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Author Topic: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan  (Read 5529 times)

Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #60 on: November 28, 2012, 05:29:03 PM »
I think serfdom is already a way of life for everyone here, myself included, which is why I'm planning to leave whether the SHTF or not.

I spent a lot of time in the Carribbean as a child. My dad took rich people on private cruises to show them stuff, sometimes stuff that was way off the beaten path. So I know those countries pretty well.

The problem with a lot of them is that once you get out of the ports, they can be pretty rough. Some exceptions to this are places like the Cayman Islands, and some of the old Dutch colonies. Turks/Caicos are pretty safe.

I have dual citizenship here in the US and in Belize. I was born in Belize City while it was a British colony (it went independent in 1981). I have my boat registered and flagged there, and travel with that passport, which lets me avoid the whole problem of anti-American sentiment in the world. Also, the taxes and fees on my boat are a fraction of what they would be if I registered it here. ANd I mean a tiny fraction. I don't know if this plan would even be practical if I had to own the thing here in the States because I wouldn'tbe able to pay uncle sam for the privilege of owning it.  My dad was out showing his customers Mayan ruins in the jungle when my mom went into labor, and so I have a soft spot in my heart for Belize.

Outside of the US, I would trust South Africa as a safe port, and most of South America will probably be OK.

Stay away from North Africa. That place is a horrible mess. The closest call I can remember my dad getting us into was in TUnisia. I'd be very careful if I went there.

Most of the island nations of the South Pacific are extremely self reliant. I would plan on spending a lot of time there.



Offline chrisdfw

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2012, 10:44:53 PM »
I like belize, and the bay islands of honduras myself, but there are beautiful places all over south america

Offline nelson96

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2012, 12:57:53 AM »
I'm sorry but it's going to take some more convincing to get me on board.  My dad loves boats and even more than his love for boats, he loves people who own them or want to own them.  He's owned a boat yard for 25 years and is in the business of repairing ocean going boats.  Ocean going boats need a lot of maintenance after spending a lot of time at sea and when things go wrong they often go very wrong (these repairs have made him a very rich man).  Most of the boats he works on need to be dry docked to perform the work and finding that kind of capability is going to be tough at a time of crisis.  I also spent time (two summers) on a fishing vessel (scallops) and I've seen some pretty rough sea's during the summer months, I wouldn't want to see the same sea's during the winter months.  If something goes terribly wrong with this BOV it's not like you can abandon it and walk out.

I also have my mind made up that a family needs a butt wad of prep's if things go south as bad as some predict, and it would take a pretty large vessel that could pack it all.  I can't see myself gardening on the deck for more food and I predict that bartering at ports could be tough unless I have the right things to barter with, which could run dry too.  I suppose I could take time now and start stashing stuff around the world, but that would take some rare resources too.

What about fuel?  Is that always going to be available and will I always be able to afford to buy it.  Sails work great, but what if a storm takes out my mast, days from any port, with pirates sailing about?  I'm also at the mercy of bigger and faster vessels running me down and taking what I got.  Or lets say someone gets sick and I'm in the middle of the ocean with no time to find a port with a capable doctor, if I even knew where to find one. 

I can keep going, but what's the point.  I respect all that at least have a plan, especially one that is thought out and in line with there expertise, but I don't think I could do it.  No, I'm pretty darn sure I couldn't do it.
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2012, 01:40:40 AM »
I also have my mind made up that a family needs a butt wad of prep's if things go south as bad as some predict, and it would take a pretty large vessel that could pack it all.

^This^

I'm also in agreement that if your skills and experience can support this type of plan then go for it.  I have a homestead and know what it takes to feed a family of 6 every day.  It isn't a small amount.  It also takes work and land.  If the sea is the life for you, then I'm 100% in support.  Do it.  I thought it through and realized that the amount of skill and experience I would have to develop, and the time and resources it would take still wouldn't guarantee that I wouldn't kill us all trying.  So I've modified our "Life at Sea" alternative to a smaller motorized boat that will enable us to use it much like a land-based BOV.  We'll use it to navigate the river out of the "hot zone" and hug the coast until we can find a place to put in and start over.

There is A LOT of coast.  We could possibly follow it for years.  Most of the same benefits as the open water vessel (fishing, mobility, alternate routes), but without the possibility of going on sail power or getting out into deep water away from the rabble.  We'd be limited by the availability of fuel, but it does offer us another "get out of dodge" option.  Thank you for your insight Cptd.  I'm glad to be able to take your idea and find a way to make it applicable to our capabilities.

