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Old 25-08-2014, 15:00   #1
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Survivability of Novice Sailors

Looking at a couple of 37-38' blue water cruisers in the Boston area. Provided all checks out, I am considering singlehanding the successful candidate down the coast to Florida.
I have sailed smaller vessels but in freshwater only. Very mechanically inclined and able to navigate using maps and compasses, gps ect. (private pilot)
There is no timetable to worry about other than Winter and Hurricane season.
Is this doable or an I still dreaming?
What say you?
Clark
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Old 25-08-2014, 15:07   #2
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Re: Survivability of novice sailors

If you are a pilot you can do it. Sailing is not that difficult.
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Old 25-08-2014, 15:09   #3
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Re: Survivability of novice sailors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cehinds View Post
Looking at a couple of 37-38' blue water cruisers in the Boston area. Provided all checks out, I am considering singlehanding the successful candidate down the coast to Florida.
I have sailed smaller vessels but in freshwater only. Very mechanically inclined and able to navigate using maps and compasses, gps ect. (private pilot)
There is no timetable to worry about other than Winter and Hurricane season.
Is this doable or an I still dreaming?
What say you?
Clark
Why singlehand right off the bat, especially with a new-to-you boat? Surely you can find a few friends and other sailors who'd be happy to come along for all or part of the trip south?
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Old 25-08-2014, 15:20   #4
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Re: Survivability of novice sailors

Are you talking about doing the ICW or off shore? Pros and cons to both.

A lot of the answer will depend on the individual boats. Some are far more manageable for one person. So boat choice may be a factor. Or at least what effort you are going to put into to making the boat easy for one person to sail.
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Old 25-08-2014, 16:40   #5
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Re: Survivability of novice sailors

Yes, you can do it. But since you've missed the older threads here and elsewhere discussing the issue, you probably shouldn't. Buy the boat, hire a delivery skipper & crew, figure it may take a week or two to shake down the boat and make whatever repairs it needs or upgrade any equipment, and sail home with the experienced delivery crew in charge of your boat.

Or, start your studying up, plan on a day trip followed by a 48-hour trip as shakedowns. A week for corrections (optimistically) and then taking your trip.

Also, look into large quantities of amphetamines to keep you up, because there are no overnight truckstops to park in offshore, and sleeping while solo at sea is a whole other topic.

I think the last (ex) forum member who wanted to do something like this, had experience and faith with his boat, had two family along as crew, and was going to "rally" down in five days with two other experienced boats. He wound up mainly going down the ICW and taking six weeks or so, I think. But he did get there, and had fun along the way.
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Old 25-08-2014, 17:30   #6
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Re: Survivability of Novice Sailors

Plan out your stops, keep eye on the wx, and you will be fine.

Have fun,
Fair winds,
b.
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Old 25-08-2014, 20:27   #7
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Re: Survivability of Novice Sailors

Soloing is an extreme sport. If you make a big error, you can die. Since newbs often make big errors, well.... You're a pilot. Would you recommend someone by a Cessna, jump in and take off for Europe?
Sure people have done it.
I wouldn't.
Your call.
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Old 25-08-2014, 21:31   #8
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Re: Survivability of Novice Sailors

If this was my first trip on a boat that was new to me, I would be doing the intracoastal waterway the majority of the trip. This is a shakedown as well as a delivery, and you will find plenty of things that need to be fixed, changed, modified along the way. I would rather find out the problems on the intracoastal than out at sea.
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Old 25-08-2014, 23:02   #9
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Re: Survivability of Novice Sailors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cehinds View Post
Looking at a couple of 37-38' blue water cruisers in the Boston area. Provided all checks out, I am considering singlehanding the successful candidate down the coast to Florida.
I have sailed smaller vessels but in freshwater only. Very mechanically inclined and able to navigate using maps and compasses, gps ect. (private pilot)
There is no timetable to worry about other than Winter and Hurricane season.
Is this doable or an I still dreaming?
What say you?
Clark
As a pilot I am sure you've heard, "If you've time to spare, go by air."

You know how to navigate and you've sailed smaller boats before. This will not a be a problem except for -

- It is going to take more time than you think. Leave room in your schedule or figure out where you can bail out of the trip and leave the boat if you have commitments to meet

- Stuff is gonna break on a new (to you) boat. That is gonna drive the time up as well. The most important thing is make sure you can keep the water on the outside part of the boat. A sound engine and drive-train would also be very useful - I am sure you are getting a survey, yes?

Plan on motoring a lot. Especially if on a schedule.

Bring your credit cards and have fun!
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Old 26-08-2014, 04:53   #10
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Re: Survivability of Novice Sailors

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Clark.
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Old 26-08-2014, 05:49   #11
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Re: Survivability of Novice Sailors

If your comfortable with docking it yourself, anchoring etc., Then I don't see why you couldn't go down the ICW by yourself, but I think it would be a lot more relaxing and fun with company.
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Old 27-08-2014, 12:32   #12
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Re: Survivability of Novice Sailors

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I fly gliders/sailplanes as well so I am familiar with critical decision making processes.
Surveys yes.
Inside travel yes.
Outside where necessary.
Weather, weather, weather! That is what it's about anyway.
No schedule or commitments, just unadulterated adventure.
I will keep you posted.
Thank you again.
Clark
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Old 27-08-2014, 12:45   #13
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Re: Survivability of Novice Sailors

Clark, do you have time to take someone out with you for a day or two while you single hand your boat? They can just ride along and watch, but not say anything. Then if you have any questions, they can offer advice. I'd venture that docking will be your biggest challenge.

Have fun and the very best to you.
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Old 27-08-2014, 14:24   #14
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Re: Survivability of Novice Sailors

Clark-
Did you ever see the episode of MASH where Frank Burns is under house arrest (in the tent) and Hawkeye is dancing in and out of the front door taunting him repeatedly "I can go in. And I can go out. I can go in. And I can go out." ?

"Inside travel yes.
Outside where necessary. "
Just bear in mind, getting through any of the inlets may be impossible for 24 hours or longer, and if you are outside, you may have to stay outside and well offshore. You can call the USCG and ask about conditions in the inlets--but even they often cannot give you any information, as their boats may be occupied elsewhere for hours at a stretch.
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Old 28-08-2014, 14:10   #15
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Re: Survivability of Novice Sailors

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Clark-
Did you ever see the episode of MASH where Frank Burns is under house arrest (in the tent) and Hawkeye is dancing in and out of the front door taunting him repeatedly "I can go in. And I can go out. I can go in. And I can go out." ?

"Inside travel yes.
Outside where necessary. "
Just bear in mind, getting through any of the inlets may be impossible for 24 hours or longer, and if you are outside, you may have to stay outside and well offshore. You can call the USCG and ask about conditions in the inlets--but even they often cannot give you any information, as their boats may be occupied elsewhere for hours at a stretch.
Good advice.

I've sailed by lots of monohull sailboats sitting dead still trying to exit or enter thru an inlet (or pass) with motor pushed as hard it would go and they are just sitting still and that was in good weather. I couldn't image it in bad weather. The current and weather would just do what it wanted with the average (monohull) sailboat in bad weather.
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