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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have decided for mostly "reasons" of "physical" disability that I need to sell the boat. Age is not the problem but after failed spine surgery which damage my right sciatic nerve and left me with a balance problem and two knees which are facing replacements in the next year or so... it is simply too difficult to get around the boat and do boat stuff. I just move too slow and my lower body (leg) strength is so weakened that using ladders or walking 500' is exhausting. Even standing still for any length of time is exhausting. Physical therapy hasn't done much and though I can walk... I feel I am not up to sailing alone and doing boat work anymore.
I can sail with a companion... and I could keep the boat and share it with a partner... but without "help" I simply can't do the required work (or struggle too much to do it) and this disability has informed my decision to sell the boat.

The boat will remain in a slip in Stamford where I have rented a great slip for a reasonable monthly rent. I am listing it with a broker who has a sailboat in the same marina. I don't know if it will be listed online or not. I am working now on producing the listing and description of all the improvements, modifications, gear, spares and so forth.

Shiva is in excellent condition...but she is ready for some new owner to do an electronics upgrade (all electronics work perfectly on a NEMA183 network) and perhaps new sails.

So if you know anyone looking for a wonderful boat with great bones and a proven track record let me know. I am the first and only owner and know that Shiva has the best "improvements" of any Contest36 out there based on my review of Contest listings over the years. I refer not to electronics... but actual things like teak grates, and teak bench custom nav desk, covers in the cockpit and storage in the fable and behind the companionway steps, chart storage (remember those things), parts storage, galley storage and so on. In fact, I have seen no Contest owner make even a single joinery "improvements". She has upgraded winches, including secondaries and a mast winch, new hatches, new ports, plexi companionway hatch board, 36" teak helm, new 12v wiring, new battery box, removable inner forestay, reversing electric windlass and chain, Espar cabin heat and engine drive refer/frzer, all lighting is LED, solid vang and adjustable pole, several anchors, Garhouar demountable hoist, SSB w/ backstay antenna,new water heater, newly recovered upholstery throughout, cockpit cushions, extensive spares... and so on.

I'll continue to participate in SailNet and sail next Spring if I haven't sold the boat and I am able to,

This is the prudent thing to do but it was not an easy decision.
 

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Old soul
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A wise move, no doubt. But tinged with a bit of sadness.

So glad to hear you won't be going anywhere though. SN wouldn't be the same without you. And the person who winds up with Shiva will be one lucky sailor and cruiser indeed.
 

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Best of luck in selling her. It's a tough transition for many, but outliving these things is a blessing in some ways. Passing with remaining years of sailing unfulfilled is probably worse. I have a friend whose wife thinks they can't sail past 70, he thinks 80. Truth is, no one knows. Make the best of the present.

Flying and giving up one's airplane is often more forced. Many aged pilots lose their ability to pass their medical exam. You don't need to contract something too dramatic to fail. Just elevated blood pressure, for example. Prostate cancer, for example, is 90% fully recoverable, but any cancer is a mandatory surrender of your medical, until you clear it a year later. In some cases, you can get a special issuance that is good for six months and you test again. Some do it, but only for a short time, as the time and expense become excruciating. Ironically, many of these forced ex-pilots end up keeping their planes for a decade afterward. They sit, rot and never move, which is a tragedy itself.

I hope you are able to find activity that keeps you engaged.
 
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Learning the HARD way...
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Sorry to read this.. I can appreciate that this is a difficult decision for anyone to make. Your reasoning of not having the physical ability to operate the vessel supports it. I agree with @Minnewaska in that the surest way to ruin any performance machine (car, motorcycle, boat, etc.) is to not use it.

Best of luck with both the sale and your health!
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I think that for sailing you can enjoy and get something out of the experience when you are less than your 100% self. Actually sailing in fair weather is really not very challenging with all mechanical and electric things the boat has. But weather can suddenly present challenges and that needs to be a consideration... what if? I know that with another fit person on board I can continue to use the boat... and a fit person to help with maintenance. As it is I pay others for things like bottom work and hull waxing.

I did love the ability to single hand and not be prevented from using the boat if I didn't have crew/help. It was / is a wonderful feeling. You don't need help to drive your car... so why should you need help to drive your boat???