Of course, the likelihood of us actually leaving the U.S. is microscopic.  We have U.S. passports and the boat would be registered in the U.S.  That would make us large targets and not worth any advantage to leaving.  Besides, I'm still hung up on that patriotic thing.

 ;)
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Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #64 on: November 29, 2012, 02:34:52 AM »
I'm sorry but it's going to take some more convincing to get me on board.  My dad loves boats and even more than his love for boats, he loves people who own them or want to own them.  He's owned a boat yard for 25 years and is in the business of repairing ocean going boats.  Ocean going boats need a lot of maintenance after spending a lot of time at sea and when things go wrong they often go very wrong (these repairs have made him a very rich man).  Most of the boats he works on need to be dry docked to perform the work and finding that kind of capability is going to be tough at a time of crisis.  I also spent time (two summers) on a fishing vessel (scallops) and I've seen some pretty rough sea's during the summer months, I wouldn't want to see the same sea's during the winter months.  If something goes terribly wrong with this BOV it's not like you can abandon it and walk out.

I also have my mind made up that a family needs a butt wad of prep's if things go south as bad as some predict, and it would take a pretty large vessel that could pack it all.  I can't see myself gardening on the deck for more food and I predict that bartering at ports could be tough unless I have the right things to barter with, which could run dry too.  I suppose I could take time now and start stashing stuff around the world, but that would take some rare resources too.

What about fuel?  Is that always going to be available and will I always be able to afford to buy it.  Sails work great, but what if a storm takes out my mast, days from any port, with pirates sailing about?  I'm also at the mercy of bigger and faster vessels running me down and taking what I got.  Or lets say someone gets sick and I'm in the middle of the ocean with no time to find a port with a capable doctor, if I even knew where to find one. 

I can keep going, but what's the point.  I respect all that at least have a plan, especially one that is thought out and in line with there expertise, but I don't think I could do it.  No, I'm pretty darn sure I couldn't do it.

Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #65 on: November 29, 2012, 03:35:45 AM »
I'm sorry but it's going to take some more convincing to get me on board.  My dad loves boats and even more than his love for boats, he loves people who own them or want to own them.  He's owned a boat yard for 25 years and is in the business of repairing ocean going boats.  Ocean going boats need a lot of maintenance after spending a lot of time at sea and when things go wrong they often go very wrong (these repairs have made him a very rich man).  Most of the boats he works on need to be dry docked to perform the work and finding that kind of capability is going to be tough at a time of crisis.  I also spent time (two summers) on a fishing vessel (scallops) and I've seen some pretty rough sea's during the summer months, I wouldn't want to see the same sea's during the winter months.  If something goes terribly wrong with this BOV it's not like you can abandon it and walk out.

I also have my mind made up that a family needs a butt wad of prep's if things go south as bad as some predict, and it would take a pretty large vessel that could pack it all.  I can't see myself gardening on the deck for more food and I predict that bartering at ports could be tough unless I have the right things to barter with, which could run dry too.  I suppose I could take time now and start stashing stuff around the world, but that would take some rare resources too.

What about fuel?  Is that always going to be available and will I always be able to afford to buy it.  Sails work great, but what if a storm takes out my mast, days from any port, with pirates sailing about?  I'm also at the mercy of bigger and faster vessels running me down and taking what I got.  Or lets say someone gets sick and I'm in the middle of the ocean with no time to find a port with a capable doctor, if I even knew where to find one. 

I can keep going, but what's the point.  I respect all that at least have a plan, especially one that is thought out and in line with there expertise, but I don't think I could do it.  No, I'm pretty darn sure I couldn't do it.

I'm not interested in "selling you on the idea". It would be dangerous for me to do that.

I had a long message typed up where I addressed each of your concerns. Something happened to my browser and I lost it.

But the bottom line is this. I'm part of a long line of mariners. My forefathers were crossing oceans before America was America. They did it in boats smaller than mine, and with none of the support you listed as a requirement.

Most boat owners are not mariners. They do not have the skills to live at sea. They do it as a hobby. Me and my kind, the adventure mariner community, that's not how we do it.

