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Learning the HARD way...
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Welcome to SailNet!

It is great that you have both started out with 101 (how to sail) and 103 (how to dock and anchor). I believe that if you can get him to go along for ASA 104 (overnight), and ASA 106 (a week long cruise with night sailing) you will be well on your way to converting him.

Ten years ago I discovered that sailing was a way for me to get away from the stress that I encountered in my day job. I found that once I started sailing at night, I was totally hooked on sailing. After over 25 years in white collar jobs (engineering/support/sales/training), four years ago I was laid off from a job where I wasn't appreciated, by a vice president that I didn't respect. That did it for me, and I put myself into sailing full time. Since then I have earned my OUPV, ASA Instructor certifications, and been certified by ABYC in Marine Electrical.

Currently I teach sailing in summer, and work on client's boats. When I perform mechanical or electrical repair/installation work, I prefer if the client is there, so that I can teach them, and so that they have an appreciation of the work involved. I don't earn a quarter of what I used to, but I am a lot happier with what I do!

Perhaps your husband will find a similar path.
 

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Marriage sure has its compromises from time to time. I've know several couples we met cruising that ended up with a "water soluble " relationship so it doesn't make any sense to push a partner in a direction they don't want to go. We only get one chance to live our lives and to be able to follow some or all of our dreams. You may just have to figure out a way to go cruising yourself if it's important enough. I know many men who have done this and their wives fly in to spend a few weeks before returning to the rat race. Maybe you sail your boat to a great sailing area and fly out for a few months at a time to enjoy the lifestyle. Key here is to realize that their is nothing wrong with your hubby deciding he wants to do what he wants to do and conversely it is the same for you. I know there are family issues as well but you can take the kids on some long holidays onboard. Better to find a way to realize your dreams so that you don't carry a grudge towards your husband in the future. These types of situations are not easy peasy but with two loving open minded people most things can be worked out. By the way, welcome to Sailnet
 

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I can't tell you and your husband what to do. I can tell you what I did when I was 44 and owned the boat I still have at 69... I took what amounted to a sailing sabbatical which lasted 4 years. When I got Shiva... an interesting story in itself... I wanted to sail on my own.. or in my own boat... with my own skills (to be acquired at the time) to some land across the ocean blue. I got a great boat... which I had to "trick out" for the envisioned task... I had to learn LOTS and feel comfortable with sailing off shore... and this took me 5 years... with the last test being the 91 Marion Bermuda race. After that I felt I could leave. It took me several months to close my architecture practice, give away my worldly possessions and depart on a stiff north west breeze one fall morning with my bow pointed south toward the Caribbean.

I would be more than pleased and even honored to speak with you and your husband about the experience(s).

After 4 years I had spent my savings for the adventure and returned with a new idea for a new business which I worked at for a year before returning to my former profession as a self unemployed architect with a my fabulous boat which has sailed tens of thousands miles... I am now reverted to a weekend sailor... married to a landlubber who I got to love being on the boat and all is good. I can't sail enough for many reasons... but I do when I can... I mess about when I can and a sailor will always be what I am. I feel blessed and honored to have discovered the incredible universe of cruising and sailing. I am still learning and loving it!

You CAN ease into this and you CAN return, not "defeated" but with a wealth of experience and a new perspective and carry on.. hopefully still sailing... kinda as I did... but you'll do it all in your own way.

If there is anything I can do to help, please... contact me. I am only an expert on my experience...but I am willing to share it with you.

ps I know many people who cruised with kids... one whose daughter Faraday is now a world class sailor and is:

http://www.allatsea.net/faraday-rosenberg-is-a-bright-spark-on-the-sailing-scene-in-2010/

I have her drawing done as a 6 year old hanging in my study... This is an incredible experience for youngsters!
 

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Welcome!

First, don't expect to always hear what you want to hear on a forum. And don't take it as rough handling; you asked the question.

In the first chapter of the Wind in the Willows the water rat proudly proclaims that there is nothing so fine as messing about in boats. That is the line we all hear, and the line that calls you to sea. Only it is taken completely out of context. He was talking about a row boat near home.

In chapter nine the same rat is charmed by a seafaring rat with big stories. He goes home prepares to leave, goes into fits and even seizures, and then in his own words, recovers his sanity.

Most people don't want to leave everything and go to sea, and it is not nice to pressure them. I would say no.

