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Old 13-06-2013, 17:26   #1
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pirate For the Sympathetic Among You: Many Questions from a Passionate Young Landlubber

I apologize if this is in the wrong forum, first of all. If so, if I am directed to the appropriate forum then I will shift this all to there, thanks. As for the bulk of my post and questions here, any and all help/sympathy/suggestions/criticisms/etc will be greatly appreciated, oh wise cruisers of the blue. It has been my dream since I was a little kid to live on a boat and sail around the world (or at least wherever I fancy/that seems a good idea at the time) in a small ship, alone with myself as "captain." I am 21 years now, and intend on being a writer in the future. So money is tight. Furthermore, I live in the MIDDLE OF THE CONTINENT prairies of North America (Saskatchewan, Canada) so any and all things to do with sailing are simply nonexistent here as there is no sea for a thousand miles in any direction. This sucks, as my dream is of course to become a vagabond live aboard for at least a number of years of my life in my 20s.
I've researched like crazy but I still have many questions:



1. I will be moving to China with a friend next year for a year to teach english. I thought of this as a way to potentially make my boat dream a reality too. WHAT IF I somehow acquired a CHEAP BUT SEAWORTHY 30-35 foot (or...?) sailing ship WHILE IN CHINA (I'll be in a coastal city, after all) and then instead of renting an apartment there, I live ON the boat in the marina/wherever nearby whatever school I end up in, and then live on the boat for a year as a result and get intimate with it and learn every single thing about my ship/home in that time, while in port all year. (Question #3 will deal with HOW I learn to sail, so for now it's just a matter of answering if that first part of all this plan is impossible/crazy/etc or not. Would I get ripped off buying a CHEAP used sailboat in China with the intention of eventually sailing her myself back to Canada? Is that suicide or is it possible?)
2. just how cheap is "cheap" with all this? I do NOT have a lot of disposable income or much savings etc and would be doing ALL of this as frugally as possible, so how much money would I need for the boat and enough supplies/whatever to sail from China all the way to the west coast of Canada after my year in China is complete? I'd like a ship with at least one extra berth so that I can entertain/bring friends on voyages too from time to time, if I can afford one big enough for more than just one person but that can still be sailed entirely by myself alone? Also would there likely be a lot of extra work I'd have to fund for making her totally suited to sail all the way to Canada?


3. As for learning to sail, I figure I'd hire a local english speaker to take me out on weekends and learn how to sail as often as possible, a few weekends a month or whatever. (+reading a ton about sailing etc and my own research on my own time, of course) So almost every weekend for a year I'd be going for short cruises with a teacher to teach me how to sail single hand/alone. THEN after a year of that teaching surely I'd have the ability to safely sail from China to Victoria, BC, Canada all by myself (or maybe with my friend whose coming with me to China, but he might fly home instead)? Is THIS part of my plan insane or is it possible and worth the effort if I'm passionate about living aboard long-term once back in Canada and learning to sail and travelling by sail in general while I have the boat (which I definitely am)?

4. You can get wifi on your boat when you're out to see if you get a wireless router, right? THAT would make me never want to return to port, haha! (I would spend my whole life alone at sea if I had enough supplies, a thousand books, my guitar, my laptop, WIFI/INTERNET power, and fair weather…)


5. what's the "best" type of boat for a young cheap beginner like me who wants to use his vessel for long haul travelling (like, from British Columbia to the Carribbean or New Zealand or somewhere, THOSE sorts of long voyages all alone)? Specific makes/models for beginners that are CHEAP to buy and CHEAP to sail/upkeep would be appreciated. Common ones that I could look into, or something?

6. HOW CAN I HAVE A STEADY SOURCE OF INCOME WHILE AT SEA/TRAVELLING? This is still a huge concern of mine. If I have a seaworthy ship then that's great but useless if I can't make money while on my adventures. It's all impossible because I'd run out of supplies and money QUICK. I don't care if I hate the job as long as I can do it ON MY BOAT and in ANY PLACE IN THE WORLD and make enough money legitimately so that I may be a live aboard vagabond travelling the seas wherever I please for however long-term I want? I have no "old money" or any way of making a huge pile of cash quick to finance things, so I need an ongoing stream of money somehow for the next few years of life as a traveller of the seas. I am willing to take a specialized course in something if need be to get a job that I can make money at while at sea or in some far-off place.

