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Old 04-01-2012, 10:49   #16
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

lifejacket - i can only tell you what worked for us - we set foot on a sailboat for the 1st time at age 55 in dec 2000- we took 3 asa sailing courses back to back - then chartered in local waters a couple of times -we did go to all the boat shows and talked with brokers about their boats and did a ton and i mean a ton of reading on boats - we did get lucky and got a great broker who really helped us (he is still a good friend and advisor) all the meantime we decided what we wanted to do with a boat and our knowledge level - we were lucky in that we were still working so got a mortage on a boat - with very limited boat knowledge we bought a new boat - a jeanneau ds40 - in 2003 -
we spent some time learning to sail her in biscayne bay but in 2005 i lost my job at age 60 so sold everything and took off in in 2007 - we did the east coast a few times then the bahamas and last jan set off to the western carib via mexico -
we are not and never will be great sailors -- BUT - we are out here when a lot of the pundits are not - we have about 15,000 miles under SoulMates keel -
we currently are in panama and will be headed to eastern carib in the spring and may go east or south depending -
as for those who say go small then work up - that is predicated on your length of time and finances -
we will always be learning but the critical difference is we are out here doing it not talking about it -
as niki says - just do it

just out thoughts
chuck patty and svsoulmates
currently in panama
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:52   #17
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

lifejacket - as for expenses i posted our last expenses on the cost forum - we live pretty good and spend to much time in marinas as going to colombia our insurance company required it and we had an elective surgery procedure done in colombia - so it added up - and we did a bunch of upgrades to SoulMates that were not necessary but made life more bearable on board.

just our opinion
chuck patty and svsoulmates
currently in panama
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Old 04-01-2012, 13:41   #18
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

This is really some awesome advice... Even better than I expected. I do like the idea of sailing on different boats and seeing different styles of sailing. I think I will be ready to leave Cincinnati in about 4 to 6 weeks. Perhaps by then I will meet some new friends in Fl and get a chance to sail with.
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Old 04-01-2012, 13:53   #19
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

Buy one boat...get it right the first time ! You will lose too much money buying small then trading up.

Buy the smallest boat you will be comfortable with. Maintenance costs are exponential with each added foot.

We had a 37' boat for fifteen years and never once were turned away from a marina or found an anchorage too tight. Now with a 43' it is not uncommon to be turned away or find an ICW anchorage too tight.
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Old 04-01-2012, 14:05   #20
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

lifejacket -- cincy - how kewl - chuck grew up near jeffersonville just north of there and did his grad work at UC - Go BearCats

good luck with your decision making

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Old 04-01-2012, 20:31   #21
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

Take something you understand (ie for most people it's cars) and find parallels that you consider important. Easy to fix yourself, cheap to find parts, easy to operate. Research the boats out there, and go buy one. Make sure you like the boat, you feel good when you step on it or see it in pictures; otherwise you'll hate working on it and spending all your money on it. When you go to buy it keep in mind it is a buyers market, no matter what the seller thinks, and if they don't want to sell move onto the next one.

Most importantly go while you can, life's to short to listen to what concerns others. If you want to jump on a boat and sail go for it, you won't regret putting your dreams into action even if you fail.

Plus people make boating sound so complicated, it isn't and you can learn everything from books and videos and friends. If you love the idea of hard work and freedom, get out there as soon as possible.

You won't learn what you are capable of, or learn as fast, or learn your own cruising style if you are always crewing on others boats.

