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Old 08-20-2012, 03:49 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2012
Home Port: Maine
Posts: 3
Default Well, here goes.......

Position: My office…….western Maine…….many miles from blue water.

Status: On the hard (see above)……no boat…..no money……..and a wife to convince.

Hello everyone,

So here goes…..I have officially with this post begun my mid-life crisis. I have told my wife that as long as I admit it is a crisis and discuss it in public, then it can be controlled. As the cliché goes, “that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.”

I am an almost 39 husband of a very tolerant wife and father of two wonderful little girls (both are single digits in age), and I have been bitten by the cruising bug. Not sure how or when it happened….perhaps it has always been there…..dormant since my younger days as a sailor-in-training.

My “on the water” experience includes a mish-mash of things not very applicable to buying a boat, getting it ready, and dragging my family into the sunset. I have done a good bit of small boat sailing (Boy Scouts, sailing dinghies, Sunfish, etc.), and my parents owned a 1978 Hunter 25 when I was young. We spent many weekends for several years doing coastal cruising….but they sold the boat about the time I started to enjoy it….and there was that small matter of them buying a bigger house. I also bought, tore apart, and rebuilt two small power boats….a Boston Whaler and a Starcraft. The very tolerant wife, then a very tolerant girlfriend, assisted heavily in the Starcraft project…..when one of her friends asked (after we were married), “why did you let him get a boat?” her reply was: “It came with the husband.”

My only true “blue water” experience was as a cadet onboard a 546’ training ship (converted freighter/cruise ship) while attending a maritime academy. Two cruises, one across the pond and into the Med, and another to the Caribbean. Old, single-screw, steam-powered banana-boats handle a bit differently than most cruising yachts, I am quite sure.

So, my goal right now is simply to learn. I once took basic navigation, but I would need to re-learn that and more. Plus diesel mechanics, fiberglass repair, anchoring, head repair, use of a sextant, sail repair, rules of the road, etc., etc., etc. Did I mention my wife was tolerant? I knew it was a good sign that she didn’t run screaming from the house when I told her I wanted to sail the world……after getting my ham radio license, I was sure my next “hobby” would do that to her.

My ultimate dream would be to do a circumnavigation, but that is a very tall order. Standing in the way is the money factor, the knowledge gap, and the obvious lack of waterborne transportation. As I alluded to earlier, I also have to convince my wife this is safe, fun, and good to do with kids. Right now I have set my sights on getting a trailerable, under 25’ weekender for short trips around the Maine coast…..after closing some of the knowledge gap – likely through formal training.

On the plus side, that tolerant wife is also the world’s greatest mom, and an experienced world traveler, though most of it on foot. We have always wanted to show our children other cultures and have them experience the world, so this may be the way to do it. I just spotted a great thread listing boats with kids…..gotta send that one to the wife.

Thanks to all who share their knowledge ad experiences here, a pleasure to be aboard!

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Old 08-20-2012, 04:05 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2011
Home Port: Georgetown
Vessel Name: Surprise
Posts: 63


As a fellow Mainiac, I feel your plight.

In May I sold my Catalina 27 to a couple from Waterville for $3500. They homeport it in Rockport and will haul it to their house for the winter. There are some low-cost boatyards as well.

Lots of great boats, great deals and great sailing out there.

If you want to come down for a day-trip, just give me a hail here or bobdoak at gmail dot com.

We bought a Sabre 28 and do short trips. Planning on a longer one at the end of next year.

Best of luck in your quest.

Now, bring me that Horizon!
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:42 PM   #3
Auzzee's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,917

Have a gander on Amazon for a book by Fatty Goodlander called How to Inexpensively and Safely Sail a Small Boat Around The World. It's an entertaining read, and it will put the whole project into perspective.

Dollars aren't so much of a problem, except that at some stage you need to provide a secure future for your girls. As a person who was dragged around the world sleeping in tents by adventurous parents, I know that it is a wonderful way to grow up.

Nothing worthwhile was ever done that wasn't dreamed of first. The best bit is that you seem to have a supportive family.
Best of luck and keep us posted.
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 08-20-2012, 05:57 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Home Port: San Jose, CA
Vessel Name: Coyote
Posts: 215

Having a "supporting" family isn't enough. They have to be into it.

I recommend thinking about their individual personalities and find some aspect of what you want to do that will truly inspire each of them. If they are competitive, maybe racing. If they are social, maybe cruise-outs or parties.

You can't push a rope, but you can pull on it. Find a way to make it compelling to them.
I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: San Diego
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:53 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2012
Home Port: Maine
Posts: 3
Default Thank you!

Thanks for the nice welcome!

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Old 08-21-2012, 06:11 AM   #6
redbopeep's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

Welcome aboard,

It's a good thing that you're realizing you've not been progressing in the direction of your goals/dreams now rather than 20 years from now when it could be much more difficult physically to get out there and learn to sail and cruise for the first time.

My husband and I both wish you the best of luck in making your cruising dreams come true. As the female half of this cruising couple, I'd suggest that you quickly get over thinking that you've got a tolerant wife, et al, and get down to discussing with her what your and her goals TOGETHER are for cruising. When, where, why, how, and by yourself or with your family together.

For every woman who dreams of cruising, I'm pretty sure there are 100 men who do so. Why? Probably because a good half of those men have decided that it's the "manly" thing to do, or some such silly thing. Hopefully if you're one of those unfortunately confused men, you'll quickly get through this silliness of thinking that cruising is a man's dream in which the wife has to be convinced; instead focus on it as a family goal and work towards achieving what you can do together as a family.

Please drag your wife over here to the computer and get her involved in the planning to make it happen. Have her sign up and log on here so she can ask her own questions.

There are definitely families out there cruising. If you'd like to read a good book, consider picking up the Martin family story Amazon.com: Into the Light: A Family's Epic Journey (9781930086043): Dave Martin, Jaja Martin: Books which is great because they cruised with 3 kids (one in diapers) in high latitudes in a 33' sailboat. The last I heard the family lives in Maine. They also have a documentary movie out called "Ice Blink" here's a preview of it Ice Blink Video Preview - YouTube

There are many, many other families cruising as well.

Again, welcome aboard, enjoy the forums, get your wife involved early-not-late, and best of luck!

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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