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Old 02-12-2014, 10:32   #16
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

In retrospect, being in my 50's and 2 years closer to sailing away, if I were your age all over again I would go. Don't wait, seize the day. It seems you don't have a family to worry about (children). The odds are in your favor, you'll have plenty of time for family and career if you so choose later on. I've found this forum with the knowledgable people, their experiences and opinions priceless. I agree with most that buying a boat instead of building would expedite the whole process. Life should be an adventure, not a cookie cutter lifestyle, make it your own. Good luck!
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:33   #17
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

Skip building the boat yourself- it will take years and there are any number of self-built boats rotting on the hard or in the water.

I ran into a fellow last summer who had spent 17 years building his dream boat. Now he was ready to go, but time and technology had made many of the things he put into the boat obsolete, so now he had a major refit to go through (read 3 years before he could do it all).

Our first boat was a 22 footer - great to learn on, we could sleep in it , had a galley and we learned a lot.. bought it for $10k and sold it 3 years later for $10k (ok we put about $3k into it)

If you buy a small 25-30 footer that needs a little TLC, you can probably sell 3-4 years later for what you paid for it. And if you have to sell it for 5-10K less - well that's the cost of learning.

Aside from that - if you really want this - make sure any partner types (read wife/girlfriend) is also in love with the dream and make damn sure she becomes at least a good a sailor as yourself. Otherwise you'll find yourself having to choose between the dream and your lovelife ( I simply can't tell you how important this is).

But hey - go for it. take some lessons, join a sailing club, blow a little money and buy a boat.

fair winds

You'll know after a couple of years if this is what you want to do
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:07   #18
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

I have watched this process play out several ways. At my own harbor a young man bought a Cal 34, spent two months checking it out and making a few small modifications (nothing major) and then sailed it from Morro Bay to his home in Australia. His test cruise was down to San Diego where he stopped to make more small fixes. Then he had a trouble-free trip across the Pacific. His previous sailing experience was in sailing dinghy's and as crew with boats in his home Yacht Club.
I have talked to others that sounded like the OP. No experience but just knew that ocean sailing was what they really wanted to do. When they get the chance to go out on the ocean it isn't what they imagined. One fellow needed only 20 minutes and he wanted to return to the harbor and never visit the ocean again.
In addition to going sailing with others you need to read all those old sailing books. Hiscock, Moitessier, Roth, Coles, Griffith. The boats and the electronics have changed a little since those days but the ocean is the same. I've read "Heavy Weather Sailing" by Adlard Coles at least five times.
A final comment- Being a crew is fine but eventually you need your own boat, even if it is a small one. I have seen people who crewed for years but only knew one job (and it wasn't the job of Skipper).
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:39   #19
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

The only thing standing in the way is you! Go for it lad and don't waste your time building a boat, jump into what you can afford now and go from there you can always move up. It's no big deal-just do it. .
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:43   #20
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

If you're serious about building a boat post this question on the WoodenBoat forum. I'd start with a small boat suitable for expedition cruising. It's becoming hugely popular & there are several magazines out there for good info. If you want to go to Alaska check out Race to Alaska
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:00   #21
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

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Originally Posted by AdamNSheana View Post
Hi everyone. Been part of the forum for a half a year. Been doing a lot of reading. My question is this.

I have zero sailing experience. However very smart and lots of wood working, engineering, and outdoor experience. I am 27 years old, healthy, no ties downs (house payment, car payment). Would it be reachable to learn to sail, get experience, build my own blue water cruiser, and sail to possibly Hawaii, South Pacific, maybe Alaska ?

I know it will take money and hard work, but reading everything. I feel like I won't get enough experience and such. My goal is to try and do this before I turn 40.

I have been a law enforcement officer for over 7 years. Be brutally honest please. Thanks everyone.


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Sounds like you have a plan. Guess police retirement is twenty years.

Get experience and finding out if you really like sailing. You may find it not your thing.

Secondly as many have posted don't build a boat yourself. I won't go into it other than adding support to the other posts with that recommendation.

