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Old 20-01-2015, 18:15   #1
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Same old story

Here we go again, a guy whose never sailed in his life but wants to pick up and take off. I'm sure everyone here as heard this story a thousand times and is probably fed up with it, but I'm going to give it a shot. Quick back story to this; I'm 26 years old and have been in the military since I was 19, seen combat and served honorably. I'm due to get out March of 2016. The structured, confined and stressful environment I've been living in for so long has only supplemented my independent nature and motivated me even more to experience 'freedom.' I've accomplished a lot in the military, this fact gives me confidence that I can achieve this. I'm not saying I want to sail the entire world, but I am saying I want to sail for an undetermined time as soon as I get out. I know it sounds over reaching and maybe fantasized in this professional forum, but I wan it bad. I plan on saving as much as I can and learning as much as I can in this short time. I'm in the Seattle area and just want to know where to get my feet wet to begin this process.

Thanks,

Nicholas.
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Old 20-01-2015, 18:26   #2
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Re: Same old story

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Originally Posted by 101gunner91b View Post
Here we go again, a guy whose never sailed in his life but wants to pick up and take off. I'm sure everyone here as heard this story a thousand times and is probably fed up with it, but I'm going to give it a shot. Quick back story to this; I'm a 26 years old and have been in the military since I was 19, seen combat and served honorably. I'm due to get out March of 2016. The structured, confined and stressful environment I've been living in for so long has only supplemented my independent nature and motivated me even more to experience 'freedom.' I've accomplished a lot in the military, this fact gives me confidence that I can achieve this. I'm not saying I want to sail the entire world, but I am saying I want to sail for an undetermined time as soon as I get out. I know it sounds over reaching and maybe fantasized in this professional forum, but I wan it bad. I plan on saving as much as I can and learning as much as I can in this short time. I'm in the Seattle area and just want to know where to get my feet wet to begin this process.

Thanks,

Nicholas.
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Make a flyer or a 5x7 index card, and take some to each of these places, and post it on their Fuel Dock bulliten board, with your name and what you posted here with your email and phone number. Hit the marinas in your area, and start meeting people who have a big pole sticking straight up out of their boat, 40 plus feet into the air. Get proactive, or perhaps buy a boat and slide the guy an extra Franklin for him to show you how all what you just bought works. Sailing is the easy part, navigating around other boats, docks, rocks, jetties, reefs and getting to where you want to go is the hard part. Good Luck
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Old 20-01-2015, 18:42   #3
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Re: Same old story

Yep, a thousand times and it never gets old because everyone's story is there own. A good way to hear many is right here. Another would be to look up your local ASA sailing school and sign up for a bareboat certification (ASA 101-104). Google it! This certification will allow you to charter a boat just about anywhere in the world. You'll also meet all kinds of similar souls. You'll get to sail on a few different boats and get a real taste of what it's about.


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Old 20-01-2015, 18:44   #4
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Re: Same old story

Thanks! I will look into that. Cheers.
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Old 20-01-2015, 18:47   #5
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Re: Same old story

Check out the recreational stuff offered for active military in Seattle. They probably offer sailing lessons and rental of small boats to get you started. You can also look into the US Power Squadron and Coast Guard Auxiliary for boating safety classes, navigation and the like. A reason to take these classes, is meeting like minded people, who might take you out on their boat. Another advantage of the classes offered by the Power Squadron and (I believe) the CG Aux, is that the cost is usually just the books. In any case this does NOT have to be an expensive hobby, it can be but doesn't have to be.
In the mean time, go to the boat shows, and see what is available, spend time on the docks seeing what is for sale, look at lots and lots of boats BEFORE you spend any money. Get a feel for what they should look and feel like. What you can deal with, like if you are 6' tall, do you really want a boat with 5'10" head room? You might be okay with it, but maybe not. Do you have to have a fridge? or is an ice box good enough. You have to take a look below decks to see what is there, and what about type of rig, sloop, cutter, ketch or schooner? Mono hull or cat? All of these are questions you have to answer, these are not questions that have perfect answers that satisfy everyone the same way, but you have to decide where to draw the lines on your personal compromises.
Many of these decisions will be influenced on where you will sail, how much of a season there is to sail etc. For example, if you were in San Fransisco bay, you could sail year round, but expect to do it with 20knots of wind most of the time, or you could sail in San Diego bay year round with a fairly typical 7 knots of wind. This will influence the type and weight of sails you would want to have on your boat.
Good luck to you and keep working on it, it took me about 20 years from my first sailing trip with a friend to getting lessons and then buying my own boat. We have sailed as much as we could, most recently completing an 1100 mile trip from Corpus Christi Texas to Tampa Florida. This trip took 29 days, at the end my wife said "we need a bigger boat, and to plan a longer trip". So, I am back at work to be able to afford that bigger boat.
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Old 20-01-2015, 18:50   #6
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Re: Same old story

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Originally Posted by 101gunner91b View Post
Thanks! I will look into that. Cheers.
Nicholas : Go to any yacht club with an active racing program and tell them your story. Those folks are always looking for fresh "rail meat". Most clubs will let you get involved as crew for free (for a while).

