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Old 27-11-2011, 19:02   #31
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

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Originally Posted by The Cooks View Post
I thought of buying a boat already down there, but I would imagine the route going down if I coastal hopped as some one mentioned would give us some great experience, Im not expecting to get a new boat for my budget but looking around I have seen a few boats that have just circumnavigated and they are well in my price range,for the folks who have done this journey is my 2-3 years timeline about right and what would be the best route in terms which I could understand ie looking on a map, I know I have alot to learn but that is why I am here asking questions....thanks again

Carefully consider your coastal route, and talk to anyone you can who has made any part of that passage. I don't mean to sound condescending, but it's not like driving down the highway, where you just grab the motel that comes along when you're ready to call it a day. You have to plan your route with SAFE places to anchor -- sheltered in case of unexpected weather and safe in other ways (friends just had their dinghy and motor stolen while at anchor. They fell asleep, and someone just sneaked up to their boat and untied it.)

You may assume you can cover, say, 50 nautical miles in a day, but maybe weather will make that impossible, and there may be large stretches where there's no place to pull in.

Just about every decent anchorage is mentioned somewhere online, but the names can vary. I certainly would network all I could about the chosen route.
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Old 27-11-2011, 19:03   #32
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

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Originally Posted by The Cooks View Post
Getting some really helpful post so thankyou and keep them coming, I think santa is going to buy me a little sailboat this year whilst the snows on the ground and there cheap, chrisgo just checked out the yacht club and that will be our haunt for the next two years..cheers.
I am a bit envious. You'll be sailing a pretty secret piece of water.
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Old 27-11-2011, 19:26   #33
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

Just do it. I did it and never regretted it. Kids do fine on boats and grow rich from the experience. Take a few courses and buy smart. Talk to the experts in every port around. Good luck. Scott
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Old 27-11-2011, 19:26   #34
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

Let´s go back to the original question....

Yes, it is crazy! But crazy is GOOD!

And there are a whole heap of great people out there waiting to be your friends, guide you along the way, assist you with a broken fridge, ask you to help them with a busted starter motor, share a barbie on a beach, etc etc. The camaraderie is great.

However the demographic tends to be a little older than you probably are. My parents were in their thirties when we went and that seemed pretty normal back then in the early 80s. My wife and I did our first cruising in our late twenties and we were the young of the pack where the norm seemed to be around 50. Now we are in our early 40s with a 10 year old son and we still seem younger than the rest who are around 60ish.

Is it a baby boomer thing? Or is that just the way everything is in the western world since WWII? First it was the hippies sailing over the horizon with a sextant and a kero stove in the late 60s and the 70s, then they went back to make some money and now they sail over the same horizon with a generator, GPS, sat phone and microwave. But it is the same generation and often the same people!

In another 10 years when the baby boomers start to die off, boat prices may take another price plunge. Why isn´t the younger generation getting out now?
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Old 27-11-2011, 19:58   #35
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Re: Is this plan crazy!!

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Steep learning curve but others have done it. Hardest part will be finding a boat when you're in Saskatchewan without spending a lot on travel. Lots of boats here in Toronto.
I agree...a steep learning curve, especially with children. If it were me, I'd first buy a McGreger 21 and sail your local lakes to see if you take to it. It's a lot of money, time and effort to spend on just an idea. I wish you the best
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Old 27-11-2011, 20:13   #36
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

Consider moving to Toronto a few months prior as well and buy your boat there and start to live aboard and take some lessons as well there. Then when more confident, begin your journey and with the lake you can work your way down the ST Lawrence which is considered one of the best places to see in the world..., you have the safety working your way out, which should be about a month or so.
Makes for great experience in some what controlable waters, which will have prepared you for living while moving, the experience will help you shake out system and maintenance issues, then you can re stock and head out to big water then work your way along the coast and slip in along the ICW for some inside crusing then back out again and hit Bahamas.
navagation lessons a big plus, PCOC will be required, along with maritime radio operators card, if possible a keel boat course, or lesson at minimum from the sellers.

Celeste Navigation would be advanced but something to work towards, along with a weather prediction course. power squad in Toronto has courses all the time so that would be a few months and your done.
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Old 27-11-2011, 20:20   #37
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

I would concur with several previous posters about getting a dinghy, except I would say get 2, 1 for you and 1 for wife. Lasers are probably your best bet.

After 2 summers of that move up to a trailer boat like a Holder 20 or a Catalina 22 for a year and start doing overnight and long weekend trips
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Old 27-11-2011, 20:35   #38
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

...and by the time you do all that, you might well be 60, all the baby boomers will be long dead and gone, your kid will be in high school and sucked into the consumer world and will not want to go.

