Anyone willing to share a bad experience? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-11-2000 Thread Starter
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Anyone willing to share a bad experience?

All of the books and articles we have read, either how to or why the cruising lifestyle was chosen, all eventually end with the authors being happy with the choice. We are wondering if there is anyone out there who tried the crusing life and either opted to return to their former way of living or decided for some reason it was not the right choice for them. We are trying to make the decision now and we realized we have heard only the up side of casting off. Thanks,
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-13-2000
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Anyone willing to share a bad experience?

That happens all of the time. The cruising life is very romantic to a lot of people who have not tried it and while it can be extremely rewarding and marvelous beyond many people''s dreams you often hear stories of the people who came back.

I have know a fair number of these cases. It happens for all kinds of reasons. Amoungst people that I have known it varies from people that simply run out of money to people who were simply totally unsuited to the life.

Most people I have known that come back prematurely found that the cruising life just did not match their expectations or abilities. There is this image of the cruising life that suggests that it is merely a long carefree weekend cruise. Apparently it is not.

There are the long passages that some people love and others fear or hate. To those a long passage is days of being exhausted and bored punctuated by moments of sheer terror. There is the constant need to keep you home and your transportation operational that has some referring to distance cruising as simply "making expensive repairs in exotic places."

There is compatability issues. One former cruising couple talked about the man''s goal of getting to as many places as he could as quickly as he could. He''d set a time table (loosely based on annual weather patterns)and left to his own devices, would race from place to place without stopping long enough to see any of them. The woman wanted to spend long periods of time in each place and had no goals about where they were goings as long as she did not have to keep "jumping around so much". He also complained that her idea of seeing a new place was to examine their shopping and dispite what she claimed she wanted to move on if the shopping wasn''t interesting. She described the guy as "checking off the boxes" and he called her version "a global shopping spree".

There are couples who have never routinely spend time together without the events of the day to talk about.

There are people who go out there expecting cruising to be a cure all for whatever ails them. Its not. For all of the wonderment of the cruising life, its not a cure all and many problems just move aboard. There are all kinds of emotional reasons whey people opt out. Boats can become claustaphobic to some or some can''t deal with the "lack of stuff" or the inherent chaos of cruising.

You hear all kinds of stories. I think the one''s that make it are people who come in without rigid preconceptions. They work their way in a step at a time or come in as a team. There are some where each has their own life and goals and they have found mechanisms to make both happy. You listen to their stories and you''d swear they were on two separate voyages.

There are those who came ashore involuntarily. I have heard stories of people abandoning boats in storms and because of illness.

But with all of that said, there are a lot of people out there cruising and enjoying the life. Whether it is a circumnavigation or the snowbirds who do the annual trek up and down the coast, wintering in some spot in the Islands and Summering in some place "Up North" to the folks that live aboard and never quite leave the slip, there are a lot of very happy stories out there.

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post #3 of 6 Old 12-14-2000
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Anyone willing to share a bad experience?

I met a woman at the Annapolis Boat show who has recently written a book about her experiences. She went for the dream and hated it even though it was her idea. it almost broke up her new marriage. She is also an M.D. if that helps. She now gives talks at boat shows on the medical aspects of cruising as well as promotes her book.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-21-2000
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Anyone willing to share a bad experience?

Hi Althea,

I own and live on a 30 morgan out islander for the past 3 yrs. I''m a solo sailor and have taken a few trips. I have also help neightor take their boats to places such as Cancun, Mexico and BVI.

There are certainly down sides to it, but I believe the up sides far outweight them. I Live in West Palm Bch. Fl. in a marina but it would be very easy to live along the intercoastal where the anchorage is free. So there would be a money saving. I''ve researched living on a sailboat long before I actually did it. The one important thing to know is the mechanics, electrical, plumbing and everything it entails. You put boat behind it and it becomes expensive. Problems a going to arise, but it you know your boat, it can be handled. There isn''t a time when I go out for a day or week that something doesn''t happen but its how you deal with it and knowing how.

There are good days and bad, sometime I do think of moving ashore but am not ready yet.

I plan on doing more cruising in the Bahamas next year( its only 50 miles from here) and the Carribean the next.

Only you can decide it the life you want, but you''ll never know unless you try.

Capt James "Sea Turtle"
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-21-2000
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Anyone willing to share a bad experience?

hello althea
The sailors that decided they didnt like the cruising life style probably wouldnt have the interest in writing about it.
I happen to know two couples who changed there mind after less than one year, everyone is differant.
Like many things we try to do in life it depends on the indaviduals, it is not so easy and requires a lot of energy and hard work. BUT those of us that like it really -really love it.
If you decide to do it and then find you are not happy please dont feel like a falure, one of these couples felt this why and I felt very sorry for them.
Ole Barnacle Bill
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-26-2000
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Anyone willing to share a bad experience?


I think it is a terrific idea to get as much info and opinions as you can before embarking on a livaboard/cruising life. It is one of my goals as well.

I have been more and more drawn to it by first spending 10-14 days cruising with friends off New England on a Pearson Triton (28'') every year, in addition to many weekends sailing. I then spent years going on deployments of several months duration on naval surface combatants (I know, not exactly cruising but... still its life on the sea... except for the bad coffee :O) Gradually I got a boat of my own, then another and another... and several more. Now, I spend every weekend and every vacation aboard from March 1 to Dec 15th.

In doing this, I found what appeals to me and what does not. One curious thing, the only thing I missed about not being in my house was email. SO, since I have a Palm V, I got a wireless modem and bingo... now I never have to go home :O)))

Hope this helps
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