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Old 24-08-2016, 09:53   #1
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When you know nothing...

...how do you learn?

If anyone saw my introduction thread posted earlier, you'll know that we are looking to move aboard in a few years. My boating experience to date is limited to small fishing boats, and our 18' bow rider. We do have a very good friend who lives aboard a 43' Tiara convertible, and we've been on it, but as of yet we have not been "out" in it.

My goal in the next 5 to 10 years is to be able to cruise ourselves to the Carribean, Florida Keys, and eventually complete the great loop. I'd love to be able to sail to further places around the world, but I don't think that will ever be a reality for us. So I'll live vicariously through the SV Delos, which I watch religiously.

Having said all of that, since we have no experience with either, I'm trying to decide whether we should start learning and gaining experience in power cruisers, or sail boats.

My biggest issue with sail boats are the layouts. While we currently live in an RV, its rather spacious with opposing slides. Monohulls seem to all have the same layout - couch on both sides with that table on the mast in the middle, and the master stateroom is always tucked under the cockpit which would make it very uncomfortable to sleep in. If I could put a sail on my RV we'd be golden.

My biggest issue with power boats is the engines. When you're running two Detriot Diesels, it can get quite expensive to repair, especially when you aren't a mechanic. My other big issue is the cost to cruise, and the limited range you get.

I'd like for us to start taking opportunities to gain experience in the boating world, other than our run about, but I don't even know where to start.

We've been told that if we want to move aboard that we should start planning now because its going to take at least two years once you find a boat, to get to the point of moving aboard.

I'm sure questions like these arise on the daily, but I'd appreciate any input, advice, tips, or experiences you can share.

TIA
Christopher
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Old 24-08-2016, 10:18   #2
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Re: When you know nothing...

If sleeping under the cockpit in the master stateroom is objectionable then golly I have news for you.

You may want to consider sticking with the RV life as you are not even getting started. Wait until the mental game of cruising to distant places start, i.e. will the wind go higher, will the waves get bigger, will the weather change halfway through my passage, will my anchor hold, all night anchor watch, etc.

At least with all night anchor watch you don't have to sleep in the master berth.

How much pain can you deal with? Cruising is part magnificent higher highs and part worry and terror in the heavy weather.

Would suggest you buy a smaller boat and then work your way up by 5 ft per year and spend as much time on the water as you can. If you love it you will keep doing it. Cabin layout will be 0.1 percent of your thinking by then.
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Old 24-08-2016, 10:20   #3
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Re: When you know nothing...

...how do you learn?

Start learning how to sail or powerboat ? , I believe both have several ASA levels which you can follow (not sure as I am european) and during courses find out which you like best , the experience and completed ASA levels will prove to be invaluable as well

Having said all of that, since we have no experience with either, I'm trying to decide whether we should start learning and gaining experience in power cruisers, or sail boats.

We were in the exact same situation when we started a few years ago, opted for a power cruiser first . But after a few years realized there was just not enough space foot for foot in sail vs power . Also $$$ purchase prices and fuel costs were a factor. When we decided to switch from power to sail we put our mobo up for sale and started to take offshore sailing lessons , having been at Sea in any kind of boat, and having corresponding ASA / RYA certificates, is an advantage w/ regards to navigation etc , so we could concentrate on 'learning to sail instead of having to learn to navigate and understand the 'rules of the road' as well

My biggest issue with sail boats are the layouts. While we currently live in an RV, its rather spacious with opposing slides. Monohulls seem to all have the same layout - couch on both sides with that table on the mast in the middle, and the master stateroom is always tucked under the cockpit which would make it very uncomfortable to sleep in

Seems you're describing a center cockpit yacht ? , easily solved, find another yacht to look at . We just found one (this month actually) with a Master all the way fwd and island bed, no mast through the table and a couch just on one side ;-) .. so keep an open mind and search for different boats aside from center cockpits

I'd like for us to start taking opportunities to gain experience in the boating world, other than our run about, but I don't even know where to start.

get your ASA levels , up to competent crew or USA equiv , visit your local yachtclub and offer yourself up as crew for the wednesday evening races , plenty of experience to be gained

We've been told that if we want to move aboard that we should start planning now because its going to take at least two years once you find a boat, to get to the point of moving aboard.

I think that solely depends on the boat you buy and by when you have to move in ? ;-)

good luck ! , we've found it to be quite an adventure by itself and we just started our adventure
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Old 24-08-2016, 10:26   #4
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Re: When you know nothing...