But my "handicaps" made me appreciate how much basic movement, strength and balance are so important and taken for granted. Normal people don't have to CONSCIOUSLY watch their balance... I do. Fit people don't NEED a railing or need to use their upper body to use stairs or a ladder. I do. Fit people think nothing of jumping a few feet from the deck to a dock. I do.. and I can't do this. There are "work arounds" but for me it is not prudent or enjoyable.

I don't HAVE to walk long distances... so my limited range and speed have only a very small impact on my day to day life. But distances which fit people think nothing of... I avoid.... too tiring. How crazy is that!

The Covid thing and some lousy weather this summer made for a bad year... added to being ripped off for the fuel leak repair. I'd like to end on a high note... but it doesn't look like that will happen. But maybe the boat won't sell until next Spring and I will take it out for a sail... who knows? I suppose I will recommission it in the Spring... and make it sail ready... because any buyer would want a sea trial.

Better to do this now before I can't help the wife who would not keep the boat without me.
 

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SanderO,

Mike and I have had the privilege if knowing a knowing a lady and her partner who have a 36’ steel boat built in Australia, who sailed it to the PNW, and then 15-20 years later trucked it to the Maritimes. She has some disability with very limited leg strength, she uses a battery operated wheel chair to get around. She has had this disability longer than the boat, she sailed from Oz with it. Her mate tells me she does all the foredeck work. Because she can grab the shrouds and hand holds it is a place where her disability is less if an issue.

Not in any way saying this is what you should do. Simply relating another’s experience.

I’ll be 70 this week and read your post with special interest. It is merely a matter of time and luck until I join you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am 74 this Spring... and while I certainly can still sail... I expect it will become more and more difficult each season. As much as I love sailing and being aboard and I consider Shiva my home... I don't want to struggle to sail. That would destroy the joy I experience on/with the boat. I suspect without the failed spine surgery and the arthritic knees... I would have just slowed down over time... these last two years were like waking up with 50% of my "capacity/capabilities" gone.
Our hearing or vision usually slowly degrades over time, our strength weakens. We can resist some of this but it's a compromise and we never restore our maintain our maximum capabilities. So no... hearing aids do not restore your heariing... PT does not restore your strength and flexibility... it helps but it is no elixir. You adapt... and adapt and one day you realize... hiking is just not something you can do enjoyably or safely.... and so it is with sailing. That day is coming. And is makes sense to begin the exit because it makes sense to plan the exit while you can.
 

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I feel for you. I know I'd be doing a lot better if this whole c-19 thing hadn't come along and closed down our charter business. The weekly sails were what was holding me together I believe, and the sitting, killing me.
This is the first time in my life I've not had at least the working sails on a boat I live on.
Good luck and I wish you the best over the holidays, and of course beyond.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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@SanderO
Reading that you are selling Shiva is heart rending. I understand why, but I am deeply saddened that you find yourself in this position; in fact too saddened to respond before now.
Most people understand the 'love' that people have for their pets. But unless you are a fellow sailor who has owned a particular boat for a period of time, it is hard fathom the depth of attachment that one can form with their boat. Landlubbers tend to dismiss this bond with what they see as an inanimate object.
But we sailors see our boats a mechanical half bird-half fish beings with distinct personalities that are our partners in adventure. Partners who have brought us to the edge of disaster and then saved our lives. They are magic carpets that fly on the wind to take us to new places and back to familiar surroundings.
And as we spend decades with these our partners in adventure, we see them age before our eyes in much the same way we see our own bodies age. The various scars of battles fought bring back memories, and are dismissed as adding character. We fight a never ending struggle replacing the parts that can be replaced trying to keep the our valiant steeds as good or better than new, or at least operational and feeling fresher.
Your obvious bond with Shiva is palpable in your many posts about her, so I can only imagine how hard this decision was for you. My thoughts and best wishes are with you that your fate will be to either sell her as painlessly as possible, or still own her in the spring and find a way to use and enjoy her again.
Be well,
Jeff
 

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JeffH,

Your post reminded me of something.
Have read that the closest thing to a living creature ever created by man was. Sailboat.
I put her to bed in the fall and feel her come alive once more when put back in the water.
 

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Sorry you had to make this difficult decision. A number of my yacht club friends over the years have also had to decide it was time to give up the boat. Never easy.
 

