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Old 14-10-2013, 17:23   #1
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Caught the Bug and would like advice.

I am currently deployed in the Military and will be retiring in 8 years at the ripe age of 45. My wife and I have decided to take control of our lives (those of you that have been in the Military can definately understand) and try a life at sea. The current plan is as follows:

1) Study up
Anything and everything on the Internet
have read the folowing:
Buy, Outfit, Sail: How To Inexpensively and Safely Buy, Outfit, and Sail a Small Vessel Around the World
Goodlander, Capn Fatty
How to Sail Around the World : Advice and Ideas for Voyaging Under Sail
Hal Roth
Reading the ASA's Sailing Made Easy

Will follow with:
The Voyager's Handbook
How to Read a Nautical Chart, 2nd Edition (Includes ALL of Chart #1): A Complete Guide to Using and Understanding Electronic and Paper Charts
Calder, Nigel
Basic Coastal Navigation: An Introduction to Piloting for Sail and PowerLarkin, Frank J
The Complete Book of Sailing KnotsBudworth, Geoffrey

2) Build a small sailing boat. I want to do this for several reasons. It's probably cheaper. I will get practical experiance using Fiberglass and Resins. I'm sure I will get a better grasp of riggin both standing and running. Also, it sounds fun. I'm still thinking about but I have tentatively picked the Corsair 11.

If it works out it is just small enough to maybe qualify as a dingy on a Cruiser.

3) Take some online classes and then go sail the boat I built. This will give my wife and I some practical experiance and if WE decide we don't care for it, no harm, no foul. We'll do this for 1-2 years before moving to the next step.

4) If WE decide this could work, look around for a somewhat reasonably priced Telstar 28'. It has allot of great features, not the least of which is it is a 'cheap', trailerable, 28' sailing vessel. We figure we could get one for 15-30k. This will allow us to get some practice sailing rivers, lakes, the coast whatever, whereever the Military sends me for my next 2 PCS tours.

5) I retire, WE decide this is still a great idea. So we sell off everything we don't need or give it to the kids, including the Telstar 28'. While looking around for a new floating home. Originally, I was all for Catamarans, but now i am leaning towards Mono-hulls. Once we find one, get it checked out etc... We move on board and start getting her ready to go.

6) Spend a year or so getting things straight then pick up and head out. I eventually want to Circumnavigate taking 6+ years to do it.

So what do you guys think. Is it crazy or doable. Any advice, insight, warnings?



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Old 14-10-2013, 18:19   #2
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

In general what you are doing makes sense. You might want to consider making a nesting dinghy since 11' is pretty large for hoisting on board and stowing on deck unless you are considering a preset large boat. If you are going to do a circumnavigation you probably will have vane steering and this virtually makes davits for a dinghy impossible.

Couple of books for your collection:
Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems [Hardcover]
Nigel Calder (Author)

World Cruising routes by Cornell

The latter does change with newer editions so an older edition, used, would be fine.
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Old 14-10-2013, 18:30   #3
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

That's seems like a pretty well-reasoned plan to me, especially if your wife thinks so too

Building a small sailing dinghy would be a lot of fun, but, as I'm sure you know, it's not gonna be the fastest way to get you out on the water. Also, working with fiberglass is not a difficult skill to become adept at. And you're sure to get plenty of hands-on experience (while also covering a broader range of skill-sets) sailing and maintaining whatever first boat you end up buying. That said, building a small craft sounds like a fun project, though I don't think it would be cheaper in the end than just buying the used equivalent.

My only other advice would be skip the online classes. You really don't need a class to sail a dinghy, especially an online one. If sailing is totally foreign to you, study up a bit online to get the basics and go sail it. If you want a textbook..Chapman Piloting: Seamanship & Small Boat Handling (Chapman Piloting, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling): Elbert S. Maloney, Charles Frederic Chapman: 9780688148928: Amazon.com: Books. Or take a hands-on ASA class at a nearby sailing school. Either way, the real learning curve will come with actually being on the water and making mistakes.

