Cruising in Your Boat

If you dream of cruising, there is no need to go out and buy a new boat for the task. Boats are expensive and they take time and money to prepare them the way you like them. If you want to go cruising, in general, and not a specific type or place, then take the boat you have now and get going! 

I cursed myself with the dream of sailing across the Atlantic. To me, cruising meant saying goodbye to shore as I sailed out into the horizon, only to come upon land after weeks at sea without ever wandering from my straight line course. I didn't want to head out, turn, and come back; I wanted to leave and arrive in a totally new land! 

This meant that I needed to find a blue water cruiser that I could afford, which translates into an old boat that needs a lot of work!  

I found my blue water to-be cruiser, and the price was very low. I bought a 1968 Morgan 45 for $19,500, and then spent the next five years in a marina working on it while I dreamed of distant horizons. I slowly installed the needed systems as I could afford them, gradually turning this old race boat into a capable cruising boat. 

Over all these years, I saw many people in the marina arrive and then leave. One such person really stuck out to me though. He got his boat for free off of Craigslist. It was an old and small Hunter Sailboat with a working diesel motor. This guy wanted to go cruising, so he sold all his stuff and picked up this free boat! Now he had a lot of money in his pocket and no bills to pay. 

He was in the marina for a while, and then he untied his lines and left. A few months later, he sent me an email because he had made it down to Florida. He motored his way down the ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway). He never learned how to sail, so he simply ran the motor to get everywhere. All the money he had in his pocket allowed him to pay for fuel, and going slowly he was able to burn less fuel for the same distance traveled.

This guy emails me from warm and sunny Florida, while he is relaxing on a beach in January while I was stuck in Baltimore, MD, in a cold spell where the temperature never got above freezing for a week!  

The point I'm trying to make is cruising is cruising. The act of untying the lines and going is what cruising is all about! If your boat is small, or not sea-worthy, who cares? Don't go out in the ocean and simply coastal hop as you make your way around! 

Cruising doesn't have to be expensive, and it doesn't have to be a distant dream. If you have a boat, you can go now and if you don't have a boat, you can always pick one up for cheap (or free) and get out on the water now.