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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard > Liveaboard, class, and privilege
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Thread: Liveaboard, class, and privilege Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-28-2007 03:48 AM
HoffaLives
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntonR View Post
Speak of simplicity. My first LA was a 19ft Bristol SailStar. I moved onto it for, I thought, a weekend after my gf and I broke up...and the idea of living on the hook with no bills hooked me. The weekend became two years in the blink of an eye. This was the mid 80's.

No engine no lights no battery no galley no slip no phone no computer no TV no address no bills $0 maintenance but a lot of barter and elbow grease. I sailed coastally all over from Louisiana to the Keys and there were months where my total expenditures were $20, and that's no BS. I know because there were trips where I left with only $20 to my name.

I built a sweep for maneuvering short distances. Sometimes when anchoring I was just as likely to put on my diving fins, jump overboard and tow the boat with legpower to the spot I liked best and set the anchor by hand. I may have been a curiousity to onlookers but it worked very well. Washed myself and clothing in Joy and salt water with no ill effects for two years...remember to beat the salt out of my shirts before I put them on lol. Cooked with a driftwood-fueled Hibachi bolted to the transom. (You're really an eagle scout if you can make coffee at 6AM with a 20knot wind going on) In places where I didn't want my dinghy stolen, I bought the cheapest 2 man blowup raft I could find, ride in to shore, deflate it and take apart the 2 piece plastic paddle, put it in my backpack and go to town. Going back to the boat, I habitually took a gander along the shore for driftwood to stock up my locker. For entertainment, I had a solar radio and read from my library of mold-spotted books by candlelight, did not feel culturally deprived. Being the 'weird person' in an anchorage I think added to my popularity...boat people seem to love a madman and want to feed him...lol. I made moorings out of engine blocks and milk bottle buoys, and a day of sailing didn't need an opportunity, only the urge.

The boat I have now, people would say is simplicity itself as it is. But 20 years on, it seems I "have to have" a PC, internet, phone, TV, cable, a diesel, stove, fridge, icemaker, the list goes on. Part of me really misses the simpler way. But as I'm 20 years older I'm almost a little afraid now to try it.

The boat needs to be hauled out within the next 12 months, and when it comes to that I'll decide. I may pull the engine, prop shaft, tank and toss the batteries, and replace all nav lights with solar beacons they use for ocean buoys. One motivation is there's an incredible amount of space to be gained with all the engine related units gone. No circuit box, no wiring, charging, fueling, maintaining, repairing...back to full time sailing and submission to the elements. Maybe my memory is faulty in my old age, but I don't remember being in significant trouble before because the wind wouldn't blow hard enough...if you kept finding wind on the nose, it meant you were going in the wrong direction, lol. If I was trying to cross ahead of a freighter and a sudden dead calm ensued, that would be bad. I try to stay away from city-sized mechanized behemoths at any rate...rather scary things, seems like they're bumping into bridges and islands and spilling black muck on a regular basis.

If the mad act occurs, I'm back to the minimalist thing. Well, semi-minimalist. A portable solar panel, cellphone and a laptop can make life easier if they're used right. After all, I'm I'm not going to start chasing dinner with a sharp stick just to prove a point...lol

It's not a done deal yet...just a temptation needing a temporary insanity for it to bear fruit...see what happens. It would be very liberating to take a thousand dollars and think I could disappear indefinitely. Don't know if that's possible anymore..can I really be free of my civilized addictions? Do I even want to be?

?
that's an amazing story, especially as it seems that most folks I see roughing it like that aren't doing it by choice.

but something does often change with folks as they get older; when once all they needed was a pack and a tent and a can of sterno to see the world, suddenly they need half a village, twenty pack animals and a few elephants (with wireless of course). do we just get lazy or weak or smarter?

i suppose you can't generalise. in my neck of the enchanted forest, I sure wouldn't want to be roughing it. southern california or mexico is one thing, but up here its just too damned cold. it's a lot easier being a sand fly when the water is 30 degrees and the air is 40.

as i've gotten older i have moved more and more towards simple and wondering how far i can go, and whether i'll have a mate with me the whole trip. most women won't buy what is described above, not once they reach the grey side of 20.

one person's hell is another's enlightened bliss.
11-24-2007 07:40 PM
PBzeer In my 8 months out and about, I've seen a lot of boats, and a lot of expensive boats, but that's not usually the people I end up anchored with at the end of the day. Like me, they have older, less pricey boats. Yes there are the midrange boats, out there as well, but by and large, it's us low buck boats that fill most of the space.