Overall, sounds like a great plan!
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Old 14-10-2013, 18:44   #4
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

Have to say you have presented one of the best thought out plans for learn to sail I have ever seen.

Only see one thing I would disagree with, cheaper to build a boat. When you start buying all the bits and pieces and parts it will add up to a lot more than you ever guessed. Plus in this economy shop around and you can find some really cheap deals on boats, even free. But beware, sometimes a free boat is too expensive IE it may cost more to fix it than it's worth or what you would pay for one in better shape.
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Old 14-10-2013, 18:50   #5
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

Great plan! I think building your own sailing dinghy is a great plan, but if don't want to lose a season while you build, I would recommend joining a sailing club that has a fleet of dinghys. Learning to sail on a dinghy, in my opinion, gives you a better grasp of the dynamics of sailing. If not, you end up in the water.
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Old 14-10-2013, 18:53   #6
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maestrowilldo View Post
I am currently deployed in the Military and will be retiring in 8 years at the ripe age of 45. My wife and I have decided to take control of our lives (those of you that have been in the Military can definately understand) and try a life at sea. The current plan is as follows:

1) Study up
Anything and everything on the Internet
have read the folowing:
Buy, Outfit, Sail: How To Inexpensively and Safely Buy, Outfit, and Sail a Small Vessel Around the World
Goodlander, Capn Fatty
How to Sail Around the World : Advice and Ideas for Voyaging Under Sail
Hal Roth
Reading the ASA's Sailing Made Easy

Will follow with:
The Voyager's Handbook
How to Read a Nautical Chart, 2nd Edition (Includes ALL of Chart #1): A Complete Guide to Using and Understanding Electronic and Paper Charts
Calder, Nigel
Basic Coastal Navigation: An Introduction to Piloting for Sail and PowerLarkin, Frank J
The Complete Book of Sailing KnotsBudworth, Geoffrey

2) Build a small sailing boat. I want to do this for several reasons. It's probably cheaper. I will get practical experiance using Fiberglass and Resins. I'm sure I will get a better grasp of riggin both standing and running. Also, it sounds fun. I'm still thinking about but I have tentatively picked the Corsair 11.

If it works out it is just small enough to maybe qualify as a dingy on a Cruiser.

3) Take some online classes and then go sail the boat I built. This will give my wife and I some practical experiance and if WE decide we don't care for it, no harm, no foul. We'll do this for 1-2 years before moving to the next step.

4) If WE decide this could work, look around for a somewhat reasonably priced Telstar 28'. It has allot of great features, not the least of which is it is a 'cheap', trailerable, 28' sailing vessel. We figure we could get one for 15-30k. This will allow us to get some practice sailing rivers, lakes, the coast whatever, whereever the Military sends me for my next 2 PCS tours.

5) I retire, WE decide this is still a great idea. So we sell off everything we don't need or give it to the kids, including the Telstar 28'. While looking around for a new floating home. Originally, I was all for Catamarans, but now i am leaning towards Mono-hulls. Once we find one, get it checked out etc... We move on board and start getting her ready to go.

6) Spend a year or so getting things straight then pick up and head out. I eventually want to Circumnavigate taking 6+ years to do it.

So what do you guys think. Is it crazy or doable. Any advice, insight, warnings?




I would just add that although reading is a fabulous supplement, there's nothing like some hands-on lessons when the time comes.
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Old 14-10-2013, 18:54   #7
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

Just start by going for some sails. Go hang at the marina and tell them your plans.

If you like the sailing, buy a boat!
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Old 14-10-2013, 19:03   #8
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

G'Day MWD, and welcome to CF.

Nothing really wrong with your plan, as long as you realize that as you progress along the route the plan will morph into somethin different. And there is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is much better not to blindly follow a plan that you made before you really knew much about the subject. I suspect that the military has taught you to think along those lines!

One thing: if you do decide to build a dinghy, I'd suggest something like plywood and stitch and glue fabrication rather than a straight fibreglass build. FRP is a great means of building production hulls, but kinda crappy for one-offs. It is more work to build a proper plug (one of the steps in the FRP build) than to build a timber hull. Anyhow, some research will guide you to a reasonable method when the time comes.

