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Old 04-27-2014, 06:01 PM   #1
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N4 Update

Even the best thought out plans need to remain fluid when you are talking about boats. Our plan to sell N3522 - La Tempestad and build a new trawler was recently interrupted with that thing called "work". After transferring to San Diego about 10 years ago and enjoying the ability to vacation aboard M-F then returning home for weekends, I received word that a new assignment awaits me at our facility close to our home. While most people would welcome a reduced commute (100 miles to 15 miles) we are viewing this with very mixed emotions. While it is still unclear how often or how many days per week we will be able to work out of SD we know it will be less than 50% of the time. This has put into question what to do about N4? With the N35 working out just fine for a few nights per week we are questioning the rational for selling a true diamond in the rough that we have dialed in to spend 2 or three times the amount for a new build that we may not be able to use even as a part time live aboard. We had thought N4 would be our last boat and take care of retirement cruising seven years from now but now we are not sure.

Please excuse my rambling but thought those who have faced similar situations would enjoy responding with their views. Thanks

John
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La Tempestad
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:11 PM   #2
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You sure are right that life is a fluid thing. Just when you think you have an optimal plan, all the inputs change and the new optimal plan can look a little bit different, or a whole lot different.

But an N35 to live on a few days a week, and keeping that N4 cash in your pocket doesn't sound like punishment to me. It sounds like a pretty good way to spend a few years until the inputs change again and a new, optimal plan emerges.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:22 PM   #3
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Hey John, if you need some light reading to get your N4 build fix there is a guy with a blog documenting an N60 build...
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:06 AM   #4
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And what is it with all you Americans, who seem to feel the only time to really cruise is when you are retired. Apart from the obvious issue of diminishing health, (read mechanical and mental reliability), do you have huge super funds, a fantastic pension scheme, or are ya'all just made of money..? Over here we are all waiting with baited (or should that be bated), breath, for the soon-to-be-released budget which is about to cut pension indexing, and push out the retirement age, already set to become 67, to 70. Many, if not most of us down under, I suspect don't have great retirement funds, and are going to be forced to sell our boats when we retire, because let's face it - they are expensive items to own and maintain.

My advice always is to get out there and do it now. John and his wife's quickly altering situations re health and work underline this. If you want to get out on the bounding main, (old seafarer's term, but you know what I mean), then my feeling is you need to organise your life to do it as young as you feasibly can, or it will just become an unrealised, regretted dream.

That's my take on it anyway, being in a way in that latter group I have to admit. Maybe I shoulda not bought the boat, left the wife and family comfortable at home, and taken on a role as ship's Dr..?
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:33 AM   #5
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And what is it with all you Americans, who seem to feel the only time to really cruise is when you are retired. Apart from the obvious issue of diminishing health, (read mechanical and mental reliability), do you have huge super funds, a fantastic pension scheme, or are ya'all just made of money..? Over here we are all waiting with baited (or should that be bated), breath, for the soon-to-be-released budget which is about to cut pension indexing, and push out the retirement age, already set to become 67, to 70. Many, if not most of us down under, I suspect don't have great retirement funds, and are going to be forced to sell our boats when we retire, because let's face it - they are expensive items to own and maintain.

My advice always is to get out there and do it now. John and his wife's quickly altering situations re health and work underline this. If you want to get out on the bounding main, (old seafarer's term, but you know what I mean), then my feeling is you need to organise your life to do it as young as you feasibly can, or it will just become an unrealised, regretted dream.

That's my take on it anyway, being in a way in that latter group I have to admit. Maybe I shoulda not bought the boat, left the wife and family comfortable at home, and taken on a role as ship's Dr..?
One huge difference in the US and most of Europe, Canada, Australia and many other places. Very limited vacation time. Most people in the US get two weeks vacation per year. Typically they're taken a week at a time. Many people in business work long hours and even weekends. Often hard for spouses to schedule vacations together. Even as your rise in positions and years you only typically see a maximum of three weeks vacation. Most I've known entitled to four never got to take it. Unfortunately those are the requirements of way too much US business. And the higher you rise the worse it gets. Read something recently with US businessmen averaging 2200-2400 hours per year while most other countries the number was as low as 1300 but no major countries topped 1700.

Now many here for retirement then depend on Social Security (government retirement) which typically is 1000-2200 per month. Others also have retirement plans, 401-K's or pensions. In most cases to withdraw money from those prior to 65 is either not allowed or allowed only in exceptional cases and then includes a 10% tax penalty on top of paying tax on the amount withdrawn.

