SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Cruising & Liveaboard Forum (
-   -   Please tell me it is worth it??? (

bdkorth 04-16-2003 09:59 AM

Please tell me it is worth it???
I have posted occcasional messages over the last year. My wife and I live in Idaho and got the dream to cruise a year ago in Tahiti. We since have self taught ourselves some about sailing, first bought a 22'' sailboat, and then bought a 25'' Catalina. We haven''t been able to sail since November 2002. The lake is frozen. We went to San Diego and got both of us bareboat certified, and my 10 year old boy coastal cruising certified. We began controlling spending, which was a pinch for us. We always tended to be the type of people that see it and just buy it. Our big house (our dream house) just sold. We have to be out of it by the end of April. We now are going to buy a house 1/2 the size to live in until we can go cruising. Our dream is to get our big boat, sell the catalina while we coastal cruise the big one. We then have to save up the kitty to go.

Anyway.... Right now we are beginning to feel like all we are doing is losing things, our dream house, our funds into training, not getting to buy the things we normally would have, and not even going to the movies! We both have this dream to cruise before we get old enough to change our minds. All of this trouble and loss of material things at this point is actually worth it, isn''t it? We want to circumnavigate together, to spend all our time together out in the world, rather than just watch it on tv.

So, any words of encouragement? Hope so. Times are trying right now. Anyway, thanks, there are no real sailors, cruisers specifically to talk to in Idaho. Everybody around here thinks we are crazy.

Thanks again....

jjjjjjjjjj 04-17-2003 06:21 AM

Please tell me it is worth it???
I don''t pretend to have any answers to the questions of life, but perhaps getting away from Idaho to a coastal place like California, Florida etc etc, and incorporating your regular life, with some coastal cruising, would be a compromise. You can still have jobs, go to movies, and test out cruising to see if the boy will like it. I have a teenage boy who has been on sailboats since diapers. Some months he loves it, some he hates it and wants baseball and playstation etc.
Just a thought

DuaneIsing 04-17-2003 08:11 AM

Please tell me it is worth it???

Even though long-term cruising is likely 5-7 years away for us, I have read several books by circumnavigators who describe with some degree of passion the preparation path that worked for them. Since the financial factor is such a big one for many people, it gets a lot of attention. One thing some recommend strongly is not to buy "the boat" until you are almost ready to go and already have the cruising kitty saved up. Also, they recommend a very simple boat to start, with the idea that you will decide as you go what is important to you in the way of systems and luxuries. They cite too many cases where folks spend incredible amounts of money and time getting their dream boat ready, then the dream gets side-tracked for one reason or another.

As far as the feeling of "giving up everything", my view is that you can probably find a way to reduce your debt and convert assets into cash now, but still preserve your options. If you get part way down this path (assuming you haven''t bought "the boat" yet) and decide to abort the plan, you take all the loot you have stashed and restart the kind of life you want and can afford. Some advocate shutting off the "escape" options so you don''t abandon your dream; I say that having the option let''s you be more comfortable with your choice.

While I like to think I can be happy with a pretty simple existence, actually making that happen at some point would be somewhat of a shock to me (moreso to my wife). Unless you have the resources to take the high cost/high maintenance lifestyle aboard with you, the fact is that you will need to adjust and be happy with the simpler life. While you are land-bound, you might feel you are suffering all the burden with none of the rewards. My guess is that you are are in a phase that is normal for a lot of people. Hopefully, you''ll find that the rewards of your cruising will more than offset the sacrifices you are making.

As a former manager used to say a lot, "Every donut has a hole, but you need to stay focused on the donut."

Good luck,


rakuqueen1 04-17-2003 09:19 AM

Please tell me it is worth it???
We felt the same way you do. Last June we sold our home of 15 years. Keep a budget. Which I hate doing. My husband loves it. We spent about 6 years walking docks, going to boat shows and reading about all types of boats. In January we bought a 42 ft center cockpit. It needs some repairs but we love it. Our daughter will be 16 and in 10th grade when we leave in January. We have looked into home schooling her, haven''t decided what program to use. It has been a great change for all of us. I am a potter, so the question I''m asked is ''How are you going to get a wheel and kiln on board?''
As we know, life is about choices, the idea of crusing and exploring feels wonderful to me. Our daughter wants experence this.
Sure they will miss some of the sports, drama, etc. I feel what they will learn will out weigh these things.
Good luck w/ your decision.

DelmarRey 04-17-2003 05:47 PM

Please tell me it is worth it???
My questions to you are: What are your priorities, what are you loosing? Junk? And is it just you or ALL of you that want to cruise? A house divided will not stand! A vessel is a sailors true home!
As one of the other readers stated "Move to another city" where you can sail on a regular basis and even spend the weekends on the vessel. Also I would suggest keeping a trailerable vessel (for now until you decide) that only costs you for minor up keep and it''s use, assuming that the 25'' Catalina is on a trailer. A vessel in the water assumes more maintenance and money.

Living aboard saves money but how much room do you need? Aquiring things will run you right out of a vessel. Can you all live on just the necessities. Cruising is the same as living aboard but water, food, power and money are not at easy to acquire.
But, at least you are asking the right (experienced) people! You just have to really get truely involved to find out if it''s for you all!

