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Old 16-07-2012, 01:51   #1
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How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Hello CF world! I am new to the forum and looking for some helpful input/advice. My boyfriend has finally convinced to fully commit to his childhood dream of a circumnavigation. He has some years of various "boating experience" mostly long line fishing in the Bering sea and work as a scuba dive instructor, however I come in with just a love of being on boats and in the water. I've been doing research trying to find the best way for us to get proficient training and in the water experience. We are currently traveling/working in Australia but thinking of taking sailing courses in Thailand as they are cheaper and/or offer many more days of training. So my question comes down to, will we be a substantial amount more ahead by taking a "zero to hero" like course over 2-3 weeks or after taking an ASA 101, 103 (or equivalent) course, and then immediately crewing put us at about the same level. We're hoping to get as much experience as possible in the next couple of years as we plan. I really appreciate any advice or suggestions as I am a true novice, also if anyone knows of any options outside of Thailand or Australia that would be great as we are open to the world. Thanks in advance!!
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Old 16-07-2012, 03:23   #2
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Can't help on the specifics as don't know what each of the courses involves (wiser heads will no doubt be along shortly!).....but just to say that very wise to regard any of the formal training as only part of the route to meeting your goals. Courses / Exams are a useful quick start if starting from zero(ish), but after acquiring a basic level of knowledge really no substitute for "hands on" experiance via time aboard (both own and others) and the more variety (of boats / places / conditions / crew / skippers!) the better.

But at the end of day when you set off on the great adventure (whether an actual RTW or other extended travels afloat) then you won't know everything (no one does!) and to a large extent that voyage will also provide your own "training opportunities" . and after that will always be yet more learning opportunities .

In your shoes, I would also want to get as good as (if not better!) than your other half on all things boaty - rather than settling on an errrr.....more traditional role .....both from a practical perspective (at some point the other half may go overboard - fall / jump / or get pushed .....and you may even want to go back for him - or failing that continue on happily? without) - and also it's simply more fun to get stuck in (plus you get to better understand how good any Skipper is).

oh, and to say welcome to CF
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Old 16-07-2012, 03:27   #3
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, SeaBay.
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Old 16-07-2012, 06:17   #4
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

I'd sign up for one of the Mahina Tiare expeditions, where you can not only learn to sail, but also see if you are ready for the RTW life.

Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction

I'm not associated with them, but have run across the boat in the South Pacific, and their crews were having a great time.
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Old 16-07-2012, 07:19   #5
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

quick reply...

1. Get all the formal training you can afford...if that means none then so be it. Try to get training in naviagtion, seamanship, disesl and oh yea sailing

2. find your local sailing club or yacht club and make friends. you dont have to join a yacht club to go sailing on members boats. Half of getting on boats for race days, a great way to learn the finer points of sailing, is to just consistently show up

3. Crew offshore as much as you can - you will not be paid but you should be able to find "free" gigs and/or shared cost gigs. Use the crew available section of this forum

More advice would require more specific questions...but really just go sailing in whatever way you can.
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Old 16-07-2012, 07:44   #6
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Looking to cruise on your own boat?
Most youth that I see "cruising" are crew on mega yachts, who spend all day washing the boat.
I would very much like to see more small vessels with young folk sailing them out in the world.
Good Luck.
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Old 16-07-2012, 08:49   #7
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Circumnavigation of what?

If you mean sailing round the world then aside from regular sail/boat handling skills (in all sorts of wind) and navigation skills (actually quite basic) then there is very little one needs to learn.

How much / when you want to learn will relate to the type of personality (-ies) you guys are. Some people take all possible courses, read all possible books, buy all possible equipment and get all possible insurance before going.

Others 'just jump into a boat and go'.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 16-07-2012, 11:18   #8
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

"never wrecked a boat while awake or sober"

Bruce - Can I steal that for a tshirt?
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Old 16-07-2012, 11:58   #9
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Think of a circumnavigation as a bunch of day sails with some overnight era thrown in
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Old 16-07-2012, 12:01   #10
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce smith View Post
Looking to cruise on your own boat?
Most youth that I see "cruising" are crew on mega yachts, who spend all day washing the boat.
I would very much like to see more small vessels with young folk sailing them out in the world.
Good Luck.

