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Old 02-07-2015, 06:50   #16
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

Great thread. I'm in the same boat... after a sort. I'm in the process of designing an Allures 45 to eventually sail away on with my wife.

While the boat is being built, I've dedicated this year to increasing my sailing knowledge and experience. By the time autumn rolls around here in Chicago I'll have completed all of the ASA courses up through 106. I'm an active Paramedic and my wife is an ER physician, so I've got the medical piece covered. Other things on my education bucket list are:
A Safety at Sea Course
Docking Cert.
Maritime Diesel Engine Course
Maritime Electronics Course

I'm attending the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis this October as well I've signed up to crew a variety of boats for the hands on experience and to get to know other sailors.

Our plan is to sea trial the Allures in the Great Lakes for 2 or more years, and then slip out into the Atlantic and begin the adventure in ernest. During the two years in the lakes I'll begin to add on the necessary equipment and extras that will not be included in the relatively bare-bones factory build. I'm not sure if I'm "handy" enough to do the work myself, but I want to be intimately involved in the work so that I can understand and fix as required.

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Old 02-07-2015, 08:21   #17
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

Yes, go. I assume you noticed that all of the responses said yes, you will have problems, unexplained crazy events (sailing stories), loneliness (sometimes good), etc, etc.

The only thing you did not hear was stay home and think about some more.

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Old 02-07-2015, 08:22   #18
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

FWIW - your questions are fear based (as were mine before we started this).

"Is there something I don't know about yet?" "Is it scarier than I can imagine?". Fact is you pretty much know what's involved after your classes. Learn how to change the engine oil on someone else's boat- they'll be eternally grateful for the help and you'll learn if it's not your thing. Getting really, really dirty is part of this life and I had to learn not to mind.

If you enjoy your own company, do it. If you want to learn many new skill sets, come on down. And mostly - if you are drawn for no logical reason to living in a small vessel on a big ocean and seeing incredible beauty up close on a daily basis then this is the right choice for you. Please let us know how it goes and hope to see you out there!
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:27   #19
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

Absolutely, the fix it yourself thing doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can pick which jobs or systems you want to tackle yourself and which you are willing to pay a pro to do. As Kenomac and others have said it is good and less costly to to become self sufficient but some jobs you might feel are too toxic, too painful to reach, too technical for your current knowledge level. It is your boat and your choice how much to do yourself.

If you do choose to pay a pro for any job, (diesel, electrical, plumbing, whatever) watch over his/her shoulder, tell them you want to learn. Before long you will know more than you know now. Then keep learning a little more each day. You'll be fine. Do what you can do. Pay for what you can't do. Have fun cruising.

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Old 02-07-2015, 08:29   #20
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

I like these threads. A lot of nostalgia for me looking back. Loved "working on boats in exotic places". Ken's fiberglass day sounds familiar.

I find the boating community to be very friendly so getting lonely may not be an issue except during long passages. It also sounds like you are taking people with you. You may wish for a little loneliness. A boat can become very tight.

Like your choice of a boat in the Caribbean but not for rough passages. Go cruise the BVI for a few years. I am no fan of rough weather. Getting old. Seen too much of it.

Buy your boat in the BVI and hang out there for a while. Use that as a base and occasionally stick your nose into the ocean. Make the passage to St. Martin. Long passages scare me. I prefer coastal cruising. I don't like getting beaten up. I can always hire someone to deliver a boat.

Most of the above concerned maintenance. It can, not only, be extremely expensive but, also, impossible without knowledge. Nigel Calder is my god. Read his books on boat systems. A few pages a night helps. It is interesting and can become a passion. You need to know your boat or spend lots of money.

- Do I have enough experience? - We never have enough experience.
- Will I get lonely? - Not as lonely as an apartment in New York
- Is it too risky? - Absolutely.
- Will it be an endless chore of fixing stuff? - Or burning money.
- Will I love it? - Most probably be the best thing you've ever done. Never met anyone who wished they didn't.