Sincerly; DelmarRey.............._/)

bob-m 04-17-2003 06:01 PM

Please tell me it is worth it???
You have received some excellent advise and insight from the previous posts. I especially agree with the idea of moving to the coast first. I recommend the east coast based on the cost of living. I will add just one more thing: You are correct when you say "all we are doing is losing THINGS". What you and your family will gain is priceless, if it is truely a joint-venture.

welch 04-18-2003 01:51 AM

Please tell me it is worth it???
My wife are very close to where you are at. We did a trip with ''The Moorings'' down in the BVI and this kind of sealed-the-deal. We have been boat shopping for longer than I can remember. Just got back from a day of workshops on maint. . We have lessons/certification scheduled for 2nd week in June. Sorting through ALL of your stuff you have accumulated over the years is a riot! I saved THIS, for what? Slowly we have whittled down to about half of the stuff.
We do plan to spend light and keeping the ''systems'' simple and reliable. Plumbing, electrical, rigging, that sort of thing. Upgrades are in the plans and we plan to do much of them. The phrase " A bank full of money beats a large boat tied to the dock everytime." sure applies to us. After a year we are going to evaluate our Happiness- if either one of us is truely unhappy we will both move back to land. This will be a written agreement. We also plan to work as we go, this will be harder than we think I''m sure.
When we are tired, worn-out, or just plain unhappy while cruising and want to call it quits, we will sell the boat and use our stash-of-cash(from selling our dream house) and start over doing something else that makes us happy. Nothing is forever. I hope this helps.

fourknots 04-18-2003 05:35 AM

Please tell me it is worth it???
Lots of good advice so far.

We did what you are doing in 1995 and in 2001. We were about 150 miles from the coast and it was difficult to not be thought of as nuts. Don''t let weak jealous people crush your dream. They envy you, whether they know it or not, and to see you do this shows them how hollow their lives will be compared to yours. People want you to fail so they can say, "see, we couldn''t do that, it''s impossible".

Commitment is the key. There will be good days and bad days, but don''t let a day go by without dreaming. Think of the boat in your mind, the islands, the people you''ll meet. If you both want it bad enough, it will happen.

We sold a 3000 sq ft house and in one day moved aboard a 30 foot boat. We''d had the mother of all garage sales, sold the cars, everything. My wife and I both thought selling nearly everything was the most freeing experience of our life.

You''re lucky if your son wants to go too. We left with a 9 yr old girl and 6 yr old boy. Both wanted to go even though they knew most of their possessions weren''t going with them. Part of the reason was that my wife and I were enthusiastic about it (sometimes only for their benefit). Another was that we were already homeschooling. There was not as big a transition for the kids. We also killed our TV and and focused on what we wanted, not what tv wanted us to have.

When you are old, either you will say that you nearly left on a sailboat to Tahiti and regret not doing it, or you will say that it was the greatest thing you ever did. You may not be in as nice of a retirement home because of it, but my philosophy is that I''m going to retire with more memories than money.

Get some cruising books (esp Sensible Cruising), subscribe to magazines and talk to people who have the same interests. You may be surprised, in Central Washington there were a few people who shared the dream.

Stay focused and keep in touch.

bdkorth 04-18-2003 10:38 AM

Please tell me it is worth it???
I am so glad that I posted my question. I keep telling my wife that this is the equivalent of a dark stormy night at see, and that bright sunny days and warm shorelines await on the other side of the storm.

The thought about moving to the coast is one that we have mulled over. When we were in San Diego we felt that we were truly in our element. Boats everywhere! We wouldn''t drive anywhere without taking the binoculars to look at the boats and identify what they were on the water. Just to be able to look out to sea and dream with the wind in our hair was wonderful. We are trying to look into that. Instead of purchasing a house immediately, we are going to rent, save our money (rather than putting it into a down payment on a house) and keep our options open. We have been looking at jobs on the coast, both Washington, as well as Oregon and California. We feel compelled to stay on the West Coast, as that is where all our family is, and it might be easier to wean ourselves of them over time in preparation for cruising. Be cheaper to drive home for Christmas than to fly.

I am fortunate enough to have a wife that is truly sharing this dream with me, rather than just going along with my dream. On my occasional down day, where I ask why the heck are we doing this, she is there to let me know. She is great.

One problem that makes this feel like a backslide, is that my business that I have been receiving my pay from is about to fold. My partner made some poor financial decisions that are going to drag him into bankruptcy. Fortunately for me, the bankruptcy won''t influence my credit or finances, except for losing a job. It changed the feeling of selling the house from one of jubilation at being so much closer to our dream, to one that feels more like desperation, feels alot like a backslide. Due to the loss of the job, I can''t afford to move to an area and spend much time searching for a job. Frustrating.

Anyway,... Enough of that. I appreciate very much the input given to me on this message board. It truly does help immensely. We will make this happen, we will look back on the dark days from the deck of our boat and know that we paid our dues to get there. No guilt.

Thanks again, much appreciated,

DelmarRey 04-18-2003 08:13 PM

Please tell me it is worth it???
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn''t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover"

_- Mark Twain

Follow your dreams! That''s what makes life worth living for!


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:59 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome