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Old 05-01-2019, 17:09   #1
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The whole package

I have started considering what I am going to do in retirement, and the idea of a sailboat came to mind. The initial purchase costs seems doable, at least on the surface, but some of the practice leaves me wondering. There is a lot of information in this forum, but I thought maybe posting something would be easier and provide another forum topic.

A few questions. Hopefully these are not all really dumb.

1) Can you convert sea water into drinking water? Or best to bring it? If you have a water tank">fresh water tank, where do you fill it, and how do you keep mold out of it or clean it?
2) How many anchors do you need on a boat? I assume 3 as a minimum? 4 or 5?
3) How much rope do you bring. I mean, not already attached, to use for anchors and tying up? Is there a minimum?
4) Extra sails? If one rips, do you sew it yourself on the water, or take it to a seamstress someplace? Do these tear often?
5) I am thinking an outboard motor is better than inboard, so you can easily get to it if there is trouble, or to winterize it?
6) Do toilets dump into ocean, or you save and find a sump somewhere? Do all harbors have these dump locations?
7) Is it possible to keep the bottom of boat clean by alternating between salt and fresh water?
8) Every 3 years the bottom needs repainting?
9) Why is the inside of most boats made from wood instead of MDF or something requiring less maintenance? Fiberglass?
10) Monitoring weather morning noon and night should help prevent surprises right? Drop extra anchors, or find a harbor someplace to ride out a storm? Or better to head out further?
11) Is it better to moor the boat, or pull it out and take it home? I suppose this depends on size of boat. Mooring sounds expensive.
12) How would someone traveling a long distance by themselves sleep?
13) Does everyone carry scuba gear in case an anchor gets stuck or needs help?
14) Do you get bored of sailing after a while? I mean if you are traveling a long distance?
15) Are you able to charge batteries well enough with solar power on a trip? Bring extra batteries?
16) If it is cold at night, how do you keep the cabin warm? I assume electric heating would be a bad idea? Gas?
17) Any pirate stories? Will I get killed in the night or something? Everyone carry a gun?
18) I assume most jump in the ocean to wash, assuming it is warm enough? Wash clothes in ocean as well?

I suppose a lot of these questions will be answered in a Sailing course.
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:39   #2
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Re: The whole package

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bugsy.

Not dumb, but perhaps ... naive?
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:13   #3
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Re: The whole package

Get out there, Bugzy and do some sailing and you will find the answers to these questions for yourself - the most important of which is whether you even like sailing and being aboard in the first place.

Why don't you find an ASA 101 course near you and sign up for that... (that experience would provide an intensive, one-week immersion) or - Vancouver has plenty of sailors, boats and clubs. Get yourself signed up as a social member at a club and go sailing as much as you can this summer.

You'll find out whether sailing is for you or not.

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Old 06-01-2019, 06:29   #4
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pirate Re: The whole package

Quote:
Originally Posted by BugzyCan View Post
I have started considering what I am going to do in retirement, and the idea of a sailboat came to mind. The initial purchase costs seems doable, at least on the surface, but some of the practice leaves me wondering. There is a lot of information in this forum, but I thought maybe posting something would be easier and provide another forum topic.

A few questions. Hopefully these are not all really dumb.

1) Can you convert sea water into drinking water? Or best to bring it? If you have a fresh water tank, where do you fill it, and how do you keep mold out of it or clean it?
2) How many anchors do you need on a boat? I assume 3 as a minimum? 4 or 5?
3) How much rope do you bring. I mean, not already attached, to use for anchors and tying up? Is there a minimum?
4) Extra sails? If one rips, do you sew it yourself on the water, or take it to a seamstress someplace? Do these tear often?
5) I am thinking an outboard motor is better than inboard, so you can easily get to it if there is trouble, or to winterize it?
6) Do toilets dump into ocean, or you save and find a sump somewhere? Do all harbors have these dump locations?
7) Is it possible to keep the bottom of boat clean by alternating between salt and fresh water?
8) Every 3 years the bottom needs repainting?
9) Why is the inside of most boats made from wood instead of MDF or something requiring less maintenance? Fiberglass?
10) Monitoring weather morning noon and night should help prevent surprises right? Drop extra anchors, or find a harbor someplace to ride out a storm? Or better to head out further?
11) Is it better to moor the boat, or pull it out and take it home? I suppose this depends on size of boat. Mooring sounds expensive.
12) How would someone traveling a long distance by themselves sleep?
13) Does everyone carry scuba gear in case an anchor gets stuck or needs help?
14) Do you get bored of sailing after a while? I mean if you are traveling a long distance?
15) Are you able to charge batteries well enough with solar power on a trip? Bring extra batteries?
16) If it is cold at night, how do you keep the cabin warm? I assume electric heating would be a bad idea? Gas?
17) Any pirate stories? Will I get killed in the night or something? Everyone carry a gun?
18) I assume most jump in the ocean to wash, assuming it is warm enough? Wash clothes in ocean as well?

I suppose a lot of these questions will be answered in a Sailing course.
Get this.. It will tell you all you need to know abouts boats, sailing, weather and much more..
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https://www.amazon.com/Glenans-Manua.../dp/0715300164
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:43   #5
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The whole package

Certainly not dumb questions.
Here goes:
1. Yes you can buy water makers that convert seawater into fresh. They're expensive and use electrical energy. They're mostly the province of the rich and/or long-distance ocean sailing liveaboards. Most of us carry our water in tanks. Refilling in U.K. And Europe is universal (I'd say) and free or cheap, usually from dockside hoses. In some cases it's by carting in cans.

2. Don't mention anchors on an Internet forum! It's one of the most hotly debated topics. We have two, a Rocna and a Fortress, with lots of chain and lots of rope. If we spent more time at anchor I'd have another one.

3. We have far more rope than we need, but you can't have too much! We have four mooring lines, plus two extras, plus a couple of belt-and-braces lines, plus extra anchor line, plus a tow rope, plus lots of "small stuff" for tying things up or down, plus... well lots!

4. Extra sails? No no 'extra' sails, just the sails you need. That varies from boat to boat and skipper to skipper. Racers can have dozens. We have a mainsail, a roller jib, a roller Genoa, a cruising chute and a storm jib. The mainsail is used all the time, the jib most of the time, the Genoa and cruising chute occasionally, the storm jib never so far. Sail repairs are usually undertaken by sailmakers rather than seamstresses. They are ubiquitous. It's certainly possible to fix small rips in Dacron sails yourself. Rips are very rare in sails less than five years old. Chafe is a problem but is obviated by good maintenance and care.

5. In U.K. and Europe outboard motors are quite common on yachts of 25 feet or so and under either mounted on the transom or (better) in a well in the cockpit. Inboards are better "pushers" and are more fuel efficient. Having had both I prefer an inboard.

6. Some yachts over here have holding tanks which can be pumped out at sea or emptied into Marina facilities. Many still have sea toilets which pump out into the water. It 's a very big "No-no" using these in a Marina. I believe holding tanks are compulsory in the US.

7. Perhaps, but I doubt it. Others will know.

8. We apply anti-fouling paint every year. Others do it twice a year. I've heard of longer intervals but don't know of it personally.

9. MDF would dissolve rapidly. Most boats less than 20 years old in Europe are mostly GRP interiors.

10. Weather monitoring is of course a large part of sailing, in my case more often than twice daily. The internet has revolutionised weather monitoring.
The second part of your question would require a couple of books to answer. A true storm ( I.e winds over force 10 and consequent seas) is almost impossible to legislate for. If you ever get caught in a real storm, there are things you can do but you will be in the hands of the Gods. Having said that if you sail prudently you will almost certainly never get caught in a storm. So we're actually talking about 'heavy weather' I thin, meaning winds up to about force 6 or maybe 7. You will need to find out for yourself what are your limits. If I'm in port and the forecast is 6 or more during the time of my planned passage I don't go out unless the blow will be off the land, and from astern. Then I might. If it blows up unexpectedly while we're out (which can happen, modern forecasting notwithstanding) then we cope. You will need to learn the coping strategies, reefing etc.

11. Yes it depends on the size of boat. Trailer-sailing isn't very common over here.

12. In short bursts. Again the answer to this is a book.

13. Not everyone.

14. No, I don't unless we're becalmed, but some do.

15. You will need to assess your battery capacity according to your consumption, and your charging regime to that. We have a simple set-up with 175 amp-hours of battery charged by the engine and shore power when we're hooked up. We can last four days or so without re-charging. Solar power is becoming the main source. It depends on where you sail as to how effective it is, of course.

16. Diesel heaters are probably the most common ones, i.e. Eberspacher or Webasto. Electric if you're hooked up to the mains in a Marina.

17. Absolutely no such problems around here. There is always petty theft, I guess, and some vandalism in a few places. Guns? Certainly not. ( This is another hot topic. Prepare for incoming!).

18. On the contrary. Most people shower in the local facilities in the Marina or aboard their boat in fresh water. Sea water irritates the skin if used for washing frequently, so most people will rinse in fresh water after swimming even. Clothes can be washed in salt water but need to be rinsed in fresh.

Sailing courses tend to be about sailing rather than housekeeping. Go sailing with other people either on a course or just for fun and you'll soon find these things out and what suits you best. Good luck!
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:42   #6
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Re: The whole package

Yes naive describes me pretty well lol. I will pick up a book to read and look into some courses. I have been on a sailboat before, as a passenger though, loved it. Didn't pay much attention to all of these details at the time. I have owned other boats as well, not sailboats though.


