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post #21 of 75 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

This thread has alot in common with "size for singlehandling"

As we age I wonder how a bigger boat plays into the equation of calling it quits?
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post #22 of 75 Old 12-03-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

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Originally Posted by misfits View Post
This thread has alot in common with "size for singlehandling"

As we age I wonder how a bigger boat plays into the equation of calling it quits?
Smaller boats usually are not set up with powered mechanical stuff. For "able bodied" sailors smaller is easier to handle and forces are less. As you get a bigger boat you'll be needing more mechanical assists... But someone pointed out what to do when you have a mechanical failure...

There's probably a size which it makes sense to add the mechanical assists AND in a pinch when there is a failure.... a resourceful sailor will manage. And these sorts of things can be added over time. My boat came with nylon rode and no windlass. I added a hand operated SL windlass and then changed to an electric with all chain. Same boat... anchoring is easier and more secure and requires no brute strength. Same with Millie. She raises the big main. I could use the winches for more of the hoist not just the end... But the days of hauling most of the 440SF main up most of the way by hand/brute strength is now past. I sail the same boat and sail plan. Same for the roller furler... boat came with hank on sails These sorts of things allow those without lots of strength to sail what used to require more fit sailors.

I think old salt sweet spot for size is between 30' and 40'.. YMMV

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post #23 of 75 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post

How many even think about the final act?
Everyone, even non-sailors

My wife and I have been full time cruising for a little over 2 years now. You know how long we have been thinking of what our next thing after cruising is? It's a little over 2 years! Cruising/sailing is like pretty much like every other part of life, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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Last edited by Don0190; 12-03-2018 at 09:21 AM.
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post #24 of 75 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

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Eh? What's that he's saying?
He's asking if you have been keeping your wheelchair in good condition.
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post #25 of 75 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

How old is too old? I don't know yet but at 74 I can see it on the horizon.

One of the things that has kept me going is sailing multihulls. I've been on cats and tris for decades but it wasn't until I went out on a friend's racer/cruiser monohull that I realized how awkward I'd become.
Various injuries and surgeries have left the bottom half of my body relatively feeble, but I can still singlehand my cat.
She's for sale now,but only so I can buy a folding trimaran that I can dock on a trailer when I'm not using her.
Aside from that, roller furling, autopilot and an electric windlass are valuable crew on Mandolin.
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post #26 of 75 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) strives to make sailing accessible to people with disabilities of all types. I had an elderly friend who came to his boat in a wheelchair and raced it, often winning. He sailed it in and out of it's slip, without a motor. If you have a disability, you find a "workaround" that enables you to do whatever you enjoy doing.

Some skippers don't want old folks for crew. The first time I crew on an unfamiliar boat, I know that I'll have to demonstrate that I can contribute meaningfully to the sailing of the boat in order to be invited back. That isn't really difficult to do, because younger crew often neglect some of the "fine points", such as skirting the jib after each tack. If you show that you're thinking about such things, you'll likely be invited back.

As long as you're reasonably ambulatory, and sentient, and have friends who are willing to contend with your disabilities, I see no reason why one can't continue sailing until the last day of one's life. Many have done it.
I'm certainly one of those skippers who will not take a disabled or person on lifesaving medication on an ocean crossing. Persons with cardiac problems, epilepsy or diabetes are some illnesses that I won't consider for crew positions.
There have been instances where I have denied access to a tour or passenger boat to those in a wheelchair. Most often this is when the vessel has watertight oval hatches (doors) which cannot be navigated by someone in a wheelchair alone. Most often, tourist boats do not have an extra two crew to aid the person in the wheelchair in an emergency. I'd rather be sued for denying access than for a death.
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post #27 of 75 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

I began "simply messing about in boats" at 12. I'm now 72, and after 60 years of near-continuous living aboard and working on boats and I can say, in no uncertain terms, it was a heck of a lot more fun (and easier) when I was younger!
I am considering this question almost on a daily basis, now. Will I actually have to move ashore, closer to doctors and the like, or can I physically continue until I expire aboard?
I can't for the life of me think of what I would do with my time if I resided ashore, but on those days when it seems one is taking two steps back on maintenance, I think how nice it would be not to have those worries.
Last season we had a couple in their 80's as guests aboard. They were amazingly active and able, which did give me some hope.
But I'm guessing it's a very personal thing. There's a Frenchman in the Golden Globe, a single-handed, non-stop, 'round the world sailboat race. He's 73 I believe, and he's way out front! I sure have no desire to do that!
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"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #28 of 75 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

When a Nordhaven starts looking good.

It doesn't. Yet.


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post #29 of 75 Old 12-03-2018
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

The thought of dying scares me to death. Having a hard job making out a will, know I gotta do it, but YUCK! How can the world stand to loose so much perfection?
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Re: What does "too old to sail mean"?

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
But I'm guessing it's a very personal thing.
I think that's the crux. I discussed this subject with an officer of a major national sailing organization who had a serious heart condition, who loved ocean racing and who was looking forward, at that time, to an upcoming Bermuda race. He simply didn't consider his heart condition a factor in his decision to race. A couple years later I read that he had passed away, and I hoped he was at the helm of a fast boat during an ocean race when it happened. He'd have been OK with that.
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