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Old 05-08-2015, 10:45   #1
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New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

Hello Ladies and Gents,
My real name is Justin and I hail from Charlotte, NC. I've been "cruising" through your forum for awhile now, and really like how helpful and knowledgeable everyone is.

The background and reason:
I know that it will go nothing like this .... as all planned things go.
but..... I'd like to quit my job and travel the world. (Have you heard this before? LOL). I won't be doing this anytime soon though, so I have time to get ready and would like to be prepared enough to take on the world for at least 3 years. I figure that's a good amount of time to see quite a bit of places and check out the surrounding cultures. I won't be casting off anytime soon as stated earlier, which is why I'm here. To get as much information as possible. I'm 30 and my GF of 6 years is 26. I was in the Corps during the war and one one of the best things about it was the travel. I have seen 13 countries other than the US, but it was on the Governments dime and time. (meaning I couldn't just do what I wanted or when I wanted)
Tamara (the GF) has never been anywhere and has always wanted to travel. She especially wants to go to her home country of Venezuela. We currently work pretty good jobs here in Charlotte. She works at the airport as a Broker for freight, and I work at a company called Windstream as a network engineer. Life is good to be honest. We aren't wanting to run away from anything. We would just like to travel before we get to old. I've struggled before and neither of us come from money. So we have done pretty well considering. Now that we have a little money, we don't see the point in filling our house with useless stuff to just sit and stare at it. I'd rather watch a bonfire than TV any day of the week. We are both avid campers and If you couldn't tell...... I like to take my jeep places that others can't. It's not a bro truck with an obnoxious lift and tires. It's made to sleep out of and what we call and expedition rig. Now we've traveled allot here in the US and think it's time to go bigger than the jeep and the East coast in general.

The plan:
Finish paying my house off (2 more years.... maybe 2.5)
That will be the catalyst and the turning point . I know nothing of renting out your own home, but will most likely do this for residual income and a fallback for when we get back (if we come back). It's not out of the realm of possibility to just sale it as well, but would rather keep it. I've done allot of work to it and hand scrapped all my hardwood floors to my liking.

While paying that off as quickly as possible, I'll be getting a small Sailboat to run around here at Lake Norman and learn on. Probably a 25-27 ft'r. Something that we can sleep on and cruise the lakes on the weekend. All the while learning how to sail and seeing what all creature comforts we want and can do without. As a former AD Marine ..... I know I can do without allot and survive. LOL

About a year out from getting the house taken care of.....I'll start looking for a blue water 30-40ft'r.

Once we get that and the house taken care of, I'll be working from home (on board) in a slip somewhere on the coast for awhile....
I feel living on the boat for a period time prior to taking off would be helpful in making sure we have everything we need before leaving the US.

We will then peddle around the Bahamas, Florida, Caribbean for probably 6-8 months at first. We want to make sure we are comfortable on blue water before crossing anything such as the Atlantic.

We have no actual path made up .... but a list of places we'd both like to see.


I have a bunch of questions..... which is why I'm here in this forum. If you've read all of that above, It's appreciated. Advice and tips are ALWAYS WELCOME. We are green to sailing and I'm sure allot of this will change as life has a funny way of throwing wrenches in plans.

I'll start with a few that concern me.
First.... My dog. He's a sweet 120lbs dobbie that I'm finding will be the hardest thing to give up. Anyone ever cruised with a really big dog in such a small space? He's top heavy too ..... So I'm not sure how seaworthy he'd be out there on the open ocean.

Paperwork...... What all do I need to leave the Country and go to any other country via boat?

Lots of hardware questions, but I'll save those til I have something to more specific to the boat I buy.

Again, thanks for reading and answering if possible.
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Old 18-08-2015, 11:02   #2
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

Ambitious plan but you seem to be giving it a lot of thought. You don't mention how old your Dobie is but by the time you're ready to shove off, nature may have solved that for you. I hate to say that, I'm a dog lover with two. One is sitting next to me as I write.

Documents vary depending on destination and are constantly changing so I'd put that on the back burner for now.

I would recommend you both take at least a basic sailing course. I would further recommend that you take them separately. That gives you both a chance to learn without worrying what the other person is thinking.

