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Old 24-04-2016, 11:18   #1
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Blue water cruising dreams

So I've been dreaming of getting to live aboard and cruise around the world for close to ten years now and finally was able to start from something by buying my first sailing boat. I've been around motor boats and other fast things my whole youth but sailing boats are a bit new. I've been working as entrepreneur since being 12 and never really had time for myself or to really think so I guess this whole thing is also part of me trying to escape when I get a chance to do that.

The boat I got is Maxi 77 (7.7 meters...) which is a bit on the small side but still has plenty of space and is pretty good for learning. Also it should have very sturdy frame to build on if needed.

Now that I've started to fix her up I've been trying to understand what is it that I actually want to do. The reason in me is saying to just fix her up so that I can learn with her and then go bigger soon. The optimist in me is saying that just fix and upgrade this boat for passage making without upgrading to bigger boat.

Of course the first option would have me pushing back the dream by several years due to monetary constraints etc. The second option would have me working on the dream much faster and I could also start saving for the expenses for the trip much faster thus allowing me to go much faster (2-5 years).

I've been reading everything I can get my hands on for the last 10 years (books, blogs, forums etc) and based on that I (think that I ) "know" that 25 feet long sailing boat isn't really blue water boat but at the same time if space constraints and conmfortability are not issues and I'd have enough time to wait for good weather windows it should be doable. Also as I'm single at the moment I wouldn't need to worry about anyone else.

Would love to have some insight from those who actually have some experience!
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Old 24-04-2016, 14:04   #2
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Hi,

Our friends sailed a Maxi just like that from the Baltic to Canary Islands where they ran out of steam.

Since we have sailed a rtw in a boat that is only marginally bigger than yours, I feel entitled to advise the following options:

Read Webb Chiles blog. Read Martin Dolecek blog. Read all the info from people sailing far in small boats.

- sell the Maxi, get something like, e.g.:
-- HR Monsun,
-- Lord Helmsman,
-- OE32,
-- Allegro 33,
-- Amigo 40,
-- Laurin 32,
-- etc, you will know what I am talking about.

If your budget is not that high, get a:
- Laurin 28,
- Storfidra 25,
- Allegro 27,
- etc, this msg is also clear to you.

An IF (plastic, not Nordic) is an inexpensive, good starter boat, for a fun loving minimalist. Our friend from Germany sailed one from his home country to the West Indies and back. In style.

Once you have a small long range boat (as above, brands generic but styles fixed), you want to get it ready for long range sailing. This may include some or all of the following steps:

- haul her out, make sure the hull is sound and the rudder and keel are in perfect condition, no leaky bolts, no loose fittings, no cracks in the edges, etc.
- you may strip her to the gelcoat, sand and apply barrier coat now (epoxy), if you are being fancy, and if you spot any pox,
- if you go sailing this season, apply AF,

- unless you know the age of the rigging and it is very recent, replace all standing rigging, check chainplates, replace mast rigging plates, check spreaders, make sure wires in the mast are fine and FIXED, make sure VHF installation is fine and a windex is there,
- get a set of new quality dacron sails with sunbrella covers, get a jib furler (option, but a nice one), main preferably in long battens (at least top 2),
- get one very light sail (a superlight genoa or a kite, as you like it),
- you want minimum two reefs in the main,
- you want simple and effective main reefing system,
- you may want lazyjacks, you do want sailcover,
- you may want main hallyard and all essential control lines in the cockpit,
- you want minimum of 4 winches - 2 for jib, two on cabin top for reefing & trimming,
- you likely want a dodger,

- now check the engine if there is one, do all basic maintenance, get extra spares (oil, filters, etc.),
- make sure the alternator is charging fine,
- decide if you need alternative energy: sun, wind or what you like,
- check all electric systems, fix and replace the faulty ones,

- think of a dinghy, maybe an inflatable one,
- think of emergency equipment: dsc vhf, ais, epirb, etc.
- think of harness, safety lines and tethers,
- think of cooking underway, IMHO gimballed lpg cooker/oven is best,
- think of water storage, you want minimum 1,5 liter per day, this easily adds to a minimum of 100 liters on a small passage (like the one from Cabo Verdes to West Indies, e.g.)
- think of toilet, plain manual toilet is a near must,

- consider a windvane, THIS IS AN EXPENSIVE ITEM, sadly it is a near must in long range small boat adventure, an AP or six is the option,

- chose how much wx protection you want, I like full cockpit side curtains and a bimini of sorts, I do not go without a deep dodger,

- get at least two anchors and cables, chain & rope combos are fine to start with, not too little chain though,

- get charts, get copies, get cruising books and navigation equipment (gps, bearing compass, sextant, you name it).

