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Old 01-01-2015, 12:13   #16
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

Sorry, I meant PSC '37, not 38.
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:16   #17
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

Yes, they can be spendy. But if I were to choose between a brand new $150,000 Beneteau or a 10-year-old PSC, Hans Christian, or any other serious cruising boat, I've no doubt where I would land.
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:35   #18
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

Spending our winters in Florida or the Bahamas, I don't expect to ever attempt a New England winter aboard, but we've met those in an active liveaboard group at Constitution Marina in Boston.

At your same age, many years ago, I was at the same planning stage. My wife and I did take advantage of the power squadron boating courses and we had done our first sailing with years of experience sailing dinghy size boats. Once with the cruising boat, it's easy to continue pushing the envelope and taking on longer offshore passages.

My recommendation would be to have a list of criteria for the vessel you want and not close off opportunities by focusing in a specific manufacturer.
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:45   #19
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

Thanks everyone for the timely and informational responses. This seems like a very active online community, and I'm glad to see that.


I should have clarified in my first post. Beneteau has caught my eye strickly from what I've read and seen online, so by no means do I have my heart set on owing one someday; there is still plenty of time and research ahead of me before I make that decision. In addition, short of winning the lottery in the near future, I don't envision myself buying a new boat. In my opinion, it seems like the value of a brand new boat depreciates way too fast to justify buying one (at least for someone in my position).

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Originally Posted by dandelang View Post
Join your local Power Squadron and take their classes. Marine electronics, weather, Sail 1 &2, navigation, engines, cruise planning etc. Excellent source of information. I wish I could have started sooner. That messin' about in boats is so true!
I had never heard of the US Power Squadrons until now. Judging by their website there are a few locations near me. This is something I'll definitely look into. My shift partner at the power plant where I work has been boating his whole life and has been a good reference for me to bounce questions off of, but taking a class would certainly help me too.

Judging from the other responses, I tend to agree that avoiding living aboard during the winter is the best option. Balancing finances for a boat and an appartment may get tricky, but not impossible. Plus my girlfriend would probably rather see a ring and white dress before a boat, but that's another story.

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My recommendation would be to have a list of criteria for the vessel you want and not close off opportunities by focusing in a specific manufacturer.
I actually have already started this process. For now the list contains simple things like hot water and a seperate shower stall, but I'm sure the list will grow as I learn more. I'll be heading to the boat show in Boston in February with my girlfriend so we can start to get a feel for boat lengths, layouts, etc.

Again thanks for all the responses everyone! They been full of fantastic info and advice so far!

Regards,
Eric
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Old 01-01-2015, 13:22   #20
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

There is nothing magic about dinking around in little boats to "learn the ropes" if you want to cruise the world, or even a take few Mexico or Caribbean trips. When I was 25, other that a couple of years of HobyCat time (which really taught me nothing about handling a big boat or sailing offshore or internationally) I had no command time in big boats. A business acquaintance with a Columbia 57 said "I'm real busy for the next year or two, you're a sailor aren't you, here's the key, take care of her for me will ya". I said, "Well, if you insist". I sailed and raced that boat all over the Hawaiian Island for over a years. Paid some of the expenses and gave it back to him in better shape that when I got it. Word gets around. People think you're an expert. Did the same thing with a Ranger 33 the next year. Before I took on the 57 I had already had read at least twenty books on the subject, some several times. I'd spent countless hours at the Club bar taking to real sailors about everything I could think of. I offered myself as crew on any ocean racier that would have me but to this day I have never sailed a Sunfish or Laser and never will. Get in on the racing scene on the biggest boats you can and watch, listen and learn. If you lived near me I could get you on sever club racers anytime. It's easier than you think. Very few club racing skippers have the luxury of keeping a regular, reliable crew. That's the main reason I quite racing my own boat (Newport 41). I can race on a friend's 40 footer every week. And he provides the beer and pays for blown spinnakers. A skipper looks for enthusiasm and willingness to bust ass, ask questions and gain knowledge. A big-time racing resume is not necessary unless you're applying to Larry Ellison. I'm sure cruising-only sailors will bad-mouth my suggestions but it worked for me and for many crew who raced, trained and cruised with me (West Coast, Florida, Bahamas, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Australia, Caribbean, Belize).
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Old 01-01-2015, 13:48   #21
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

Eric, you've received some great advice so far.

