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Old 03-02-2015, 17:38   #1
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Looking for advice

My wife (age 59) and I (age 67) are considering the purchase of a 42' Jeanneau sailboat for Pacific Northwest cruising. We last sailed in 1984 and owned a 32' Fuji. We plan some extended cruises into the Canadian San Juans. I'd appreciate comments/concerns related to sailing as one ages.

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Old 03-02-2015, 18:09   #2
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Re: Looking for advice

We are 59 and 66 and about to cross the pacific to New Zealand and in 5 years plan to be in the PNW where we will sail until we are 70 and 77. My wife says I can have an in-mast roller furler for my 75th birthday.

The Jeanneau 42 is a good boat and excellent for your intended use. The San Juans are lovely.

But perhaps a refresher course before you set off. An experienced sailor for a couple of days!


"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
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Old 03-02-2015, 18:22   #3
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Re: Looking for advice

Just fyi in Canada we call them the Southern Gulf Islands; if you say "San Juan Islands" you are referring to the American islands only.

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Old 03-02-2015, 18:55   #4
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Re: Looking for advice

Depends on your physical condition much more so than your age. I will be 69 next month, and I run and exercise on a regular basis. On the other hand, I know people who are ten years younger than I am who can barely walk. Not that I'm bragging, just saying that people age differently, and if you are in good enough physical condition, then go for it, but you are the only one who can make that determination. Good luck and fair winds!
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Old 03-02-2015, 19:04   #5
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Re: Looking for advice

I appreciate the correction about Southern Gulf Islands. Thanks!

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Old 04-02-2015, 04:06   #6
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Re: Looking for advice

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Barney.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:44   #7
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Re: Looking for advice


I am somewhat older than you and my (much) better half is also 59 (although she looks in her 40's). We are sailing a 1986 Beneteau First 42 on the southwest coast of Florida. Our boat and your proposed boat are not dissimilar. Provided you are reasonably fit and active and take a few simple measures you shouldn't have any problems. In our case I only have limited use of my left arm due to an accident in 2004. I work around that with a good windlass for managing ground tackle, a powerful right-angle battery powered electric drill with a winch bit to power our winches and other simple measures that have kept us going without undue difficulty. Given your lack of recent experience, it would be wise to take some sail-training courses, and perhaps a live-aboard course such as that offered by Colgate's Offshore Sailing School (which also makes for and enjoyable vacation adventure). From there-on, just ease into your experience and you'll do fine.

"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Old 04-02-2015, 14:58   #8
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Re: Looking for advice

These thoughtful comments and suggestions are most helpful. I'm feeling more confident about returning to sailing and enjoying the experience in a different way than before. At this point, I'm enjoying the idea of being an ancient mariner.

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