Saturday, October 25, 2014

Paying It Forward - Book Giveaway #1

Wow, it's been a year and a half since I was so graciously awarded a slew of sailing related books from my friends at The Retirement Project.  Guess I must be reading at a first grade level...or at least speed.  Actually, I think I've just been too busy to find much time to read.  In any case, I've managed to make it part of the way through the collection.  So, in the tradition of cruisers helping cruisers and the book swaps often found at marinas (not to mention our downsizing efforts), it is time to pass those along.

The original book donors, The Retirement Project

So, here is part 1 of what I'm calling The Retirement Project Sailing Book Swap (yes, it is a giveaway).

What You Get

I'll call this the "Basic Boat Info" set, although it is not a strict theme.  The winner of this set will receive the following titles:
  • Cruising Catamaran Communique - Kanter - 2007
  • The Best Used Boat Notebook - Kretschmer/Sailing Magazine - 2007
  • Inspecting The Aging Sailboat - Casey - 2005
  • The Essentials of Living Aboard A Boat - Nicholas - 2005
  • Do Dolphins Ever Sleep - Bely - 2007
  • A Year In Paradise: How We Lived Our Dream - Watterson - 2001
  • One or two more surprise titles.

Da Rules

I would like to pass these books along to someone that is starting to prepare or seriously dreaming about going cruising.  So, to toss your name in the hat for this giveaway, tell me your story of why you would like the books.  I think it would be fun for people to hear about those of us following this cruising dream.  You will also need to promise to keep the  "tradition" going and pass the books along when you are done with them.  In a week or so I'll choose from the entries and send out the books.

Here are a few more details:

  • I would prefer that you post a comment to this post to enter the contest.  Please include a name but no e-mail addresses (you probably don't want the spam that could be generated by the web crawlers from a public posting of your email address).  If you are uncomfortable with commenting, you can also use the "send me an e-mail" form found on the right side of the blog page (but don't be surprised if I ask you if I can post excerpts from your email on your behalf).
  • Entries should be submitted by Wednesday, November 5th.
  • I will choose from the entries and post the winner on the blog within a few days of the date above, so give me some name or ID that you would like me to use to identify you.
  • I will contact the winner (or if I don't have contact information will ask the winner to email me) so we can arrange for the shipment.
  • I will ship the books to U.S. postal addresses for free.  If there are overseas entries, I will need to check on the costs to ship, as it may be cost prohibitive to ship to some overseas addresses.
  • The winner must agree to pass the books along to others once they are done with them in the spirit of cruisers helping cruisers.  This can be done via a blog contest like this, donated to a book swap or marina library, etc.  If possible, please provide credit to the original donors of the book, The Retirement Project (a worthwhile blog to put on your reading list if they aren't already there)...and I wouldn't object to a shout out as well.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you.  Good luck!


  1. My wife and I plan to retire in about a year and a half. Part of that plan is a 40'-45' cat for most of the year and the rest at a house we bought in St Augustine FL. I am a licensed captain and have a lifetime of boating experience, my wife has been with me on a bareboat charter to the British Virgin Islands on a Leopard 39 for a week, loved it but has very little boating experience. I have been reading various blogs for a couple of years now (The Retirement Project being one of them, I tried to get the books then but glad you got them because you are a couple of years ahead of us with your plan). We both need to learn as much about this lifestyle as possible and these books would really help with that. Pay it forward has always worked for me in life so we would gladly pass them on to the next lucky person who wants to join in the fun.

  2. Mike:
    I'd like to put my name into this hat please.

    I think that my path to the cruising life is very likely to mimic yours, a couple of years delayed. Coincidentally I too live in Colorado (Longmont, to be precise) and work as a Software Engineer.

    As a teenager I had the good fortune to lend a hand as crew on a sailboat in Galveston Bay for a local sailmaker who liked to prove his work by competing (and often winning) in local races. Naturally, that is where I got the sailing bug, which has laid dormant for the past 30-some years during my life here in Colorado.

    Like the locust that lies dormant for 7 years, the sailing bug is now waking up within. I have somehow managed to convince my other-half, a Colorado native, that when the boys are done with university we should take some time to ourselves, goof-off, and explore at least small portion of the world that is mostly water. On a catamaran.

    I found your blog by way of ZeroToCruising, and have found much of value in it. I regularly check in to see what you have to say, as well as who else you might refer readers to, for example TheRetirementProject. Please keep up the good work.

    The idea of paying it forward is an excellent one, and one that I have tried to adopt in my own life, so no problem with passing them on, with proper credit. There seems to be some truth to the karmic concept that what goes around, comes around.

    Andy A.

  3. Mike,

    I too as Andy A. writes, am following a similar path as you. But being originally from Ashland, WI on Chequamegon Bay of the 'Greatest' Lake Superior, have had a somewhat different exposure to sailing. Growing up on the cold waters of Gitche Gumme, and not having any sailors in the family, the last thing that appealed to me was to get out on that windy, and cold (and sometimes very hard) body of water.

    Now 50 some years later after retiring, I find myself spending as much time as possible in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Now, I find myself taking sailing classes with the express purpose of (and following your lead), living on a catamaran full time or at least half the year, while sailing the Florida Keys and island jumping in the Caribbean.

    With encouragement from my wife, as she finishes out her career as a teacher over the next couple years, I will be continuing on course by next taking the ASA 104, and ASA 114 courses, and then doing some bareboat charters in the warm waters of the GOM.

    To be honest I don't know how I found your blog. I was researching the options for the ASA classes I need, and I found your 'This Rat Sailed' blog. I immediately started reading your blogs from the start. What a great experience you have embarked upon. One I also hope to begin, with my wife in a few short years.

    Your Retirement Project Book Giveaway contest, is a great opportunity for me to get my hands on more material that'll help me reassure my wife that my obsession can be handled safely by a relatively green sailing couple.

    In our travels we've come across many examples of book swap/borrow exchanges, and have both taken from and shared books. Winning your contest will give us another wealth of knowledge that we will share with others whom dare to live out their dreams.

    Happy sailing
    Forrest F.

  4. Hi Mike,

    I love your idea of the book give-away. Initially I was very keen on this, but then felt that there are probably people more suitable than us (at this stage).

    We started out like you, but somehow the rat-race caught us again and we committed to 2-3 more years of working before getting back to the live-aboard idea. We started full of energy, buying a boat with almost zero experience. We did a lot of learning and a bit of sailing. One of my very first sailing trips was to bring the boat myself across the Indian Ocean to the Maldives. Some might say it was stupid, which it probably was; but it was a great learning experience. Our boat is now lying in the Maldives, where we have been living full time for several years (and now part time). I just noticed in horror that our last blog post is more than a year old, which shows that we are not ready yet to get going. Whenever we have the chance we spend some time sailing the atolls of the Maldives and we certainly enjoy –what must be- one of the most beautiful cruising grounds.

    While I think that someone else should be the lucky winner this time around we would certainly want to put our names in for the next round, whenever the books are being ‘paid forward’. Hopefully by then we are back on track!

    Thanks for sharing your learning experiences and thoughts as this is helping many of us to prepare better and hopefully avoid a few mistakes down the line.

    Good luck for your adventure!