Just a comment, the master berth forward has two main disadvantages. The first is it puts you too far from the companionway. You can hear better externally and react quicker if the master berth is aft. Second, there is way more motion forward which in some anchorages and conditions makes it untenable for human habitation. On the other hand, if you like the feeling of weightlessness it may be OK to have the master berth forward.
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Old 24-08-2016, 10:53   #5
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Re: When you know nothing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
Just a comment, the master berth forward has two main disadvantages.
as a wise man once said 'every boat is a compromise' ;-)
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Old 25-08-2016, 08:33   #6
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Re: When you know nothing...

Since you are a fan of Delos try switching channels to "Gone with the Wynns". They did exactly what you are looking to do. They knew nothing about boating or sailing, switched from RV's to a cat, then learned on the fly. I think you might find it interesting. Good Luck!
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Old 25-08-2016, 08:53   #7
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Re: When you know nothing...

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Originally Posted by Valyn View Post
Since you are a fan of Delos try switching channels to "Gone with the Wynns". They did exactly what you are looking to do. They knew nothing about boating or sailing, switched from RV's to a cat, then learned on the fly. I think you might find it interesting. Good Luck!
I've watched them before. Their situation is vastly different than any average person, and I find it a tad bit far fetched from reality.
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Old 25-08-2016, 09:10   #8
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Re: When you know nothing...

In order to find a layout you like in any boat use Yachtworld (or similar) to look at hundreds of boats. Make notes on what you like, what you don't, what decade the boats you like were built in, the price ranges. When we were shopping I looked at thousands of boats with a steno pad there to take notes.

Now refine the data. Take your top 20 likes. Try to define what you like about them. Now you can describe that to a broker if that's the way you're going.

So many people shop boats by whim, what you are actually doing is educating yourself and defining your tastes. Good luck!
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Old 25-08-2016, 09:20   #9
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Re: When you know nothing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by redhead View Post
In order to find a layout you like in any boat use Yachtworld (or similar) to look at hundreds of boats. Make notes on what you like, what you don't, what decade the boats you like were built in, the price ranges. When we were shopping I looked at thousands of boats with a steno pad there to take notes.

Now refine the data. Take your top 20 likes. Try to define what you like about them. Now you can describe that to a broker if that's the way you're going.

So many people shop boats by whim, what you are actually doing is educating yourself and defining your tastes. Good luck!

That brings up a good question.

How do the maintenance costs vary between older sail boats, and older power boats?

Older live aboard type power boats are going to have much larger gas or diesel engines and as I've learned from my friend, are very costly to repair. She has twin Detroit Diesels that are just ridiculous when parts need to be replaced.

Are the engines on Sail boats just as expensive to repair? Or does the rigging cost just as much?
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Old 25-08-2016, 09:59   #10
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Re: When you know nothing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TooCoys View Post
...how do you learn?

If anyone saw my introduction thread posted earlier, you'll know that we are looking to move aboard in a few years. My boating experience to date is limited to small fishing boats, and our 18' bow rider. We do have a very good friend who lives aboard a 43' Tiara convertible, and we've been on it, but as of yet we have not been "out" in it.

My goal in the next 5 to 10 years is to be able to cruise ourselves to the Carribean, Florida Keys, and eventually complete the great loop. I'd love to be able to sail to further places around the world, but I don't think that will ever be a reality for us. So I'll live vicariously through the SV Delos, which I watch religiously.

Having said all of that, since we have no experience with either, I'm trying to decide whether we should start learning and gaining experience in power cruisers, or sail boats.

My biggest issue with sail boats are the layouts. While we currently live in an RV, its rather spacious with opposing slides. Monohulls seem to all have the same layout - couch on both sides with that table on the mast in the middle, and the master stateroom is always tucked under the cockpit which would make it very uncomfortable to sleep in. If I could put a sail on my RV we'd be golden.

My biggest issue with power boats is the engines. When you're running two Detriot Diesels, it can get quite expensive to repair, especially when you aren't a mechanic. My other big issue is the cost to cruise, and the limited range you get.

I'd like for us to start taking opportunities to gain experience in the boating world, other than our run about, but I don't even know where to start.

We've been told that if we want to move aboard that we should start planning now because its going to take at least two years once you find a boat, to get to the point of moving aboard.

I'm sure questions like these arise on the daily, but I'd appreciate any input, advice, tips, or experiences you can share.