Best of luck.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:32   #22
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

G'Day Adam,

Many others have been saying "don't build", but not really explaining why this is so. I'll have a go at this explanation:

Building a "blue water cruising boat" such as you propose is a very complex and long term operation. There are a lot of decisions to be made long before you put saw to timber or mix your first batch fr resin. Basic things such as size, material of build, rig, hull shape, keel type, electrical system basics, degree of fitout, and so on. Many of those decisions, once made, can not be much altered as you go along the building process. That is, for a simple example, you can't change your mind and alter from a sloop to a ketch rig whilst building. There are basic factors for each that are not compatible.

This means that you, as a novice dreamer, make design decisions that you have not the experience to address well, and in the unlikely event that you finish the build, you have a boat that you don't really like when you start to sail it. I have personally seen this chain of events run its course more than once.

And this does not address the practical consideration of boat building. There are a hell of a lot of disparate skills required, ranging from expertise in whatever hull material you decide upon through lofting and laying out the lines of the hull and deck, making a useful and practical engine installation, designing and fabricating a complicated electrical system, incorporating whatever electronics you desire (ever changing), designing and installing a complex plumbing system with both fresh water and black water disposition to consider, designing, building and rigging the mast(s) and on and on.

So, it is a daunting task that you glibly propose to accomplish. I add my voice to all the others up thread who suggest either the club/lesson/race crew or the buy a small boat and learn to sail it route for you. It has worked for so many... myself included. I did the buy a cheap day-sailor dinghy, learn to sail, move up to a 22 foot trailer sailor, learn to sail and cruise it, move up to a 30 foot keel boat, learn to sail and ocean cruise it, and so on. No lessons, just hard knocks and hard work and enthusiasm. Did a lot of racing in all of them. I enjoyed the competitive outlet, and it is a great way to learn how to get the most out of a boat. Racing teaches nothing about how to go cruising, btw, but the baot handling skills transfer well.

So there is way more advice than you really wanted, perchance! I hope that you can work out a plan that suits you, and successfully learn the many skills involved in cruising on a yacht. It's a great life!

Jim
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:47   #23
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

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Would it be reachable to learn to sail, get experience, build my own blue water cruiser, and sail to possibly Hawaii, South Pacific, maybe Alaska ?
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Old 02-12-2014, 13:16   #24
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Skip building the boat yourself- it will take years and there are any number of self-built boats rotting on the hard or in the water.

I ran into a fellow last summer who had spent 17 years building his dream boat. Now he was ready to go, but time and technology had made many of the things he put into the boat obsolete, so now he had a major refit to go through (read 3 years before he could do it all).

Our first boat was a 22 footer - great to learn on, we could sleep in it , had a galley and we learned a lot.. bought it for $10k and sold it 3 years later for $10k (ok we put about $3k into it)

If you buy a small 25-30 footer that needs a little TLC, you can probably sell 3-4 years later for what you paid for it. And if you have to sell it for 5-10K less - well that's the cost of learning.

Aside from that - if you really want this - make sure any partner types (read wife/girlfriend) is also in love with the dream and make damn sure she becomes at least a good a sailor as yourself. Otherwise you'll find yourself having to choose between the dream and your lovelife ( I simply can't tell you how important this is).

But hey - go for it. take some lessons, join a sailing club, blow a little money and buy a boat.

fair winds

You'll know after a couple of years if this is what you want to do
AdamnSheana,

I like Carsten's post, it reminds me of many folks we've met over the years, who put *too much* energy into building a boat that was symbolic of a dream, but didn't get out there and sail, then found sailing not to their liking.

As Jim wrote, there are many pitfalls, too, in building your own boat before you have figured out what works for you at sea.

So, I'll put myself in there with the folks who suggest, first, both you and Sheana take up sailing, Probably you want to go to some effort to ensure that she finds it fun, challenging and rewarding, too. Exactly how you do that depends partly on where you are (is there water and a place to sail?), and what is available there. Then you can choose lessons or self-teaching, or a combination. It all becomes expressions of your personalities.

Enjoy,

Ann

On edit, it occurs to me that you might find it fun to built a small sailing dinghy. You could buy the plans, and learn to sail in it. It probably wouldn't take you terribly long if you're an experienced woodworker and already have lots of tools. For sure, it would let you discover whether you want to build a bigger boat, or if you're more of a sailor than a shipwright!

