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Old 07-28-2017, 11:30 AM   #1
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New- Onslaught of questions coming soon!

...after I read everything here of course

Hello, My name is Adam and I reside in the Dayton, Ohio area. I am a landlubber recently bitten by boating bug all started by a recent trip to Niagara Falls and wondering if the Erie Canal I learned about in High School still exists and was usable.

That simple Google search led me to an ever expanding world of waterways. Who knew you could circumnavigate the entire eastern half of this country?

Two months later with time logged in online almost daily to explore destinations, watercraft, and everything else written by individual blogging travelers led me to the realization that this is a very appealing way to live when I retired. Up til now, I was wondering why be retired? - having a job to go to would be preferable.

Anyway, i still have quite a few years before that happens. That is good because I imagine that this transition is not a quick simple plan to execute (unless I win the lottery). Time needed to gain proficiency and perspective on what type of craft would best suit me.

So, for now; besides perusing online, I'll be heading down to Cincinnati and up to Sandusky more often with the intent of getting behind the wheel on the water.
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:32 PM   #2
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Good luck in finding an alternative to work that you like better. I think the worst day messing about in boats is better than the best day at work, but that's me.
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:56 PM   #3
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Yep, I remember buying a boating magazine at DFW airport about 7 yrs ago, then reading it on the plane. Was shocked to learn about the Loop and that the Erie Canal was still in operation! We start the Loop from Columbus, MS on the Tenn Tom, in 27 months - can't wait. Meanwhile some shorter river trips on the TN.
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Old 07-28-2017, 04:28 PM   #4
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@GregBannon

It's not so much that i'm a workaholic looking to be stuck someplace laboring until I die; but more along the line that I have to be busy doing something furthering my enjoyment. Sitting around the house doing yardwork is not it. I'd rather be moving, seeing the sites, or even shopping. Maybe why this boating lifestyle seems inviting.

@FoxtrotCharlie
Surprising how the idea of doing what you counting down to can get planted. Hopefully I'll be following in your steps, and in the steps of numerous other in the not so distant future. I wasn't born with the sea in my veins, so it must mean it can be acquired. Or, in my case, I was in Massachusetts when I was a child way back before I can remember. My parents do tell me I was teethed on lobster.

I'm also looking for the stories of how others had discovered this life and what they did to realize that dream. I'm definitely all about soaking up the the lessons-learned, the advice, and the stories. Besides, they have so far been entertaining as well as informative. Looking forward to reading more.
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:24 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Ah...it all sounds so romantic BUT...

1) Do NOT become emotionally involved in anything other than your dreams at this point. Meaning if and when you start looking for a vessel, be VERY pragmatic and realistic. Too many have become enamored with the idea of "sailing off into the sunset" and had their ideas and finances sunk due to poor choice of a boat, lack of funds (or a rapid exhaustion of funds) and/or lack of familial support. If a deal seems too good to be true, 98% of the time it is.

2) Keep doing your homework and research. This is a GOOD thing BUT do NOT put too much stock in "dock talk" or the opinions given you on this site. You have to find out for yourself and be confident that YOU actually know what you know, realize what you don't know and have a very good idea of the vessel which will best suit your needs at the time. A goodly number of members on TF are on their second or third boats. Not necessarily by mistake as boating desires change over the years.

3) Start taking boating courses. One can usually find classes given by the USCG or the USPS (US Power squadron). Join a yacht club.

4) Think seriously about renting a boat for a week maybe include a Captain for hands on training. I think some charters do offer vessels WITH a Captain. Do this several times if possible. At some point, you will be able to charter a vessel "bare bones" and take her out yourself.