And no, 10 years is no a long time. That may be the compromise it takes. And he may feel that he will not be able to reenter the job market; it's not always as easy as you think.

So why not just take some long cruises? Go around the Delmarva and take 2 weeks. See how it goes.
 

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I'm certainly not qualified to give marital advice, as so many others have admitted.

It sounds like you have the resources to buy a boat and get on it with the family, for some local cruising. If you were further able to go full-time cruising by your early 50s, you would be more fortunate that 99% of the planet. Try to stay positive, most people will never be able to have what you dream of, regardless of how long they wait.
 

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Fear of the unknown.... that is can we return and "start again" after a long hiatus?.. re enter the job market at a level to support the lifestyle we left behind? Definitely something no one can answer.

Careers develop based on experience and skill set and perhaps who you know... especially when you want to slot yourself into the corporate world. It's like a conveyor belt in a sense and you can't expect to hop on where you want to be.

Free lance work is somewhat different, YOU create the demand for your work or you find the demand and deliver. People with cushy jobs, and expensive cushy lifestyles may also lament being trapped in a rut...on a treadmill sort of thing.

Sailor's have managed to toss off most of this for a simpler more self reliant lifestyle. And although one needs less money to do it... you do need the investment to purchase and equip a boat and the time to acquire the skills to use it...sort of "capital expenses" of cruising. The of course you need the operating capital or cash flow to run the "(ad)(venture. So what you have is people doing one of several things for the operating capital/cash flow.

a) sail off with a large amount of cash to last the expected period of the venture... and enough to start up something new
b) investment that throws off a annuity which supports the lifestyle as long as the expenses don't exceed the annuity.
c) work along the way to support your (ad)venture
d) lower your need for expensive things... cars, motorcycles, vacations, college educations etc.

and of course a combination of the above if possible.

Many think they can use their "retirement" savings, pension, etc to run the operating costs of the (ad)venture. And that would depend on the financial needs. This has some problems... Older people face physical limitations and it doesn't get better. They need an "exit strategy" unless they plan to simply sail off the end of the earth.

Seems to me... a non expert... that the best time to "do it" is in mid life... when you are strong and healthy, have hopefully made a stash and connections in some industry along with reputation and expertise and set off for a limited (ad)venture with the notion that you will return or change and not sailing for the rest of your life. Few attempt this and fewer succeed at it...

And finally.... there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a year or two or three for the (adventure) with the goal of returning.. with the experience, the boat, and enjoy the best that a land based life offers. No need to cut oneself off from sailing. Scratch the itch...
 

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Captain Obvious
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I think the money could be worked out but kids in high school are the big factor. I have some bad news; college is much worse.

The only thing that might be a possible salvation is some type of freelance thing.


Looks like you are lucky to weekend it for now; welcome. You sound like a great family.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Thank you all for such thoughtful and helpful replies. You've definitely given me a lot to think about, and I greatly appreciate your taking the time to answer.

I can't write PM's yet (not enough posts) so I will address the person who sent me a PM re: the Omega 36. Sorry to be public about it.
I looked at the other Omega 36's listed on yachtworld.com, neither of which seem to be the one to which you refer. I have sailed boats that have the traveler directly forward of the helm, essentially in the middle of the cockpit, and for our family, I'm afraid it would be too much in the way. I do like the cabin layout of the Omega, though--looks like everyone would get their own little space. Thank you for thinking of us.
 

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Captain Obvious
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hey notacoolkid
The more you try to be a great sailor, and especially help with planning and budgeting stuff, the more he will look at sailing away with you as a great plan.

So, you have that bit of control over the equation.
 
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Thank you all for such thoughtful and helpful replies. You've definitely given me a lot to think about, and I greatly appreciate your taking the time to answer.

I can't write PM's yet (not enough posts) so I will address the person who sent me a PM re: the Omega 36. Sorry to be public about it.
I looked at the other Omega 36's listed on yachtworld.com, neither of which seem to be the one to which you refer. I have sailed boats that have the traveler directly forward of the helm, essentially in the middle of the cockpit, and for our family, I'm afraid it would be too much in the way. I do like the cabin layout of the Omega, though--looks like everyone would get their own little space. Thank you for thinking of us.
This is a valid criticism.... My 36 has the traveler at the aft edge of the bridgedeck. Take a look. I have sailed with this configuration for about 50,000nm over 31 years and it has advantages AND disadvantages with a "full" cockpit.

