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Old 07-24-2015, 03:22 PM   #21
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City: Cape Cod
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slip Aweigh
Vessel Model: Prairie 29
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Coming from a family of Boat builders, operators and Merchant Marine Masters gave me a different perspective.

My Dad died at 66. One of his wishes (of course he owned boats, he built many) was to be able to retire and putter around on a boat and enjoy the Grandkids. He never saw that. I am determined to enjoy that.

I am spending my 35 year Tug career operating boats for others. When I turned 50 I realized I didn't want to be 'like my Dad' in this respect. I also saw several friends die. I wanted to take the time to smell the roses. (as well as the bilge, Varnish, the MSD tank, etc etc etc) I also wanted to enjoy the Grandkids while they are still of the opinion that 'Nana and Papa' are way cool, before they get too old to want to hang around with us.

Your post sort of reminded me why I went on a boat hunt 4 years ago. My only regret was not doing it when my kids were younger so we could all enjoy it. Of course, the income didn't support it back then, so it's a wash.

Having only owned this trawler since last May, I have confirmed her usefulness, and the Grandkids zeal in coming with us (even if just a day trip to Marthas Vineyard for Ice Cream and beach.) They ask to come on Papa's boat. They like to fish. We all have fun, cook out and make s'mores. I want to make sure they remember the fun times on Papa's boat, into adulthood. And I want to have some interesting weekends aboard with Momma, just doing our thing around Cape Cod, the Islands, and maybe even down east when I have time. Having brought her on a 930 mile delivery when we bought her (12 days total) My wife came for the second half. I wasn't really sure if she would like it on the boat. She's a believer now.

Yeah. I'm glad I did it. We do have to make decisions as we get older (note, I didn't say more mature!) Sometimes they cost money. Other times they just cost memories. Hopefully you can look back on it and recall the 'right' decisions. Bring the Gks along.

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Old 07-24-2015, 06:31 PM   #22
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City: St. Pete, FL
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Vessel Model: Schucker mini-trawler
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When? Well, I did hit the log book (obliquely) at conception. Dismal Swamp Canal if you're curious, and it was very cold. I suppose my creation began the fires eh?

The story of Daddy is found in this article:
janice142 article The Fishing Boat

Born aboard too -- forward berth, in Florida.

I didn't start running our boat until I was ten. Going through the bridge just north of Palatka heading up the river. We were going to haul out and then further south to play with manatees. Oh yes, and avoid water moccasins.

That boat we kept and only sold her when Mother's Alzheimer's mandated same. Our boat, as much as I loved her, she was a couple boat. It took two to dock her safely -- and yes I know some of y'all could do it. I could not and knowing my limitations... well, plus I wanted a smaller boat.

That folks look over their life especially when contemporaries pass on is a given. Where are we? Did we accomplish "enough" and what do we want next?

I knew a boat was in my future when I brought Mother to the house. At one time I thought NorSea27 -- with dreams of an ocean crossing to the south Pacific and beyond. Then cancer and the realization that I wasn't getting any stronger.

Finally, I came back to power. My favorite parts of living on the boat was not passages. That's just keeping her on a compass course, and open ocean no matter what the poets say... well, after 15k at the helm of our boat, I want coastal and nothing fancy for me for now.

Then came the decision of what boat? I knew for me small was best. It's less costly for everything from size of equipment to amount of bottom paint.

Too, I'm broke. Always have been... lived below the poverty level most of my married and all of my single life. I was "smart" and bought bank stock. Then TARP happened. (insert bad words, in multiple languages)

Apparently Orion (and specifically that so-and-so Jerry Williams who PERSONALLY sold me the damn stock along with Bill King and another fellow) ... well, anyway, when the banks collapsed my "cruising kitty" vanished.

And too I wasn't smart... had bought Seaweed on a credit card because I had the stock to back me up. I'm still recovering. Such is life.

Still, I truly am fortunate. My dream has come true.

