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Old 19-06-2015, 12:59   #1
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Traveling first time

Hi, me and 1 maybe 2 friends are interested in sailing from Miami florida to the bahamas to maybe puerto rico and back. We'd like for the trip to be 2-3 months and are all very interested in sailing together. We have around 10,000 and would like to buy a 25 ft sail boat. The 2 (maybe 3) of us are all pretty rough and rugged people and don't really need a luxury huge yacht for this but would 25 be enough space for us to sleep and all our belongings, if not what size do you recommend and what specific model? I have about a year of sailing experience but no experience with repairing if something were to go long, my 1 maybe 2 friends are quick learners. Please let me know what you think and any tips for making this become a reality.

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Old 19-06-2015, 14:38   #2
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Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 7,120
Re: Traveling first time

First, learn to sail and navigate.

Learn the laws that apply; study the Colregs. There are national, State, and local rules you have to be aware of, and countries outside the US also have their requirements, like visas, and Customs, entry formalities. That's one level.

More locally, I believe the whole East Coast of the US is a no discharge zone. That means that you will either have a composting toilet, which separates urine and fecal matter, dehydrating the latter. Then you have to dispose of it in a sanitary way. Or you will have a Porta Potty, or a toilet with a holding tank, which fills up and has to be taken to pump-out stations where you pay money to have it pumped out. Peg Hall wrote a book about keeping holding tanks odor free and working well, possibly the best available, it is calledGet Rid of Boat Odors: A Guide to Marine Sanitization Systems & Other Sources of Aggravation & Odor".

Three people on a small boat can be done. Last year some British folks and their in-laws--there were 4 of them--sailed from the Bahamas to Europe on a Westerly 26. They did decide to buy a larger boat after that. The boat had adequate tankage, and they'd have had to water up frequently. You can go without food, but you have to have enough water to sustain life.

Do not approach a venture of this sort as if it were a 4 wheel drive off-road camping adventure. While there are no scorpions nor snakes out on the ocean, you can't breathe or drink salt water, it is basically a hostile environment. Keeping the water on the outside of the boat takes some effort. In your price range, you'll be learning to re-caulk hatches and ports. You'll probably be learning a bit about keeping a motor happy, too. If you have a camping background, it will to some extent help with meal planning, but, until you've tried cooking in a seaway, you won't know what it's like to try to get a meal together with the boat heeled or rolling. The Hiscocks used to heave to for dinner. Lyn & Larry Pardey's The Care & Feeding of the Offshore Crew will be helpful.

I would also recommend any book by Beth & Evans Starzinger.


Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 19-06-2015, 14:53   #3
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Re: Traveling first time

The Bahamas are easy , 50 miles or so !
Puerto Rico in a small boat is a bear , 600 or so miles against the wind and current . Might plan on hanging around the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos . Many prepared small boats will make that trip to P.R. but it ain't easy . I once spent 24 hours to get 19 miles , of course I never said I was real bright !
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Old 19-06-2015, 14:56   #4
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Location: Cruising the Gulf of Mexico.
Boat: 1980 Morgan 415
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Re: Traveling first time

You may want to find an experienced skipper with a nice boat and an agenda that matches you fellas.

Don't hand your funds over up front.

Looking for another pretty place to work on the boat.
Working on spending my children's inheritance.
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