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Old 07-30-2018, 09:18 PM   #1
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The long, rambling thoughts of an indecisive man.

Hello all.

For the last twelve years, I've been going bald. As a 34 year old man, it's been less than ideal. At first, I was happy to blame genetics and my mother's side of the family. My late, bald grandfather and I used to bond by busting each others' chops about it. I now realize that it isn't a genetic defect, but a direct result of all of the head scratching I've been doing. For years now, I've been thinking, pondering, daydreaming, thinking, mulling over, and generally tinkering with the idea of buying a boat, and living aboard.

I'm certainly in love with the idea of it. I love boats. I love travelling. I love travelling by boat. The time I've spent travelling has been some of the happiest and healthiest of my life. I've never regretted a single cent that I've spent travelling. There's nothing tying me to my current home, and my job schedule works brilliantly with full time, snowbird style cruising.

I've read everything I can get my hands on, watched every YouTube video I can find. I've spent literally years of my life browsing Yachtworld listings and this forum. I've traveled from Florida to Maine to waste hours of broker's lives asking stupid questions about boats I knew I wouldn't buy. I've been annoying my friends, family, co workers, strangers on the street, and all of you good people with these thoughts for more than a decade.

I've never been able to pull the trigger. Sometimes I'm convinced it's a great idea, and that I'd kick myself for never at least giving it a try. Sometimes, I think it's better that I play it safe, not take any risks, keep my house, and never leave my couch. I'd change my mind on about a weekly basis.

Well, back in January, I made a decision. I was tired of wondering 'what if.' Dammit, I'm going to do it. That day I opened up a new savings account. I worked out how much I'd need to put away each month to end up with 50,000 at the end of five years, and began depositing. I've also started selling unused or un boat-friendly items around the house, like the drums I never learned to play, or the treadmill that I never use. Those proceeds also go into the boat account. Well, wouldn't you know it, the balance is growing. I'm on my way.

As a result of this concrete step in some direction, there's been a bit of a shift in my thinking. As this is now a 'When,' rather than a 'What if' scenario, I've been getting more and more excited about the idea with each passing week. The thought of coming home from work to my very own floating home is enough to brighten my day. The thought of waking up the next morning, knowing that I've got weeks of time off to explore new places, and follow warm weather up and down the coast, makes me wiggle with excitement. Silly little things like running flags up my own halyard sound like fun. Even the risk averse angel on my left shoulder has quieted down. I think even he's excited about the idea. Don't worry, he does still remind me about head maintenance, engine room bilge-yoga, and sanding brightwork when I get too excited.

Another shift in my thinking has been in regards to my current home. The familiarity of my town is really all that it has to offer me these days. Other than inertia, the main reason I've stayed here is to be close to family, but we don't see each other all that much anyway. They all have their own lives, and are busy living them. I need to do the same. Anyway, I plan on coming back to this area in the summer time to visit, and it's not that hard to jump on a flight a few times a year.

I suppose my house has been another force keeping me here. I like my house very much. I've put a lot of love and money into it, and am very pleased with how it's turning out. I've also been a homeowner long enough to know that this is a project that will never, ever be done. I could stay here 30 more years, and would just have to start remodeling the same rooms over again.

So that's it. I've officially passed the point of diminishing returns here. I'm ready to go.

The way I see it, the worst that could happen is after a year or two I decide I hate living aboard. So what? Sell the damned thing! The value wouldn't have gone down all that much, so I should get a sizable portion of my loot back, or at least enough for a big fat down payment on a new dirt house. Fine. I'm no worse off than I was at the start, and at least I can say I tried.

Bless you if you read this far. It's a real wall of text, and to be honest, I'm not even sure why I wrote it. I'm not really asking a question, I guess, just sort of organizing my thoughts.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for a guy in my situation, I'd be happy to hear it. Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:42 PM   #2
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Writing thoughts down is a great way to stand back, and take a good look at them. As good a reason as any for putting pen to paper/fingers to keyboard.

