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Old 07-07-2011, 15:57   #1
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Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

I'm a retiree who's spent the last 4 years building a junkrigged schooner (Badger, for those who've read Annie Hill's wonderful book). I intend to take her from Lake Michigan, out the St. Lawrence, to Newfoundland, then to Ireland/ Europe. Except for the St. Lawrence, I'll be singlehanding. I have experience sailing smaller boats in calmer waters, and also in Lake Michigan which can be fierce; on the other hand I'm getting old, but still quite fit. I've little experience in navigation, dead reckoning, anchoring techniques, or sailing junkrigged boats which I will practice next summer. My question is, anyone have suggestions about a quick introduction to cruising lasting a week or two that would acquaint with the basics in a hurry. I'm NOT interested in a series of steps that get me certified, whatever that means. Any and all replies greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much,
S Sittler
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Old 07-07-2011, 16:18   #2
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Re: best quick introduction to cruising

Welcome to CF.
Your plans sound very interesting. I hope you will keep us updated as you go.
One of the members here started The $50 Cruising Club, it's in the social groups area, the idea being cruisers and those keen to get some experience could meet up for a mutually benefitial week or more at low cost.
Good luck
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Old 07-07-2011, 20:00   #3
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Re: best quick introduction to cruising

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum
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Old 07-07-2011, 20:24   #4
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Re: best quick introduction to cruising

i am in mazatlan -- pm me if you are interested.
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Old 16-07-2011, 12:31   #5
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Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

Check out your local Sail and Power Squadron (Coast Guard Auxiliary). They have courses in Seamanship, navigation and piloting, as well as others. They are a National Organization, with standardized books and teaching materials. The courses are usually 3-4 weeks, ending with a proctored exam. You don't have to attend the classes if you just want to read the material. The costs are very reasonable, and basically cover the cost of materials.
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Old 15-08-2011, 17:15   #6
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Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

Welcome to the forum~

There are many blogs online written by people that are out there doing it. I know what you mean about not looking for a "course" on sailing. I advise you to search for a blog or two penned by someone who has done the trip your looking at (or there abouts) or someone who has a similar rigged boat.

Blogs are the well of knowledge I sought years ago, I enjoyed the adventure of it as much as the knowledge I gained. I started reading www.Bumfuzzle.com when Pat left to sail around the world, I kept up with his daily fortune and misfortunes. I really enjoyed it.

We cruised with a good group this season we called the "Texas Navy" several boats from the same area met up in the Exumas for an extended cruise. A good blog to read about new young sailors is Matt and Christies blog www.SVKaleo.com. I'm 57 and sail on a cat, my blog is www.SittonOnTheBeach.com. Another couple we enjoyed on a 41' Morgan Out Island Ketch is www.love2sail.blogspot.com .

I wish I could lead you toward someone doing your same trip or with a similar sail plan, but I haven't searched for information. My advice is to check out some blogs.... they are interesting if nothing else.

Good Luck
Rusty on "Sea Yawl Later !!"

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Old 15-08-2011, 18:20   #7
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Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

best way to quickly introduce self to cruising is to run away from home and do it. nothing like just going for it.
OR just take your boat and go sailing. farther than local.
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Old 15-08-2011, 18:33   #8
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Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

No offence, but i dont understand people who dont want to do complete courses. They end up saving lots of emotional pain and cost. Sure, anyone amature sailor can just grab a boat and put to sea and will most likely come back safely. But all the little tricks that are learnt in professionally run courses become invaluable. A lack of certification isnt a positive thing. The more certified the more knowledge. It appears you have the time, I would seriously consider doing as many complete courses as possible.

Would you fly in a plane if the pilot told you he only learnt the basics and was "winging" it from here on?

This is a contencious issue and some people may suggest," just getting out there and learning as you go". Thats fine for lake and bay sailing. But your crossing one of the worlds great oceans. There is a massive difference in skills needed!! And we would all like to keep you alive so you can tell us about your adventure. Good luck all the same..
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Old 15-08-2011, 18:34   #9
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pirate Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

I'll go with Zee on this one... lets face it... if your cruising/voyageing... everywheres local...
Once you get there...
And if you do take a course... get one with an internationally recognised credit... you'll need it in many ports as you voyage...
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Old 15-08-2011, 18:39   #10
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Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

hmmm.... to me "cruising" is the stuff you do to live on a boat, eat and keep it safe. But it sounds like you need a navigation course too.... Might be hard to get the cruising experience without just... cruising!
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Old 15-08-2011, 18:43   #11
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Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

i didnt learn the stuff i know in any classes. i learned from learning on the job as it were from age 7 until now. to date the folks i know who have only been to class and not sailed in real life do not know anything. is the reality that teaches , not the classroom. not in sea not in nursing not in reality.
if one has had classes, then htat soul best be running away from home to practice, practice, practice.
how are ye gonna learn how to actually sail in heavy weather in a classroom???????
how are ye gonna know what things look like at sea when in a classroom?? videos can only do so much.....
some places seem to be leaning toward having to have classes to have a certificate--let me know where those places are--i need to avoid those.

and, no, i dont know EVERYTHING--i am always learning..is what life is alll about.
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Old 16-08-2011, 05:39   #12
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Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

I'm not against training if you have the time and inclination. My deal is, instead of waiting for the teacher to catch up to the point that I can gain a spec of knowledge, I'd rather spend the time on the water doing it.