Good luck. Do it.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:33   #21
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

I will add myself to what has been unanimous enthusiasm for your decision, and I agree with the thoughtful comments. I would like to add one suggestion. On the West Coast is an annual event called the Baja HaHa, organized by the very cruising oriented magazine, Latitude 38, which also has an electronic version and a blog. The Haha consists of usually around 150 cruising boats who cruise down the Baja Peninsula in company, in early November. It takes between one and two weeks and is an excellent opportunity to get your feet wet, learn a bit about cruising, learn a lot about the decisions involved, and meet like minded folks. Latitude 38 organizes lots of opportunities for people like you to participate by crewing on boats that would like some help. And, it's a great community, of which you will become a member. I would heartily suggest that you consider making the trip this year. I think it will help you clarify lots of your questions and decisions, and you should have a wonderful time. I doubt that you will have any problem getting a ride. You might want to bring your friends along. Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:37   #22
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

Go on youtube and look up "Honeymoon crosses the ocean". They have about 20 videos of their trip in a Lagoon 380 from the east coast of US to Austrailia. They had a three day sailing lesson before they left and that was it. They had a great time and some luck but made it and had the trip of a lifetime. When you get to the Pacific look me up.
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:55   #23
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

Keep learning and enjoy, planning help me enjoying it even more. Left Canada ine 2008 sail 4-5 months a year, curently in Cyprus.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:25   #24
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

Turn the question around...if you don't go cruising...what will you do? Watch netflix fo 20 years? Even if it doesn't work out in the long run, you have the opportunity here to do something become the most interesting person you are on the cusp of a great adventure that most people only dream about. Don't make me quote Mark Twain!!!!

And if you can find someplace nice with good wifi, you can watch netflix on your boat (like I do).
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:36   #25
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

I'd like to 2nd the idea about chartering an L38 in the carb. for a week. Bring your non-eperienced firends and an experienced sailor. Go for a week to 10 days. Rent your home out on 6 mos. renewables for the initial period when you do shove off. The rest is learn as you go. Live the dream!
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:47   #26
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

You are not mad and you can do this! Get the boat as soon as you can though. Spend time local cruising while you work out the quirks of anchoring, weather prediction, reefing and keeping the batteries charged! Then you are ready for the Caribe.

Yes it can be scarier than you think. Leaving in the afternoon, heading through a passage noted for turbulent seas into the night time, watching heavy thunderstorms 50 miles away... right where you are headed... can be disconcerting. But there are many ways to aid you in minimizing those concerns. Mostly being ready to deal with issues as they come up. You spend 80-90% of the time at anchor.
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 02-07-2015, 12:18   #27
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

If you would like more information about what to look for before you plunk down your money, this website is full of great information.
Marine Survey 101, Do your own marine survey

Best to you...
Denali Rose
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. Dorothy Parker
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:45   #28
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

Absolutely, please go here. This site will help you in many ways and answer all your questions.

Anytime we make a big change in our lives, it is scarey. I also think chartering in the BVI would be a wonderful idea....and tons of fun. Just take that first step; it is the hardest.
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Old 02-07-2015, 13:29   #29
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%

Sorry for silence. Saw 0 messages in my inbox. 😢 Only now realized I had to go back to to the post and was overwhelmed to see all the replies! Thank you so very much!

Some answers freaked me out a bit, e.g. "cruising is boat work in exotic places" but the sum total on that question has given me comfort. I am pretty handy and don't shirk that kind of challenge. E.g. my A/C suddenly acted up but thought I'd have a look before calling a guy - managed to fix it and also sorted some sloppy work done by workmen. I always tell my daughter "with a manual / DIY book you can fix most things cheaper and better yourself". Loved the balance of paid service vs DIY many said. I have a terrible fear of heights so anything up in the mast scares me. Today: "if it's an emergency I can do it, but otherwise I'll pay for that work." The real tales of work done also reminded me "heck, I'm a single mom with a house, a garden, a pool and two cars - I already do a couple of hours of maintenance most days!" So conclusion is: buy the books, dowload manuals, get good routines, ask for help - but it's not like it's all day every day.

The feedback that I have enough experience was a real boost! Yeah, I need to chill a bit on that. Doing is the way we really learn anyway. And I certainly will look up the HaHa! If I'm not there then it is because I've booked a berth on a Lagoon. Was also looking into offshore experience here, but hurricane season is upon us. I will look at the videos people recommended. Thanks also for the link to Women who Cruise. I found the site months ago and seriously would not be where I am today without them.

As to the crazy vs wuss, I get I'm having wedding day jitters. Lots of wisdom from you guys on this question. The Netflix question sure hit home. And the emphasis on the sites I'll get to see, experiences I'll get to have. The feedback reminded me of that excellent Lucille Ball quote: "I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done."

Thank you all! Oh, and yes, I will certainly keep the forum in the loop! I'll be back with tons of Q's about boats, spares, etc before pushing off.
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Old 02-07-2015, 14:12   #30
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Re: 95% decided - need input to get to 100%


It's not hurricane season here in the Med. Why not charter over here? Many more interesting things to see.

Think outside the American box.

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