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Old 20-01-2013, 21:10   #16
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Re: sailing the Caribbean with little sailing experience

You might want to get familiar with a few of these.

Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual, Don Casey (Six books in one)
Marine Diesel Engines, Nigel Calder
How Boat Things Work, Charlie Wing
Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, Nigel Calder
Sailboat Electrics Simplified, Don Casey
Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook, Charlie Wing
Nautical Knots, Paul Snyder and Arthur Snyder


Really, the main book I used to get started was Sailing Fundamentals which was used for when I took ASA101 course.
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Old 20-01-2013, 21:14   #17
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Re: sailing the Caribbean with little sailing experience

Boats are cheap in Florida, but they are also cheap in the Virgins , and it is a much nicer place to learn to sail than Florida. Once you find out where the charter boats dont hang out, you can find nice quiet anchorages. Most places you can live on the hook rather than pay marina fees. Parts are more pricey than Florida, but having things shipped in is not difficult. The trip from Florida to the Virgins is rough on a new sailor, but from the Virgins south it is usually less than 24 hour passages.____Just another 2 cents worth!____Grant.
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Old 21-01-2013, 17:20   #18
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Im not picky on where i find a boat. If i fly down there it won't really matter. A few hundred dollars difference for a plane ticket maybe. Just have reservations about people trying to sell things. Everyone who wants to sell something be it a sailboat or car or what have you are going to talk uo what they have. I would hate to fly all the wY down there to look at a boat and have it be a piece of junk. Waste 500 dollars to look at something that isn't at all what i want ya know
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Old 21-01-2013, 17:24   #19
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As far as my saying i want to sail the Caribbean. Im not where i want to go. I like that you guys are saying where the easier sailing is. I have plenty of money saved to do this however i tend to be very frugal with it. I would like to have this experience on i minimalist level(anchoring out instead of moorings or docking, eating what the good lord provides, hiking the less populated areas wherever they may be. Pitching a tent and having a campfire etc).
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Old 21-01-2013, 17:25   #20
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Re: sailing the Caribbean with little sailing experience

Just buy the best boat you can get at 28-30 ft. Even a Catalina 30 etc with an inboard should be good. Big difference between a Cat 30 and a Luger 27. Look around alot... You'll find "the one"
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Old 21-01-2013, 17:31   #21
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Re: sailing the Caribbean with little sailing experience

Seeing as the boat i have now cost me $2000 Im hoping if Im spending five or ten times that the next knew will be slightly nicer. ;-) who know though. Spend a bunch of money on something that looks good and not know g what Im buying isn't necessarily a good thing. End up with a tinker instead of a bobber. LOL
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Old 21-01-2013, 17:34   #22
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Re: sailing the Caribbean with little sailing experience

Another way to say this would be: How HANDY are you? Once you have a boat, you need to be an electrician, plumber, mechanic and diesel engine maintenance man.

Sailing's the easy part!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
You might want to get familiar with a few of these.

Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual, Don Casey (Six books in one)
Marine Diesel Engines, Nigel Calder
How Boat Things Work, Charlie Wing
Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, Nigel Calder
Sailboat Electrics Simplified, Don Casey
Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical Handbook, Charlie Wing
Nautical Knots, Paul Snyder and Arthur Snyder


Really, the main book I used to get started was Sailing Fundamentals which was used for when I took ASA101 course.
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Old 21-01-2013, 17:40   #23
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I am pretty handy with a wrench. Im a boilermaker by trade. I went to school to be a mechanic(gas though. I know little about the diesel engine). i have plumbed a number of houses for myself as well as friends as i have flipped a few houses for extra money. Electrical is not something i like to mess with.
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Old 21-01-2013, 20:35   #24
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Re: sailing the Caribbean with little sailing experience

i think you will find the most sailboats for sale in florida, not the virgins. just for looks, try going through craigslist in florida to see whats out there.
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Old 21-01-2013, 20:44   #25
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I've been looking through craigslist as well as others. I've seen a few hunter sailboats that i really like the looks of. I know looks mean nothing but that's all i know. They were thirty footers from are seventies into the late eighties. They looked nice in the pictures. I looked at a few before i bought my current boat and i liked the way they were laid out inside better than the one i have now. What do you guys think/know about these hunter sailboats. Im also noticing that Im tending towards the boats that are described as racer/cruiser in the classifieds. Pros cons of this kind of boat against the knew the call just cruisers?
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Old 21-01-2013, 21:07   #26
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Re: sailing the Caribbean with little sailing experience

racer, cruisers. they are alright but they don't excell in any of those efforts. if you want to race, get a racing boat, want to cruise? get a cruising boat. racing cruiser boats are design for club racing, weekend racing, that sort of thing.
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Old 21-01-2013, 21:34   #27
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Re: sailing the Caribbean with little sailing experience

you'll find a lot of people who snicker at hunters. i'm sort of ambivalent. i think it depends on what you're going to do with it. friends of mine are in the last stages of fixing up their 1970's hunter 30 before leaving on an extended cruise of the keys, the near bahamas, and the great loop. i think they'll do just fine and so will the boat.