My fiancÚ of 14 yrs wants to learn to handle our 38 ft boat on her own. A great idea but I'm not going to teach her. I plan to hire a female instructor, show her around the boat and walk away. I'm sure she will be more comfortable and learn more.

If possible hang around the marina, put up a note that you are willing to help on projects to learn. The larger boats will have more complex maintenance issues than say a Catalina 22. Perhaps volunteer to crew for day sails. I crewed on a boat for about a year for weekend races. Learned a lot about sail trim and I picked the owners brain for all I could.

This has gotten to long so I will stop.
Welcome to the forum.

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Old 18-08-2015, 13:46   #3
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

Sailed to SoPac with a female Labrador. Dog adapted to boat life well. Did have to boost her up the very long companionway ladder but it wasn't that big a thing getting her in or out of the cabin. After making short cruise and not letting her go ashore, she learned to do her thing on deck. Simple to clean up with a scooper and bucket of water. Unfortunately, she got an unknown distemper bug in the Marquesas and died. She lived on the boat for a year cruising around SoCal and made the passage to the Marquesas with no problems. Did cause us a few issues with other boat owners who were dog phobic in Marinas. Typical sweet disposition Labrador but some people are just irrationally fearful of dogs and might complain to the management.

Shouldn't have any big problems going to areas with rabies though big humbug in places like NZ or Oz. Wouldn't recommend trying to take the dog there and quite possibly Pacific Tropical Islands because of their quarantine regulations
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Old 18-08-2015, 14:16   #4
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

Welcome Aboard, Sailing Jeeper.

It seems you have a good handle on things, and I like that.

About the Dobie, I'm sure he's as sweet as you say, but wait till you get him on a 27' sailboat. He may be just miserable. ....And he would adjust to a new loving family. I couldn't ever recommend taking a big dog like that to sea. They do have non-skid booties for dogs that help with their lack of traction. You have my sympathy: I had to give up my much loved Malemute to go cruising, and shed many tears. But I do think it was right to find him a safe place to be. Once knew a woman who lost her dog overboard on passage from Marquesas to Tonga, and it was horrid for (a) the dog and for the whole rest of the family. I would hate to be in the position of trying to go back and rescue the dog at the risk of the welfare of the boat and crew...a real tough decision, emotionally. Please think hard on that one.

Anyhow, welcome aboard, and enjoy your stay with CF!

Ann

PS. I learned to sail by crewing on club level racing boats. Experiencing different skippers' ways of doing things is interesting, and you can learn a lot that way, in a convivial atmosphere. Tamara will be better crew if she learns as much as you do--and the self confidence she gains will be well worth her efforts. Ladies who think sailing is fun make good partners.
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Old 18-08-2015, 15:38   #5
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

SailingJeeper, first of all thank you for your service in the Marine Corps.

I'm sure you will love sailing. I'm not trying to be negative but you mentioned your love of travel and your desire for your girlfriend, Tamara, to experience travel as a major motivation. You both have jobs that pay well and that you feel good about. Have you considered getting a smaller boat for local cruising and taking really nice vacations to more exotic places? Or charter in many different beautiful locations.

You can fly and stay in luxurious places for much less time and money than the cost and work of buying, maintaining, docking, etc. and the huge commitment of time to get from one place to another. And, you would not have to give up well paying jobs during your most productive earning years.

If this is truly what you want, living aboard and cruising is a wonderful life. But it's not for everyone. Go slowly, try it out, learn to sail. Take your time along the way of learning if this is really for you and for Tamara.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 18-08-2015, 15:57   #6
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

Howdy Justin and Welcome Aboard CF!

You wrote a very good introduction post. Very helpful to understanding your goals. And you have already received some good replies from very experienced sailors.

I lived in a small house with two big Dobermans for several months. I enjoyed walking the dogs and did so every day, mostly because I hated to see them cooped up in small spaces as they were both FULL of energy.

I liked the Dobies. Very good dogs. But, every day, when walking them around a nice neighborhood, I noticed that ALL the people coming towards me on the same sidewalk looked uncomfortable, worried, scared, and most crossed the street before reaching me and the dogs. This happened all the time, though not when I was without the dogs. I asked people about this and everyone expressed that the Dobermans scared them or their children.

