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Old 31-05-2015, 11:23   #16
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

Our situation is pretty similar.

Kids graduated college yesterday! We purchased a 40 foot catamaran 20 months ago. In the 2 1/2 years before that we went to lots of boat shows, attended Cruisers Forum in Annapolis, took classes 101, 102, 104, 114.

I grew up sailing sunfish and Hobies. My partner owned a 28 foot monohull, but our experience for a significant boat for cruising was severely limited.

We spent the last two years getting ready and likely will spend several more before heading out for extended livaboard.

Finding the right boat, gaining the right skills, outfitting and updating, all will take more time than you envision unless you have an unlimited checkbook.

We wish you great experiences and good luck finding your right boat!
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Old 31-05-2015, 12:35   #17
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pirate Re: The Horse before the Cart?

When we first started talking about sailing full time after retirement, we looked at taking ASA classes. It would have entailed 3 summer vacations and classes X 2 for us to get our charter rating. So, my husband purchased a small day sailer and we sailed on the lake that we live on. Then after we felt that we had enough skills, we rented a catamaran in the BIV for 10 days and a captain/instructor and took all of our classes on the boat with the captain. We felt that it gave us much more practical experience rather than going from Ohio to the coast or to Chicago to take classes every year with other students plus we lived on the boat for the full 10 days instead of taking classes and going back to a hotel room for the evening. We started the process a few years ago and are planning to make 2015 the year that we purchase the live aboard boat.
Also, May of 2014, we drove down the east coast and looked at cats all the way south to just north of Miami. Pretty soon, we had a list of things that were important to us but we also realize that the price will help drive the decision when it is time to make an offer on our next home.
We also have been to the Annapolis boat show for more years than I can remember! LOL
Good luck to you!
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Old 31-05-2015, 13:28   #18
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

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Originally Posted by jholder51 View Post
..............
....................... We also have been to the Annapolis boat show for more years than I can remember! LOL
Good luck to you!
Boat shows can be good inspiration. We went to the second annual Annapolis Boat Show in 1971 and bought a boat to live aboard. Since we moved aboard from a college apartment and never lived in a house as adults, we have little to offer about moving aboard, but much to say about being aboard. We did own cars before we retired, but except for these and some investment property, we've never owned anything that has not been on our boat. Here are a few things that we find beneficial about live aboard cruising:

1. There is a great freedom in non-ownership.
2. Close quarters fosters strong communication.
3. There is a low interest in many consumer goods.
4. There's a great satisfaction in independance & self-reliance.
5. There's an ease of mobility and travel.
6. Boating promotes a heathy lifestyle.
7. Living aboard has low environmental impact.
8. Living expenses can be much lower than house ownership.
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Old 31-05-2015, 14:52   #19
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

Our first boat was a strip-built 12 foot wooden dinghy, cat rigged, for $50 from a school buying "plastic" boats. It became known as "bail and sail." The next boat was a 23- foot centerboard cabin sailboat bought with the understanding it would become college tuition money when the oldest matriculated. The five of sailed most of the New England coast a week at a time trailer-sailing. Even made a trip across the Bay of Fundy. The college years hiatus was followed by a burnt Cape Dory 36. After 15 years of upgrades we sailed to Newfoundland with the help of the oldest and his office mate who both took time out Phd programs. Now we're down to a 29.5 foot sloop. Learning all the time. 'Hope you can skip the single sail step. I'm 83 and can't give up cruising the Maine Coast, a pleasure and privilege I can't replace.
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Old 31-05-2015, 14:59   #20
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

Just a word about living aboard...

Background: we've lived aboard and still were employed for a time, but have been cruising more or less continuously since we left the second time in March of '89. So from this perspective, looking down those years, it is easy to overthink this living aboard issue. Wherever you are, as long as you have life, you are living: in a VW camper van, camping off a little beach cat, to a posh sailing vessel, you are living.
Living aboard a boat is just an extension of living.

So, my suggestion is to learn to sail first, sail on other folks' boats, become a sailor first, then choose a boat TO CRUISE ON, and learn to live with it. The boat is merely your "turtle shell" that keeps you safe as you travel. The rest, the other preferences you incorporate in your boat choice are in a different category altogether. [Some want "go fast", some don't care; fin keel or full; quality vs. size; mono vs. cat; one mast vs. two; deep draft for windward performance, shallow for gunkholing, and so on.]

Mostly, though, however you go about it that feels right to you, make it be fun for both of you, or the effort will fail.

Ann
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Old 31-05-2015, 15:35   #21
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

My wife and I just finished the ASA courses 101,103,104 and 114 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. Tough courses, all in one week, but it gives you that live aboard experience.
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Old 01-06-2015, 00:28   #22
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

Ann, like your style of thinking and very sage advice. Prismatic
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:08   #23
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

As always, opinions are varied. We have been sailing (racing and cruising) for nearly 20 years. Our first boat, was a 1977 Ensenada 20, and was exactly what we needed and served us well for 6 years. Our second boat was a 1987 Macgregor 26 classic (water ballasted but not he power sailor); was exactly what we needed and served us well for another 6 years. (Actually we launched and raced it last year and cleaned up at our yacht club on Lake Ontario, and gave my son and his fiancÚ the experience required to purchase their first boat, a 1980 Hughes Coumia 8.3). Our current boat is a 1975 Douglas 32. For 20 years we have constantly looked at other boats, and the current boat is exactly what we need, until it isn't, and we replace it.


