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My husband and I bought a Catalina 30 recently after he fell in love with sailing. We had a 26' day sailer that we sold to purchase this and I have to admit I like the Catalina much better. We have been talking about living aboard and cruising up and down the east coast for a few years. He is completly enthrawled by this and I am a little aprehensive. We have been together 20 years and throughout that time we have always been raising children. (I had a 2 yr old when we met) We have always said when the kids were grown it would be "our time". Our children are now 22, 18 and 16 and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We just purchased a home in 2005 and are living the American Dream. We work ourselves to death to pay the mortage and the car payments (equal in $amount). We both work full time and are so tied to the material things in life it isn't funny, but I still struggle with leaving all this behind. I have always thought I would end up with a large family, kids and grandkids coming over for large family gatherings, yatta, yatta. Well, somehow things didn't turn out the way I had always thought they would. My son (22) only calls when he needs something from us and our daughters have no interest in staying in the town we are in after college. They will go where their careers and families take them. Without rambling on and on which I have already done. I am wondering if there is anyone else out there that has worked out these same worries and actually did it!!!! I have read some of the posts that my husband has directed me to and see that people actually do do this. Any tips on how to give up the material things in life??????
 

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Well with a 21 and 24 year old i can feel your pain ;)

My longest vacation was 3 weeks on a Motorcycle

My longest Sailboat vacation has been about 9 days ,It involved sailing to a raceweek ,racing and then sailing home

To be honest trips like this along with sailing a few times a week meets my personal needs for free time
 

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So, are you happy working yourselves to death to pay for stuff? That sounds like the bigger question.

We are in the transition from the life on land that we have known since the beginning, to a cruising life. Like you, Atlantic coast on a Catalina 30. Also, like you, the kids are grown and all over the country. When we started researching the idea, it surprized us how many people have already done it. Our plan is to take two years to ready the boat and build our skills. That gives us some time to let the whole idea sink in, and to get used to living without 'stuff'. We have already gotten an older car with no payment, and moved to a very nice older neighborhood where the houses are dirt cheap. Every month, more stuff goes to charity or trash, more money goes into our cruising kitty, and our resolve to persue our dream becomes stronger.

In the end, we must do that which brings us joy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, are you happy working yourselves to death to pay for stuff? That sounds like the bigger question.

In the end, we must do that which brings us joy.
How true!!!!! Glad to see we are not the only ones thinking about this. I think our time frame would have to be about 5-6 years. I think that gives us plenty of time to learn how to survive without "Stuff".

Maybe we'll see you out there!
 

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To get rid of the material world now try this... When going out to buy things say to yourself, can I put this item on the boat? If the answer is "NO" don't buy it! Also, start paring down what you own in the house. Whether you cut the lines completely by selling the house and everything in it or storing your worldly possessions and renting out your house keep your thoughts to that plan. This will help getting ready to cruise.
 

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Siren 17
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This may be too much information but all that stuff you fear letting go of is the same stuff that is probably keeping you from your other day dream of a large family. A couple of years of cruising will teach how much of a burden and a distraction all the junk really is. I'm not just talking about the material stuff, the same can be said for a lot of mental junk that gets in the way of life as well.

After learning to sit and enjoy simple things, day after day. Learning how to make a conversation about the weather last three days. You'll start to find that it's really fun to be free, to be able to just enjoy whats around you and who is around you without needing this bit of stuff or them sharing this thought about that. Once you've let go of all the things that are eating up your life, you'll find you have plenty of time to go hang out with your kids. You won't feel like your missing something from home the whole time. You won't feel the need to push your ideas on them and will just enjoy being there.

And this really does take years. Right now it's hard to even think past having 20 different knifes in your kitchen or 14 different dresses that are pretty much the same. Again, right now thinking that someone will see you wearing the same dress 2 times this week probably bothers you. Going more then two days without a shower even though it's not hot and you wash your hands and face regularly would send shivers down your spine. But these are all mental constructs rather then real issues.

You can cook a lot better meals when instead of 20 knifes, you have half a day to wander through the local farmers market picking the nicest fruit and veggies. What's the point of buying yet another dress if it means throwing out one you really like because you don't have any more room. On the shower thing, it won't take long before you know the difference between needing a shower, just needing to freshen up, and ain't no point because I'm going to be covered in salt again, in twenty minutes anyway, besides we aren't going any where with it this stormy.

