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Old 02-24-2014, 07:56 PM   #21
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:29 PM   #22
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Thanks Kevin. Well said and I always appreciate and need the advice.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:43 PM   #23
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TF definitely needs more discussions like this one. Harumph!
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:28 PM   #24
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Kevin,

Write on.

Having made the trip to Alaska in our aft cabin, I could see making the same trip in my first C-Dory (22'). In some respects it would have been easier since tides wouldn't have been much of a factor, but the aft cabin made it a whole lot more comfortable. We did cruises up to 7 days on that C-Dory and plan to get another one as an East Coast great loop boat.

For people disposed to cruising with simplicity, here is one of the really interesting stories: Cruising America-Halcyon Days

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Old 02-25-2014, 01:56 AM   #25
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Great posts, it is truly the cruisers and not the boats that are important. As far as the boats are concerned there is a conception that bigger/more complex is better. This can truly be a trap. Not just in terms of money outlay and the delay in cruising in order to get the bigger boat, but the inconvenience of a larger more complex boat. Maintenance / repairs while cruising is a major issue especially once one leaves the first world countries.

As to how to determine what size/complexity of boat is really needed for any location, I use my eyes, what are the majority of non-local boats in any location. Generally this is a bell curve on size. If you want a boat at either extreme of the bell curve then realize that you are the exception and consider what that means.

The absolute rule is that it is better to cruise now, then to dream of the perfect boat.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:01 AM   #26
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Great thread as usual

Perfect example of the wrong boat that turned out to be the right boat. This boat did the inside passage to Glacier Bay from Everett and back in five weeks.
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:13 AM   #27
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I retired early and Iím so glad I did. If you find yourself thinking about it a lot lately, maybe itís time you took a serious look at it. A quick trip to a financial counselor will give you an idea if itís feasible. Be aware though, you have to be ruthlessly honest with the numbers; otherwise youíll only screw yourself. There have been more than just a few folks that have retired early only to have to go back to work because they miscalculated their expense to income ratio. A friend of mine was told that between what he would get for his pension and SSI that he would be ok to go out early, so he did. What he didnít factor in was that his car was ready to die, and when it did he had buy another car and unfortunately, he had to go back to work to make the payment.

For some folks the idea of retiring scares the hell out of them (separation anxiety?). I know I stayed up late plenty of nights fretting about it. I had visions of myself standing on the median at a traffic light with a coffee can, holding a sign that reads ďwill navigate for foodĒ. I think once you know youíll be ok financially, a good bit of the apprehension goes away (not all of it though).

For a lot of folks the question is; do you retire early with less but enjoy it longer, or work longer and go out with more, for less time? Given the same life expectancy, the money numbers come out pretty close (at the end). For those who do have the option, itís a very personal question, probably one of the most difficult of your life.

Do you want to retire early specifically so you can do Long Range Cruising (LRC), or do you just want retire early (as in ďIím outta hereĒ) and maybe do a couple of cruises here and there?

Are you planning on selling your house and possessions to go cruising? Or, can you do LRC and still keep your home?

If you are thinking about LRC, there are some questions you should ask yourself, things you should understand. The most important being;

The difference between what you want
And what you need (as in life generally)

Also:
What you would like to have
What you can live without

How will LRC affect your family?
How long can you/family or crew realistically be gone for?

Are you willing to compromise (on almost everything), especially the ďrightĒ boat?

How do you plan on financing your cruising expenses like fuel, marina fees, food, repairs, etc.? Will you have enough income while you are cruising to pay as you go along, or are you going to save up before you go and try to pay as you go? Or, will you charge it and pay it off when you get home? I suspect a combination of all scenarios.


Do you dream of cruising to a far away place because it seems so cool, knowing that youíll probably never really or go there or, do you dream about it as a goal, something you really plan on doing? Where do you mostly dream of cruising (in your boat)? Would you cruise there, realistically, if you could?

Some folks live on their boats full time and travel far and wide. A guy from Alaska pulled into the marina today in a Flicka (a very seaworthy 20í sailboat). He was on his way south to pick up his wife and then head over to the Bahamas, a trip they have already made several times. Some folks do the loop and then go home. Some folks take eons to plan their voyage; some just toss off their dock lines and take off, planning as they go. Whatever works for you, do it if you can. Whether itís your first time cruising, or if youíre going out again, you want it to be exciting.

I was amazed at how much planning and preparation was involved with my first cruise, and that was only to the Keys. Now I dream of cruising the USVI/BVI. I think I can do it, but I know for me, it would again take a whole lot of P+P

I love cruising and I enjoy living aboard, but I do admit that I would like to have the boat set up a little easier to go out day or overnight cruising more often. Thatís my spring project.

Iím planning on an extended cruise next fall to the Bahamas and Iím already getting jazzed getting ready for it. I think thatís what itís all about anyway. Your boat should be your magic carpet that will take you places youíve always dreamed about.

