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Old 19-11-2015, 10:15   #196
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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I think I'd recommend a Jet Ski and a small lake. Don't forget.... He mentioned Chile
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So you would also get him a spicy burrito? I guess he could just throw it off the jet ski if it was too hot...
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Old 19-11-2015, 10:52   #197
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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So you would also get him a spicy burrito? I guess he could just throw it off the jet ski if it was too hot...
If we are getting into major drift, eat the burrito and power the jet ski with methane.
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Old 19-11-2015, 15:57   #198
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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In response to your numbered comments, Muckle Flugga--


1. Who exactly are you suggesting, on this thread, are the "arm chair sailors"? You repeat this accusation 3 times, and appear to gesture at all who don't share your view, confusing as it is.

Gracious, sorry to have upset you so much. I gave plenty of words to play with and twist about, certainly, and I see you're well on your way. I think you know the definition of an arm chair sailor. I am not calling Waterman46 an arm chair sailor though I did quote him as he was advocating the OP to go a ways south before starting the trip. I don't know anything of Waterman46 though was addressing some of his points.

2. Interesting that you suggest that "people are mostly smarter and luckier than online forums and arm chair sailors forecast" and then only gesture at some online blogs and other self advertising as your evidence, which perforce is gathered from an arm chair and takes no account of the ratio of actual failure and disaster to success in whatever form, nor can be relied upon as a true reflection of the nature and origin of such "successes", being self reported self advertising. (Remarkable how many wrecks, rescues and disasters and abandoned hulls I have seen with my own eyes and heard of on the SSB or VHF radio or read on Navtex around the world, then, eh? Not even mentioning the vanished without trace brigade... Have you done a study as to the true ratio? Can you publish non armchair evidence and statistics for that?)

Another Gracious. Amazing thought process you've got there. No numbers to provide to you, no, nor do I think you need them since it seems like a rhetorical statement you're bent upon. You remind me that people tend not to recall things very clearly as they're recounting them after the fact. That's why I emailed the trimaran owner asking for their anchoring/harbor spots because I was amazed to learn that they managed the stretch with only the one overnight passage. All day trips beyond that. With the difficulty in recalling things, many people do think of themselves as heroic and others as buffoons. This is something one finds in accident investigations--I do have a background in accident investigation and have worked closely with NTSB on several federal accident investigations. I do take safety seriously. I do also believe the culture of the sailing forums tends towards folks being a bit "holier than thou" and blowing the weaknesses of others out of proportion whilst sweeping their own not so splendid moments right under the rug. Yes, I've said the same thing twice but I want to make sure that you know I agree with your observation that folks have problems recalling things very clearly--whether in blogs, private notes, or proclamations on forums about such things as sailing.

3. Your implication is that we should all shut up about the idea that the West coast of the Americas is a tricky sailing ground, and yet your own account proving your non armchairness here deals with a single there and back during which you had 50% of the snot beaten out of you, self admittedly, and you assert you would never do it in any thing remotely like the boat in which the totally inexperienced OP is proposing to undertake a far longer and tricker voyage, including this same area, suggesting that such a boat would end up "hove to in survival mode"

I'd just suggest that people who have experienced that coastline themselves speak up about what THEY have experienced and their direct observations. The OP can obtain cruising guides (e.g. Charlies Charts et.al) for details and general information sure, but one of the great benefits a forum is the ability for people to share and discuss first-hand experiences. It's up to the OP to put together the first hand experiences into a cohesive whole. If 20 guys jump on the bandwagon telling him the same mantra that none of them have personal experience with, but they've all heard, the OP is not well served by the advice. He gains an impression that is totally off the mark. Group-think is not helpful to the OP or anyone trying to learn from use of a forum.

It's not particularly nice of you to re-characterize my words as you did, it's quite contrary and almost certainly you're making quite the effort to entertain others in the peanut galley. We didn't get 50% of the snot knocked out of us, it WAS an extremely bumpy ride but we were fine. Observing the power of the ocean is always humbling and we were very glad to be aboard a well-found vessel capable of sailing the conditions. The experience showed us some of what the boat was capable of and that was golden.

And waterline is waterline--a sub 30' boat, maybe less than 4T, just isn't going to manage very nicely in the same seas and winds as a 54' boat at 30+T. So, they would be hove to, yes, we would have been if in a smaller lighter boat. Such a boat also wouldn't have chosen the same WX we chose to sail in to begin with.