Not to paint a scary picture, I really enjoyed my time outside of normalacy, and continue to benefit from the lessons learned. It takes a while but after you settle in your going to meet some of the best people you'll ever know, learn to be happy with a lot less, and quit being scared over trivial things.
 

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We're going through all this in slow motion. House hasn't sold (wonder why) yet so we haven't reached the 'final fronteer'. we've been getting rid of stuff for 2 years now and it hardly seems we've made a dent in it all. At some point soon we will get into the fast and furious phase of emptying the house when it does sell. Pressing on, slowly but surely.
 

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One of None
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My guess is, if you have to ask how to give up material things your not ready? Cat 30 is a really nice boat. tons of space! I don't know about it as a live aboard though. There are 5 Cat 30s in my YC and according those owners they are the best boat ever built! (yawn) good luck!
 

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Do you own the STUFF, or does the STUFF own you? Freedom is not free. There will be sacrifices, and serious changes in your life. You will find living in warm climates your need for a large wardrobe will be silly. You will find yourself one day looking around, and asking yourself. WHAT TOOK SO LONG!

My 30ft. Columbia is not as big as the Catalina, but I lived alone on the boat for years. For 2 it may get crowded, but you can use the Catalina as an experiment, and move up a few feet. 6-8 feet makes a huge difference in room. After all life is kind of an experiment anyway.....isn't it?......i2f
 

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It doesn't matter what boat you have as long as it is safe for what you want to do.
Find that out first,no good spending years on a blue water boat and spending a fortune on god knows what if all you want to do is the east coast and or the Bahamas.It is possible to do that on day trips no need to be ocean sailors.
My husband and I (sounds very royal huh!)both started sailing in 1999(never been on a sailboat before)We both have children from other marriages.In 1999 we sold our house gave up our jobs(both then mid 50's) invested the money from house and set off down the ICW from Lake Erie spent the winter in the Keys then back to the lakes then in the fall back down again to the Bahamas.We did this with never an overnight sail.Had 1 tropical storm 1 hurricane and had the time of our lives and did it in a 1962 Tartan 27.
I say dont prevaricate if you want to go go simple and go NOW! The longer you leave it and wait for everything to be "perfect" the less likely you are to set off.
My 2penny worth.
Ellinor
 

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Not sure if I am allowed to post here or not. If I am not - moderator, just delete it. No worries.

We (and I mean we) borrowed a 22 foot Tanzer sailboat for a summer (1995). We have a four month season where we live. At that point we had a son in high school and a daughter in college.

I was going to a conference in Toronto the following April and Linda gave me the cheque book and told me to buy a Tanzer 22 and to arrange for bringing her home. We did evenings and weekends for four summers. Got her fixed exactly the way we wanted. Took her on a ten day "vacation" and came home and sold her.

Bought a Tanzer 28. Did coast of New Brunswick and coast of Maine for seven summers. Got her exactly how we wanted her. Went on a eight week vacation on her, came home and put her up for sale. By then daughter was married and son was too.

Now we have a 34 foot Irwin. We will be doing close to three months on her this summer. I sure hope she is not for sale when we get home :) We sold the house, moved into a townhouse where they do all the mowing, gardening etc.

Mu suggestion - do it slow, have fun. You can't follow the kids and grand kids cause they keep moving. I am sort of retired, Linda writes full time and as long as I make sure everything Linda needs is covered - we will enjoy the boat, the water and most of all each other.

The dream might be Tahiti, the Caribbean or the world. Reality might be a week, a month or a year on the boat at a time. Just because it comes in smaller time hunks does not mean it is not "cruising" (small c and in quotes)

It seems to be working for us - I pray it will work for you as well.

Cheers

Rik & Linda
 

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ystanley - there's some interesting thoughts about downsizing on this thread beginning about here http://www.sailnet.com/forums/hersailnet/35292-must-haves-board-13.html

rikhall - IMHO guys are more than welcome to post here; the hersailnet forum is more about the topics that we choose to discuss rather than being a gender-exclusive club ... as long as you're not mocking ... so thanx for your thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ystanley - there's some interesting thoughts about downsizing on this thread beginning about here

QUOTE]
Wow! Great post. Lots of info. Gave me alot to think about and lots of good tips. Things I would not have thought about! I would have never thought of a collandar... I bought a strainer lid for my pressure cooker and will try that out. I am also reconsidering our 5 year plan. We could actually be ready to go in about 2. Our youngest may actually consider going with us for a while after high school. After reading through the whole thread I have one concern.... Exactly why do you need supositories??:eek:
 

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It wouldn't let me post the link....
One more post (10) and it will.

