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Author Topic: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan  (Read 4931 times)

Offline cptd

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Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« on: November 24, 2012, 09:31:55 PM »
Life at sea: an alternative bugout plaat most folks do. If you have read any of my other posts the reasons for this should be obvious. I think mobility and flexibility are the keys to long term survival, and in an honest to god worst case, I don't think that holing up on acreage in a fortress is a viable survival plan. Fixed point defense is simply not viable over a long period of time.

To that end, my SHTF plan is not to retreat to 20 acres in the mountains. Instead of buying land and a cabin I bought a 90 foot Ketch, which I have been working on prepping since I lleft the army, and I'm curious as to whether anyone else here has a similar plan.

The boat is big enough for two families of four to live on indefinitely. It is stocked with gear for harvesting food from the sea, either from deep water or shallow water. I've set it up for sustainability. It has sustainable electricity provided by wind turbines and solar panels; reverse osmosis water purification to turn seawater into drinking water; and the emergency provisions most of you have probably squirrelled away in your homes.

Since I'm retired, it gets use as a pleasure craft but doubles as my bugout. I lived on it all summer this year as a sort of proof-of-concept. I departed Mobile, Alabama in May and lived with my family in the Carribbean until my wife had to go back to work in August (she's a teacher). We had a blast and went into port only a handful of times, just for a change of scenery, really (and because the rum ran low)

The lessons learned were many, but if no one else has similar plans it doesn't make sense for me to keep going on about it. But the advantages, to me, of being able to bug out to a sea platform are manyfold, and I would advocate this for option for a lot of reasons. For one thing, even as novices, we were easily able to harvest more food than we needed. We ended up throwing away about a pound of fish for every 10 ounces that we ate.

A mobile, sea-based platform makes you pretty much inaccessible to attack unless you hang out in areas frequented by pirates. My plan revolves around simply avoiding the parts of the world that this is likely, and I can share the details of that strategy if anyone isinterested.

Also, it gives you the option to travel freely to any place in the world in search of safety, as a boat this size is theoretically capable of making trans-oceanic passages. I'm thinking about making an attempt to cross the Atlantic next summer to test this capability andgain more experience in blue water.

It's just an alternative to holing up in a cabin somewhere.

I've always loved sailing and fishing, so for me its  perfect fit.

Anyone else playing this strategy?

Offline ag2

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 11:09:46 PM »
cptd:

Yes, I agree with you. However, many folks do not agree.  (I happen to love the sea, never grew tired of it, never missed the land while out for months at a time.) Please, please, please, if this is your BOV, please spend time with your crew.  Your spouse or crew and you must gain experience at sea.  Stay safe.

Here's a Navy SEAL veteran who is like-minded and built his own steel-hulled boat.  He also wrote four very good mid-eco-collapse books.  The first thee are his trilogy and his fourth novel is about a vet on his bug-out-boat.  I think you will enjoy it.
http://www.enemiesforeignanddomestic.com/book.htm

Mild-mannered beans, bullion, band aids, bullets prepper cautiously watching history repeat itself.

Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 12:47:03 AM »
cptd:

Yes, I agree with you. However, many folks do not agree.  (I happen to love the sea, never grew tired of it, never missed the land while out for months at a time.) Please, please, please, if this is your BOV, please spend time with your crew.  Your spouse or crew and you must gain experience at sea.  Stay safe.

Here's a Navy SEAL veteran who is like-minded and built his own steel-hulled boat.  He also wrote four very good mid-eco-collapse books.  The first thee are his trilogy and his fourth novel is about a vet on his bug-out-boat.  I think you will enjoy it.
http://www.enemiesforeignanddomestic.com/book.htm

Well, I practically grew up on a boat similar to what I now call my summer home, and paid my way through college working on liveaboard dive vessels. My crew consists of mine and one other very trusted family, although I am the sole owner of the boat and the other family is a war buddy and his gang with whom I go way back.

We  both have a lot of sailing and fishing experience.

As far as whether anyone else agrees or not, that's their business - everyone plans according to their own vision, skills, and goals. None of us really know what is going to happen, if anything at all.

Thanks for the book recomendation, I'll take a look at it.


Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 07:44:21 AM »
it sounds like a great idea - I would love to do something like that. keep you safe from zombies too  :zombie:

for me and mine, however, the coast is too far away, so my plan is a bug-in plan; only wildfire or earthquake can do me in.
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Offline Garandman

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 10:33:31 AM »
I think the primary benefit of cruising boats is they encourage planning and self-reliance. Funny how people will happily endure a weekend in cramped quarters, usually without heat, surrounded by seawater, and with a bad that rolls up to 20 degrees and pitches 10 degrees and call it "recreation." But take their power away at home for a day and it's a burden.

Boston Harbor has 14 islands, none but two inhabited.  I've thought about why I would want to go live on one, but no conclusions yet. Like most folks around here we pull our boat for the winter, though we do have an 11' inflatable with an outboard.

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2012, 10:40:12 AM »
Dmitry Orlov is a fulltime boat dweller.
"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." -- self-made billionaire Richard Rainwater in his business analysis of Peak Oil, "The Rainwater Prophecy," Fortune magazine, Dec 26, 2005

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." -- CEO of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson on Peak Oil in CNN's investigative report "We Were Warned: Out of Gas" June 2007/May 2008 03:05

"We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier." --Steely Dan 1983

"... it doesn’t really matter who is removing your civil liberties, whether it is being done by a democratic government, a kleptocracy, a dictatorship or even the green police. When your civil rights are gone, they’re gone, and you really are in trouble, no matter how good the cause." --UK journalist Anthony Harrington, "Peak Oil and Collapse Scenarios," QFinance, September, 2011

Our parents used to say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of it."
And now our kids say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of us."

No food shall be grown that Monsanto does not own. (It all started with the disastrous 1980 SCOTUS ruling on Diamond v Chakrabarty. Petition your Congressman to revoke all patents on living things.)

"The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." FDR 1937

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Offline sdcharger

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2012, 11:43:42 AM »
It's a fine way to bugout from a coastal area if you have the skills and equipment, which you obviously have.  I don't see the long term potential however, say beyond a year or so.  It would be the best way to avoid a pandemic, I suspect.  Your systems will last only as long as your irreplaceable batteries do or some mechanical parts you cannot replace.  You will be vulnerable when you shelter near land from storms.  The ports you have made during good times will not be safe.  When the food, fuel, and tourists stop showing up these places will all be just like Haiti on steroids.

Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 01:11:18 PM »
It's a fine way to bugout from a coastal area if you have the skills and equipment, which you obviously have.  I don't see the long term potential however, say beyond a year or so.  It would be the best way to avoid a pandemic, I suspect.  Your systems will last only as long as your irreplaceable batteries do or some mechanical parts you cannot replace.  You will be vulnerable when you shelter near land from storms.  The ports you have made during good times will not be safe.  When the food, fuel, and tourists stop showing up these places will all be just like Haiti on steroids.

Well like always it becomes a question of what you are prepping for. If you labor under the belief that all order everywhere in the world is going to be raptured into oblivion at the same time over night, then no, the boat would not be a good idea. I'm not thinking this is likely for a lot of reasons.

As for long-term survivability, again, what are you prepping for?  You and I might have different opinions about how events might unfold.

What a lot of people seem to disregard is the historical truth that when modern societies fail, the anarchy seldom lasts very long. There is a lot of historical precedent for this. Nature abhors a vacuum, and the reality is that when a government, economy, etc. in an industrialized nation fails- unless it has been destroyed by a very nasty war or something - the infrastructure and so forth that are the building blocks for re-ordering things are still standing. Into the vacuum that is created by the collapsing power, some new power always, always, ALWAYS rushes in, and it does so quickly. It promises to turn on the lights, which is relatively easy to do when the power plant is still more or less physically in tact. It promises to feed the masses, which is also not terribly difficult to arrange, to some minimalist degree.

The big question is what will that new order look like? And the reality is there is no way for us to know. Perhaps it will be better, perhaps it will be worse. One thing is certain, though - if you're holed up in a mountain cabin in the woods with utter disdain for the masses of "sheeple" that are out there, you're probably not going to be really high on that new order's popularity list. You might form some kind or resistance or something, but that is not the same thing as survival. Most of the people who survived Nazi Germany were the ones who got out of dodge. Same with the Bolshevik revolution. Political dissidents, rebels, whatever you want to call them - they didn't last long. Smokin' Joe Stalin put about 50 million people in shallow graves or gulags. And that's you if the new order is unfriendly to your plans and you choose to put up resistance.

What a boat gives me is the option to get out of North America and find a place to weather the storm as a refugee. This is a time-tested method of ensuring my family's survival.

