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Old 15-12-2011, 16:39   #31
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Re: Challenge: Going to Sea - Your First Time Alone

Originally Posted by Still Hopefull View Post
Ok. To add to this question. I have seen some sailing schools that offer a 13 or 14 week course to get your RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean qualifications. They all that NO sailing experience is required. Does this mean that theoretically a person could move to the coast, do the course and that they are then qualified and WILL HAVE THE SKILLS REQUIRED (very important I believe) to jump on a yacht and sail the into the big blue yonder? Is this a realistic expectation?
Thats a good way of dying. Especially if you are out in the wide blue yonder

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Old 15-12-2011, 16:44   #32
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Re: Challenge: Going to Sea - Your First Time Alone

There is far more to sailing than Navigation and Rules of the Road. Like the early days of motoring you need to be able to service your own vessel. or pay for folks to do it for you.
A driving test would be useful too, informal. No more regulations please. There are enough rich snobs bombing around in white palaces, quite wealthy enough to have a titular skipper below to satisfy any rules those that rule might come up with.

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Old 15-12-2011, 16:59   #33
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Re: Challenge: Going to Sea - Your First Time Alone

Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
Interesting thread,

I am about to do exactly this,

Fiji to Australia, on my own if my friend decides she is not up to it.

She is terrified off the ocean, We will circumvent Fiji first. One, To make sure I know the boat well enough to make the trip, and can manage it on my own,

second, to see if she is up to making the trip with me, If not, she will fly home,

One poster mentions V8 motor cycle, I ride a Honda Blackbird,1100XX.
I snow ski, Upper intermediate, Sail a 14 foot Paper Tiger, Love cartwheeling it,
Can Water ski.
Been driving Motor boats, Ski boats, fishing boats, Most of my life,

Never been to open sea like this time, I have just had a full licenced survey and haul out done, Waiting on the report at the moment,

If the boat is safe and seaworthy, I will buy it and learn to sail it properly by going around Fiji.
I have seen a video of this boat in severe weather, It can make it, then so can I,

When I am comfortable with my ability, I will the sail it to Australia, 3000 miles, straight across to probably Brisbane, Then down the coast to Melbourne, My home port.

Am I ready, I dont know, But I am about to find out, I have enough aquired knowledge to stand me in good stead,

I went skiing in Japan, got lost in a snow storm at night walking home from the town, I walked across a flat area to get to another road, I fell into a creek, 4 metres below the surface, I was only lightly dressed, no gloves, only runners on, jeans, -30C powder snow, You cant pack powder snow to make steps. Suppressing panic, knowing I had about 20 minutes max to get my self out, or freeze to death. I slowly worked my way up and out of the hole, The snow stuck to my hands like a glove, and I could feel the heat draining from my body, Scared the crap out of me,

But I over came the sheer panic of knowing that I would be dead, So I know I can pull through in a crisis, self preservation kicks in, think calmly, do what you have to do,
small sails in bad weather, if all else fails, throw the drogue over and sit on it, on a long lead, till the storm passes,

All advice welcome,
Well I did it, 3000 nautical miles from Fiji to Bundaberg, Australia

Then about 600 miles down the Tasman Sea,

Hiding from a storm from the north west in a very sheltered Cove, The wind changed to the south east, Dragged both anchors and got washed up on the beach and rocks,
I now have one very wrecked boat.

Only had 700 miles left to go and I was at home and safe,

Repaired my universal joint between my gearbox and drive leg, Repaired my steering when it **** itself, Encountered some horrific weather and storms,

Didnt use the drogue, I used the drive leg locked down as a drogue, windward side centre board fully down, A little bit of Genoa up, and run before it,

Sitting on top of a Pacific roller going north west, The cockpit full of water from the Pacific roller going to the north, A wave standing higher than the top spreader vertically over the transom. A 12 metre mast, thats 3 metres above the water line, That makes about a 30 foot wave, ready to crash down over my transom.

I was gone and not a bloody thing I could do about it,Twice,

Are you ready, The ocean is unforgiving, and it is very very big,
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:23   #34
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pirate Re: Challenge: Going to Sea - Your First Time Alone

Originally Posted by Miniyot View Post
I didn't read all of the replies, but out of those I did read? I guess I just don't fit the mold...
My first sailboat was a 14' O'day.
My second was a 22' Catalina.

I read a few books when I bought the 1st boat. Went to a local river and did the things I read about. It took me 2 minutes....
During the summer boating rush There was a pontoon boat setup as a fast food joint in this river and I could pull up, dropping sail at just the right time to come to a gentle stop and get some grub.

I single handed the 22' boat on numerous occasions. I even took offshore on overnites....If you can call 20-30 miles offshore...