4. 100% reliable engine? What planet was that from? Especially given it didn't actually work during most of this indicated passage, as you say...

Yes, the engine had been, to that single point and after 100% reliable--and since you like numbers, if I take the number of times I've used the starter and the percentage of times it did not work...that would still round up the starter to 100% reliable since it only didn't work the single time we tried it and we have thousands of starts. The engine not starting--was clearly a starter motor problem (and we swapped it out in Neah Bay, btw) and since we had wind (LOTS of wind) we had no reason to use the motor for propulsion until getting to the Strait and entering Neah Bay. We just used the generator from time to time for charging. So 4 of our 5-1/2 days were w/o engine because we didn't try to start it again until the Strait. A few thwacks and the starter worked at that point. And the engine--100% reliable

5. You "did literally sail the whole way" in a sailboat? The horrors! I am sure the armchair sailors are shifting in their chairs! But thankfully you managed not to have to sail the last bit, so the armchair sailors can relax a little and breathe a sigh of relief that no fundamental sailing skills were actually required to finish the trip…

Your sarcasm demonstrates that you are one who is catering to the peanut gallery rather than communicating anything to the person you're addressing (me).

There are two reasons I mention we literally sailed the whole way--first, that's really not so common going UP the west coast from SF to Neah Bay and when you say you sailed a lot of folks presume you motored. People usually do motor north and sail south. Not a lot of people expect to sail all the way up that section of coast. No. We ended up doing the opposite sailing north and motoring south last year.

Your sarcasm about sailing skills (sic. to enter harbor) goes beyond the efforts one should make in entertaining one's cronies and it reinforces my suspicion that you care more about slamming others (anything for a chuckle?) than the actual safety or well being of these other sailors.

We can certainly anchor under sail but we had arranged a slip in Neah Bay and didn't know where it was to be located. The sparred length of our boat is 69' (54' on deck) and while it may be quite macho to puff up one's chest and state one has sailed into an unknown harbor and unknown slip with their 69ft schooner, it would be foolhardy to do so with other options (like using the engine). On the other hand, a sailor in a 4T sub-30ft boat could nimbly come into very small quarters without an engine. Both my husband and I are accomplished but prudent sailors. If we'd been aboard our old boat, a 5T Rawson 30, we'd not have worried about entering Neah Bay under sail, we'd just do it. But if on that boat, we might have been hove to for quite some time whilst the gales raged off Oregon. It's all a trade off.

Sooo… what was your point exactly?

That people who have personal sailing experiences should share them--positive or negative they're real and first person. That people who have read about the experiences of others should try to qualify their statements with "I heard from cruiser xyz, I read in book, blog abc..." or "the expert (name) stated ...." especially when they are presenting views that counter the statements of the OP, or encourage/discourage particular actions to be taken.

I appreciate and learn from the thoughtful comments of experienced sailors out there cruising. The OP and others can benefit and learn a lot from thoughtful comments. Maybe you can too.
Uh-oh! They're goin' tit for tat!

God, I love it when that happens

Paul
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Old 19-11-2015, 16:04   #199
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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What a great Idea!
I will get an Armchair for my boat!
Might I suggest a LazyBuoy?

Sent from my armchair on Nexus5

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Old 19-11-2015, 16:06   #200
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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Uh-oh! They're goin' tit for tat!

God, I love it when that happens

Paul
Me too!

I don't think you should even respond.
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Old 19-11-2015, 16:12   #201
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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Originally Posted by Paul J. Nolan View Post
Might I suggest a LazyBuoy?

Sent from my armchair on Nexus5

Paul
Lol..... I got it.

Next problem is what to cover it with for weather proofing and not stain with the Burrito Im going to have.
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Old 19-11-2015, 16:42   #202
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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Lol..... I got it.

Next problem is what to cover it with for weather proofing and not stain with the Burrito Im going to have.
I use a house. Wish I didn't need it. Beats the well out of the rain.
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Old 19-11-2015, 18:09   #203
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Well, the original question was, "Does it matter what boat you buy?"

So, leaning forward in my armchair, I ask...does it matter where you point the muzzle of that gun? Does it matter if the tumor has metastized? Does it matter whom one marries?

YES, it matters!

That said, in my opinion, the best boat for you two young'uns is a Contessa 26, as at least one other, and perhaps several, members have suggested. She is small so she'll be reasonably inexpensive to purchase and cheaper to own, operate, maintain, and repair. She's very seaworthy and safe. She's very well designed and built. She is a British boat, but many were built in Canada under license by J. J. Taylor so you will no doubt be able to find one in Vancouver. (In buying a boat, patience is very important). You would be surprised how much time, and especially, money you can burn up travelling to look at prospective boats. Better to wait for a nice one to come along locally.

