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Old 07-06-2014, 09:06   #1
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New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

It seems that we are always reinventing the wheel here. There is always someone new who want to sail around the world solo on a 20 something boat. We try to talk some sense into him/her. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Perhaps we could build a thread so that they would get a idea of what they are getting into. So I am going to put out a few points- others experienced in this area please contribute. If it gets good enough perhaps the mods will make it a sticky in the proper area.
1. The water is inherently hostile to man, large water (ocean) more so. You cannot live on the water without a boat. If you become separated from that floaty thing, you can tread water for a while but eventually you will die. To be out in the ocean alone and find another floaty thing, (or it finds you ) is extremely unlikely. If water is cold and you are dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, death comes quicker.
2. To remain a viable home for your fragile, thin self (look at the whales and seals for comparison) a boat has to remain afloat. All those things going through the hull can pop, resulting in sinking. All devices in the boat can break, resulting in alot of grief if not sinking or breaking up on the rocks. Redundancy and robust build helps alot, and that is usually found in larger or more expensive boats. That is why we don't sail around the world in a Catalina 22 pop top. So don't ask us why you cannot sail a 26 ft xxx around the world. You can, but if it breaks and sinks, you are back to topic 1.
3. Not all the ocean is the same. As you get closer to the equator, things are usually more mellow, more north and south, more violent. (exception: hurricanes and tropical storms)A small boat may do great in the Caribbean and Florida, but I don't recommend it for the roaring 40's and 50's (see latitude measurements). If you get caught in a big blow with a little boat and get thrown off, you are back to 1. So please, just because you have sailed from Tampa to Naples (Florida) do not think you can sail from San Francisco to Alaska.
4. Finally, sailing is suppose to be fun. Fun usually involves good food and good company. Soloing is neither. You want to eat cold out of can soup while shivering in the fog and hoping not to die any moment from being run down by a tanker? I don't. So I only solo when I have to, and that is after sailing for 30 years. To think that you can just pick up a boat for 5 thousand, launch it and solo out in the ocean is stupid at the least and probably suicidal. You cannot learn everything you need from the sea. And you cannot just fix everything that breaks on an old boat while your sailing. That type of thinking will quickly bring you back to #1.
Do be careful. And your not stupid. Its just that sailing is not one of those easily mastered skills. It is not a quick do. It is a worth while do.
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Old 08-06-2014, 13:15   #2
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

Can't help but laugh at this one....
I've been looking for another boat and have come across a lot of boats that people bought and had no clue. They go out sailing and the heal of the boat scares them. Now they are trying to sell those boats but the problem is, they never took care of them. They are falling apart. They are rotting from leaks. They are....well, you got the point.
They bought without knowing anything. They thought it was gonna be cheaper to live on a boat than in a house. It's not. there is still a lot of maintenance issues that have to be taken care of.
Some peoples boats don't sink at sea, they sink at the dock.

Only problem for me where your post hits pretty close to me is.....
My next boat is probably going to be close to twice the length of my last boat.
I'm looking for something in the 37-44 foot size, preferably a ketch.
My last boat was a 22 catalina. I have a big learning curve ahead of me.
Why such a big jump? Well, I can't afford a house, a boat, and an X-wife ....So, I'm gonna forego a house and live on the boat and make sure I do proper maintenance on the boat, just as I would have cared for a house. (lawn care costs money, so does a boat...and there are other costs with home ownership, just as with a boat.)

I sure hope I don't fall into the group of people you and I have mentioned!
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Old 08-06-2014, 14:04   #3
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

Post a video of bad weather...for example this one, where a 24ft boat would be destroyed in about 10 minutes, and even a 40ft boat isn't going to be very safe.



Or this one, wind strong enough to break the boom in half..

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Old 08-06-2014, 14:24   #4
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

newt, why not just provide a link back to NoB's post and save a lot of retyping?
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Old 08-06-2014, 16:34   #5
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

Excellent post and very true. I'm in the category of a new person with the dream of sailing. My wife and I have a long term plan to make this a reality. I retire in 11 years. In 10 years I plan to purchase the vessel, debt free. We plan to put the house up for sale and change our lifestyle. In the mean time I'll be attending ASA schools and properly preparing. We do have extensive experience on the water often making 60 mile fishing trips on our 21 ft center console (I know sailing is different). Our plan is just the Caribbean so it's not that crazy. Any advice is certainly welcomed. I read these forums daily!
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Old 08-06-2014, 16:41   #6
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

Yes, newt, I think it's a good idea.