In my humble opinion, there is no possible way for a newbie to determine what the best boat for their future is. Who knows what the future holds for you? Who knows how your needs and wants will change as your skills and experience develop? I don't believe it is possible to purchase the last boat to be the be all and end all of all boats for you.



My advice, read some sailing instruction books, take some sailing lessons, crew on as many boats (for free) as you can. If your budget will allow purchasing a large, new boat, consider chartering. (This will actually not be very relative, if your budget only supports a smaller and older boat. I now lots of people who have spent more on chartering than we will have spent to purchase and outfit our live-aboard boat.) Set a deadline for choosing your first boat. Stick to it. Way too many people waste so much valuable time they could be gaining sailing experience, contemplating what is the best boat for them, when really there is no such thing, and even if there were, they would not have the experience to know if they fell over it.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:14   #24
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

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Originally Posted by knightinnc View Post
In a couple of years the wife and I are seriously considering to attempt a live aboard situation. Two more years and the last one is out to college. I have been on the water most of my adult life in the motor boat side of life. Now, I find a live aboard situation may be a great lifestyle. I won't find that out until I actually do it though. So my question is this: While I know I will get as much training as possible (never handled a sailboat), should I purchase an inexpensive boat to hone my newly found skills on? I figured if I train now and don't make that move until two years or so, most of the info would be lost (as in forgotten) If I don't actually practice it. If I should get a boat, what kind? I guess it would be something I can sell in a couple of years.
A cheap practice boat isn't going to provide you with a good liveaboard experience. Unless you like living in a cave.

Test 1. if you can't cope living in 300 odd square feet then the liveaboard lifestyle likely isn't for you. It sounds like this isn't an issue for you. What about your other half?

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Old 01-06-2015, 15:52   #25
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
As always, opinions are varied. We have been sailing (racing and cruising) for nearly 20 years. Our first boat, was a 1977 Ensenada 20, and was exactly what we needed and served us well for 6 years. Our second boat was a 1987 Macgregor 26 classic (water ballasted but not he power sailor); was exactly what we needed and served us well for another 6 years. (Actually we launched and raced it last year and cleaned up at our yacht club on Lake Ontario, and gave my son and his fiancÚ the experience required to purchase their first boat, a 1980 Hughes Coumia 8.3). Our current boat is a 1975 Douglas 32. For 20 years we have constantly looked at other boats, and the current boat is exactly what we need, until it isn't, and we replace it.


In my humble opinion, there is no possible way for a newbie to determine what the best boat for their future is. Who knows what the future holds for you? Who knows how your needs and wants will change as your skills and experience develop? I don't believe it is possible to purchase the last boat to be the be all and end all of all boats for you.



My advice, read some sailing instruction books, take some sailing lessons, crew on as many boats (for free) as you can. If your budget will allow purchasing a large, new boat, consider chartering. (This will actually not be very relative, if your budget only supports a smaller and older boat. I now lots of people who have spent more on chartering than we will have spent to purchase and outfit our live-aboard boat.) Set a deadline for choosing your first boat. Stick to it. Way too many people waste so much valuable time they could be gaining sailing experience, contemplating what is the best boat for them, when really there is no such thing, and even if there were, they would not have the experience to know if they fell over it.
For the OP:

The above is very good advice! Couldn't agree more...

Jim
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:48   #26
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

Coming from a training background I would recommend taking courses. Here in Ireland/UK/Europe a week's cruising course costs the equivalent of about $600. You will learn a lot more quickly and can experience how to exist on a boat in all weathers with the instructor taking the decisions, responsibility (terror? ). Take a few courses in fairly quick succession to build up your skills before you consider buying your own boat. With your newly-gained knowledge you will probably spend your money more wisely on the right kind of boat to suit your requirements. And yes, I would advise you to buy something cheap and simple to start with, you WILL hit hard objects and perhaps swipe the odd rock or sandbank, but it will not be too painful if the boat didn't cost much. Your first boat should be ready to sail and not require any extra spending except on routine maintenance, because you will never regain money spend on rebuilding a fixer-upper. Also buy a good sailing manual. I would recommend the Glenans one, it's very comprehensive. The English translation is a little dated and out of print but available on Amazon. If you can read French , however, you are in luck!
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:50   #27
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

Yeah, the long term aspects of living on board will take some getting used to. Truly, as I have seen in this forum, a great starting point is to simply get down to the dock and see what's happening. Poke around, ask around...
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Old 02-06-2015, 13:07   #28
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

Do your dinghy sailing in a lake where it's OK to fall in. I was taught to intentionally capsize my C-Lark and learn how to right it. Nothing gives you the feel of the wind like a dinghy. Also loved my several Lightenings.
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Old 03-06-2015, 16:58   #29
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

Thanks laika, you bring out a good point. I think that we look for what "could go wrong." Well, no matter what the abode may be there will be things going wrong from time to time. That certainly helps with the perspective.
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Old 03-06-2015, 17:03   #30
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Re: The Horse before the Cart?

Thanks Hudson Force, there is real motivation in your list. It gives encourgement to do this. I am very excited about looking forward towards doing this. And heck, if it doesn't fly - who cares... we move on. I love the idea and need to take that first step.
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