Technical

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Setting out without leaving it all behind

Throw everything out for an old multihull and just leave everything to chance? No thanks. We won’t always be (in fact it’s long gone) twenty years old. These days, it’s all about trying to turn your dream into reality, not just giving it all up and taking a chance. There will be plenty of voices berating us for leaving the company that we set up, or the well-paid job or the house that you’ve just finished paying off. So, we adapt the old saying to our program: “one hand for me, and one hand for the boat”.   Whether it is out of necessity, a feeling of security or it’s something that you just love doing, there are more and more of us who want to keep working while we are on the water. It’s symptomatic perhaps of a world where the private and professional are intertwined, and where technology, for better or worse, now means that we can set off without leaving everything behind.

Low-Cost airlines: the temptation of nipping back home

The new hero of active blue water cruising could be the person who gets labelled as a “FIFO Sailor”, meaning Fly In – Fly Out. The growth in the number of air routes and the often ridiculously low cost of the tickets, has been a boon for these modern-day explorers. They alternate periods of sailing and living on board with a professional activity for weeks or months at a time. Whether it’s down to the weather, seasonal work patterns, a lack of autonomy for those left ashore, or annual reporting periods, there are always reasons that mean that the year will need to be split into sailing and working periods of various durations. With your boat safely moored in a reputable marina, you can spend time on land without worrying, and then take the next flight for… the office! Even though satellite communications (see inset) mean that we can never really be isolated anymore, there’s nothing that can ever replace regular face to face contact. Especially as these sailors who are clocking up air miles with their favorite airline as well as nautical miles will also use their return home to catch up with family and friends. If you’re lucky enough to have children or grandchildren it’s surely very difficult to imagine spending a whole year without seeing them? So, it’s all about finding a balance. Unfortunately, any sailor who is at the mercy of the elements will also have a strong ecological conscience. However, given the dramatic carbon footprint that this kind of lifestyle would have, and especially with “flygskam”, the Swedish flight shaming movement that is building momentum, it is probable, and no doubt preferable, that what could have become THE preferred lifestyle of blue water cruisers in the third millennium will most likely just be a passing phase in the early 21st century.

Installing your office onboard

The alternative to all these constant and tiring comings and goings in airplanes is what we call the “nomad traveler”. As a snail takes its home on its back, so ...

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