5) There IS something you can do RIGHT NOW.
-Take a pair of your shoes, soak one in diesel fuel and soak the other one in water and put THAT shoe in the freezer.
-Spray one foot with cooking spray (I prefer PAM "real butter" flavor) and run up and down a set of stairs for 3 or 4 minutes (no shoes, of course). Reapply the cooking spray and repeat the exercise. Extra points if you do it blindfolded. Subtract points if the stairs are carpeted.
-Fill your back pockets with ice cubes and sit in every chair in your house for at least 5 minutes per chair.
-Put on your shoes (diesel and frozen-You have to wear these shoes to bed this evening.) and walk to the grocery store and buy items for supper. You're only allowed to buy ONE item per trip and you can't use your stove, oven or BBQ to cook it.

Congratulations. You've survived your FIRST day aboard your own boat.

For added realism, use but do NOT flush your toilet for a week.

Again, welcome aboard...
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:10 PM   #6
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Remind me not to go cruising with RT.
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:37 PM   #7
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Hi AGM,

You might find it interesting to take a peek at my little book:

Cruising in a Big Way by Richard Cook (Paperback) - Lulu

Look at the preview, the first ~28 pages
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:24 PM   #8
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If you really want to be on the water, you can make it happen. Probably quicker than you think. I did it 50+ years ago.
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:06 PM   #9
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Wifey B: Read all the Kindle books you can find, especially those written by people doing the Great Loop since that's boating of the type you're talking. Now here are my firm orders so be sure you listen and obey.

1. Find a hobby, boating, fishing, or anything.
2. If you like it, start doing it regularly. Retire at least two days a week.
3. If you don't like it, find another one.
4. Then you'll find yourself longing for retirement when you can enjoy your hobby more.

Got it?

The people I've seen unhappy in retirement have been those who never had interests outside work, never any hobbies, never any time spent enjoying other things. If you're part of a couple, you need to work on this together.

Life is meant to be fun. I firmly believe that. We're not meant to be unhappy, all work and no play, sad, angry. Learn how. The closer you get to retirement the more excited you should be getting. And, if by perchance it comes sooner than expected then

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Old 07-30-2017, 06:14 PM   #10
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Agm.


Welcome fella Ohioan! I am sure you will get many great answers to all of your questions here on TF.


Cheers


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Old 07-30-2017, 06:39 PM   #11
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agm

Although RTF may appear a bit quirky at times he offers good advice - most of the time.
You will come to appreciate his light hearted as well as serious side.

I agree w/ his suggestion to start taking some courses. USPS offers a wide range of courses that are, for the most part, very well done and you will make acquaintances with similar interests.

Also a way to start the adventure sooner is rental / chartering...
Erie Canal Boats are available for weekly rentals - I'd suggest mid-lakes navigation is the best / most experienced
There are also house boat rentals on the Rideau Canal in Ont Canada - another great waterway that offers a lot to boaters.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
Although RTF may appear a bit quirky at times
Wifey B: A bit quirky? He's a lot quirky which is why I adore him so.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Ah...it all sounds so romantic BUT...

1) Do NOT become emotionally involved in anything other than your dreams at this point. Meaning if and when you start looking for a vessel, be VERY pragmatic and realistic. Too many have become enamored with the idea of "sailing off into the sunset" and had their ideas and finances sunk due to poor choice of a boat, lack of funds (or a rapid exhaustion of funds) and/or lack of familial support. If a deal seems too good to be true, 98% of the time it is.

2) Keep doing your homework and research. This is a GOOD thing BUT do NOT put too much stock in "dock talk" or the opinions given you on this site. You have to find out for yourself and be confident that YOU actually know what you know, realize what you don't know and have a very good idea of the vessel which will best suit your needs at the time. A goodly number of members on TF are on their second or third boats. Not necessarily by mistake as boating desires change over the years.

3) Start taking boating courses. One can usually find classes given by the USCG or the USPS (US Power squadron). Join a yacht club.

4) Think seriously about renting a boat for a week maybe include a Captain for hands on training. I think some charters do offer vessels WITH a Captain. Do this several times if possible. At some point, you will be able to charter a vessel "bare bones" and take her out yourself.

