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Old 25-07-2011, 14:31   #1
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From Beginners to Fulltime Liveaboards

Hubby and I started our sailing classes with the ASA 101 last June 25th. We have never sailed before and are thinking about buying ourselves a PDQ 36 and becoming fulltime liveaboards by the end of 2012. We are practicing our newly acquired skills every weekend, we will do the ASA 103 on August 6th and 7th and keep on practicing until our club closes for winter sometime in October. We are sailing in the northern part of the Champlain Lake in Vermont.

We will continue our studies during the winter so that we will be ready to resume our courses and our practices next spring as soon as the sailing club reopens. There are 3 courses that we will have to take once we will have purchased our catamaran and there are a lot of books hubby will need to read in order to take care of the catamaran as best as possible.

At first, our plan is to sail in the Caribbean sea to gain as much experience as possible. From there, who knows where the wind will take us.

In your opinion, is this schedule a feasible one?
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Old 25-07-2011, 14:46   #2
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Ummm considering that my husband and I had never sailed and we purchased a 26 foot boat in February, repainted the bottom and outfitted it with some conveniences (read air conditioning) and moved aboard in June and have since taught ourselves to sail...I would say, yes, your schedule is more than feasible.
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Old 25-07-2011, 15:09   #3
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Re: Challenge : From beginner to fulltime liveaboards.

Go for it! You've only got one life, live it!!!!!!!!
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Old 25-07-2011, 15:18   #4
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Re: Challenge : From Beginners to Fulltime Liveaboards

Very doable. Come south with the other snow birds from the frozen north and hop over to the Bahamas for a start. You will meet lots of fun folks along the way and learn your boat and the routine. If the "Thornless passage" beckons you then cruise on.
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Old 25-07-2011, 16:02   #5
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Re: Challenge : From Beginners to Fulltime Liveaboards

Thanks for your responses, the more we talk about it, the more stars I see in Hubby's eyes. He still is a little anxious about this schedule but I know he will quickly warm up to it As for me, I would already be gone

Wow Tori, that is what I call diving totally into your new life, way to go!!

I agree Dave, this life is meant to be lived fully!!

Will & Muffin, going through the Bahamas was my plan and from there, hop from one island to the other until we get to Venezuela. From there, we could go through the Panama Canal or go visit South America, that is yet to be decided. I wanted to know if there was a safe passage way down south to go to Chili without going through Cap Horn. I saw something on Google map but is it safe?
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Old 25-07-2011, 17:24   #6
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Re: Challenge : From Beginners to Fulltime Liveaboards

Dominique, One of the first rules of cruising is not to have a hard schedule. Get comfortable before taking on too much.
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Old 25-07-2011, 19:33   #7
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Re: Challenge: From Beginners to Fulltime Liveaboards

I agree, there is no timeline in this itinerary, it is just lots of ideas that are rushing through my head I am full of those
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Old 25-07-2011, 21:06   #8
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Re: Challenge: From Beginners to Fulltime Liveaboards

Missou...my wife and I had a similar experience as you are planning. August 09, we sailed one day with our son and thought sailing could be an interesting retirement dream. Just three months later, November 20, 09 we were new boat owners!!! Hired a Captain to help deliver the boat to our new slip in NC. When the Captain realized I was the new owner, he said " you've got the wheel and I'm here to help you!" Talk about jumping in with both feet...

Along the way from Wilmington, NC to New Bern NC, the Captain instructed me on everything. But honestly...nothing stuck. I was so concerned with depth, current, and other boats that I wasn't even aware it was freezing out there! I hung on that wheel for two days and brought it into the slip after dark. That's when five people appeared on the dock with hands outstretched to keep me from moving the docks. Fortunately for me, reverse worked very well and the bow didn't even touch the dock. (The good Lord was watching over me)

After interviewing an number of sailing instructors, we brought Captain Ed Shires on board for ten days to teach ASA 101, 103, 104. On nice days, we went out on the water and practiced. Our final exam was a three day trip to Cape Lookout...both Judy and I got sick...welcome to sailing!

After taking the courses, we began venturing onto the Neuse River for lunch and an afternoon sail ...then did weekends near Oriental and finally planned our big one. From October 2010 to May 2011 we lived on board, motor/sailing South on the ICW and finally going outside at Fort Pierce. We ending up in Marathon, Fla until April. On the return leg, we did our first overnight run going continuously for 35 hours. Charbonneau logged over 2000 miles for the total trip. It was a good shake-down for the boat and for us, too. Found things on the boat that required repair and also pushed our boating skills ahead and learned a whole lot more... we've been married 43 years, but yet I encountered things about my wife I never knew!

Now we're Bahamas bound, planning and saving for the next "big'un". So, get the instruction, practice docking and anchoring as much as possible, be cautious of weather, tides, currents, other boats, and most importantly... enjoy yourself!

Bill
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Old 25-07-2011, 21:12   #9
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Re: Challenge: From Beginners to Fulltime Liveaboards

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Originally Posted by Missou View Post
At first, our plan is to sail in the Caribbean sea to gain as much experience as possible. From there, who knows where the wind will take us.
Actually, we've got a fairly good idea which way the wind blows when you're departing the Caribbean Sea.

Fair winds, regardless!
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Old 25-07-2011, 21:21   #10
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Re: Challenge: From Beginners to Fulltime Liveaboards

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Actually, we've got a fairly good idea which way the wind blows when you're departing the Caribbean Sea.

Fair winds, regardless!

I agree, but right now, I don't know how we will get to the western coast
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Old 25-07-2011, 21:42   #11
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Re: Challenge: From Beginners to Fulltime Liveaboards

What a learning experience Anemone!! I appreciated the ASA 101 class so much and can't wait until we do the 103 class. I am going over the theory everyday. We will do the 105 which is a classroom course over the winter and the 104 and 106 next summer. One of Hubby's co-worker studied clouds and gave him everything he has. It will be very usefull. We will do the 107, 108 which are the celestial navigation and offshore passage making courses and the 114 which is the cruising catamaran course once we get our catamaran. Then again, we should probably do the celestial navigation course which has no prerequisite and is a classroom course too this coming winter.

This is so exciting!!
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Old 27-07-2011, 14:15   #12
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Re: Challenge: From Beginners to Fulltime Liveaboards

Missou, it sounds to me like you guys are taking responsibility to learn the theory. And that's great! A lot of it will make so much more sense, the more time you spend *sailing* once you have a boat. Good advice we got from experienced offshore sailors - practice, practice, practice (which also means you get to know your boat), and then go!

I went from a handful of day sails - to cruising on a boat in the Med for 2 months. My husband and I fell in love with the lifestyle, came back from Europe, sold our house and most of our belongings,took a bunch of courses, bought a boat - refit it and are heading offshore this September. (My husband had tall ship experience and is now a certified shipwright)

It can be done! Best of luck!
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