I did want to address the kids aspect of all this. Your kids don't visit? I'm thinking you might want to look back and review how life was when you were in your twenties. If you were much like me, visiting mom and pop wasn't the most scintillating of items on my social schedule! Now when they have kids, they'll be calling. (g) This is actually a good time to go, before you start wanting to be there for those grandkid's arrivals.

As to "things", a boat will make you look at your kitchen anew. How many specialized appliances do you have that can be eliminated and their functions filled by a pot and a fry pan? (I once lived for six months with only an electric skillet for cooking. Boil the coffee water in it first, then fry the bacon!)

Another factor is that a lot of people launch into these things when their physical prowess is already well on the wane. There is a certain amount of physical activity that will be less than tolerant of age's advancing infirmities. In a perfect world we all cruise for a few years when we're twenty and then spend the rest of our life talking about it. In the real world, we wait until the comforts of home make the enjoyment of the cruising less. Don't get that old.
 

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Well 5+ years ago when we sold the house and bought our 48' celestial I told my dad I didn't want to be 80 years old and wonder what would it have been like if we had done it. I must admit it was a struggle at first - all those lovely things! And now? I find it gets easier each year- I put stuff I thought I couldn't live without into storage (just in case) and my son has enjoyed visiting his mother in Hawaii...but it's still a trade-off and I know other cruisers who end up missing the holiday-grandkid scenario...
I will say my husband and I have gotten closer because our lives are much simpler. Sailaway makes a great point about age- I'm glad we did it and have no regrets...
 

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After reading through the whole thread I have one concern.... Exactly why do you need supositories??:eek:
Well, if you're reeeally reeeally seasick, so seasick that you barf your nausea meds before they've been in your system long enough to do you any good, you've got to find another way to get and keep the drugs in your system.:(
 

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Ystanley,

It appears you've got plenty of time to sort things out. And, lots of resouces here to network with in the meantime, as well. Great suggestions and empathy from lots of folks with the same dreams & nightmares.
Bruce and I are building our own boat to be our future home, and have the benefit of having done short runs of cruising (1 to 2 months out at a time) so we have a better feel for what we want and need.

Regarding the process of "shedding" -- as others have already said, ask yourself can this be useful/fit on my boat? There are some great books out there on just this subject. PM me and I'll be happy to give you a couple of names of the books we've read.

As you go through the process of shedding, make your purchase/cleaning house decision based on that principle. I determined I need one set of items for the boat and another for the land-based home (we may not be successful in selling our house in 2 or 3 years, so I may resort to renting it out semi-furnished as an option).

Along this same line of thought, you may want to consider long-term storage. I have some things (heirlooms and artwork I've collected over the years) that I'm NOT willing to sell/giveaway/toss. And Bruce has some expensive machine tools he's keeping. So we've decided to purchase a shipping container and put most of this sort of stuff in it and a friend who has a farm is allowing us to store it there. Other things, like the family heirlooms I'll be asking my family members to 'hold onto' for safe-keeping.

We know we most likely won't physically be able to stay out there forever, and when and if we decide times up, we'll find some remote property and build a small cabin (off the grid is our preference) and move our stuff into it. Planning for that day is a separate kitty.

I've also got a fairly detailed letter of instruction about where all this stuff is, and what to do with it in case something happens to us/me out there (probably a topic for some other thread).

Light At the End of the Tunnel:
I have 2 kids (adopted my late husband's children when they were preteens), a son 29 that I'm not on speaking terms, and a daughter 27 who is married with 2 kids (grandkids ages 9 & 6) and I get along with just fine. My significant other, Bruce has 4 great kids (2 girls 16, 17, and 2 boys 23 & 29). Most of the time they want to come with us (vacations), and this may very well be the case with you and/or perhaps your grandkids can, too.

When my kids were in the terrible teens (and also have gone through and are currently going thru again with Bruce's), my sister shared this with me and it helped so I'll share it with you. :)
me.Children are like dogs-loyal and affectionate

Keep positive, and as others have also said... its worth it!

Michele
 

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