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Old 15-02-2009, 07:18   #1
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Question for exp sailors!

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum my name is Derek and Im a 26 year old from Dublin, Ireland.

Anyway my question is quite broad - I was considering joiing a training vessel in May 2010 called the Picton Castle which sails around the world (full circumnavigation) but for a hefty price of $35,000. I know this is a huge amount especialliy as I would be expected to help crew the ship but it truly looks amazing there a link on you tube for this exact Tallship.

I was wondering would I be mad to attempt sailing around the world in different stages ie from port to port on whatever boats I could get onto? It sounds far fetched to me especially as I have no real sailing experience.

I would really appreciate your thoughts on the matter - I am currently in Australia having travelled through Africa , around Asia and the east coast of oz

Many many thanks


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Old 15-02-2009, 09:18   #2
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Sounds very dangerous. Alot of countries and ports I wouldn't want to be alone in.

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Old 15-02-2009, 09:54   #3
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if you're looking for a ride... might want to reconsider the name you've adopted. For many of us, making a passage is all about the quiet. The last person I'd invite to join my crew for anything longer than a daysail would be the fellow who calls himself 'motormouth."

I'm amazed by the number of people who've never crossed an ocean who suddenly decide to circumnavigate. An ocean is a pretty big place, and crossing one is a pretty big deal. You might want to begin with that goal in mind; it would be a lot easier to find a crew position for a given crossing than for a circumnavigation.

A lot easier. Even if you don't have $35,000 in your hip pocket.
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Old 15-02-2009, 09:59   #4
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My suggestion would be to hit the racing circuit and try to get on as a hand. Now I am not talking about those huge open 60's or such, but there are a lot of races in which smaller 35 to 45 foot yachts participate in. A good example would be the Vic Maui Race, also there is one from San Fran to Maui, and so on, you need to search for the races in the area your in, ask at the marina.
As far as booking a voyage with the Picton Castle, I would suggest you read about Laura Gainey being swept overboard in December 2006...Laura Gainey swept into the Atlantic : Overboard : the fifth estate : CBC News and also seek out people who have sailed aboard in the past for their views.
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Old 15-02-2009, 12:13   #5
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It is very easy to find non paying, share the expenses crew positions on boats in cruising ports. The south of France, Spain, Italy, Carribean, etc. are congregation points for cruising boats. Boat crews tend to be a game of musical chairs with switching occuring constantly. Of course, you have to consider why the people are leaving. Captain Blye is alive, well and still cruising. This is the cheapest way to get around but you will still have to have the money to cover the expenses for food, etc.

Sources of crew positions are local sailing mags like 'Latitude 38' in San Francisco. You could also try SSCA Discussion Board :: View Forum - Crew Exchange and such for other websites with crew bulletin boards.

There are paying crew positions out there but they are not common and usually require a nautical skill of some kind. They are also not that glorious as you are essentially a house servant at the beck and call of the owner. Have known a few situations where the owner almost never came around and the crew got paid to sail to exotic places essentially on their own. Those were not common, however.

As far as the 'you pay' cruises, they are fine if you have the money. There are way cheaper ways to go, however. With $28,000, you could buy this reasonably equipped Folk Boat that's for sale in San Francisco for $8,500, sail around the world and probably have money left over.

Yes, ditch the 'Motormouth' handle.

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Old 15-02-2009, 12:28   #6
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You are still young...go for it. It will probably be the best 35,000 you ever spent leaving you with memories of a lifetime. Don't expect it to be all fun and pleasure....memorable, yes.

Life begins where land ends.
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Old 15-02-2009, 12:29   #7
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Thanks a million for the replies so far, Safety would be my main concern alright along with the point that im sure it would be difficult to find vessels going my direction for a lot of it.

Ha as for ditching my username I think i might keep it now , if people are fickle enough to think this describes me as a person the so be it - I don't introduce myself to people in person as motor mouth believe it or not and Im certainly not someone who could be described as one

Thanks again
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Old 15-02-2009, 12:34   #8
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You're name is fine...who cares what others might think.