The ocean is an amazing place worth exploring. I ride a motorcycle and go touring every year, and love going places where there are no humans around, the silence and peace is amazing. I think Sailing will be similar, but on a much grander scale.


Thank you for the replies.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:34   #7
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Re: The whole package

Quote:
Originally Posted by BugzyCan View Post
I have started considering what I am going to do in retirement, and the idea of a sailboat came to mind. The initial purchase costs seems doable, at least on the surface, but some of the practice leaves me wondering. There is a lot of information in this forum, but I thought maybe posting something would be easier and provide another forum topic.

A few questions. Hopefully these are not all really dumb.

1) Can you convert sea water into drinking water? Or best to bring it? If you have a fresh water tank, where do you fill it, and how do you keep mold out of it or clean it?
2) How many anchors do you need on a boat? I assume 3 as a minimum? 4 or 5?
3) How much rope do you bring. I mean, not already attached, to use for anchors and tying up? Is there a minimum?
4) Extra sails? If one rips, do you sew it yourself on the water, or take it to a seamstress someplace? Do these tear often?
5) I am thinking an outboard motor is better than inboard, so you can easily get to it if there is trouble, or to winterize it?
6) Do toilets dump into ocean, or you save and find a sump somewhere? Do all harbors have these dump locations?
7) Is it possible to keep the bottom of boat clean by alternating between salt and fresh water?
8) Every 3 years the bottom needs repainting?
9) Why is the inside of most boats made from wood instead of MDF or something requiring less maintenance? Fiberglass?
10) Monitoring weather morning noon and night should help prevent surprises right? Drop extra anchors, or find a harbor someplace to ride out a storm? Or better to head out further?
11) Is it better to moor the boat, or pull it out and take it home? I suppose this depends on size of boat. Mooring sounds expensive.
12) How would someone traveling a long distance by themselves sleep?
13) Does everyone carry scuba gear in case an anchor gets stuck or needs help?
14) Do you get bored of sailing after a while? I mean if you are traveling a long distance?
15) Are you able to charge batteries well enough with solar power on a trip? Bring extra batteries?
16) If it is cold at night, how do you keep the cabin warm? I assume electric heating would be a bad idea? Gas?
17) Any pirate stories? Will I get killed in the night or something? Everyone carry a gun?
18) I assume most jump in the ocean to wash, assuming it is warm enough? Wash clothes in ocean as well?

I suppose a lot of these questions will be answered in a Sailing course.
You are smack dab in the middle of some of the most beautiful cruising ground in the world. And, as a place to learn, you couldn't ask for a better locale. Head down to Granville and talk to Cooper's...they have a sailing club, instructions, charters, everything you ever wanted to get started. Even picking up the Competent Crew work book would answer a lot of your questions. The Vancouver Boat show is in a couple of weeks...a great way to spend the day and its fun to walk the docks.

Maybe follow a few blogs or vlogs. There is always someone starting a new one and learning from their adventures can be fun.

As for the specifics, I think Yellowtulip covered it as much as you are going to get with such a broad range of Qs. To go into detail will cover a lot of posts already filling pages of the internet.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:58   #8
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Re: The whole package

Quote:
Originally Posted by BugzyCan View Post
I have started considering what I am going to do in retirement, and the idea of a sailboat came to mind. The initial purchase costs seems doable, at least on the surface, but some of the practice leaves me wondering. There is a lot of information in this forum, but I thought maybe posting something would be easier and provide another forum topic.

A few questions. Hopefully these are not all really dumb.

1) Can you convert sea water into drinking water? Or best to bring it? If you have a fresh water tank, where do you fill it, and how do you keep mold out of it or clean it?
2) How many anchors do you need on a boat? I assume 3 as a minimum? 4 or 5?
3) How much rope do you bring. I mean, not already attached, to use for anchors and tying up? Is there a minimum?
4) Extra sails? If one rips, do you sew it yourself on the water, or take it to a seamstress someplace? Do these tear often?
5) I am thinking an outboard motor is better than inboard, so you can easily get to it if there is trouble, or to winterize it?
6) Do toilets dump into ocean, or you save and find a sump somewhere? Do all harbors have these dump locations?
7) Is it possible to keep the bottom of boat clean by alternating between salt and fresh water?
8) Every 3 years the bottom needs repainting?
9) Why is the inside of most boats made from wood instead of MDF or something requiring less maintenance? Fiberglass?
10) Monitoring weather morning noon and night should help prevent surprises right? Drop extra anchors, or find a harbor someplace to ride out a storm? Or better to head out further?
11) Is it better to moor the boat, or pull it out and take it home? I suppose this depends on size of boat. Mooring sounds expensive.
12) How would someone traveling a long distance by themselves sleep?
13) Does everyone carry scuba gear in case an anchor gets stuck or needs help?
14) Do you get bored of sailing after a while? I mean if you are traveling a long distance?
15) Are you able to charge batteries well enough with solar power on a trip? Bring extra batteries?
16) If it is cold at night, how do you keep the cabin warm? I assume electric heating would be a bad idea? Gas?
17) Any pirate stories? Will I get killed in the night or something? Everyone carry a gun?
18) I assume most jump in the ocean to wash, assuming it is warm enough? Wash clothes in ocean as well?