Now, there are many other good boats as well. Someone suggested an Albin Vega. I sailed one for a season and she also would be an excellent choice for you. So would be a Triton or Alberg 30, though they are considerably larger and more expensive. The reason I favor the Contessa is that she has an outboard rudder. A tiller-steered outboard rudder hung on the after end of a full keel is about the simplest, strongest, most reliable steering system extant. And the importance of the steering system to your safety and happiness can hardly be overemphasized. Another benefit to an outboard rudder is that you can easily and cheaply build a vane self-steering system. This will save you a lot of money for a vital piece of equipment. A new Cape Horn vane is about $4,000.

I do not know if Taylor offered an outboard-powered model, but if he did, that's the one you want. Get rid of an inboard engine and you will have immediately cut your maintenance expense in half. (I can hear the howls from many other members arising even from great distances). Let's get one thing straight right now. Achieving your dream safely and smartly on your buget will rest on several factors, one of which is simplicity. You two will cheerfully and enthusiastically lead a very simple life. Simple in attitude and simple in equipment, but rich in experience. Your boat will lack many things that many, perhaps most, people regard as necessities. No engine, no electronics, no indwelling electrical system, no hot and cold running water, no radio communication, no internet (underway), no air-conditioning, no flat-screen TV. But that which you do have will all be first class, the absolute finest kind. Your boat will be strong, seaworthy, and beautiful. Standing and running rigging properly sized and in perfect condition. Ground tackle-- anchors (3), chains, rodes, warps, fenders and dock lines, not simply adequate, but robust, far heavier and stronger than you will ever need. Your foul weather gear will be the best money can buy. Maybe you'll buy it second hand or on sale, but it will be the best because it's important gear. You can travel all over the planet under sail and oar; men have done so for countless centuries. And you will have the advantage of having compass, timepiece, charts, better sails, and a safer, more weatherly boat. And better food.

While waiting for the right boat to come along (and she does not have to be a Contessa. If a Vega or Bristol 27 comes along in great condition and gives you close to everything you want at your price, take her. All boats are a compromise) you must first learn to sail. Get a copy of The Sports Illustrated Book of Small Boat Sailing. Long out of print, but available on Amazon, I'm sure. It is very short and simple, and it will quickly show you how to actually rig, steer and handle a sailboat. How to trim sails and trim ship. How to tack, how to jibe, and what the difference is (it's considerable). Read and reread the book several times until you really know it. Then put it in practice. The way this is done cheaply, quickly, and having a lot of fun is to crew aboard boats in races. Every racing skipper is always looking for crew. You are trading enthusiasm and reliability; he is offering training, the boat, and the experience. The way to get started is to contact the yacht clubs in your area. Talk to fleet captains and race committee chairmen. Post on the club bulletin board.

Sailboat racing may be considered to be divided into two large groups: small boats and big boats. Small boats are made up of various classes in which all boats are built to the same design and in theory are all the same speed. These boats are referred to as One Designs. The classes are all different. Some easy to sail, some more challenging. Generally, you sail in the class that's sailed in your area. Then there are big boats. As the term implies, these are larger, have cabins, sometimes with extensive accomodations. These boats are usually all different designs and all different sizes. They race under a handicapping rule that in theory gives each boat an equal chance of victory. I am of the opinion that a one design boat will teach one more--and faster--than a big boat, but the most important thing is to get out on the water and get some experience. If you choose big boats, try to find positions on boats roughly the size of the boat you intend to purchase, say, 25-31". While all this is happening, keep working, saving, reading, learning, and looking for your boat to come along.

Please keep in touch and let us know what you are doing and how it's going.

Enough for now (some would say too much!), Paul
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Old 20-11-2015, 15:46   #204
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Back to the Bumfuzzles for a moment, please:

I have never read their blog(s), nor anyone else's, so I can't comment on narcissism or any of the other things that they are accused of. But we actually met them in Australia, spent some time on each other's boats and interacted with them just as we have with countless other cruisers. We didn't know them from a bar of soap, that they were (or were about to become famous (notorious?), or that they were highly controversial. They seemed pretty normal to us as fellow cruisers... a bit younger (well, a LOT younger), but enjoying the same anchorages, the same sunsets, the same oceans, and many of the same problems that we were.

