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Old 17-02-2009, 12:09   #16
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Youngpup,
You make me smile! Just do it. If you can crew for awhile to learn the ropes, that's a good beginning AND you'll earn some more money with little to no expenses other than personal. Also, even if you buy a boat and go on your own, if you're handy and willing, you can always pick up some money along the way by working on other boats.

With a $10k budget, it sounds like you'll buy a smaller boat. Assuming it's seaworthy, make the crossing in company and carefully pick you day so the trip across the stream is an easy one. West Palm is a good jumping off point.

Have Fun. You only live once....
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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Old 18-02-2009, 12:35   #17
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Seawolf thanks for the positive reply. At this point that is pretty much my attitude. It sounds like it will be hard and I've got a lot to do before setting sail. However I still plan on setting out and making the best of it.

People keep telling me I should crew on someone elses boat, but I have no idea how to go about this. Does anyone have any information on how you get on a boat to crew for someone?

Thanks again.
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Old 18-02-2009, 14:09   #18
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Youngpup,
Don't know your home location and I've not dealt with any crew companies personally, but you can google 'find crew job' and a whole bunch will come up.

If you're in South Florida, try the Marine Industry Association of South Florida (Marine Industries Association of South Florida tel: 954-524-2733) or Seven Seas Cruising Association (Welcome to the Seven Seas Cruising Association tel: 954-771-5662). Call SSCA rather than logging on. SSCA is a cruisers association, not an employment agency, but I'm sure they can steer you in the right direction. They're also a good organization to be associated with when you go cruising.

Good luck and if I can help you with any other info, let me know.

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Old 18-02-2009, 14:56   #19
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With a $10k budget, it sounds like you'll buy a smaller boat. Assuming it's seaworthy, make the crossing in company and carefully pick you day so the trip across the stream is an easy one. West Palm is a good jumping off point.
I agree with Loree. There are plenty of sub $10,000 boats for sale in FL that would be suitable for crossing the Gulf Stream and cruising the Bahamas - provided they are in reasonably good condition. There are literally 100s of islands in the Bahamas; they are some of the most spectacular cruising waters in the world; and you can easily spend a few months there. If things go well, then think about the passage to the Caribbean.
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Old 18-02-2009, 17:14   #20
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Get some experience...

...even on small sailboats. Then, if you want to make it happen, it will.
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Old 18-02-2009, 17:19   #21
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Your encouragement is really pumping me up. I'm at least a year and a half away from settin' sail. But it is good to get some positive feedback on the posibilities. I'm in Arizona right now, probably gonna spend summer in Hawaii and then the next year or two in San Diego, but I like moving and trying new places. I'm definately going to look into crewing on someones ship. This seems like a great way to gain some sailing experience, enjoy the sea and possibly make some extra cash.

Sea Wolf thanks so much for the help, and I will definately contact you with some questions in the future.

-One excited youngpup.
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Old 18-02-2009, 17:36   #22
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Excited YoungPup,
I had not realized you were so new to 'the dream' Take a look at our website. It may give you some ideas and information that will help with your quest... and DON'T give up your dream of sailing off into the sunset. If we could do it, you can too.

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Old 18-05-2015, 07:18   #23
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Re: A youngpup's Caribbean dream? Advice!!

Mark does provide realistic insight. I think $10,000 would be more than adequate for an experienced sailor, but to buy a boat, learn to sail, and then commit to an arduous journey can throw dozens of surprises your way. Let me tell you my experience.

15 years old. 2006. Dad bought Tayana 42 in Galveston Bay, Texas (We are from Jersey). We intended on sailing the boat to Bahamas in a single trip. The boat checked out fine during my fathers inspection. Sails were OK. Engine and generator were fine. Good to go.

Its now December 2006 and we are 300 miles off the coast of Mobile, Alamaba. The main sail rips. half an hour later the autopilot breaks. We were f*****. For 3 days we manned the helm with 20 minute cat nap breaks. All while using only the genoa and in winter seas. Very rough and very dangerous. But we got back to Jersey and left the boat in Alabama.

Now its spring break 2006. Took 2 weeks off of highschool. Returned to Alabama. Ordered new main sail and fixed auto pilot. We set off. Main sail is too big. God DAMMIT. We go anyways. Sailed the entire way with just the genoa (AGAIN). We pass the seven mile bridge at the keys. Check our generator. Busted. We tie up to land for next 2 days but after that we made it to the bahamas.

Basically, surprises are inevitable with used boats and lack of experience. You have to get your feet wet in order to learn. You wanted an adventure, right? I hope you pursue this dream and find a way to make it all happen. Just gain enough experience in order to deal with surprises. I would think that day sailing with grandpa may not be enough experience for an extended blue water cruise. Keep this in mind. You must complete a few weekend trips before you embark to the Caribbean. This is a must. Sailing on no sleep in rough weather is a completely different animal that many sailors do not experience.
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Old 18-05-2015, 09:57   #24
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Re: A youngpup's Caribbean dream? Advice!!

I just published my sub-$10k boat expenses on two threads for my first three months in Florida. You can click on my username and look at threads I've posted in. It might be enlightening for you.
I sailed bigger keelboats for three years on trips up to two weeks long at a time, used to work house construction, and read extensively on how to inspect a boat. I inspected at least a dozen boats across florida and found only one that wasn't trash. Even so, I'm stuck without an engine right now in Marathon.
This is not to discourage; I've had a fun time and met a lot of new sailing friends. But be aware that no matter what you buy or how much you put into it, sometimes you just draw the wrong card, and it's no one's fault. That's cruising. Still, it does change your cruising plans significantly!
I was feeling sort of down until I watched a few episodes of "untie the lines" on YouTube. That poor girl got her life put on hold by the boat she bought! I recommend you watch a few too.
I wish I could give you advice on where to find long-term crew opportunities. The thing about it is, I've been offered several, but only because the fact that I bought a boat and singlehanded it down here gave me credibility, and also gave me the opportunity to meet friends who needed help. When I was looking at crewing opportunities online, I would likely never have gotten them. Moreover, they're mostly for deliveries, such as "help me cross the gulf stream and then get the hell off my boat," not for "I welcome a complete stranger to liveaboard my boat with me for the next few months while I cruise paradise," unless, of course, you're young, attractive, of the appropriate sex, and don't mind being pawed by a degenerate forty years your senior!
It's a catch-22, you've got to own a boat you may not really want in order to sail on someone else's boat that you really do want


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Old 18-05-2015, 10:18   #25
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Re: A youngpup's Caribbean dream? Advice!!

Your dream may or may not be realistic. You may or may not get lucky. Keep pursuing it and learning all you can. You may not get there on your first few tries, but you can eventually. Go for it, and good luck.
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Old 18-05-2015, 10:33   #26
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Re: A youngpup's Caribbean dream? Advice!!

Not exactly sure is the 10k budget just for the boat or boat and 3 months in the carb?

I'd start by finding a capable boat, spend time working on it and sailing and when you feel comfortable go for it, many your age pull off a lot of things that defies gravity and trust me, it wont get easier later in life!
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