So, do it now if you can, itís great soul food. I highly recommend it. KJ
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:15 AM   #28
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There is no question with proper planning a coastal cruiser can do a lot of miles ,over many years, to many places and create a very enjoyable life style.

NEVER get caught out is hard to do in many locations , so luck , and waiting for a weather window is a must.

LUCK is hard to plan on tho.

For many a sail boat would easier to manage in difficult conditions.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:33 AM   #29
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When to retire and go cruising is such a personal question that requires a personal answer. Sounds silly but all these posts will never answer correctly the question "should I retire early".

In my case when I retire I'm done, I can't go back after a year or two of cruising. And my skill set is so limited that I can't apply it to anything else and make money. So there is no turning back.

A consideration for me is that staying employed for 2 additional years has been a huge financial windfall that I was not expecting. So it was really a no brainer for me not to retire.

Also your state of mind is important, maybe the most important. I don't think of myself as old at 63 and won't at 65 when I'll be required to retire. I'm in good health and work at keeping myself that way. I really don't think I was more capable at 60 that I will be when I'm 65. I know that could change but I could also regret not working a couple of extra years and loosing out on the financial benefits of doing so.

So like I said it's such a personal decision with a lot of personal considerations.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:27 AM   #30
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When I retired I thought the same...done and done...had the money, etc...etc...but I fell into a situation where it all changed.

Neither of my primary skillsets interested me as a retirement job..or that I would ever be rehired into those professions again for a lot of reasons...

After puttering in the boat business as my "second skillset" for a few years,I came upon assistance towing by accident. I was teaching it and a gentleman called to say he needed help so bad he wanted to enroll his nephew in a class.

I literally walked down a block and got hired...but a stipulation was (easy in NJ with it's winters)...that I wanted the winter off to cruise south on my future liveaboard.

So here I am a decade later, cruising south 4 months a year (slowly increasing in length) and driving a boat on call the other 8. My assistance boat is 6 slips away so the commute is easy, I work on my personal boat most of the time or sit and enjoy my marina friends, etc.... Much of the time I actually could be out on the assistance boat, beached and sunning, fishing or slowly cruising my area. Boating when someone else is paying the fuel and insurance and paying you to fix those little problems is really kinda cool.

When I get a call, it's usually interesting except the longer more boring tows. The discussions and assistance when back to their dock is also fun and informative. I really enjoy the salvage jobs as they are stimulating to execute and I see what really sinks the boats and not some generic statistic I read from BoatUS or the USCG.

So in all...I feel retired for the most part...the only real reminders are wearing the same kind of shirt all summer and turning in paperwork/picking up a check on Mondays.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:41 AM   #31
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Great post, Kevin. There is truly no one size fits all answer. At 72 I'm still asking if I should take "early" retirement. Probably the answer is no. We've enough speed to go where we want. There are only a few new places we would really like to cruise (Maine being one), and we enjoy the way we boat. It's a great life style. I have been cruising for 42 years, and enjoyed them all. Well almost all.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:59 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
Great posts, it is truly the cruisers and not the boats that are important. As far as the boats are concerned there is a conception that bigger/more complex is better. This can truly be a trap. Not just in terms of money outlay and the delay in cruising in order to get the bigger boat, but the inconvenience of a larger more complex boat. Maintenance / repairs while cruising is a major issue especially once one leaves the first world countries.

As to how to determine what size/complexity of boat is really needed for any location, I use my eyes, what are the majority of non-local boats in any location. Generally this is a bell curve on size. If you want a boat at either extreme of the bell curve then realize that you are the exception and consider what that means.

The absolute rule is that it is better to cruise now, then to dream of the perfect boat.
On this same note, last week, after i had done my posting of the Miami Boat show and what i wanted to get done on Dauntless, I was really stressed and depressed.

Then, the next morning, as I was discussing the plans with Julie, I realized that Dauntless was ready. It was really just me and my mindset. I had a whole list of stuff that I wanted done, that would certainly increase my convenience, but in reality, the boat was ready.

There are two things I did absolutely need: stabilization (paravanes) and fuel. the paravanes are being fabricated as I write this and fuel is fuel. The rest is a bunch of stuff that would be nice, but could even wait til later in the spring or next fall in Europe.

So I re-prioritized my list and feel, not only is it more likely to get done, but I'm hot to trot
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:13 AM   #33
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A consideration for me is that staying employed for 2 additional years has been a huge financial windfall that I was not expecting. So it was really a no brainer for me not to retire.
Few if any financial planners will give you advice better than Timejet's. For many of us quitting work early to go play is a very poor choice.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:14 AM   #34
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We started cruising when I was 44 and Cindy was 34. We were both still working demanding jobs, and living far from the ocean in Utah. Here's our small boat cruising story, from my little book:


Cindy and I have been lucky enough to spend more than 1,400 days cruising some 44,000 miles in our own small boats, mainly on the pristine waters of the Pacific Northwest. We aren’t wealthy, and we sure didn’t come into cruising as expert boaters – far from it. We were tent campers, who enjoyed fishing and liked being around the water.

