The choice is not:
Option1: Sit back and hope things will get better while watching your savings vanish to the point you can no longer meet your obligations, then lose it all . . . OR
Option2: React in a panic - sell everything now to preserve what little you have, buy a boat, and (think you'll . . . ) sail the world and be happy.
What about Options 3, 4, 5, and 6?
One way or another, most people will need an income to remain financially viable over the long term. To recover, people in this situation need to be proactive, persistent, and flexible. If you've previously worked in an industry that's been in a long term decline, recognize that and be flexible about trying something different. If you're local area has been in a long term decline, be flexible and consider moving. But don't resign yourself to failure, give up on your future, and become destitute on a boat. For Neptune's sake, the OP has a 13 year old son whose future also has to be considered.
I've seen job loss really take the wind out of people's sails and it's sad to see, but it's not necessary. It's not that you fail, or loose, or fall but instead, it matters a great deal how you react to those circumstances. If you get knocked down - get back up! (. . . no, I didnít say what youíre thinking . . . of course itís not easy, itís hard Ė but go fight for it anyway!).
The economy will recover, but it's true things may look a little different than before. That's OK, you be a little different than before too. You may find doing something new to be a really good thing. Don't just sit on the sidelines crying in your rum and watch the recovery pass you by.
To say that having hope is unrealistic and foolish is itself foolish. It's talking yourself out of your own recovery. I've seen these economic cycles run numerous times and invariably, people willing to put in the effort and who maintain a can-do attitude land on their feet. I've watched companies let go thousands of workers over several months, and then 6 months later hire almost as many right back in. If you're defeated and negative, that's a key obstacle to your own recovery. Get back up instead!
Yes, minimize expenses and be smart about preserving your assets in the short run - but panicking can land you in a worse predicament, and adopting a boat often results in a whole new set of (sometimes unforeseen) expenses.
Yes, be realistic about what's happened to your job, maybe your line of work, maybe your locality - but be flexible to try something different and/or move if need be.
Yes, pursue boating if you're interested, but don't attempt to run from your problems TO boating (they'll likely follow you onto the boat) - focus full time on solving the income problem, then look into a new way of life on the water within the scope of a longer term plan.
There's lots more that can be said on this topic than will fit in a post, a thread, or maybe even on Sailnet. I would caution though that people should be careful who they take advice from, those that have had a bad experience and are resigned to failure or those who have had a bad experience and have recovered. Remember the story of Ray Kroc who went bust 10 times before his success with the McDonalds franchise? What if he just gave up on attempt 9, bought a boat and resigned himself to living on a pittance? . . . We'd probably all have better eating habits I guess
I wish everyone well in this really tough economy, we WILL get through it. Just my two cents anyway.