It needs tweaking. The new mechanic was here and has recommended a riser (such as most advocated) to be made for me. Or off the shelf. Re-reading the tractor thread is harrowing. It's informative. There's a lot of strong opinions and sometimes I need time to assimilate all.

Resistance is futile. Etc. (Hey, I'm a trekkie)

My goal, is to get this doggone engine up and running. Then puttering around. Nothing fancy... no long term destination planned, though I do intend to go down to the island just east/north of Channel Five in the Florida Keys. I left son there and need to go back again.

But from there? Just further. The folks with "Big Plans" often don't. The reality is different than the imagination. And boating is work.

Cruising means you are totally in charge of your vessel. You must get her to port. Your navigation skills are important. Is that sound "normal" or is something breaking? It's stressful.

Too, alone there's no one to share the experience. I'd like to cruise in tandem just to be able to share the stuff I see. Back when I had Bob available, I called him while underway.

He became my de facto cruising partner. I miss him.

His piece, and everyone teetering on the brink might find it helpful is here:
janice142 article Time Stopped

Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
What do you consider 'Cruising'? I have a buddy that have a huge set of criteria for what he wants in his 'perfect boat'. The problem is, he is so set in it, that nothing else will do. As a result he has NO BOAT.
Shrew: see above. And point your buddy to it too.

Don't wait. Even if your first boat isn't ideal, you can make her better.

I anchor in the same spots the high dollar yachts anchor. Except I'm closer to shore because my draft is less. They have the amenities -- ice (be still my heart) and water (wish list) however our experiences are similar.

Eventually though, with enough time, my Seaweed will have more. She's already far better than at purchase. Except for the engine fiasco and that's being resolved.

Once my engine runs I'll be puttering about on week days. Never on weekends as the Weekend Warriors are out in full force. I'll tuck into some of the interesting nooks around here and south.

I have no plans though.

The folks with plans, all too often get afraid. They fall into the bottle (alcoholism is prevalent in males, and some females too -- especially the soloists) and that's all she wrote.

My advice, if you're asking is to buy a boat that is capable of comfort -- whatever level you deem necessary. And don't do anything dramatic or requiring skill for a while. Use her locally.

Go to the local restaurant with a dock out back. Stop by the American Legion with a dock. Go "around the corner" and anchor by a beach. Take short hops and be a Tourist.

If you're like most folks you've not seen the places in your own back yard. Why not visit them via boat? Try not to be too ambitious at first until you've gotten your feet webbed.

And most of all, make sure you all have a good time. Short days. Relaxing times at anchor or in a marina. It doesn't have to be fancy to be fun.

I've rambled. OffDuty: don't wait. Not too long anyway.

Introspection is good if it doesn't develop into a fear of failure. The only certain way to fail is to never try.

And yes, as soon as Seaweed runs again, I'll take her over to a restaurant for that lunch you and your bride mentioned. I'm hungry, and hope you both like my home.

She's not perfect. Heck at thirty years of age all of us, excluding Wifey B, had some dings. So too does Seaweed.

Janice aboard Seaweed, living the good life afloat...
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:28 PM   #23
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City: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Good one Janice, you're doing it the way, your way, that a lot of us won't. Hope the engine issue is settled in short order so you can get moving again.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:31 PM   #24
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Terrific post and insight, Janice. You are a woman with great skills...
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:16 PM   #25
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City: Cary NC
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Janice, so many good thoughts to agree with. Well spoken too.

Tom and I bought Skinny Dippin' (1) as a beach house that could be mobile in 2009, at 44 years old. One of the first months we learned of the winter migration. I asked a guy fueling a sailboat, "where ya going in this nasty weather?". "The Bahamas", he says. I turned to Tom and said, "I wanna do THAT!!"

This next boat might actually take us there. Someday.......
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:30 PM   #26
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I've been "around" boats since I could walk. My mother would put me in a harness and on a leash and take me for walks on the docks in Sausalito, back then a sleepy fishing and railroad town, not the upmarket, overpriced place it is now. We lived a block back from the waterfront so the shore and the docks were the logical places to take me along with the big (to me) railroad yard in Tiburon, another of my favorite places.