So, every time their names come up on CF, and vitriol is spewed around, condemning them as some sort of horrible examples, I am gob smacked.

In the words of Mr Spock "fascinating..."

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Old 20-11-2015, 16:22   #205
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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Back to the Bumfuzzles for a moment, please:

I have never read their blog(s), nor anyone else's, so I can't comment on narcissism or any of the other things that they are accused of. But we actually met them in Australia, spent some time on each other's boats and interacted with them just as we have with countless other cruisers. We didn't know them from a bar of soap, that they were (or were about to become famous (notorious?), or that they were highly controversial. They seemed pretty normal to us as fellow cruisers... a bit younger (well, a LOT younger), but enjoying the same anchorages, the same sunsets, the same oceans, and many of the same problems that we were.

So, every time their names come up on CF, and vitriol is spewed around, condemning them as some sort of horrible examples, I am gob smacked.

In the words of Mr Spock "fascinating..."

Jim
I do read their blog, Jim, actually pretty faithfully as it is one of the best I have seen. There's actually only 3 or 4 that I read even semi-regularly, but I love his. I like it for a lot of reasons. Firstly, Patrick is a pretty darned funny guy, so I always get a chuckle from reading it. He is very thorough in descriptions of his projects, and is brutally honest about everything he does, the success and the failures. There's a lot to learned from both those he does right and those he does wrong. He is also a darned fine photographer so I love looking at the pictures and we have added several places to our "places we must visit " list because of his great descriptions and beautiful photos. A lot of his pictures are of his kids , in all their dirty, normal glory. They are cute kids. I like seeing those as much as I do the others.

So, what do we read for? To be entertained? To maybe get a good laugh? To learn something? To maybe look at some good photos of things that interest us? I would say his blog has met all of those criteria at one point or another, sometimes all in one post.

I was on a thread here recently where they were accused of being self-promoting and self-aggrandizing or some such thing. I personally don't see it, and as a matter of fact he is one of the most self-effacing writers I have read. Whenever he does claim to be the master of some subject, just because I have read so much of what he writes, I can actually see his tongue firmly planted in his cheek.

He is called self-promoting for writing? Are all writers self-promoting? Maybe on some level all are, even us writing here on this forum and certainly some much more than others. (I have been taken to task for that statement as well.) But if people didn't write, what would we read? How would we learn? What would we share? I for one am happy he writes, and happy that he has done some interesting things to write about.
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Old 20-11-2015, 17:39   #206
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Any guy who traded in Chicago successfully enough to take his family cruising for years is someone I admire.

Paul
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Old 20-11-2015, 18:09   #207
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

I too have enjoyed their blog for years, and am confused why so many harp on them. Good for Patrick for being very successful early, and then using some of that knowledge to life their lifestyle. If one follows their blog, one will see they are actually very frugal, a trait I happen to admire. He and I could teach each other somethings in that regard.

The important part is that he and Allie and the kids are enjoying life! Pshaw on the naysayers.
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Old 20-11-2015, 18:20   #208
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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The OP shows a complete lack of respect for the sea. Sounds like another contestant for the Darwin Award.
Well it's a bit of a "The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions" thing, isn't it?

You have to understand what you are looking at, and the power of what you are dealing with, and I say this as someone who in many ways, is in a similar position to the OP. But I've the advantage of having done a fair bit of sailing, in difficult waters, when I was much younger, and much fitter, than I am now. For me getting a boat is to chase the sun and get plenty of salt air - it's a bit of a 'Kill or Cure' thing, and win or lose, the Dr has given her blessing. Plus I am going to have to do it on the cheap initially, but will be able to plough in what should be more than enough, over time.

Ok back to this truly majestic and awesome thing, we call the Ocean. I have seen people do really stupid things, and some of them even get bravery awards, when they should have been given Darwin awards. Like a Policeman that should have had the smarts not to go into the raging and storm pounding surf, in the attempt to save somebody else's dog. He died. He got an award. What sort of example is that to set anybody?

For perspective, I was blessed at birth by being made a natural born idiot, but with the addition of rapidly appreciating my own limitations, as well as limitations imposed by the environment I happen to be in at the time. This has kept me alive for far longer than some people anticipated, being naturally a bit quick on a motorbike, for example (even I am amazed that I survived beyond the age of 30, and I do sometimes wonder if it was really worth it).

