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Old 16-12-2012, 12:58   #31
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Hey SB, I have been a powerboat owner all my life (42), I was never attracted to sailing... Till I got invited on a 2 week island hopping vacation on a 46' catamaran... That was it, I got hooked! I just finished the diesel class today, finished beginner navigation and VHF classes last week, plenty more classes to go (electricity, coastal nav, weather, first aid) but my mind is made up and I should be living the dream within a year... My point is, if you have the opportunity, try a catamaran! You will find plenty of opinions for and against but the best argument I heard came from the brother in law who owns a bran new beneteau 46, he said his wife will never set foot on my catamaran... When asked why he said: "she will never want to go on the sailboat again!!"....
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Old 16-12-2012, 20:56   #32
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

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When you are very young, you can sleep practically anywhere! I used to sleep in a hammock above a chartered sailboat's deck; it was very comfortable, as long as it didn't rain. As you get older and you attempt ocean cruising, your bones will need more cushioning and "recreational" space; only found in sailboats ranging 35'-40', or bigger. Whichever boat you pick, it is imperative that your keel never exceeds 5 ft; preferably less. Enjoy!

Why should the keel be less than 5 feet? Sorry if thats a dumb question...
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Old 16-12-2012, 21:05   #33
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

G'Day SB,

Don't know what Teknav is on about. There are some areas where one must be more careful with deeper draft vessels, but "less than 5 feet is imperative"?? Plain silly.

Fact: Ann and I have been cruising full time since 1986. Our two boats during this time both draw 2.2 metres (7'2"). We have run aground a few times. People with shallow draft boats run aground too. They tend to do it a little bit closer to the beach, though!

Don's sweat it, mate!

Cheers,

Jim

PS No one else has said it, so for all of us old farts on CF, thanks for serving!
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Old 16-12-2012, 22:00   #34
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

The lady friend and I just bought a boat in Florida. I wouldn't recommend a longer passage with us as I've very limited experience and she's none, but you're welcome to come along and island hop some nice day sails with us for as long as you like in Jan/Feb in the Bahamas/Carib, just pay your way. I'm 32 and she's 22, but we're easy to get along with. Oh, and I should warn you about the Captain... an evil five year old cat that force-snuggles and likes to talk at odd hours of the night
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Old 16-12-2012, 22:16   #35
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I'll second (third?) The "get a small boat" and sail the gell coat right off of it! And I really mean small. Some might think a 25 footer...I mean a Laser, sunfish, or even build one of the many instant boats...no matter where you are stationed, there's water enough to sail something small like that. And you'll really understand what's happening, what sail trim really means...etc. IMO

Also, thanks for serving! I'm a Navy man myself...but since you're wanting to get on the water, you're cool with me ;-)
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Old 16-12-2012, 22:37   #36
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

Might also look at some generic area boating publications/sites/discussion boards for the Pacific NW for when you go back to Seattle...
48 North - The Sailing Magazine Sailing the Northwest pnwsailors.com - Index page threesheetsnw.com/ nwyachting.com/ Pacific Nor’West Boating Pacific Northwest Charter Association - Power and Sail Yacht Charters Pacific Northwest | Sailing World NW Windjammers Sailing the Puget Sound and Pacific Northwest | SailBlogs
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Old 17-12-2012, 00:37   #37
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

The reason I recommended a keel of less than 5 feet is because of the weight of the keel, which reduces your speed due to the added drag. Factoring in the tide, you will be limited on where to anchor as not to hit bottom. Another factor is fuel cost; the heavier the boat, the more it will cost you to propel it. I suggest that you complete a few sailing classes that will include a course on "Bare-Boat Chartering". In this course, you will get a few try-outs on dislodging your boat off a sand bar, among other techniques. Only then, you will appreciate having a smaller keel. Enjoy!
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Old 17-12-2012, 00:51   #38
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The OP mentioned not wanting to do a bareboat charter because he isn't qualified.

Then look into crewed charters. Not on a cruise ship, but on a 40-something-foot sailboat. There are tons of them operating in the Carib and throughout the world. Most will be very happy to combine some how to sail instruction with having a great week on the water
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Old 17-12-2012, 01:03   #39
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

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The reason I recommended a keel of less than 5 feet is because of the weight of the keel, which reduces your speed due to the added drag. Factoring in the tide, you will be limited on where to anchor as not to hit bottom. Another factor is fuel cost; the heavier the boat, the more it will cost you to propel it. I suggest that you complete a few sailing classes that will include a course on "Bare-Boat Chartering". In this course, you will get a few try-outs on dislodging your boat off a sand bar, among other techniques. Only then, you will appreciate having a smaller keel. Enjoy!
Well I gotta say this is the first time I've heard this argument regarding a keel. Assuming the boat is properly designed, the keel will match up against the rig.

Weight, per se, does not cause drag. Area of the keel might, but to be serious, this is not an issue. Teknav you're quoting fuel cost - ahhhh my SAILBOAT, generally uses the wind for propulsion. Fuel cost is insignificant. I sail perhaps 8-900 NM per year and use maybe 70-80 LITERS of diesel.