So, how crazy is this Chinese boat buying/living idea? I mean, I'll be in a coastal city anyway for a year so it seems like the perfect time to learn to sail (since normally I live in the middle of the prairies) while near water in China and then eventually sail MYSELF back to Canada. If I can do that, I can sail anywhere, I'd be sure. Then after spending time in home port of Victoria I would, if I had the mystery job from question #6, have the freedom to set sail for my next destination. I really can't wait for it all. For THAT all to be my life (I'm sure you all got chills down your spine thinking about it all like I do now when you were just starting out, right?)

Again, any and all comments/ideas/information/experiences/concerns/criticisms/whatever is greatly appreciated, one and all. I swear if I ever meet any of you in a port somewhere you will be bought some beverages or something by me! I always repay favours when possible, so message me in two years or however long it takes me to make all actually a reality. I'm sure I'll have all sorts of stories of my adventures in China/Asia and about the voyage from China to Canada by then, right?

Thank you all.

Fair winds,
-Peter (age 21, Canada)
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Old 13-06-2013, 17:32   #2
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Re: For the sympathetic amoung you: Many questions from a passionate young landlubber

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMuiraAnjin View Post
I've researched like crazy but I still have many questions:

-Peter (age 21, Canada)
I stopped reading as except for the China location it seems all these questions are asked a few times a month here on CF. So if you researched like crazy and used the search function here on the site you know all our answers.

Good luck!
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Old 13-06-2013, 17:59   #3
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Re: For the sympathetic amoung you: Many questions from a passionate young landlubber

Single-handing a "cheap" sailboat on a trip of that distance by an inexperienced sailor is not recommended, although I like your idea about buying a boat and learning to sail during your time there. A few trips on a boat will likely dampen your hopes to sail the boat home, and you will find there is a lot to learn about sailing a boat in coastal areas, let alone across oceans. Join a yacht club, sign up for lessons, learn to sail, but leave the boat there, fly to Victoria, or Vancouver, then consider your options. There are a million boats around here, liveaboard moorage is hard to find, but a young ambitious guy will always find a way to make it work.
Good luck, and follow that dream.
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Old 13-06-2013, 18:12   #4
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Re: For the sympathetic amoung you: Many questions from a passionate young landlubber

Hi Peter,
Loved your passion and ideas. AS to your questions well some might answer with a simple 42 but I think its more complex than you think.
I personally believe you have the answer to the income side already and if you do just a little more research here you will find the answers to those questions.
I hope you live your dream as life is short.
Derek
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Old 13-06-2013, 18:14   #5
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Re: For the sympathetic amoung you: Many questions from a passionate young landlubber

Crossing the Pacific on a sailboat in the higher latitudes is no joke.

Everything I've read about China is that it's terrible for getting a boat into. Red tape, graft, corruption, and expense. That's what I've gleamed from noonsite and other people's first hand reports.
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Old 13-06-2013, 18:19   #6
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Re: For the sympathetic amoung you: Many questions from a passionate young landlubber

Two problems come to mind, not including your lack of sailing experience. One is that there are very, very few sailboats in China. boating is just getting going there and people are buying power boats to sit on in the few marinas that exist. The second problem is that the culture of sailing, cruising, and liveaboarding do not exist. We were going to take our boat to China but found out that they treat you as a ship with high costs (eg pilot fees) and great bureaucracy. I think your plan is just impractical, sorry. Best thing you can do in China is save your money and read a lot.
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Old 13-06-2013, 18:52   #7
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I love your dream, go to china and have fun but I suggest you buy your first boat in Canada when you get back. You can pick up a nice 25 footer sailboat and live on it for 2500-4000. I would move near the great lakes to start as BC is really expensive and the east coast might be too rough for an inexperienced sailor. Check Craigslist or kijiji. Good luck, fair winds and don't give up on your dream.
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Old 13-06-2013, 19:09   #8
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Originally Posted by TheMuiraAnjin View Post
I apologize if this is in the wrong forum, first of all. If so, if I am directed to the appropriate forum then I will shift this all to there, thanks. As for the bulk of my post and questions here, any and all help/sympathy/suggestions/criticisms/etc will be greatly appreciated, oh wise cruisers of the blue. It has been my dream since I was a little kid to live on a boat and sail around the world (or at least wherever I fancy/that seems a good idea at the time) in a small ship, alone with myself as "captain." I am 21 years now, and intend on being a writer in the future. So money is tight. Furthermore, I live in the MIDDLE OF THE CONTINENT prairies of North America (Saskatchewan, Canada) so any and all things to do with sailing are simply nonexistent here as there is no sea for a thousand miles in any direction. This sucks, as my dream is of course to become a vagabond live aboard for at least a number of years of my life in my 20s.
I've researched like crazy but I still have many questions:

