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Old 12-03-2013, 16:26   #31
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Re: Getting discouraged

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
.............., which is the best single malt?,
This is thread drift, but I missed this one. So what is is it? And I will admit I like the blended stuff better because of taste and less snob appeal. Kind of like my taste in boats!
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Old 12-03-2013, 16:26   #32
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Re: Getting discouraged

I don't care what you call cruising the West Coast from Washington to Mexico--it's hard and potentially dangerous. You've got a lee shore the whole way, a limited number of harbors, and some are dangerous to enter in heavy onshore conditions. I think the whole term "bluewater" is overdone anyway. The vast majority of boats that get into trouble do so within sight of or very close to the coast. Almost any boat can withstand a gale at sea, but almost any boat will be destroyed if it ends up on the rocks of San Clemente Island, as we saw recently.
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Old 12-03-2013, 16:32   #33
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Re: Getting discouraged

Have a friend that just bought a 30' Cape Dory is ugly but good mechanical condition. They sailed it home from Miami to Texas. I think they paid around $3,000 for it on Ebay Auction. So..... it can be done for sure.
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Old 12-03-2013, 16:43   #34
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pirate Re: Getting discouraged

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This is thread drift, but I missed this one. So what is is it? And I will admit I like the blended stuff better because of taste and less snob appeal. Kind of like my taste in boats!
I dunno Don. Wotname, Seaworthly Lass, and Bash all knew what they were talking about. I was just talking.
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Old 12-03-2013, 16:45   #35
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Re: Getting discouraged

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I don't care what you call cruising the West Coast from Washington to Mexico--it's hard and potentially dangerous. You've got a lee shore the whole way, a limited number of harbors, and some are dangerous to enter in heavy onshore conditions. I think the whole term "bluewater" is overdone anyway. The vast majority of boats that get into trouble do so within sight of or very close to the coast. Almost any boat can withstand a gale at sea, but almost any boat will be destroyed if it ends up on the rocks of San Clemente Island, as we saw recently.
This is the kind of knowledge a captain has to have - and also to understand that the risks are not in the blue water, it is in the white foamy water.

Wisdom, prudence, and patience is what will keep you off the rocks. If the sailing gets weird, drop the sails and go to the motor.
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Old 12-03-2013, 16:56   #36
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Re: Getting discouraged

I don't know these guys budget, but they are having a hell of a time.

Chesapeake to Newfoundland, to Greenland, to Iceland, to Ireland, to Portugal, to Canaries.

Great couple. Tons of guts. Wonderful story.

http://www.svramshackle.com/
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Old 12-03-2013, 17:01   #37
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Re: Getting discouraged

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Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
This is the kind of knowledge a captain has to have - and also to understand that the risks are not in the blue water, it is in the white foamy water.

Wisdom, prudence, and patience is what will keep you off the rocks. If the sailing gets weird, drop the sails and go to the motor.
I think this is getting lost in semantics. The only point I was trying to make in my original comment was, regardless of what you want to call it; coastal, blue water or any other name, the trip from Seattle to Mexico due the to potential lake of accessible ports in case of problems and a dangerous lee shore, this is sailing on an advanced level.

The OP has said they are new and inexperienced. Not to say that a new sailor couldn't or shouldn't attempt this trip, just saying there are easier trips for a first voyage.
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Old 12-03-2013, 17:17   #38
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Re: Getting discouraged

Sarah,

I'm not going to be the one that says don't do it, because I really think you should. I will be the one that offers a little advice you may not want to hear.

If you buy an inexpensive boat, and will have a small cruising kitty, then take a little time to learn how to do maintenance yourself. On a used boat everything will take some maintenance, and affording someone to do that for you can be difficult on a tight budget. Take a diesel engine class. Take a marine electrical class. Maybe even learn a little bit about sewing heavy cloth (like sails and sunshades). Or decide that for your cruising lifestyle you don't need an engine, or electricity, or refrigeration.

The sailing will pretty much work itself out. If you know the basics then time on the boat will give you plenty of practice. In my experience, it's the other things that drive people over the edge. If you can spend a little time learning about the care and feeding of the boat systems not related to sailing before you take off you'll feel much more secure, which will result in more happiness. It doesn't have to take a long time, or be expensive, just enough so that you feel comfortable and confident.

When you do leave from Seattle, drop us a note when you get to the Bay Area, we have hot showers and a clean bed.

And x10 what Delmarrey said. I personally have always told my own naysayers that "I'm taking my retirement in stages". Spent a bunch of years in my 20s cruising, and some more in my 30s... with land interludes to replenish the funds.
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Old 12-03-2013, 17:19   #39
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Re: Getting discouraged

This can be done. My advice would be to MOVE. That's right. Move to somewhere like Tampa FL. Find a cheap little place to live (maybe a trailer park). Get a basic job for income. Then spend your time two ways. 1) Look all over the state for boats. Start in Tampa area. There are lots of boats. Most likely the boat you want won't be on Yachtworld as brokers get expensive. Walk the marinas, check craigslist, talk to sailors who might know someone looking to sell. 2) Get into the sailing scene. Find when the local clubs race and offer to crew. You'll get valuable water time for free.