When I was growing up, my dad drydocked our boat for three weeks, total, out of the entire time I was on it. And we never did it in North America. We did our repairs ourselves, usually while in the water.

As for medical care and the like - I cut myself bad with a filet knife once when I was 12 or 13. My dad informed me that I was old enough to do my own sutures. No novacaine. I healed up just fine.

Am I making my point here? Mariners and boaters are not the same thing.

As for barterable goods, I'm going to have a boat. I can pick up bananas in Puerto Rico and bring them to Texas or Florida or Lousiana. It's called commerce. Seafarers have made a living this way since the beginning of time. I know a banana is not a necessity, but it might make life a little better, and there will be a market for them.

If can transport oranges or strawberries from Florida to New York or Maine.

I can bring cigars from Honduras.

I may even be able to get you some good Japanese porn for the right price.

I could list a thousand possibilities. In a nutshell, the way seafaring commerce works is that I ship stuff from here to there safely, and make money, or trade for food, or whatever the going currency is. The Phonecians were doing this before the time of Christ.  Shipping goods from here to there - that's a valuable service, and one that people will trade, or barter, or pay for.

Now you and I differ as to what we think the rest of the world will look like after a collapse in the US, and that difference is just going to be the way of things. I'm done trying to convince you that the US is going to take everything down in total ruin when it falls.

What we really need to do is sit down and figure out how our particular skills can help each other and our respective communities, not lay into each other's plans. Because the bottom line is that we have more in common than not. We're all survivors. What we should be doing, rather than picking at each other, is trying to figure out what we can do to help/benefit each other if need be.

I don't want to sell you on the boat idea. Becoming a true mariner takes a lifetime. Not weeks or months or even years, but a lifetime of training and experience alone at sea. I could 't make you a sea captain if we started now and went at it full bore for five years. What I was hoping would pop up here on this forum was a few people who might be interested in staying in touch and figuring out how to hook up in the aftermath of a crisis so we can work together to make life better.

That is, if things are stable enough in North America to merit me staying here. That remains to be seen.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #66 on: November 29, 2012, 03:48:24 AM »
What I was hoping would pop up here on this forum was a few people who might be interested in staying in touch and figuring out how to hook up in the aftermath of a crisis so we can work together to make life better.

That is, if things are stable enough in North America to merit me staying here. That remains to be seen.

I'd be interested in exotic trades with you post-SHTF.  Though we'll most likely fore-go the Japanese porn.   ;)

If you'd like to work out a link up for that, the nearest place to put in would be Yankeetown, FL (there's a marina there now, though after a collapse?).  I'd likely be able to navigate the river from our property all the way out to where you are anchored.  We'd definitely have something to barter (assuming we make it).  Are you planning on using Marine VHF primarily for communications?  Interesting to come up with alternative plans like this.  Different than most plans anyway.
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #67 on: November 29, 2012, 05:52:04 AM »
@ cptd

I do get your points, and I wasn't trying to purposely pick at your chosen lifestyle.  I apologies if I offended you or anyone with my opinion.  It's just that a lot of folks here viewing and responding to your thread aren't mariners (I'm guessing) and I felt an obligation to shed another light.  For many of us, the time is now to get serious with our prep's and putting valuable time in thinking this could be a good plan to put resources to isn't in my opinion going to be a good choice for most.

To clarify my knowledge on the subject (though little on my own part), my dad doesn't work with "boaters" on the most part.  He works with professional fishermen, or mariners as you called them, that often work from coast to coast year around.  I think his boat lift can pull up to a 60 foot boat out of the water and dry dock it for repair, which is a key part of his business.  He also gets a lot of sailing vessels from all over the country, because he allows them to do a lot of their own work once the boat is dry docked.  A lot of boats require dry docking for repair.  You can't pull a 30' shaft out of the boat without it being on land, let alone getting a 3 foot propeller off to repair it or get to the shaft.  It's pretty hard to scrape the barnacles off the bottom of your boat or replace the zinc's (which are both required from time to time) without a diving suit, let alone repairing a damaged hull.

Here's another issue I hadn't mentioned yet.  Now to be fair, these guys are representing an extreme attempt of what's it's like to cross a bar at a flooded river, so it's not usually quite this bad.  But, it's either cross it, or take your chances at sea until you can cross it.  Crossing a bar (a man made point where a river meets the ocean) is something every mariner must do when he wants to leave the open ocean and come back to port.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ByGSMmenPDM
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 06:03:11 AM by nelson96 »
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Offline rikkrack

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #68 on: November 29, 2012, 07:21:30 AM »
While I am no where near the coasts, or major waterways, I am interested in some sort of network down the road or even sooner. Why do we need to wait for SHTF to do some sort of trade/barter/market?

