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Old 02-14-2008
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Dunlookn has a little shameless behaviour in the past
Be careful who you tell your dreams to.
Those who haven given up on thiers,
will eagerly point out the folly of your's.

My ex has my children in every activity imagineable. They never talk about it.

What they do talk about are the things we have done as a family (biking, camping, kayaking and sailing.

It is why I own a camper, bicycles and a boat. I do not care to leave them money. I want thier inheritance to be a million memories we all share.

In five years they will not be able to remember the first names of most of the kids in thier team picture.

They will tell thier grandchildren about sailing by the USS New Jersey at night on a broad reach...with the man that taught them to do it.

Damn what a childhood!!!!
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Old 02-14-2008
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wind_magic has a spectacular aura about wind_magic has a spectacular aura about wind_magic has a spectacular aura about
Having "waited" the short amount of time I have waited, I don't know if I could personally plan 11 years out. At first I had a lot of trouble with the idea of planning 1 1/2 years out, even that has been very hard to bare. It is difficult to live totally for something that is that far out in the future.

Like someone said earlier in the thread, I agree it's best to live your life in the meantime if you are going to have to wait that long to go somewhere. Even having a year invested makes me feel like I have wasted significant amounts of time I might better have spent pursuing something else with a closer payday.

"Time is the fire in which we burn"
What are you pretending not to know ?

Please support my
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Old 02-15-2008
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Ellen MaCarthur passed her Yachtmaster exam in 1995 and came second in the Vendee Globe single handed round the world yacht race in 2000.

With this as backdrop, 11 years seems like a lifetime.

Against the advice of this forum, we prepared a new-to-us boat for a trans-Pacific voyage in just 2 weeks and the voyage went really well. Not that I would recommend that time window to everybody but, again, 11 years is a looooong time.

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Old 02-17-2008
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I won't comment on the lifestyle-type issues. Every family is different, and you probably aren't looking for life advice on a sailing board.

Here's something boatwise to think about. A catamaran. Many traditionalists think them anathema, but for cruising, particularly with kids, it's a very good platform. I'm a monohull sailor myself, so I'm speaking from limited experience (not none, but not extensive) and a decent amount of research (we're considering a cat for our next boat for our own sabbatical a number of years out, but we haven't yet decided, and still haven't decided whether we even want to give up our Miracle). Here's some of what you get with a cat:

1. Privacy for all. The typical owner's version layout puts an owner's master in one hull, and then the other hull has two private cabins, on opposite ends, both sharing a head or some with two heads. If you've got two kids, particularly of the opposite sex, you can't do better than that. All of you will having cabins in opposite ends of the boat with plenty of space between you. Don't underestimate that.

2. Level. One of the biggest draws to some. No healing.

3. Stability. This is related to "level," but a little different. The boat won't roll. It will have a different motion, and maybe a little herky-jerky, but it won't roll and have exaggerated yaw. That motion often (not always of course) is what makes people sick. It may very well help limit seasickness. Likewise, if you're in a rolly anchorage, you'll be stable while all the monohulls are all over the place. I've been there, and know I will continue to be, and that part ain't fun.

4. Space. The cockpits are huge, the saloons are huge, the decks are huge. If you're living aboard and cruising, you'll spend the overwhelming majority of your time on the hook, and having that kind of space will be very important, particularly considering you will have kids.

5. Speed. If you really load down a cat it's performance will suffer greatly. But, if you're reasonably careful and get a boat designed to handle the payload you plan to have, you will sail a lot faster. That means less time at sea, which means you will have less exposure to adverse weather.

6. Draft. Most cruising cats draw 4' or less. That will get you into a lot of places you wouldn't be able to go in a prototypical monohull. If you want to go to the Bahamas, that's a key consideration.

There are other plusses, and certainly there are minuses, but this thread is not about cats v. monos.

Just something to consider. Here's a link to friends of ours who sold up and went cruising on their Manta 42 with two kids. http://mapsjohnson.com/index.html.

Good luck.
Dan Goldberg

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Old 02-17-2008
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Bravo Dan... Bravo... I'd have to agree with the idea of a Catamaran, but then again, my opinion is clearly biased, being a multihull sailor myself.

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Telstar 28
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 02-25-2008
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As long as 11 years...