Sailing seems to come to me easy. Sure I haven't seen 40' waves, but I don't think I need to hire a teacher when a storm comes up so I can get that experience....
The way I see it is....
If you know which way to turn a screw without reciting a poem, you will be OK.
If you can read and have a comprehension level of 75 or more, you will be OK.
If you understand and know the ocean currents where you live, you'll be OK....cause if you get lost you can always pull a Capt. Ron and pull up somewhweres and ask direction....(only in your coastal area)
If you can read a chart, you will be OK.
I know how to adjust my sails, but I am not smooth as some when gybing. That is where experience comes in...that and a teacher. I understand there are "tricks of the trade" BUT....some people can come up with thier own tricks pretty quick.
Making an offshore passage like from california to hawaii? that is totally different. You better have some electronics, or know how to use a sextant. Just think.....50 years ago, people HAD to use a sextant, now there are people who think a sextant is an antique....but there are still those who say you still need one...and you need lessons on how to use it.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:34   #35
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Re: Challenge: Going to Sea - Your First Time Alone

""When ex-marine comando Shane Acton set off from Cambridge in his 18-foot yacht, Super Shrimpy, bought second-hand for 400 pounds, he little thought hat he would sail around the world. Yet, eight years and many hair-raising adventures later, that is exactly what he has done. During that time he has been shipwrecked, menaced by sharks, endured tempests, was thrown in jail in morocco, and even found buried treasure! But not all his amazing experiences were so melodramatic; in Panama he met a beautiful Swiss girl, Iris Derungs, who became his companion and shared the joys and problems of much of this hazardous 30,000 mile voyage. The journey was one which even the most experienced sailors would have flatly refused to undertake. According to the law of averages, he should be dead by now. He maintains, vehemently, that this is rubbish. He knew nothing about sailing except what he had picked up from a book his sister gave him for his birthday. As he reac hed the sea on England's east coast he had to pause to work out how to put the sails up; he navigated with a plastic sextant-crude but it worked".
Shrimpy: a 18 foot Robert Tucker designed boat that sailed around the world

His book was one of the first sailing books I read. I love the part where he had to figure out how to put the sails up when he reached the sea...
Tilting at windmills...sigh, always tilting at windmills
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:38   #36
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Re: Challenge: Going to Sea - Your First Time Alone

Interesting points from many people here. For me it came down to knowing myself and knowing my boat. I spent 25 years racing and short cruises around the great lakes. Owned a couple different boats before I bought my Shannon (30 years old) and went through her from stem to stern upgrading systems and learning all I could about her for another 7 years. Sailed offshore with connections I made online a couple of times. Read everything I could get my hands on to learn from others. I often tell people the boat knows what to do, its the humans that screw things up. I knew of many that had far less experience and boats far less prepared to make a voyage that managed to pull it off. Although some sold their boat soon after. Most of my time is spent single handing but for my sail from Beaufort to the virgin islands I enlisted the help of friends that had never sailed offshore, but had 60 years experience between them. After all the preperation and practice I spoke in my journal about the gorilla in the room, that I was scared.
Well the day finally arrived.11/30/11.So called weather window, crew, fuel and provisions on board, ready to go. Away we went. everything go perfect? No way. One crew had a nasty fall and cracked a rib first night out. The other while being a big help handling the boat developed some unforeseen conflict tendencies. The weather window turned out to be a small crack just big enough for us to slip through out into the Atlantic. Could have forced or way east into 40knot winds, but chose to broad reach south to south caicos instead. Regrouped there. Rib healing, conflict behind. Landfall after 8 days was a wonderful thing. Sail from there to Puerto Rico and then to the Virgin Islands were a cake walk. Single haned around the virgins for 5 months and picked up crew for return to NY. 11 day sail from St Thomas to NYC was uneventful. Not really. Had some exciting weather, passing a couple cold fronts, but I was a bit more seasoned by then and it didn't seem like much. Guess that's the learning curve you can't get from the book at the dock.
Get a boat that makes you feel safe. Learn all you can. Take a deep breath and go. You'll find out soon enough if its for you.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:45   #37
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Re: Challenge: Going to Sea - Your First Time Alone

Go out and the sail the boat you intend to take to sea. Do it enough so that you experience most all wind conditions etc.
Anchor alot and find out what works and what doesnt.
Navigate under less than perfect conditions.
Modify things that dont work well.
Tweek everything and get better and better at all the above.
Then you will develop enough confidence for offshore sailing and for your boat. And then you will be partially ready for Offshore challenges.!
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 24-04-2014, 13:00   #38
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Re: Challenge: Going to Sea - Your First Time Alone

There are sites for people looking for crew, perhaps you could hitch a ride with an experienced crew transporting a boat during the migration season. It would definitely get you some sea time, just be honest about your ability when signing up.
Also be cautious about the boat your getting on, if you don't feel right about the boat or captain there's a reason.
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Old 24-04-2014, 18:55   #39
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Re: Challenge: Going to Sea - Your First Time Alone

This is an old geezer of a thread. I wonder how the original poster and the aussie guy fared? They should have certainly continued sailing by now (or not!) Anyone with updates?

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