I have friends who needed to go to OK (we live in IN) to visit with family. Someone they knew needed hay as the drought made feeding their livestock expensive in OK, and hay in IN was cheap. OK was 3 times as much.

They loaded a trailer with hay, and brought back a few heads of beef. Since they were going anyway, and beef was cheaper there than here. I paid for some gas and got a great deal on beef at market.

I barter with a guy who lives out of town (I live in major city) my labor for firewood. I go out to his place help him cut and split. I bring back wood with me, and sell my portion. He can't get as good a rate in the country (everyone has trees). He doubles his production, and I get a small portion to take back with me to the city. I can sell for twice what he can in the country.

I saw something similar on the TSP blog about people bringing back sorghum presses because they have them available in south America. They were heading to the US anyway so they were going to pick a few up. 

Being in Indiana I am interested for options now or down the road. Not exactly sure what or how I can be involved at the moment if nothing else be distribution or transportation.
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Offline LvsChant

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #69 on: November 29, 2012, 09:43:14 AM »
I think serfdom is already a way of life for everyone here, myself included, which is why I'm planning to leave whether the SHTF or not.

I spent a lot of time in the Carribbean as a child. My dad took rich people on private cruises to show them stuff, sometimes stuff that was way off the beaten path. So I know those countries pretty well.

The problem with a lot of them is that once you get out of the ports, they can be pretty rough. Some exceptions to this are places like the Cayman Islands, and some of the old Dutch colonies. Turks/Caicos are pretty safe.

I have dual citizenship here in the US and in Belize. I was born in Belize City while it was a British colony (it went independent in 1981). I have my boat registered and flagged there, and travel with that passport, which lets me avoid the whole problem of anti-American sentiment in the world. Also, the taxes and fees on my boat are a fraction of what they would be if I registered it here. ANd I mean a tiny fraction. I don't know if this plan would even be practical if I had to own the thing here in the States because I wouldn'tbe able to pay uncle sam for the privilege of owning it.  My dad was out showing his customers Mayan ruins in the jungle when my mom went into labor, and so I have a soft spot in my heart for Belize.

Outside of the US, I would trust South Africa as a safe port, and most of South America will probably be OK.

Stay away from North Africa. That place is a horrible mess. The closest call I can remember my dad getting us into was in TUnisia. I'd be very careful if I went there.

Most of the island nations of the South Pacific are extremely self reliant. I would plan on spending a lot of time there.




I find the whole idea very interesting and am glad to know that folks with a completely different plan for their families are here on the forum. If I may ask, what type of boat do you have and how much cargo room do you think is feasible for a plan like yours?

We (my family) are definitely of the homesteader type... living in a completely land-locked state with a 300 ft well for water :)

I do love hearing about the plans and way of life of others...

Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #70 on: November 29, 2012, 12:06:08 PM »
@ cptd

I do get your points, and I wasn't trying to purposely pick at your chosen lifestyle.  I apologies if I offended you or anyone with my opinion.  It's just that a lot of folks here viewing and responding to your thread aren't mariners (I'm guessing) and I felt an obligation to shed another light.  For many of us, the time is now to get serious with our prep's and putting valuable time in thinking this could be a good plan to put resources to isn't in my opinion going to be a good choice for most.

To clarify my knowledge on the subject (though little on my own part), my dad doesn't work with "boaters" on the most part.  He works with professional fishermen, or mariners as you called them, that often work from coast to coast year around.  I think his boat lift can pull up to a 60 foot boat out of the water and dry dock it for repair, which is a key part of his business.  He also gets a lot of sailing vessels from all over the country, because he allows them to do a lot of their own work once the boat is dry docked.  A lot of boats require dry docking for repair.  You can't pull a 30' shaft out of the boat without it being on land, let alone getting a 3 foot propeller off to repair it or get to the shaft.  It's pretty hard to scrape the barnacles off the bottom of your boat or replace the zinc's (which are both required from time to time) without a diving suit, let alone repairing a damaged hull.

