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post #31 of 39 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: What are the main obstacles to going offshore and living the cruising life?

The only real obstacle is ...... you.

The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
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Re: What are the main obstacles to going offshore and living the cruising life?

A definition of what going offshore and living the cruising life can be interpreted different and is clearly different things to different people.

For some I suppose it means "abandoning" dirt and living afloat..AND not tied to a dock but off in some "foreign" to your dirt life's location and not tied to a dock or mooring for any length of time.

I suppose some such as Out or Mike mix both dirt and water lives. Some might do the sabbatical or time limited venture off with the intention of returning to dirt and resuming that life with or without the boat for local cruising or whatever use.

Some have fat wallets, cushy boats and homes and others attempt this with skinny wallets with the intent to support their venture by continuing some sort of work underway... such as tubers.

There is no correct way to going offshore and life the cruising life. And that's good. You find a niche / definition or create one which satisfies YOUR needs... after you figure out what they are.... and they do change as well.

For sure it does represent a certain level of achievement or accomplishment to do passages, drop your hook and live somewhere "foreign" . And for those who "keep score" how far, how long, how many countries, mountains whatever will matter. For not score keepers these "numbers" don't matter much.

Goals can be interesting. Once you achieve them... there is no pressing need to repeat. What may happen is you up the goal... the number for some reason. You decide if you have satisfied the goal and need tor it.

I experienced this professionally and in sailing... and discovered after I achieved some goals my need to do things was different.... It certainly was no longer the need to "prove" anything. So when I became licensed as an architect I decided a goal would be to design a stand alone ground up building on my own... not working for a firm. After I had done this... I satisfied this need and some of the shine faded from my professional aspirations. No I didn't want to do bigger buildings or different types... as many do. I just used my skills to "support" myself and provide me with certain material things.... like sailing.

Sailing was similar. No need to up it... sail further, stay away longer... get a bigger boat. Having ticked off a goal I now continue to enjoy the boat/sailing experience... absent those wander off goals. And I realized that my boat IS my home with all the meaning and emotion one attaches to their home.
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pay attention... someone's life depends on it

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Re: What are the main obstacles to going offshore and living the cruising life?

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The only real obstacle is ...... you.
no it isn't... that is completely false.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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Re: What are the main obstacles to going offshore and living the cruising life?

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The only real obstacle is ...... you.
Elegant, simple. Love it.
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Re: What are the main obstacles to going offshore and living the cruising life?

I worked my brain not my hands. Poor mechanical skills. Inspite of going to Columbia school of engineering poor practical electrical skills. Always did the simple physical work like sanding, varnish and painting but not engine work beyond oil and filter changes. I know innumerable fellow cruisers who have never gotten past that point. I know innumerable fellow cruisers who have gained those skills while living the cruiser life. I know a few who are credit card captains as well and doing just fine. I’ve always built furniture as a hobby so familiar with tools. I went to welding school while working just to get a break from the eggheads I worked with. So I always had the optimism I could learn new things and expand my skill set. I did do a diesel course but no other boat schooling.
Point being I strongly disagree with Ken. In fact I think most cruisers learn as they go. Learn after they make the change in lifestyle. The successful ones continue to learn throughout their entire lives. The ones who are inflexible and refuse to learn because they feel it’s beneath them or dirty work or not pleasant fail. Those with the attitude that systems on a boat are pretty much like systems in a house. HVAC, plumbing, electrical are modified but conceptually the same problems. Same with engines. A 2 stroke is a 2 stroke, a diesel a diesel. Doesn’t matter if it’s in a leafblower or outboard .
So if you’re a dreamer with no skills keep dreaming. If you have the right attitude, reasonable intelligence and willingness to learn you’ll get those skillls. Learn boat yoga. Accept the skinned knuckles. Think before you act. Accept you may put in hours and hours to fix something then find out it still doesn’t work. But most important soak up skills from wherever you can.
Example- every time I’m forced to hire a pro I watch and learn. I try to help and given the respect I show the worker that offer is usually accepted. Wife or I make sure cold drinks and snacks are available. We both show our respect and admiration for the workers skill set. As time has gone on I need that worker less and less. Now most problems are diagnosed before the call to the vendor and that call is less frequent. The call occurs because I don’t have the specialized tools or diagnostic instrument. So now even when that call is made the tradesman comes to the boat with the right tools, diagnostics and parts. Money and time is saved. I get another lesson on cruisers skills.
Still it’s disappointing. I learn how to strip a carburetor. Last year got a fuel injected Suzuki outboard for the dinghy. It has a black box brain. My hard earned carburetor skills are worthless. Oh well.....
Still got the sense of accomplishment from diagnosing my broken AC. Replaced the pump and motherboard and some cables. Good to go. Nice
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Last edited by outbound; 1 Week Ago at 06:49 AM.
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Re: What are the main obstacles to going offshore and living the cruising life?

