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11-30-2012 07:02 PM
Re: Need advice from cruisers

I'm aboard a 33 Morgan OI, love the boat, it's fantastic, sails very well, has lots and lots of storage space, relatively large cockpit, and the only regrets I have is not doing this many years earlier.

DON'T walk away from the pension - you'll need it. I've been saving and planning for this trip to the sunny south for more than a decade. I wish I would have made the trip a decade earlier. Now, at age 72, there are some things that are a bit too difficult to do, but fortunately, in the cruising community, there are lots of wonderful folks that are willing to help when you get in a bind. Of course, I do the same for them as well.

In contrast to others, I would NOT suggest selling everything, jumping aboard the boat and sailing off into the sunset. Instead, try living aboard for a couple weeks, then go for a couple months, etc..., and see if this is truely the lifestyle you wish. For many, it's not the way to go. It takes a lot of moxy to live aboard, and there are lots of things to consider, especially when you get older. Healthcare, good dental care, etc..., they're all very important factors to consider. For example, I cracked a tooth on the ICW in norhtern FLorida, saw a dentist in Palm Coast. Nice guy, wanted to sell me dental implants and dentures - cost $22,000. NAH! Still have the cracked tooth, but I'll baby it along until I get back to Maryland in April.

My best advice - take your time, think things over carefully, then make the decission.

Good Luck,

11-30-2012 03:28 PM
Need advice from cruisers

Thank you everyone for the excellent responses. I think I have a pretty good idea what needs to be done. I'll consider this a dead thread. You folks are amazing!!
11-28-2012 08:28 AM
Re: Need advice from cruisers

Originally Posted by Gypsea View Post
At which time I could try to convince her to dump the house? Of course, she knows nothing about any of this at the moment. Just wondering how most women out there would feel about this scenario?
Let me start with the caveat that you should be asking HER this question, not a bunch of strangers on the internet. If your relationship is such that you can't talk about what's on your minds, you will NOT survive the close quarters of living aboard. That said ...

You dump the house when you both realize that it's just not supporting your goals anymore. You move aboard (or she meets you in Hawaii and joins you aboard) and after a while you realize that you don't miss the house. That's when you let it go. But there's lots of ways to achieve that: you can put your stuff in storage and rent the house until you're sure living aboard suits you both. Expensive? Not compared to peace of mind, the sometimes very real sadness of parting with some sentimental things, and much cheaper than repurchasing everything if it doesn't work out.

One other thought - seasickness is one of the few things that gets better as you age and your sensitivity decreases. Depending on when she last tried sailing, might be worth another go.
11-27-2012 06:03 PM
Re: Need advice from cruisers

Originally Posted by orthomartin View Post
Cruisingdad has it right. People get excited about the idea and start thinking non-stop about it. Truth is it's not as complicated as we make it. Past 5 years we are now over 30,000nm and leaving Puerto Rico now for Colombia and then South Pacific. We departed Lk Mi out the St Lawrence in 08 with little planning and have not looked back. You learn most as you go but... a couple suggestions

I think one of the most important aspects is to learn as much as possible about the mechanics and electrical systems first. Personally I am not so "mechanical" but in the past 5 years I have learned a lot, usually with the help of other cruisers. The way things breakdown in a never ending fashion can be most frustrating. I am very careful about maintenance, even to a fault, but still there is no stopping the crap from failing.
Understand your diesel, the alternator and the charging/inverting system. Actually as I am typing I realize I could go on and on. Bottom line learn everything you can during this "wait Period" about your boat and it's systems. Being a good troubleshooter and fixer guy will do more for your cruising life then you can currently imagine. Welcome to the "club"!

Learn to do your own repairs. Learn your systems. Maintain your standing rigging and bilge pumps. Invest in a solar panel.
11-27-2012 04:23 PM
Re: Need advice from cruisers

We have just begun our cruising lives .
It got to the point that it was time to go , no more ifs , and, or, buts

There were things I still wanted to do to the boat , so it was either stay home and work on the boat till the money ran out or just GO !

We chose GO !
We have been living and cruising aboard our Gypsy since July , with one trip home for maintenance and minor repairs . We are headed home for Christmas then its a cruise to Key West .

At some point you say "ITS TIME TO GO !"
11-27-2012 01:57 PM
Need advice from cruisers

I'd just like to describe my situation as its probably a little unique. My wife probably wouldn't be coming along on this trip as she's never been crazy about sailing (believes she gets seasick so, she does). I will probably be going with a friend. I plan on flying home whenever convenient. And her fly to me wherever and whenever possible. I'm thinking it wouldn't be hard to get her to live aboard in a location like Hawaii. At which time I could try to convince her to dump the house? Of course, she knows nothing about any of this at the moment. Just wondering how most women out there would feel about this scenario? Of course this isn't too fair of a question to post on this site as most of the women are sailors and would jump at the chance to go. But, just thought I'd ask.
Jeff of Gypsea
11-27-2012 09:58 AM
Re: Need advice from cruisers

Try to time your departure so the last six months or so are live aboard, that gives you time to do a shake down cruise AND a break down cruise.
For example, move on board in June, and depart in October or so.

Save some of the upgrading for while you are out and about on the way down south as there are great deals to be found on the way, and some of the 'stuff' you think you must have now will be things you've found you can live without.
11-27-2012 09:18 AM
Re: Need advice from cruisers

Originally Posted by AlaskaMC View Post
Wow. What a great thread. I have nothing of importance to add but thanks to the OP for asking and everyone for replying!
Agreed, awesome thread. Make it a sticky for all the wannabe cruisers!
11-27-2012 02:52 AM
Re: Need advice from cruisers

Wow. What a great thread. I have nothing of importance to add but thanks to the OP for asking and everyone for replying!
11-26-2012 06:47 PM
Re: Need advice from cruisers

Let me put it this way.
There were probably 300 boats in the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor in 1970 preparing to go "cruising". Every week one or two had to put off their trip because something had broken or wasn't done. By mid 1972 only three had actually left.
Almost everything that was holding up everyone was really something of little importance or could be fixed, replaced, painted, varnished or rebuilt ANYWHERE (even at sea in many cases), so why not go? You do not need a working radar to go sailing, you do not need to convert from a 110 volt A/C refer to a brand new 12 volt system to go sailing, you do not need the newest, fanciest chartplotter to go sailing, though of course any or all of these things may make your life easier.
At that point, watching our friends' dreams fade into oblivion I set a date, no matter what.
We left and as we sailed through French Polynesia, only one other boat got out (we were there 9 months).
It is always hard to make that first long distance jump. Even if you've done it before, especially if you are quite comfortable where you are; it can be a big step.
So I'd suggest you just set a date, weather permitting, and go for it. After 4 years you should have all the important stuff done. The rest can wait for a lovely anchorage where you can cool off from your labors in the crystal clear warm water (as if you're going to want to work then....).
Good sailing!
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