Not knowing what the new authority will look like, unless you feel like dying for your freedom and being a hero/martyr or something, you're not prepared if you have not made plans to get out of here. Whether you do it by boat, car, on foot, or with a pair o home-made Icarus-style wings, you need to have that option or you're not taking survival seriously.

As for being better trained/prepared/equipped, that is not an advantage that will last you very long. WHen I was rehabbing from an injury I did a brief stint at Ft. Benning training infantrymen in One Station Unit Training. It takes all of a few months of training to turn "sheeple" into effective soldiers. And if they're starving and scared they will be very easy to conscript and to motivate. I can turn person who has never touched a gun into an expert combat shooter in that time. A few months, maybe I can do it in a few weeks. This has happened so many times in so many places that if I started listing them here the post would be ten pages long.

The new power, whatever it is, will have virtually unlimited manpower because of this. If the new power doesn't like you for whatever reason - maybe your race, religion, political beliefs, or ownership of land - you're not going to be able to protect yourself and your only hope to survive is going to be to run for it. If it decides to make scapegoats out of the people who are living in the country on farms, then those people are all beyond screwed.

Food for thought.

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 01:45:49 PM »
cptd,

When do you decide to fight off this "new order" as an illegal attempt to usurp the rightful USA, and when do you decide to join up with it because you've finally concluded that the USA is finally dead?

Where would you draw the line between Person A who is a spineless collaborator and guilty of treasonously joining in with an illegal uprising, vs. Person B who is waking up and smelling the coffee and realizing there is no going back to the way things were? 

(A new discussion thread perhaps??)
"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." -- self-made billionaire Richard Rainwater in his business analysis of Peak Oil, "The Rainwater Prophecy," Fortune magazine, Dec 26, 2005

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." -- CEO of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson on Peak Oil in CNN's investigative report "We Were Warned: Out of Gas" June 2007/May 2008 03:05

"We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier." --Steely Dan 1983

"... it doesn’t really matter who is removing your civil liberties, whether it is being done by a democratic government, a kleptocracy, a dictatorship or even the green police. When your civil rights are gone, they’re gone, and you really are in trouble, no matter how good the cause." --UK journalist Anthony Harrington, "Peak Oil and Collapse Scenarios," QFinance, September, 2011

Our parents used to say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of it."
And now our kids say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of us."

No food shall be grown that Monsanto does not own. (It all started with the disastrous 1980 SCOTUS ruling on Diamond v Chakrabarty. Petition your Congressman to revoke all patents on living things.)

"The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." FDR 1937

The Tin Foil Hat Song by the League of Lady Conspiracists

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2012, 02:48:17 PM »
cptd,

When do you decide to fight off this "new order" as an illegal attempt to usurp the rightful USA, and when do you decide to join up with it because you've finally concluded that the USA is finally dead?

Where would you draw the line between Person A who is a spineless collaborator and guilty of treasonously joining in with an illegal uprising, vs. Person B who is waking up and smelling the coffee and realizing there is no going back to the way things were? 

(A new discussion thread perhaps??)



Meh ... I went ahead and started a new thread. ;)

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=39141.msg439864#msg439864



.
"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." -- self-made billionaire Richard Rainwater in his business analysis of Peak Oil, "The Rainwater Prophecy," Fortune magazine, Dec 26, 2005

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." -- CEO of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson on Peak Oil in CNN's investigative report "We Were Warned: Out of Gas" June 2007/May 2008 03:05

"We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier." --Steely Dan 1983

"... it doesn’t really matter who is removing your civil liberties, whether it is being done by a democratic government, a kleptocracy, a dictatorship or even the green police. When your civil rights are gone, they’re gone, and you really are in trouble, no matter how good the cause." --UK journalist Anthony Harrington, "Peak Oil and Collapse Scenarios," QFinance, September, 2011

Our parents used to say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of it."
And now our kids say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of us."

No food shall be grown that Monsanto does not own. (It all started with the disastrous 1980 SCOTUS ruling on Diamond v Chakrabarty. Petition your Congressman to revoke all patents on living things.)

"The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." FDR 1937

The Tin Foil Hat Song by the League of Lady Conspiracists

Offline MTUCache

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2012, 04:16:45 PM »
When do you decide to fight off this "new order" as an illegal attempt to usurp the rightful USA, and when do you decide to join up with it because you've finally concluded that the USA is finally dead?
I think that's the real beauty of having a mobile and flexible BOL... you don't have to make that decision.