I mostly single and short hand. And my wife usually understands how I work the boat and positions herself on the real estate aft of the helm and to the lee side. We don't use the helm much except for motoring and the sails are not an issue. When the cockpit is crowded with people who do not "help" such as trim or tack or gype... they CAN and often DO get in the way... especially when they want to be in the "protection" offered by the dodger... and that puts them where the engine instruments, AP controls are and where the main sheet is. I am not one to be constantly tweaking the traveler position. I am not racing and trying to squeeze the last 0.1knot from the rig and I don't think most cruisers do either. But if you do and you are on a long tack you have more than enough time to fiddle with the sail control lines. Of course if the cockpit is large... as Shiva's is... you can get a lot of people comfortable and "out of the way" so the skipper can "single hand".

The advantages to the mainsheet location on Shiva is that it makes for a great "hand hold" getting up into the cockpit and even moving about... especailly when moored/anchored. And of course you can upclip the mainsheet and clip out of the way on the toe rail.... at anchor, when moored or in a slip.

Long and short... this is not dangerous or an inconvenience and it puts the main where the SAILOR needs it. I have an 8:1 and 4:1 mainsheet.

As I wrote above... I am only an expert on MY experience on MY boat with relatively little time ... less than 5,000 miles on other boats.

My advice is to not let this be a deal breaker on a boat where everything else seem right.

PS... this boat was owned and fitted out by one of the best most thoughtful, prudent sailors I know who has done several offshore passages with me. He would not own a boat which was a problem for his family. he bought this boat when he had a tween and 2 teens... and they loved to sail it. This is a very good boat with lots of value... I have no skin in the game... I am trying to be as honest and objective as I can. It DOES have teak decks and many people hate them... they are very attractive as we know... and excellent non skid.

Life is a series of trade offs. You may get what you want... but lose what you had.
here's the link:

www.omega36.us
 

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My two cents: despite what earlier posters claim, your husband's issue may be all about sailing and nothing about marital issues.

Sailing can be a pain in the butt. Unless the conditions are just right, I don't know if it's worth the hassle to me. What I have found, not only in sailing, is that as my knowledge and skills deepen and widen, all aspects of an activity become less painful, more graceful and easy, more fun.

I'm surmising that you and your husband have experienced, but not graduated from, the "Sailing can be a pain in the butt" phase. And that he is not interested in giving up the benefits of your life the way it is now for a full time pain in the butt. If this is accurate, then it leads back to Sal Paradise's post #29. Buy another boat, and put the time in so that you can gracefully manage the boat and do week-long cruises that are high in the sexy-bliss-on-the-water, and very minimally painful or arduous. You may have to acquire the wide and deep sailing and boat management skills without your husband being there every step of the way.

Allow him to take the leadership role in financial security while you take the leadership of the boating journey.
 

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As other posters have already said, a happy marriage is all about compromise.

Do your best to focus on the positives. Of note, your husband:

  1. enjoys sailing and living on boats, and is open to week-long trips. That's huge! At least you can have fun chartering together, which will provide you with the occasional 'fix' and keep the dream alive;
  2. has not said "no", he has said "not yet". I know that we live in an age of instant gratification, but trust me, ten years is not a long time (he's not suggesting that you "just stay here and work 'til (you) die").

If ten years just seems too long to wait, perhaps you can negotiate a temporary sabbatical (e.g. six months, one year) rather than trying to persuade your husband to chuck it all and adopt cruising as a permanent lifestyle. It doesn't necessarily have to be 'all or nothing', unless it would be difficult/impossible for you both to return to your current jobs or new ones of equivalent pay and status (and SanderO is definitely correct that often it is very difficult to get back on where you got off. While you've said that you could find equivalent employment "fairly easily", is that true of your husband? If not, are you both quite comfortable with the possibility that you may wind up as the sole breadwinner?). Relevant reading:

  1. Kay Burke, Managing Your Escape: taking care of personal business so you can get away (1984);
  2. Dlugozima, Scott and Sharp, Six Months Off: how to plan, negotiate and take the break you need without burning bridge or going broke (1996);
  3. Lynda Cronin, Midlife Runaway: a grown up's guide to taking a year off (2000).

