Forced to cut the umbilical..

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Grommit, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Grommit
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Cape Cod

    Grommit Junior Member


    I need some advise, maybe direction?

    I currently live aboard my Gulfstar 43' ketch, I own the boat out write, paid for, and with no unpaid debts, marinas or otherwise. I am also debt-free, owing no bank, or anyone, for anything. My Benz is paid for, my taxes are paid, I have no outstanding debt.

    I want to break-free from American society, American ways, I was born here and am 5th generation American, white angelo.....

    I'm sick of my job, I'm sick of lieing people. I'm a simple marine mechanic who just wants to live.

    I want to cut the ropeand go!

    Can't wait!

    QUESTION: Can I survive running on my boat?

    Can I find happiness on the legal lamb?

    I can offer a tremendous help to boat owners with my knowledge...former SAMS surveyor, Yanmar mechanic, a person well knowledged,35 years.

    Have no legal record......

    I am honest and trustworthy, a good and honest human being...........wanting no gain other than to survive.............

    I am desperate and need to find direction...........without a job/income can I survive aboard and how?
  2. KnottyBuoyz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: Iroquois, Ontario

    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    Sounds like you got what we're all striving for there Grommit.

    I met a fella a few years ago, marine mechanic too, who bought himself a President trawler and he and the wife and two dogs cut all ties and headed south. He planned to work where/when he could to fill the cruising kitty. The wife teleworked as a writer for the Federal Gov't.

    From what he was telling me there was no shortage of work for marine mechanics you just have to be careful how you market yourself. Some countries you'll visit have rules about transient workers and permits, visa's etc.

    Good luck let us know how you make out.

    If I were in your shoes I'd be GONE!
  3. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    A lot of us envy you, Grommit. :)
    If you want to cut all ties, go ahead.... not sure I'd be comfortable doing that, would rather keep at least a small cheap property somewhere in Canada and make sure to spend enough time in the country each year to keep citizenship. Canadian citizenship is a good thing to hang on to, IMHO.
    I've been told the 'under-the-board' market in things marine is somewhat larger and more widespread than the governments like to think.... anyways, all power to ya and have fun.
  4. Bergalia
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: NSW Australia

    Bergalia Senior Member

    Forced to cut the umbilical

    As we 'new' Aussie's say, Grommit - 'Go for it...'
    From past experience I know there is always work (odd jobs) for those with boat know-how around the marinas and yochtie clubs of Europe - 'Bloody foreigners know nothing about boats - except as party venues...' That's the trouble with Europe - too many foreign johnnies in double-breasted blazers and funny caps sporting fouled anchor badges...and bulging wallets.. wanting to know how to polish a winch handle because the butler is on holiday....(damn, went off on a tangent somehow...)
    But seriously Grommitt - there's a wealth of world to explore, and trust me, you'll find it hard to starve if you take along a box of tools... ;)
  5. Mikey
    Joined: Sep 2004
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    Location: Bangkok, Thailand

    Mikey Senior Member

    I have been living in Thailand for the last 15 years and if I had known then what I know now, I would have left Sweden 15 years earlier than I did :)

    But I would not underestimate the difficulties either. For me, it was really worth it, if it will be the same for you is up to your mind set and willingness to face your new life.

    Good Luck ;)
  6. Trevlyns
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: London UK

    Trevlyns Senior Citizen/Member

    Yeah Grommit, you go for it lad!
    Get yourself a copy of Annie Hills book Voyaging on a Small Income. There’s a section in there entitled The £200 Millionaire – an amazing story. It was certainly enough to get me off my backside and on the path (at age 57) to realizing my dream.
  7. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Ohio

    longliner45 Senior Member

    take a long vacation ,,,,,drink heavely,,,relax,clear your mind,,,,,,,,,,then ask this again,,,,you sure you want to throw it away ,,to travel ,,,,,,,,,,nothing is what it seems ,,,,,,,,,longliner
  8. hansp77
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Melbourne Australia


    Hey Grommit,
    what are you trying to do? make us all sick with envy?:(

    If you can do it, then dammit, DO IT!
    I did a search for some photo's of your type of boat, it looks very comfortable, and a story I read made it sound very seaworthy too.

    Though I would love to aim for something a bit more permanent, my hopes for a few years down the track is to spend a summer living aboard off the east coast of Tasmania (on my humble little 30 footer), take a few lobster pots, and see how long I can subsidise my supplies off the informal-lobster economy (1 lobster trades for 1 case of beer, 8 lobsters for one sheep carcass, etc...) I have heard exists in a couple of places- that is once I am sick of eating lobster myself:D . Then when it gets too cold, probably head up the east coast of Oz, or maybe the west... See how long the money lasts, see how soon I can ward off the cabin fever (30 ft boat and a girlfreind:eek: ) and maybe even try to make it all the way around Australia.