Most parents along the way are dealing with college to pay for. Also outside of three or four cities, almost everyone commutes to work by auto so all families have two cars. And versus Europe the average size and price of home is high. US and Australia are both around 2200 sq ft. versus UK at 800. The average price of US homes is just under $300,000.

As a result, the average boat in the US does not get a lot of usage. The most used are typically used 10-20 weekends a year and maybe a week or two. But many get used as few as 10 days a year.

So lots of people in the US have boats before retirement, but long range cruising isn't something they're able to do much of.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by N4061 View Post
Even the best thought out plans need to remain fluid when you are talking about boats. Our plan to sell N3522 - La Tempestad and build a new trawler was recently interrupted with that thing called "work". After transferring to San Diego about 10 years ago and enjoying the ability to vacation aboard M-F then returning home for weekends, I received word that a new assignment awaits me at our facility close to our home. While most people would welcome a reduced commute (100 miles to 15 miles) we are viewing this with very mixed emotions. While it is still unclear how often or how many days per week we will be able to work out of SD we know it will be less than 50% of the time. This has put into question what to do about N4? With the N35 working out just fine for a few nights per week we are questioning the rational for selling a true diamond in the rough that we have dialed in to spend 2 or three times the amount for a new build that we may not be able to use even as a part time live aboard. We had thought N4 would be our last boat and take care of retirement cruising seven years from now but now we are not sure.

Please excuse my rambling but thought those who have faced similar situations would enjoy responding with their views. Thanks

John
N3522
La Tempestad
If you purchased N4 it would really be for a future time, perhaps seven years from now. Seems to me the logic under current circumstances then is to wait until perhaps three years prior to retirement. Now if you don't purchase yet, you can always change your mind and do so. But if you decide to purchase now, then you're stuck with that decision.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:17 AM   #7
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Although not originally an Australian, I have adapted well to the Australian way of life; especially a having healthy work/life balance. This has allowed me to spend plenty of time with my family, cruising, or whatever, to the detriment of my financial position.

I'll never have a Nordhavn, not even a N35, but even if a bigger Nordhavn doubles you pleasure, you'll have more with less if you have the time.

I was told once: You'll never find a man laying on his deathbed, saying "I wish I had spent more time at work"
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:27 AM   #8
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I was told once: You'll never find a man laying on his deathbed, saying "I wish I had spent more time at work"

Unless he was a Pimp..



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Old 04-28-2014, 10:50 AM   #9
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Although not originally an Australian, I have adapted well to the Australian way of life; especially a having healthy work/life balance. This has allowed me to spend plenty of time with my family, cruising, or whatever, to the detriment of my financial position.

I'll never have a Nordhavn, not even a N35, but even if a bigger Nordhavn doubles you pleasure, you'll have more with less if you have the time.

I was told once: You'll never find a man laying on his deathbed, saying "I wish I had spent more time at work"
Well, unfortunately that's a difference not afforded many people in the US. Now there are certainly people in many parts of the world who live in far worse conditions than any of us. It's just a difference in societies and cultures that have evolved over the years. It's also not something one person can easily change for themselves.

When I was first starting out in business I put in those hours. When I was single, I continued. Then I met my wife. It made me realize. So I found a way to cut them back for myself and everyone who worked for me. Thing was productivity didn't suffer at all. In our small businesses we have now, we have very strict limits as I have key employees who have come from 65 hour a week work routines. But now that they've had more balanced schedules they'll never go back to that "other world".

Standard of living isn't just how much we make, the house we own, the cars we drive. It's the kind of lives we're able to live, the balance, the enjoyment. Unfortunately tough economic times were only used in many cases to reduce employees and make those you had work even more.

So most people find themselves working to get to retirement, hoping to enjoy it. There are certainly exceptions. But living in South Florida we see it so vividly as every winter we're visited by tens of thousands of Canadians taking long vacations that we don't have. Somewhere along the line the "Work Ethic" was praised but it became synonymous with how much worked.

This isn't intended as a condemnation but rather to explain since the question was asked. It is a difference not understood by those in other places. I'm sure there are aspects of other societies just as foreign to us.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:01 PM   #10
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BandB - Well explained.
It does take some strong will and concessions to go against the grain in any society. But sometimes it is worth questioning the norm, and breaking away from the status quo if it really does not add up to what you truly want in life.
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