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Old 18-11-2011, 12:42   #1
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Very New to Sailing


So I have a few questions about Sailboats. I've never sailed before and am looking at buying a used sailboat that I can learn on and then take on a trip.

The trip I am going to take goes from San Francisco to San Diego, and then from San Diego to Vancouver Island, Canada. We are going to just be riding it up the coast so we wont ever be all that far from shore. It will take place during the summer months.

The questions I have are these....
- What size sailboat would you recomend? There are 2 of us. The trip is about 2000 miles.

- We are on a pretty tight budget but would like to know what marine instruments are absolutley necessary. (Barometer? 7x50 Binoculars? Radio? Compass? etc.)

-Any other advice would be much appriciated! Im just trying to get as much info as I possibly can at this moment.

Thanks for your time,

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Old 18-11-2011, 14:07   #2
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Re: Very New to Sailing

Hi Corey,

You say you have never sailed before and plan to buy a boat in CA to sail to Vancouver. I am guessing that you are not familiar with the winds and weather on the west coast. The trip north from San Diego would be called an advanced sail, not something recommended for most beginners. First, the winds, waves and current blow steadily and often very strongly from the north to the south. So, going north to Vancouver you will be fighting against this all the way. It is sometimes called sailing up hilll.

I know you say you will plan to stay close to shore but in this situation that does not equate to safety or calm weather. In fact it can be the exact opposite.

Another factor to consider, parts of the west coast it is a long way between harbors and you may not have a place to stop if you are tired or hit stormy weather. Also, some of the harbors are actually where rivers flow out to the ocean and these harbors can be very dangerous in rough weather. They will have a shallow area at the mouth of the river called a bar where the deep ocean waves pile up and break when they hit the shallow area. When this happens you are trapped off shore and cannot enter the harbor at all.

As you see, the trip you propose is not an easy one and you should look into the details carefully before setting out.

As far as what boat to make the trip, I personally would not go less than 30' and would prefer 35' or better. Regarding instruments, more important are the abilities of the captain and crew, but basic GPS and a backup, charts, binoculars, VHF radio. There is a good chance of fog so you might want a radar as well.

The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 18-11-2011, 14:16   #3
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Re: Very New to Sailing

What Skipmac says.
Hire an experienced Captain to go with you. You can think of it as paying for one on one sailing lessons. It could turn out to be the best money you ever spend.
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Old 18-11-2011, 14:19   #4
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Re: Very New to Sailing

Welcome to CF.
Any boat* could do it but You need to learn to sail and navigate. just like you could drive accross the states in any car. you would also need to learn how to drive and the rules of the road.
You need to get experiance and training. as for equipment a GPS, binos and compass with charts are a minimum. Some people need a dish washer and Sat TV it is all about your requirements to live/enjoy/experiance life.
Get training is no 1 or accidents can happen so quickly and terminaly.

Best wishes

*Atlantic crossed in dugout and a two man kayack (Dr Romer)
*Circumnavigation in Shrimpy a 18ft caprice Mk1
*3000 mile cruse in a mirror dingy by Jack de Crow
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Old 18-11-2011, 14:23   #5
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Re: Very New to Sailing

First welcome,

As the other said, but before you even buy, or even start looking, go crew on a boat, you might find that sailing is just not for you.
Buying a boat and setting off on a challenging trip, its a bit late to change your mind.
You should be able to find someone to crew with, wont cost you much, and could save you a lot of grief.
But, I hope you do like it, then build up your skills in home waters, then take off
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Old 18-11-2011, 14:30   #6
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Re: Very New to Sailing

A year and a half ago I purchased a 32' boat on the west coast of Florida. I naively thought I would set sail for the Mobile, Alabama area in a few short weeks.

I was new to larger mono-hulls but sailed my Hobie18 for years before this.

It took ten months to be ready for my first off shore cruise. This included working on the boat and becoming familiar with the larger boat's handling. Now I'm at a marina in Orange Beach, AL after a leisurely cruise of almost three months.

So, I think you should take your time, be sure you and the boat are ready. Maybe plan to travel back and forth to the boat for a few months to get thinks sorted out and your skills and confidence up to speed.
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Old 18-11-2011, 14:32   #7
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Re: Very New to Sailing

Originally Posted by coreyholmes View Post

So I have a few questions about Sailboats. I've never sailed before and am looking at buying a used sailboat that I can learn on and then take on a trip.



We want to encourage you, but not kill you!

Based on your CF posts so far you need to do some more reading type research, get some sailing in either by crewing or taking lessons, then come back with questions.

Lots of us started sailing based on similar dream/goals. Some even manage to just jump right into it the way you ask about (will be tough to get support for that way here).

Good Luck!

stop blowing smoke up my rear, blow it at the sails instead
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