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Old 25-04-2013, 18:49   #1
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New to this....

Wow! So much information! This I know.....I want to sail - probably an eventual circumnavigation. Not much beyond that at this point. Here's the plan.....

Training and experience - I've taken ASA Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Chartering as well as RYA Day Skipper courses. I sail Hobies and small day sailboats at my local yacht club and have chartered larger yachts (40' - 43' monohulls) in the Caribbean and Adriatic. The plan is to continue chartering and taking courses while topping off my savings to the point where I can try and buy my own yacht. I'm also keen to try and crew to gain experience. Crew forums look like a good place for that.


The purchase - this is the hard part. So many options and a bad decision can be a disaster. I'm pretty much set on a monohull - probably in the 40' - 45' range but don't know if I'll be able to afford a blue water cruiser of that length. Common sense says to go with fiberglas but also want to look at steel or aluminum. Two cabins would be perfect. Toys TBD. Looking to buy in the States but can also look elsewhere. I know the forums are going to play a huge role in this. Thanks, in advance, for putting up with all my silly questions!


The partner - don't have that quite worked out yet, but have no plans to sail by myself. Again, the crew forums and looks like a great place to find adventurous folks. My guess is that you must also choose crew wisely.......


Where to go - I haven't a clue! I know this will come with time, though. My starting point will probably be mostly determined by where I make my purchase. So, that's for a future discussion.


I'm looking forward to being an active member of this forum and trying my best to soak up everything you gals and guys have to offer.


Here we go!
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Old 25-04-2013, 19:12   #2
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Why target such a large boat if you are alone? There are plenty of blue water boats in the 30 + range that would be more affordable and get you on your path sooner. My first was a Pacific Seacraft Dana - just 24 feet, but very easy to single hand and offshore capable.
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Old 25-04-2013, 19:34   #3
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Re: New to this....

Its seems like you are doing all the right things.. joining as a crew in some local offhore yacht races will also help you hone your skills, especially with tasks you dont do when racing cats. Nav, Reefing, Maneuvering in marinas etc.

45 foot is a large boat to handle short handed- especially in a blow (older ketch rigs are somewhat easier) .. Not that its impossible to do. But consider it very seriously.

FG is the most popular of course and has a higher resale than most other materials. So its important to remove the emotion of buying the boat and really consider what it will be worth when you go to sell it- especially with larger vessels. It doesnt matter if you lose a grand on a 5k day boat- but no one wants to lose 20% of a 100k boat.

The Partner problem is something to work on.. But its fun "practicing" with numerous partners in the meantime hehe. But seriously, there are plenty of crew wanting a ride. Just be vigilant in who you get when the time comes.
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Old 25-04-2013, 20:11   #4
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Re: New to this....

Sandrat, What is your present geographical area? Do you have potential boats to evaluate in your area or are you far inland? I agree that many first search for a boat that is larger than their true needs. It may be wise not to put too many restrictions on your search early in the quest.
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Old 26-04-2013, 05:46   #5
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Re: New to this....

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Sandrat.
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Old 26-04-2013, 11:28   #6
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Re: New to this....

Hi Sandrat. I'm pretty much at the same stage as you. My dream consists of a 10 year plan to sell the house and move aboard with the intent to sail locally at first but then transatlantic later in life. I had initially though it would be best to find my dream boat right at the start, but \i'm now thinking that it might be better to find something suitable to liveaboard locally initially and then search for an off-shore cruiser when I'm ready to actually go off shore.
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Old 26-04-2013, 12:53   #7
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Re: New to this....

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Originally Posted by Eeyore0072 View Post
Hi Sandrat....................... now thinking that it might be better to find something suitable to liveaboard locally initially and then search for an off-shore cruiser when I'm ready to actually go off shore.
Eeyore & Sandrat, I was still wondering about your initial sailing/liveaboard locations. It makes a difference. If you're in Hawaii everything is offshore; US West Coast still much offshore (less in PNW), US East Cost with much protected coastal lagoons & Bays. Draft can be a location factor too! Where do you expect to be first livingaboard?
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Old 26-04-2013, 13:15   #8
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I'm in Ontario Canada. On the shore of Lake Huron. I'm planning to live aboard at the kincardine marina initially.
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Old 26-04-2013, 14:00   #9
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Re: New to this....

