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Old 20-01-2013, 17:48   #1
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pirate Looking to Learn

Hello All, this is a first for me; I have never posted on a forum before. Kind of excited, actually. I have no idea how to sail or what it takes to be a successful sailor on the high seas but I do so want to learn. My question is this: If someone is not born into money and has somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 years until retirement age how does one afford a boat big enough to sail the ocean and what does one do to have an income sufficient to cover the costs of living on the ocean. Should probably say I am interested in a catamaran. Thanks to anyone who tries to help!
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Old 20-01-2013, 17:58   #2
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Re: Looking to Learn

First, welcome to the forum. You've hit on one of the best IMHO.

If you have no experience you should take some courses. There are many different groups out there.

As for the boat for off shore one should get the best they can afford, and that means save your coins for as long as you can because they are not cheap, Cats are almost twice as much.
The problem these days is it's getting harder to get out there. New laws and costs are making it a bit harder each year. But at least the navigation technology has skyrocketed. But so has materials and parts.

I'll let other chine in now!

I might add too that you should get out on an ocean a time or two to make sure this is what you want. A lot of pukers go out with the dream and come back green.
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Old 20-01-2013, 18:07   #3
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Welcome aboard and hello!

IMHO: first figure out what your boat of choice is - this way you determine your min/max cost. Second, see if a older version/model will suffice (i.e.: we wanted a Amel Super Maramu but couldn't afford, so we looked at earlier build hulls like the Sharki, Santorin and OG Maramu as alternatives).

Finally liked/settled in on the Maramu model, from '81-'84 years. We continued to save for YEARS to get a sizable downpayment (approx 30% boat value), so we could qualify for a Essex Marine "Luxury Loan" and we were off to the races.

It's a process and I recommend looking at it like a marathon vs short sprint - you want to make a good, well informed choice. We switched manufacturers 2yrs into the search...you will change as you acquire more knowledge and sailing experience.

Enjoy the journey and voyage - it's all part of the fun!
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Old 20-01-2013, 18:20   #4
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Re: Looking to Learn

To get into sailing, you need to know the fundamentals. This includes the differences between boats, navigation and seamanship, just to name a few. There are many schools that offers a variety of courses from beginners to advanced; some at reasonable cost. Just make sure you actually sail, with every class you take. Water experience is a must have, as it will enforce your book knowledge. After that, try on being a "deck hand"; marinas and net forums offer plenty of opportunities. When you get a bit comfortable, try a few charters on different boats to establish a "baseline" of knowledge. From that point on, you would have a foundation to build on. Sailors on here will give you diverse advice and suggestions, but you must have the final word. Enjoy! Mauritz
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Old 20-01-2013, 18:22   #5
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Definitely will need some classes and experience sailing. What size boat is reasonable to circumnavigate? Again I would ask what do people do for income if they choose to stay on the ocean full time?
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Old 20-01-2013, 18:34   #6
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Re: Looking to Learn

Sailors have crossed the seven seas in very small boats, since the beginning of time. Your goal is to have a boat that offers comfort and yet can be sailed single hand; a 30-35 ft with a 5 ft keel or less. Seamanship experience and boat designs are in play when choosing a boat to cross oceans in. As for financing long sailing trips, you will need very deep pockets from years of savings, from an inheritance or from winning a lotto. Sailing, flying and horse ownership are money holes; that is reality. Mauritz
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Old 20-01-2013, 18:38   #7
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Re: Looking to Learn

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Originally Posted by WantoSail View Post
Definitely will need some classes and experience sailing. What size boat is reasonable to circumnavigate? Again I would ask what do people do for income if they choose to stay on the ocean full time?
Boat size? Usually anything over 30' is fairly comfortable but personally I wouldn't do it on anything less then 36'. Anything over that MAY require crew depending on how it's set up. And it's up to the individual's cruising goals.