- think of entertainment, take what it takes: instruments, stereo, books, etc. what you like.

- take all basic tools,

Make sure you are in A1 shape physically and mentally.

Last but not least - make sure your sailing skills are top notch and your navigation skills are adequate.

All the above is just a very broad draft, likely full of holes, but it may contain some pointers useful to you.

You can PM me any time if you go ahead with your plan. If you ask specific questions I will find time to address your challenges.

Timing is summer in the Baltic and you want to be South of Bizcay before September. The highway to the West Indies opens late October and lasts till May.

ASK, LISTEN, JUDGE, IMITATE, ADJUST, PERSEVERE

Been there done that seemed easy. Good luck and fair winds.

PS Cruising budget toward the West Indies about EUR 500 per month and upwards (till you learn to go cheap, if that counts to you). Crossing the Panama Canal IS expensive. But you cannot enter the Pacific for less.

b.
(from Canary Islands, in a boat only 2 ft longer)
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Old 24-04-2016, 14:58   #3
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Congrats on the breakthrough boat and by not spending too much on the purchase.

Set your sights 1st on improving the boat so you can live on it without shore power.

Then plan a few overnight trips.
After that plan the next step.
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Old 24-04-2016, 15:24   #4
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

My friend , Szymon Kuczynski from Poland just completed the circumnavigation in his 22 foot Maxus, built in Poland. He went around South Africa and his mantra is: Small is Beautiful "
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Old 24-04-2016, 16:38   #5
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Hi,

Our friends sailed a Maxi just like that from the Baltic to Canary Islands where they ran out of steam.

Since we have sailed a rtw in a boat that is only marginally bigger than yours, I feel entitled to advise the following options:

Read Webb Chiles blog. Read Martin Dolecek blog. Read all the info from people sailing far in small boats.

- sell the Maxi, get something like, e.g.:
-- HR Monsun,
-- Lord Helmsman,
-- OE32,
-- Allegro 33,
-- Amigo 40,
-- Laurin 32,
-- etc, you will know what I am talking about.

If your budget is not that high, get a:
- Laurin 28,
- Storfidra 25,
- Allegro 27,
- etc, this msg is also clear to you.

An IF (plastic, not Nordic) is an inexpensive, good starter boat, for a fun loving minimalist. Our friend from Germany sailed one from his home country to the West Indies and back. In style.

Once you have a small long range boat (as above, brands generic but styles fixed), you want to get it ready for long range sailing. This may include some or all of the following steps:

- haul her out, make sure the hull is sound and the rudder and keel are in perfect condition, no leaky bolts, no loose fittings, no cracks in the edges, etc.
- you may strip her to the gelcoat, sand and apply barrier coat now (epoxy), if you are being fancy, and if you spot any pox,
- if you go sailing this season, apply AF,

- unless you know the age of the rigging and it is very recent, replace all standing rigging, check chainplates, replace mast rigging plates, check spreaders, make sure wires in the mast are fine and FIXED, make sure VHF installation is fine and a windex is there,
- get a set of new quality dacron sails with sunbrella covers, get a jib furler (option, but a nice one), main preferably in long battens (at least top 2),
- get one very light sail (a superlight genoa or a kite, as you like it),
- you want minimum two reefs in the main,
- you want simple and effective main reefing system,
- you may want lazyjacks, you do want sailcover,
- you may want main hallyard and all essential control lines in the cockpit,
- you want minimum of 4 winches - 2 for jib, two on cabin top for reefing & trimming,
- you likely want a dodger,

- now check the engine if there is one, do all basic maintenance, get extra spares (oil, filters, etc.),
- make sure the alternator is charging fine,
- decide if you need alternative energy: sun, wind or what you like,
- check all electric systems, fix and replace the faulty ones,

- think of a dinghy, maybe an inflatable one,
- think of emergency equipment: dsc vhf, ais, epirb, etc.
- think of harness, safety lines and tethers,
- think of cooking underway, IMHO gimballed lpg cooker/oven is best,
- think of water storage, you want minimum 1,5 liter per day, this easily adds to a minimum of 100 liters on a small passage (like the one from Cabo Verdes to West Indies, e.g.)
- think of toilet, plain manual toilet is a near must,

- consider a windvane, THIS IS AN EXPENSIVE ITEM, sadly it is a near must in long range small boat adventure, an AP or six is the option,

- chose how much wx protection you want, I like full cockpit side curtains and a bimini of sorts, I do not go without a deep dodger,

- get at least two anchors and cables, chain & rope combos are fine to start with, not too little chain though,

- get charts, get copies, get cruising books and navigation equipment (gps, bearing compass, sextant, you name it).