Here's some things to consider:

1) Continuing to live within your income is likely to be the route to freedom, so keep that card for emergencies only, follow A64pilot's advice about the cars, too.

2) When you buy a boat, buy older, but really clean, and plan on upgrading, but buy something that will be a good ocean boat

3) Involve the GF in ALL the decisions. Someone above wrote that if she likes ice camping, maybe liveaboarding in winter could be handled, guys often write as if they're in control of what the woman will do or want to do, but in fact, the women often have a different perspective on --ALMOST EVERYTHING! IMO, men who want their good ladies to sail with them really need to help make it fun for them. So you gotta find out from her what she thinks that might be, and what modifications to your or her plan she'll accept. IME, the most considerate gift I received when I was starting out was a set of foulie overalls. Mostly, we prefer not to be cold, wet, and terrified.

Ann
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Old 01-01-2015, 14:24   #22
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

I would get the biggest sailboat that I can trailer. For week long cruises it's by far the best way to see a lot of different areas. In a week long cruise you've got 3 days to get somewhere & 3 days to get back with an extra day for lay over. Just sailing during the day that will give you a comfortable range of about 40 miles. If you get a bigger boat that's as far as you'll be going unless you can get more time off.
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Old 01-01-2015, 14:53   #23
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

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There is nothing magic about dinking around in little boats to "learn the ropes" if you want to cruise the world, or even a take few Mexico or Caribbean trips..... but to this day I have never sailed a Sunfish or Laser and never will.
Wow, I wish I had the ability to learn and absorb new skills that he had. But for us mortals, learning a trike before a bike was the logical progression that paid off huge dividends in the long run.

Eric, you have a lot of time to learn the fundamentals and I encourage you to not assume you're a sailing prodigy and advance to graduate school before learning to crawl like most of the rest of us. But it sounds like you may be well on the way already to becoming a natural sailor that can rely on the wind and water and feel of the breeze on your face to engage a vessel intimately. Think Zen. Personally, I could not have achieved this without the baby steps. Don't get anything with instruments first.

The very best sailing lesson I got was from my Dad who always directed me to sail upwind on my Sailfish as he pushed me off from the beach. "It'll be easier to get back!" Hence, I learned to sail upwind and it paid off huge dividends later on the race course. And heed Ann's advice to include your gal in all the learning...

2 Hulls Dave
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Old 01-01-2015, 17:34   #24
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
There is nothing magic about dinking around in little boats to "learn the ropes" if you want to cruise the world, or even a take few Mexico or Caribbean trips. When I was 25, other that a couple of years of HobyCat time (which really taught me nothing about handling a big boat or sailing offshore or internationally) I had no command time in big boats. A business acquaintance with a Columbia 57 said "I'm real busy for the next year or two, you're a sailor aren't you, here's the key, take care of her for me will ya". I said, "Well, if you insist". I sailed and raced that boat all over the Hawaiian Island for over a years. Paid some of the expenses and gave it back to him in better shape that when I got it. Word gets around. People think you're an expert. Did the same thing with a Ranger 33 the next year. Before I took on the 57 I had already had read at least twenty books on the subject, some several times. I'd spent countless hours at the Club bar taking to real sailors about everything I could think of. I offered myself as crew on any ocean racier that would have me but to this day I have never sailed a Sunfish or Laser and never will. Get in on the racing scene on the biggest boats you can and watch, listen and learn. If you lived near me I could get you on sever club racers anytime. It's easier than you think. Very few club racing skippers have the luxury of keeping a regular, reliable crew. That's the main reason I quite racing my own boat (Newport 41). I can race on a friend's 40 footer every week. And he provides the beer and pays for blown spinnakers. A skipper looks for enthusiasm and willingness to bust ass, ask questions and gain knowledge. A big-time racing resume is not necessary unless you're applying to Larry Ellison. I'm sure cruising-only sailors will bad-mouth my suggestions but it worked for me and for many crew who raced, trained and cruised with me (West Coast, Florida, Bahamas, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Australia, Caribbean, Belize).
Yup...We're jealous of such Titans as yourself...
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:45   #25
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

