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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Cruising and Sailing with Children
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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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Old 02-21-2014
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I Want To Clarify Some Things

This is in response to another thread:

Seems like several people over here don't think that "poor" people should be raising their children on boats.


My wife and I traveled in an RV for several years in California and Arizona. Our oldest daughter who is 17 and graduated early was completely home schooled. She was in the K-12 program for several years and then transferred to Connections Academy when In 2010 I took a job in Iowa and we sold the RV and relocated to a house there.

We love to travel and aren't much into "stability". After, once again, failing to fall into the 9-5 home life of having a house, we bought a boat.

I spent a couple of months looking at boats and dreaming in the winter of 2012 and spring of 2013. Then we decided to actually do it. Buy Oct 2013, I had a deposit down and paid cash for it when I picked it up on the first of Nov, 2013.

We don't have a lot of money and live off of a very small budget. We have always been the poorest of all of our friends when we RV'd and been criticized for not being "stable" and having children.

In the USA, people consider it child neglect if you are poor can't give your children much. We have always been very mindful of making sure there is food to eat, clean clothes to wear, and regular bathing. Even through all that, we had been under scrutiny at one point in California for our lifestyle choice.

Our oldest is now no longer a child and our baby is 7 years old. We live in fear that some "do-gooder" is going to think they know what is best for our daughter and report us to Child Protective Services.

A post in another thread made me realize how blown out of proportion that "the facts" can be.

1. We have no "running water". We have a pump system.
2. We don't put toilet paper down the head, we put it in a waste basket next to the head.
3. We have no built in heat. We use a electric space heater at the dock and a My Buddy Propane heater at anchor.
4. We have no shower on the boat, we have to rely on marina showers or solar showers.
5. We have very little food on the boat because of storage restrictions and can only keep some much meat at a time because we have an Ice Box and no ability to freeze anything.


So, as you can see from the facts the media pointed out, they might have been technically right about everything they wrote in that article.

Our boat is old. It's 30' and feels more like a 22' Mini Winnie Motorhome. There is not a lot of living space in the cabin. But, each of the two girls have their own sleeping area and we sleep in the V-Berth.

How do you explain to the ignorant that mold/mildew are realities on a boat when everyone sees that sort of thing a health hazard and consider it unsafe.

The media and "do-gooders" can twist things anyway they want. While they may be technically correct in their statements, they may also be way out of context.

We aren't rich people. We enjoy mobility, adventure, and being on the move.

So, If you are like us and want to include your children in your cruising adventure, beware that some ******* is going to think they know how to raise your kids better than you.

We don't live on a derelict boat, by any stretch of the imagination. But, we also don't have the amenities of a Grand Banks. We make due with what we have and can afford.

My oldest daughter plainly states that we aren't white trash, we are white clutter.

I Want To Clarify Some Things-img_2723.jpg
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Last edited by Pearson796; 02-21-2014 at 02:20 PM.
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Re: I Want To Clarify Some Things

What promoted this post? Who's the ******* who is telling you how to raise your children?
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Re: I Want To Clarify Some Things

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Originally Posted by bens4lsu View Post
What promoted this post? Who's the ******* who is telling you how to raise your children?
Seems like several people over here don't think that "poor" people should be raising their children on boats.

The thread went from a clear case of child neglect to delusional greenhorns who include their children in their dream to sail and cruise.
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Re: I Want To Clarify Some Things

Very interesting perspective...and is changing my opinion on all these efforts to clean out homeless from the streets and/or derelicts from anchorages.
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Re: I Want To Clarify Some Things

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Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Very interesting perspective...and is changing my opinion on all these efforts to clean out homeless from the streets and/or derelicts from anchorages.

People talk about cleaning the homeless off the streets. Where do people think they go? The term should be "chasing them off". They don't magically decide to get a house because laws are made to prevent them from sleeping on the street.

I never meant to imply that derelict boats should be overlooked either. I think boats should have the same requirements as cars. They should have to be registered and insured. If they meet those two requirements, then that's a start. The problem comes in lack of ability to enforce those laws.