The thing is, everybody's wired different so there is no "Right" answer that encompasses everyone. If your the McGyver type that enjoys figuring things out as you go... the guy whos ready to head out the door before you know where your going (and are good at it)... jump in your flip flops and GO for it man. If your the kind of guy that carefully laces up his shoes and follows a predetermined route, and know what time he will arrive back home before he leaves.... Go take some courses because that's what you like to do. That's cool.

I have a friend that was thru the Panama Canal before he found out he had a 2 speed winch...... some might call that just wrong, not me. I would wear it as a badge because half the fun of cruising for me and many others is gaining the knowledge first hand. I know, I know... there are people out there saying ooooh, you could do something wrong and get in trouble if you don't have the book knowledge... In my experience the most competent sailors aren't the guys that can memorize a book, the best sailors are the guy that can adapt and overcome the quickest.

Problem solving on the fly is the number one craft you need when you go cruising. How do you get THAT knowledge? Go put yourself in a situation and get out of it. Jump in and learn to swim.... practice problem solving, not tying knots... lol.

If classes give you a foundation and comfort level to take the next step then by all means enjoy the way you think and go for it. But don't tell McGyver to go read about how to weld aluminum with a battery and jumper cables... lol. It's something you have to think up on your own and enjoy doing it.

Everybody is wired differently, don't expect your brother to think like you and don't be so narrow minded that you think YOU are the only one with the answers.... The "right thing" is what's right for you.

I know this post may be a thread killer because most of these banters live on the same disparity I disclaim.. Long threads live on discord... posters that absolutely KNOW they individually have the only right answer..... I contend that the real answer is the process, not the destination.

Just my 2 cents...

SYL
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Old 16-08-2011, 06:03   #13
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Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

Excuse the image, but there are a lot of "skinned cats" out there! The method of learning may be irrelevant, but we can all agree that knowledge empowers. In addition, I don't think there is any importance in where you cruise for this knowledge,- everyplace is "local"! Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 16-08-2011, 09:25   #14
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Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

Bravo Cap'n Force
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Old 16-08-2011, 10:41   #15
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Re: Best Quick Introduction to Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Yawl Later View Post
I'm not against training if you have the time and inclination. My deal is, instead of waiting for the teacher to catch up to the point that I can gain a spec of knowledge, I'd rather spend the time on the water doing it.

The thing is, everybody's wired different so there is no "Right" answer that encompasses everyone. If your the McGyver type that enjoys figuring things out as you go... the guy whos ready to head out the door before you know where your going (and are good at it)... jump in your flip flops and GO for it man. If your the kind of guy that carefully laces up his shoes and follows a predetermined route, and know what time he will arrive back home before he leaves.... Go take some courses because that's what you like to do. That's cool.

I have a friend that was thru the Panama Canal before he found out he had a 2 speed winch...... some might call that just wrong, not me. I would wear it as a badge because half the fun of cruising for me and many others is gaining the knowledge first hand. I know, I know... there are people out there saying ooooh, you could do something wrong and get in trouble if you don't have the book knowledge... In my experience the most competent sailors aren't the guys that can memorize a book, the best sailors are the guy that can adapt and overcome the quickest.

Problem solving on the fly is the number one craft you need when you go cruising. How do you get THAT knowledge? Go put yourself in a situation and get out of it. Jump in and learn to swim.... practice problem solving, not tying knots... lol.

If classes give you a foundation and comfort level to take the next step then by all means enjoy the way you think and go for it. But don't tell McGyver to go read about how to weld aluminum with a battery and jumper cables... lol. It's something you have to think up on your own and enjoy doing it.

Everybody is wired differently, don't expect your brother to think like you and don't be so narrow minded that you think YOU are the only one with the answers.... The "right thing" is what's right for you.

I know this post may be a thread killer because most of these banters live on the same disparity I disclaim.. Long threads live on discord... posters that absolutely KNOW they individually have the only right answer..... I contend that the real answer is the process, not the destination.

Just my 2 cents...

SYL
Yep, well Said. OP: you've got a short time frame for a big trip, better be cruising that boat locally as much as possible before you leave...
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