Your crappy place to live will make sure you don't get too comfortable and will make your boat a step up, and your job will make sure you don't burn through cash reserves looking for boats. Even better if you can get a job at West Marine, sail maker, boat yard or rigger assistant. You can get deals on needed equipment or find out when people are "upgrading" and getting rid of useful bits. Talk, talk, talk to lots of locals in the boating arena. I'd bet that's where you will have success.....and meet some great people.
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Old 12-03-2013, 17:22   #40
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Re: Getting discouraged

I will only answer one of your questions. "Is sailing down the coast really blue-water sailing?" I would say based on all I have read and what I have seen in 10 years of sailing here that it is blue-water or more difficult. One person wrote, "I sailed around the world and the worst weather I found was right hear on the Oregon Coast." Cape Mendocino is well known for gales and rough water. Now I will say that this doesn't mean you can't do it in an inexpensive boat but watch the weather forecasts very carefully and don't get caught in 30+ knots of wind if you can help it. The waves get big very quickly and a capsize when going downwind is very possible. Just because you are close to shore don't think this will make the water any smoother, very likely the opposite. Weather forecasts are pretty accurate these days but NW20-30 can easily turn into 40 knots. 30 knots is not good and thankfully I haven't experienced 40 knots yet. You don't want to either until you have plenty of sailing experience.
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Old 12-03-2013, 17:22   #41
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Re: Getting discouraged

If you are truly "near ready" to take off. I highly recommend buying a boat in Florida or the Carolinas etc. and moving there immediately. There are more boats, lower prices, and you dont have to jump off into the gnarly Pacific Coast right at the beginning. Not to mention the weather just makes you happier! I have seen many boats in your size range and budget over there in the last year. The passages are easy and you can acclimatize to the cruising life along the way. It's a win-win situation.
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Old 12-03-2013, 17:33   #42
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Re: Getting discouraged

there is a 31 mariner ketch for sale by owner here in zihuatenejo--american owned and usa documented. he has vertigo, can no longer sail her. he is a cpt on a charter here, and is interested in finding the clb a new owner....

btw--nothing is impossible. happy sails.
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Old 12-03-2013, 17:48   #43
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Re: Getting discouraged

Just to add to the other useful comments and suggestions, the initial price of the boat isn't the biggest expense, it is fixing what breaks along the way, particularly for a low budget boat. If your budget is fixed, meaning no more income after $20k, you must accept that it is very possible your sails rip somewhere, rigging breaks, rudder cracks, toilet leaks, etc, and now you are stuck there until you can afford to fix it. Getting rescued and hauled into a boatyard for repairs can wipe you out financially.

To operate with shoestring, you MUST be able to fix things yourself as much as possible,
and it still can be very expensive.

If you can accept that possibility, and many do, there is no need to worry.

Here is an idea, why not get a motorhome and a trailered sailboat, DRIVE to mexico tow your sailboat, LIVE in the motorhome and sail around the gulf of mexico in short trips, longer once you have confidence is skills and equipment.
Many places in Mexico you can park your motorhome for free (no services, just like youd get in an anchored sailboat), right on the beach, anchor your boat offshore. If the boat sinks or needs repairs, you still have a place to live.

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Old 12-03-2013, 18:03   #44
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Re: Getting discouraged

Hi Sara:

I would look at Islander 30's and 36's. I bet you could get one for $20k They are advertised for sale in the $35k range for ones in good shape. ://www.islander36.org/buysell.html If you wait long enough and are in the right place at the right time you will come across one. About 6 years ago when the market was really hot I found one that had all the parts but was in a some assembly required stage that I could have bought for $17k. The market is much softer ow. I think a good place to look is in La Paz and San Carlos Mexico. From there you can start sailing the Sea of Cortez right away. Pretty nice cruising grounds to start from. Sailboats for sale in Mexico Learn as much as you can about how to inspect a boat on your own prior to hiring an inspector. Also if you do decide to buy one in La Paz make contact with "Club Cruceros" and see if there is anyone there who would be willing to scout boats for you. These people are often retired and don't mind looking at boats. Club Cruceros de La Paz - Home Ignore what others say and just find a way to do what you want.
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Old 12-03-2013, 18:04   #45
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Re: Getting discouraged

You can do this!

Some more tips for you:

1) You already took training in sailing, yes? Good.

2) Sailing the Pudget Sound and up through the San Juan Islands is great experience. Do it.

You WILL learn seamanship, tides, currents, lightfires, rules of the road, sailing in light winds or not-so-light winds (Gales, anyone?), proper anchoring techniques -- or you will lose your boat.

There is a book - and it's yearly insert update - showing tide flow direction and strength through the area, especially through the islands. Buy it. (Ask about it around the docks.)

Also, staying for a year in & around Pudget Sound / San Juans lets you work out some of the kinks of life aboard, with access to ship's chandlery.

Many places to anchor, only boat or other boats around. Marinas when you want to tie up. (Hey - tie to the dock at James Island and it might be just your crew & the raccoons!)

Plus point: the San Juans are just wonderful places to visit. (We spent a year doing this after buying our boat in the Seattle area. Used Friday Harbour as our base.)


3) Buy the book Cruising the Northwest Coast, From the Golden Gate to Port Angeles, by George Benson. Here's a ref: George M. Benson

We rang him up, chatted, and bought the book. But reversed his course. That book is a mini-bible for sailing that stretch of coast. Highly recommended.

With a lot of info inside, the book details places to stop along the way that work with smaller boats running short handed. (Some places were too small for our 48 footer.) According to him - and I can't fault him at all - no leg of the trip need be more than 70 miles. Some can be only 20 to 40 miles in a small boat! So, make big jumps or small - up to you.

The book is a bit foggy on GPS details, but that worked to our advantage. GPS? We don't need no stinkin' GPS! Use the old eyeball to match coastline with his photos.

4) We bought charts from Bellingham Chart Printers for Vancouver Island, the San Juans, Puget Sound, the coastline down to Baja Calif, and the Sea of Cortez. Here: Bellingham Chart Printers


Now.... Get a boat - and sail it!

Fair winds, and welcome to the world of sailing!
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