In my opinion it will be extremely difficult to put a definite time on SHTF while it's unfolding in front of you. The downward slide could be fast or slow, and no one knows where the bottom is, or how temporary it will be. Even for those who are prepared and have a fully-stocked BOL, at some point you will be put to a decision between trusting no one (i.e., isolationism and possibly killing innocents) and trusting some one (buying into a community and/or government) because you're in a fixed position. Being able to move gives you another choice, you can simply out-run any contact and wait for a more comfortable situation.

Historically, there's a reason why almost all cities and settlements are on bodies of water... ease of transportation and abundance of food. It's only the last century, since we capitalized on fossil fuels, that we've been able to move to roads/air.

I love this idea. I just know that I wouldn't be able to pull it off. The skill-sets required in order to sail and navigate, deep-sea fishing for food, communication protocol, languages from around the world, water purification, solar energy, etc... these are skills that take a lifetime to develop to a point where you can depend on them. Any pieces of technology which are still functioning (GPS, web, comms, etc) are all just bonuses that make your life that much easier. There will always be ports open to those who have something to trade, even if they're nowhere near North America.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835)

"I worry about the effects on the long-run stability and efficiency of our financial system if the Fed attempts to substitute its judgments for those of the market. Such a regime would only increase the unhealthy tendency of investors to pay more attention to rumors about policymakers' attitudes than to the economic fundamentals that by rights should determine the allocation of capital." - Ben Bernanke, "Asset-Price 'Bubbles' and Monetary Policy" (October 15, 2002) i.e., Debacle + Irony = FED

Offline Torch

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2012, 05:51:50 PM »
ctpd,

I'm really glad you posted this.  I've been giving this a lot of thought and am eager to see what others have to say.  I'm particularly interested in hearing the from those that disagree (respectfully, obviously). 

How did you decide on the type and size of boat?  A 90 foot ketch is quite a large boat.  Do you feel a 40 foot sloop is a viable option as well?  Or is this boat too small and therefore limiting?  I know that people sail the world in 40 foot boats.  What are your thoughts?

Regards,

Michael

Offline TexGuy

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2012, 05:53:27 PM »
I think living at sea is an excellent idea. It's not for me because of my limitations (I know what they are).

And yeah, even though we are fighting in another topic cptd I don't hold grudges. I think if you can do this then more power to you.

Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2012, 06:26:00 PM »
I think living at sea is an excellent idea. It's not for me because of my limitations (I know what they are).

And yeah, even though we are fighting in another topic cptd I don't hold grudges. I think if you can do this then more power to you.

fighting? What?

Offline Joe_Nobody

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2012, 10:09:22 PM »
I've been researching this topic so much lately - it was weird to log in and see this thread.

My next work is going to center on this very concept.

I've owned two different "liveaboard" vessels over the last 20 years. One 26 footer, one 42.

Larger sailing vessels would be able to last the longest without fuel resupply.

Many of them have solar and wind power generators aboard, with significant battery banks. Most larger boats are equipped with dual voltage systems (AC and DC) on the major appliances. The common ocean going boat has a completely self supporting infrastructure. Many aren't that expensive - no more than a good country BOL would cost. ($25,000 or so)

Most have watermakers and excellent sewage systems.
 
Throw in fishing, kelp, cattails and shell fish: You have a pretty good renewable food source.

I know of a completely deserted island along the Texas coast. The only way in is by boat. It has abundant wild life and could support a large group of people.

You could also hide pretty well in several areas around Galveston and Matagorda bays.

Security would be an issue unless you stayed isolated from any shore, but would be possible.
Even the worst hurricane can be ridden out. There are actually people who do it. Find the right anchorage, tie her off to some huge trees and put in a pair of ear plugs.

On the other hand, the sea is unforgiving. Some of my closest brushes with death have been while boating. I'll take a radical shooting at me with an AK any day over having your boat stall right in front of a panama class tanker barreling down on you. Those things can't turn or stop.



Offline cbowseriii

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2012, 10:33:57 PM »
I have often thought about this! I just don't have the sea skills or the boat to pull it off.
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Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2012, 08:48:57 AM »
At the risk of an unintentional thread derail ....

