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Old 19-04-2012, 22:49   #61
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Are You Sure? Really?

This is what jumped out at me:
" to get us in the water sailing for about 45 days a year for the next 5 years and then retiring early"
and coupled with no experience. For ONLY 45 days a year, You will save a ton of $$$ NOT owning (too many expenses to list)...... just learning(take formal classes), chartering (local & Carib), racing, crewing and maybe owning a much smaller / cheaper (very easy to resell) towable boat (only 3 hrs from the chesapeake)

Then You will be able to buy even a bigger &/or better boat of your dreams in 4.5 years just in time to move aboard when you retire. With experience, real skill sets and insights that can only be learned by time on the water.

They make hundreds of new boats everyday and hundreds of older boats are put up for sale everyday........Plenty of dream boats over the horizon.

Then again, You seem to have already made your decision - All the Best
Fair Winds

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Old 20-04-2012, 02:22   #62
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

Originally Posted by Jill_Brian View Post
35' Hallberg-Rassy Rasmus. there are several out there including sloop and ketch rigged. most need upgrade and/or new electronics and electric

38' Seafarer Sloop. again several available and they also would need additional electric and electronic

41 Tartan TOCK. has almost everything we would want, but is the most expensive of the boats and might be overkill in space

36 pearson 365 Ketch. has a lot but is also fairly expensive for our budget
Dunno anything about the last 3 - but I have always liked the look of the Rasmus . Celestialsailor has one - might be worth having a chat.

If the other 3 boats are the same sort of style - the only thing I would mention is that they likely not at the sparkling end of the sailing performance spectrum. Not to say that any are complete dogs, but what works well on an extended cruise / offshore passages might not be so much fun if over the next 5 years used primarily for scoots around the bay at a weekend.

But boats is all about choices / compromises.

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Old 20-04-2012, 07:56   #63
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

Originally Posted by Jill_Brian View Post
So at least three posts have asked for actual boat specs so here goes. As i said before we are really good at making home anyplace we are, including a 20 ft. travel trailer, of taking what we can get and making it better. and since we don't know what kind of sailors we will be, we can be the kind that love to sail the boat we own.

35' Hallberg-Rassy Rasmus. there are several out there including sloop and ketch rigged. most need upgrade and/or new electronics and electric

38' Seafarer Sloop. again several available and they also would need additional electric and electronic

41 Tartan TOCK. has almost everything we would want, but is the most expensive of the boats and might be overkill in space

36 pearson 365 Ketch. has a lot but is also fairly expensive for our budget

As you can see, one of the common threads is a shallow maximum draft as we will be in Chessy Bay and Caribbean mostly. also want both large water and fuel as we want to be off the grid as much as possible. also want or will eventually outfit with a solar and wind electrical for same reason.

budget seems to indicate late 70's to mid 80's boats. There are a lot of others we have looked at, but these have risen to the top. I have read till i am blue in the face everything there is to read on each of these boats and am still scanning the sites for new additions. We are both divers and one of the things we might consider adding in 4 or 5 years is a compressor for diving tanks, either with its own generator or for use only when we are plugged in.
BTW the CAL 40 mentioned in some earlier posts is not off our radar but i just haven't read enough yet to seriously consider.

Any advice or other boats to look at would be appreciated.
Since the Cal 40 isn't off the radar....
Cal 40 Sailboat Review

Welcome to

1996 Hall of Fame Inductee: Cal 40

The history of the Cal 40 A Brief History…

It isn't that I'm pushing the Cal 40, but for me at the time and price, I was just plain giddy with my purchase and its performance.
USCG Unlimited Tonnage Open Ocean (CMA)
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Old 20-04-2012, 10:10   #64
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

Originally Posted by bchaps View Post
Recently, my brother-in-law was fuming because my sister wanted him to purchase Nursing home insurance...he said "I want to die on my boat while at sea, not in a Nursing home! which I say AMEN!

