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Old 10-11-2015, 09:17   #106
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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 jackdale View Post
The OP has been back to me with PM.
Nice Tell the OP not to be upset with us. I remember the harsh comments I got when I first posted. It can be brutal, but picking through the gems can be priceless and extremely rewarding
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:34   #107
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

If I was the OP I would not be in a rush to leave one of the best cruising grounds in the world.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:40   #108
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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May be someone just yanking out chains?

2hullsvenus??
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:18   #109
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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2hullsvenus??
Typo on my part. Our not out. The OP was so vague or ill advised, it would make you wonder. If it was in earnest. I hope they get a lot more experience prior to even considering a purchase.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:21   #110
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Basically, if you can't do the work yourself a $10,000.00 boat capable of what your planning will end up costing substancially more, labor of others is not cheap. You don't need a ton of gear, chart plotters are pretty cheap these days, paper charts are cheaper. But all used boats need some work, how good are your skills? When money is short sweat equity goes a long way. Just make sure you plan on having some extra cash for fixing the things that aren't quite right when you own the boat, it's basically a home you dip in an acid bath for fun, there's always something that needs fixing.
Experience goes a long way, yeah, there's lots of people who've set off with little or no experience, some made it, some didn't, I don't subscribe to the attitude that if all else fails due to my own stupidity the coasties can come get me, that's putting other peoples live in danger for selfish reasons. Use some common sense, it'll make the journey that much more fun.
You don't need a $100,000.00 boat, but it sure is nice.
No one here would discourage anyone from trying it, most just want those people to be around long enough to get by the learning stage.
Go local, get some experience or at least make enough mistakes to feel at ease at sea, if there's such a thing, then take on bigger horizons, it might just work out.
Of course there's nothing wrong with a nicer boat.......
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Old 10-11-2015, 13:51   #111
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Guys, don't miss the OP's response on page 7.

He sounds like he is taking to heart the advice given and is not in the troll or half-baked category at all. In fact, his pretty open timeline and skillbuilding plan sounds very realistic. Obviously he has more to learn - who wouldn't with this kind of an adventure in the works?

I hope he keeps us up to date on his progress.

Tankersteve
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Old 10-11-2015, 15:02   #112
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Remember the bumfuzzles. 'Nuff said!
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Old 10-11-2015, 15:11   #113
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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Guys, don't miss the OP's response on page 7...
He's way out of his league.
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Old 10-11-2015, 15:16   #114
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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 met Rimas here in Anacortes a few years ago. Sometime after he lost his first boat off of Alaska. He was full of can do spirit but had almost zero know how. He could have died very easily off of Alaska but the sea gods let him off easy. He did cost the US taxpayers a fair bit of coin to rescue him. He did not rescue his boat. It had to taken off, again at no cost to him, but to others.

I gave him a few bucks to pursue his dream but I also gave him some friendly advice as to how to go about it. He was not good about taking advice (in a friendly way). I like him but I do not have any faith in his cruising abilities, nor his ability to choose a sailboat. He got to Samoa, but just barely and his boat was basically a lost cause. He made more than one attempt though and ended up in Hawaii, but not by choice.

Rimas is a good man but he is not someone that you would present as a good example for "just go for it". I admire his guts but not his decision-making. He didn't die which I guess for some people is success.
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Old 10-11-2015, 15:30   #115
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Looks like I was wrong about M&M. That's OK. I wish them luck in their adventure, and if they make it across the Columbia bank, a free dinner.
I do hope they stay leeward of Vancouver Island for a while...
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Old 10-11-2015, 15:35   #116
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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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 for free.

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, wind vane/autopilot, EPIRB, etc. We wouldn’t be like that Russian guy who set off without some basic equipment in his San Juan 24.

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.


This really resonated with me. This made me change my view to wanting to get an offshore boat now.


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.


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.


“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.


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.
Mike and Michelle,

Thanks for the long clarification, which is appreciated.

Indeed your tone did not appear to indicate the carefulness with which you now say you are approaching this.

Your reaction to the posts is excellent and I am glad you are taking it wisely and sensibly. Sounds to me you have a very good attitude, and I think you will find your dream within reach. Friends of mine lived 7 years aboard a boat bought for 5000 USD, which took them safely across the Pacific. They lived on a shoestring and made subsistence cash along the way through labour. They took care to understand storm tactics, which meant that they could confidently spend plenty of offshore time. They were both resourceful and handy, and lived a happy and unmissable time fulfilling their dreams in a sensible manner.