Nowhere will you learn more about boat handling than in racing. Unfortunately the racers know very little about boats so you will have to learn that elsewhere

To start educating your self about boats you might want to start here Marine Survey 101
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Old 20-01-2015, 18:54   #7
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Re: Same old story

Certified ASA 101 up to 104 plus around $4,000 will get you a bareboat charter anywhere in the world.

Save you money and buy an inexpensive sailboat and teach yourself.

I'm ASA 104 and wished I hadn't spent the money. (about $2,000 in 2012 dollars) Rather, I could've spent towards the purchase of the boat I got.

Conversely, if you find out you don't like sailing as a result of taking ASA lessons then you aren't stuck with boat.

Are you 101st Airborne?

My father was 82nd Airborne during WWII. D-Day, Holland, Battle of the Bulge. And he survived.....but never talked about it. Just the words, "awful", "horrible", "hell".
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Old 20-01-2015, 19:21   #8
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Re: Same old story

What are the same old answers?
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Old 20-01-2015, 19:46   #9
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Re: Same old story

If I were in your boots, so to speak, I'd carry my rank over to another branch accepting, and try to get some water time in.. at least for another 10.. over the next 10, purchase the biggest badest boat avalable, something like a Sundeer 64..
You now have a fantastic boat and a retirement with 20 in and funds enough to last you the rest of your life..
Who wouldnt want an open-ended cruising life, with pay at age 39...
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Old 20-01-2015, 20:03   #10
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Re: Same old story

Randy nailed it before I could post. Can you move to the Coast Guard? I'm sure your mind is already made up, but take a breath and think about it.

Ralph
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Old 20-01-2015, 20:10   #11
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Re: Same old story

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Originally Posted by 101gunner91b View Post
Here we go again, a guy whose never sailed in his life but wants to pick up and take off. I'm sure everyone here as heard this story a thousand times and is probably fed up with it, but I'm going to give it a shot.
I don't think CF members are at all fed up with helping new folks become cruisers. You will get a lot of help here. What many of us are fed up with is people who buy a boat, call themselves "captain", and take off without spending the time to prepare themselves and their boats for cruising. All too often that doesn't end well. So set your mind to the task, learn what you need to learn, find yourself a boat that is right for you, do the planning and preparation, then go do it. And don't be reluctant to come here for help.

I agree with the recommendations about the various training programs available - do your research and find one that you will be happy with. In addition go to some of the many yacht clubs and marinas in Seattle and put up "crew available" notices on the bulletin boards. When you have some time just hang out and offer your help at a marina. Show yourself to be a willing hand and the crew jobs will start coming your way. Once you get the hang of crewing you can start to look for a boat, and start calling yourself skipper (humbly, always). While starting out buying a boat might work elsewhere (I have my doubts) the level of knowledge/skill required to operate safely in the Puget Sound argues against that.

Good luck,

Greg
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Old 20-01-2015, 20:21   #12
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Re: Same old story

Another thought: to prepare to go cruising without any experience takes years. If you are intent on doing this quickly then I recommend one of the comprehensive live-in programs that lead to an RYA Yachtmaster rating. There are several programs available on the south coast of England; they typically take 6-9 months IIRC, starting with the Competent Crew course. I believe the courses are also available in warmer climes, but a stay in England can be a treat. YMMV.

Greg
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Old 20-01-2015, 21:10   #13
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Re: Same old story

You will want to checkout this blog. He is ex-military and is doing exactly what you dream of (no experience before he started).
Home - The Nomad Trip

Another option for training to get your feet wet is NauticEd (NauticEd Sailing School - Learn to Sail and Get Certified). Its completely online and WAY cheaper than the ASA type courses. Might be something to do until your time is up. Then beg, borrow or buy a boat and put that knowledge to use in a practical situation.
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Old 20-01-2015, 21:11   #14
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Re: Same old story

Wow a lot to consider in just purchasing a boat. Thanks for that.
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Old 20-01-2015, 21:12   #15
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Re: Same old story

I was thinking of doing something along these lines, offering up my self for slave labor in exchange for the knowledge and fun. Thanks!
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