+1 AMEN to your AMEN
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Old 20-04-2012, 10:14   #65
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Dunno anything about the last 3 - but I have always liked the look of the Rasmus . Celestialsailor has one - might be worth having a chat.(...)
Rasmus are fine boats but they are way overpriced here in the EU. I think this is because they are HR and because there are very few clean and sound samples left.

I like many (mostly older) HRs, but I would think twice before getting any of them. Simply, you can get much more of a boat if you get an equal quality/price boat in the US.

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Old 25-05-2012, 13:59   #66
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

I somewhat echo MarkSF. In August 2010 I took a NY Safe Boating Class (all classroom) and my wife and I followed that up with US Sailing 101 (very little classroom, mostly on boat under various conditions) six evenings over three weeks on a J-24. I then bought a C&C 24. After sailing the rest of the 2010 and 2011 season, my wife and I took ASA 103 on a Catalina 36. Our first two sails after the ASA 103 class have been our longest, farthest, and best, and we are still learning. We are thinking about taking ASA 104 at the beginning of the 2013 season. Our learning curve was very steep at first. It is now less steep, but still headed up.
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Old 25-05-2012, 16:43   #67
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

Hi J-B, We are now on board our boat 10 weeks. Now feel comfortable with all the noises and their causes. Managing our stores so we only shop less than once per week. Managing the washing and galley, enjoying unexpected visitors. Found PO had condensation in the diesel tanks and now know how to keep it clean. With help from visiting cruiser, 'Rod The Bod from God' as Roe calls him, we have no loo smells, have a better understanding of monitoring batteries etc. How to avoid overcharging or draining them too low. We cooked our power lead from the dock because it was a 10amp cable on 16amp plugs and fuse. Now know how many amps every appliance uses.(Electric blankets to dry and warm the bed are OK if you know what else is on.) Found out about not ventilating the boat enough and getting rid of black mold.
All these things we would not learn on a charter boat and all need to be learnt before we go cruising. This life is very good,
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Old 30-05-2012, 12:03   #68
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

It sounds to me that you have made the decision. The only undecided issue is how you go about becoming a skilled and safe sailor.

I would point out that while ASA is a fine organization, US Sailing is the official governing body in the US, not ASA. Not to say which is better, but to suggest that you should consider US Sailing certified schools as well.

I have three US Sailing certificates, a Royal Yachting Association Yachtmaster Theory Certificate, an International Proficiency Certificate for sailing in the Med and a Croatian Yacht Skippers license which only proves that I love to go to sailing schools. I found that they all seem to approach problems a little differently but get pretty similar results. So I guess that there is no absolutely right way. The most important thing that I learned that I think you can benefit from is that some schools are remarkably better than others.

So, after all this palaver, I suggest that you learn as much as you can and find the most demanding school you can that will teach you in your boat. I see no reason to learn how to sail some other boat than your own.

Also practicing and reinforcing poor technique is counterproductive. Learn as much as you can as quickly as you can from truly accomplished instructors who have either been certified by ASA or US Sailing.

Good luck
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Old 14-06-2012, 04:52   #69
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

HI the both of you

and I congratulate you on wanting to sail off into the sunset. OK so you want to do it right away. Just to let you know where I'm coming from - I have a Yachtmaster Ocean and have, at least, convinced myself I know how to sail (don't ask my wife).

The best advice I can give you is buy a small sailboat (say 24-28 footer) with an inboard engine, take a couple of sailing courses and then sail the hell out of it for a summer. Literally - sail every evening and sail every weekend. Such a boat should be relatively inexpensive to buy and the best part is you should be able to sell it easily at the end of the season for roughly the same amount you paid for it. Now you have some experience and you have begun to appreciate what awaits you. You will be able to make an informed decision as to what type of boat you want, how big etc etc. By the way, most blue water sailors who are two persons on board, tend to have boats in the 40-45 foot range. Small enough that two can handle it easily, big enough to take hard weather and also have some comfort.