Here's another issue I hadn't mentioned yet.  Now to be fair, these guys are representing an extreme attempt of what's it's like to cross a bar at a flooded river, so it's not usually quite this bad.  But, it's either cross it, or take your chances at sea until you can cross it.  Crossing a bar (a man made point where a river meets the ocean) is something every mariner must do when he wants to leave the open ocean and come back to port.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ByGSMmenPDM

Again, on the drydocking, you and I are just different in our views of what will happen to the rest of the world when the US has issues. I'm not going to participate in any further arguement over that subject; we're just going to have to accept each others' differing opinions on the status of the US of A as the one essential cog in the machine of the world, without which everything else will burst into flames.  I'm pretty sure there will be places to go when I need to repaint the hull and I'm sure enough about that, I'm willing to plan accordingly. I'm willing to admit that my plan makes certain assumptions about the world, but so does any plan that anyone makes; there are world scenarios that would make virtually any plan impractical. I'm not going to argue about it. It's a waste of energy.

I would submit that most of the people your dad works with are not part of the adventure mariner community, and are probably not people that I would even call mariners. Just because you do it for a living doesn't mean you don't rely on GPS and dock under power. It doesn't mean you wouldn't run to harbor the first time you experience a serious problem.

But, names and titles aside - the bottom line is that I'm comfortable with my plans and am quite confident that I'll be just fine. I grew up with this lifestyle and I know from that experience that it is not only possible, there are people out there doing it RIGHT NOW. I've been one of those people before. It is a challenging, difficult lifestyle - but that will be the case for people who tough it outand stay here in the States too. Name your poison; I'm going with what I know.

If you question how tough and resourceful my pedigree is, I can direct you to some stories about Mariners surviving some pretty ridiculous things. Just google the name "Shackleton" sometime and see what pops up. ;D

If you want to work out a deal for bananas, cigars, or rum - maybe we can work out a way to do that.

Offline rikkrack

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #71 on: November 29, 2012, 12:09:36 PM »
mmmm real rum

If you want to work out a deal for bananas, cigars, or rum - maybe we can work out a way to do that.

mmmm rum...
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Offline cptd

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Re: Life at sea: an alternative bugout plan
« Reply #72 on: November 29, 2012, 12:39:18 PM »
I'd be interested in exotic trades with you post-SHTF.  Though we'll most likely fore-go the Japanese porn.   ;)

If you'd like to work out a link up for that, the nearest place to put in would be Yankeetown, FL (there's a marina there now, though after a collapse?).  I'd likely be able to navigate the river from our property all the way out to where you are anchored.  We'd definitely have something to barter (assuming we make it).  Are you planning on using Marine VHF primarily for communications?  Interesting to come up with alternative plans like this.  Different than most plans anyway.

That's up to you but I'm just sayin', life without Japanese porn. . . that's pretty hard to imagine.

Yes, we've got marine VHF. I also keep a satellite phone on board - which may or may not work depending on how bad things are and all.

A schedule could be worked out, where I came to port, say, the last Saturday of every month.

Lots of possibilities.

I should say first that all of that is contingent on a realy, genuine SHTF scenario. Otherwise it's just not worth the trouble. I can carry a ton or so of cargo, which makes a short trip, like from South or Central America to the gulf coast practical, if the Coast Guard isn't running interference or making me take it all through customs.

I actually find that sort of situation improbable. It doesn't bother me, because I'm moving onto the boat in a few years anyway (whether  SHTF or not) but there it is. I actually don't think there will ever be utter lawlessness or that food will simply not be there at all. It's just going to get expensive, maybe a lot more expensive,  and that's not even going to happen overnight. I'm a proponent of the "slow squeeze" theory, where prices go up and up and up slowly, maybe over years or even decades. You're not going to go to sleep one night and wake up the next morning to find that there is no gas, no food, and no government. It will take years or decades for the situation to unravel. IMHO. Taxes will gradually increase and increase, the government will extend its collossal tentacles further and further into everyone's life, freedom will slowly but surely be traded in, bit by bit, for promised handouts and security. I think America's heyday has come and gone.

So it might not ever come to pass that we do business. Iike I said, it requires that the government back off, because as it sits, they're not going to let me import anything without paying them for the right to do so. Customs people might get easy to bribe here the way they are overseas, but that scenario would take years to pan out, as they would need to be feeling the squeeze at home for them to turn to bribes for income.