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
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.
- 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
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.