Eleven years is a long time, we know. But, we don't think we'll be ready to go until then. The current plan is that cruising will be our lives from 47 until 77 or beyond! So, we'll have 30 years afloat. Unless we end up hating it or something major happens, we should have at least a decade or two. We're waiting 11 years because there are shoreside things we wish to pursue. We live in the mountains and love camping. We want to explore the inland United States. Hobbies like woodworking and gardening need space and/or land to pursue. We are not spending the next 11 years living under a rock, waiting for life to begin when we can go cruising. We're going to live life to the fullest over the next 11 years - and then go cruising.
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Old 03-13-2008
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Lots of conflicting advice - so I won't give any - except to listen to all of the advice and choose what applies to you. (A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest - Paul Simon (The Boxer))

-- I never met a "boat kid" who was anything but well adjusted, smart, engaged in life, confident and interesting to talk to. Great kids, every one of them. Family cruising seems to be a great experience for kids. They learn a lot about life and themselves. They become real contributing members of the family's endeavous far faster than would it they lived ashore. It is true that it's hard to uproot teenagers, but if they're up for the program, they will probably do fine.
I couldn't agree more! We've lived aboard for 11 years and cruised some and worked some. We've met many kids living on board and I'll take any one of them over the best of the mall kids with the 'attitude'.

We, too, climbed aboard with teenagers. Twin daughters - fresh out of high school. We were never rich (I'm a five figure guy in a six figure world) and had to sell the houses, the cars, etc. to finance the boat and the voyaging. At first, neither of my daughters felt they wanted to go to college. One changed her mind after about a year - and decided she wanted to be a teacher. We told her that we had not prepared to send another off to college. (Son had already graduated - he's a news reporter/photographer and is doing well). She said - "That's okay, Mom and Dad, I'll figure out something myself." And she did. She applied for loans, grants, scholarships. She is now a junior high teacher in Annapolis with a special ed. background. We're extremely proud of her.

Twin two stayed with us a little longer, then got married. The guy turned into a jerk so she left him and put herself through College. She is now an architect working in Baltimore. Married to a wonderful guy and very well adjusted. We're extremely proud of her also.

My point is that living aboard and cruising helps make the kids resilient, self-sufficient, responsible, sensible.

I like your 11 year plan - it gives you plenty of time to take "baby-steps." Teaching the family to sail, practicing living aboard for short periods of time, learning all it takes to be self-sufficient on a boat. You get out on the ocean, and there are no 'off-ramps'. If something breaks, you have to know how to fix it.

Sell the house if you want and make the commitment - or don't and have a back-up. Whatever works.

And watch the movie, "Captain Ron." This is mandatory if you intend to go cruising.
Saltwater Suzi and Cap'n Larry

"A sailboat is a fickle mistress. You’ve got to buy her things. You’ve got to understand everything about her. What you don’t know she’ll use against you." -Captain Larry

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Old 03-14-2008
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I must say, this is one of the most enjoyable posts I have read in a long while.

I am on an eleven year plan as well.... My daughter turns 1 tomorrow.. I turn 38 next Thursday. I am leaving my job on my 49th Birthday. No matter what..

I love to read about others planning and others input... We are looking for an older mono-hull for learning and checking out the Bahamas, but will probably switch to a cat for our extended cruising.. Only time will tell.. As will input from my wife, daughter, and myself..

Good luck on your plans!

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Old 03-14-2008
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
an 11 year plan, God love ya.
I'm having toruble palnning b'fast in the morning.
In a week, I'll be 49 years old.

And, unable to do what I'd planned.~big garage sale~ leave for one of those "E" islands... Bimini, Tahiti, Bali... (health issues)
Go big, do it.
We've got no license for tomorrow morning.
The only caution I would give is "settling" on a boat decision. 11 years ago, it was 1997. The choices then vs. now are almost totally different. Materials, Builders, Construction techniques, not to mention hardware and fitments improvements will drive you bonkers.

Figure that anything that "plugs in" will be so far outdated 11 years from now, its almost not worth looking at todays state of the art. Who knows where solar, batteries, wiring, wind, gensets, just to mention a few will be a decade from now.
Remember, for you geeks in the crowd that in 1997, the Intel Pentium II 233 MHz processor was THE hot chip, and AOL took over Compuserve.
We are not primarily on earth to see through one another, but to see one another through

Some people are like slinkies: not really good for anything... but you can't help laughing when you push them down the stairs
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Old 03-17-2008
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cruising with Kids

I strongly disagree with Cam on this one. We took our kids out of school when they were 9 & 11 and did a four year circumnavigation getting them back when they were 13 & 15. We home schooled them. Both graduated in the top 5% of their class and both went to an IVY league college. There will be many other kids out there so they will meet and have friends. However, you must always be of a mind to meet and sail with others who have kids rather than just wandering off by yourselves.

I also strongly agree with Stillraining about NOT selling your house but rather renting it. In that way you will always have your anchor to windward when you return. We had friends who sold their house and were sailing when we were; but, were unable to afford a house when they got back because prices went up so much. We rented our house when we left and when we returned to the same same house and neighborhood, the kids reconnected easily with their old friends.

To see a slide show of our trip with the kids (1987 to 1991) go to:


From there, click on the first image, then scroll down to read the
text. Click on "next" when you are ready to go to the next slide.
With this format you can stop where ever you need to, then come back
to the show and start again where you left off.
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