from the guest, freely offered, only to discover the next day that he charged another boat for the same advice because they just up and asked him. By being freindly, I got the service for free. This will happen to you too except you'll be giving. It's hard to charge your new buddy!

Yes, we've considered this. While we plan on working very much on an ad-hoc basis, the element of barter would tend to keep things friendly. We are also willing to trade skills, like "we'll scrape the crap off your hull if you repair our head" (some people would consider this a good trade!). An approach we've considered is announcing on cruiser nets that we are available for "consultation" before we arrive, but this obviously skirts the prohibition on commercial activities. Another tack is to list skills on boat cards...along with issuing really nice boat cards. Word will likely get out.

If it doesn't, it's not critical. As I said, ad hoc. One idea I had was anchor recycling: In some popular anchorages, it is likely that there are unbuoyed, snagged or otherwise abandoned anchors on the seabed that might be retrievable by diving on them. Get the kid to chip off the barnacles, replace a couple of clevis or cotter pins, and sell 'em to other cruisers at cut-rate. Or trade them for diesel, or crates of beer. You see where I'm going with this.


An example: A guy's wife wanted desperately to call home. The local phones were rubbish. We had an Iridium phone on board. After a liesurely dinner, she made a $10 call to the US and her husband spent the next 4 hours helping me solve a problem on my boat for free. And he usually charged EVERYBODY by the hour.

Yes, this is very much how we would like to work. Something that meant ten bucks to you had a huge payoff. And yet I bet the fellow who gave you four hours of free consultation and labour felt quite satisfied with the transaction, because it was a problem with his wife he otherwise could not solve. Imagine if I can make a laptop talk to a printer or a GPS on a modern cruiser!

The other thing is not to understimate the effect of small gifts. We once used a mooring in a popular anchorage in the Pacific that ordinarily cost $25 a day. Unwittingly, my wife gave the children of the owner of the mooring a whole lot of fun but almost valueless toys. They were so thrilled the gifts, and their dad was so thrilled at us taking the time to be nice to his kids, that after staying on his mooring for 5 days, he bluntly refused to charge us anything for the stay and, on top of that, allowed us to to refill our water tanks FOC where other boats were paying for the pleasure.

I am very pleased to hear this, not because you saved money, but because the currency of simple friendliness still has value. Because our boat is a big steel thing with lots of deck and the ability to tie down stuff, it is quite possible for me to give either people or "light freight" a lift from island to island, and if I wasn't trying to dodge a cyclone or otherwise needed to get somewhere to a clock or calendar, I wouldn't have an issue solving a local problem. Having a kid on board makes one more approachable, I think, as does having a boat that, no matter how much I spend on paint, will never say "rich Western bastard".

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post #130 of 206 Old 03-09-2009
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So you like Mojito's. I posted this on another thread but here's our recipe...
Mailed home for further review! Can't make these at work
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