So hang in there and one day you will be out here with the rest of us boat bums, enjoying the best lifestyle I know of!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 14-10-2013, 19:05   #9
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

Building can be fun ,but like the other guy said "go buy a boat"(unless of course you, just want to build one!)If you do build ,build a lapstrake beauty,something like an Old town whitecap,thats something a man or woman could be proud of...good luck which ever you chose..
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Old 14-10-2013, 19:09   #10
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

I know this is going to sound Craaaa-zy because of the book, but this book described problems I faced at sea so well that I was able to handle them ... well. It only covers the basics, and with all the reading you've done, some of it will be too basic for you, but there are real gems hidden in there. The book is (brace yourself!) Sailing for Dummies. Terrible name; excellent book for beginners. Excellent. Did I mention it's very good?
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Old 14-10-2013, 19:19   #11
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Take alook at "This old Boat" book
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Old 14-10-2013, 19:34   #12
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
In general what you are doing makes sense. You might want to consider making a nesting dinghy since 11' is pretty large for hoisting on board and stowing on deck unless you are considering a preset large boat. If you are going to do a circumnavigation you probably will have vane steering and this virtually makes davits for a dinghy impossible.

Couple of books for your collection:
Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems [Hardcover]
Nigel Calder (Author)

World Cruising routes by Cornell

The latter does change with newer editions so an older edition, used, would be fine.

Thanks, I have looked at those books online (amazon) and do plan on buying them once I get closer to actually sailing in salt water. I've looked at a Stitch and Glue design for a Pram that looked pretty good. I am pretty sure I can modify it as a nested design, but I disliked the lack of storage bulkheads in nested designs. My problem is trying to do 2 things at once. 1-Build a fun to sail sloop rigged sail boat that I can take the wife and a kid or two camping in. 2-Keep the boat I built for use as a dinghy. Most likely I will only be able to do one or the other.
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Old 14-10-2013, 19:38   #13
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day MWD, and welcome to CF.

Nothing really wrong with your plan, as long as you realize that as you progress along the route the plan will morph into somethin different. And there is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is much better not to blindly follow a plan that you made before you really knew much about the subject. I suspect that the military has taught you to think along those lines!

One thing: if you do decide to build a dinghy, I'd suggest something like plywood and stitch and glue fabrication rather than a straight fibreglass build. FRP is a great means of building production hulls, but kinda crappy for one-offs. It is more work to build a proper plug (one of the steps in the FRP build) than to build a timber hull. Anyhow, some research will guide you to a reasonable method when the time comes.

So hang in there and one day you will be out here with the rest of us boat bums, enjoying the best lifestyle I know of!

Cheers,

Jim
My thoughts exactly, the plan is just a guideline. Also, the Corsair 11 design I mentioned is a Stitch and Glue design, meant to mention that. Hopefully, I'll get to start after the new year when I get back to the States. My poor 68 Camero is going to have to give up it's room in the garage and go under a cover.
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Old 14-10-2013, 19:40   #14
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I know this is going to sound Craaaa-zy because of the book, but this book described problems I faced at sea so well that I was able to handle them ... well. It only covers the basics, and with all the reading you've done, some of it will be too basic for you, but there are real gems hidden in there. The book is (brace yourself!) Sailing for Dummies. Terrible name; excellent book for beginners. Excellent. Did I mention it's very good?
Ok thanks, I'll look at adding it to my list. I had seen some bad reviews so I avoided it on my initial buying spree.
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Old 14-10-2013, 19:45   #15
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Re: Caught the Bug and would like advice.

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Originally Posted by Badsanta View Post
Take alook at "This old Boat" book
Badsanta, thanks for the advice. I'll put it on my Amazon Wishlist for when I buy my first Used boat. I am "hands on" capable but after sinking a ton of money and time into my '68 camero I am going to try to avoid a major fixer upper, but we'll see. The Telstar 28' I'll be looking for after my next PCS move in 2+ years may benifit from it as well any high quality used yacht I will be able to afford in 8 years when I retire.
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