I suppose a lot of these questions will be answered in a Sailing course.

1. Yup. Old school way was to catch rainwater on long passages, and conserve. Get more water in port. A watermaker is not a trivial purchase. Talking at least $3k for a practical system. Used ones come on the market for half that sometimes, when the seller wants to upgrade.

2. Two, minimum. A main and a backup. A third anchor on the stern for kedging or for use as a lunch hook is very nice to have.

3. Lots. Different types and sizes, too. Dock lines. Maybe a half dozen, 25' each, typically 5/8" for boats under 45'. Anchor line. With combination rope/chain rode, you might have two anchor lines 300' in length. Halyards. The ropes that pull the sails up. Sheets. The ropes that control the sails. Downhauls. Outhauls. Preventers. Vangs. Furler lines. Lazy jacks. Jacklines. And enough rope to replace any and all that part or get too worn. Plus a bunch more I haven't thought of.

4. Essentially, yes. For a sloop, the most common rig for a beginner, you want a spare mainsail and a spare working jib. Also a bigger jib called a genoa, or maybe a genoa instead of the standard 90% to 100% working jib. Beginners can do without a spinnaker. Storm jib could be useful, especially if you don't have roller furling. But basically 5 or 6 sails will get you down the road.

Outboards are inefficient and mostly run on gasoline, a very hazardous substance on a boat. They are quickly disabled if the boat gets pooped, which means a big wave washed forward over the stern. An inboard diesel is safe, dependable, efficient. Outboards are cheap, though.

Don't know your rules in Canada but in the U.S. your head cannot discharge directly overboard. Most boats have a simple holding tank which is pumped out ashore, or dumped at sea. Some boats have an MSD which treats sewage so that it can be safely discharged. Some areas prohibit discharge even if it is treated, and it must be pumped ashore.

7, 8. To a degree. But you still need to clean the bottom a couple times a year. This can be done in the water. A bottom job is when the bottom paint is refreshed and is done every one to four years, typically.

9. Just because.

10. Usually you can get good, timely weather reports and forecasts. Sometimes they are wrong. What to do about getting caught by bad weather is a subject for a very big book.

11. Depends on you, your budget, your boat, your usage profile.

12. I take 15 minute cat naps in the cockpit with a timer. Some guys just go below and sleep all night. Some hang up red over red (Captain's in bed) lights. Most simply don't sail alone.

13. Most boats don't have scuba gear. Some do. Some have hookah gear.

14 Get bored doing something you like to do?

15. Sometimes, depending on how much solar you have, how much electricity you use, etc.

16. Dress warm is the best approach. Wood or diesel stoves are commonly used. Electric is popular in port when shore power is available.

17. We all have guns. Lots of them. We enjoy shooting up bouys and channel markers. They are like stop signs to us. They need shooting. Pirates too. Seriously, guns are a hot topic cause a lot of yachties are very anti-gun and a lot of governments of countries that yachts visit are likewise anti-gun, or at least anti letting ordinary people have them. So probably more boats out there that do NOT have guns than boats that have them. Even some "gun nuts" sail without guns if visiting other countries, just for practical reasons. As for pirates attacking, well, it doesn't happen often. If it does, you are just screwed unless you have a gun. Then you maybe save your life only to spend the rest of it in jail for killing a poor downtrodden victim of his environment who only wanted (fill in the blank). But like I said, occurences of piracy or unauthorized boarding or robbery are rare and most people never have the misfortune. But I thought Canada does not allow guns?

18 Some boats have showers. Best setup is salt and fresh. Wash in salt. Quick rinse in fresh. Unless you have watermaker, in which case enoy your "Hollywood showers". Don't jump in the ocean. Sometimes it is harder to get back on your boat, than to jump off of it. Would suck to see your boat suddenly start sailing away from you with a change of wind. A bucket in the cockpit works great, along with maybe a quart of fresh to rinse with.

Get some good books. Crew for someone. Youtube is your friend. Take a class or two! Absorb some background knowledge before your next round of questions and we can get a lot of these preliminaries out of the way and start arguing about guns and anchors again.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:34   #9
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Re: The whole package

Bugs,

To be more helpful tell us more about yourself and finances.

How old? Any disabilities?
Sailing as a weekend experience, a couple of week long trips per year or live aboard?
Stay around Vancouver, move a bit, circumnavigation?
How much money?

That kind of thing.
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