My wife and I started with a 22 footer, graduated to a 33 footer and now have a 40 footer and we are just like the two of you - we go for ti when we decide to do something
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Old 14-06-2012, 07:25   #70
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

Hi, J&B,

This is my account of my first time ever on a sailing cat of 34 feet, or any boat of this size, I hope it can be of help to you.

You dont mention if you have ever had any kind of boat experience before,
I have been driving motor boats most of my life, up to 25 feet, (fishing, water skiing) But no Sailing other than on an occasional day sail as a passenger only.

I bought my self a 14 foot Paper Tiger Catamaran, a few years back, and got a mate to teach me how to sail it,

From that I leaned how to make the boat go where I wanted it too, no matter what way the wind blew,

This is some thing you must learn for a sail boat,

Its not like a motor boat, you turn the key and go,

Once you learn that, and it applies to all sail boats, irrespective of size,

Using the wind to go where you want to go,

A sailing school will teach you on one of these small cats quite cheaply and you will learn to sail very quickly, Thats half your battle,

I bought my Gemini while it was in Fiji and sailed it single handed back to Australia, Where I got washed up on the rocks while at anchor,

I had a day and a half to learn all the systems on the boat from front to back, Then the owner left,
I didnt even know how to turn the electronics on, let alone how they worked,

But a crash course in learning everything about the boat, GPS, Autopilot, wind and speed instruments, Depth sounder, Engine, raising and lowering the drive unit, Filters, oil and water, Thru hulls, Toilet and how it worked, fresh or salt water, tank or ocean discharge,

Water maker, How it worked and turning the pumps on for it an how to clean it before using the water it made and put in the tanks,
The gas fridge and how to change the cylinders and turn the fridge back on,
The showers and how they worked, the bilge pump to empty the shower base, The kitchen and stove, How they worked, The fresh water pumps for the sink,

The solar system, the house batterys, the engine batterys, and charge controllers, the wind generator and its controllers and connections, The inverter for power, 12 volt and 110 volt,
The dinghy and its motor and the davits and how to get it in the water safely,

Then came the sails, How to operate them, WOW, Awesome, More ropes than you can poke a stick at,
I learned only the Genoa before the PO left, But that was enough to get me around Fiji,
The main sail I learned how to operate on my own, Getting it up and down, Whew, what a night mare, I had to get the covers off first,

Mainsail, You pull on one rope, the sail goes up, Hahahahahaha Right, Nah, You have to get it up through the lazy jacks first. Helps if the boat is motoring into the wind,

Any other direction and its basically a no go, It just gets tangled in the battens, Same lowering it, Point the boat into the wind, then its easy peasy,

Then there is another 3 ropes to tighten the mainsail through the boom, sheeesh, One to tighten the back of the sail and two that hold the sail back and tighten the loose bits in it, Then it has eyelets in different spots so you can use, one third main, two thirds main and full up. They call them reefs,

Electric mainsail winch would have been a bonus, and easy, I only have a hand winder,

Then the travellers for the Genoa and main and back sheave blocks for the mainsail,
Then came the anchors and mooring,

I was on a swing mooring, with plenty of room to manouvre, But then I had to moor it at the dock for diesel and fresh water,

That is scary,
Especially when your parking beside mega million dollar yachts, and the gear linkage drops out, and you have no power or drive and the boat is sliding away from the dock, Luckily, I threw a rope over a bollard and caught it, Just in time as the Island ferry was right behind me,

After 6 weeks in Fiji and doing a fair bit of sailing around the islands, and across to Denarue Marina, I felt I was ready to leave Fiji and sail home to Australia,

My biggest fear was the electronics and if they failed, Or I didnt know enough about them to fix them if they did crap out,

And crossing through the reefs on the way home in the night, That was a real big worry,

But I didnt have any worrys about getting the boat back to Oz on the sails, I did have a very good compass,
I just took it slowly and ran before any storms that I did encounter, and some of them were doozys,

I did have the diesel for back up, and about 700 nautical miles of diesel on board just in case some thing happened to the sails,

