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Old 08-07-2017, 06:36 PM   #1
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How many years left?

I often wonder how many years my wife and I have left to enjoy boating.
Her parents are just now giving up boating, their favorite lifelong pastime, at the age of 85. I thought that was an impressive run. Tonight we ran into couple that are in their early and late 90's who are out cruising in their 36' American Tug!!! How awesome is that? The photo is of my wife's dad rowing his beloved Dyer dinghy in Block Island a year or two ago, a dinghy they owned for some 50 years...
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:54 PM   #2
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Very cool Bruce. The nice thing is, you have a crane on your boat. Dorsey can wheel you and your chair down to the boat then use the crane to lift you onboard. She can keep you boating for a long while yet.

I may have mentioned this before, but my Mom has gradually decided that there are some things she will no longer do at 83. She has quit riding a bike this last year since the last time she did she fell. She gave up cross country skiing a couple years ago since the last time she again had trouble with balance.

She still hikes and snowshoes, volunteering at Mt. Rainer doing trail monitoring and and clearing. She still kayaks a lot in the Salish Sea with the Mountaineers.

She does what she likes to do and if she finds she can no longer do it safely, she quits. She doesn't worry about what she can't do, she just enjoys what she can do and does it all the time. This week she again is going up to Sunrise on Mt Rainier where she will volunteer for two days, camping by herself at the volunteer campground.

After my dad died, she took their sailboat out once by herself. She then told me that she wouldn't do it again. She would crew for us when we went out, but sailing was no longer an integral part of her life.
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:00 PM   #3
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Dang Dave. Your mom is seriously active for 83.

My dad is 81 and he is pretty unstable and can't do much. He had a bout with cancer two years ago and after chemo it made him shaky. Before that he was strong and able to do what he wanted.
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:05 PM   #4
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Plan to go until we can't
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:24 PM   #5
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I had my friend and his 95 year old mom join me for a few days last summer when I was going through the Trent Severn. She always loved boats.

Day 1 she was happy to sit in the cockpit. Day 2 she climbed the ladder to the flybridge and figured out all the controls. Days 3 and 4 she did most of the driving :-)

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Old 08-07-2017, 07:38 PM   #6
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I had my friend and his 95 year old mom join me for a few days last summer when I was going through the Trent Severn. She always loved boats.

Day 1 she was happy to sit in the cockpit. Day 2 she climbed the ladder to the flybridge and figured out all the controls. Days 3 and 4 she did most of the driving :-)

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This picture was prominently displayed at her funeral a few months ago.
That is excellent!
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:11 PM   #7
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We bought this boat with taking a cruise up into Canadian waters in mind. We're not going to do that trip until after my 101.5 year old mother in law passes. She's in great health and we hope she sticks around for many years.


After she's gone and we're done with that trip we'll sell the boat and take up land cruising in a fifth wheel or motor home.


Right now I'm 70. I figure by age 75 we'll be out of boating and doing our cruises on the highways while we still have our health. I figure it's easier to park a motor home or fifth wheel than dock a boat in the winds or currents.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:18 PM   #8
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Bruce.

I tip my hat to your in-laws and all those out cruising in their 80's and 90's..

I gives us all hope we can do the same!

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers.

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Old 08-08-2017, 05:54 AM   #9
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I guess that there is no answer to the question, depends on how you feel. My father in law is 79 and can barely walk, he has a long medical history behind him. My grand mother is 87 and more active than I am. For my own I wish to be able to spend time on my boat for as long as possible, guess at a given time the steep stairs will become difficult to handle. If I am not fed up by being on the water and cannot handle the boat, I will dock it and keep it as a live aboard without moving.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I often wonder how many years my wife and I have left to enjoy boating.
I wonder that as well. Since my parents both died in their early seventies a few years ago I've worked on the 'hope for the best, prepare for the worst' principle. In my case it has prompted me to work on my boating bucket list now rather than assuming that I have unlimited time to do it later in life.

This morning's view from my cockpit. Happy to be here now and hoping for many more such vistas in the future.


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Old 08-08-2017, 07:01 AM   #11
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It all depends, but probably a prudent thing to monitor once one gets up in the late 70s or 80s. Or, if some disease takes over.

There are plenty of active people well into their 90s that could handle a boat, but some can't get out of bed at 70.

I'm lucky, my family has good genes for a long life on both sides. Dad was still biking at 93.

I've had a few friends very active into the mid 90s. Just lost one at 101, and another a few years back that was flying his plane at 100.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:16 AM   #12
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For me, the decision to quit boating will be when I can't maintain her myself. At 70 YO now I can still work my (heavier) body down around the engine to replace the impeller, change out the macerator pump, etc. The single engine does have decent access.

It has gotten harder to do these things the older I get. The joints protest and I sure know it a few hours later. But a couple of drinks watching the sun set over a nice remote cove soothes the pain!

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Old 08-08-2017, 08:12 AM   #13
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I think this is a common thought - doing something so enjoyable, knowing at some point that all good things must end. Besides the boating I love scuba diving, snorkeling, spearfishing, lobstering all in the warm waters of Florida and the Bahamas. I wonder how old is too old to be safely going underwater?
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:32 AM   #14
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Wifey B: It's not how long, it's how well we live. If I have to guess, I'd say we'll start to reduce the boating around 70 for hubby, 61 for me. Then over the next ten years after that will become less and by 80/71 then will be occasional with crew doing everything.

Oddly, not being able to boat isn't my fear as by then I will have done many lifetime's worth. Two things I find most important, pain and mind. To me life is good as long as the pain is manageable and as long as one has their mental ability. We love boating and do as much as anyone, but it's not our life. Friends and family and those we care about are far more important and just our time together.

Maybe at some point we have to take a nurse along with us. I think hubby would be fine if I picked out a young, sexy nurse.

