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Old 09-08-2019, 07:48   #1
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Newbie Advice / experience

Hello all. I'm a newbie located on the greater Moncton are of New Brunswick, with a long-term goal of purchasing a boat and retiring to a liveaboard lifestyle (who wouldn't dream of such right ). My short term goals are take a week long course this winter season, combining a vacation and obtaining ASA 101/103/104. Hop on with someone from the crewbay community for an extended passage anywhere in the North East / Caribbean areas.

My question is, I have very little sailing experience, with moderate amount of power boat experience (all inshore). I've done the typical tourist harbour cruise etc, but wondering about a bit more of a "salty" experience before I book a course or hop on a mainland to Bermuda (etc...) passage. Being in the Moncton area, I am only a few hours or less from the ports of Saint John NB, Shediac NB, Summerside PEI, Charlottetown PEI, or Halifax NS. Is anyone aware of any full day experiences (further then a harbour cruise) OR any private sailors looking for some company who would be willing to take someone out and not necessarily "teach" but explain what and why they are doing what they are doing when they do it.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions!
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:54   #2
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, medic.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:18   #3
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Medic, you have been welcomed, blessed, and anointed by the irreplaceable Gord May, Guru for lots of questions. Welcome from me, too.

Your central question is learning to sail at the blue water cruising level. Perhaps you should cast a wider net. Crewing off shore certainly will teach you about crewing off shore, but it might also completely turn you off because you didn't know something you could learn at the bay boat level. Go learn to sail. Go where people are who sail. Crew on a 14' two-person pocket rocket. Sail on a 25' learn to be a pilot day sailer. Work your way up. If you've got skills to offer, offer them to people who sail and make friends. Not one single goal, a big broad get it into your skin goal.

Do it, man. That trans-Atlantic trip is out there, but do some other things first.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:38   #4
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

It's not that I want to start at the blue water level, it's the only "easy option" available in my location. Our local club only offers lessons for kids. The closest club I can find that offers lessons for my situation is 230 km's away, I agree that I need regular experience before I set sail for an extended run as captain. My inexperienced thought was get some on deck day sailing experience this summer, then jump on a zero to hero course to gain as much knowledge I can in a short time, then spend the next 5 to 10 years sailing on my own moving up from something I can launch from a beach (I have a cottage only a km or 2 from the confederation bridge, so lots of day sailing possible ) up to a weekender boat and finally to something Bluewater capable. Mixing in some winter vacation trips on a true global cruiser. Again, this is all coming from an inexperienced sailor.
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Old 09-08-2019, 13:25   #5
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Or do like the Wynns and Sailing Zatara did: buy a boat and learn while doing. The Wynns hired a captain and did ASA courses on their boat (mainly so they could get insurance coverage), but the Zatara folks just took off.

Lots of different ways to learn sailing and itís up to you decide what works best for you.

You could try a skippered charter or two to see if you and your family even like being on a boat first if youíre not sure about that before taking a big leap.

Many threads about this here on CF.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:38   #6
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Sounds like a good plan, Medic. I suspect that you can jump to the "launch from the beach level" very soon. As a kid, I only had ten morning lessons before I was put in a pram and left to teach myself in Clearwater Bay. Have you checked in with whoever it is who teaches kids in your area about getting some basics down? Moving to a modest performance day sailor is not rocket science.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:22   #7
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

I would recommend only the 101 course to start. You could still probably find a berth . If I was evaluating a potential crew member who either just learned to sail, 101 only or someone who'd taken all 3 in a row it wouldn't make much difference to me. What does is attitude. I came up the Ca coast, early winter with green crew member after I broke my hand single handing. His attitude was I'm here to learn, gain experience, tell me what to do.

101 will give you the skills to sail your small boat and that's where sailors are made. Thats where you really learn to read the wind, the currents, sail trim, the art of sailing.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:58   #8
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Join a sailing club, crew on a Flying Scot, J24 or whatever they have in their fleet. Many small clubs are desperate for members. Buy an old Laser or Sunfish and just follow others around on the water and watch what they do. Join a Facebook or Meetup group. There are many, many ways to go sailing if you are motivated. And the act of going sailing is to learn to sail. You'll be fine. Just do it.
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Old 10-08-2019, 13:42   #9
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Medic:

Your profile sez you're in Sackville, NS. Are you not just a long spit up the road from Bedford?

Check this out: https://bbyc.ca/

Go talk to them and all your problems will go away. One of your options is to buy a cheapie, even a neglected, boat such as a Catalina27, one that is basically a disposable, and keep it somewhere in the Bedford Basin where you can reach it easily by car. Then you can teach yourself with a little help from your friends. You will find some here on CF, but the ones you can find at the BBYC will be able to give you PRACTICAL experience. One of the best ways to learn to sail is to go as crew in OPBs.

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Old 10-08-2019, 14:25   #10
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

I strongly recommend taking some basic sailing classes first. Over the past couple of years I’ve taken a few inexperienced people aboard with poor results, so I won’t be doing it again. They end up being a huge liability and contribute nothing... which usually ends badly.

