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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 01-16-2009
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When do you hang it up?

Please forgive me, as I may offend some people here. I ask that you don't get upset or defensive, but I'm having a hard time understanding why so many "elderly" boaters continue to do something that is obviously so dangerous, and physically demanding. Just in the short time I've been here on sailnet, I've counted a handful of people lost at 'sea' and they all seem to be well north of the 50 year old mark.

Now I've seen some VERY spry grandparents before, but lets be real, the majority aren't, and yet they single hand on long coastal cruising or even going across oceans. This is something I don't understand, is it like the elderly driving? You know, the blue haired wonder who can't see over the wheel anymore, but doesn't want to give up that freedom? Even if it might mean putting others in danger, like other drivers/ boaters (coast guard).

When do you think its a good idea to throw in the towel? I know it'll come for me some day. When I can't grind a winch in a blow, I guess I'll buy a flying scot then, and become a lake sailor.
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Old 01-16-2009
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People sail because they love it. Stop doing what you love, might as well stop breathing too. I'll give up sailing when I can't walk. My Pop sails at 75. Seriously, if he takes a heart attack underway, it's far better than dying in a home.
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Old 01-16-2009
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The guy 2 slips down from me (jrd22"s father) is 87 and single hands his 32 Contest all summer long.
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Old 01-16-2009
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Hang it up when you are ready to die....
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Old 01-16-2009
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I getting ready to do Block Island Race week 2009 with a 91 year old mainsail trimmer



That is in better shape than many 40 somethings
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Old 01-16-2009
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Nothing to do with age and everything to do with physical ability, attitude, desire, and sadly (to some extent) affordability.......

There are 20 year olds that should be tied to the dock....
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Old 01-16-2009
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Or the anchor.............
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Old 01-16-2009
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We just bought our boat from a gentleman in his 80s. Now, we was indeed selling because he was having trouble sailing her these days. But the really interesting part is that he bought the boat at 75. I was pretty impressed, and I hope at that age that I'm sailing too.

I agree that there are some people who do stupid things or attempt what's beyond their ability, but I think they come in all shapes, sizes, and ages.
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Old 01-16-2009
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Hey ZZ... I heard that when you cannot sail anymore because you are too old, you sell your boat and try to buy an RV!!! Seems like I know someone like that too!! HEHE!

In all reality, the majority of boat owners (sailboats of any real size) are probably over 50. When we lived aboard in Florida, we were by and far (maybe 20-30 years) the youngest in the marina until our best friends came up and LA'd behind us. Still, we were by far the exception and not the norm.

In fact, I have always seen that - no matter where I have sailed or cruised or gone. It is dominated by an older generation. This is due to time, money, and freedom from committments (whether it be kids now grown, job, retired, etc). Not a lot of youg sailors. Giving the cost of sailboats and the cost to maintain, it is no wonder.

Back to your question, I say die behind the wheel of your sailboat. Go down at sea. Set your sails and have your heart attack on the way to the horizon. Why not? If you are not a danger to others, it is your life. And what better way to live it, or die by it??

- CD
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Old 01-16-2009
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Look at the Buffet song line on my signature.

That's WHY.

I'll quit whatever it is I'm doing when I'm dead, but I'd rather die while I'm living, than to live while I'm dead.

Hell, check your OWN signature line. You already know.

"Every man dies, not every man truly lives. "
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Let those winds of change blow over my head,
I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead - Jimmy Buffet
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