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Smarter to make this decision for yourself before the sea makes it for you in a situation that goes FUBAR. Sad for now, but maybe you can get a low-impact powerboat and still get out on the water.
 

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Yeah, it sucks but its the right decision. I think even the best of homes can become a prison, and even the best of times can turn bad if we aren't smart enough to move on. We move ahead or get run over.

I think it is better to be thankful for having 30+ years of sailing. You could have fallen overboard in the Caribbean one night or been lost in The Perfect Storm. Instead you had decades of enjoyment. So be grateful.

You will not believe how much money you have once you are no longer paying for docks and repairs.
 

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So sorry to hear of your physical setbacks. And maybe just as sorry to hear of you selling a boat you've had since it was a pup! I know that will be hard. I'll wish you good luck in selling her, but I'm also hoping you get that Spring sail! Glad you'll still be here on SN. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@SanderO
Reading that you are selling Shiva is heart rending. I understand why, but I am deeply saddened that you find yourself in this position; in fact too saddened to respond before now.
Most people understand the 'love' that people have for their pets. But unless you are a fellow sailor who has owned a particular boat for a period of time, it is hard fathom the depth of attachment that one can form with their boat. Landlubbers tend to dismiss this bond with what they see as an inanimate object.
But we sailors see our boats a mechanical half bird-half fish beings with distinct personalities that are our partners in adventure. Partners who have brought us to the edge of disaster and then saved our lives. They are magic carpets that fly on the wind to take us to new places and back to familiar surroundings.
And as we spend decades with these our partners in adventure, we see them age before our eyes in much the same way we see our own bodies age. The various scars of battles fought bring back memories, and are dismissed as adding character. We fight a never ending struggle replacing the parts that can be replaced trying to keep the our valiant steeds as good or better than new, or at least operational and feeling fresher.
Your obvious bond with Shiva is palpable in your many posts about her, so I can only imagine how hard this decision was for you. My thoughts and best wishes are with you that your fate will be to either sell her as painlessly as possible, or still own her in the spring and find a way to use and enjoy her again.
Be well,
Jeff
Thank you and others for your comments.

The attachment I feel to Shiva is incredible. She entered my life 36 years ago and there hasn't been an hour since then that some aspect of the boat or sailing has not been in my thoughts. It is more than sailing that has inhabited my thoughts... but this particular boat and all the experiences, lessons, thrills that came with it. Sailing and owning this boat has been the greatest responsibility and the greatest teacher in my life... nothing come close.

I grew up wanting to be an architect and I fulfilled that aspiration. But I stumbled into sailing quite by accident and in an amazingly short period of time it has come to define me. As an architect I "served" others... as a sailor I opened a universe of things and experiences I never even knew existed. I no longer define myself as an architect.... but as a sailor. That won't change... Two of my poems inspired by my sailing experiences:

NANA

I have not a crystal
Nor relic nor stone
For you to keep
As a memory of me
Safe in your home

I have only my thoughts
And good wishes for you
To hold in my heart
As we sail the same blue

When out there at night
Alone with heavenly light
Keep this clear as you gaze off
to infinite light
That a sailor somewhere
Keeps a piece
Of your spirit
Safe in his place

When sparkles glitter
O'er waves so bright
In daytime too
I'll remember your light

Nana, spirit so pure
Nana, heart so kind
A sailor so out there
Forever, now a place in my mind

Though oceans apart
It's the same sea we sail
The same dream we share
The same force that drives
Our sails over there

A life full of freedom
A life of concern
For wisdom and kindness
Yet no one to spurn

I leave you now
To our one planet earth
To discover and cherish
What each one is worth


Our time has been short
We don't make the rules
The game must go on
We know we're not fools

We captain our ships
Through calm seas or gale
Seeking some dream
While passing a whale

Time to weigh anchor
And time to make way
Fair winds and following seas
May Nana find each and every day


Islands

I’m searching for an island
It's just right for me
A place so special
It’s just got to be

Warm waters lapping
Calm peaceful shores
Quaint little villages
And so very much more

The island has mountain peaks
With clouds about the top
It rains each day an hour
But then must simply stop

The rains fill the ponds,
Rivers and the lakes
You only see sailboats
Ne’er a power boat wake

This island has meadows
Grasses of delicious green
Flowers abound in multitudes
On the hills and by the streams

