I have followed this threat with some interest. As a 40something professional pilot who is also in the market for a Jeanneau 50DS, as my 1st boat.
Having sailed L26's, as a teen, on inland waters in South Africa
. I was lucky enough to spend a few days crewing
for an owner of a 35ft here in Dubai. Got me interested in sailing again. I came across a Jeanneau 44i at the Boat Show
here. After some research
and more boat shows, a 50DS worked its way to the top of the wish list.
Now, I need to backup a few spaces. Not only do I fly big jets for a living, but I have also been involved in pilot training for most of my career. So taking newly qualified cadet pilots and training them to take an airliner all over the world is what I have done for the last 15yrs. I know most people 'just buy a boat and go and give it a bash', but I am pretty sure at a career aviator who has invested many thousands of dollar into a boat is not about to just jump on a set off for Cape Horn!!
Back to my journey, once I realised that this is something I wanted, I set off to do it exactly how I would do it in aviation:- at school!!
I went back to Cape Town
, and set about the RYA Day Skipper
course. I took the view if you can sail in Cape Town
, you can pretty much sail anywhere. I was pretty much right, everything from f2 to a full gale with 3m swells. Fun way to learn to put in and shake out a 3rd reef. I will say that 30 yrs of Met/Nav/Plotting/dealing with a crew/1st aid/how to handle and emergency
etc was a huge leg up.
Now this is where the 'need to start in a dingy' group fall at the 1st hurdle. After two weeks on a Farr 38 and a Oyster
395, a week in a classroom, a radio license
, Diesel engine
course, I seemed to cope pretty well on a Jeanneau 50DS I chartered in Greece
in september. But following the aviation theme, just like flying a new type for the 1st time, I took a local skipper
along. For 2 reasons; first, it was a holiday, I wanted to enjoy relaxing with alot of the local wines, but second, as a 'line check'.
I think the RYA Costal Skipper Course next year (again in Cape Town) and another long charter
in the Med, I will be ready to ruin my bank manager's day. But again, once I own the boat, I will blow a few extra bucks on some experience to help me get totally comfy handling it. Also, keeping an eye on the met forecast
etc, is not a new concept
FYI:- It will be a long time before I head
out of the waters of the Gulf. I pretty much plan an atlantic crossing
, but the ARC
seems the way to go.
What I do realise is that there seems to be a large party of the sailing community that seems to think the only way to tackle it is the 'go out and give it a bash' approach. I agree that, like in flying, there is no substitute for experience, but I am not looking to command a maxi racer
in the roaring 40's. So with that said, I don't see why, with the right approach and training, a 50ft cant be your 1st boat.
Just my 5c worth, I will let you know how it goes. I also wish the OP all the best in his dream. I can relate