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jephotog 10-26-2010 11:13 AM

Looking for stories of those who get to spend enough time on their boat.
We already have the thread on why our boats don't get used enough. How about success stories of lifestyle choices people made that allows people to sail to their hearts content. I am not sure if there is such a thing as getting to sail enough, short of the Vende Globe which may fall under the category of too much.

I will share a story of my getting to sail enough. Unfortunately this was a once upon a time story. I was living in New Orleans waiting tables at night and training to become a pilot. Post 9/11 I saw everyone I knew with their dream job in aviation being furloughed and generally the whole industry change. I had originally moved to New Orleans to go sailing anyways. I stopped flying for a while as I did not see the point. I was regretting the money spent on aviation as it would have bought me a nice cruising boat.

Now with a well paid waiting job, a 22 foot boat in a slip, a foot in the door in the racing scene, a lot of free time, I concentrated on sailing as much as I could. I sailed my own boat at least once a week, more during the winter when the racing was not as prevalent. The favorite of these was the post work sail. I'd take my non sailing coworkers out. I had the boat and grill, someone else brought beer, another andouille sausage, and another snacks. We'd meet at the boat around midnight and sail till 4-5 in the morning.

When racing season came I was regular crew on a J35 and a J22. When big races were coming I would usually get 2-3 offers to crew on other boats which was nice when my main boat was not going out. I would also travel along the Gulf Coast to participate in other big races in the area. I am guestimating but figured i sailed a 100 days that year.

My current sailing situation is more like my downhill skiing situation when I lived in New Orleans, few and far between. So please share your stories of living the dream, getting to spend as much time as you want on the water.

jackdale 10-26-2010 11:30 AM

I have the best of all worlds.:)

I do not own a boat, As a cruising instructor (sail and power), I get to sail other people's boats. I am a retired teacher / school administrator; I love to teach and I love to sail. The retirement plan was to be a point in my sailing at which I had the qualifications and experience that I would have a reputation strong enough that sailing schools would take advantage of me. I am on the water about three months of the year and during the winter months I usually teach coastal navigation, VHF and other courses in a classroom setting.

trisstan87 10-26-2010 11:35 AM

I would love to hear some stories on this topic. I hope some long-time sailors will share since it could save me another trip to B&N for at least a few days... I think I read too much!

Ajax_MD 10-26-2010 11:55 AM

Well, in the previous thread you had a lot of people saying that sailing had to take a backseat to family and work. Some of these people said that they had plenty of money, but no time to sail, so they keep the boat to keep their dream alive.

My opinion, is that it's all about balance. I have intentionally avoided moving too far up the military or corporate management chain because more money means less time. What good is 10 million dollars, if you can't enjoy it, or you die early trying to earn it?

I have a home that's a 3 minute walk to the water, and my boat is moored at a private dock there. My work situation allows me to sail every afternoon and all weekend if I choose. I have months of vacation on the books, so when I feel I'm ready, I can embark on my circumnavigation of the Delmarva Peninsula. Even with the economy in the toilet, my retirement finances are still on solid footing.

It all sounds pretty swank on paper, but my home is modest, my cars, etc, my boat is modest. That's what gives me the freedom and the time to sail as much or as little as I like.

CaseyJones 10-26-2010 12:21 PM

I will chime in here because this was definately the 'summer of sail' for me..

I sailed a couple times as a kid, and then didn't for many years.. 3 years ago my friend 'rented' a Tanzer 22 slooped keelboat from a friend, and went cruising -- he took me with him a few times, I got interested and took a basic keelboat coare.... After the season was out, and he decided to move to New Zealand, the 'renter' approached me and asked if I'd be interested in renting the boat.. I did, and after wondering what all the other boats were doing on tuesdays and thursdays doing circles around buoys.. Oh.. Racing! .. Picked up a book, taught myself how sailboat races and went out a few dozen times w/ some friends .. I loved it!, unfortunately my crew was unreliable and not as into it as I was.

So, fast forward to this year past: I approached a friend who had raced many years and asked if they needed crew for the races, and when I explained to him that I wanted to learn how to win, not just participate him and his partner took me under their wing for the season (three man crew, they were short 1)

Well, with only one exception I made it out to every single tuesday, thursday and weekend race that the club hosted.. even participated in two invitational's.. But the late-middle of the season my skills on the foredeck had become solid, and we were placing top of the grid in almost every race, winning most.

In the end, we sailed almost 80 races over 6 months, placed first in one series, second in two and third in another.. We sailed every condition imaginable on our river, from near dead calm, to pouring rain/lightning and 30 knot squalls..

We ended our season on a high note, with the final of two races of that day in 30 knots of wind on a beautiful sunny day.. 5 foot swells crashing over the deck and having to repair a broken traveller while underway we placed a boat length behind the first place finisher, securing our 3rd place slot in the final series, beating out several much larger boats who by all rights should have waterlined us..

Given our performance, I don't think there will be any issues crewing with the same gents next year, they'll be happy to have me as apparently I have become a 'master' at gybing the pole and launching/stuffing the kite..

Sadly the mast came off yesterday and she's off to sleep .. The world will be a little less exciting until May 1st

jephotog 10-26-2010 12:46 PM


Originally Posted by jackdale (Post 659289)
I have the best of all worlds.:)

I do not own a boat, As a cruising instructor (sail and power), I get to sail other people's boats.

I would say that is one cool setup. Too get to sail to your hearts content without having to pay slip fees or do maintenance. I was thinking of getting ASA instructor ratings to be able to instruct to get my sailing fix. But then remembered I live in Utah.:(

CaptainForce 10-26-2010 12:49 PM

We had our boat away from the dock for four of the days this past week. Though we live aboard, we keep out boat ready to get underway within fifteen minutes. We seasonally cruise to stay in good sailing weather and enjoy having tha fulltime opportunity. Take care and joy, Aythya crew

Vasco 10-26-2010 01:00 PM

In winter time I live aboard my B393 and sail the Bahamas, from December to late May. Summertime I live at home in Toronto and sail every weekend on my CS36M. I don't sail in November as both boats are on the hard.

nickmerc 10-26-2010 01:01 PM

A few years ago my job took me to Annapolis. I had been heavily involved in traditional sailing and Hobie cats in Massachusetts before I moved. The original job I came here for took too much time. I found a new one. Then the wife decided that we needed to sell the Hobie so we could buy a bigger boat for us to start a family with. We live in a waterfront apartment complex with an attached marina. Two years ago we bought our P30. It is docked outside our window. Since I was able to get myself chosen for the part time dockmaster job I get a free slip.

Before we had our daughter my wife and I would get home from work, eat dinner, then sail until we were tired. Now, we do not sail as much, but we still go out on average 3 times per week with the kid and do regular overnights.

I have been sailing every day for the past 4 days and have plans to sail this evening and each day the rest of this week.

It will soon be time to give up the apartment so we can expand our family, but we do not plan on selling the boat any time soon.
Anita_Dark live

jackdale 10-26-2010 01:11 PM


Originally Posted by jephotog (Post 659334)
I would say that is one cool setup. Too get to sail to your hearts content without having to pay slip fees or do maintenance. I was thinking of getting ASA instructor ratings to be able to instruct to get my sailing fix. But then remembered I live in Utah.:(

I live in Calgary - but then so do most of my clients.

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