Speaking of books, while I know you've already done some reading about cruising, here are three titles that you might have missed:

  • Fiona McCall, All in the Same Boat (1988);
  • Diane Stuemer, The Voyage of the Northern Magic: a family odyssey (2002);
  • Ann Vanderhoof, An Embarrassment of Mangoes (2003).

I hope at least some of this may be useful to you.

P.S. I'm unsure from your previous posts exactly how much real experience you have (ASA 101-103 is pretty basic, and owning/living on a boat is not the same as extensively cruising it). While selling up and sailing away sounds attractive, many people who do so find that they are uncomfortable with the mundane reality.

There is much to be said for your husband's "crawl before you walk" approach. If you don't currently have much real experience of long-distance voyaging, perhaps you might want to 'try before you buy', i.e. do a transatlantic crossing on someone else's boat. Or do one of Rubicon3's sailing expeditions: you'll have fun and learn a lot!
 

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My two cents: despite what earlier posters claim, your husband's issue may be all about sailing and nothing about marital issues.
I'd say that's a much worse marital problem because in that case basic communication is not working.
 

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My accountant got together with my financial planner and my broker ad they designed a foolproof way for me to become TOTALLY AND UTTERLY FINANCIALLY SECURE 1 day after I die.

I am so looking forward to it! I can sit behind my desk dreaming of death while I eat the cheapest sandwich. Every time I visit the bank to Deposit money I laugh at all the idiots withdrawing money. If they save they will be as rich as me after I die.

Chicks will dig me when I'm dead :) I will be able to afford to buy them drinks, smelly perfume and frilly undies.

I am working so hard to my financial security nirvana! :)




Mark
 

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It seems incrementalism is the most common advice given here and is probably the most appropriate approach for you and your family at this time. I would add, that if down the road you still have that itch which must be scratched, then go, by yourself if necessary. A year tour punctuated with family rendevous in different locals just might be the ticket.
Remember, military families live through these events all the time. I experienced two one-year unaccompanied deployments to fun and interesting places and lived to tell about it. Today many military women do the same and return home to husbands and children and every day work lives. While parting is such sweet sorrow, reunions are glorious love feasts.
Somehow, I think you will figure it out.
Oh, and remember that great line in "The Fantastics" - please God, don't let me be normal.
 

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Remember that after a year or 2, all of you consulting and freelance customers will have been forced to find other consultants and freelancers.

Another thing that may happen is you may suddenly loose your job at some point due to merger (me). Then the opportunity will stare you in the face and you will be more free to take it! I dreamed about cruising in my 40s, and now in my 50s I have the time, and I am NOT going back to the rat race. And yet I still stay close to home... because I can. There is peace and freedom here, it isn't something I need to run to. And I've already visited everywhere I really wanted to go, mostly.
 

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A few posters have offered the suggestion of going alone but I think as long as there are minor children at home this is the kind of thing that could put a lot of undue stress on even the strongest of marriages, particularly if the other spouse isn't afforded an equivalent period of freedom. A military deployment is a very different kettle of fish and is not, IMO, a valid comparison to a personal sabbatical.
 

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Old soul
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It's possible your hubby has enough experience to know he doesn't like the idea. In that case you gotta decide whether your dream is more important than your relationship. If it is as you describe in the opening post, then I hope your answer is that your relationship is more important. In the end (and as all the research shows), it's not what you do in your life, it's who you do it with.

Brings to mind the wonderful Eileen Quinn song,

"Don't Ask Your Love to Choose"
Verse:
Life is a compromise, love's not a test,
Don't ask your love to choose what he loves best.

Maybe you should figure out what it is that draws you to the cruising lifestyle, and then see if there are other ways to achieve this ... some way that is more attractive to your husband.

BTW, I'm totally with you about the idea of going now. Ten years IS a long time to wait, and given the stated hesitations of your husband, I am doubtful that 10 years and more security (money/pensions/kids off, etc) will make him change his mind. So maybe there is something else you can both pursue that will achieve your needs.
 

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...

Get him to watch Captain Ron if he hasn't already, I bet that movie has inspired more people to go cruising then any other piece of modern art.
Oh boy.
 
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Please join the Women Who Sail Facebook group and post your conundrum there. This place is great, but women give women the best advice (mostly). I don't envy you. Exceedingly happily married, desperately dreaming of the cruising life and with the kids, and a spouse motivated more by fear of not following his financial plan than desire to really live ... no way to happily go and no way to happily stay. I have no idea how, or even if, I could handle that.
 
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