Cruising Sailors Forum Archive

If I retired, would I get sick of sailing?

There's been a red metal boat moored next to mine for as long as I can remember. I only know the guy to wave hello. Last season, he rowed alongside and we chatted briefly. He's been retired for as long as I know and just came in from a sail and it wasn't the best for reasons I don't recall. But I remember he said something to the effect; "I've only had one good sail in 20 years", or something like that.

Yet his boat is out quite a bit, especially during the week when I rarely sail(but get out for a row to check things out). He's also gone off his mooring often when I'm on the boat. He'd know me as the guy who goes out on weekends and maybe for a few weeks, always with his wife or family.

I'm on the harbor usually every day - sometimes two or even three times - especially in season. I walk there with the dogs and even pull in to see the water if I'm driving by. Sometimes I see someone I know is retired on their boat. Usually I envy them, but sometimes I don't.

I think of how my sailing would change if I could just go, anytime I wanted. I'd call my self an aggressive sailor; meaning I work at sailing. I raise sails often, sweat out lulls and light winds (luckily my family has nearly always been game as well - you have to know when they're not), and we'll let sailing conditions largely determine where we go.

I get a feeling my time limit drives my sailing style, today. It's a bit of work to go sailing on our boat. On the other hand the boat is optimal for what we do, which is more than day sail.

We don't 'cruise'. We don't live on the boat. My boat is more of an endeavor, like my work (which I need to do to live the life we enjoy right now).

Admittedly, I'm self employed so I can get more time sailing than many that work more normal jobs. We've been at least 30 days and nights onboard in season, for decades and even taken a couple work sabbaticals totally more than a year. But I still feel that I earn my time on the water.

Back to my neighbor on the red metal boat. His "only one good sail in 20 years" remark was facetious. But I believe he was trying to convey a personal element to his sailing, that he hoped I might agree with.

And of course I couldn't agree at all but I may have given a commiserating shrug so he didn't feel badly. I didn't have the heart to let him know the glee I was feeling, at that time, with a couple of days of sailing ahead to enjoy at the end of a long work week. That feeling for me is a near euphoria that I've felt countless times - for decades in fact - as we're getting on the boat for a few days of sailing.

Who's sailing in retirement these days and how has your sailing changed?

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