Cheers
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Old 02-12-2014, 13:21   #25
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

Building a boat is a huge commitment that can consume many years of your life & a huge amount of money. That being said, people do build boats. If everybody who wanted to build a boat asked a bunch of strangers if it was a good idea nobody would ever build another boat. But starting with a cruising sailboat is like running the Boston Marathon without ever jogging around the block. I don't know where you are located but there are several boat building schools around the country. Or you might want to think about trying a kit for your first go around. You'll need a dinghy if you go cruising so you might as well build that first. Here's a couple of good links:
Chesapeake Light Craft | Boat Plans, Boat Kits, Boatbuilding Supplies, Boat Kit, Kayak Kit, Canoe Kit, Sailboat Kit
The WoodenBoat School
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Old 02-12-2014, 15:04   #26
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamNSheana View Post
Hi everyone. Been part of the forum for a half a year. Been doing a lot of reading. My question is this.

I have zero sailing experience. However very smart and lots of wood working, engineering, and outdoor experience. I am 27 years old, healthy, no ties downs (house payment, car payment). Would it be reachable to learn to sail, get experience, build my own blue water cruiser, and sail to possibly Hawaii, South Pacific, maybe Alaska ?

I know it will take money and hard work, but reading everything. I feel like I won't get enough experience and such. My goal is to try and do this before I turn 40.

I have been a law enforcement officer for over 7 years. Be brutally honest please. Thanks everyone.


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Hi Adam, YES!!
Check this clip:
Preferably start at clip No.1.
Think out of the box. Go crew on someone else's boat and learn what you need. Then do something similar to the German girl in the video. Her boat, Carl, was a fixer upper and I think cost around US$4K (yes, four thousand dollars) in Panama. She has since spent a couple of thousand dollars on Carl making ready for the sea. There are not thousands of these available, but there is certainly enough to sort out your own bargain if you are prepared to spend a couple of months with sleeves rolled up. If you are really serious, simply send the German girl a message and she'll respond with her own advice.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:19   #27
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

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not unrealistic at all, get to work.

plenty of good boats out there already built though, youd save a bunch of money and probably time buying one of them and fixing it up. get into racing even if you don't care about racing. its a fast track sailing education and youll get an idea of what you want in your boat.
I think this is the best reply. Racing is the best way to learn quick about most things about boat handling. Anchoring and stuff will come as you go. Take classes for currents and tides. Dont build a boat! I've fiddeled about with boats for over 40 years and the perfect boat is always something else than what you think today. Without experience you will be lost forever in a boatyard or workshop building something that wont have any value in the future. A basic production boat has 80% of what you want and need at a much lower price.
BR /petter
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:28   #28
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

I agree with those that say look for a good used boat rather than building one. There are a lot of unbelievable deals out there right now and just fixing an older used boat up will be plenty of work.

It's doable for sure.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:08   #29
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

No problem, you have 13 years until then, no point of doing anything for another 10 years. Retire at 40 means saving a lot of money until then, not buying a boat.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:20   #30
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Re: Is this an unrealistic dream?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamNSheana View Post
Hi everyone. Been part of the forum for a half a year. Been doing a lot of reading. My question is this.

I have zero sailing experience. However very smart and lots of wood working, engineering, and outdoor experience. I am 27 years old, healthy, no ties downs (house payment, car payment). Would it be reachable to learn to sail, get experience, build my own blue water cruiser, and sail to possibly Hawaii, South Pacific, maybe Alaska ?

I know it will take money and hard work, but reading everything. I feel like I won't get enough experience and such. My goal is to try and do this before I turn 40.

I have been a law enforcement officer for over 7 years. Be brutally honest please. Thanks everyone.


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Adam

Back in June you were asking about buying your first boat of a Cal-25. Now 6 months later you still have zero sailing experience and want to build your own boat and go sailing around the world.

While I'm all for you doing it, don't you think you are getting pretty far ahead of yourself? Instead of getting all caught up in some sailing dream without any experience to even know if you have a chance of liking boat life don't you think you should just go learn to sail and spend a few years of doing it?

Currently it seems that for 6 months you haven't made any progress. Stop reading books and forums and go get some sailing time in. That's just my suggestion.
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