1. I will be moving to China with a friend next year for a year to teach english. I thought of this as a way to potentially make my boat dream a reality too. WHAT IF I somehow acquired a CHEAP BUT SEAWORTHY 30-35 foot (or...?) sailing ship WHILE IN CHINA (I'll be in a coastal city, after all) and then instead of renting an apartment there, I live ON the boat in the marina/wherever nearby whatever school I end up in, and then live on the boat for a year as a result and get intimate with it and learn every single thing about my ship/home in that time, while in port all year. (Question #3 will deal with HOW I learn to sail, so for now it's just a matter of answering if that first part of all this plan is impossible/crazy/etc or not. Would I get ripped off buying a CHEAP used sailboat in China with the intention of eventually sailing her myself back to Canada? Is that suicide or is it possible?)
2. just how cheap is "cheap" with all this? I do NOT have a lot of disposable income or much savings etc and would be doing ALL of this as frugally as possible, so how much money would I need for the boat and enough supplies/whatever to sail from China all the way to the west coast of Canada after my year in China is complete? I'd like a ship with at least one extra berth so that I can entertain/bring friends on voyages too from time to time, if I can afford one big enough for more than just one person but that can still be sailed entirely by myself alone? Also would there likely be a lot of extra work I'd have to fund for making her totally suited to sail all the way to Canada?

3. As for learning to sail, I figure I'd hire a local english speaker to take me out on weekends and learn how to sail as often as possible, a few weekends a month or whatever. (+reading a ton about sailing etc and my own research on my own time, of course) So almost every weekend for a year I'd be going for short cruises with a teacher to teach me how to sail single hand/alone. THEN after a year of that teaching surely I'd have the ability to safely sail from China to Victoria, BC, Canada all by myself (or maybe with my friend whose coming with me to China, but he might fly home instead)? Is THIS part of my plan insane or is it possible and worth the effort if I'm passionate about living aboard long-term once back in Canada and learning to sail and travelling by sail in general while I have the boat (which I definitely am)?

4. You can get wifi on your boat when you're out to see if you get a wireless router, right? THAT would make me never want to return to port, haha! (I would spend my whole life alone at sea if I had enough supplies, a thousand books, my guitar, my laptop, WIFI/INTERNET power, and fair weather…)

5. what's the "best" type of boat for a young cheap beginner like me who wants to use his vessel for long haul travelling (like, from British Columbia to the Carribbean or New Zealand or somewhere, THOSE sorts of long voyages all alone)? Specific makes/models for beginners that are CHEAP to buy and CHEAP to sail/upkeep would be appreciated. Common ones that I could look into, or something?

6. HOW CAN I HAVE A STEADY SOURCE OF INCOME WHILE AT SEA/TRAVELLING? This is still a huge concern of mine. If I have a seaworthy ship then that's great but useless if I can't make money while on my adventures. It's all impossible because I'd run out of supplies and money QUICK. I don't care if I hate the job as long as I can do it ON MY BOAT and in ANY PLACE IN THE WORLD and make enough money legitimately so that I may be a live aboard vagabond travelling the seas wherever I please for however long-term I want? I have no "old money" or any way of making a huge pile of cash quick to finance things, so I need an ongoing stream of money somehow for the next few years of life as a traveller of the seas. I am willing to take a specialized course in something if need be to get a job that I can make money at while at sea or in some far-off place.

So, how crazy is this Chinese boat buying/living idea? I mean, I'll be in a coastal city anyway for a year so it seems like the perfect time to learn to sail (since normally I live in the middle of the prairies) while near water in China and then eventually sail MYSELF back to Canada. If I can do that, I can sail anywhere, I'd be sure. Then after spending time in home port of Victoria I would, if I had the mystery job from question #6, have the freedom to set sail for my next destination. I really can't wait for it all. For THAT all to be my life (I'm sure you all got chills down your spine thinking about it all like I do now when you were just starting out, right?)

