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Old 03-17-2008
Living & Cruising on Dana
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Robby Barlow is on a distinguished road
Me personally I'm a very spontaneous person, so too much planning ahead as far as the route & things to do is concerned would kill the fun for me.
Try to adapt your day to day living now as if you were on a boat in order to keep later adjustments to a minimum.
When you finally get going, choose a general direction and follow the wind, and make the most of where it takes you.
Your pleasure is my business !!!
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Old 03-17-2008
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I forgot to add that the experrience of cuising with our kids for the four years has made our family extremely closs knit. We are still close today even almost 20 years later. Also, the kids were at an age that we were able to impart an excellent set of value to them. They also learned to take responsibility at an early age as by the time they were 10 & 12 they were standing night watches. Today the older son is a project manager for a software company and the younger is the captain of a Swan 53 in the Caribbean. We are extremely proud of both of them and they both love and are proud of their lives.

We bought the boat we sailed on in 1982, because we had always had the dream of taking the kids off sailing and the perfect boat for us (a Valiant 40) presented itself at that time. It gave me 5 years to adapt it tour own needs and to update the windvane self steering, SSB, propane stove, and many more upgrades etc.
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Old 03-17-2008
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Good for you! The real trick to an eleven year plan, or any plan for that matter, is to stick to it and reach your goal.

I also fully support the idea of taking children with you cruising, regardless of their age. Yes, they'll miss out on some of the shoreside "things", as will the parents, but they'll gain more than they lose. Actually, the only downside I see to bringing children along is that a larger boat will be required.

I'm a parent of two daughters (ages 3 and 5) and also plan to cruise with them sometime in the future. I don't have an exact date in mind, but my wife and I are hard at work saving money, paying off debts and gaining the skills we'll need.

Check out the Hacking family's website (Hacking Family Home) for good practical advice for cruising with kids. They've also always been very helpful and prompt when responding to emails.

Best of luck!
Catalina 34

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Old 03-18-2008
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bgriffin21 is on a distinguished road
Talking Family Sailing

One thing I've learned over the last 8 years is that EVERYONE will have an opinion about your plans. Taking your kids sailing is such a radical change from the "norm" that it seems to strike a chord in everyone for different reasons. We've been in the plannig stages for a while and we've heard ALL the negatives... kids will suffer, what about their friends, what about their education, what about college, what about their safety, what about your retirement... the list goes on and on. Just remember that none of these opinions come from people who really know you, what you want out of life for you and your kids, and what you are and aren't capable of. I personally believe that negative comments only come from narrow-minded people. It's one thing to give advice, but quite another to respond negatively with criticism. My family and true friends have bombarded us with concerns and questions, but they have all been supportive. Nobody knows all the answers, so why would anybody feel like they can criticize another person for following their dreams and doing what they feel is best for their family? Don't let anybody make you feel guilty for wanting the best for your kids... we sure don't.

That being said... there are a lot of sailors out there with GREAT advice on how to prepare and get started. We are doing everything we can to prepare ourselves for cruising, but sometimes you just have to take the leap of faith so to speak and go. Don't be afraid of making a mistake (financial or otherwise), because in the end.. no matter how it turns out... you followed your dreams and tried... which is more than most people do. And whether you stick to the coast for a year and sell the boat, or circumnavigate... I believe your kids will be better for it... and so will you.
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Old 03-18-2008
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Do it while they are young

I could have raised my kids in a igloo if I started out befor they knew the differance...My life's path has lead me away from the water and now back again...but with teenage girls now anything more then a week or two on the boat is all the time they want to be away from friends , Soccer, Horses..etc..So my advice is dont plan to long or you may well be planning longer...

Did you ever check out the Rard's website?...The two 14 year olds are finally getting tired after 2 years and sounds like they would like to return home...

Edit to Add: I am on an 8 year plan for different reasons...

1) I know my kids dont want to go.
2) So I will stay and get them through collage and out of the house.
3) My Wife dosent want a full time boat life
4) So I will stay and finish paying off the house so she can have both worlds
5) I dont have a retirement
6) So I will stay and work 6 months out of each year to pay for 6 months at sea once we get there

If everyone was on board the boating life or my kids were 2-4-6 years old instead of 13-15-17 I would start the 6 and 6 schedule today...even if it was at the dock or local waters only...just to get them boat ready..

Last edited by Stillraining; 03-18-2008 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 03-18-2008
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Good posts on this thread.

Only a couple of thoughts. Things can change fast. Home values change. Peace and war occur. People get sick and have accidents. Some are literally gone overnight. If change can happen that fast, waiting for some grand plan may be more than expensive. It may simply undo all.

Thus, I'd rather sail than plan, right now. The family likes it now, may not in the future. In the end, maybe a long series of smaller trips might add up to being "more" than that of a big trip at some point in the future when all the stars align. As someone more wise than I once advised-- the sailing you do with the kids when they are younger, on a cheap boat you might be embarrassed to admit even owning, may be the best sailing of your life no matter what you have or do in the future.

So, maybe any plan is best, as long as it involves sailing...
Jim H
London, UK

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Southern Rival, a seasoned Rival 34 (Gosport, UK)

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Last edited by Jim H; 03-18-2008 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 04-21-2008
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gypsysailing is on a distinguished road
It seems you have thought through this plan and I say.....go for it. Your kids will face challenges and life experiences that will enrich them no end.
I might suggest that you and your spouse try some open water cruising soon...plenty of sailors never leave the comfort of their home port, and never get offshore, and that's great. But I've known a few who plan for years, sell the house, quit the job, etc only to find that open water sailing is just not for them.
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Best of luck
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