I used to be super-duper active in American church culture. And the one church I attended about 15 years ago had a denomination-wide weekly magazine available for free at the church's front door every Sunday. The magazine had lots of inspirational articles in it, but they were not "inspiration lite" articles of mere encouragement and warm fuzzy thoughts about how God loves us. Instead, these were carefully worded sermons with a touch of guilt-tripping woven into their overall tone. The articles were meant to be somewhat confrontational with the goal of spurring church-goers on toward deeper commitments to God and to active church participation. The titles of the articles were often crafted with mild shock value to them -- meant to be somewhat provocative in their phrasings.

Well ...

One such magazine article bore the title: "Christians Should Not Own Boats."

Provocative?? Yes!

Here's what the gist of the article was ...

Most middle-class Americans work Monday-through-Friday. So if you own a boat, that leaves just Saturday and Sunday for indulging in the hobby. And then if Saturday gets compromised by either a prior commitment (such as a wedding or weekend chores or home improvement projects) or by crappy weather, that leaves just Sunday for your boating excursion. And we simply CAN'T have you gallivanting off on your boat on Sunday because then you won't be in church! While it's true that you can probably go boating AFTER church, most boaters prefer to set out at sunrise (something about tides and such that I'm not super well-versed in). And yet if you forego boating for too many weekends at a time, you are essentially paying lots of money (mooring fees, marine insurance, etc) for an expensive hobby that you just aren't partaking in, and THAT is not a good use of the money God gave you (thus you are being a poor steward of God's money). And for those people who live in the northern regions of the USA, boating season often ends by October, so if you piss away the summer months with weekend after weekend where you are unable to go boating, you essentially spent money on something you NEVER enjoyed once all summer. And then you will quietly build up a resentment in your heart against either the boat for taking all your money, or against church for being the reason why you were never able to partake of your hobby.

In the end, the article insisted that hobbies are fine, but boating is a very pricey one which has the greatest propensity to interfere with one's relationship with God. So Christans need to boycott that hobby entirely.

And I thought to myself: "Gee, that makes sense." And I even nookered down my nose at the occasional Christian that I met who had a boat parked in his driveway. I mean ... even though I knew on a historical level that boats and ships were always an important component in the building of this great nation, and to global commerce in general .... that was 100 years ago and beyond. Today we live in the Nuclear Age, the Space Age, the High Tech Age. We don't need those silly old boats for society to function anymore!  Yes, it's a cute little hobby, but not a necessity to life or to civilization itself -- not THIS civilization. So, with the help of that Christian magazine article, I dismissed boats as a frivolous hobby of no real importance in modern life.





Years later, when I became enlightened to the horror of Peak Oil (back in the Spring of 2008), I was no longer so confident in the ability if this glorious and modernized version of "civilization" to remain so intact. I grew quite fearful during those first few months of having learned about Peak Oil, and I became physically ill from my obsessing over the terrifying idea of all of civilization collapsing into a smoking pile of ashes in less than 10 years. Meanwhile I surprisingly learned from my Peak Oil web sites that there is a movement to try and bring back the tall sailing ships of yore, massive ships which have been decomissioned from commercial service, and which right now are mostly serving as nothing more than tourist attractions and Hollywood location shoots for period piece films. The effort is under way to bring them back into service because they require no fossil fuels to propel them. Some of these ships have indeed been brought back into real commercial service again, and real shipping is once again taking place aboard those majestic vessels. But there is a gross lack of seamen who are skilled in the manning of these craft. 

Meanwhile, there is also a movement for smaller wind-powered vessels to likewise be brought back into commercial service. And so far as I know, one company has indeed been able to re-purpose what used to be just "hobby boats" into work horses of real commercial viability.

As an avid Peak Oiler myself, I immediately grasped the urgent NEED to support such a movement to return to wind-powered commercial boating. After all, Peak Oil is (at the end of the day) an economic crisis. And so trying to pull non-oil-based economic solutions out of our collective ass is one way to mitigate the catastrophe which PO is capable of wreaking upon Western civilization.

So ... when I stopped viewing boats as a mere "hobby" and embraced the idea that they are one of the most important vessels ever created by humans, and one which can help us through any sort of a coming shakeup which might rock our current BAU situation, I began to read about boats and their rich history in human civilization. And I learned that we have lost a vast assortment of very vital skills in boatmanship. The knowledge needs to be rediscovered and brought back into circulation again. We need a Renaissance in boating skills ASAP.