I'll second that.

We're back on land for a while now, but while we were out we felt like the young misfits (only in that we were much younger than the VAST majority).
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Old 16-07-2012, 12:14   #11
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

I think signing on with Mahina or someone like that would be more valuable than taking a course. (Navigation course excluded.)
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Old 16-07-2012, 13:59   #12
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I'd sign up for one of the Mahina Tiare expeditions, where you can not only learn to sail, but also see if you are ready for the RTW life.

Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction

I'm not associated with them, but have run across the boat in the South Pacific, and their crews were having a great time.
My wife and I have done the Mahina thing and I can thoroughly recommend it. However we have done 5 years of baby steps leading up to this day and this is the day that we launch our new yacht that we also intend to circumnavigate in. Baby steps are fun and it has helped us to enjoy the process together, rather than Heidi just tagging along with my dream. For us it worked like this:

1. Me - sail at every opportunity with "the boys". It's easy for boys to do this as many boats need an extra pair of hands. While doing this, I've taken every opportunity to do formal training and completed my Master of Yachts course at Club Sail in Pittwater last year. So, I'm ready to go.

2. Heidi - 5 years ago she didn't want a bar of it and was initially scared just rowing out to the mooring. We bought a little trainer boat (29') to sail on Lake Macquarie. Trainer boats are great and in Australia you'll pick up a great one for $10,000 for a 25 footer. Smaller is better because if you go straight to a big boat, when he does something stupid the very first lesson might cost more than the total value of the trainer boat. Heidi took basic sailing lessons. She found it easier with women sailing teachers who understood the lower brain capacity of the typical male. The trainer boat taught her husband not to yell when he was stressed and to plan every outing so that everyone could enjoy it. She now is 100% on board and looking forward to the adventure ahead.

My advice. Don't rush the process. Take every opportunity to learn and enjoy the learning journey itself. Oh, and that circumnavigation thing, we're doing that too. Our first one will be around Pulba Island at the bottom of lake. We're going to attempt an unassisted non stop circuit and then have lunch after at Wangi RSL. We may do several circumnavigations before heading out of the lake. Then one day we'll just head out of the lake, turn to port and keep Australia on the left for about 12 months and see where it leads to. Maybe then we'll be ready for the big one.

Welcome to the forum. To learn to do it together will take longer and it's worth every minute of it. Enjoy the ride!
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Old 16-07-2012, 20:41   #13
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

First thank you all for making me feel welcomed and of course for your suggestions and input!

I was able to quickly look at the Mahina site and they are offering exactly the sort of thing we are looking for. However I did come across a company that offers a similar program in Thailand for about $2500 less. It's called "Fast Track to Coastal Skipper" and it's 25 days. I believe the company is called Yachtpro Thailand, has anyone heard of them?

I also have the opportunity while I'm still here in Australia working, to join a "Keelboat Start Crewing Course" over a 6 week period every Sunday. I think that would be a great opportunity to get me in the water and learning.
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Old 16-07-2012, 23:01   #14
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

SeaBay,

My advice is to get as much time in boats as possible. I would also highly recommend getting involved in some racing. Far too many cruisers have a poor understanding of how sails really work, and how to get the best from their boat. Note that while crusing it is just as important to know how to slow the boat down safely as it is to go fast.

At least one of you should take a class in diesel engine repair, and the other in 12v electrical systems. At least here in the states I would recommend a community college for this, I am not sure what you have available to you.

Of course marine navigation, weather forecasting, first aid, and piloting are almost required for both of you.


Remember when you are out there, litterly a thousand miles from nowhere, you are like a small city. Everything that goes wrong must be fixed there and you need the skills needed to figure out what's wrong and keep going.

If you don't have the skills already, now is a good time for one of you to pick up cooking as a hoby. And defiantly getting some practice learning to grill on a marine grill. Remember it isn't enough to live, you must live well. Also included, learn how to rescale and fillet fish... I couldn't tell you how many cruisers I know who don't fish because they don't know what to do once they catch something. Which brings up learning how to fish.
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Old 17-07-2012, 09:46   #15
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Re: How to get ready for a Circumnavigation?

A fish almost killed my wife and I,Lil 4pound mackerel,it was delicious.ciguatoxic though
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