That this has been the plan since January suggests the old weekly thought change pattern is in the past.
I didn`t get any sense of selling the house to put the proceeds into the boat. Keep the house as an escape route, just in case?
One rider to add is this. Working as a ship`s captain,or pilot,means your work life is on the water. Do you want your whole life on the water? Probably yes,but think about it.
The best advice about this plan could come from existing liveaboard TFers.

Nothing is set in stone,plans can change,say if a significant other comes along. Stay flexible for what life may bring.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:21 PM   #3
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Remember that you only live once. I say go for it asap. Worst case you donít like it. Then you sell the boat and move back ashore. We would also be living aboard except after my dad died we had to take care of my mom. I donít regret it but if it had turned out differently we would be living aboard now. If you truely feel like you say you do, then sell up and go. Good luck.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:25 PM   #4
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I’m convinced that human intention is the most powerful weapon we have to work with. Things seem to speed up once decisions are made. Once you’ve got your focus, a road appears through the forest created by the directionless thought you described. Now the journey toward your dream.

It should be noted that boat ownership may not help with hair loss, or head scratching for that matter. Keep us updated!
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:35 PM   #5
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Oh BTW, I also have lost most of my hair now. I count myself lucky since I lost most of it in my 50s and my brother lost his before he was 20.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:50 PM   #6
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Pull the trigger. I've been talking about it since my teens, now 54 and still hoping.
Although, I guess I was technically a live-a-board for 9 months when my 2nd marriage fell apart. I still look fondly look back at that time, well mostly, the winter was a tad bit too long.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:52 PM   #7
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TOHO! (Today Only Happens Once)

I almost got killed/paralyzed at work when I was in my mid twenties. When I recovered, my wife and I set out on a slew of adventures and expeditions that kept us busy for about six years. We call it our ‘early retirement’ phase because I got a full time job at the age of 32.

Our purchasing power took a significant hit, but in our elderly years the memories we made will be more valuable than a bigger boat or more possessions.

Point being...after experiencing how fragile our lives are and how random acts in the Universe can conspire to snuff us out at any given moment, why wait?

Basically you’ve got two choices...

Imagine if while still planning you are struck by some accident or disease which destroys any chance of you meeting your goal. That would suck.

You could barge through your apprehension and just go for it, but find you’ve bitten off more than you could chew, and sell the boat.

Which would you rather live with?
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:31 PM   #8
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:54 PM   #9
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Well played, sir, well played!!!! Now where did I put that advertisement for the 37 foot Lord Nelson!!!
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:57 AM   #10
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Just buy the damn boat. With your skippers cap, you won't need the hair.
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:26 AM   #11
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You already asked one of the best questions "what's the worst thing that can happen?"

You also mentioned pretty loose ties to your home town. I can tell you from my own experience that having a "life 2.0," i.e. moving to a new area and starting over with friends/professionals etc, is REALLY invigorating. One of the best things I ever did.

Seems like you are nearly there and just need a bit of a push. PUSH!
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:26 AM   #12
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Dave;
Thanks for the "ramble". It was very good to be reminded of my thoughts on these issues years ago.

I decided some early time in my life to live ALL my dreams. Ive had good careers, grand loves, wonderful places to live, and enjoyed it all mostly.

BUT, I decided (and it is all a personal decision based on one's own desires in this life) to live so that when I come to die to want to die with memories and not dreams inside of me.

Yeah, ive regretted some things, missed opportunities, lost sometimes. BUT as I get very near 60 and less hair each year, I am happy, have fond memories of adventures and am now planning more adventures on my new boat.

It is a great place to be to look around, dreams fulfilled and looking for more dreams.

So, Dave; if this is your dream. Go for it. Live. Make mistakes. A bad day on a boat (even with leaks of rain coming in on a cold winter day) is STILL better than wishing I had the balls to live dreams.

My two cents this morn.

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Old 07-31-2018, 07:40 AM   #13
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Dave,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. (Sounds like we started losing our hair at about the same age. I've always opted to look at it as a sign of incredible virility and masculinity.)

As others have said, go for it and don't look back. Mistakes will be made, issues (mechanical, weather, social) will come up and have to be dealt with... that's all part of life and is really not that much different than life on land. If it doesn't work out, you can sell the boat and have a chunk of change for a new dirt dwelling.

