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Old 12-05-2013, 09:28   #1
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Never Sailed

Any advice for a 65 year old woman who has a dream of learning to sail, buying a sailboat and, eventually, living on the boat? When I lived in the Florida Keys, I met many who did just that and now that I am no longer working full-time, I want to do that in or near Williamsburg VA. Not really finding places to live-aboard in my area. Any suggestions on where to start?
Thanks, Pat
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:35   #2
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Re: never sailed

I'd start with learning how to sail. There are a hundred different options for that in the Chesapeake Bay area. Check around Annapolis. Work up to a class where you are learning while living on board a boat for a week or two. That will tell you if this is something that you want to do. While you're on the boat for a week, really think about what it would be like to live like that all year long.

Then, if you still think it is a good thing, you can look at buying a boat. At that point, you can live wherever you want.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:55   #3
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Re: never sailed

Thank you for your good advice. There is a sailing school in Williamsburg VA and they offer a two day course. I think that would be a start for me. I just need to get started!
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:06   #4
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Re: never sailed

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Any advice for a 65 year old woman who has a dream of learning to sail, buying a sailboat and, eventually, living on the boat? When I lived in the Florida Keys, I met many who did just that and now that I am no longer working full-time, I want to do that in or near Williamsburg VA. Not really finding places to live-aboard in my area. Any suggestions on where to start?
Thanks, Pat

If you're in reasonably good health and all your joints work reasonably well, there's no reason you shouldn't. I started at age 62. not much difference between 62 and 65. Now I'm 67 and I've been living on my boat for about 2 1/2 years. Be careful -- sailing is seductive!

If you have never lived in a very small space I would suggest renting a small/medium sized RV for a couple of weeks. Go for a trip and see what you think of the limited space, limited wardrobe, limited kitchen equipment. That part was easy for me to judge *because* my family and I had done that when our girls were 5 and 8. I discovered I loved the minimalist lifestyle required to live on a sailboat.
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Old 12-05-2013, 13:32   #5
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Re: never sailed

Thank you so much for the encouragement! I did stay over in a friend's boat once and around 3 am was eager to get out and had a bit of claustrophobia but had been there 7 hours. It was time to get up!
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Old 12-05-2013, 14:10   #6
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pirate Re: never sailed

Some one else's boat is like that.. its like stopping for a w/end at a friends house.. its nice an all but one can't relax like at home..
As others have said.. small steps.. to much to fast may spoil it.. we may be older and wiser but for such a life change 'Less haste.. more speed..'
Also... sort out the stuff you have you can live without and have a yard sale... Then do it again..
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Old 12-05-2013, 14:27   #7
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Re: never sailed

Ahhh...wise words! Thank you! I do like to have as few belongings as possible. Before I moved to Williamsburg, I pared things down at my house in AZ, so now it is minimal there. I moved to Wburg with just what fit in my car so things are pretty sparse except for "city clothes," which won't be useful on a boat.

What tools are a must have?
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Old 12-05-2013, 14:42   #8
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Re: never sailed

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Thank you so much for the encouragement! I did stay over in a friend's boat once and around 3 am was eager to get out and had a bit of claustrophobia but had been there 7 hours. It was time to get up!

Well, you don't move onto a sailboat to stay indoors all day. That said, you have to be comfortable in your digs. You don't say anything about what the size of that boat was. Boat size varies considerably. My Hunter 31' has a lot of room, and most people wouldn't be claustrophobic. However, the Vee berth is small and lots of people find them confining. The aft berth on my boat absolutely is claustrophobic. it has other flaws, and I use it for storage.
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Old 12-05-2013, 15:00   #9
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pirate Re: never sailed

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What tools are a must have?
For me... a basic tool kit appropriate for the engine..
Electrical tool kit and fuses, connector etc
Re-chargeable drill and bits, good selection of hand tools.. wrenches, screwdrivers, saws etc. A small hand drill and some G clamps are handy as well... also a good hydraulic wire cutter.
Sail makers kit with palm
Off the top of my head.. a KISS list
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Old 12-05-2013, 15:00   #10
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Re: never sailed

thanks for that...it was a 24 foot Morgan (maybe 28)....
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Old 12-05-2013, 15:07   #11
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Re: never sailed

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For me... a basic tool kit appropriate for the engine..
Electrical tool kit and fuses, connector etc
Re-chargeable drill and bits, good selection of hand tools.. wrenches, screwdrivers, saws etc. A small hand drill and some G clamps are handy as well... also a good hydraulic wire cutter.
Sail makers kit with palm
Off the top of my head.. a KISS list

Not sure what you mean by 'city clothes' but you'll still want to dress in nice sports wear on occasion. Just don't change the engine's oil in it!

I've let my tools select me. As I need them, I get them. One thing that's gotten a lot of use, often not by me, but it's nice to have what someone needs to help you right on board, is a socket set. Get one that is both English and Metric.

But don't start buying tools yet. You need to see as many sailboats as you can, because I can sense your impatience to try this (I was the same way, and I moved aboard a month before my 65th birthday.)

However, I had already learned how to sail. I don't see how you can possibly pick a boat without learning to sail first, unless you just want the "floating home" experience.
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Old 12-05-2013, 15:08   #12
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Re: never sailed

the tool list was great! Thank you! I see that the US Power Squadron has classes for engine repair. I'm sure that I will have to take it!
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Old 12-05-2013, 15:17   #13
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Re: never sailed

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Some one else's boat is like that.. its like stopping for a w/end at a friends house.. its nice an all but one can't relax like at home..
As others have said.. small steps.. to much to fast may spoil it.. we may be older and wiser but for such a life change 'Less haste.. more speed..'
Also... sort out the stuff you have you can live without and have a yard sale... Then do it again..
Boatman wisdom! and again and again. You will be surprised how much you never really needed possession-wise.

What I did was build a boat corner. I put all the things I thought I truly needed on a boat in one corner in house. Everything else was for yard sale. Then I re-evaluated the boat pile. Looked for excess, overly duplicate items and such. After some trial runs on boat, I reevaluated success or failures of items chosen and made corrections.

Compartmentalize boat. Berth. Head. Galley. Stowage. Cockpit. Engine.
You will find it easier to make lists. Think simplicity and safety.
Plenty of books can be had a library on what essentials are deemed necessary for life onboard.

Most of all make it fun!
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Old 12-05-2013, 15:20   #14
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Re: never sailed

Many vocational high schools offer evening classes in engine repair, electrical and plumbing as well. Could not hurt to ask there to get well rounded skill set.
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Old 12-05-2013, 15:23   #15
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Re: never sailed

Thank you for the blogspot link! Yes, must learn to sail first!
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