Again, any and all comments/ideas/information/experiences/concerns/criticisms/whatever is greatly appreciated, one and all. I swear if I ever meet any of you in a port somewhere you will be bought some beverages or something by me! I always repay favours when possible, so message me in two years or however long it takes me to make all actually a reality. I'm sure I'll have all sorts of stories of my adventures in China/Asia and about the voyage from China to Canada by then, right?

Thank you all.

Fair winds,
-Peter (age 21, Canada)
Drop out of school... Do your stcw95 and go to work on the yachts while gaining experience, saving money, and seeing the world...

I did it and have no regrets... Back in school now, living comfortably, and have more life experience thans any of my peers...

Stopping dreaming an start doing!
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Old 13-06-2013, 19:22   #9
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Re: For the Sympathetic Among You: Many Questions from a Passionate Young Landlubber

TMA you are in for one big shock when you get to China most people there will have only seen a yacht in a book if that. Take it from me ( I lived in China ) there are no cheap yachts in China I suggest you get on with some research on China so you will know what you are heading for and so you can enjoy your time there as it is a very exciting place and will be wonderful experience for you. Sort out the sailing thing when you get back. Cheers Jacko
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Old 13-06-2013, 20:17   #10
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Re: For the Sympathetic Among You: Many Questions from a Passionate Young Landlubber

Last I checked ( being in the Teaching English Abroad scheme myself ), China and the University will decide where you live while teaching under your contract. You will not have free reign to decide to live where you please.
Also as Jacko mentioned, there ain't no thing as a cheap yacht in China. Even the junks are very pricey. Good luck with your teaching gig and enjoy.
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Old 13-06-2013, 20:23   #11
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Re: For the Sympathetic Among You: Many Questions from a Passionate Young Landlubber

HI Peter and welcome to the forum. I think most of the members of this forum share a similar dream. I grew up in deep south and never even saw the ocean until I was in high school and I managed to become a sailor. First step I think for you is to build more basic knowledge of boats and boating.

If you are really are passionate about sailing then start reading and studying everything you can about boats. Anyone can spend ten minutes to post something on the internet. If you are serious then put some energy into it. No one here got to be a sailor by wishing it but by learning and doing. Start at the local library, it's free, and read everything on the shelf. Doesn't matter if it's sailboats, power boats, boat building, boat engines, navigation. Read it all, it will all be useful.

So, as to your specific questions, see the comments below.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMuiraAnjin View Post
I apologize if this is in the wrong forum, first of all. If so, if I am directed to the appropriate forum then I will shift this all to there, thanks. As for the bulk of my post and questions here, any and all help/sympathy/suggestions/criticisms/etc will be greatly appreciated, oh wise cruisers of the blue. It has been my dream since I was a little kid to live on a boat and sail around the world (or at least wherever I fancy/that seems a good idea at the time) in a small ship, alone with myself as "captain." I am 21 years now, and intend on being a writer in the future. So money is tight. Furthermore, I live in the MIDDLE OF THE CONTINENT prairies of North America (Saskatchewan, Canada) so any and all things to do with sailing are simply nonexistent here as there is no sea for a thousand miles in any direction. This sucks, as my dream is of course to become a vagabond live aboard for at least a number of years of my life in my 20s.
I've researched like crazy but I still have many questions:



1. I will be moving to China with a friend next year for a year to teach english. I thought of this as a way to potentially make my boat dream a reality too. WHAT IF I somehow acquired a CHEAP BUT SEAWORTHY 30-35 foot (or...?) sailing ship WHILE IN CHINA (I'll be in a coastal city, after all) and then instead of renting an apartment there, I live ON the boat in the marina/wherever nearby whatever school I end up in, and then live on the boat for a year as a result and get intimate with it and learn every single thing about my ship/home in that time, while in port all year. (Question #3 will deal with HOW I learn to sail, so for now it's just a matter of answering if that first part of all this plan is impossible/crazy/etc or not. Would I get ripped off buying a CHEAP used sailboat in China with the intention of eventually sailing her myself back to Canada? Is that suicide or is it possible?)