- think of entertainment, take what it takes: instruments, stereo, books, etc. what you like.

- take all basic tools,

Make sure you are in A1 shape physically and mentally.

Last but not least - make sure your sailing skills are top notch and your navigation skills are adequate.

All the above is just a very broad draft, likely full of holes, but it may contain some pointers useful to you.

You can PM me any time if you go ahead with your plan. If you ask specific questions I will find time to address your challenges.

Timing is summer in the Baltic and you want to be South of Bizcay before September. The highway to the West Indies opens late October and lasts till May.

ASK, LISTEN, JUDGE, IMITATE, ADJUST, PERSEVERE

Been there done that seemed easy. Good luck and fair winds.

PS Cruising budget toward the West Indies about EUR 500 per month and upwards (till you learn to go cheap, if that counts to you). Crossing the Panama Canal IS expensive. But you cannot enter the Pacific for less.

b.
(from Canary Islands, in a boat only 2 ft longer)
That's a great list of things to think about. If you want to see an example of a cruising sailboat -- not too big, not too small (just right) -- have a look at this Pacific Seacraft 37 (probably outside your budget, but you get the idea):

https://pacificseacraft37.com/details/
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Old 25-04-2016, 00:00   #6
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

barnakiel gave you some great advice there, Tuxie.

Really, the only thing i'd add is that even if you won't have to scrimp and save every penny, have a look at the $500 per month thread here on CF. Lots of ideas about less expensive ways of getting where you want to be.

Good luck with the endeavor.

Ann
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Old 25-04-2016, 00:15   #7
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
barnakiel gave you some great advice there, Tuxie.

Really, the only thing i'd add is that even if you won't have to scrimp and save every penny, have a look at the $500 per month thread here on CF. Lots of ideas about less expensive ways of getting where you want to be.

Good luck with the endeavor.

Ann
Thanks! I tried to search for that particular thread but I think I've missed it, would you mind pointing me the right direction?
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Old 25-04-2016, 00:34   #8
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Tuxie,

I'm sorry, but I'm not good at navigating CF! However, if you try this, it might get you there, it'll be a clunky method, sorry. First, click on the Search button at the top of the page. A drop down menu will be displayed, and if you go far enough down it will say "Google Custom Search", which is a Google based search of CF. Fill in the blank there with something like, "Cruising on $500/Month", it was a thread started quite a while ago by internet standards, by DavidOldJones, a Brit, who is still a member--afaik--but not posting often. That has a better chance of your finding it than the CF Search at the top. I don't know why, but that's how it has played out for me.

Someone else than me, may be able to post it for you as a link, which would be better for you.

Good luck.

Ann
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Old 25-04-2016, 00:43   #9
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Hi,

Our friends sailed a Maxi just like that from the Baltic to Canary Islands where they ran out of steam.

Since we have sailed a rtw in a boat that is only marginally bigger than yours, I feel entitled to advise the following options:

Read Webb Chiles blog. Read Martin Dolecek blog. Read all the info from people sailing far in small boats.

- sell the Maxi, get something like, e.g.:
-- HR Monsun,
-- Lord Helmsman,
-- OE32,
-- Allegro 33,
-- Amigo 40,
-- Laurin 32,
-- etc, you will know what I am talking about.

If your budget is not that high, get a:
- Laurin 28,
- Storfidra 25,
- Allegro 27,
- etc, this msg is also clear to you.

An IF (plastic, not Nordic) is an inexpensive, good starter boat, for a fun loving minimalist. Our friend from Germany sailed one from his home country to the West Indies and back. In style.