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I'm in Ontario Canada. On the shore of Lake Huron. I'm planning to live aboard at the kincardine marina initially.
I've heard some great things about sailing and living aboard up in those Big Lakes! There are some experts here that will speak of "bubblers", framed winter boat covers, diesel heaters, winter water supply, and winter pump-outs, and icy docks..... 'all these things that I know absolutely nothing about! Even though you'll have that non-sailing season, you'll have a great mix of weather and sailing experiences. I did a summer cruise in Georgian Bay some years back and I still thrill with the beauty of the place!
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Old 26-04-2013, 14:11   #10
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I don't think we have anyone in the Kincardine area that lives aboard during the winter. I'm thinking that I would likely store the boat during the off season and rent an apartment. But at least I'd be able to enjoy life aboard during the summer and then develop my sailing skills for when I am ready to sail off shore
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Old 26-04-2013, 14:19   #11
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Re: New to this....

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Originally Posted by Eeyore0072 View Post
I don't think we have anyone in the Kincardine area that lives aboard during the winter. I'm thinking that I would likely store the boat during the off season and rent an apartment. But at least I'd be able to enjoy life aboard during the summer and then develop my sailing skills for when I am ready to sail off shore

If you get going now, and sail every chance you get, and by that I mean maybe even every other weekend, in ten years you may well have the skills to sail anywhere you want.

But if you wait until summer until start sailing, and go out four or five times a year as many casual sailors do, you'll still be a beginner in ten years. You clearly have the interest. If you have the *drive* to start making this happen, it can happen.

But the fact about newer sailors is that they don't know what they don't know. Just to give you an example, my club uses littl 16.5' Catalinas to teach people to sail. They're great little boats -- if the wind is around 15 mph or less. At 15 mph you'd better have to HEAVY people in the boat who know what they're doing, when and where to move, etc. At 20 mph, they will be overpowered no matter who is on them. When they're overpowered, they don't point up well. Overpowered, they are in fact dangerous.

Most of the time when the weather rises like that here, the wind is from the North, and you have to sail north to get back to our marina. It requires sharp, tight, repeated, rapid tacks to get up the canal. At some point it simply can't be done, no matter how much experience you have. Just can't be done. People with less experience end up not only in the sheltered marina but aground on the shallow spots to both sides of the entrance.

But we still see people wanting to take the boats out when the winds are 20 mph from the north. They just don't know what they don't know -- and having it all go wrong doesn't teach them what they *should* have done.

Time over water, Eeyore. Time over water. Start gathering it up any way you can. Even going out on a power boat will be of some use because the wind affects them docking, and you can learn a lot about handling lines.

And, they don't know why.
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Old 26-04-2013, 14:21   #12
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Re: New to this....

Sandrat, You may want to rethink the larger boat idea. An old sailing postulate is the maintenance and upkeep on a boat is equivalent to the length cubed. Or so I've been told. I prefer sailing over having to work all the time. Just something to consider. whistling
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Old 26-04-2013, 15:39   #13
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Re: New to this....

I looked at the Kincardine harbor on a Google Earth map. Even with that breakwater to the NW, I bet that inlet can be rough at times. I can see the circles of refracted waves radiating out from the end of each jetty. I know some liveaboards are in the Toronto area. Maybe you're familiar with some of their marinas,- not that Kincardine couldn't serve you well. Once again though, I have to say that I have no experience with the seasonal cold and living aboard.
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Old 26-04-2013, 15:52   #14
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Kincardine is the closest marina to me. I'll need to stay local as I'll still be working in 10 years. Other local options for marinas would be Goderich or Owen Sound. When I'm ready I'd probably check them all out, but for convenience, kincardine would be my first choice. Still many years away from needing to make that choice though. Best learn to sail first.
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Old 26-04-2013, 21:53   #15
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Re: New to this....

Thanks for all the great info. I'll try to answer the questions and explain my rationale a bit more.

Yacht size - I don't really plan to be alone, but just haven't found the partner that will sail around with me. I fully agree that a larger yacht will be more difficult to manage single-handed, but I'll hopefully have someone to share the responsibilities. I've also heard the idea that maintenance costs increases disproportionately with yacht length. I'm sure this is true and something definitely to keep in mind. I also prefer sailing over working on the yacht!. This brings me to another point I've often wondered about: how old is too old? Would I rather buy a yacht pre 1990's, 1990's, or post 1990's (if I can even afford a post 1990's yacht!) yacht? From what little research I've done thus far, a yacht built in the 2000's is going to be a stretch.


I hadn't though about getting experience on a racing yacht, but sounds like an excellent idea!


My current yacht hunting grounds are primarily the Gulf Coast - mainly around Kemah/Clear Lake south of Houston. So, I've got good access to yachts. Unfortunately, I also travel a bit, so I'm not always around. The "master plan" is to buy and refit (as necessary) in Kemah, sail the Caribbean six to ten months, and then head out to bigger adventures.
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