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Old 15-02-2009, 14:59   #9
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LOL a year on a Tall Ship would knock out your motormouth arrogance A first impression does make all the difference

I did a few weeks on One and All and found it a sensational time!
It went drom Cairns to Darwin stopping off at various research stations so we could participate in whatever animal research was being carried out. The price was quite reasonable so I thought it would be packed to the rafters with bead wearing greenies. I was the youngest on board by a long way! Most gusts were in their 60's. It shows you who the real environmentalists are

The sailing was magnificent, the authentic build of the boat was a treat to see. It really was worth every cent.

Would I be on one for a circumnavigation? I dunno. But after 12 months one would certainly come out a different person.

The ship Picton Castle looks simply fantastic.

Notes on a Circumnavigation.

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Old 16-02-2009, 16:50   #10
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While making our circumnavigation, we met a German fellow in the Marquesas who was doing just that. Friends of ours had him on board for the passage from the Marquesas to Tahiti, and it worked out great for both of them. We met this guy again in New Caledonia, and had him on Faith for the passage to Australia. He managed to hitchhike across the Pacific as crew for a year, and not once did we hear of him, or his hosts suffering a negative experience because of his presence. I'd say go for it. There's a lot less to be afraid of out there than you read about here.
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Old 16-02-2009, 17:24   #11
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Have some good photos of the Picton Castle in Grest Harbor JVD 2006 but can't figure out how to post them here.
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Old 16-02-2009, 18:46   #12
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I have met several young folks who have tall ship experience, mainly on the Class Afloat. I was stuck by how the experience affected them. They were thoughtful, insightful and wise beyond their years.

I would second the suggestion that you check out the CBC program on the Laura Gainey incident aboard the Picton Castle. I have seen the program. I saw several situations that run counter to my standing orders on an offshore boat.

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Old 17-02-2009, 09:00   #13
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Derek, there was also a 'mini-series' a few years back on a group that circumnavigated on the Picton Castle which presented the experience in a largely positive light. While the loss of Laura Gainey was indeed unfortunate, as I recall she was on the ship as paid crew and chose not to wear a safety harness.

In the final analysis, there are some tasks on a tall ship (such as getting out on the yardarms to reef sails) that are never going to be perfectly safe. Its part of the adventure and of the allure - and if you want to be totally safe, you can always circumnavigate in a cruise ship.

Personally, as a neophyte, I think you are on the right track trying the Picton Castle approach rather than 'the inexperienced sailor's guide to hitchiking around the universe', or than buying/equipping/maintaining/navigating and sailing your own boat.

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Old 17-02-2009, 14:05   #14
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I remember watching the tv series 'Tall ship chronicles' that followed the voyage of the Picton Castle. I was very impressed with the skipper he appeared to have a wealth of experience and the right balance between professionalism and approachability.

It looks like the adventure of a lifetime to me.

My own daughter took part in a couple of the Tall ships races, sponsored by Cutty Sark. From her first time aged just 16 she learned a huge amount about sailing and went on to sail professionally for some years. It's a great way of trying out the lifestyle without the rather, IMHO, over-rated glamour of the racing circuit.
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Old 18-02-2009, 02:10   #15
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Hi Derek
I was both an owner/skipper of 29' ancient sailboat that I'd bought for USD1500 and sailed from US to EU and an officer on a 340 ton tall ship "Pogoria" during "Class Afloat" program in the Med.
Both experiences are totally different.

For $35,000 you could buy old but sturdy boat, fix her up and make a 2 year circumnavigation on your own. But before that you should get at least equivalent of RYA Yachtmaster experience plus some boatbuilding. The risk of this enterprise will make you sick but you will turn your life into something completely different. I don't say better.

On the other hand Tall ship is a save trip without much of personal responsibility. It's more like being in an army, you are just small cog in the machine. Not much sailing here really. You don't make strategic decisions, plan route, navigate, predict weather etc. However there may be some sail training or class on board. Also tall ship experience is not very useful on yachts.

If you have determination and time go for the first option. If you want to have a good time and after a year come back to work, take a ride on Picton Castle. I wouldn't try to hitchhike since the risk is bigger then that of cruising on your own, and you are dependent on the unknown people in a greater degree then on a tall ship.
Anyway this is wonderful dilemma.

A story of my cruising on board of 29' sailboat here
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