Maybe you're thinking of motorboats - however they generally don't have keels.

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Old 17-12-2012, 01:09   #40
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

I'll go with those who suggest getting a smaller boat and going sailing. Something like a 22' trailer sailer, so you can keep your house and find out first hand if this is the life for you.

Most on this Forum would have started this way. The thousands of hours of "boat" time they have won't appear in any logbook but it's there.

Book learning, charters, courses and asking questions all have their place but there is no substitute to being in command of your own boat, no matter how small.

I don't think it can be learned. It has to be experienced.
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Old 17-12-2012, 01:35   #41
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

Definitely start learning seamanship basics on a 20'-23' sloop, then move up to a bigger boat. I still suggest a few sailing courses are in order, as to minimize the chances of getting hurt; it is cheaper in the long run, than by trial and error learning.
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Old 17-12-2012, 03:01   #42
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

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But this is a forum for sailing not politics
Fair enuf, only a little bit of chain yanking .

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However, that remindes me what size of boat would I need to make those kind of passages. I was reading other threads and the range is 24-55FT that seems like a big spread to me. I can imagion if driving a 2 and a half T truck vs a geo metro is night and day the same applies to boats right?
Pretty much anything can be done on any length of boat - and likely already has. But often enough folks doing so on the smaller extremes are special. and not always in a good way .

IMO the minimum for comfort (at sea and in port) is around 30 foot (plus or minus a couple of feet depending on boat design)....in practice likely find that somewhere between 35 to 45 is the ballpark. Plusses and minuses to bigger over smaller (and a squillion threads on CF - with the opinions to match!). Boat design as important as pure length.

I would caution about aiming for the go anywhere and does everything everywhere boat from the outset - all boats are compromises, and even if you are actively going places most of your time (90%+?) will be spent at anchor / at the dock. and you could spend a lifetime happily exploring many places without going RTW and only by crossing an ocean once in a blue moon. If time permits, a good argument for starting small (albeit not compulsory) - the main advantage IMO is that your mistakes (especially financially) are smaller and you get to work out what you want on your boat (not what others want / have or you simply think is a good idea).

I don't know Southern Germany, but IIRC a couple of folks on CF over the years have been based around there / central Europe - and they do appear to have lakes around about (don't worry, you can still kill yerself on a lake - so it is proper sailing!). In the absence of any sea nearby, getting time afloat no matter the size (dinghy or daysailor) will be useful later, not just from learning to sail but by being skipper (and possibly even as owner?). Sailing, Skippering, Crewing and Owning are all different "skills" and have own challenges.

The good news is that if you sail in Europe that (AFAIK) there are no armed seabourne patrols of folks inspecting boats to see that you are pooping in accordance with the wishes of da Gubberment .
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Old 17-12-2012, 04:37   #43
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

Hello, Just wanted to point out that as far as sailing goes dingy sailing is a very real way of getting sail training. Nothing like ending up in the drink to enforce the fact you made a mistake. Seriously though small boat handling is a great way to learn sailing at a low cost, plus you will be more likely to single hand a small boat say an albacore or laser sooner then a cruiser. Once you get out on the water with some knowledge you can start to experiment on your own what works and what doesn't. I was lucky to grow up on the water and sailing since I was 3 months old. Sailing has been a part of my life and small boat handling has given me the confidence to take on all types of challenges including my own 32' sailboat, and a 35' tug with a 50' barge that I ran for some time. Just my two cents worth.

All my best
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Old 17-12-2012, 04:44   #44
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

Notice the OP was asking how he could try liveaboard cruising.

That's a very good question. Normally the non-sailiing types write, "Hi I'm thinking about sailing around the world. Never been on a boat. What kind of boat should I and Oh, by the way what's the best route? Do I need to buy charts? and etc etc etc.

Soldierboy here wants to try ocean sailing and living aboard. I think that's a great way to do it. If he likes it - he can start sailing small boats (yes I heartily agree with this) and move on to bigger boats as he gains experience and confidence.

Let's help him get on board a boat and out on the water

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Old 17-12-2012, 08:50   #45
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

As you may have gathered, some of the advice given here, however well meant, should be taken with at least a grain of NaCl, or only applies in certain limited circumstances.

I'm guessing that most sailors in central Europe head for the Adriatic for their ocean holidays, where there is a very active charter industry, particularly in Croatia. Sharing a charter with more experienced sailors might be possible, as well as participating in a skippered charter. Also, there are some yacht clubs on lakes in southern Germany and elsewhere in mittel europa; some of these might offer adult lessons.

How To Germany - Sailing In Germany

Germany - Sailing schools, yachting courses, boat licences
English-language sailing courses in/around Munich - Toytown Germany Toytown Germany - English language news and chat › ... › Munich › Sport in Munich
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The basics to start with that would be good to learn would be parts of the boat (lines and control surfaces, how sailors refer to directions), points of sail (relative to the wind), and the basics of trimming sails to the wind (sheeted in for pointing closer to the wind, out for running with the wind) and how to tell when the sail trim needs to be changed.
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