If you're motivated and willing to work hard, do it before life takes away the chance.

my 2 cents.
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Old 04-01-2012, 22:43   #22
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

I feel better... more confident today than ever after reading these post.... when I was 17 yeaars old I "just done it" and joined the Marine Corps. And have never regreted it!!! I am certain this will be the same

P.S. I actually made a call today about a boat I liked and may be able to purchace for about 10 grand... so I'm really excited about that, even if I don't buy this one.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:49   #23
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

The advice giving here is very good. The route I took was to sail on as many kinds of boats as possible. I took lessons for almost 2 years and this kept me in contact with many people with the same interests. Was fortunate to have tried many boats before I bought my first one.
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Old 05-01-2012, 21:37   #24
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

Had a HC 33, too much boat for me at 5'6" 150lbs. Ran aground frequently. Next boat IP 31, full keel. Great boat for S FL and Bahamas. Next boat IP31 with drop keel. Didn't like this boat under sail in heavy seas. IP 31 is a great livaboard. Easily single handed. Now boat is a PSC Dana 24. My final boat, thee best of the lot. Not to roomy, tho. Waterway and Florida sailing best to draw 4' or less and clear a 45' bridge. I did what you are going to do and it has been the thing for me for 17 years.

PS I learned to sail on a Windsurfer, nothing like being a mainsheet.
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Old 05-01-2012, 23:13   #25
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

will your 24' go around the carribean well?
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Old 06-01-2012, 13:01   #26
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

lifejacket - 24' in carib - hum - we met a brit in cartagena that sailed a 21' from england across the atlantic thru the carib to colombia and is now in honduras headed to the usa - but he is an experienced sailor

NEXT - an ex marine - i love it =- both my sons are ex marines and it is life changing for the better - i can atest to that - and gives you that can do attitude

anything we can do for you let us know - if you pm me i will give you our email that you can contact us anytime with questions

but as any sailor we have our preferences and are not afraid of tell you what they are - what you do with them is up to you

OH -- one more thing - when you pull in to an anchorage or area with other boats and begin to talk with other sailors on problems - just listen there will be a lot of advise - some good some bad - but listen and evulate and do what you think is right - but listen - most young cruisers we talk to listen and question and do what they want and that is great as it is there boat -
we had one young couple who would not listen to anyone on anything and eventually got into big trouble off shore because they knew everything -in fact after a while no one would even talk with them and have nothing to do with them -


just our opinion
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Old 06-01-2012, 16:41   #27
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

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Originally Posted by lifejacket1981 View Post
will your 24' go around the carribean well?
Yes it will do well there. Look at Karen and Jims Excellent Adventure on Blogspot.. Plenty of photos and good trip down west coast of US. Look at Flicka Sailboats, they are only 19' and people go all over on them. Smaller boats are easier to handle, I think.
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Old 06-01-2012, 17:28   #28
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

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Originally Posted by lifejacket1981 View Post
Hi, I'm going to purchace a sailboat soon. I am thinking between a 27 and 33 foot mono. I have very little experience sailing but I want to learn to sail well enough to navigate around the keys and maybe a few of the other close islands.
I would really appreciate any advice given. Especially at this point I need to know what common problems or potential issues to look for when buying a sailboat.

Thx, Lifejacket

Whether you're sailing on your own boat or someone else's, buy a good sharp rigging knife that can be attached to your pants. Don't count on tying it on. West Marine sells a great safety strap that is coiled and stretches. It clips on to your knife and on to your waistband. Knots can sometimes untie themselves in water.

Then if you go over tangled in line you can cut yourself free instead of drowning.

Any time you're dealing with the anchor WATCH WHERE YOUR FEET ARE. You'd be amazes how easy it is to get anchor rode wrapped around a foot.
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Old 06-01-2012, 19:09   #29
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Never lift your feet while working loose line. Don't buy a boat if your thinking I can fix that without multiplying 3+ your guess. Keep it simple. Think think and then realize your wrong and rethink
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Old 06-01-2012, 19:50   #30
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Re: Tips for the Novice Sailor

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Never lift your feet while working loose line. Don't buy a boat if your thinking I can fix that without multiplying 3+ your guess. Keep it simple. Think think and then realize your wrong and rethink

NEVER ignore rust. By the time you se rust the piece of hardware may be severely compromised. I know someone who was given a sailboat. She and her boyfriend took it out. He is the one who knows how to sail; she's a complete beginner.

They went out and came back in no problem. Had a great time.

The next day, the mast fell down. They didn't think the rust on the rigging was that big of a problem.
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