Never been to China but everything I have heard and read agrees with previous comments. China is just now growing a middle class. Yachts are very rare and there are very few provisions for yachting, cruising, marinas, etc. Best thing to do is spend your tine studying and saving a few bucks.

2. just how cheap is "cheap" with all this? I do NOT have a lot of disposable income or much savings etc and would be doing ALL of this as frugally as possible, so how much money would I need for the boat and enough supplies/whatever to sail from China all the way to the west coast of Canada after my year in China is complete? I'd like a ship with at least one extra berth so that I can entertain/bring friends on voyages too from time to time, if I can afford one big enough for more than just one person but that can still be sailed entirely by myself alone? Also would there likely be a lot of extra work I'd have to fund for making her totally suited to sail all the way to Canada?

This question has been asked and answered and argued a few thousand times on this forum. Search the archives when you have a few hours to spend reading. Short answer, it costs as much as you can spend. You can often find an old, small, beat-up but serviceable sailboat for free (emphasis on small and beat-up). If you have great DIY skills and can scrounge parts, don't care if the boat is shiny and pretty, and have more spare time than money you can fix it up for very little monetary cost and go sailing. You will not be living in luxury but if that's what you want it can happen.


3. As for learning to sail, I figure I'd hire a local english speaker to take me out on weekends and learn how to sail as often as possible, a few weekends a month or whatever. (+reading a ton about sailing etc and my own research on my own time, of course) So almost every weekend for a year I'd be going for short cruises with a teacher to teach me how to sail single hand/alone. THEN after a year of that teaching surely I'd have the ability to safely sail from China to Victoria, BC, Canada all by myself (or maybe with my friend whose coming with me to China, but he might fly home instead)? Is THIS part of my plan insane or is it possible and worth the effort if I'm passionate about living aboard long-term once back in Canada and learning to sail and travelling by sail in general while I have the boat (which I definitely am)?

Maybe not insane but unlikely. There have been a few cruisers who bought a boat and took off on major voyages with very little experience and had a successful voyage. There have been many, many more inexperienced sailors that did not. Some gave up at the first port, some didn't make it more than a few miles from land before abandoning ship, a few never made it. Sailing is generally a safe thing but very unforgiving. A small mistake can result in a big problem. China to the US is a very ambitious sail. Sort of like someone that's 18years old and had a drivers license for a year or two who wants to drive a car in the Indianapolis 500.

4. You can get wifi on your boat when you're out to see if you get a wireless router, right? THAT would make me never want to return to port, haha! (I would spend my whole life alone at sea if I had enough supplies, a thousand books, my guitar, my laptop, WIFI/INTERNET power, and fair weather…)

Wrong. Once you are a few miles from the coast you have no connection except satellite (very expensive) or short wave radio (expensive and very slow connections).


5. what's the "best" type of boat for a young cheap beginner like me who wants to use his vessel for long haul travelling (like, from British Columbia to the Carribbean or New Zealand or somewhere, THOSE sorts of long voyages all alone)? Specific makes/models for beginners that are CHEAP to buy and CHEAP to sail/upkeep would be appreciated. Common ones that I could look into, or something?

Go read a couple dozen books about sailing and sailors and then come back and ask this question. Or again, read one of the several dozen threads on this forum that asked that exact same question.

6. HOW CAN I HAVE A STEADY SOURCE OF INCOME WHILE AT SEA/TRAVELLING? This is still a huge concern of mine. If I have a seaworthy ship then that's great but useless if I can't make money while on my adventures. It's all impossible because I'd run out of supplies and money QUICK. I don't care if I hate the job as long as I can do it ON MY BOAT and in ANY PLACE IN THE WORLD and make enough money legitimately so that I may be a live aboard vagabond travelling the seas wherever I please for however long-term I want? I have no "old money" or any way of making a huge pile of cash quick to finance things, so I need an ongoing stream of money somehow for the next few years of life as a traveller of the seas. I am willing to take a specialized course in something if need be to get a job that I can make money at while at sea or in some far-off place.

Same answer as #5 above. Many previous discussions on the forum about this. Use the search funtion. 99% of the jobs in the world involve your presence at where you work so the options are very limited. Once you leave your home country most places will require green cards or the local equivalent. Half the new boaters want to write about sailing to support themselves so you can stand in that line.