First actual boating experience was in Lake Michigan where I learned to teach canoeing, drive a barrel-backed Chris Craft towing water skiers, and sailing little boats called "Snipes."

Fast forward to Hawaii when I got out of college and started working in television production. Started ocean fishing with the fellow who owned the flying school where I did all my flying over there and sailing inter island with friends with sailboats large enough to deal with the water over there.

Fast forward again to Washington State where my wife and I bought our first boat when I was in my late 30s. Been boating these waters ever since as well as running narrowboats in the British Canals on vacations.

My mother grew up during the Depression, and a like a lot of Depression-era folks lived assuming that it was just a matter of time before it came back. So despite her desire to travel abroad and do a lot of other stuff she could never bring herself to take what she saw as too great of a financial risk. So she died not doing a lot of the things she'd hoped to do.

My wife and I do not adhere to that philosophy. While we are fiscally conservative, we don't believe in putting things off until the day when we can "afford it and have the time" because it's too easy to convince oneself that that time hasn't quite arrived yet. And then one day it will be too late.

We have not been foolish with our money but we've got into floatplane flying, canal boating in Europe, boating here and abroad, and a host of other activities as early as possible, sometimes making a bit of a monetary stretch to do it albeit never an overly risky one.

We have a lot more things we want to do. We only go around once here and while we know we can't see and experience everything, we would like to see and experience as many of the things that interest us as we possibly can.

I don't want to leave this place thinking about the things I wish we'd done, I want to head out to whatever's next thinking about all the cool things we did do.

A big reason I've been able to experience what I've experienced so far is my wife. She is a willing participant in everything we've done, from flying up and down the Inside Passage more times than we can remember, to camping out on the shore of a remote lake deep in the BC Coast Range dealing with bears who wanted to share our dinner, to boating and fishing, sometimes in some pretty harrowing water conditions, to waking me up early one morning to strong winds and waves to tell me that we were dragging into a trestle and we might ought to do something about it, and then running the boat while we did. She's operated countless manual locks on the British canals, she likes working on the boat, particularly removing old finish with a heat gun, and the list goes on.

I tend to get all pessimistic and panic initially when something bad happens (the French in me). She keeps her wits about her and panics later when the crisis is over. It's a pretty good combination.

Before I met her she was involved in car racing and owned a couple of airplanes. So she's not unfamiliar with the need to think and react fast. The US Navy taught her to navigate and interpret charts, and she's better at it than I am (and I'm pretty good at it) and her eyes are fabulous: she sees stuff miles away before I can even discern it.

She can be as nervous and apprehensive as anyone, but she's never not tried something.

The point of all this is regardless of one's age or financial status, if one decides to get into something like boating it makes a HUGE difference in my opinion if one has a partner that is equally enthusiastic about it. We know boating couples where the wife is less than enthusiastic about it and "goes along" with it for the social aspect (aka being at the dock with other boaters) and to keep her husband happy. It seems to work, more or less, for them but it's not the way I'd want to participate in an activity.

If you have a good partner, anything becomes doable.
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:52 PM   #27
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I got the taste in my early teens. My stepfather had a 28 foot aft cabin cruiser that the whole family loved. We spent every available summer day there. Most of the time we didn't go far from home. We'd anchor off the beach or go tubing. We'd run to the other side of the lake for dinner, or cruise down the canal toward nowhere in particular.

One or two weeks a year, we'd take a trip somewhere. We cruised the Finger Lakes, the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. I couldn't get enough of it. I loved it so much that I decided I'd make a career out of it.

I've been a boat owner for two delightfully maddening years now. My cruising grounds are largely the same as when I was a kid, but I'm always trying to expand outward, to go someplace new.

At 31, I realize that I'm extremely lucky to be able to enjoy the joys and frustrations of having a boat. Most people can't, and those who can usually have to wait years longer than I have.

Just be nice to each other, dammit.
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