An addition to your #1, the ocean is hostile to human survival. It surely can feel as if it's out to get you, but it really just doesn't care at all, total indifference--it just does what it does, like the weather, so one must learn to handle them safely. Once one is offshore there are no support services. Therefore, although one hears a lot about rescues, one is vulnerable, both to personal injury and to mechanical problems, and the ocean can easily make rescue an impossibility. Harbors become unaccessible when one most needs/wants them.

With regards to small boats. Most of them were never designed to sail in other than protected waters. Two small boats that were designed to go to sea: the Flickas, and the Vertues. I'm sure the British contingent will have some to recommend, as well.

Certain sailing skills are necessary, and also experience to learn how to tell it's time to ease things for the boat, or yourself, and how to do it: the development of good sailing judgment. For that, crewing with an experienced skipper who can explain can produce great growth for a newbie, to see good judgment in action, to learn to read charts, to learn about coastal piloting, to understand about tides, currents, impounded water and bars... . Otherwise, it's practice and critical thinking about what has occurred. Not everyone is gifted at critical thinking and learning, and so, I think there is a place for lessons: formal or informal. Plus, there's the Colregs to learn!

Developing skills leads to having better judgment for boat handling, and it takes time, and physical and mental effort.

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Old 08-06-2014, 16:41   #7
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

Way to much emphasis on boat size. In most cases the boat would do fine but the owners won't. No doubt a larger boat would be more comfortable and a lot more expensive, but sometimes not as seaworthy?
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Old 08-06-2014, 18:00   #8
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pirate Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

Why do all these family guys think singlehanders live on cold canned food..
Just coz you can't cook.. wont cook??
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Old 08-06-2014, 18:36   #9
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Why do all these family guys think singlehanders live on cold canned food..
Just coz you can't cook.. wont cook??
Well said with an efficiency of words.

I think Mrs Newt would appreciate a hand in the kitchen
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Old 08-06-2014, 19:08   #10
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Why do all these family guys think singlehanders live on cold canned food..
Just coz you can't cook.. wont cook??
With out derailing the thread:
I only post what I have done.
You know all those stupid moves I infer?
Yep that's my past.
Now I didn't say all small boats were not good in heavy weather, just the inexpensive ones. I would go out in a Bristol Channel Cruiser with a lot of confidence. That's off topic. What we want to do is share some basics on why the approach by some newbies does not work.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:58   #11
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

I would like to address why we suggest smaller boats at first and lakes. Its not to keep you off the ocean for our own use. There is plenty of space out in the ocean, and when I see another sailor I usually try to hail them on the VHF or wave merrily. It happens so rarely up here...
No, the reasons we suggest learning on a dingy:
1. You learn to rely on the sail and not the motor.
2. You learn really quickly what works and what doesn't.
3. You can do stupid moves and nobody cares.
4. It rarely costs much. I picked up my first dingy (sail and all) for 20 dollars. My last one cost 700. (a laser)
5. Maintenance is almost nonexistent.
6.If sailing is not your cup of tea, you learn without costing you a lot of bread.
In other words, we are just trying to save you time and money...This is for the next person who asks...
Can I learn to sail on a 50 foot Oyster?
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:06   #12
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pirate Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Can I learn to sail on a 50 foot Oyster?
Yeah.. of course you can.. have a word with Kenomac..
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Old 23-06-2014, 19:08   #13
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

You know, Newt, I think Rimas would beg to differ with your opinion. Of course he's out sailing oceans, as opposed to typing on the interweb.
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Old 23-06-2014, 19:24   #14
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

I saw a short documentaty on a guy who went out solo into the roaring 40's area in a kayak like rowboat. The documentary was short because he did not live very long.
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Old 24-06-2014, 09:13   #15
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Re: New Sailor's guide to Ocean work.

Yeah sharkbait (BTW I love that name) there will always be people that can rub two sticks together and make a fire. There will be people that can step aboard a hundred foot cat and sail for a record. When I taught climbing, some people swore that climbing was best done barefoot.
We all live in very little worlds. I looked at the forecast yesterday for the Columbia bank. Most days this week you could slide out there with just about any boat. 6 months from now it will average 20 foot waves. So is the bank dangerous? If you sail it today you wouldn't think so.
Now with your snarky comment you accuse me of armchair sailing. Some of that is true, as I still work on land. But I do get offshore a couple of months a year. I sail through the weather I speak of, and I try to limit the hyperbole. I started this thread because new sailors did not seem to understand the concern I had about training or undertaking a journey with out preparation. I am trying to share what I wish I would have known 30 years ago, that's all. If you find the thread offensive or wrong, just don't read.
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