The Sea Gypsy Tribe Start-Up Manual

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Very interesting.

(H/t Ol’ Remus)

11 responses to “The Sea Gypsy Tribe Start-Up Manual

  1. Tried it for a couple of years, met some interesting people. Just got tired of always only seeing water and ports and endless work on my boat. Don’t even ask me about every time you get caught in bad weather, your radios or navigation stuff will go out. Plus anything you need to buy, if it has the word marine in it, cost ten times as much. Had a circuit breaker go out, tried to order it online $450. Went to Lowes Hardware, bought it for $12.95
    BOAT= Break Out Another Thousand
    Thats a nice story and a nice idea, the reality sucks.

  2. Dave, sorry that it wasn’t for you. It’s not for most folks, that’s for sure. It also takes a fair amount of physical agility. Climbing up through the companionway into the cockpit in rough weather can be like climbing aboard a bucking horse: you can take a spill. Sometimes in bad weather it’s like living on a roller coaster in a lightning storm, but you can’t stop it and get off. That’s the bad side, but it also keeps the faint-hearted away. For those not up to the challenge of open sailing, I’d suggest (especially in the southeast) a houseboat. With a water draft under 2′ and an “air draft” under 11′, they can cover most of the South, far away from cities and highways.

  3. Pingback: Bracken Sends | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  4. Yep, its not a life-style most will enjoy. Had to learn the hard way , I am a fair-weather sailor. Its great when things are great but what it takes to try keeping them great is a lot of mental and physical resources. Nobody should attempt this without knowing what they are getting into. Just getting the basic knowledge you will need is a huge investment. Also learned the hard way most of the pirates these days are on shore waiting to prey on
    any ship that docks in their port. On the other hand I did have the pleasure of meeting whole communities of dedicated sailors from across the globe, some even built their own boats. One interesting lot, that.
    Good suggestion about the houseboat, I’ll try that next time I get the urge to cast -off and put to sea.

  5. Starting with the right boat is a thing to get right for long-term affordable “success”.

    Reducing on-going maintenance costs & TIME is important, especially for the basic functions of a boat. I would avoid wood in any part of a boat that is exposed to weather (interior use is decorative, cost effective, practical) because of the endless labor needed to maintain it. Gelcoat over fiberglass, 1970’s and newer is THE WAY. The occupants of the boat MUST train themselves to do all of the routine maintenance, and most/all of the service/repair type of maintenance. You can sew sails and you can rebuild a diesel genset with a good manual, tools/supplies, and a high-level of motivation. It’s much better to learn how under an expert eye when it’s not life-or-death at-sea with the clock (water and food supplies) ticking.

    There seems to be a “sweet spot” in a sailboat, and I think that it’s 35-43′ long. Our Valiant 42 (1970’s model) was great! http://valiantsailboats.com/content11.php One awesome person can handle it alone and 2 regular people can do it for a long time, but there is room aboard for 4-5 well-behaved people for a longer run (anacortes to honolulu), and a short-term ability to transport a bunch of folks or cargo. It’s not coincidental that more serious full-time RV’ers pick 33-35′ ClassA models for the land wandering.

    Nice article. Thanks.

    • Interesting. You suggest fiberglass and avoiding wood, and I would go the other way. Granted, I have never crossed an ocean, but my experience on commercial fishing boats is fiberglass covered wood is tough and lasts a long time. Wood has the added benefit of being universely available and easy to work with.
      Of course, aluminum boats need minimal maintainence if you can stand the ugly looks.

      • Wood is fine, when protected from water and weather. Fiberglas/gelcoat is a good layer of protection, varnish is not. No objection to plywood (which is an outstanding synthetic wood, esp. when super-marine grade), when suitably protected/sealed in.

        Salt water and aluminum boat is for when you need to go very fast and have cubic money. Corrosion control is really important on any metal boat in salt water, until I get a titanium hull.

        A big-enough boat allows quite a lot of solar power on decks or as fold-outs. Being able to use a bunch of power without running a genset allows you to make water (Reverse Osmosis from salt water), run the freezer/fridge, comm’s, etc. and still have charged batteries. This will greatly extend your ability to get away, and stay away, from fuel docks and dock-based fresh water (with their official and unofficial pirates).

        You can never have enough fresh water, nor enough fuel. Food rarely is more-short than fuel/water, esp. if you have some cases of dehydrated #10’s. The beer will run out, tasty-fresh veg will be gone, steaks in the freezer will be grilled away, but hundreds of meals with shelf-life of 30 years remain in the deep-6 forward stowage. Boring, not starving. Break out the emergency likker or plot a course for a safe/friendly port.

  6. Mostly day sailing in a 23′ O’Day cuddy cabin sloop in a Bay called Choctawhatchee worked for me during 14 years that my three children were growing up and sailing w ith me. Then I tr

  7. Cassandra (of Troy)

    “Sailors & fliers have the same problem, sooner or later they have to land somewhere, & once they do they belong to us”.

    SFC. Jones
    2 tour Nam vet, LRRP, Ear/Sandal Collector
    Infantry instructor
    Ft. Benning, GA
    1981

    A good man, a great Instructor.

    Cassandra (of Troy)

  8. MB,
    Good article and very thought provoking. For the most part I can understand the concept however, as pointed out by at least one commenter, those waiting on shore will own you no matter what! Even if you have the capability to go fast in a moments notice, you are not going to out run a bullet or an RPG. Narrow rivers and estuaries would end up becoming a boxed canyon on the waterway that would end your ability to defend and retreat.

    Only in numbers of like minded people would a concept like this work and even then, a short time until a better living solution is found and defended.

    My 2 cents

  9. These guys tolerate inspections by customs officials and cops that most people would consider intolerable. That is why having firearms is so impractical. How is that freedom? Sorry, not interested…