Wow, thank you all for the replies - even the very discouraging ones.
I apologize if my post made it sound like we all-of-a-sudden decided to sail around the world just last week out of the blue. We’re really dedicated to this. We’ve been out sailing with friends a few times. We’ve been studying boats, PCOC (rules of road, buoys, etc.: we could take the test any time now), heavy weather handling (sea anchor
, heaving-to, when to reef, etc.), knots; every YouTube tutorial and ebook online that we can get our hands on about diesel engine
repair; patching soft spots, sails; weather reading (barometer dropping? heavier weather coming…); etc. I even found these
RYA Coastal Skipper
, Competant Crew, Day Skipper
, Knots courses online
We didn’t intend to just get a random boat and then head off down the coast. We intended to get the boat and live on the hook in False Creek/Deep Cove/wherever in Vancouver for free/cheap and spend most days practicing sailing around English
bay and Georgia
Strait/Salish Sea. Then after a few months of practice, sail around Vancouver Island for a couple months (probably longer). Then down the west coast
of the US for 4-6 months for as long as we can stay in the country, then on to Mexico for as long as we can, then the next country for as long as we can, etc. All the way down. We would be taking our sweet time of course. We’d probably have a year’s worth of experience of just basic local and Van Island sailing before we even hit the US, let alone Central and South America
We may not be able to afford many lessons, but we will definately look into getting some, especially for in more heavy sailing weather conditions and locations. I’ll PM JackDale after I post this. We would of course have all the necessary equipment
onboard: GPS, VHF
, etc. We wouldn’t be like that Russian guy who set off without some basic equipment in his San Juan
I knew that you shouldn’t stick to shore all the way down, as that’s where the waves like the build up since the prevailing winds are blowing towards land up the slanted coastal sea floor and building up (that sound right?), and you could get blown into reefs/rocks/land, etc. I just said that out of frustration.
But it does sound like we really should get a boat that’s more designed for offshore
sailing as it does sound like we’d have to be a little offshore for quite a while, and better to have a boat that will survive a surprise squall or storm. I know now that I should not rely so heavily on safe havens - especially on the Pacific coast, and to get a boat that can protect us.
Originally Posted by robwilk37
one thing to make real in your head is your not buying
the boat for perfect conditions, your buying it for the occasional nasties.
This really resonated with me. This made me change my view to wanting to get an offshore boat now.
Originally Posted by robwilk37
so if youre not comfortable being out of sight of land for extended periods this isnt the passage
Oh no, I would absolutely love to be out of sight of land, and can’t wait to be; it sounds amazing - in a storm or in the calm, it would be exhilarating.
Originally Posted by El Pinguino
Moving on to the end bit...nobody even thinks of sailing coastwise in Peru
... 200 miles offshore is the norm even if going from Ecuador
to Arica. Call at any Peruvian ports
and it will cost you $$$$$$$$$$$$$$
What do you mean by this? People often don’t sail the coast of Peru
? Why? They try to nickle and dime sailors?
The reason why we want to sail down the west coast all the way to Chile
is to spend as much time in as many countries as we can to further our learning of Spanish (started studying a year a go), to Couchsurf and sight-see in all the little towns/villages/cities along the way, to feel free and puny in the ever immense ocean with hardly a person around, and to be able to travel the world (and back at home in BC) while being self-sufficient and off-the-grid (solar panels
, etc.) as much as possible. We would be filming/documenting our trip on YouTube as we go (begun filming boat viewings, etc. already.)
We definitely would not pick a boat based on it “making up” for our apartment. We’re no strangers to small and cramped living conditions. We moved here from Edmonton last December 24 (originally from NS), and lived in a run-down $3000 1975-ish 25-footer Winnebago RV (like this one
) lent to us from friends and lived for a few months at Brownsville RV park in North Surrey. In Edmonton, we lived in a 500sqf bachelor for two years.
My girlfriend drove it (I have no license) all the way through the mountains; we broke down three times, once in a 4-way intersection near Guildford Mall. There were two people, two cats, no hot water or running water (filled jugs from tap outside), no bathroom (RV park had them - although extremely dirty), no stove (used a hot plate), no heater (portable heater from Walmart)). We did what we had to do to get over here (got tired of the Edmonton winters).
So if you can’t already tell, we don’t really care about the luxurious, superfluous or spacious items. Efficiency, low cost, safety
, simplicity, and self-sustainability are what matter to us. That’s why I initially asked if it mattered which boat we picked - why not just a simple, cheap thing. But I realize now why we should definitely get an offshore boat. The fun part now will be wading through them all to hopefully be able to find one we can afford.
Originally Posted by T-Birder
But then again Tanya Abbe did it , go figure
“Mainden Voyage”, I’m halfway through the book now, such an awesome story. We’re not taking our cats with us though!. My mom and brother live here in North Surrey now and they can take care of them. We might take them out for sails though haha.
Originally Posted by hsi88
I have to wonder how a lot of you spend tens of thousands of dollars on your boats. As long as one is willing to do a lot of the work themselves, how much money does it really cost to get an already well built boat ready to sail? If you haven't noticed, there are LOTS of boats out there in the $10-20K range that need very little in the way of refitting. They are already boats with few leaks, low use sails, and a decent running motor. So what are they missing that would cost $50K as many of you have spent? Radar? Can be had for about $1500. GPS, again, about a grand. Good radio with AIS? $500. Autopilot? a few thousand, although this guy probably doesn't need one. Some upgrades to the electrical
system? A few thousand if you are adding some solar panels
and a couple of new batteries. Does a guy learning to sail need AC or a fridge, or God knows what else people spend their money on? He doesn't need a fancy set of racing sails. He doesn't need top of the line winches. He just needs a boat that can handle a bit of nasty weather.
Thanks hsi88. I was wondering this, too, and was very concerned. By the way, the $10K-ish range is just for the purchase of the boat. We also have like $5K for repairs
, spares, fixing up rigging
, EPIRB, etc. (Let’s just assume we don’t have to buy any sails; we’d of course repair the ones we had ourselves). We planned on living on the boat (go back and forth from my mom’s/brother’s place to the boat) for virtually free and continue to work, save, practice sailing around, and work on the boat for however long it takes to get it ready good enough to take out around Van Island and beyond.
I guess our mission now is to find someone who can give us a crash course in sailing in rough weather and offshore. Then get an offshore boat that’s strong, simple, and affordable to us; and take a look around for the boats that you all mentioned (and the ones on AtomVoyages
). Then practice, practice and practice some more all around here before heading down.
Thanks for all the replies everyone. Lots of ideas, new boats to search for, and new books
and blogs to read. “Paddle to the Amazon” should be one hell-of-a read, whoa! Looks like they planned on creating a documentary
out of it, but I can't find it online anywhere, just a little footage on their YouTube channel