Once you have a small long range boat (as above, brands generic but styles fixed), you want to get it ready for long range sailing. This may include some or all of the following steps:

- haul her out, make sure the hull is sound and the rudder and keel are in perfect condition, no leaky bolts, no loose fittings, no cracks in the edges, etc.
- you may strip her to the gelcoat, sand and apply barrier coat now (epoxy), if you are being fancy, and if you spot any pox,
- if you go sailing this season, apply AF,

- unless you know the age of the rigging and it is very recent, replace all standing rigging, check chainplates, replace mast rigging plates, check spreaders, make sure wires in the mast are fine and FIXED, make sure VHF installation is fine and a windex is there,
- get a set of new quality dacron sails with sunbrella covers, get a jib furler (option, but a nice one), main preferably in long battens (at least top 2),
- get one very light sail (a superlight genoa or a kite, as you like it),
- you want minimum two reefs in the main,
- you want simple and effective main reefing system,
- you may want lazyjacks, you do want sailcover,
- you may want main hallyard and all essential control lines in the cockpit,
- you want minimum of 4 winches - 2 for jib, two on cabin top for reefing & trimming,
- you likely want a dodger,

- now check the engine if there is one, do all basic maintenance, get extra spares (oil, filters, etc.),
- make sure the alternator is charging fine,
- decide if you need alternative energy: sun, wind or what you like,
- check all electric systems, fix and replace the faulty ones,

- think of a dinghy, maybe an inflatable one,
- think of emergency equipment: dsc vhf, ais, epirb, etc.
- think of harness, safety lines and tethers,
- think of cooking underway, IMHO gimballed lpg cooker/oven is best,
- think of water storage, you want minimum 1,5 liter per day, this easily adds to a minimum of 100 liters on a small passage (like the one from Cabo Verdes to West Indies, e.g.)
- think of toilet, plain manual toilet is a near must,

- consider a windvane, THIS IS AN EXPENSIVE ITEM, sadly it is a near must in long range small boat adventure, an AP or six is the option,

- chose how much wx protection you want, I like full cockpit side curtains and a bimini of sorts, I do not go without a deep dodger,

- get at least two anchors and cables, chain & rope combos are fine to start with, not too little chain though,

- get charts, get copies, get cruising books and navigation equipment (gps, bearing compass, sextant, you name it).

- think of entertainment, take what it takes: instruments, stereo, books, etc. what you like.

- take all basic tools,

Make sure you are in A1 shape physically and mentally.

Last but not least - make sure your sailing skills are top notch and your navigation skills are adequate.

All the above is just a very broad draft, likely full of holes, but it may contain some pointers useful to you.

You can PM me any time if you go ahead with your plan. If you ask specific questions I will find time to address your challenges.

Timing is summer in the Baltic and you want to be South of Bizcay before September. The highway to the West Indies opens late October and lasts till May.

ASK, LISTEN, JUDGE, IMITATE, ADJUST, PERSEVERE

Been there done that seemed easy. Good luck and fair winds.

PS Cruising budget toward the West Indies about EUR 500 per month and upwards (till you learn to go cheap, if that counts to you). Crossing the Panama Canal IS expensive. But you cannot enter the Pacific for less.

b.
(from Canary Islands, in a boat only 2 ft longer)
Whoa, thanks for excellent summary! I agree with all of it and have actually started with my current boat already with some of the points. As it seems to take decent amount of money to get everything done I started thinking a bit more if I should still try to change the boat at this stage.

So I guess your main point is get rid of Maxi and buy something better. You mentioned that your friends sailed to Canary Islands with Maxi 77 so I take it works at least a bit out there. Do you know of any specific problems that would make it unwise for blue water cruising?

Anyways thanks for your view, it's really appreciated. It seems I'll try to adjust my plans to save 1000€ per month for the next boat and in the meanwhile try to fix up just the basics of Maxi so I can sell her off. This should enable me to learn sailing (and repairs) and accumulate the small stuff which can be moved to next boat for the next 1-2 years while looking for the "final" boat and then in few years that boat would be ready to go hopefully.
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Old 25-04-2016, 00:51   #10
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuxie View Post
Thanks! I tried to search for that particular thread but I think I've missed it, would you mind pointing me the right direction?
Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

There are two parts with a lot of helpfull info there, also if you are planning to singlehand then there are a couple of great threads about that to.

Calm seas
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Old 25-04-2016, 00:56   #11
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
I'm sorry, but I'm not good at navigating CF! However, if you try this, it might get you there, it'll be a clunky method, sorry. First, click on the Search button at the top of the page. A drop down menu will be displayed, and if you go far enough down it will say "Google Custom Search", which is a Google based search of CF. Fill in the blank there with something like, "Cruising on $500/Month", it was a thread started quite a while ago by internet standards, by DavidOldJones, a Brit, who is still a member--afaik--but not posting often. That has a better chance of your finding it than the CF Search at the top. I don't know why, but that's how it has played out for me.
Thanks. Davids username helped me forward with Google. The thread seems to be this: Cruising on $500 / Month

I think I've actually read it already at some point. At least most of it seems familiar. My plan has been to get the boat fixed up and ready to go with lots of spares so that I'd have to pay only/mainly for food and travel expenses during the trip which I'm sure I can drop down to 500$ per month easily as food alone is close to 200$ for me already.
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Old 25-04-2016, 02:00   #12
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Barnakiel wrote an inspiring post and as usual Ann T Cate drops in an excellent and practical suggestion to help the economics of your project. Just as an aside, there are some pretty cool and helpful people on this forum.

