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Old 04-11-2012, 20:13   #1
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Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Are you planning on taking some time off, maybe a year, maybe fovever, sail down the carribean and if things go well, cross the Panama canal and just keep going? Ya so was I, here's what I've learned.

-Get as big of boat as you can handle, maybe even a little bigger. Yes people have crossed oceans in canoes, but there is a reason most people take a cruise ship, or a plane. A bigger boat will bounce less, go faster, and has more storage room. Try living in just your bathroom for a week, or just an hour and see if you still think that Catalina 27' is fine.

-The ocean is never flat, and the wind will always be against you. It was for me and it probably will be for you. Even if you don't get seasick, pounding into waves crawling your way up-wind just isn't very fun (the smaller the boat the worse it will be).

-Invest in a good dinghy, with a good motor. Rowing to shore in a kayak against the wind with your grociers getting all wet kind of sucks. Sitting on your boat all day eating stale crackers and peanut butter sucks more.

-It can be boring, especially if your alone. Yes the water is beautiful and there are time when it is amazing, but a lot of the time it's boring. Eventualy the novelty wears off and you're sitting alone in a piece of fiberglass with nothing to do but look at the same water all day long. Then you get to port, a storm hits and you have to ride it out for three days in your boat because there is no way you could row your kayak in that water. (Longest three days of my life)

-Don't get to hung on the sailing part. Actualy sailing the boat is pretty easy, the hard part is all the other stuff. Reading the signs, figureing out where to go (btw get a good gps) stocking food, buying equipment, etc.

-There aren't sandy beaches where you can tie off to a coconut tree everywhere, or anywhere (at least not in the keys). You're going to have to go to designated anchorages, many of which aren't very exciting at all.

-The moral of the story is: buy a power boat, better yet, convience your friend to buy a power boat. While sailing my sailboat I was passed by many a power boat full of girls in bikinis hanging over the sides, not one sailboat though. So don't give up. I certainly don't regret my adventure, but it wasn't at all what I expected.
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:24   #2
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

That was pretty negative!
I thought we were here to encourage each other?
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:49   #3
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

I appreciate you sharing your experience in an honest way. Thank you for posting.

Steve
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Old 04-11-2012, 21:12   #4
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

You know.....I find the last point somewhat one sided, and very naive. Let me explain:

Most guys who can afford a big nice planning cruiser are going to have that Ferrari or at least the top of the line BMW to go with it. They have the big money, and money attracts certain types of women.

This is called selective process. It happens in nature all the time with other creatures who have the best displays and most extravagant colors.

Before some other person gets the idea, that is what he or she wants. Most women that are attracted to that display expect the suitor to provide that same amount of effort/money throughout their lives. Money, riches, remarkable vacations, etc.

I really think I'll stick with my low maintenance wife. She is quite happy with a small boat, living on a small budget, and I'm not going to be required to work until I die. She understands how to "do without" to insure she gets to enjoy much more of the simple life.

Is my wife a runway model? Nope, and I sure am glad. She is smart, and that is something that will not go away, unlike looks. All women can get thicker, and all will get old.

I'm happy with the trusty sail, and slow. Let the playboys of the world have all the high maintenance women. I'll stick with the easy life.

James L
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Old 04-11-2012, 21:24   #5
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Several years ago I was sailing on my Dad's boat in the Keys. He was a doctor there and one of the nurses was on the boat with me and my little sister.
That day the wind was probably 2-3 knots and we were just drifting along watching the fish below the boat in the almost flat sea. The nurse made a comment similar to yours about how everyday was the same in the Keys.

My reply was every day was different in terms of wind speed, wave action, and lots of other things. Of course not everyone notices these changes, or even cares about them.

Another time I was asked about trying out a jet ski and my was the noise gives me a headache and the smell makes me sick to my stomach ache.

There is no right or wrong answer to this. I know folks who like motor boats and get bored if they have to entertain themselves for even a short period of time. There are also other folks who really like the solitude of the ocean.

YMMV
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Old 04-11-2012, 21:37   #6
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Corpus,
I enjoyed your post. Different perspectives are always useful. BUT, we need full disclosure!
You say: "There aren't sandy beaches where you can tie off to a coconut tree everywhere, or anywhere (at least not in the keys)."
This sounds like you only made it as far as the keys? Please tell us how far you went, so we can judge the the depth of your insights.
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Old 04-11-2012, 21:47   #7
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Corpus... everything but your opinions seem vague. Was it your boat? Was it a charter for a few weeks? How long have you been cruising sailboats? Were you alone? If so...why? Or should I guess...
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:14   #8
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
That was pretty negative!
I thought we were here to encourage each other?
I never got that memo .