5) There IS something you can do RIGHT NOW.
-Take a pair of your shoes, soak one in diesel fuel and soak the other one in water and put THAT shoe in the freezer.
-Spray one foot with cooking spray (I prefer PAM "real butter" flavor) and run up and down a set of stairs for 3 or 4 minutes (no shoes, of course). Reapply the cooking spray and repeat the exercise. Extra points if you do it blindfolded. Subtract points if the stairs are carpeted.
-Fill your back pockets with ice cubes and sit in every chair in your house for at least 5 minutes per chair.
-Put on your shoes (diesel and frozen-You have to wear these shoes to bed this evening.) and walk to the grocery store and buy items for supper. You're only allowed to buy ONE item per trip and you can't use your stove, oven or BBQ to cook it.

Congratulations. You've survived your FIRST day aboard your own boat.

For added realism, use but do NOT flush your toilet for a week.

Again, welcome aboard...
LOL Had a bad day with your boat today?

L.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Wifey B: A bit quirky? He's a lot quirky which is why I adore him so.
As Polonius says in Shakespeare`s Hamlet "There is a method to his madness". Long may it continue, we are all the better for RTFirefly`s posts.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:34 AM   #15
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@RT Firefly Thank you for taking the time to outline some great advice. It may seem like common sense and common knowledge but still it is well worth receiving. And I, for one; appreciated the tone you used to convey all of that. I have considered all the boating courses, and am looking into how to make it happen. It's all new to me so I am looking to see what's available in the area. Cincinnati is most convenient distance wise, but I am only a few hours away from anywhere on Lake Erie.

@BandB Wifey B: Some good thoughts you had as well. Retiring two days a week is not something I've heard before, but I can see how adjusting ones mindset in that regard can be beneficial. I have been actively searching out the online blogs of those who have done the Loop or have previously accomplished it. Good stories, nice pictures, and lessons learned passed along are all great resources. I have also noticed that there are a lot of books available as well and i have a few in mind for purchase.

@RCook I'll take a look at your book, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

@Bacchus I did wonder at one time if there were rentals available for doing certain segments like the Erie Canal; but hadn't yet dug into it yet. There is a lot of things to research in this lifestyle- and I have only scratched the surface. I do imagine that renting a trawler type vessel is different than going down to the lake to take a pontoon or powerboat for a spin for a few hours. These are investments in many senses of the word and not readily available as a rental fleet normally.

To everyone else, Thanks for the welcomes and advice. There is a lot of good info on this site that has been provided by all of you.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:19 AM   #16
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Be careful of RT, a great fellow for sure... but, after all, his avatar handle is enigma. RT - that post was a BIG Ouch!! - LOL

e·nig·ma /iˈniɡmə/ noun: enigma; plural noun: enigmas

a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.

synonyms: mystery, puzzle, riddle, conundrum, paradox, problem, quandary;
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:47 AM   #17
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Start working toward finding your passion. Make your leisure time increasingly important. Take vacations. Take long weekends. Get some training. Rent a boat in Cincinnati and see how the Ohio River feels. Rent a boat in Sandusky and see how Lake Erie feels. Sandusky is such a great boating community. Both Sandusky and Cincinnati have a lot of availability. In a way too, they represent two very different types of boating you will find on the Loop. Planning for retirement should be a priority and not just the financial planning. Retirement for most people is a major change with free time, with spouses spending more time together. Learn to enjoy every chance you get and hopefully you'll find yourself thinking of the days when you can do those things you're enjoying all the time.

My wife and I never had any doubt how we'd spend retirement, knowing it would be on the water. That was where we spent afternoons, weekends, vacations. What water did change. We started thinking it would have to be more than the Lake we lived on, so TN River came into view. Myrtle Beach did a little but we didn't really know coastal boating. Then the chance to retire came and we decided when we were in Fort Lauderdale on a vacation and suddenly we saw where we wanted to retire and what we wanted to do in retirement. TN River still sounded nice, but an entire ocean sounded better and living in the center of it all was perfect.

Now we do still have other hobbies but none we can't fit in with our boating. They are music, tennis, and basketball. So on our boat you'll find a keyboard and sound equipment, tennis racquets, and a basketball.
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