I no longer nooker down my nose at ANYONE who indulges in any form of boating whatsoever. I instead marvel in envy at such people and I wish them the very best, hoping and praying that they continue on with what they are doing, and that their knowledge and practice only grows and spreads all the more.
"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." -- self-made billionaire Richard Rainwater in his business analysis of Peak Oil, "The Rainwater Prophecy," Fortune magazine, Dec 26, 2005

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." -- CEO of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson on Peak Oil in CNN's investigative report "We Were Warned: Out of Gas" June 2007/May 2008 03:05

"We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier." --Steely Dan 1983

"... it doesn’t really matter who is removing your civil liberties, whether it is being done by a democratic government, a kleptocracy, a dictatorship or even the green police. When your civil rights are gone, they’re gone, and you really are in trouble, no matter how good the cause." --UK journalist Anthony Harrington, "Peak Oil and Collapse Scenarios," QFinance, September, 2011

Our parents used to say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of it."
And now our kids say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of us."

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Offline MTUCache

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2012, 09:10:08 AM »
One such magazine article bore the title: "Christians Should Not Own Boats."
Erm... trying to resist the derailing direction of this... but I'm pretty sure this is the attitude that has the majority of society moving away from churches rather than towards them, even in this time of uncertainty and suffering.

By that logic Christians should avoid anything that costs money and/or time that isn't directly involved in the church or their family's well-being, which is more than a little off-putting.

Back to the topic at hand however, I'm wondering what the original posters thoughts are on implementing a similar strategy in the Great Lakes area? Obviously there's some draw backs with a much smaller area to work with (and only two countries), but you could do it with a much smaller craft and you certainly wouldn't have to worry about fresh water.  :P
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835)

"I worry about the effects on the long-run stability and efficiency of our financial system if the Fed attempts to substitute its judgments for those of the market. Such a regime would only increase the unhealthy tendency of investors to pay more attention to rumors about policymakers' attitudes than to the economic fundamentals that by rights should determine the allocation of capital." - Ben Bernanke, "Asset-Price 'Bubbles' and Monetary Policy" (October 15, 2002) i.e., Debacle + Irony = FED

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2012, 10:13:03 AM »
What would your security issues be?  Sure, you can have some weapons and ammo, but if some governmental type boat bears down on you, you are on the short end of the stick.  And you can't outrun every boat.  And you can only stay out at sea for so long before cabin fever sets in.

I think it is a viable option for relatively short term SHTF scenarios, but what if it is longer, or whomever fills the vacuum doesn't want you out there once they realize you are out there?
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”  Robert Heinlein

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Offline Joe_Nobody

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2012, 10:13:15 AM »
I've experienced few situations where I'm closer to my maker than being on a glass smooth bay, clear blue sky and having dolphins come to the back of the boat wanting to play. The feeling is not much different than the miracle of childbirth.

There's no grander cathedral than nature. I feel the most respect for God's work when I'm there. If anyone wants to debate that point with me - wants to claim its better for my family to be in a building than emerged in god's greatest temple, I'll be happy to defend my position.

Dang it...I just helped the hijack...sorry

Offline MTUCache

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2012, 10:32:40 AM »
What would your security issues be?  Sure, you can have some weapons and ammo, but if some governmental type boat bears down on you, you are on the short end of the stick.  And you can't outrun every boat.  And you can only stay out at sea for so long before cabin fever sets in.

I think it is a viable option for relatively short term SHTF scenarios, but what if it is longer, or whomever fills the vacuum doesn't want you out there once they realize you are out there?
Yes, out-running every contact would be difficult. Especially if they're equipped with aircraft and radar and are actively trying to get to you. That is one scenario where you're not going to be able to do a whole lot... but it's not all that dissimilar to a land force showing up at your homestead. You're simply not going to be able to plan on being the heaviest hitter in the area all the time.

Depending on your boat and your skill out-running may be a good option. Especially when you consider scenarios where fossil-fuels aren't always a part of the equation.

Either way, for longer SHTF situation you're not necessarily stuck with the boat either. Even in a HUGE regional (hell, continental) SHTF situation you've still got the option of getting out of dodge and sheltering in some other developed country. Provisioning for a trip to New Zealand may not be ideal in a relatively small boat with few crew, but there's no reason why you couldn't head to a Caribbean island for a few months to wait out a dictatorial overthrow in the US, or a pandemic situation, or a nuke fallout. You could very easily head for mainland South America (or wherever your comms tell you is a stable and friendly/neutral place). If you get to a place where you're comfortable you could probably flip the boat for a residence as well.