Do this:Itís way harder than those YouTube videos make it look!
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Old 10-08-2019, 17:51   #11
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Medic: Get out there and sail. Does not matter what boat. Crew or take something like a 420 out and learn. Buy a boat you can scrap in a couple years. Fall in love with the boat and sail it hard. A Catalina 27 is a good choice but as you are in Canada, try a Tanzer or Mirage, they cost next to nothing and you will learn. Twenty years ago I bought a Tanzer 22, put new sails on it and had a blast. Now I have a 40 foot sailboat and sail Lake Ontario and oceans. You need to put in the time and develop the love. Taking 3 or four courses will help as well. Maybe take them during the winter in Florida where it is warmer than New Brunswick. You also need to drink with sailors, they will teach you a lot.
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Old 10-08-2019, 20:05   #12
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Learn to sail a dinghy first. Sign up as crew for races. US Sailing.
BVI week long sailing schools are fun and great area but not necessary.
I taught there for years.
Would recommend RYA.
Read a lot.
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Old 10-08-2019, 22:43   #13
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by medic6340 View Post
Hello all. I'm a newbie located on the greater Moncton are of New Brunswick, with a long-term goal of purchasing a boat and retiring to a liveaboard lifestyle (who wouldn't dream of such right ). My short term goals are take a week long course this winter season, combining a vacation and obtaining ASA 101/103/104. Hop on with someone from the crewbay community for an extended passage anywhere in the North East / Caribbean areas.

My question is, I have very little sailing experience, with moderate amount of power boat experience (all inshore). I've done the typical tourist harbour cruise etc, but wondering about a bit more of a "salty" experience before I book a course or hop on a mainland to Bermuda (etc...) passage. Being in the Moncton area, I am only a few hours or less from the ports of Saint John NB, Shediac NB, Summerside PEI, Charlottetown PEI, or Halifax NS. Is anyone aware of any full day experiences (further then a harbour cruise) OR any private sailors looking for some company who would be willing to take someone out and not necessarily "teach" but explain what and why they are doing what they are doing when they do it.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions!
The reason why I strongly recommend taking the sailing courses first and then practicing, is... as a boat owner who’s also wants to enjoy passage making and coastal hopping... there’s nothing worse nor is there a better way to suck the fun out of sailing than having to babysit an adult 24/7 for the entire length of a passage (kids listen, adults don’t listen and think they know better). Without some basic knowledge, you won’t believe the dumbass stupid dangerous stuff people can get into on a boat.

Basically, you’re asking to be a non-paying passenger who’s constantly asking questions and getting into things best left for the more experienced.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:10   #14
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Medic:

Your profile sez you're in Sackville, NS. Are you not just a long spit up the road from Bedford?

Check this out: https://bbyc.ca/

TrentePieds
Sackville New Brunswick, unfortunately... I've looked into some of the resources in halifax, it's the 200+ km rachneay that makes a weeklong FL or Caribbean course actually cheaper, if even just as a way to get some experience, and the certifications are a bonus... Then go the route of buying a small weekender of my own and sail from my cottage / home for a few years...
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Old 11-08-2019, 18:10   #15
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Re: Newbie Advice / experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
The reason why I strongly recommend taking the sailing courses first and then practicing, is... as a boat owner whoís also wants to enjoy passage making and coastal hopping... thereís nothing worse nor is there a better way to suck the fun out of sailing than having to babysit an adult 24/7 for the entire length of a passage (kids listen, adults donít listen and think they know better). Without some basic knowledge, you wonít believe the dumbass stupid dangerous stuff people can get into on a boat.

Basically, youíre asking to be a non-paying passenger whoís constantly asking questions and getting into things best left for the more experienced.

Gee, Ken, youíre really harsh in your opinions about having inexperienced crew on board for a passage. Perhaps itís based on your experiences and if so, Iím sad that youíve had bad experiences like that.

Our experience has been different - weíve invited inexperienced people on board for coastal cruising and week-long passages between NZ and the S PAC Islands. No problems, but I guess thatís because we have different expectations from you. Our boat is set up for single handing and with an autopilot driving we donít need to involve anyone else in any manoeuvres. If people are keen to learn, at whatever level theyíre at, weíre happy to include them at the level of contribution theyíre capable of. We also gladly do training in our way of doing things on our boat, when circumstances allow.

We treat all of our guests and crew as no smarter than our autopilot. For passages we set the expectation that they will be included in night watches, and sometimes weíll partner with them. We have a clear and detailed watch handover procedure and I write in the log each day (so itís on top) the circumstances when I want to be called up. All watch keepers are trained (told, repeat back in own words, demonstrated) in what we expect of a watch keeper.

It doesnít matter whether the person is experienced, or is on a sailboat for the first time. If they want to be involved (and we only involve those who are enthusiastic, the rest can be guests and keep us company without worrying about the sailing part), they donít need to know anything other than what we provide them with.

Though I do send every prospective crew member (not guests) a list of the basic knots that I expect them to know. Iím continually surprised at how many people, even those with their own boats, who cannot tie basic knots.
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