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Old 17-07-2012, 11:39   #16
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Here's my 2cents.

1) Take a 1week dinghy class.

2) Buy 2 used lasers, one for each of you. Take them sailing every other weekend for a year, 3-4hr at a time. That's 3-4hr on the water, excluding including rigging and de-rigging. Practice man-overboard drills every time. Practice capsizing. Sailing to a destination and back. Learn the lingo.

3) At about 9mo, while still sailing the lasers, start looking for a cuddy cabin boat that is trailer-able. In the US I would recommend a Cal20, Holder20 or Catalina22 depending on the vehicle you have to tow with.

CAL 20 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
HOLDER 20 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
CATALINA 22 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

If you are in OZ then this will give you an idea what to look for there, I don't know what would be readily available there so I can't give specific recommendations. The goal is to get something small, cheap and easily sailed with a cuddy cabin so you can overnight. If you don't have a car that can pull the boat you will need to find a way to keep it in the water. Sail this boat every other weekend for 4-8hr and once a month make that an overnight trip. Practice navigating without the GPS, anchoring, reefing, docking and maneuvering under power, motor maintenance, man-overboard, and using a jib and downwind sails. Keep practicing your man overboard drills. Work up to longer 1-2week trips in coastal waters.

The lasers can be sold when you buy the cuddy or you can hold onto them and sail them regularly for the sailing practice. If the cuddy cabin boat is kept in the water, I would get rid of the lasers and focus there because it will be easy to go for a sail. If the cuddy is on a trailer sailing will be more of a production and having something to go for a quick spin is a good idea. The laser was chosen because there are a LOT of them, they are well supported by the manufacturer and resale is good.

4) At the point you have become comfortable enough with the boat to start doing overnight trips, say after a month or 2 of ownership, consider taking a navigation class. Also maybe coast sailing class.

After about a year of practicing on the Cuddy Cabin boat then I would expect you to be at the point of figuring out the next step for yourselves. Here the big branches in the decision tree are:
A) Take an offshore class such as the Mahina Tiara.
B) Buy a coastal boat, say 25-30' long, and start doing longer 1-2 week long trips along the coast with overnight passages thrown in.
C) Buy your RTW boat and start getting ready.

The branch you take will depend very much on where you both are at confidence-wise and if you have gained enough experience to figure out what you want in a cruising boat which is different for every couple so there is no way to predict that.
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Old 18-07-2012, 05:48   #17
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Again many thanks for all the responses and the encouragement! I just wanted to do a small update, I did decide to go ahead and sign up for the "Keelboat Start Crewing Course" at the local yacht club. I start next week and can't wait as I know this is just the beginning of our adventure...
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Old 18-07-2012, 09:16   #18
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaBay View Post
Again many thanks for all the responses and the encouragement! I just wanted to do a small update, I did decide to go ahead and sign up for the "Keelboat Start Crewing Course" at the local yacht club. I start next week and can't wait as I know this is just the beginning of our adventure...

Don't forget the comprhensive first aid course.

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Old 18-07-2012, 10:48   #19
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Buy a boat that is comfortable for both of you to live on, and go sailing..... Courses are great for some I guess, but if your bf works on the water, you don't need them. Figure out a spot to buy your boat where you can learn as you go (The Med/Florida) so you are not crossing an ocean right away. Then do it, you will get a lot of advice here from people who have spent their adult lives preparing. If the opportunity is right in your life to go, do it before life changes its path.

Sailing will take up less than a 10th of your time while cruising, the other time is spent working on the boat, reading, drinking, cooking, sleeping.....

My wife was in a similar situation before we left, she fell in love with the lifestyle.

I say buy a boat and go for it.
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Old 18-07-2012, 12:48   #20
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

I am four years into a 10 year plan to go sailing with my wife and kids for two years. I previously had a lot of sailing experience on small boats (owned Laser and Hobie 18). I have now owned my "practice boat," a J/27, for three years. I sail by myself a lot, take the family out at least once per week (kids currently almost 1 and almost 3), overnight with my son for a week each summer and race on Thursday nights. At first I was alway getting frustrated with competing demands for my attention given the larger boat. For example, while trying to get sails down I might let the motor die and then drift into shallows and run aground. Now I am becomming much more comfortable with the bigger boat. Getting comfortable involved a lot more than sailing skills. I also try to fix things myself. Recently I built a cabinet with drawers (with advice from this site), mounted a swim ladder and have delved into the cause of various leaks. I imagine I will have to go thru the same learning experience on the bigger boat which I anticpate will be a 45' monohull.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:23   #21
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just wanted to do a quick update. I'm now two sessions into my course and I'm having a great time and learning tons. The class is small only 4 students and 4 instructors, which is great. We're being taught on J24s and the pace feels good to me. BUT a friend of ours who's in the middle of his RTW, just invited me to crew with him to Darwin to show me the ropes (and helpout of course) so I may decide to end my course early to get the experience. I'm thinking it's the better option?
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