The ex-pat community may be small, but from nearly all accounts I've seen they give the impression that living outside of the US is a hell of a lot easier than we main-landers like to think it is. Friendlier, cheaper, and downright luxurious if you've got even a fraction of the means it would take to live like that here. The Parrothead scene isn't the only one who enjoys salt water beaches and locales where white skin isn't the norm.  :P

Don't think of it as an island that you are stuck on. Think of it as a really small mobile homestead you can park just about anywhere you want. :p
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835)

"I worry about the effects on the long-run stability and efficiency of our financial system if the Fed attempts to substitute its judgments for those of the market. Such a regime would only increase the unhealthy tendency of investors to pay more attention to rumors about policymakers' attitudes than to the economic fundamentals that by rights should determine the allocation of capital." - Ben Bernanke, "Asset-Price 'Bubbles' and Monetary Policy" (October 15, 2002) i.e., Debacle + Irony = FED

Offline bob3

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2012, 11:29:28 AM »
I'm in the sailing business in South Florida and see people doing this every week.  They might not be consciously "prepping" but they are clearly planning on being self-sufficient for a while and departing the grid for limited -- or unlimited -- periods of time.  It does take either diverse skills or deep pockets, and it's a fun group of people to work with because you never know which kind of person you're talking to!  For anyone in coastal Florida, a boat seems the safest BOV, because there's nowhere to drive on land to a safe BOL with sufficient fresh water until you get north of Lake Okeechobee.  I don't have an option yet, but I'm dreading the thought of several million water-dependent Floridians with a widespread grid failure.  Even just anchoring out or visiting the Keys for a week with a decent watermaker is a great option to have "when times get tough, or even if they don't."

Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2012, 03:45:13 PM »
Security at sea is a far smaller problem than it's going to be for people living on land in a serious breakdown of law and order.

The ocean is vast. People forget that sometimes I think. I've been at sea for weeks at a time without so much as seeing another ship on the distant horizon. It would be very, very easy for me to vanish into deep water and it would be almost impossible for anyone to find me, even in the very unlikely event that anyone would be actively searching for a guy on a sailboat somewhere in the world.

No one is going to chase me down with an aircraft carriers and submarines. It makes no sense for anyone to spend the vast quantity of fuel and energy that this would require to stop one guy and his family from getting away. It's far more believable that if the goverment was going to seize things they would seize people's land and other domestic assets.

SHort of the government coming after me - which is unlikely even in a worst imaginable sort of tyranny simply because the payoff for finding me could not begin to approach the cost of resources necessary to mount that search - there is not much to worry about in blue water as far as security; especially if you stay out of the major shipping lanes, in which case you're not likely to even be spotted by anyone else.  The mobs that we are predicting in the cities can migrate to the country by putting one foot in front of the other and repeating the process but you can't swim out to the middle of the ocean. You need a boat capable of making the journey and people who know how to pilot it.

Security in shallow coastal waters is another matter. That's where choosing your route and choosing what waters to put into becomes important. Piracy is already a problem in laces around the world; the good news is, there will always be secure ports in the world to put into. So coastal security is mostly a game of knowing where those places are, and planning to stay in those places and in blue water. You have choice about where to go so you're not married to a place. If it goes bad you pull up the anchor and go someplace else. Farming the land doesn't really give you flexibility like that.

Long term, if the US were to have a big, long, protracted period of strife, I might find another country to settle in (I have a list of places with potential), sell the boat, and start a new life there. I don't have to live all of my days at sea for the rest of my life.

Cabin fever, yes. But again, there will be ample opportunities to go to shore in other places, and I and my family enjoy sailing far more than we would enjoy farming. And enjoyment is worth something. If you are happy with your life, you will survive longer than someone who is miserable and hates life.

There are pros and cons each way, the biggest con to sea life being that you and your crew are on your own. Period. There are no neighbors, good, bad, or indifferent. It's just you and the vast expanse of water stretching out forever in every direction. When things go wrong you've got to figure out a way to deal with it because there is no help of any kind coming. The farm people might be able to get a community of some sort together and lean on each other for support and resource sharing. Out at sea that ain't the way it works and you have to be totally self-sufficient.

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2012, 04:13:31 PM »
I am enchanted by the idea, but am unsure about my ability to prep in this direction at my current stage in life.