But - HEY! - boats will be even cheaper than they are now with all the baby boomers gone and no young ones wanting to sail!
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Old 27-11-2011, 21:33   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cooks
Thanks for all your comments and advice, if the realism of the plan took me 5 years it wouldn't be a problem. I would not risk my family members if I weren't competent in sailing no matter how long it takes, we are off to caribbean in febuary so we are going to look into the charter holidays whilst we are down there, my first priority of course is my family so we must all enjoy sailing or its a no go situation. I agree there's not many sailboats for sale in Saskatchewan but I travel quite a bit with work and I could organize to get to the places where I need to if I was serious about a boat. We have had many offshore trips for seafishing as we are from the uk and we always loved it out on the water and just want more,anyway I will stop rambling on and once again I do not think anyone rude and appreciate the feedback. Thanks...chris
Friends of mine found an ASA 102/103(?) liveabord course. 5 days on water as a couple with a skipper/teacher. I thought this was a great idea.

After that I think the experience falls into three categories. Physical, mental and practical.

Physical - this is the sailing the boat part. In observing my brother who just moved aboard with little experience, here is my opinion. Maneuvering the boat under power - spend time doing this, almost no one does, so docking becomes a fire drill. Know what happens when the boat runs out of steering way. Does wind take over, does curreent take over? How crappy does she go astern. How fast does she accelerate in forward and reverse? How quickly does she slow down from 4 knots to zero with no reverse thrust. Find a mooring ball and deep water and spend a tank of diesel maneuviring to the ball at different wind and current angles. Practice doing 360 turns, prop walk turns, three point turns and straight uturns. Know how to maneuver the boat slowly, safely and in control. This is all about docking. The crew should be able to step off the boat with docklines and the boat is inches from the dock and stationary. I see lots of skippers say, "ok, whe we get close, jump ashore, get the stern line on the bollard and take a coupe of wraps quickly to stop the boat - BS!

Sailing - Getting sails up and sailing poorly is easy. Sailing well is harder. Sailing fast and expertly to where you want to go is pretty hard. But you dont need to be an expert to get places. What you do need to do in the beginning is carry a lot less sail than you think you need. I see lots of beginners that think a well heeled over boat is a good thing. For me if you are a begginer and the boat is going 4 knots, that's enough. At 6-7 knots there are ,ots of forces on the boat and a beginner can easily be overwhelmed. If you see "dark" clouds and they even look far away, reef. Reef now. That thunderstorm can be moving towards you at 30 knots and be on you in minutes. You can always put the sails back up later.

Anchoring - not to start an anchoring war (plenty of those around here) but knowing what makes a good place to drop the hook, why and how much clearance you need from other boats and why are the key ingredients. Knowing how much scope to lay out is also critical. Both my brothers think I am a nut because I circle anchorages for 10 minutes in a pattern. Many skippers, drive in, head to wind and drop at the first place they get 15 feet under the keel. I explained to my brothers, I like to "survey" the bottom watching the depth guage and mentally noting the countours. What are my bail out options if I need to get out at night? Where is immediate deep water? What direction will the boat lay in various wind and current conditions? Waking up in the middle of the night, needing to get out is not thentime to wonder about these things.

Mental - most of this can be picked up here at CF. Passage planning. Leaving on favorable tides, understanding channels and why it is important to arrive at anchorages in daylight. What time can I get to the dock to fuel due to low tides? If I ground at high tide what are my options? If I ground at low tide what are my options? How far is it to sea out of this channel to where I can sail? 4 miles? What if I motor at 4 knots against a 2 knot current? That one hour to sea room becomes two? How does that affect my arrival time at the next anchorage? What will the current and tide be doing if I am one hour late? Two hours?

Practical - This is simply time on boat. Most people rent a day boat. They get in and out of the marina, often poorly and only barely in control. The outcome of docking is almost never 100% assured. They spend 4-5 hours sailing reaches with no destination in mind. They are getting the same skill set reinforced over and over. I.e. One days experience 50 times. Set goals and targets for each sail that builds on new skills. If you spent 4 hours on a 31-36 foot rental boat just maneuvering under power it would be a day well spent. If you spent another day dropping and picking thenhook, picking and dropping mooring balls under power and sail, that would be useful.

Your Plan - completely doable in my opinion. Stay ultra conservative in terms of distances, weather and reefing and a 2500 mile coastal trip becomes 40 or 50 daysails.

