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Old 23-09-2009, 15:10   #1
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A Lurker Comes Out of the Shadows and Posts

First off I would say that ya'll have a pretty good forum going here. I have read several posts and "lurked" for a bit so here is my real question. I would like to make a solo trip across the Gulf of Mexico, Texas to Guatemala and back. The question is if I can devote one full day every weekend to training, how long would it take to be able to do this solo, safely. What are my options to accomplish this with as little monetary expenditure as possible... what would be a low end estimate? I assume there is not a thing such as boat rentals for that kind of trip. Your advise is appreciated.

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Old 23-09-2009, 16:33   #2
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Welcome aboard robinls!

Getting the boat is the hard part. You are right renting a boat to go overseas will likely not happen.

In terms of saililng skills I reckon if you concentrate and practice hard you would have the skills neeed in 1 year of weekend sailing. Could be quicker but that's my conservative guess.

You'd need probably $10,000-$15,000 for a decent boat and about $2,000 per month of travel.

These are just conservative guesses.

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Old 23-09-2009, 16:34   #3
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Why solo? The best way to learn how to sail is to crew for someone who knows how to direct the pointy end of the boat. Finding a crew spot on an outbound yacht is far easier than you might think.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 23-09-2009, 16:40   #4
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Who are you, where do you come from, where are you going?

Probably cheapest - hire or buy a s/h dinghy and self-teach (watch, listen and try). Then sell off the dink.

A lot depends on whether you have the 'knack' for this sport or not. The optimistic estimate is you can learn in a couple of weeks. The negative, well ...

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Old 23-09-2009, 18:24   #5
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Another option is joining a sailing club near you. Preferably one that has a small boat fleet.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 23-09-2009, 20:41   #6
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Dan's estimate is pretty accurate. You need to prepare to be successful. Wanting, wishing and determination mean nothing unless it gets you prepared. This idea if you want something bad enough isn't true. Given you only have to be prepared for the things that actually happen it can seem all too easy. It's the things that might happen that would kill you. There is being prepared and knowing you are prepared. It's a wide gap to cross. It's a process of getting better, smarter, and building confidence based on knowing not just believing.

Dreams are only significant until you stop dreaming and start preparations. At that point the dreams need to be set aside as they can no longer make a difference. They are all just preconceptions of things you never really knew. It's letting go long enough to find the real ideas and make real preparations. If you really want to do it then you really have to become prepared. It can be an enjoyable experience that builds confidence.

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