So, I'm lurking upon the thread ...  8)

Offline endurance

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2012, 04:26:13 PM »
I think the idea makes a hell of a lot of sense for folks that are living in a high density region along the coast, like LA or San Francisco, where getting out of the region by car in a SHTF would be a nightmare.  However, I also see the down side if you're in a hurricane-prone area where your BOL could be destroyed in a single storm.
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Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2012, 04:34:08 PM »
Erm... trying to resist the derailing direction of this... but I'm pretty sure this is the attitude that has the majority of society moving away from churches rather than towards them, even in this time of uncertainty and suffering.

By that logic Christians should avoid anything that costs money and/or time that isn't directly involved in the church or their family's well-being, which is more than a little off-putting.

Back to the topic at hand however, I'm wondering what the original posters thoughts are on implementing a similar strategy in the Great Lakes area? Obviously there's some draw backs with a much smaller area to work with (and only two countries), but you could do it with a much smaller craft and you certainly wouldn't have to worry about fresh water.  :P

The problem with the great lakes is you would have to find a place to sit through the winter. Ice floes make boating impossible in the winter. If you had to get out in January you couldnt do it by boat.

Plus the Great Lakes are actually some of the most treacherous waters in the world. A little known fact, they are home to more shipwrecks per square mile than any other area anywhere in the world. There is a reason for that. I would not recommed it.

Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2012, 04:42:20 PM »
I think the idea makes a hell of a lot of sense for folks that are living in a high density region along the coast, like LA or San Francisco, where getting out of the region by car in a SHTF would be a nightmare.  However, I also see the down side if you're in a hurricane-prone area where your BOL could be destroyed in a single storm.

You will always be at the mercy of mother nature. An F4 tornado can wipe out a farm,

I wont be staying in areas that are hurricane prone and have taken that into my planning process.

Offline NWBowhunter

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2012, 05:05:41 PM »
This is definately in my planning for BOV. It offers the least constricted method of exiting the PNW. I was talking toa friend from church about this just last week. His suggestion was the purchase of one of the many repossesed boats. Banks have lots of them that they have absolutely no interest in carrying on their books. Moorage fees or storage is costly for them. He believes a good live aboard can be picked up for 15 cents on the dollar.  With the economy continuing to tank the idea time to be looking is now.

I'm prepared to be wrong are you?

Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2012, 05:45:01 PM »
I'm not sure what the going price for a sustainable piece of land is these days, after you build a home there and all. When I got serious about prepping I looked at sinking money into some kind of homestead plan, but opted for the boat for a lot of reasons.

But to be honest what it came down to was my comfort level. Because my dad was a sailor and raised me on a charter sailing boat (I was homeschooled by my mom on this vessel and spent on average 8 months of the year at sea on it) I am far, far, far more at home on a boat than I could ever be on a chunk of land. I grew up as part of the crew of a sailing vessel, and while I was away from the sea during my stint in the army (why I chose the army and not the navy is a long story for some other forum somewhere) it was like a homecoming for me when I got my boat and put her out to sea for the first time.

My dad taught me a lot of seacraft that is becoming increasingly rare. Celestial navigation. Unpowered docking. Things like that were just the way we sailed. If my dad was still alive today he would be part of my crew, but I do look forward to continuing the tradition with my own kids.

I could never be as good at growing potatoes as I am at fishing for Albacore or collecting shellfish. And I would never be as at home eating on those potatoes as I am at eating on fish.

Even i my crippled state - obviously I need the help of a good crew - but even in my bad health I'm more agile, mobile, and far more free at sea than I could ever be on land.

So for me, like I said before, this was a natural fit. It would have been a far bigger stretch for me to homestead. Plus I don't like the risks associated with marrying myself to a plot of land and depending on that for survival, which is my personal decision - I think in light of the communist leanings of our current government, and with the history of the Bolshevik revolution in mind, being a landowner is a tossup in a SHTF scenario. I know that thinking flies in the face of conventional prepper wisdom but that doesn't make it necessarily wrong. The forced collectivization of agriculture happened in a huge part of the world not that long ago, and people there said what people here are saying now: "That could never happen here."

But the larger issue for me was my existing skillset, and my happiness level. That makes a difference. I think if you are surviving but you're not happy, you're not really alive. Survivng and living are not the same thing.


Offline markl32

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #29 on: November 26, 2012, 07:31:54 PM »


This is the coolest thread I have read in a while.  Thanks for sharing.  I don't think there is a boat in my near future but I find your plan both logical and exciting.