All the other stuff about "living" on board, home schooling, 5-y/o safety on board etc. are all details easily managed with common sense and conservatism.
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Old 27-11-2011, 22:17   #40
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Best wishes on your plan! Our family (kids 10, 8, and 5) is leaving this july for a one year trip and the planning has been exciting. Mentioned early on here was a warning about insurance. We had a heck of a time getting insurance because this is our first boat. We only got approved for a policy after submitting lengthy sailing resumes for our combined 59 years of sailing (other people's boats). Since you have some time, maybe you could get a small boat for practice and insure it so that you have experience as well as boat ownership under your belt when you get a larger boat to live on. Good Luck!
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Old 27-11-2011, 22:23   #41
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
I would concur with several previous posters about getting a dinghy, except I would say get 2, 1 for you and 1 for wife. Lasers are probably your best bet.

After 2 summers of that move up to a trailer boat like a Holder 20 or a Catalina 22 for a year and start doing overnight and long weekend trips

I think dinghies are over-rated as instructional tools, and I don't picture this as a plan for someone who just wants to get on the boat and sail.

I didn't get a dinghy. I got a 25' pocket cruiser. If i'd had instruction on a larger boat to start with I probably would have bought a larger boat to start with.

I thought the suggestion to move to Toronto (during spring/summer) and get your feet wet, so to speak, with sailing, was a great suggestion, the difficulty being that how do you choose the boat that's right for you when you haven't sailed?

There's no perfect answer, but I don't think buying a dinghy (or two) and waiting a couple of years for whatever reason is the only option. I didn't go that route and I'm very glad I didn't.
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Old 27-11-2011, 22:31   #42
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

Most of us start with dinghy's, with formal or informal instruction. They are the best route into understanding sailing at a fundamental level. Then, to hone your sailing skills, do a bit of crewing on small racing boats. Finally, some formal instruction on skippering larger boats, preferably with one of the live-aboard courses.

As you're first boat, what about a trailer sailer with a small cabin? You could have some great family holidays, and get familiar with the life acquatic. One of the biggest hurdles in moving up to larger boats isn't the sailing - it's the complexity of the boat and the systems installed.

It's simply a case of building your skills in a structured manner. It's certainly not crazy or unachievable. And if you take time to develop the skills it's perfectly safe.
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Old 27-11-2011, 22:48   #43
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Other way round?

The main problem, looking from the other side of the world, is that you want to buy a boat, start sailing it where it's freezing cold with howling gales, then sail it down some of the world's more dangerous coasts through miserable conditions against wind and current to an area (Western Caribbean) that has relatively good conditions.

Why not do it the other way round. Fly to the Virgins, pick up a surveyed ex charter boat, replace the forestay, add a bigger anchor, 100m of chain and maybe a little extra sun protection, then get one (or more) one of the many sailing instructors to assist you in one of the best and nicest cruising areas in the world.

After you get your feet you can go where you want.

For what its worth in Oz you can solo a small plane after 9 hours of instruction. I took 18. Flying a small plane is way more difficult than sailing a yacht...
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Old 28-11-2011, 02:15   #44
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

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However, a good teacher will want their students to excel beyond their wildest dreams!
Many moons ago I got chatting to a Squash instructer - he was Island / County / State level, so pretty damned good but never going to make the National Team.

When he first got into teaching Squash thought would be able to convey all his knowledge to others easily and that the Students would then use that knowledge to progress......and even maybe he would discover a future champion

Turned out that had to settle for Students who could simply hit the ball.....more often that not Since then I've done a bit of training for others (in shuffling paperwork ), even when the penalty is potentially going to jail I have had to settle for folk turning up. and being able to spell own name......but no one "fails".

....I am pretty sure boat instructors go on the same learning curve.


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There's no perfect answer, but I don't think buying a dinghy (or two) and waiting a couple of years for whatever reason is the only option. I didn't go that route and I'm very glad I didn't.
Agree that no perfect answer - but you get to make your own up

FWIW I think OP is looking a couple of years ahead anyway, so has time to get some prior sailing in.

My suggestion of a sailing Dink was based around low cost - am personally not very interested in something like a Laser (was thinking something a bit more staid - that potentially could later be used on the "Big" boat as a tender) but appreciate others like different things.

Having said that, would say that a trailer sailor sized boat (with a cabin - Kettle, Khasi and Kip ) would be ideal - but far more potential for things that need fixing ($$$) and easy to get sucked into "upgrades", and on something that won't be a keeper that is money straight down the Khasi
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Old 28-11-2011, 02:23   #45
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Re: Is 'this' Plain Crazy ?!

My suggestion? Do a week long course with something like Offshore Sailing School or ASA. Such as their "Fast track to cruising" courses. Then charter in the islands with your family to see how THEY like it. Sometimes the vision of the end goal blinds people from simple things such as the stress, seasickness, the cost etc etc. Better to testdrive the dream a bit before selling the farm.
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