We're going to make the most of every day we have together. The frightening part is when there's just one of us and I know many here have been through that. We've made commitments and we have friends and family, but still scary. Part of my fear is I've committed to him as he has to me, to keep living life to it's fullest, to enjoy it, to keep going full speed, and I so hope I can do as I've promised or he can do as he's promised. It's in the spirit of how we live.

So, in the course of things when boating is no longer fun, we won't, and we can live just fine with that. Until then we work to keep ourselves in the best shape possible. We can't prevent diseases that might hit, but we can be physically strong. Remaining active and exercising are important to us because we're greedy and want long, healthy lives together.

Perhaps that's the real question-What are you doing to make it possible as long as it can be?
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:47 AM   #15
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Great inspirational stories in this thread.

I don't know how much longer I'll be boating, currently 67.
I guess I'll have to cross that bridge (or go under it) when I get to it.

In the meantime I will continue to live by this motto:

We don't stop playing because we grow old ...........
We grow old because we stop playing.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:12 AM   #16
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Have to share the visit we had this morning aboard our AT-395 while sitting at Wooden Boat in the rain and fog in Brooklin, Maine. Ruth and Herb are the crew of the American Tug 365 "Ancient Mariners" and they are totally awesome and totally cool. Herb is 99 and Ruth is 91. They came over to see our boat, and Herb announced that he liked our extra space and propane range so he "might have to trade in the 365 for a 395." Here's to being out cruising on our own boats when we are pushing the century mark.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:29 AM   #17
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Wow....Great stories. We have friends in the mid to late 70,s that feel they need to step back. My wife and I are 68 and moving to a new marina, 5 minutes from the house with floating docks that should extend our boating a few more years. We may stop cruising, but day trips are certainly in the cards for years to come. We shall see. We'll do it til we can't as it's been a part of my life since I was 3 years old...
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Wifey B: It's not how long, it's how well we live. If I have to guess, I'd say we'll start to reduce the boating around 70 for hubby, 61 for me. Then over the next ten years after that will become less and by 80/71 then will be occasional with crew doing everything.

Oddly, not being able to boat isn't my fear as by then I will have done many lifetime's worth. Two things I find most important, pain and mind. To me life is good as long as the pain is manageable and as long as one has their mental ability. We love boating and do as much as anyone, but it's not our life. Friends and family and those we care about are far more important and just our time together.

Maybe at some point we have to take a nurse along with us. I think hubby would be fine if I picked out a young, sexy nurse.

We're going to make the most of every day we have together. The frightening part is when there's just one of us and I know many here have been through that. We've made commitments and we have friends and family, but still scary. Part of my fear is I've committed to him as he has to me, to keep living life to it's fullest, to enjoy it, to keep going full speed, and I so hope I can do as I've promised or he can do as he's promised. It's in the spirit of how we live.

So, in the course of things when boating is no longer fun, we won't, and we can live just fine with that. Until then we work to keep ourselves in the best shape possible. We can't prevent diseases that might hit, but we can be physically strong. Remaining active and exercising are important to us because we're greedy and want long, healthy lives together.

Perhaps that's the real question-What are you doing to make it possible as long as it can be?
Yea,

A hot nurse would help.....
There was this old friend of mine... probably 75 and comes walking down to the dock with his really good looking young nurse wrapped around his arm. When I questioned him, he said they are married! I said, "you must have lied to her about your age.... what did you tell her, that you're 50????". He said, "No, I told her I was 90."
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Old 08-08-2017, 01:37 PM   #19
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Keep on boating

My wife and I are in our mid 70's and still enjoy boating and plan to continue. We realize that there will come a time where we will have to stop or a least curtail what we do but until them we don't know of anything more enjoyable that hanging out on the boat. We have cruised the Pacific Coast from Washington to Ziahuatanejo and both coast lines of Sea of Cortes. Now Freedom is in the California Delta and she will probably never see more than 30 or so miles north or south of the Golden Gate Bridge again while we own her but going out for 4 or 5 days and dropping anchor is still our idea of bliss.

Until a couple of years ago I did all the maintenance and some of the repair work. I've noticed over the past couple of years that somethings are becoming more difficult but remember a magazine article from about 10 years ago showing how an older couple had set up their boat with aids that helped them get around as well as do normal maintenance. Freedom now has lots of extra grab handles, a gas filled lift for the engine room hatch, rigged up a rolling seat for the engine room, found a great pair of gel filled knee pads which I found to be truly a gift from God, and found that an easy reach grab tool from Home Depot is a wonderful thing, especially when your wrench falls under one of the engines. I also hire out more often for regular maintenance or where repair work requires what I would call "boat yoga".

Just do it!
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Old 08-08-2017, 02:04 PM   #20
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but remember a magazine article from about 10 years ago showing how an older couple had set up their boat with aids that helped them get around as well as do normal maintenance. Freedom now has lots of extra grab handles, a gas filled lift for the engine room hatch, rigged up a rolling seat for the engine room, found a great pair of gel filled knee pads which I found to be truly a gift from God, and found that an easy reach grab tool from Home Depot is a wonderful thing, especially when your wrench falls under one of the engines. I also hire out more often for regular maintenance or where repair work requires what I would call "boat yoga".

Just do it!
Now, don't you wish you'd gotten all those aids 10 years ago? Over the years, I've learned that making things "handicapped accessible" and easier for elderly is nice for all of us. Funny, when one checks a house for that purpose, extra handles always go in the bathroom, but a lot of healthy people might avoid issues if handles were there. Put a handicapped restroom in a public place and it will be everyone's favorite. Things like knee pads. I've always used knee pads for anything putting knees on hard surface, started with using the ones I wore playing basketball. Gas lift hatch is one you wish you'd always had.
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