Stay Sailing with Attitude and Ability

Published on May 15th, 2017

When is it time to leave the sport? It was a question asked by a 74 year old on Here were some of the replies:

• I think it all depends on attitude – if you think you are up to it, you likely are.

• I expect I will know when it’s time to swallow the anchor.

• Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy.

• My knees will tell me when my sailing number is up. Unless my wife kills me first.

• Age is not the factor. It’s healthy condition.

• Lots of folks in my yacht club switch to stinkpots when hauling lines becomes a problem rather than give up being on the water entirely. My plan is to downsize.

• If I ever get to the point I can’t sail my boat, my daughter is required to pour me into my boat at a slip near open water to the Atlantic. She is required to push me off the dock. I told her if I call her weeks later from parts unknown and request airfare home, she is required to pay the airfare back, and place me in an equally scary craigslist special sailboat, and repeat the process, until I eventually don’t make the call.

• I submit that the telltale sign is when it is no longer “fun.”

• It is not one of age. My measure is that of safety.

• When they peal my cold dead hands from my tiller is when I’m done.

• It’s both the body and the boat. As the body slows down, the boat you have loved and sailed for years may no longer be right. If you stick with that boat your sailing days may be shorted than they need be.

• It’s all about what you consider to be your own ability. Don’t put a number on it, make the decision based on how you feel.

• My knees will tell me when my sailing number is up. Unless my wife kills me first.

• Old sailors never die. They just smell that way.

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