IMO a dollop of realism never hurt......indeed, some of that brought back a few memories of endless summers spent on boats as a kid. and the term "endless" is not used entirely in a good way..........
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:17   #9
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

for the some the turth is a rough wake up call, I'm sure there is a lot of turth in the orginal post
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:33   #10
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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for the some the turth is a rough wake up call, I'm sure there is a lot of turth in the orginal post

I didn't take it as negative. For a newbie, it's important to know that things can get very rough in a small boat. My boat is a sensitive 31' and I use a combination of straps, lee cloths and netting to keep contents from flying around. I grabbed the idea from someone here to stuff towels around the dishes. I know someone whose dishes went flying across the cabin in a race in rough water. Corelle doesn't break easily, but throw it hard enough and it will (and the resulting tiny shards are very sharp and hard to clean up completely).

The risk of a significant level of seasickness goes up in a smaller boat. These are realities. I have a friend who was recently stuck in Key West for an unexpected extended stay because of persistent northerly winds. It was a rough 1 1/2 mile ride from his boat to the dinghy dock.

To make it more positive, all a newer sailor has to do is start out with shorter cruises in waters more likely to be calmer, and layer the skills on just a little more slowly.

I think the notion of "living in one's bathroom" was a bit extreme but maybe he has very spacious bathrooms in his home. The cabin space in my 31' Hunter is about what you would get in a midsize Class C RV (I'm comparing the vee berth to the overhead berth in a C) but with less storage.

Enclose the cockpit with netting as I have done (soon to have wind panels added), and you've expanded your living space still further. The downside of that is that you have a bigger Bimini, which means reading the sails is a little more trouble, but if you live on your boat, worth that trouble.

I think the point is to think about the potential problems as well as the romance. Like the guy who fell in love with a boat that was just too much work, one can fall in love with the idea of a trip that one's boat is just not ideally suited for.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:50   #11
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

If every day sailing was perfect there would be so many boats you could not sail.marc
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:40   #12
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Not to say cruising is all mia tias and yahtzee but a lot of this is horses for courses.

Several years ago I was eating dinner with my girl friend and her sister at a well known sea food place. I ordered the Captain's Platter which was a lobster tail, and a small portion of grouper, snapper, oysters, clams, and fried mullet. My girlfriend's sister commented she did not eat mullet, it was a trash fish. I can still remember as a kid fishing with my Dad buying mullet from commercial fishermen in the Ten Thousand Islands on the first night we were there, frying it up and being happy to have something to eat.

Some folks can have the same experience and come away with a completely different take on it. How many times have we seen posts about a running generator ruining an anchorage for folks who don't think things like AC are required. On the other hand I can understand how some folks would think AC is needed for them to enjoy the trip.

Both boats in general and cruising particular are not for everyone. What worries me most about the OP's post was the comment about hot babes on motor boats. Like most males over 15 years old I have realized if you don't have lots of hot babes waiting in line to be with you on land buying a sailboat (or motorboat) will not result in hot babes waiting in line to be with you.

It is important to be realistic about your expectations both on land and at sea.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:48   #13
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Corpus,

Was your post something you put together as a response to some other thread here? I know that every time I start a thread here, I have a reason, motivation, or doing it. It might help us understand where you are coming from in you let us know what your motivation for posting was/is?

Chris
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:53   #14
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
That was pretty negative!
I thought we were here to encourage each other?
I'd much rather tell the truth than blow smoke.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:07   #15
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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I appreciate you sharing your experience in an honest way. Thank you for posting.

Steve
Sure, I too appreciate the honesty of one's words. However I, and everyone else by extension, should consider the knowledge of such an opinion. That is to say not all opinions are equal. That is to say the opinion of the OP in this case is wholly ignorant.

On one hand, it is to be recognized that any planning goes out the window at first encounter with the enemy, in this case the weather, whilst on the other hand piss poor planning results in piss poor results... there is a happy medium somewhere in between...usually found in being flexible and adaptive.

I find the OP's comments wholly laughable. Having been on broad expanses of 3 oceans I can difinitely say there are thousands of square miles of flat calm to be found. They can also be the most horrednous seas one may encounter. The difference is in the knowing and deciding to go anyways. Whether this or that, it is in the knowing. And knowing comes from knowledge whether gained from personal experience, experience of others, ie pilot charts, or from weather forecasts. To go without knowledge is the epitomy of ignorance in this day and age.
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