Above all else they respected the help, advice and knowledge of other experienced mariners as you also appear to do. Moreover, they did not abuse or take it for granted, as I hope and trust you will not.

Of course it can be done, and as I said in my earlier posts (overlooked by some), a well found smaller boat is in many ways safer than a larger one. There is less to go wrong, less to worry about, smaller forces acting both on the hull and yourselves in terms of rig and sail management etc. You will also spend a lot more time actually sailing and less time fixing things. My old Vega had 8 fuses, only five of which were connected to anything. I had no radar or navigational aids other than traditional. The one luxury I had was a tiller autohelm, which I loved, but handsteered most of the time, as that was also what I loved.

I recommend an older glass hulled boat, strongly built, such as the Contessas, Westerlies, glass built Folkboats, Vegas, etc.

Thank you for the clarification, as quite reasonably it did appear to me that your attitude was very wrong in the first post. It is now clear that that was a false impression! Perhaps a good lesson there is that attention to detail is extremely important for successful long distance cruising. And the reaction you got here is indeed appropriate, as just like the sometimes rough crowd on CF, the sea will punish you severely for a lax attitude or failure to pay the attention to detail she demands and deserves!

One of the advantages of an older, smaller, simpler boat is that there are fewer details to which it is necessary to pay that attention!

Welcome aboard and looking forward to hearing your progress.

Aye,

S.
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Old 10-11-2015, 15:40   #117
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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 exMaggieDrum View Post
I met Rimas here in Anacortes a few years ago. Sometime after he lost his first boat off of Alaska. He was full of can do spirit but had almost zero know how. He could have died very easily off of Alaska but the sea gods let him off easy. He did cost the US taxpayers a fair bit of coin to rescue him. He did not rescue his boat. It had to taken off, again at no cost to him, but to others.

I gave him a few bucks to pursue his dream but I also gave him some friendly advice as to how to go about it. He was not good about taking advice (in a friendly way). I like him but I do not have any faith in his cruising abilities, nor his ability to choose a sailboat. He got to Samoa, but just barely and his boat was basically a lost cause. He made more than one attempt though and ended up in Hawaii, but not by choice.

Rimas is a good man but he is not someone that you would present as a good example for "just go for it". I admire his guts but not his decision-making. He didn't die which I guess for some people is success.
Excellent post and thanks for the first hand impressions. I have met plenty of less-sung Rimas's out there, and moreover examined plenty of their broken, abandoned, stranded and wrecked boats as well. I have also "kept a sharp lookout" for the ones who vanished without trace. There are more than commonly make the news, for sure.

And I have witnessed the huge quantities of tireless help and advice given to such as manage to be the fortunate ones by the sweat of others' brows. Frankly I have known some sail pretty much round the world ignorantly, incomptetently and selfishly avoiding or extricating themselves repeatedly from disaster by relying entirely on the aid of others and with much imposition and little care for the assistance they receive, while merrily glorifying themselves in blogs and youtube vids and other such nonsense. And it pisses me off no end. Small and on a budget? No problems. Loud mouthed and liberal with the help and sweat and lucre of others? Not cool at all. My friends on the $5k boat I mentioned were more than adequately self sufficient, did not impose and often offered aid and good company, and signally, are nowhere to be found in the annals of the blogosphere or other such self sought fame. Which is one of the reasons they have my caring and respect!

No problem in doing the "go loud" thing if that is your thing, but please don't do it at everybody else's expense, then claim a great victory! (Not implying here that this is what Mike and Michelle are doing now: I believe, so it would now seem, they are doing it "right").

As I have often said: one swallow doth not a Summer make, and choosing random examples of the lucky and the downright undeserving fortunate is a bad argument poorly employed by some in the course of this and other threads.
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Old 10-11-2015, 15:44   #118
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

Just got to the OP's followup post a page ago. Much better tone and intention wise. But shows lots to learn. But all doable. Hey, my missus and I decided one day we were going to get a boat and go cruising and five years later we did it and got across the Pacific. No sailing experience, no boating experience. BUT - I did a tremendous amount of research. Took things slow. Sailed (motored) in the PNW. As they say up here, if you can sail in the PNW with the nasty (at times) weather, serious tides and whirlpools, and dangerous waters, then you are good to go most anywhere else. I have to say with all the places we have been, that I agree with that.