Boats and marinas are known as "close quarters" living. There are only a few feet between neighboring boats and the docks are generally only a few feet wide. Consequently, I suspect that a big Dobie will not be welcome by the other marina dwellers.

I would like to take a dog with me on a cruise (love dogs) but would not want to have a big active dog cooped up too long in a small space without a good place to exercise them. That is my personal choice. Consequently, if I were looking for a boat dog, I would probably go small with a breed like a Rat Terrier, Toy Poodle, or similar smaller, short hair, breed. Why smaller? I think they would be easy to lift aboard the boat and up the ladder and easy to find a good place for the dog to stay, less worrisome to other boaters on the dock, and still good company and a good "watch dog" too. Obviously, that dog breed choice is a personal one.
_______________

You mentioned you have a lot of questions.

I have a few tips I like to share with forum newcomers and I hope they will help you as you begin to dig into the great resources here on CF.

WIKI
Take a look at the Cruising WIKI that is found via the tab up on the top menu bar of the forum. It has a LOT of information in it you might find fun, interesting, or helpful.
____________

Looking for Quick Answers?

This is the best and fastest method I have found to the answers I seek here.
Since you are relatively new to the forum, here is my favorite friendly forum search tip: Look at the green menu bar on the forum pages for the drop down "Search" menu. Click on that to drop down a list of search functions. From that drop down menu select the GOOGLE CUSTOM search feature (the second box down) and then enter several different descriptive terms for your topic of interest. That will do a Custom google search of ONLY this site and it is likely to find answers to your questions or results for you. Note: this is VERY different from using the regular forum search box or field (which I never use because of poor search results). Also note, this is NOT found if you use the CF app. It IS found if you use a web browser such as Safari, etc.
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Old 18-08-2015, 15:59   #7
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

Tayana42,

That is an excellent suggestion. They would have the opportunity to try out cruising, get some lessons at a fraction of the cost of ownership.

Even if they decide to get a small pocket cruiser for the nearby lakes. They would get some big boat experience. Best of all, the pooch would find it easier to get on and off the small boat.


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Old 24-08-2015, 11:41   #8
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

Thanks all for the replies. I know it was allot to read.
I'm already switching up my original plans and downsizing a bit. (leaning towards a Westerly Centaur/Griffon 26)
I've decided Shadow would have to stay behind. I have allot of family and friends that I know he'd be more happy with.... rather than being stuck on a small boat for a few years. He already gets the disapproving looks from anyone not willing to pet him, and see just how big of a sweetheart he is. There's just something about dobbies that get people all worked up and scared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
SailingJeeper, first of all thank you for your service in the Marine Corps.


You can fly and stay in luxurious places for much less time and money than the cost and work of buying, maintaining, docking, etc. and the huge commitment of time to get from one place to another. And, you would not have to give up well paying jobs during your most productive earning years.

If this is truly what you want, living aboard and cruising is a wonderful life. But it's not for everyone. Go slowly, try it out, learn to sail. Take your time along the way of learning if this is really for you and for Tamara.


S/V B'Shert
You are very welcome, I was young and didn't realize just how messed up the US was at the time when I joined. I never regret it, but wouldn't/couldn't do it again today due to political reasons. (the whole thing is a money racket).

Great advice as well. I'm looking into a nice week or 2 charter to get us both out there and see if we are going to like it. She's not all prissy, so I don't feel I need to worry to much. HOWEVER .... some people don't like the motion of the ocean remain sea sick allot. I'm hoping it's not the case for her, but we'll see once we get out there. I'm not to worried about coming back to the job. We've both made names for ourselves and were seeked out for the positions we are in currently. A 2-3 year hiatus shouldn't hurt too much. I still have allot of friends in this field and believe that the 2-3 years off would be great for me personally. I took off 4 months after I got out of the corps and it was well worth it and needed to gather myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
I would recommend you both take at least a basic sailing course. I would further recommend that you take them separately. That gives you both a chance to learn without worrying what the other person is thinking.

My fiancÚ of 14 yrs wants to learn to handle our 38 ft boat on her own. A great idea but I'm not going to teach her. I plan to hire a female instructor, show her around the boat and walk away. I'm sure she will be more comfortable and learn more.

