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Old 11-16-2017, 01:08 AM   #1
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I have a big idea

Dear Trawlerers,

Early last week I had one of those moments where my mind was running at idle and all of a sudden a big idea popped in my head (there is plenty of space for it in there).

My kids have started talking about their gap years. Our oldest (daughter), who turns 12 at the beginning of next month, has already started talking about having a gap year after she finishes high school. Our middle (son), who turns 8 on Boxing Day, has decided he will have his gap year in grade 5. And our youngest (daughter-full of sass), who turns 4 in early January, has decided she will be having a gap year when she is 5.

It occurred to me that as I am retired (23 years Australian Army) I am in the fortunate position that I am able to do something adventurous with them in their gap years instead of having them lounge around the house in their pyjamas for an entire year.

So I have decided that I am going to buy a suitable Trawler (or little ship as I like to think of it) and sail around the world with them for their gap years when they each finish school. I am hoping that this experience will put them in a position where they will be able to conquer any challenge that life presents them.

So, after pitching this to my wife I was told that I have 7 years to prepare. That should be enough time to get the money together to buy a boat, get the money together to make the trip/s, get into the books so that I have the knowledge to make the trip, get some experience so that I can survive the trip and generally convince everyone that it is actually a good idea.

Wish me luck.

Kind regards,

Scott
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:26 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by scottoftheantipodes View Post
Dear Trawlerers,

Early last week I had one of those moments where my mind was running at idle and all of a sudden a big idea popped in my head (there is plenty of space for it in there).

My kids have started talking about their gap years. Our oldest (daughter), who turns 12 at the beginning of next month, has already started talking about having a gap year after she finishes high school. Our middle (son), who turns 8 on Boxing Day, has decided he will have his gap year in grade 5. And our youngest (daughter-full of sass), who turns 4 in early January, has decided she will be having a gap year when she is 5.

It occurred to me that as I am retired (23 years Australian Army) I am in the fortunate position that I am able to do something adventurous with them in their gap years instead of having them lounge around the house in their pyjamas for an entire year.

So I have decided that I am going to buy a suitable Trawler (or little ship as I like to think of it) and sail around the world with them for their gap years when they each finish school. I am hoping that this experience will put them in a position where they will be able to conquer any challenge that life presents them.

So, after pitching this to my wife I was told that I have 7 years to prepare. That should be enough time to get the money together to buy a boat, get the money together to make the trip/s, get into the books so that I have the knowledge to make the trip, get some experience so that I can survive the trip and generally convince everyone that it is actually a good idea.

Wish me luck.

Kind regards,

Scott
Good luck Scott! Better learn a lot about marine life during those 7 prep years. I'm sure you will have a blast! Welcome to TF!!
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:07 AM   #3
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Welcome! It's a pretty ambitious plan, but a sound theory.

Presumably your time in the service has taught you to be resourceful. That'll come in handy. Out on the water, in addition to all the "regular" navigation and boat handling skills you'll need, you are also the plumber, electrician, engine mechanic, and about 100 other trades.

I'm a little unclear on your plan, and your budget. A circumnavigation is certainly going to require a well-found "little ship." Most of us here run coastal cruisers. The term "trawler" is more of a marketing term, and often hotly debated. Beyond the cost of a large enough vessel, fuel for a round-the-world cruise starts to add up. Which is why it's usually done under sail.

OTOH, if your plan is to simply live aboard and travel when and where you feel like it, that requires less boat, less fuel and therefore less cash.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:33 AM   #4
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When my beloved wife tells me that she got a big idea I reply back that we are in big trouble

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Old 11-16-2017, 06:35 AM   #5
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good on you. it will be the best time of your family's lives for sure.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:02 AM   #6
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Around the world is an ambitious goal, and also involves a lot of desolate legs of blue water and nothing else. And pretty much requires sail power, or LOTS of diesel.

Consider a variation of the plan and spend the year exploring locally. Lots to be seen within 1000-2000nm of your home port. That is reasonable fuel range for a smaller bluewater capable boat.

24000nm circumnav at 6kts means 166days of 24hr travel. One year probably not enough time to fully explore cool places between travel legs. And you often get stuck in port (often not the really nice areas) waiting a week or more for a weather window.

Don't get too wrapped up in the circumnav bit. Lots of boring travel and lots of bad weather. Keep it fun.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:54 AM   #7
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Find some good cruising family blogs to read. There are quite a few out there.
ThreeAtSea comes to mind, as an example.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:55 AM   #8
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Around the world is an ambitious goal, and also involves a lot of desolate legs of blue water and nothing else. And pretty much requires sail power, or LOTS of diesel.

