Originally Posted by Jim Cate
Broken, I've been following your posts with interest, and empathize with your situation. But I note one thing that you recently said... something like the cheapest way to get you and your Mom to Hawaii is on your own sailboat.
I think that if you weigh the costs honestly, the reverse is true: it is a very expensive and not necessarily pleasant way to get to Hawaii. Doesn't mean that one should not do the passage -- actually, SF to Oahu
was the first blue water voyage that Ann and I undertook -- but it can be pretty challenging, especially if you consider a relatively inexperienced crew and at least one non-sailor senior citizen in a low budget environment
. I don't want to discourage your general goals, but tempering your dreams with some reality checks is a good idea IMO.
Oh, BTW, I'm likely older than your Mom, and suppose that I am a very experienced blue water sailor... and I'm finding that rough passages are harder on me than they used to be, and are not as much fun to contemplate. She might well prefer to fly!
Hang in there, mate, and do try to get out on the water in your own small sailboat ASAP. Doing it will answer for yourself so many of the questions for which you have been getting contradictory answers.
Thank you for your input, I would probably have to take a boat over there to use as her "hotel room" while she flew there and back.
Dad promised to take her there one day but one day never has gotten here yet in the 50 years they have been married. Dad is 73 and Mom will be 71 this year.
I was hoping to have time to stop by the yacht club and get some first hand information on their "Learning at the Helm” (LATH) program on the way back from a family
dinner in Nashville last night but we didn't get out of there till 20:15 so I didn't think anyone would be there at that time of night. As soon as I can I'll spend some time at my sisters place in Nashville so I can spend that time learning
to sail. I did learn something on that trip to Nashville and back yesterday, never ride in the back seat of the van for any trip taking over 30 minutes to get there. My knees are still killing me from that trip.
You all have made some great suggestions for boats that I can use and some that are not in my line of thought for needs, so let narrow the requirements down and go from there.
1. With the center board up the sailboat has a draft
of a foot or less. (this is required for launching and boating
in some of the smaller lakes around here.)
2. Be trailer-able by a small car or truck.
3. Has a cabin
large enough for two people at least that I can camp out in for a weekend or a little longer with no problem. (this should include a small galley
, a place to sleep, some type of heating/cooling system, a place to put an 12v electric
cooler if there isn't a small refrigerator
built in, and a head
4. Have a Bimini
top over the pilot box to keep me out of prolong sunlight zone which some of my medication require me to do.
5. Be low enough in cost used that someone on a fixed income
with only 100-150 a month to extra to spend could ether save up for or apply towards building material to build.
6. Be able to mount a trolling motor
, and an small outboard
motor on the boat. (Note this could be just one unit in the case of an electric outboard
, but so far from what I see they cost as much as some used boats.)
7. Is or can be equipped with a proper electronics
package for safety
and needs. This would include, proper two way radios, navigation equipment
sounder/recorder (we have one of these graph type depth
finder on the pontoon boat that shows the shape of the bottom not sure off hand it it can be saved or printed out for future use though), WX radio
, and any other electronic gear
needed for the safety
of the boat and crew (Thats Me the crew) whether out on a lake or traveling down the Mississippi
river to the gulf. This includes ways to recharge the batteries without running a gas outboard. Though I could put a small gas generator
on board but trying to keep the weight down as much as I can.
8. Be a stable boat that won't turtle and stay that way. Even if the first boat is basically a cheap learning
boat that I can also fish
from and camp out on for night fishing
and such. I'd like it to be able to sail the coastline with it even if I can't make passageway to other places overseas or even the islands of Hawaii. Example: sail to the Gulf and follow the coast around the tip of Florida
and up the coast to South Carolina where I have family
. Have family along the Florida and Georgia
coastline too. Basically I need a coastal cruiser that with the board up I can beach the craft while still being able to sail in shallow waters that are only a few feet deep with the board down like the flats.
9. Be able to handle the boat solo if needed and for me to get in and out of easily.
10. Have a good flat area on deck
to use as a casting platform for fishing along the way. (This could be a small added flat deck
added to the bow area over the existing deck if needed.)
11. Probably should have but not imperative to have on board is a water maker, but since it will stay near the coastline I can alway put in to resupply the water on board.
12. Probably should have some type of auto piloting/weather vain system too but I don't know what type for a smaller sailboat.
If you can think of anything I might have missed that is a absolute need for this type of sailing please let me know.
So far of the prebuilt models the West Wight Potter 19 would fit the bill for lake use but I am not sure about sailing the coastline with it for long periods, or if it could be rigged for such. Plus I know what it is like to be caught out on the Mississippi
river between two passing barges in bad weather
so what ever boat I get will have to be very good in rough water.
I found a MacGregor
26X for $5k so I might be able to find something like that for cheaper and equip it for my needs. So what do you all think? Is there such a boat out there to meet those requirements to get till I can acquire the knowledge, knowhow and funds to get a live aboard blue water motor-sailor for passage-making cruises.
Note: We were on a ferry
crossing the river before the bridge was built in the middle of a storm when the ferry
got caught in the middle of the river between the two passing barges at night. One heading north and the other heading south. Let me tell you on a calm day getting hit with the swells from one barge going up river would toss our 8x27 foot rescue
boat around pretty good and could be dangerous if the driver didn't know how to surf the 4 to 8 foot swells kicked up by those beast. That day with the storm and the two barges passing they had the swells crashing over the bow and my best guess would be that those swells were at least 12 to 15 feet high. They were high enough that we would lose sight of the barge it self and would just catch sight of the top of the tug pushing it up river. That is where the pilot had to keep his spot light on was to tug to keep it in sight till it safely passed and we could get to the far bank. To me it was like a roller coaster ride and was fun. It didn't really sink in till later how much danger
we was actually in at the time. To my little sister and brother it was a nightmare in the making. It didn't really faze Dad, he stood outside with a poncho on smoking a cigarette. But he has also piloted a LST in a hurricane
before while in the Navy
. Mom staid inside the car and was concerned about the safety of us but she handled it well.
Sorry I am so long winded but that is just how I am when I write.