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!