One can dither about forever, or one can go out and do it, and make do as best you can. It really isn't any more complex than that.
11-24-2007 07:07 PM
therapy23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoffaLives View Post

I thought there was a time when yachting (okay, boating) was geared for garden variety families, the kind popping up like weeds and fescue in the suburbs in the 1950s-70s. Yet going through many of today's magazines mom and pop must have struck it rich, or somehow the tide of wealth that has floated everyone else's boat found a loose stuffing box in my poor scow and I'm sitting here gurgling away with just my toerail above water.

I
?

NOPE.
Never has been.
I sailed a lot but never much cared for having to come back to the ramp/dock.
I saw a cat being built that I had been reading about. I knew all the gizmos I wanted to have on it. It was early 80s.
It was way out of my reach.
I saw a cat a week ago. It had all of the gizmos that I would want.
It is way out of my reach.
Only the rich have boats (that work). Or the newly poor.
11-13-2007 12:54 AM
wind_magic Livia, thanks for joining the thread and contributing such interesting thoughts.

I too am struggling with a lot of this right now and trying to decide what kind of a life I want on the boat. I am glad to have all of you to discuss these kinds of things with, it is engaging and helps me think through it in my own mind. I have more thoughts on this but I need to get out of here because I'm getting ready to go somewhere. Hope you all have a great few days! See you soon.
11-13-2007 12:45 AM
HoffaLives
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
I note that Victoria had 90 km/hr. wind gusts today. If you can put up with that at dock (and you deployed doubled lines and plenty of chafe gear), you'll be fine...
It was lots of fun, but in the inner harbour it blew less than that. Never saw the barometer fall that low. Wind was howling and shrieking and the boat bobbing and tossing. Got up in the middle of the night to check the lines and almost blown off the dock. The noise really is disturbing and I can only imagine what it must be like out in the open ocean in a blow like that.
11-13-2007 12:16 AM
Livia
Quote:
Originally Posted by bestfriend View Post
No need to apologize, stand up for what you feel. As you found out, most of us here are willing to support anyone in their efforts to live their dream.
Thanks, appreciated - the bowing out is related to realizing he was trolling* and that I shouldn't have bothered. I like interesting discussions but I prefer to engage with non-trolls. Discussions with people who set up straw opinions rather than presenting ones they are invested in aren't my thing.

That said--some people seem to be enjoying the ruckus so none of my beeswax.

So, on the original topic - my husband and I are looking at potentially 2.5 years to a very early retirement and an indefinite cruise.

We're dealing a lot with the idea of simplicity vs ease. Some of it for us has to do with what bothers us. There is a balance between making and fixing that each person has to decide on. I would rather boil water every day than fix a hot water heater. But I would rather fix a wind vane than always hand steer.

As we get further into our process, my mind changes. I become more willing to fix but also more willing to make (boil water, whatever). Many of the things that seemed so important when we were shopping for our boat** are fading. As we start to think in terms of indefinite travel, not on the US coast, we realize that minimizing the complex moving parts and electronics are important to us in a way that they wouldn't be while living a mile from a West Marine.

*making inflamatory comments just to get people riled
**A gorgeous Wauquiez Pretorien needing just a bit of TLC (of course)
11-13-2007 12:05 AM
HoffaLives And speaking of trolls, that might be a good definition for us antisocial liveaboards in our damp, dark boats. That might even make a good club/website moniker: "The Trolls" Much more imaginative than sailnet.
11-13-2007 12:01 AM
HoffaLives This is a tangent but a damned interesting one so WTH. First of all, I've also posted that the above kind of commentary is an acerbic persona, useful in drawing out the lurkers. Having said that, I do think there are broad social generalities that do exist, even though they fall apart when you get to the individual.
We could debate the reasons until nuns fly, but in my experience guys are more willing to put themselves at risk, more willing to be assholes when drunk, and more willing to wallow in their own filth. Of course there are tons of women willing to go out in a gale with dirty underwear, but I do think they are in the minority.

As for the guys buying the expensive gear, that's just the point. It's the ikea ethic, only on the water. Personally, I hate buying crap for the boat.

My wife is somewhere in the middle; good for her. She has many times impressed me with her ability to be very feminine, and yet have the gonads to climb on the foredeck and haul down a headsail in a blow.

A lot of women don't have that. Same for a lot of guys. But among sailors, there are fewer women than men.

IMO, that makes the women who do all that more special. Sure it's just them being them, but I admire toughness and the willingness to give it a shot wherever I find it.
11-13-2007 12:00 AM
bestfriend No need to apologize, stand up for what you feel. As you found out, most of us here are willing to support anyone in their efforts to live their dream.
11-12-2007 11:49 PM
Livia I just read the Phoofy ladies thread.

I apologize for feeding the troll.

(bows out)
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