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Old 24-07-2006, 00:53   #1
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Preparing for a Circumnav - Questions!

Hello All,

Well, I've just kept my internet provider in business by reading through the Pat&Ali thread. (NO, NOT STARTING A DEBATE!!!)
But it made me a total newbie (my husband has more experience!) we are planning a circumnav in about three-years time. What do you suggest we do to prepare to be self-sufficient and ready to go in that time?

So far, we have the boat (currently in charter to help pay it off, and to give us some time to sail her and learn her systems). I'm taking some RYA sailing lessons (Competent Crew and Day Skipper at least - my hubby already has Yachtmaster). We're planning full first aid/CPR courses for both of us, and I'll do a more intensive medical course and prep a full medical kit. My husband will do some engine and electrical systems training and prep (leaving that to the engineer, I am!). Closer to the time we'll be sorting charts, pilot books, etc. But I'd really like to hear some advice - the amount of experience on this forum is fabulous!

Thanks for any help you can give, and my apologies if I haven't placed this thread in the right grouping. And my apologies if this topic has already been covered! Please point me in the right direction! (These darn newbies... )

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Old 24-07-2006, 01:10   #2
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Hi Mareva,
It sounds to me that your plans are well founded and sensible. Only further suggestion I'd make is to consider a longish period on the boat close to home - to fully appraise how the boat (and you guys) are going - before leaving on the big trip to distant lands.
If for instance you are based in continental Europe - maybe a month or two cruising around N. Europe or the Med - with a plan to return to one port where any changes or upgrades uncovered on the trial cruise can be implemented.

Good luck and safe sailing


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Old 24-07-2006, 02:41   #3
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You start out the trip with 2 buckets.

One bucket is empty and is called experience.
The other bucket is full and is called luck.

As you sail along the empty bucket will slowly fill up and the full bucket will slowly empty out....In the meantime, be careful out there...

As far as keeping the boat in charter:

It may be beaten up pretty good and it may be expensive putting it back in shape: New rigging, sails, etc in addition to outfitting the boat for the Big Trip.
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Old 24-07-2006, 09:31   #4
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Try and get some offshore experiance. One of the best ways to do this is to crew on boats being delivered. This will let get some feel for offshore conditions while someone else is still in charge of the boat.
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Old 24-07-2006, 10:46   #5
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Great Ideas!

Thanks! John, I'm so pleased you said that! Yes, she'll come out of charter in the November so we'll have the winter and spring to outfit her/overhaul her. Then we were thinking around the Med for the summer to see how things go, then with luck, come late autumn off to the Canaries and over the "Pond". And yes, we better budget for a good overhaul. Excellent point!

Paul, brilliant idea! Hmm...I might have a chat with the Captain about that. He's done offshore, but I haven't...You wouldn't have any contacts, would you? Or do we just keep our eyes peeled for delivery opportunities?

Cheers, all. I'm really enjoying this forum!
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Old 25-07-2006, 09:03   #6
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If you are looking for crewing opportunities you could follow these two links:

Membership is required if you want to participate.

Perhaps we will meet up with you in the Med next year. Our plans are similar to yours as is our timescale. We are setting off to deliver our boat from the UK to Lagos in S Portugal in the next couple of weeks. Next summer we plan to cruise the Med to gain some live aboard experience before crossing 'the pond'.

Colin & Jane
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Old 25-07-2006, 15:20   #7

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Something you may find "educating" <G>. Start at the bow and work your way ALL the way astern. Lay your hands on every device, fitting, and fastening, and learn what it is, how it can fail, how you would need to replace it...etc.

While you are at it, that allows you to verify that every piece is in working order. When you reach through-hulls, are there damage control plugs attached? If add that to the "ToDo" list, which is often best kept on paper index cards that can be sorted into "easy jobs" "drydock jobs" "solo jobs" "must order parts" etc.

Have you ever tried to access the actual steering mechanism? Checked that the fuel tank is secured? Tightened the shaft log on the prop? Gone into the water to change the prop?

As you do it from bow to stern, you'll probably find a whole batch of "but we never needed to know..." things. Conquer those now, and there will be that much less the boat can surprise you with.

I'm a firm believer that the Gods have no cable television, so they need to find other amusement. If you know how to deal with the problems they can send you...they often pick someone else to play with.<G>

Then there's the rigging and everything above deck, you may want to call out a professional rigger, have him go over everything and show you how to inspect it all. The bits that hold it all together are, in the end, so small and fragile. And often way up there--out of sight and reach.
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Old 26-07-2006, 09:42   #8
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advice to a newbe...

Best advice I could offer is to buy a small sailboat with a main and jib and get comfortable sailing it in big wind.

Master it and you will do just fine on the big boat.

The other advice is to move into the closet in your master bedroom and get used to the cramped quarters.......just kidding....

Good luck!!!

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