i also helped a couple of brits prepare a 1970's hunter 37 to sail florida to the uk. a few months after they left i got a phone call from one just off the south coast of england. they made it.

i think that what you may find with that era of hunters is that they were built with equipment which is just strong enough to do the job. they were not 'overbuilt', which is something i would require in an ocean crossing boat. so you have to ask yourself, 'what kind of cruising am i going to do?' and the answer may tell you how much boat you need.
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Old 21-01-2013, 23:03   #28
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The great loop was my original plan but after some reading i figured it would not be feasible as it takes to long and a guy my age has to work. I have also thought about doing it in two segments. Down around Florida on the first leg. Dry dock and fly home to work a few months then head home. I don't have much desire at this point to cross any oceans. I like the idea of being able to see land. :-). I may change my mind at some point after I've honed my skills over the next few years however.
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Old 22-01-2013, 03:49   #29
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Re: sailing the Caribbean with little sailing experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by danscotttrudel View Post
Im not picky on where i find a boat. If i fly down there it won't really matter. A few hundred dollars difference for a plane ticket maybe. Just have reservations about people trying to sell things. Everyone who wants to sell something be it a sailboat or car or what have you are going to talk uo what they have. I would hate to fly all the wY down there to look at a boat and have it be a piece of junk. Waste 500 dollars to look at something that isn't at all what i want ya know
With boats you do tend to have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding "the" one .

That buying trip dilemma is a common one - IMO the "best" boat to buy is the one near home, even if it does cost a bit more at the outset. By near home I mean in easy commute of your toolbox! (always stuff to do on a new boat - even if some of that simply involves sitting onboard thinking ). Of course given your intended voyage that might not be practical.

I would suggest lining up half a dozen (or more?!) distinct possibles over the internet (and maybe also having folk have a looksee for you?) and then factor in a week or so onshore as part of the buying costs. The good news is that given your boat ownership that are decently placed to be able to give boats you actually see a decent lookover, at least to quickly exclude any.

If you are organised then a deal to buy can be done pretty quick (i.e. don't wait until you arrive to puzzle out how the deal will work / what paperwork is needed and how the cash gets handed over) - and even if you need to wait (for a Survey? - always recomended (even if not a guarantee!), but not always neccessary - that very much depends on your own knowledge and confidence in it) a decent chance that once a contract is signed and a deposit paid that a Vendor would let you stay aboard until the deal completes (don't ask - don't get!).
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Old 23-01-2013, 09:14   #30
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Re: sailing the Caribbean with little sailing experience

Any time you pay more than $4k or $5k for a boat, or any time you buy a boat that you will routinely sail out of sight of land, you need to see a recent survey report, even if it means paying the surveyor yourself. And for a sailboat this is especially important. And not knowing what to look for, this is really super important. You don't want to be in "WHEEEEEE! THIS IS FUN!" mode, reaching across 30kt trade winds, washing the lee rail with all sails pulling full and hard, and have your windward shrouds part or your chain plates pull out and your mast goes kersplush and you start rolling violently and the mast starts trying to pound its way into your cabin, and you not knowing just exactly what it is you ought to be doing NOW.

Ideally, the deal is, you take care of the boat, and the boat takes care of you. As a newbie, it is mostly a little simpler than that... you don't know how to take care of the boat yet, but you trust the boat to take care of you. Which works surprisingly often and regularly, if the boat is up to the task. RIGGING is critical. THROUGH-HULLS. RUDDER and STEERING GEAR. (Even a simple tiller can fall apart. Happened to me!) ENGINE, PROP, and SHAFT. (including stuffing box) DECK/HULL JOINT. Then there is your electronics and navigation equipment. Safety equipment. A surveyor can keep you from buying a floating deathtrap for newbies. Even a well-found boat can kill you if you really work at being wrong, but a bad boat will do it quicker and more reliably. Don't buy a boat to go a-voyaging in, without a survey.

The thing about the Caribbean is most of the time you have plenty of wind. PLENTY. As in sometimes way too much for some boats. On unprotected passages, when the Trades are blowing strong, a small boat gets kicked around a lot. However, those passages are pretty short so you get a break when you anchor for a day or three. All in all, I would not even consider anything smaller than 27' and over 30' would be better. As a beginner you should stick to a sloop rig and a hull under 40' just to make the obligatory arbitrary pronouncement and start the obligatory distracting argument. Keep it simple.

If you are just winging it on your own, first of all make sure you have all your required safety equipment and are proficcient in its use. Second, get a few weeks inshore cruising in, before venturing outside. Make contacts with locals and learn from them. See Black Oak's thread on the trip to Bermuda. That's how it's done. He started out with zero knowledge or experience, just a pocket full of money, and bought a boat and instead of wondering what to do next, he went sailing. Okay, that part wasn't too smart. But from there, he made friends and presented the good side of his personality and other yachties naturally were inclined to teach and help him, and now he is sailing around, only a few weeks later, more or less a competent coastal cruiser, well on his way to being ready to tackle Bermuda. Another good reason to read that thread is to understand the combination of fear, uncertainty, and frustration you will experience as part of the self-learning process.
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