Tuesday, November 27, 2018


  • an interval between two acts of a play or opera.
  • a piece of music or a dance performed during an entr'acte.
When we left to go cruising 5 years ago, we knew that we would have to stop to work along the way. We were leaving a year or two before we had planned due to the loss of both of our jobs in aviation. We did indeed stop for two times to work at Snead Island Boat Works in both 2016 and 2017 and the funds earned there allowed us to go to the Bahamas again and to travel these last seven months with our eldest daughter and her family on their boat. We also knew that those funds would not take us to the later age that we wanted to begin to collect Social Security and that we would need to find more to fill the cruising kitty before long. We got our Captain's licenses with the intent of starting a charter company, but Kintala is just not the right boat to do that with and we didn't have enough funds to buy another. The end of our cruising funds loomed large in our minds as we rented a car and drove to St. Louis to celebrate the arrival of our eleventh grandchild who had graced us with her adorable presence two weeks prior.

As is his usual custom, Tim drove to the local airport where he meets with a long-time friend and one time coworker when we are in St. Louis. The friend is currently working at Flight Safety in the city and it seems that they are in desperate need of instructors, a job with a two year minimum commitment. The offer was very generous, the coworkers old friends of Tim, the working environment a far cry more comfortable than that of a boatyard, and it was near the seven grandkids we don't get to see that often. It was a no-brainer. 

So what does this mean for Kintala and The Retirement Project?

The Retirement Project will go on. Once the kitty is full and after the commitment is met, retirement and cruising will resume. Unfortunately, Kintala will not accompany us any farther. She has served us well these seven years, and even though she suffered under previous owners, she has been returned to her original beauty and sleek function through our obsessive care. It's time for her to find someone who will use her for what she was made, a far superior blue water boat. She will be listed for sale shortly, but there will be incentives for anyone who wishes to purchase her prior to the listing. Once we return to the boat we will get photos together and listing details as well as a price. If you're interested before then, please contact us through the Contact form on the right sidebar.

We recently did a couple posts evaluating the "Go simple, go small, go now" mantra that pervades cruising. Whatever you feel about the issue, for us cruising without certain comforts and with the constant worry about where the money is going to come from to pay the bills just simply isn't fun. And when it ceases to be fun, it's time to find another way.

A lot of cruisers are surprised at just how far their actual budgets exceed what they were told they could cruise on. A year or eighteen months into what they thought was going to be a five-year cruise, they're facing the depletion of their funds. They're stunned, disappointed, and a bit frightened for their future. The idea of stopping to work makes them feel like they've failed to live their dream.

We went into the whole thing with eyes wide open. We knew we would have to work, although we've had to work more than we thought we would. We thought we could take Social Security at 62 and that it would be enough to live on, but the reality of our budget has made us reach for 67 before taking benefits sufficient to live on. While this two year hiatus will be challenging and a logistical nightmare, it will give us the time we need to pad the cruising kitty. With that, we can go on once again with some assurance that the financial pressure will be off and the fun to suck ratio will once again tilt toward the fun side.

Obviously the form and function of the blog will change some over the next two years. The next few months will center on the difficulties and challenges of returning to land, something that many cruisers struggle with. Toward the middle of the time the focus will shift on finding the right boat for the next adventure. Monohull?  Catamaran? Trawler? No idea. There will be lots of posts reflecting on what we've learned these last five years - the good, the bad, and the ugly. We will, as always, continue to honestly share our thoughts and feelings as we make our way. We hope you'll find it informative and, as always, we welcome your comments and questions.


Unknown said...

I've so enjoyed reading and rereading your blog from the beginning, maybe more than once...I hope you do continue to post, posting about selling Kintala, about figuring out what the next right boat will be,and so on. I'm wondering if you'll take the new boat back to the Army Corp of Engineers lake and Marina/boat club where it all began to set it up and shake it down. Whatever you do, I wish you both all the best, fair winds, following seas, all that!

Deb said...

Phil thank you for your kind words. Never fear, will be posting as regularly as always. We will be dealing a whole lot with the money issue as regards to cruising. Many people are struggling with the difference between what they feel they were promised and the reality of it. Also the selling of Kintala and the search for a new boat. We're not likely to bring any new boat to Carlyle Lake though. Tim mentioned the other day that he needs to go back and read the blog from the beginning. This will be a good time to do it to remind us of all the things we've forgotten. Thanks again.

Unknown said...

Boats and Money... My view is that the cost of the boat is just ante, like in poker. Rigging, fittings, sails, sail covers, anchors, dodgers, fenders upholstery, plumbing, through hulls, engine parts, props, electrical gizmos, batteries, bottom jobs, fiberglass, varnish, insurance, slip fees, storage, cranes, etc have always tallied well beyond the purchase price over the years, for me at least.

An interesting idea for working pay-as-you-go could be to get qualified and work as a part-time boat surveyor. Decent pay, not excessively hard work, qualifications aren't too onerous - could be a way of putting that hard-earned nautical experience to work!, but probably is a little location specific in terms of building clientele and a steady work flow....

Harri said...

Hi Tim and Debbie! Thanks for the many great posts, it's been fun to keep up with you and your sailing adventures. I hope the hiatus goes well and that you'll then be back to the sea following your dreams!
Yours -> Harri & Co.

s/v Odin the Wanderer said...

Sharing the need to refill the cruising kitty, adjusting to land life again, then boat shopping all over again are important blogs that often don’t get written. Please keep sharing! Our budget has also exceeded the plan because we ended up hauling out for hurricane season since living on the boat in a marina for the summer wasn’t for us (or cheaper than hauling out). Craig has done some aircraft maintenance while home but it’s never steady. It took us 3 years in the RV to commit to a seasonal job that will hopefully stretch our cruising life a little farther. Looking forward to a long overdue meetup next time we pass through STL!

Latitude 43 said...

It will be an interesting stage to write about. Us cruisers all get to this spot sooner or later. You had a good run with some adventure, some laughs and met some interesting people along the way. Looking forward to reading about your next adventure. Stay salty.


Unknown said...

Whatever you do, it will be an interesting story. I've got what is probably in the 10% best jobs ever, but still love sailing. My spouse and I are chartering for now. I've been sailing since I was around 8-10 and I'm double-nickels now, but have never taken any certification courses. We are going to the USVI this spring to do ASA 101, 103, 104, and 114 in a week-long live-aboard so we can charter a cat next go round and so my spouse can become more confident.

I would love to be a full-time sailing adventurer one day. Would really enjoy taking a crack at a two-year circumnavigation. Kids in college for now, relatives live with us, have pets, and have a job that will be hard to leave when the time comes, but we will see. Will depend on many things; there is more than money that ties us to the land.