So, how crazy is this Chinese boat buying/living idea? I mean, I'll be in a coastal city anyway for a year so it seems like the perfect time to learn to sail (since normally I live in the middle of the prairies) while near water in China and then eventually sail MYSELF back to Canada. If I can do that, I can sail anywhere, I'd be sure. Then after spending time in home port of Victoria I would, if I had the mystery job from question #6, have the freedom to set sail for my next destination. I really can't wait for it all. For THAT all to be my life (I'm sure you all got chills down your spine thinking about it all like I do now when you were just starting out, right?)

Again, anything could happen but the odds of doing much sailing in China are very slim.

Again, any and all comments/ideas/information/experiences/concerns/criticisms/whatever is greatly appreciated, one and all. I swear if I ever meet any of you in a port somewhere you will be bought some beverages or something by me! I always repay favours when possible, so message me in two years or however long it takes me to make all actually a reality. I'm sure I'll have all sorts of stories of my adventures in China/Asia and about the voyage from China to Canada by then, right?

Thank you all.

Fair winds,
-Peter (age 21, Canada)
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Old 14-06-2013, 01:57   #12
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Re: For the Sympathetic Among You: Many Questions from a Passionate Young Landlubber

As a foreigner living in China you must register at the local police station in order to obtain a residence permit and for that you need to present them a valid tenant agreement for an apartment. Never tried it, but I doubt the police will accept a boat in a marina as residence. After living in China > 10 years my experience is, if they don't know something, they don't accept it.
The average Chinese would consider you as nuts, if you are living on a boat.
There are very few marinas in China, because only foreigners and very few Chinese are sailing here. 3 years ago I visited the marina in Qingdao, which is actually located very conveniently close to downtown. But it is almost empty. I wouldn't like to stay there. And it can be freezing cold there.
There is another small marina in Qinhuangdao, in the middle of nowhere. No facilities. We did come here sometimes over the weekend for dinghy sailing. Friends of us are in Shanghai member of a sailing club, but it is mainly dinghy sailing on some lake. Hence it is possible to learn saling here.
Except for the South the coast line is not very inviting for cruising. The weather is never really nice, seldom blue skies, most of the time hazy. In summer too hot and humid and in winter too cold.
In China there is no market for cruising yachts, therefore you have to import your boat. Last year I had a chat with a broker in Singapore and he told me that the Chinese are imposing now skyhigh import duties on boats. As this might target some superyachts, I doubt you can avoid it for a small cruiser. But I never checked it myself.
And if you don't speak the language, you can not deal with the authorities.
For cruising we usually went to Thailnd.
If you need more info, drop me a line.
Cheers
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Old 14-06-2013, 04:37   #13
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Re: For the Sympathetic Among You: Many Questions from a Passionate Young Landlubber

Get to China first and then re-consider your plan - very likely you will decide for self that simply not practical / more fun taking a different approach to both accommodation and life.

Never been to China (it's on my list!), but from experiences in SEA you will have a blast and a learning curve that will be of use to you all your life. The boat stuff can come at anytime and in any place.
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Old 14-06-2013, 06:16   #14
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Re: For the Sympathetic Among You: Many Questions from a Passionate Young Landlubber

Most of your questions have been addressed, so I will jump on this comment...
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMuiraAnjin View Post
I live in the MIDDLE OF THE CONTINENT prairies of North America (Saskatchewan, Canada) so any and all things to do with sailing are simply nonexistent here...
Nonsense. I learned to sail in Nebraska. I was no closer to an ocean than you are, but there are lakes everywhere. The basics of sail trim apply just as much to a small boat in a lake as they do to a ship on the ocean.

In fact, I would argue that learning how to sail in a small boat on a small lake will make you a better sailor in the long run.

Good luck.
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Old 14-06-2013, 06:30   #15
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Re: For the Sympathetic Among You: Many Questions from a Passionate Young Landlubber

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
In fact, I would argue that learning how to sail in a small boat on a small lake will make you a better sailor in the long run.

Good luck.
Heartily agree. Learning sail basics on a small boat you get much better feel for sail trim, winds, etc since your actions and the results on the boat are much easier to see than on a larger boat.
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