Don’t hug the coast too closely. Seeing that you’re a fresh water sailor, you may get a false sense of security
being close to shore. You’re much safer a good 10 miles off shore which gives you to give you time to trouble shoot problems with engine
, rigging and sails
We purchased our first boat in Harpswell, ME, and sailed her down to Salem, MA last April. It was our longest cruise
and a step up in boat size for both of us. We were on a lee shore in small craft advisory weather
and my mate wanted to stay within a mile of shore, which put us much closer to shoals and the like. White knuckles for me all day long. Depending on the weather, give yourself a good 5 to 10 miles. We finely ended up ducking into Kennybunkport for shelter.
You have the right attitude in terms of safety
and preparation but a word of advice from this relatively inexperienced sailor, get time on the water with an experienced sailor. If you need to take an ASA
or US Sail basic cruising class then do it.
Do you have a VHF antenna
mounted on the mast
? That will give you much more range.
Practice reefing underway, and reef early and often.
Get very familiar with an online weather app so you don’t get caught in conditions you can’t handle. You''ll be close enough to shore to receive info over your smart phone
Have a back-up hand held vhf and know the proper terminology and usage.
Have a backup chart plotter or backup charts
I'm excited for you. Good luck.