We’ve wandered the Inside Passage as far as Glacier Bay, and floated in front of the great tidewater glaciers, while they calved huge chunks of ice. We’ve been surrounded by whales, porpoises, sea otters, seals and sea lions, dozens of eagles, and bears prowling the shoreline. We’ve feasted on succulent Dungeness crab, huge spot prawns, salmon, and halibut – all caught by us. In so many wonderful anchorages, we’ve been absolutely enchanted by the beauty all around us.

So how did tent campers become cruisers? While camping on Vancouver Island one summer, we decided to go out for a day with a salmon fishing guide. It was dynamite - beautiful, exciting, and great fishing too, all in a 16-foot boat.

Months later, we wandered into a boat show, thinking we could probably afford such a boat. We looked at quite a few, but none really knocked us out. Then we set eyes on a little cabin boat that really stood out from the crowd. It was a C-Dory 22 Cruiser, not too much bigger than the fishing boats we were considering, but with a huge difference - it was designed for “camping on the water”. We spent several hours checking out every aspect of the C-Dory. After two more days at the boat show and lots of discussion, we were sold.

That little boat turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made - a perfect choice for beginning cruisers. She was seaworthy as can be, built with quality, and very cleverly laid out to make the most of her 22 feet. Her cabin sheltered us from the weather, and had windows with all-round visibility. She had good cooking, eating, and sleeping facilities. With her 90hp outboard, she could cruise at 18-20 knots (21-23 mph), and travel 170 nautical miles (195 statute miles) on a tank of gas.

With this boat, we were able to spend peaceful weeks sightseeing on Lake Powell in southern Utah, then weeks and months exploring the Inside Passage of the Pacific Northwest.

The Inside Passage, a stretch of coast roughly 1000 miles long, runs northwest from Washington’s Puget Sound up to Glacier Bay in Southeast Alaska. It’s called the Inside Passage because its waters are protected by countless islands, in a mostly unpopulated area often 100 miles wide from east to west. Roads reach only a very small part of this wild, out-there place. It’s some of the finest cruising anywhere.

If you really want to, you could do this…
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:21 PM   #35
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Few if any financial planners will give you advice better than Timejet's. For many of us quitting work early to go play is a very poor choice.
Unless you croak 2 months later from the stress or anything for that matter..

hey...everyone is in a different situation with different wants, needs, health, tolerances, significant other situations...etc...etc...

No one should walk anyone's path but their own...simplistic?...you bet but is there any other answer?????

I say if you love your job...retirement sucks...I wish I was still flying for the USCG many days...but the smart copilots would have had me grounded long ago anyway....
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:04 PM   #36
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I just saw a plaque that says it well:

"I'd rather be lost at sea than found at home"

or in the words of a good sailor friend:

"You can sleep on your boat but you can't sail your house"

Can you tell I'm getting anxious for spring?

Life is good.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:11 AM   #37
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Totally agree.

I started my cruising experience in a flush deck Haida 26', going Victoria to Hawaii short handed (2 of us), then a separate leg up Australia to New Guinea. The owner took it around the world eventually. Yes we were younger and put up with a lot of things I would not do today, but there is no question that sometimes we overcomplicate things.

I also did some great cruising with my wife on our 20' SeaRay cuddy, including Princess Louisa inlet. Our boat was smaller than some of the tenders!

The current boat is a little bit more comfortable than both those (!), but comes with attendant expense, maintenance and work.

I read somewhere that the enjoyment one gets out of a boat is inversely proportional to its size!
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:30 AM   #38
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I keep eying those expedition rowboats. That, to me, looks like a great adventure...
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:00 AM   #39
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...I say if you love your job...retirement sucks...I wish I was still flying for the USCG many days...but the smart copilots would have had me grounded long ago anyway....
If you don't love your job, it's time for a new job.

That's said by someone who has had many jobs.:

And RCook talked about his C-Dory, which reminded me that that was my first coveted boat also.

1991 in Sitka, Alaska, with my friend Larry, who just moved there for a new job. I visited often, as I loved SE Alaska and was already being drained by my business I had started in Fairbanks, 3 years earlier.

We spent countless hours looking at boats.

We'll be there in a few years.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:34 AM   #40
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Great thread! Most of you know where I stand on the subject but bare with me a moment. My family of five will forever be closer because of the considerable time we have spent cruising together. Life is truly far shorter than we can imagine. Never end a day with regrets. You will only regret what you haven't done.
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