I think homelessness is a social issue that needs to be addressed in a humane way. Chasing people off and into hiding isn't addressing the issue.
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Re: I Want To Clarify Some Things

Pearson, hold on.
Before you get too defensive,and before this blows up into a far far bigger issue than the non-issue it actually is... no one is lumping you in with the example shown. You're on a dock, on shore power, you have heat, your kids are apparently happy, clean, no one is going hungry, and you all regularly leave the boat, AND you are on good relations with the marina and those around you.
On the other hand, the boat that started this is 28' long, apparently unable to move under it's own power, at anchor, occupied by three adults, two teen boys and two dogs. There is no way for the crew to get to shore, no way for the dogs to get to shore, no heat, and with two dogs on a boat for a sustained period of time i can imagine what the deck of that boat looked like. they refused coast guard assistance after having to be rescued once before.
They ain't you... but they are a a hell of a cautionary tale.
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Re: I Want To Clarify Some Things

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Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Pearson, hold on.
Before you get too defensive,and before this blows up into a far far bigger issue than the non-issue it actually is... no one is lumping you in with the example shown. You're on a dock, on shore power, you have heat, your kids are apparently happy, clean, no one is going hungry, and you all regularly leave the boat, AND you are on good relations with the marina and those around you.
On the other hand, the boat that started this is 28' long, apparently unable to move under it's own power, at anchor, occupied by three adults, two teen boys and two dogs. There is no way for the crew to get to shore, no way for the dogs to get to shore, no heat, and with two dogs on a boat for a sustained period of time i can imagine what the deck of that boat looked like. they refused coast guard assistance after having to be rescued once before.
They ain't you... but they are a a hell of a cautionary tale.
It is a very sensitive issue with us. We are not at the dock forever.

I see what marinas cost on the east coast and we'll be anchoring out a lot. This is the main reason we are staying here. It is cheap and will give us the chance to make upgrades to the boat and better prepare ourselves for when we can no longer afford a marina.

It concerns us greatly how people see us. We just want to be left alone and allowed to raise our children and live our lives the way we see fit without interference from "do-gooders".

That whole situation in Maryland started because a "do-gooder" saw a child on deck bundled up in a blanket. It didn't start because someone saw the condition of the boat.

What if someone called CPS on us because they didn't like something they saw or didn't agree with. Now all of a sudden we are under a microscope with some government agency telling us to live our life different.

What if CPS thinks a solar shower isn't good enough when we are anchored out because we can't afford $50 a night an east coast marina?

Things can snowball in a hurry when you aren't rich and can't defend yourself against people who are nosy and start making telephone calls.
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Re: I Want To Clarify Some Things

Pearson, something tells me there is more to this story, and that it wasn't just seeing a child bundled up on deck. In fact reading the articles, this wasn't a swoop and grab by CPS.
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Re: I Want To Clarify Some Things

This points to the perils of regulating things...and regulation in general. Most bad laws start with good intentions. Just think of the ramifications of people being able to swoop aboard your boat...even if it is poop stained. When I'm away from my boat, the birds get me good. Does that mean that its a derelict? What if I wash that bird poop overboard...am I now polluting the waterways? Can they confiscate my boat now?

Better to have STRONG COMMUNITIES and systems (neighbors, churches, etc) handle situations like this than the government.
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Re: I Want To Clarify Some Things

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Originally Posted by Pearson796 View Post
People talk about cleaning the homeless off the streets. Where do people think they go? The term should be "chasing them off". They don't magically decide to get a house because laws are made to prevent them from sleeping on the street.

I never meant to imply that derelict boats should be overlooked either. I think boats should have the same requirements as cars. They should have to be registered and insured. If they meet those two requirements, then that's a start. The problem comes in lack of ability to enforce those laws.

I think homelessness is a social issue that needs to be addressed in a humane way. Chasing people off and into hiding isn't addressing the issue.
Exactly. Many people equate moving homeless people out of their sight, with having solved the problem. On land and on water.
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