Income? A lot of us are naturally retired or have saved up enough to retire early. Others have set themselves up to receive income while out and about, own business and such. Some make money as they go here and there but it a hard way to go.
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Old 20-01-2013, 19:31   #8
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I can see there is a lot to consider and to learn. I'm a perfectionist and I would not settle for anything less than a lot of knowledge and research before taking this on. Luckily I have a lot of money to save and a lot of sailing to learn. Thanks all.
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Old 20-01-2013, 21:03   #9
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Let me start by saying joining this community is a great first step a very nice group of men and women who have been very kind and helpful despite how basic some of my questions are Like you I was suddenly struck with a need to sail. I'm not sure where it came from. It has rapidly gone from a daydream of wouldn't it be nice to a full blown obsession. Here is my plan to get from a total noob to a safe and skilled skipper.
I started with some basic sailing lessons where they taught me a little bit about how to handle a boat. After this the plan was to purchase a small boat. A little sloop somewhere around 17 feet. I estimate six months of playing with my little sloop in mission bay should allow me learn the basics if seamanship. At this point I would step up to something around 25 foot or so that I could sail up and down the coast of California gathering new skills. I need to learn so much and this seems to be the way to learn navigation, how to anchor, just adding to my sea chest of skills if you will.
Before you go buying some beautiful ridiculously expensive blue water cruiser consider this. The vast majority of people who suddenly decide they want to sail away six months or so and stop at whatever island they are near. They tell some broker to sell it (taking a huge financial loss most likely) and they fly back home.
You have plenty of time before retirement so go slow and make sure this is what you really want to do. Truth be told I skipped step 1. I didn't spend the year I needed on a little boat. I couldn't justify spending $1000 to $1500 for a boat I know I will be dissatisfied with in six months. I decided learning in a 24footer is just as good and odds are I will never go blue water anyway. The wife and I are thinking we want to live a board once retirement gets here. If we are still thinking its a good idea in five years we will start looking for the next step in boats.
I got a project boat. If what you want is to sail I would advise against the projects. I actually find myself preparing to go buy a little boat anyway because it's taking so long to get Precious in the water. I NEED to get back out there and I can't afford to keep renting
You will here from many people here much more knowledgeable than I. But it makes sense to me we graduate from one class to the next. When you own the 17 footer you upgrade to something around 25 or so. From there you move up to 35-40 or more. There is a really good thread entitled attempted trip to Bermuda describing a new sailors adventures at sea. It's a very long thread but well worth the read!
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Old 22-01-2013, 19:49   #10
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Thanks captain G. I really have so many questions my head is spinning. I think step one will be to get the lessons. This will allow me to actually make a move in the right direction instead of moving around on the internet 100 miles an hour to get nowhere. I' m very happy I found this site I think it will be a great benefit and a big part of my learning. Thanks for the advice. Fell free to share your knowledge anytime.
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Old 22-01-2013, 20:17   #11
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Re: Looking to Learn

Hi WTS,
I was just looking at lien sales and came across this website that may be helpful to you: Notes On Acquiring A Yacht
Have a look at the Mahina List and Atom's website for ideas for boats with a good reputation.
If you're serious about catamarans, the multihull forum on this site has some very knowledgeable people who will help you with your questions.
Just remember that you can get into a solid bluewater monohull a lot more cheaply than a similar sized catamaran. There's always door number three too: a trimaran, most of which are likely to be epoxy and wood.
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Old 22-01-2013, 20:47   #12
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Re: Looking to Learn

Quote:
Originally Posted by WantoSail View Post
Thanks captain G. I really have so many questions my head is spinning. I think step one will be to get the lessons. This will allow me to actually make a move in the right direction instead of moving around on the internet 100 miles an hour to get nowhere. I' m very happy I found this site I think it will be a great benefit and a big part of my learning. Thanks for the advice. Fell free to share your knowledge anytime.
1) I recommend taking your courses from either ASA or US Sailing. Both offer affordable courses and you can "liveaboard" to get a feel for the size (or lack of) a boat or two. There are several state parks around here that offer the ASA 101, 103, 104 classes, might be the same near you. Being certified through ASA or US Sailing will usually be enough to allow you to charter a boat. You have some of the best sailing grounds north of you on Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay.

2) Buy a boat you can afford and really learn to sail, in all conditions. There are plenty of boats out there that are 20 - 30 feet for less than $10,000, some as little as $1,000. Try Craigslist, ebay, etc. My first boat was a sunfish and cost me $150. (On a sunfish you learn to sail or you learn to swim) If you can't afford a boat, find a local yacht club and join, crew during races, etc. It REALLY helps having some who knows boats go with you when you buy a boat.

You can do those in either order, but learning to sail first usually prevents a lot of headaches later. GOOD LUCK!
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Old 22-01-2013, 20:51   #13
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Re: Looking to Learn

I forgot about jobs.

Can you weld, sew, plumb, carpenter, etc and have your own tools? If so you can usually get some work "helping" out those who can't. I have a friend that does web page designing and another that is a writer. Look at your toolbox of talents and see how it fits in with cruising.

Most of us only want to work on our boats, and a few don't even want to do that!
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Old 22-01-2013, 21:02   #14
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Re: Looking to Learn

Great advice above.

Take ASA classes & join a sailing club. Very inexpensive. Meet people thru your club website.

No hurry to buy a boat. Each 2-3 times you go out you will learn alot & your needs will change. Cheaper tr charter & share costs!!

Best pre-book to read: Sailing for Dummies.

Enjoy
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Old 23-01-2013, 19:29   #15
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Thanks. I think we will go this route. More than a few have recommended that book. Ill check it out.
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