TIA
Christopher
LOL! My wife and I are purchasing a sailboat in order to do the Great Loop. And, we have been full time RVers for the past six years! We live in a 39' Aerbus and will be downsized to a 30' Ericson (1984). Yes, it has a v-berth forward and the beam is 10'2" verses 14' on the RV (slides out) so some downsizing will be required but nothing we can't handle. I purchased my vessel from a gentleman on the Great Lakes and he allowed us to do so on time so it is officially bought and paid for at the beginning of next month. Woot Woot! I originally purchased a smaller and older vessel (a 29' Ericson 1979) but found this one more to my (my wife's) liking (layout). To make a long story short, the guy I purchased both boats from was/is a purchase/refurbish/resell boats man and because he is tech challenged, I joined him in the endeavor. We have about 20 boat that we are in process on. The reason I bring this up is two fold. First, we may have something of interest to you. Second, I have a wide range of boat perspectives, especially when it comes to Looping/cruising/live aboard. For us, budget-wise the sailboat option is the best. Although 1/2 the Loop (perhaps more) is really not appropriate for sailing, most sailboats under 35' use a 20hp or less Diesel engine for power ( ours is 12). As you stated, most Trawlers are twin diesels and even if you find a single diesel, it will be at least 160 hp. My engine uses .4 gph a single diesel 160 2 to 3 gph. As the loop is about 6000 miles long and average diesel cost is $2.50 approx. and average speeds are 6 to 8 nymph, simple math tells you the sailboat diesel costs are less than a thousand while the single Trawler is just under $4000. I might add at this point that the twin screws will use 8 to 10 gph so your fuel cost will be closer to $15,000. Ah, what price for comfort. Now admittedly, spending $1250 a month for fuel (if you are taking a year to Loop) isn't too bad but, truthfully, I'd rather spend less than $100 per month and use the other for my personal comforts. Just saying.
Another thing for you to consider is a bit larger sailboat (more creature comforts) with a center cockpit and an aft stateroom. Although I personally prefer the aft cockpit because we'll completely enclose ours with options to raise and lower the sidings where appropriate, I know from previous boating experience we spend at least 80% of our time in the cockpit - when it's nice we even sleep out there. That can be done in a center cockpit too but the normal layout of the centers is not as condusive to doing so (usually smaller with more emphasis placed on below deck layout). I guess it all comes down to personal preferences and budget but you asked so I put in my 2 cents worth. Whatever your choice, fair winds and following sea. And, oh, hope to see you on the Loop. Bruce V
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Old 25-08-2016, 10:21   #11
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Re: When you know nothing...

Here's a proactive course of action for your learning process regarding sailing and sailboats. While you are scratching your head about a lifestyle change, find a local sailing club and buy whatever small sailing dinghy is raced at that club. Most have Sunfish, Lasers, etc, and all will teach you the basics of sailing in a group environment and among people who are glad to share their knowledge with you. You'll learn more about basics from doing this than from any sailing course or Q & A from a forum like this one. Too many folks start with wistful dreams and immediately go to a too-large live aboard or ocean sailing vessel without knowing fundamentals that are essential for safety and yes, survival. This experience will give you more realistic perspective for guiding your boat selection process and achievement of the dream you seek. Don't mean to rain or your parade here but 70 years of experience has showed many times over the advantages of starting on the first rung of the ladder rather than going immediately to the top and leaving the learning process for later. Just my $.02 worth.
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Old 25-08-2016, 10:25   #12
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Re: When you know nothing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekker View Post
Here's a proactive course of action for your learning process regarding sailing and sailboats. While you are scratching your head about a lifestyle change, find a local sailing club and buy whatever small sailing dinghy is raced at that club. Most have Sunfish, Lasers, etc, and all will teach you the basics of sailing in a group environment and among people who are glad to share their knowledge with you. You'll learn more about basics from doing this than from any sailing course or Q & A from a forum like this one. Too many folks start with wistful dreams and immediately go to a too-large live aboard or ocean sailing vessel without knowing fundamentals that are essential for safety and yes, survival. This experience will give you more realistic perspective for guiding your boat selection process and achievement of the dream you seek. Don't mean to rain or your parade here but 70 years of experience has showed many times over the advantages of starting on the first rung of the ladder rather than going immediately to the top and leaving the learning process for later. Just my $.02 worth.


That IS very sound advice. And I joined a local sailing group on meetup.com and I hope to take the basic sail course soon.

I'm trying to find someone who would be willing to take us out on their sail boat for a day before I even do that though, to see if its something that I would really enjoy, before I invest in the cost of the basic sail courses.
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Old 25-08-2016, 10:34   #13
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Re: When you know nothing...

@ Trekker......
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Old 25-08-2016, 10:41   #14
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Re: When you know nothing...

Race

Find a club and race.

Learn more in 60 minutes than you'll care to know :-)
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Old 25-08-2016, 12:11   #15
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Re: When you know nothing...

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
Just a comment, the master berth forward has two main disadvantages. The first is it puts you too far from the companionway. You can hear better externally and react quicker if the master berth is aft. Second, there is way more motion forward which in some anchorages and conditions makes it untenable for human habitation. On the other hand, if you like the feeling of weightlessness it may be OK to have the master berth forward.
Since you brought it up. The forward vee berths really are way better than a water bed. That floating motion makes all the difference. In my way younger days, my female companions made note of that.
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