Don't get too wrapped up in the circumnav bit. Lots of boring travel and lots of bad weather. Keep it fun.
I would strongly agree with this. Do not let yourself get so fixated on going around the world that you lose sight of the real objective here. I think that spending quality time with your kids can -- and will -- happen without the need for an extreme goal like circumnavigating the globe.

Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:00 AM   #9
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Punch this one up... before it disappears off craigslist...

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/boa...387977666.html

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Old 11-16-2017, 09:13 AM   #10
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Great idea for the family, and also some good things to consider from Ski. I know a couple of people who have done what you propose, or variations like ski describes. Reading about their trips, and talking to them will help you refine what's best for you.

Here are some examples that come to mind.

ThreeAtSea is a Nordhavn 43 owned until recently by the Bessemer family of mom, dad, and daughter. They lived on the boat, traveled, and home schooled from daughters grade 7 or 8 through o college. She is at Yale now, so things worked out for her. They did extended coastal cruising, and I think more or less the Big U, i.e. Canadian Maritimes, down through the panama canal, then up to Alaska. Google three at sea and you will find their blog.

Pendana Is a Nordhavn 62 that started in Australia, went to Fiji, Hawaii, Kodiak, Seattle, San Francisco, LA, and as of a few days ago was in Ensenada. Mom, dad, and two daughters. I think the plan is around the world. They do big cruising stretches, then stay somewhere from a month to many months in one location.

Another guy is here on TF at least from time to time under the name of BigJeff if I recall. He took a sabbatical, bought a nordhavn 55, and did the Big U. I think he is just finishing now.

So there are lots of ways to do it, but with only a year, getting the highest concentration of interesting sights and experiences vs open water crossings seems important.
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:16 AM   #11
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The usual vessel to have a go round is sail.

Same sized boat sail will be far smaller inside , but perhaps more seaworthy , and less costly at the fuel dock.

Read books from both camps while building up the funds.

Power or sail there are a few bail out ports where folks who had a dream changed their mind and moved ashore.

Panama and Trinidad come to mind, you might want to contact brokers there to see of what you desire is there, at a bargain price.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:24 AM   #12
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Wifey B: Sounds wonderful but.....

One problem. It's THEIR gap year, not YOURS, and their idea of how they want to spend it might be very different from yours. Let's just talk about the oldest one, her year after high school. Who knows her interests that far away? I hate to break this to you, but her concept of a gap year may be far away from mommy and daddy.

Don't wait for gap years to enjoy good times with your kids, whether boating or otherwise. If you start boating with them now, perhaps boating for the gap year might be what they want or ask for. However, if she doesn't experience it before, then not likely to be her dream. Touring Europe with her boyfriend (yes, she may have one by then) could be more her style.

However, the biggest thing I'd say to you now is don't wait for gap years, don't wait until older, just don't wait to enjoy your kids or life. Harsh reality is you don't know you'll even be alive when your kids graduate or able. Live in the present and enjoy every possible moment. I imagine in Australia you are, but most American parents don't have much family time. Then they find they don't know their kids or don't have much in common with them. The statistical odds, if you were in the US, would say that you're probably 50/50 to be divorced before your youngest graduates high school. The number one reason families split apart is lack of quality time together. Parents find they no longer know each other. It's cliche, but they grow apart. They know their jobs, their co-workers, the people they're around all the time, but not their spouse and not their kids.

Don't live in the past, you can't change it. Don't live in the distant future, you can't predict it. Live in the present. Get a small boat and become a boating family. Then if you all dream of that year sabbatical, great. But if by that age the oldest has other thoughts, you had today. Make time for family now. Each year, the kids will develop more interests and they may be different than yours. Their plans for their gap year may not include you. You can't ever get today back.

We have a "daughter." We sort of became her adopted parents when she turned 18. Now, she's in grad school and finishes it this year unless she goes on for another degree and another year. Every summer since we met her has been with us, most of it boating. We're lucky, we can take the time, but even if you can't take months, take what you can. We're so freaking proud of her but the thought of her being on her own, having her job, getting married one day, kids of her own, it's all scary....to us. We want her to flourish without us but we'll miss these days so much. We can't imagine when the time comes that she has commitments that keep her from time with us. We've agreed the summer after all her schooling is complete we'll still spend together, mostly on the water, before she starts her job. It started the summer of 2013 and had we not spent that summer cruising and each after, would the plan be to spend next summer that way, before starting her career? I doubt it. Damn, she's grown up and wonderfully, but it sucks too and not just because it makes me feel older. Wouldn't change a thing, but sure as heck not going to miss a minute of fun with her. Just happy she still wants the summer with us and already planning in detail.

There's never enough time, but sure take advantage of any you can find and do so today. Then five years from today will work out fine, hopefully, but you'll still have today. Always.
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