    Anyway, as already said by others, what you are planning to do is a dream for many of us.
    Best of luck, and please do now and again, fill us in on how it goes.


    As I am so interested in living aboard, I love to read and hear about others experiences doing such.
    I am sure there are a thousand places and more stories on the internet about this, but here are a few goodies I have read on the WBF.
  9. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Your questions make you a typical American. If you want to break free, then do it. You can't have the usual Western safety net and pretend to "break-free from American society, American ways". Get rid of the Benz, get a smaller boat and live off the land, or ocean. Can you handle having no life or health insurance, or a steady income, or food every day? If you can't, stick to the "American ways".
  10. hansp77
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Melbourne Australia


    Gonzo mate,

    I have heard about you guys owning freedom and democracy and stuff,;)
    But I wasn't yet aware that America also owned life and health insurance, steady incomes, and food every day!:D

    How do all us primitives get along?:p :D
  11. Bergalia
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: NSW Australia

    Bergalia Senior Member

    Forced to cut the umbilical

    Hush now hansp77 - do you want George B to come and bomb us as well.....:mad:
  12. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    No-No Gonzo is right,--you cant go round laughing and enjoying yourself everyday.

    What would happen if everybody started doing this.

    Stay at home, pay taxes for wars, and work every day, watch the Simpsons and pay insurance.

    Maybe you might have a bit left for food,--- and this would be a bonus and just possibly a beer down the club on Saturday night. Its the American way.

    Dont worry about the rest of the world and other cultures, its nothing like the USA,---honestly!!!!!!!!!!
  13. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: FL, USA

    charmc Senior Member


    There are usually 2 ways of doing this:

    1. Just do it. There will be incredibly horrible circumstances and problems to overcome. You'll run into storms that will wear you out to the point you want to run under bare poles and just collapse from sheer, gut-wrenching exhaustion. You'll run into stupid, venal, corrupt bureaucrats whose purpose in life is to make themselves feel better by making you feel worse. Somehow, you'll figure out ways to handle all this, and you'll get what you want.

    2. Try it out first, and see if it's really the life for you. Since you're on the East Coast, try sailing to somewhere in the Caribbean or Central America and live there for 6-12 months. See if this is really what you want.

    Only you know for sure, but I see 2 conflicting lines of thought in your words above. You say you can't stand living as an American, that you want to "cut the rope and go! Can't wait! Wanting no gain other than to survive.....I am desperate...". You are an experienced marine mechanic, a background obviously well suited to living aboard a boat. Yet you keep asking, "Can I survive running on my boat? Can I find happiness on the legal lamb"? Your apparent contradiction makes me think option 2 would be better for you. Try it out without doing anything that can't be reversed if you find, after a year or so, that you don't like it as much as you thought.

    You have earned a degree of freedom already that allows you to make the choice. So whether it's for a short time or forever in your mind, I recommend you go for it. Good luck to you.
  14. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Grommet --no one can give you advise like this,--do it or dont. I know lots here that do what you want to do. They live a carefull life but free of crap as you have previously pointed out.

    Many fail and have to look for jobs --even return home while their wifes stay on board

    To retire away from USA and never see it again you will need 250K dollars at least,-at least--- in the bank. The interest from that will keep you,--sufficently accomodated.

    As bricks and morter investments continue to rise you are drifting further from returning, your boat is worth less and less. Untill the reality is you can not.

    If you have a pension and other stuff you have not mentioned Ok--do it.

    If you cant make your mind up DONT DO IT.

  15. Grommit
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Cape Cod

    Grommit Junior Member

    Thanks all for your responses. The need to hear from others (yourselves) what you would do, or not do, or how you would do it, is essential. Imagine no Internet for questions like mine! Where would someone get responses, responses from like minded people who can actually answer the questions?

    I am not ready to jump off yet, but am exploring the possibility for doing such. I have the boat, I have the desire, I have some of the essential requirements but not all that many suggest. To a small part, in my mind, I think if Joshua Slocum could do it, armed with only copper tacks, I should be able to do it. However, he lived in another time, and he sailed only to sail himself around the world basically, not to live permanently aboard.

    Interesting that none, or none admitting to be Americans, have responded to this post! I see through my eyes America today as not what America was intended to be and I'd just like to get the hell out of here. I don't feel right here. People in this country are spoiled and think nothing of taking from the rest of the world in order to support their habits of under minding, exploiting, cheating (the new norm) George Bush mentality, and they love him! I can go on and on with my opinion but getting back to whether I can escape from here, or not, without cutting my own throat is why I posted this thread. I have to reconsider all of my situation. The boat gives me the possibility for escape...the question is whether or not this is practical or possible, or do I accept my place on earth and shut up ranting?

    I'll keep you posted........
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