My grandmother tried to convince my grandfather to sell the house, buy an RV, and hit the road. He refused. After he passed away, my grandmother said to me, "I wish I had... and now it's too late." Don't be her. Go for it while you can.

And please keep us posted about your search, your learning process and your travels.

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Old 07-31-2018, 10:02 AM   #14
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Writing thoughts down is a great way to stand back, and take a good look at them. As good a reason as any for putting pen to paper/fingers to keyboard.
Agreed! It definitely helps scatterbrained lunatics like me.
That this has been the plan since January suggests the old weekly thought change pattern is in the past.
I'm thinking the same. I'm sure there will be doubts along the way, but I'm feeling much more committed.
I didn`t get any sense of selling the house to put the proceeds into the boat. Keep the house as an escape route, just in case?
I'm not sure on this yet. I was thinking that I may try to rent the place for a year while I try things out, just in case. I may just sell, and throw the proceeds down on the boat right off the bat. If I do end up moving back ashore, I think there are a lot of things I would do differently in the next house anyway.
One rider to add is this. Working as a ship`s captain,or pilot,means your work life is on the water. Do you want your whole life on the water? Probably yes,but think about it.
Oddly enough, working on a ship doesn't feel anything like being on your own boat. The ship is big enough that you really don't feel much movement most of the time. I don't ever get to go anywhere I want to go, and my office and the pilothouse are so far removed from the water, that sometimes it feels more like a waterfront building than a boat.
The best advice about this plan could come from existing liveaboard TFers.

Nothing is set in stone,plans can change,say if a significant other comes along. Stay flexible for what life may bring.
Some good advice for life in general.
Thanks Bruce.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:08 AM   #15
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Remember that you only live once. I say go for it asap. Worst case you donít like it. Then you sell the boat and move back ashore. We would also be living aboard except after my dad died we had to take care of my mom. I donít regret it but if it had turned out differently we would be living aboard now. If you truely feel like you say you do, then sell up and go. Good luck.
Thanks Dave. The fact that I'm still fairly young, and in reasonably okay shape has also been part of the push toward living aboard. I don't come from a family of particularly long lived folk, and I haven't done myself too many favors in that department either. Long story short, I may not get the chance to retire. No sense in waiting for a time that may not come.
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Oh BTW, I also have lost most of my hair now. I count myself lucky since I lost most of it in my 50s and my brother lost his before he was 20.
I feel for your brother. I started losing mine at 20.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:12 AM   #16
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Iím convinced that human intention is the most powerful weapon we have to work with. Things seem to speed up once decisions are made. Once youíve got your focus, a road appears through the forest created by the directionless thought you described. Now the journey toward your dream.

It should be noted that boat ownership may not help with hair loss, or head scratching for that matter. Keep us updated!
Very well put, sir. Thanks for that, and you can be sure of updates.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:15 AM   #17
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Pull the trigger. I've been talking about it since my teens, now 54 and still hoping.
Although, I guess I was technically a live-a-board for 9 months when my 2nd marriage fell apart. I still look fondly look back at that time, well mostly, the winter was a tad bit too long.
Thanks Max. I don't think I'd have any friends left if i just kept yammering on about it for another 20 years, lol. And winters are always too long as far as I'm concerned. That's another bonus of my scheme. No. More. Snow.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:27 AM   #18
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Well hell, there's no arguing with that, is there?? lol.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:32 AM   #19
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You already asked one of the best questions "what's the worst thing that can happen?"

You also mentioned pretty loose ties to your home town. I can tell you from my own experience that having a "life 2.0," i.e. moving to a new area and starting over with friends/professionals etc, is REALLY invigorating. One of the best things I ever did.

Seems like you are nearly there and just need a bit of a push. PUSH!
Thanks Bob. Moving to another area of the country is something else I've considered many times. In the end, I never needed to, so I never have. I think if/when I end up moving back ashore eventually, I'd be strongly inclined to start fresh somewhere new.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:50 AM   #20
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It took me a lot of years to finally learn that making the decision is the most difficult part...................after that is done the rest is just logistics, working out the details.


Good Luck and remember--not many decisions are Forever...if things change--make a different decision.
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