Palm lined sandy beaches
and rocky cliffs too
Everything imaginable
All surrounded by endless blue

I’ll set down my anchor
Watch the sun arise
Each day will be different
Hold some new surprise

Local folk have so much charm
A society that seems fair
A dollars still a dollar
But no one seems to care

I’ll befriend all the sailors
Who come and drop their hook
The good ones with flair
Have also come to look

I’ll forget the winter season
The cold and freezing rains
And not miss the deserts
nor even the endless plains

The great cities will be
far away like dreams
Of crowds, noise and traffic
In never ending streams

Each island that I’ve sailed to
Meets just part of my need
I'm still searching and exploring
Not missing a good lead

But when to weigh anchor?
And when to make way?
I struggle with this question
Each and every day

The next island beckons
And summons me “sail on”
With promises of new delights
To build a life upon

Not always have I lived
This searching life at sea
Yet there is something about sailing
That’s forever part of me​
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah, it sucks but its the right decision. I think even the best of homes can become a prison, and even the best of times can turn bad if we aren't smart enough to move on. We move ahead or get run over.

I think it is better to be thankful for having 30+ years of sailing. You could have fallen overboard in the Caribbean one night or been lost in The Perfect Storm. Instead you had decades of enjoyment. So be grateful.

You will not believe how much money you have once you are no longer paying for docks and repairs.
Well yes and no. Whatever activity we choose to engage in will have cost associated with it. Owning a home, or a sailboat is no different. But sailors are DIYers and the costs can be somewhat controlled. The insurance and the mooring/docking/storage/parking thing is unavoidable... this seems to come with ownership of such things. If you don't pay for a dock then you pay for the land the dock is attached to and so on.
But leisure time can be expensive... and that varies with your poison. Cars and bikes are not cheap... travel is spendy too. Doing things in life means spending money. But if you work and make a decent living... what are you supposed to do with your money...your disposable extra money? Put it into an investment and die with money in the bank? Or use it to enrich your life?

I decided after 20 years as an architect that I had an opportunity to sail off. I was able to do this because I had no concerns or obligations that kept me.... no children to raise, no aging parents to care for....and no spouse who might have wanted a picket fence or similar. May work to retire to "sail off". I did it in mid life and now as I retire I don't have the need or the regret.

I did it my way

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain

My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention

I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all, and I stood tall
And did it my way
 

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Captain Obvious
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Well yes and no. Whatever activity we choose to engage in will have cost associated with it. Owning a home, or a sailboat is no different. But sailors are DIYers and the costs can be somewhat controlled. The insurance and the mooring/docking/storage/parking thing is unavoidable... this seems to come with ownership of such things. If you don't pay for a dock then you pay for the land the dock is attached to and so on.
But leisure time can be expensive... and that varies with your poison. Cars and bikes are not cheap... travel is spendy too. Doing things in life means spending money. But if you work and make a decent living... what are you supposed to do with your money...your disposable extra money? Put it into an investment and die with money in the bank? Or use it to enrich your life?

I decided after 20 years as an architect that I had an opportunity to sail off. I was able to do this because I had no concerns or obligations that kept me.... no children to raise, no aging parents to care for....and no spouse who might have wanted a picket fence or similar. May work to retire to "sail off". I did it in mid life and now as I retire I don't have the need or the regret.

I did it my way

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain

My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention

I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all, and I stood tall
And did it my way
I put money last in my post, almost as a postscript. Its more about looking ahead and not wasting the present. Or at least that is how I meant it. That and being grateful.

I was once driving in New Jersey and by chance I spied my old Navy boat rotting away in a yard. I had sold that boat more than a decade before and suddenly there she was! I stopped and talked to the marina and got the story and the price. I fantasized about bringing her home and restoring this former icon of my personal and family history. It felt like I could get back this important part of my past. I had so much nostalgia, I could not think straight. In the end, an old friend convinced me to forget it, and I did. But it was hard. Damn, I miss that boat even now.

But you know what I would have given up to restore that boat? Every bit of sailing I have ever done. That's right. But I couldn't know that then. Now, many years in the future, I love sailing and find powerboats boring. The future requires that we lose the past. It is only our feelings that hurt in the moment, the universe moves along as it will. Also, you shouldn't have to give up sailing - as long as you can stand watch you can crew on someone's boat, or teach.
 
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