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Old 26-03-2016, 19:44   #1
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Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

Hello Liveaboards!

I want to meet Tacoma area liveaboards. My life recently and dramatically changed and my childhood dream of sailing is now a top priority.

I've already begun planning financially and pairing down possessions to bare minimums. I have a surgery coming soon and once my recovery is done (early to mid summer) I'm starting lessons and deep diving into all things sailboat.

In the meantime I want to meet liveaboard mentors that can help me learn and plan for the next steps. I want to pick brains and learn with actual people. As grateful as I am for this forum I'm getting sick to death of staring at computer screens all day.

So mid to late summer I'm going to jump in headfirst at Puget Sound Sailing. Next year I want to buy a boat and move in and spend every free moment learning the craft. Who wants to play? Are there forums or meetups in Puget Sound area?

I want to know what questions should I be asking? Where does an ignorant person begin? Who should I be looking to talk to for boat surveyors and brokers? Where are the marina mavens who know everything and everyone? Where are the boat whisperers who can overhaul a diesel blindfolded while hanging upside down.

Long term goals include continual circumnavigation and burial at sea.

Best Wishes and I look forward to your responses.

Red Beard
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Old 26-03-2016, 21:11   #2
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

Take ASA 101 and 103, sail on other people's boats in races (usually Wednesday night and the weekend), and pay attention to what you like and what you don't. Then you will have a much better idea of whether you actually enjoy sailing and what aspects of boat design are important to you. Then you will be in a much better position to choose a boat, and you will have figured out what you need to in terms of living aboard. After 101 and 103 you could also consider buying a sub 30' foot boat to learn on, with the intention of selling it when you are ready to move up.

Scads of books out there on every topic imaginable, from living aboard, to tying knots, to fixing up broken boats. Would make good reading while you are recovering. Good luck!
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Old 26-03-2016, 22:38   #3
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

Hi,
There are so many things for you to consider! I will just give you a few thoughts:
I can't help you with a lot of that as I am a little north of you in Vancouver, but for boat brokers, I highly recommend Bill Steele (http://www.steeleaweigh.com/), he sold me my boat, and he knows a bunch of surveyors and marinas and all that. He sold me my boat from Blaine, so he works both sides of the border, which could be to your advantage with the Canadian dollar doing so poorly.
Check out the boat clubs in your area and try to get into one, they often have lots of old sea dogs that jump at the opportunity to share their knowledge and some pretty amazing stories.
Another thing you could consider is joining a crew, people around the world hire new sailors to have extra hands on deck, there are websites for this but I don't know them.
Happy sailing!

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 27-03-2016, 06:23   #4
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Red Beard.
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Old 27-03-2016, 09:07   #5
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

Welcome to the forum,
The best way that I have found to find my way around the sound and north, is from "The Waggoner Cruising Guide" you can download it free from the internet, it is over 450 pages of very valuable information.
My wife and I started this same transition about 3 years ago, now it is down to sell the house and get the boat .
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Old 27-03-2016, 10:14   #6
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

Little Cunning Plan | "… a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel." Black Adder III These folks are in Tacoma and have been planning to "cut the lines" next year.
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Old 27-03-2016, 10:36   #7
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

If your surgery schedule permits it you should try to attend the strictly sailboat show in Richmond California (near San Francisco) They have dozens of free seminars daily that go into everything sailboat From cleaning to rigging. It is from April 7 thru 10th. Hope to see you there.

Strictly Sail Pacific
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Old 27-03-2016, 11:12   #8
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

You have an excellent resource, for everything you've mentioned you need, right there in Tacoma.
Puget Sound Sailing Institute is based right over near Browns Point, at Tyee Marina. The principal is Michael Rice, a licensed Captain, with a lifetime of coastal and ocean sailing experience. They offer all ASA courses, several offshore and foreign cruising classes each year, and are well qualified to help you select an appropriate boat for your intended purposes.
Disclaimer: I taught there for approx 20 years, since retired and cruising myself.
Anyway, I'd encourage you to give Mike a call. Let me know what you think.
Good luck with your surgery.
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Old 27-03-2016, 11:34   #9
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

One option for learning is find a crew position on racing. You learn fast.
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Old 27-03-2016, 13:48   #10
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

best to start very early to find a spot that will allow liveaboards as King County has a ban on them. yes, there are a few places that will let you get away with this if your low key but... overall they are hard to find. When I was there I stayed at a nice small marina for one year called Quartermaster Marina located on Vashon Island. The managers at the time were also liveaboard sailboat folks so they let me.
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Old 27-03-2016, 16:21   #11
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

And yes as above. The move in this country is against liveaboards more and more sadly. Pay attention to municipalities altering their policies as this will affect you down the road. Not knowing your previous experience in boating/sailing its hard to reccomend a path. I would get involved with a local sailing club and do some beer can races to see what sailing is all about first.
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Old 28-03-2016, 00:27   #12
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

I also recommend Mike Rice at Puget Sound Sailing. For many years he has been the National Number One Rated Instructor in the American Sailing Association. I took the Offshore Cruising Course from him. That experience "hooked" me on cruising. -- three days in a full gale with foggy nights in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Mike is a phenomenal teacher, mentor and a true gentleman.
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Old 30-03-2016, 02:35   #13
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

Hi Folks,

First off thank you so much for the well wishes and warm welcome! I look forward to meeting you and all of your advice and continuing this conversation well into the future

I will start racing as soon as my basic skill level and health permit, I've been looking forward to that for a while. Ordered several books off Amazon to get ready for ASA and for stuff like knots.

I'm looking into HAM radio classes right now to learn SSB, VHF etc. Basically just reading and watching as much YouTube as time allows.

I've got some follow up questions:

Anyone care to comment on why municipalities are so against live-aboards?

I plan on living in Tacoma for about 2-4 more years max, that could change in a moment so I'm curious about that and traveling around the country and world.

Next there are two things that really feel intimidating around learning to sail and living aboard.
- Diesel maintenence
- Electrical systems

Navigation doesn't worry me, I'm part homing pigeon and I'm really excited to learn the math of it.

The big water and big weather doesn't concern me I've always loved being out in storms.

But the thought of a diesel not starting if it was needed or a short circuit or wet radio scares the crap out of me.

I've seen soooo many videos of people cursing their diesel's and electronics going down and not functioning. I trust the stars and sextants more than GPS even though GPS is more convenient. If GPS goes down your screwed. The stars never go down.

So what do you wish you knew about motors and electronics before you started cruising? where would you begin. I figure these are things best learned on land so point me in a direction fellow vagabonds for I know not where to best begin.
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Old 30-03-2016, 09:53   #14
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Re: Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound Liveaboards

So what do you wish you knew about motors and electronics before you started cruising? where would you begin. I figure these are things best learned on land so point me in a direction fellow vagabonds for I know not where to best begin.

Diesels:
-how to bleed the fuel supply on your particular engine.
-How to change the oil in the engine and transmission
-How to align the engine to the shaft
-Where the anodes are and how to change them (if any)
-How to change the water pump impeller
-How to adjust the valve rockers
Most other things you will not have to do, but of course the more you know the better.
Electrical:
- understanding 12volt systems. They are really easy and logical. That will get you thru anything you can do.
-judging what wire size to use by load and length
-You are not likely going to be fixing your electronics yourself.

Buy one of Nigel Calder's books for all of the above and more.
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