The Auto pilot liked to drop out occasionally, Putting me beam on to the waves,
The currents were running strongly, so I was going sideways, and the GPS couldnt handle that and swung round in circles,
7 knots forward, 5 knots sideways, the GPS would read 1.5 knots forwards and spin round in circles, and the Autopilot would drop out, It couldnt keep track of the errors in the GPS, But I did have the compass and it wasnt wired into the Autopilot and GPS,

So I always knew which way I was headed,

I left Lautoka in Fiji at 5-30 PM, almost dark and sailed out of the reefs surrounding Fiji at about 11-00 PM at night,
My Garmin GPS was smack on with the reefs and rocks as I was passing,

Crossing the gap in the reefs at night on the edge of Fiji would have been the most frightening thing I have ever done in my entire life, My hair was standing on its ends,

I was at anchor in dead calm water in an inlet on Broughton Island sheltering from a 35+ storm when the wind changed and came up the inlet and 2 to 3 metre waves dragged both anchors and washed me up onto the rocky beach, Holing both Hulls,

Its now in Melbourne after being trucked from Port Stephens and well into its repairs for my next trip to the Kimberlys next year,

Problems I encountered,
Gear box linkage dropping off,
Total steering failure,
Blocked diesel filters,
GPS running haywire,
Drive shaft universal shearing off,
Dinghy davits shearing off, Almost lost the lot over the back, Inc dinghy.
Autopilot tripping out,
Wrong map in the GPS, Hahahahaha.
Catching old discarded cables on the anchor in Fiji.
Using freshwater for the Dunny, making me run out of fresh water, I didnt know that it was using fresh instead of seawater, Swapped the valve around and fixed that,
Anchors that dragged, continously,
Running out of gas for the fridge,
Running out of ciggies and coffee,
Very large holes in both hulls,

Finding out my one manual and 5 electric bilge pumps were for show only, and totally useless when it came to stopping water pouring into my boat when needed.

And one extremely seasick passenger from Bundaberg to Broughton Island for six days straight, She now hates my boat intensely, and wont ever get back on it, Oh well, Such is life,

I still cant sail for ****, But I got it here, about 3000 Nautical miles all up, The Pacific, The Coral Sea and the Tasman Sea,

I will be getting some one to teach me how to sail it properly before I go to the Kimberlys tho,

I wish you both happy sailing, In the boat you love,

Get your boat fully surveyed, even at your cost, before you buy it, You dont know enough about them to survey it your selves,

I enjoyed every moment of it, Scary at times, But you only live once,

This is just a bit of info on what can go wrong out there,

And there are no yacht stops where you can drop in and get some thing fixed, Your totally on your own,

I have a motor boat licence only, and thats because my cat has a motor in it, I have no other sailing certs or sail training what soever,

A VHF radio certificate which is compulsory in Australia, I got that a week before I left to pick up my boat in Fiji.

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Old 26-08-2014, 11:00   #71
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

I know this thread is old, but for those who find it like I did, I found a decent read on beginner tips for those not looking to spend hundreds. Sailing pro shop wrote the article, they sell some great sailing gear as well.
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Old 31-08-2014, 03:18   #72
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Re: Learning to Sail on Your Own Boat

Hi Brian , great read on your DIY boating/ sailing tuition.. I plan doing something similar very soon .. With all the respect due to seasoned sailors with a wealth of blue water experience .. There is no substitute to paddling in the deep end for a quick trip up the learning curve.. I have a fair bit of motor yacht cruising experience but very little sail experience other than hobie 16 as a kid .. I understand the theory but am relatively unfamiliar with the rigging and operation of a 40-50 footer motor sailer which i plan to buy to cure a discontented attachment to land.. Being master if your own destiny ( and boat ) comes with a risk .. Assess.. Measure.. Plan for Contingency and some frequent prayers to the weather gods .. And take friends with lots of experience if you're still uncertain of what to do thanks for the post .. Great inspiration for the adventure seekers in us all..!" Fair winds and happy travels

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