Out, for declaring poor mechanical skills, you list welding, furniture building, carburetor rebuild, etc. I think you certainly have ample mechanical cruiser mind and skill set. I donít think one needs to be fully certified in mechanicals, but needs a basic mechanical understanding and, more importantly, the intellectual curiosity and ingenuity to figure out problems. Otherwise, one needs to stay within towing distance. Most are always within towing distance, but long term cruisers generally need to be more self sufficient. I went to school to learn to protect the country from communists, fly airplanes and then business school. I just R&R my turbo, exhaust and intercooler. I did none of those as a kid, but I did learn the confidence to figure it out, by handing my Dad tools, as a kid. It just seemed like something one did, not scary. Next gen is handicapped, by the increased service culture. Seems no one ever changes the oil in their own car anymore, let alone brakes, exhaust, greasing joints, batteries, distributors, points, etc.

I have a friend who sold his boat, because he got so frustrated that he always had to wait for someone else to fix it, let alone the standard experience of poor or ineffective yard work. He could afford the labor, but everything stood in his way. A stinkpot neighbor, at the marina, has his boat for sale now. He talks around the point, but essentially doesnít have the skills to even recognize that something is wrong. He trashed one motor and both transmissions, over two seasons. Neither needed to happen.
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Re: What are the main obstacles to going offshore and living the cruising life?

Weíve hit the middle ground. You will need to learn skills. Sea doesnít care how much money you have nor the initials after your name. Forget voyaging. Go to Washington county Maine and youíre on your own. Be near coastal transiting NJ on a squally day. If you canít fix stuff real quick you can loose the boat.
People are unrealistic about a lot of stuff. First Salty Dawg I did was amazed to see full enclosures rigged, no drinking water independent of tanks. Boats leaving with grossly inadequate amount of fuel, no ocean rated foulies, no redundancy in basic systems like navigation nor communications.
Foxworthy said ďyou canít fix stupidĒ.that's so true. But that isnít to say after making the decision to go cruising you canít go stepwise and gain the necessary skills and be happy and safe.
For me things that helped was Bermuda races both as crew and captain. Years of coastal cruising. Willingness to know what I donít know and wanting to learn. Still learned more about sailing and boat systems in my first year than in the prior 25+ years.
People you guys refer to likely never owned a house, tinkered with cars, fooled around with small boats, liked fooling around in their basement shop with stuff. Sure thereís a lot of those folks. Still, if they arenít arrogant and they are realistic they do just fine. Still believe itís a mindset issue. Nothing else. Believe if thereís a will thereís a way.

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Re: What are the main obstacles to going offshore and living the cruising life?

To me the main obstacles are not your mechanical ability as that can be learned. Sailing skills: can be learned.
Money: can be earned to the extent you feel comfortable in the way you travel. Vessel: can be chosen from quite a variety and size 60 ft to 25 ft depending on what you are comfortable. Navigation skill: can be learned.

So what is that makes people choose or not choose to adopt this lifestyle. I take a broader approach. I have transmitted to the Caribbean over 20 times. England twice, average 2000 to 3000 nm a year on a 35 ft C&C .
I am a DYI person. All electronics, wiring, plumbing have been done by me in the 20+ years I’ve owned Haleakula. I ve done most minor engine work including mounts and fuel injectors.

So what stands in my way from cruising FT. It isn’t a learned skill level. It’s isn’t fear of the unknown .

For me it’s mostly a mental state that I have. This may only apply to me, as others are different so there is no value judgement so please don’t infer one.i for a while had as my goal to obtain a 44 Mason and go cruising though the Caribbean and South America. I’ve changed my feelings. Other things I would have to give up helped cause those changes.

Being confined to a small area is not my Vison of freedom. I enjoy the seasons

I have nothing to prove to myself on sailing ability.
I don’t wish to be separated from my family for long periods of time and not be part of their care or growth.
I don’t wish to be separated from my friends for long periods of time and not be part of their circle.
I still wish to focus my attention to others not just myself and wife and just my own pursuits. I still feel it important
To contribute to my community, my family, and to the greater good and community around me.
I don’t wish to be singular in nature and limit myself to one activity.
I enjoy learning and contributing to organizations to help other people in obtaining life skills
I enjoy the land of my country and other countries and want to be able to explore them for longer periods than
One week vacations. I also enjoy their different cultures.
I enjoy interacting with many people and see cruising a a self sentric activity. Long periods of isolation and very
Few relationships. To me there’s more to life than staring at the water. I enjoy interacting with people
And find I need it to be happy. Again that’s me. My partner is the same.
I wish to be able to avail myself of good health care instantaneously whether it’s an emergency or long care.
I like to be involved with society I will not run away from it to pursue my own wants full time as a lifestyle.

So yes....I am the block to cruising full time. But not for the metric reasons. It’s more and emotional ones
Interspersed with how I perceive myself in fitting in with the community of men and women.

I do not run away to another country when this country turns into something I don’t like. I try and fix it. I don’t criticize my country unless I am willing to pay the price to try and fix it. I have always believed you are part of the problem unless you are part of the solution.

This is what works for me. I don’t expect it to work for others, after all I must answer to myself.
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Re: What are the main obstacles to going offshore and living the cruising life?

You take your problems with you. The fact some donít realize this is another reason for failure. They expect they will leave it all behind them. Somehow that nearly never works out.
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