So, OP, if you are serious, more power to you. You have a steep learning curve ahead of you. If you manage to find a cheap boat that doesn't have too many critical things broken you might get off easy. But no amount of DIY will make a dead engine work for free, nor resuscitate a dead battery, nor repair a completely threadbare sail, nor fix severely corroded thruhull - without some money. Some of these things, and more that you have no idea (as yet) about, can bite you in the butt and take all the fun out of it.

Having said that, you might get lucky. But be careful of the harbor police around Van because they are at war with those who want to anchor out in False Creek and elsewhere, in fact from what I know, anywhere close to Van. Could be wrong but that's what I hear. But lots of places around, some on Vancouver Island itself. You'll learn about how cold and windy it can be on a boat, especially when it leaks on to your PC at your nav desk, or on to your berth and your sleeping bag, and how cold it can be to take the dink to shore to get the groceries and come back in intense rain going sideways. This is a place you can liveaboard for sure but it takes a hardy soul to do it on the hook around here. You may be that hardy soul.

But no way is it going to be as cheap as you think. I have run in to many, many people who got somewhere and then got stuck because the boat broke. And if your home is your boat, then you better stock up on tools and supplies, because if you intend to fix all those things that can break while only on the boat, you will need a lot. And the skills to use them, which it sounds like you have a good start on.

I am not trying to intimidate you, or show you how much I know that you don't. But it is frustrating to hear from so many wannabes that are convinced they can do it cheap when the vast majority have not figured that out. And some of the ones I have personally known actually "faked it" since they had real money from other sources and were doing it for bragging rights. "Look at me, I sailed to Peru on two loonies a day!" Or the ones that have to be rescued at great expense by the coast guard or navy. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt though, based on your last post.

But keep us posted because I actually would like you to pull it off. Believe it or not. There are a few who have done what you want to do. We all might learn something. But the west coast of South America is not the cruising grounds of your dreams. Get to Mexico and get some experience. You may decide you like it there.
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Old 10-11-2015, 15:53   #119
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

I'm just tickled to see the OP has been reading, listening. Wishing them the best of luck.
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Old 10-11-2015, 16:10   #120
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Re: Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?

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Don't forget John Guzzwell and his little boat Trekka. People can and DO make it 'round the world in little boats. I tried to get a friend of mine who lost his most recent cruising boat to the sea purchase a 26' Contessa that was offered for sale in SF for $6800 and it had been re-rigged, had a wind steerer, well, pretty much everything needed for ocean voyaging. Tania Abei managed just fine, as a teen alone, in such a boat. There have been many people voyage far in sub-30 ft boats. It does happen. There have also been many inexperienced sailors pick up the knowledge as they went along, quick witted, and hardy souls they manage just fine. I enjoy meeting these fine adventurers and hope that everyone here does too.

It's not our place as fellow sailors to trash/thrash the dreams of another nor our place to say what constitutes a valid form of cruising. Not at all. The OP came asking for some info about what sort of boat might suit the trip. We each jumped in with a bit of extra--mine was to consider sailing the PNW for quite some time as it's lovely cruising grounds. Or, to take the small bit of budget and other ever-so-worthwhile and fun travels from land (e.g. motorcycle, etc.) When my husband and I were younger, we had no money, zilch, and our adventures were built around wilderness trips, canoe trips, beach camping, car travel in Mexico sleeping in the back yards of friendly farmers in Mexico..and doing anything but sailing because we knew it was a bit of a costly way to travel. But--we also had pets and houses and other things keeping us from just taking off with the boat as our only possession too.

The ocean adventures we all can have are rich and full--whether from a large sailboat or a tiny skiff. Read about the adventures of a father and son who took their freight canoe from the upper mid-west all the way to South America (in the 1980's) in a book called "Paddle to the Amazon." Almost certainly there would have been a lot of nay-sayers to that fine adventure.

Sailing around the world in a San Juan 24--now there's a story...


I think "Paddle to the Amazon" a relevant example. If I remember correctly, he started with two teenage sons, one of whom (the older) didn't even make it down the Missisipi before deciding Dad was batsh*t crazy and leaving. The other son was essentially forced to go on to prevent his father continuing alone. He was miserable and frightened for much of the voyage. They almost died many times, and were arrested in a Central American country. Parasites, disease, trips home to recover, and a whole lot of bitterness and resentment towards Dad. Amazing voyage; yes, absolutely. Worthy of emulation; hell no! Exactly the sort of lack of preparedness and wishful thinking we see in the OP.
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