Top 10 Myths About Cruising
1. It's an endless vacation** - I have broached the subject before, but it's worth repeating. This lifestyle is NOT easy. It's NOT an "endless vacation" (as so many landlubbers seem to see it) and it's not glamourous. It's a lot of hard work and there are a lot of highs and lows associated with it. To us, it's worth the rewards of living life on our own terms but you must know that it does not come without sacrifices.
2. The more gadgets, the better** - I've heard the term "gadget-itis" before and a lot of people out here have it, us included probably. We've got a lot of bells and whistles aboard Rasmus (AIS, autopilot, chart-plotter, SSB, EPIRB, Spot tracker...etc) but we also are competent in navigating without these things and tend not to rely solely on them lest we become dependent. "Gadget-itis" refers to the belief that you need every little trinket from a foam mug holder (it holds four cups without spilling!) to a specialty sailing tool bag (made specifically for boats!) to outfit your boat properly. You probably don't need these things. Save some money for the cruising kitty up front by making sure what you want is also what you need, as there is often a big difference.
3. It's a dangerous, risky lifestyle** - A lot of people on land ask what I think about the young teens these days - like Abby Sunderland and Jessica Watson - who have attempted to break records by sailing around the world alone at seemingly ridiculous ages (one succeeded and one did not). I always say that while I don't think I'd feel comfortable with my 16-year-old out on the ocean alone, if these young people are truly the mariners they are said to be, they are probably much safer out there than on the streets of their hometowns where the threat of drugs, drunk driving, online bullying, teenage pregnancy, and things like that are a real threat every day. The truth is, the sea is a very safe place if you are diligent. Sure, there are storms, hurricanes, and gear failure, but if you watch weather properly, maintain your boat well and sail conservatively you should be able to avoid the big, catastrophic stuff.