If possible hang around the marina, put up a note that you are willing to help on projects to learn. The larger boats will have more complex maintenance issues than say a Catalina 22. Perhaps volunteer to crew for day sails. I crewed on a boat for about a year for weekend races. Learned a lot about sail trim and I picked the owners brain for all I could.

This has gotten to long so I will stop.



Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
Never to long sir. Any information is welcome here.

Also good stuff. I'll look into that here soon ( throwing my self out there for crew around the area).
Plus One on having us take the to sailing separately, so that we are both knowledgeable and confident. That is definitely one thing I had not thought about.

Anne/ Steady Hand / Rover, Thanks as well. I've been using the search bar allot. It doesn't always bring up what I need, or am researching, but gets it right usually.

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Old 24-08-2015, 11:50   #9
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

It's just hard to say no to that face .....




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Old 24-08-2015, 14:26   #10
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

If you keep the house and rent it, don't be surprised if it is trashed by the time you return unless you are very lucky. Those hardwood floors won't look anything like they do now, after all, "it's just a rental". I speak from experience, we had 24 rentals at one time, now down to 7. We plan to sell all before leaving so nothing for us to worry about while we are out on the water.

Probably would feel differently if younger, but hate to keep replacing things over and over again.
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Old 24-08-2015, 15:51   #11
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by In Training View Post
If you keep the house and rent it, don't be surprised if it is trashed by the time you return unless you are very lucky. Those hardwood floors won't look anything like they do now, after all, "it's just a rental". I speak from experience, we had 24 rentals at one time, now down to 7. We plan to sell all before leaving so nothing for us to worry about while we are out on the water.

Probably would feel differently if younger, but hate to keep replacing things over and over again.
I have read the horror stories. I'd try very hard to get good renters in .... maybe good friends whose current rental homes are immaculate. I'd cut some one a discount if I knew they'd take care of everything.
The thought of selling is still in my mind .... I'll see how it goes, but that'd be a good fall back if sailing around doesn't work out. On the other hand ...... that'd be a nice chunk of change for a trip that big too.
Everything a compromise.
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Old 25-08-2015, 14:45   #12
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingJeeper View Post
It's just hard to say no to that face .....










I'd have a hard time leaving old slobber face as well. I have a hard time just leaving my little furballs for the day for boat work. Really happy looking pooch.

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Old 25-08-2015, 16:02   #13
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

He' spoiled rotten and it's all our fault.
He actually has separation anxiety. Shadow is a super happy dog though. He's 4 and I've had him since the "lil" guy could fit in one hand.

I'm weird I guess.... It's not missing my family or not having allot of money that has been pecking away at me while thinking of living abroad ....It's the dog I think I'll miss the most.
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Old 26-08-2015, 14:20   #14
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

At 4 he still has a lot of potential years left in him. In my case I don't know who gets separation anxiety worse? Me or my American Eskimo.

I don't envy your decision.

Good luck and best wishes to both of you

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Old 26-08-2015, 15:18   #15
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Re: New Here and to Sailing // I'd like to share a bit // and I have a few questions

I have an 80lb West Siberian Laika (wolfdog) that has done well up and down the east coast and is now bound for the islands.

He loves getting about 5-6 miles of dog biking in each day, but can go for periods more sedate if needed. He has done a couple 2-3 day passages with no issues. He's 6 now and spent the first two years of his life on a farm in rural NC. It's a lot of work, but IME is doable if you REALLY want to bring to dog.

It would certainly be a lot easier and at times more enjoyable not to have him. That said, he has taken to water well, loves running on beaches, swimming in the water, barking at dolphins, and knows how to keep himself cool.

I get mostly positive responses from people. But as other's have said, others are totally not about it and like to teach their children to be fearful of large animals We're all pretty well socialized aboard this boat so there have been no real issues.

If you do end up bringing him get netting on your lifelines, and think about an inflatable dog lifejacket that can be outfitted with an automatic AIS rescue beacon. Vlady has the same MOB setup that we do onboard. If he did happen to go over, he would setoff a 10 mile AIS alarm with a GPS fix.

Good luck and all the best.

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