Anyways. I would add a few of other things worth reading:

- the book Shrimpy Sails by Shane Acton. Shane Acton had no experience but when he came out of the British Army in his mid twenties he bought a little 18 foot bilge keeler called Shrimpy. He had no intentions of making any records or sailing anywhere far away. But he started sailing and he just kept sailing, initially between ports in Southern England. Then he thought 'maybe I can sail to France' so he did, and then to Portugal and so on. He had very little money and plenty of time. Little boats are slower.

He states he'd never sailed before he started. And he just kept on sailing in a similar way to Forest Gump and his running. But he wrote a great book and had some wonderful adventures.

- have a good poke around Atom Voyages - Home as James Baldwin did two circumnavigations in his 28 foot Pearson Triton, the second trip I think with his wife.

- good old Tristan Jones' books are all worth a read. OK we know Tristan never let the truth get in the way of a good story, but at the end of the day he sailed some tiny little boats all around the world including some pretty hard core sailing locales. But all of his books give excellent insights into how to sail and live a simple and frugal life on a small boat.

In my view keeping things simple and small is a positive. So often we read (especially here on CF) of people buying boats that are basically small apartments on water. And they’re filled with all manner of appliances and gizmos that need serious amounts of power and will of course continuously have failures. And hey I’m not knocking that lifestyle choice: I just wish I had a million dollars too. A common alternative I read are people who do buy a cheapish boat and then, rather than go sailing, they spend years along with thousands and thousands of dollars ‘fitting’ out. I actually know a few people here where I live doing exactly that. I know they’ll probably never leave Wellington, let alone sail offshore. But they love mucking around on their boat and they love to dream. Dream hard I say!

So here’s one other link to what I feel is an excellent article by Mick O’Flanagan. And OK he backs up my mindset: confirmation bias acknowledged. But his words have sagacity. I’ll just copy and paste here the first couple of paragraphs to get you all hooked into reading the article:

Some 15 years ago, we decided to sell up and commit to a voyaging life. It was an easy decision, taking just 4 months from decision, to selling the house, to moving aboard. During that time we hunted around, rejected various boats—usually because they required far too much work, and we wanted to sail, not build—until we found one that seemed to suit us. We made an offer, more than we wanted to spend but much less than any of the rebuilds would finally have cost, had it accepted, and moved aboard.

I mentioned what we had done to a guy I worked with. He was probably 20+ years younger than me, had spent a number of years in the boat industry, and he proceeded to question me closely: Do you have an EPIRB? Do you have a watermaker? Do you have a forward-facing echo sounder? “No”, I replied. “Well”, he said dismissively, “you can’t go cruising…”

However, we did go cruising and, some 70,000 miles later, we still do not possess any of those items he deemed necessary. Rather than fit out a boat for a lifestyle we had no idea we would like, we simply opted to try the lifestyle and then see what we might need to make things better.
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Old 25-04-2016, 02:06   #13
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Hehe thanks for couraging words grantmc! Your post is excatly the reason I got Maxi, to get on the water and learning.. Once I have summer behind me I'll know plenty more and if some day it feels good I might just stay with her and keep sailing!

In the meanwhile I feel it's always good to try to get opinions so one can optimize the plans. But it's way too easy to keep planning so definately keep prepping while doing it!

I'll add those books to my reading list, they looked interesting.
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Old 25-04-2016, 09:21   #14
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Re: Circumnavigation/blue water cruising dreams

Google also "Cruising Lealea". They like their smallish boat and have no intentions to buy a big one.
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Old 25-04-2016, 09:58   #15
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Re: Blue water cruising dreams

NEVER try to cheat the weather........if the big boys all say "we're going today", and you're not sure.......then stay safe. You can catch up with them later or meet new friends.

None of us have to prove that we can sail in rough seas!!

Bill



I'd have enough time to wait for good weather windows it should be doable. Also as I'm single at the moment I wouldn't need to worry about anyone else.
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