At the age of 12, loving everything to do with the water, I had every single Life Saving qualification that was available to take. I was also a competition swimmer (pool) and swam open sea competitions. Anyway, I was fishing off a pier on a bitterly cold but sunny day in the middle of winter, a pier which had two islands off it, and you could walk to the end island at low water. This particular day, two anglers made the mistake of leaving the outer island too late, and the flood tide had cut them off. You could see how fast the water was flowing between the end island and inner island, quite clearly, yet they both attempted to wade it. They didn't recognise what was staring them in the face.

They didn't get half way to the inner island, before being swept off their feet. In seconds all their gear was gone, and about a minute later nearly all their clothes were gone too. They both fought the current instead of using it to help them, so got tired really fast, and having disposed of their clothes, they couldn't even use them as floatation aids (tie knots in shirt sleeves or trouser legs, throw them over your head to fill with air, and you can get rested while safely afloat, when the air runs out, throw them over your head again to refill them with air).

At this point, three guys close to me started stripping off to jump into the water to 'go and save them'. To do that, they would have had to have fought the current that was doing in those already in the water. A current that would have done me in as well, even though I was a much stronger swimmer than most (I almost went to the Olympics a few years later, but an injury put the kybosh on that). So I stopped them going in (can you imagine what it is like for a 12 year old, to get common sense into an adult? Thankfully as I was getting more frantic in my appeals to reason, a couple of other adults told them I was right, and they did listen). Mind, if they had gone in, I could probably have saved them, because they wouldn't have got far, and I could probably have got them to use the current to get back to me.

We tried shouting advice to the men in the water, but one went down never to come back up. I think people got through to the second one, while I went off to find somebody to take a boat out, or get the lifeboat out. Thankfully the second one did get picked up.

It was absolutely awful being helpless watching somebody drown, and it wasn't much comfort that I may have saved the lives of three others, who were fully prepared to throw theirs away.

People do care (most do, by a huge margin), but sometimes you have to do what you can to protect them from themselves. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can't.

So you have to know and understand what you are dealing with, and it is always on the Ocean's terms, and nobody else's (King Canute understood this). It will do what it will do - but it does tend to give plenty of warning, if you have the eyes, ears, and instincts, to be aware of them. Remember, the Scientific Community always said there were no such things as giant rogue waves (even though they are nicknamed 'speedbumps' in the Navy), until a ship full of Oceanographers ran slap bang into one, and they were lucky to survive. Suddenly all the 'idiots' that only lived day in and day out on the sea, who didn't know what they were talking about, were right after all.

Once you accept that reality about the Oceans, you can have a truly wonderful time with it, but you always have to think at least one extra step ahead. It's like driving, it pays to think at least half a mile further ahead on the road, than anybody else seems to.

Take it steady, be a lert (because the World needs far more lerts, there's a terrible shortage), pay attention, and take baby steps.

Also, bear in mind, some good stuff with a lot of life left in it, can be obtained for very big savings, by getting them secondhand - sails for example. It all helps. In my case I am looking for a suitable boat in the 28ft to 32ft range, and this will help massively in keeping costs at a manageable level. It isn't just getting the boat right, it's keeping it right once you have it, and improving reliability as a continuous process.
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Old 21-11-2015, 20:22   #209
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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Also, bear in mind, some good stuff with a lot of life left in it, can be obtained for very big savings, by getting them secondhand - sails for example. It all helps. In my case I am looking for a suitable boat in the 28ft to 32ft range, and this will help massively in keeping costs at a manageable level. It isn't just getting the boat right, it's keeping it right once you have it, and improving reliability as a continuous process.
I recommend a Columbia 29!
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Old 23-11-2015, 14:41   #210
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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I too have enjoyed their blog for years, and am confused why so many harp on them. Good for Patrick for being very successful early, and then using some of that knowledge to life their lifestyle. If one follows their blog, one will see they are actually very frugal, a trait I happen to admire. He and I could teach each other somethings in that regard.

The important part is that he and Allie and the kids are enjoying life! Pshaw on the naysayers.
You've got to respect having their priorities in the right order, most who make a bit of money early on get into the ego trap and spend the rest of their life trying to acquire more and building ever more impressive castles. Seems like when he got to a certain level of comfort he decided to use it to broaden his horizons, so to speak, at least he's spending it for all the right reasons, also, if he's experienced in his field it doesn't matter where he lives, he can still make money.
Personally I'm jealous, apparently I went to school for the wrong thing. Could be happily cruising with a fat boat kitty and adding to it anytime I had a wireless connection. Not a bad way to go.
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