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Times Up?

Dec 25, 2000
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
As mentioned here a time or two before, we purchased Belle-Vie in 2002, a 1991 Passage 42 weighing in at 35,000 pounds fully provisioned for cruising. She can be a hand full in a blow or blistering along under full sail in 20 plus MPH winds close hauled.

Four times a week I do five miles cross country running (more like a fast walk these days) and when finished I do upper and lower body work out to keep in shape. No spring chicken here, but I do turn 74 next month, a bit long in the tooth. Some pondering these days about how much longer before my time is up. Is it my bitter end?

Eighty seems like a good round number for discussion purposes; anyone out there pushing father time? Some might say time to down size, others maybe time for a stink potter. Just say'n.

Belle-Vie offers much to look forward to each season plus year around extended cruising. Being out on the water for two plus months with fellow skippers offers experiences never before anticipated in my earlier life. But now has arrived and perhaps some might offer some inspiration or additional insight as to life next steps. What say you, skipper?

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Likes: Carl Weathers


Aug 18, 2015
Hunter 31 Tampa Bay
I'm only 57, but I really hope my time is not up at 74. I'm only now on the cusp of becoming a full-time cruiser!

I think it all depends on attitude - if you think you are up to it, you likely are. Having said that, I know that time takes its toll, and at some point you cannot do what you once did. You will know when it is beyond you. Until then, sail on. I believe we will only regret those things that we did not do.

Rick D

Jun 14, 2008
Hunter Legend 40.5 Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
I'm in exactly the same position and had the same considerations: age, time with boat and close in size. I decided that I will know when it's time to quit. I don't like the idea of buying another boat and putting up with all the updates, repairs & discovery associated, plus the broker expenses and taxes on both ends. Instead, I decided to treat ourselves to upgrades we can enjoy for the next couple of years. I expect I will know when it's time to swallow the anchor.
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Likes: Kings Gambit
Nov 30, 2015
Hunter 1978 H30 Cherubini Treman Marina, Ithaca, NY
I'll be a sextigenarian, in a couple months, and we just got started. First time boat owner last year, but four previous trips to the BVI on bareboat charters before we bought our own ship. If I can get 14 to 25 years of sailing pleasure on our fresh water lake...I could die a happy sailor. I just won't go up the mast anymore....and besides old sailors never die, they just get a smaller dinghy.

This song's for you brother:

Dec 25, 2000
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
This song's for you brother:
Thanks Wayne. Enjoyed your song. Hit the spot.

Still going up the mast when needed. Usually about once a year for this and that.

I don't like the idea of buying another boat and putting up with all the updates, repairs & discovery associated, plus the broker expenses and taxes on both ends.
Ditto here Rick. Similar to being married to the same woman for 48 years. I suppose some younger new thing would be spicier, but one becomes very comfortable after awhile. Anyway, hot sauce gives me indigestion.
Jan 4, 2006
Hunter 310 Island Hunter West Vancouver, B.C.
Still going up the mast when needed. Usually about once a year for this and that.
If you're still going up the mast, you've got a good ways to go yet. I look at it as a challenge (both the sailing and the maintenance) and I'm not backing down for many years to come.
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Mar 1, 2012
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
I'm 76, and single hand my 25 footer. I am making a few concessions, such as leading jib halyard aft and adding a down haul, but other wise no problem.

In 2015 I did a 3 month single hand from here on the Texas coast, over to Florida and return.

I hope to be sailing and doing some cruising into my 80's if my health holds up:) Have a friend in the DC area who still crews on races, and he's 81.

And remember Susan and Eric Hiscock,
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Likes: Alansails
Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Wayne, is that like a guy who remembers it was fun but is of an age that he's not sure how to get it started?

Heard on the fuel dock that young men sail, when they can't get the sail up they trade in for a motor cruiser. When the docks get to slippery to stand the trade the boat in for an RV. When the road feels to dangerous with all crazies buzzing around, they set up camp, in a Walmart parking lot - food supply, running water from a hose, neighbors walking by, and a ready source of repair parts. All the comforts of home but no property tax.

May my days on the water be plentiful.
Dec 29, 2012
Hunter 37 Jacksonville
I've been so impressed with Jim and Anne Cate from the Crusiserforum. I believe they are in their 80's, and still log around 5000 miles per year on their sailboat. So I have hope that I may have many more years available.
Jan 24, 2017
Chrysler C26 Lake Sakakaweea
I'm only 57, but I really hope my time is not up at 74. I'm only now on the cusp of becoming a full-time cruiser!

I think it all depends on attitude.
I'm 58 and just getting started! Will not be able to go full time until 65. I think 95 to 100 is a good goal, but what a way to go.
Jan 22, 2008
Hunter 1997 Hunter 340 Pierre SD
IMG_0922.JPG 83 and going strong. Sailing a 21 year old Hunter 34. At my age you realize 83 is just a number. Just keep moving. Once you sit you rust. Incidentally, been corresponding with Phil Herring, editor and owner of these forums, for many years as 3 others & I helped convert his original mailing list.
Jim (& Char) Russell
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Aug 30, 2009
Oday 19 Trailerable
Age is not the factor. It's condition. I'm only 70 but gave up sailing five years ago due to degenerative 'ritis in my joints leading to repairs and replacements ongoing. This season will be the end of my camp cruising in my little geezer power cruiser. My bones are just plain wearing out, so to speak and taking the rest of me with them. I'll keep a small boat for the lake like a Livingston or Sorenson for easy fishing but that's about it.


Feb 21, 2008
Hunter 29.5 Punta Gorda
I have a friend who is 93 and still single hands a Catalina 30 that he bought when he was 85. He has been sailing longer than I have been alive. Decent health, balance and vision seem to be the key.


Jun 15, 2009
Hunter 290 Channel Islands
Lots of folks in my yacht club switch to stinkpots when hauling lines becomes a problem rather than give up being on the water entirely. My plan is to downsize. My Catalina 36 is enough boat for me, for now but I know the day will come. My plan: Something like a West Wight Potter 19, harbor sailing and offshore sailing on light days. The winches are tiny, the boats are stable, it will keep me with one of those tall pointy things in the air for a few more years. Yeah, I won't get out on the rougher days, or as far, but I'll still be able to sail. And I'll be able to sail on days my 36 can't, 5 knots of breeze and those little suckers will sing. Cheers.
Mar 21, 2017
None 30 Usa
Just passed 08 next 18, etc. been out of boats since,20 05, road out a small early July hurricane, lake front air port marina, N.O. Wife said that's it! Been in MoHo since, now trying to buy something somewhat trailerable for a local lake, (have a free slip).
Ancient history included lot of racing, lot of chartering, can't get the good times out of my mind.
Cant re-live, but maybe a few good times remain in the future?
Like the green machine, that's got to go to make financial way for the boat.
Age is just a number, enjoy each day.


Aug 10, 2012
WD Schock Wavelength 24 Wallenpaupack
I'm young at 45, and I have already told my daughter that if I ever get to the point I can't sail my boat... she is required to pour me into my boat at a slip near open water to the Atlantic. She is required to push me off the dock... I told her if I call her weeks later from parts unknown and request air fair home, she is required to pay the airfare back, and place me in a equally scary craigslist special sailboat, and repeat the process, until I eventually don't make the call.

Seriously though, only YOU can determine when. I submit that the telltale sign is when it is no longer "fun."