I'm not saying that you should start the way that I did but on the other hand, sailing really isn't all that hard once you get the basics. 7-years is like getting your masters degree in rocket science.
I hope I don't bore you but I will give you the story that started my 14 year-100,000+ mile cruising career (short version).
In the late 70's early 80's I had a 21' fishing
boat and we used to take it fishing
a lot. Around 1982 my wife and I decided that we would buy a 40' Trawler
, live aboard and go fishing all we wanted.
Early '83 we went to a boat show
and stepped foot (for the 1st time in my life) on a sailboat. Giving it some long hard thought, we decided that it was possible to live on and fish
from a sailboat and save a lot of $ on fuel
at the same time.
I had a very stressful job at the time and one day (shortly after the boat show) it took me 2 hours to get home from work after a bad day. I walked in the door and said, "Honey, whataya say we sell the house, everything we own, buy a sailboat and sail around the world"......honest to God true story, BTW....
To make a long story short, we sold the house in July, bought a boat in August, took sailing lessons
in Sept and left from Long Beach Ca, for Hawaii
It suffices to say that we got the crap beat out of us, making a winter crossing on a rum-line course from Long Beach to Honolulu. My brother lived in Honolulu at the time and he thought that I had gone mad.
31 days, 7 cold fronts (3 were major with winds in excess of 50kts) we arrived in Hawaii
. The last cold-front that we went through had wind
gusts past 60 (we lost
our anemometer at 60kts). On the 30th day, my brother had reported us to the Coast Guard as being late. They asked for the description of the boat (which was a Columbia
36). The Coast Guard told him that it was unlikely that a Columbia
36 would survive that storm. (What a load of non-sense).
Anyway.....when we arrived in Hawaii, my wife asked me if we should continue..........14 years and 100,000+ miles (and a million stories) later...I said, "No".
The moral of this story is....you don't have
to be a "Sailor" of great experience to get started. A bit more knowledge of weather
and timing would have been a big help. If I had it to do over again...I would do it again, the same way (only maybe I would have left in June
I had lots of books
on board. When my Sat-Nav (early version of GPS) failed, I opened a book and learned celestial navigation
. The first storm that came through, we laid-ahull (I didn't know what else to do) and I opened a book and learned storm tactics. The next storm, I hove-too and it wasn't bad.
Was I irresponsibe??......I don't think I was....for me......Would it be irresponsible for you????....I don't know....only
you can answer that question.