Hello from The Isle of Man..
Many years a go I went along to A Sailing Club..I joined and began crewing on boats big and small..in Winter I did my Theory and over the years worked my way up to Yacht Master.My Sailing experience just grew and grew(the more you go ..the more you,ll know.I then volunteered to Skipper a 46ft boat for a Disabled sailing group..since then have sailed all around UK Waters/Irish Sea..I contribute to boat expenses and paid a club membership..Companionship is wonderful..but it didn,t make a hole in my bank account..thats one way of doing it
Happy New YEAR to you all
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:05   #26
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

I think you already know what to do and you are looking for confirmation or just some feedback. Like most of these things that we get into, we already know what needs to be done for us to feel comfortable in this new endeavor. Some things will only make sense to you and not those around you or those in the know. Take the classes you want and read the books you like and buy the boat you love. The path has been chosen and presented and you have decided to follow along to enrich your life and make it uniquely yours. When we don't follow our hearts and dreams is when we become miserable and cranky. We become depressed and sullen. You are 22, don't live a life of regrets and would-of, could-of, should-of. Surround yourself with those that share your passion, that includes your personal relationship. You don't want to be fighting with your SO to enjoy what you like in life. If it's not working now, it's not going to get any better later. These are the tough choices that need to be made. Finally, there is no wrong way or right way to do these. things There are 'best-practices' but it's what gets the job done and safely is what counts. Don't think you have to do this or that, or buy the latest things - just go do it. That is the joy of living, to free yourself from all those constraints that feel so safe and comfortable - like saving yourself from yourself. It's when we are on the edge of death when we feel so alive.

I rode a motorcycle for five years and I loved every minute of it. I'm ridden with anxiety and take a med to help calm me down. But, I never felt afraid when I was on my bike because I was living and did what I felt was right for my life. I had to fight off all the naysayers and negative comments of those burdened by their fears. Now I'm on my next adventure, being a dad and I'm enjoying every minute of it. I have an eight y.o. boy with mild special needs that is the joy of my life. We will be sailing this summer on our new to us 16' O'Day DaySailer 3. I can't wait to share this time with my boy and learn to sail together. I've read over 10 books, taken the Pleasure Craft Operators Card test (96%) and now working on getting my boat home from Delaware. I've never sailed before but this path was presented to me of which at first I protested internally until I gave in and began to explore the possibilities. For me life is a stream and things come down that stream that I need to participate in like motorcycling or raising my son. Now sailing has come along and I feel I can live closer to nature and live a sustainable lifestyle on a boat. While I raise my son, I can learn how to sail on my DaySailer and prepare for my life after I retire. All hand in hand.

Go enjoy - don't hesitate.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:09   #27
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

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You have a mature sensible approach to your endeavor. Your 3rd point, I would like to give you some insight. There is no better way to loose a relationship or boat or both than making your significant other uncomfortable and/or inconvenienced, living aboard a cold New England winter. Why not stay in a cheap apartment during the cold months? That way you could stay aboard a weekend, say at Christmas time. You would soon be grateful for that little apartment.
Your endeavor is well situated, geographically; because you should be able to get onboard any type of boat you wish.


For gonness sake! You live in an area of the world where boating is like soccer in Britain. Anyone who plays and can't get a pick up game . . . . If you can't get a crew position on a boat in Marblehead, or Glouster, change your shoes or go up to Maine.

But seriously, on point #3 -- most boats float and you should be able to sail to a warm location, and hey! You could even sail back!

I love sailing . . . after women.


Fair winds, bubba
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:21   #28
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

I suppirt 2Hull's comment about that
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:37   #29
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Re: Am I Crazy?: My Plan to Learn to Sail and Get Offshore

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Originally Posted by chrisdaine View Post
Hello from The Isle of Man..
Many years a go I went along to A Sailing Club..I joined and began crewing on boats big and small..in Winter I did my Theory and over the years worked my way up to Yacht Master.My Sailing experience just grew and grew(the more you go ..the more you,ll know.I then volunteered to Skipper a 46ft boat for a Disabled sailing group..since then have sailed all around UK Waters/Irish Sea..I contribute to boat expenses and paid a club membership..Companionship is wonderful..but it didn,t make a hole in my bank account..thats one way of doing it
Happy New YEAR to you all
As it's said "the best boat is a friend with a boat"

But yeah, you're crazy. We're all crazy. Thats why we sit here hour after hour talking boats. We all started somewhere and it's best to start out small, even a trailer sailer is a good way to go until one gets their act together for the big stuff and blue water. Mostly good advice here from experienced sailors.
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