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Old 07-08-2011, 13:26   #61
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

The physical demands of sailing are pretty high and concern over physical capability at our ages is justified. Although fit and athletic all my life, I have been bounced around, bruised, and challenged on the boat numerous times. Balance, agility of body and mind, and strength are essential to control a sailboat of moderate size. There are certainly smarter ways to do stuff and rig things but there is a limit. I am just hoping I will be able to detect when I get too damned old to control a 35' sailboat.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:16   #62
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

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The physical demands of sailing are pretty high and concern over physical capability at our ages is justified. Although fit and athletic all my life, I have been bounced around, bruised, and challenged on the boat numerous times. Balance, agility of body and mind, and strength are essential to control a sailboat of moderate size. There are certainly smarter ways to do stuff and rig things but there is a limit. I am just hoping I will be able to detect when I get too damned old to control a 35' sailboat.
Absolutely, I know enough about sailing to know that it is physical.

My thinking would be that my longest off shore jaunt could be going to the Bahamas, otherwise, it's the ICW and rivers. Even in the ICW it can be rough, but I can stay closer to shore, I would think.

I saw a 30' cat here for sale (probably sold now) that needed some work, finsih work and details for 25K I think it was, slap a small outboard on it and seems that would really work for me. All I need is a galley, head with shower and hopefully a queen size berth with storage.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:25   #63
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

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Hi, I have had the dream for many years and for one reason or another I could never get away. I'm now 60 (can't believe I said that) and retired with a budget. I have boating and some basic sailing experienced and my GF says she hasn't been on a boat for 40 years but is interested in sailing away.

A concern I have is age and starting out. I have a lower back problem but I'm still strong and a little short of breath. She has had a new hip installed and she doesn't really keepupwith me, but she can go slow all day...LOL

So, we aren't in great shape(thinking that getting off the couch might help that) but I know that being out can be stressful and taxing physically.

I know there are other old pharts out there on the water, but they know the tricks and how tos, we would be newbies. Not saying I don't have survival knowledge, but hoping I'm not just surviving, you can do that on the couch!

So what's the advice? What's the learning curve to happiness on the water in a small boat (30' or under....probably)? I'd rather motor more than I sail, but would like to sail.
I learned to sail at 61, and now, at 65, I live aboard full time (in a marina). I would tell you that BOTH of you need to sail on a wide variety of sails. I was born with a coordination problem that affects both my legs. It hasn't stopped me but I make some modifications. I have netting along the boat, and if it's rough I CRAWL, not walk, to the bow. I have a jackline and tether which is kept SHORT. If I fall I want to stay ON the boat. I have a 150' dragline in case I go over. It's attached to the wheel, so it turns the boat when grabbed. Haven't had to use it in an emergency, thank goodness!

I also have a rope ridgeline from mast to pulpit, tightened with a trucker's hitch, that I can hold on to when forward when the boat is at the dock. Your GF probably needs REALLY handy handholds, something you might well want to add to any boat you get, motor or sail. SHE needs to experiment with the height. For me, higher is much better.

Just be very analytical. See how these issues affect you. I guarantee you that you wouldn't be the only boater with "lower back problems," but it depends on how severe that problem is, and whether there's treatment if boating makes it worse. Use your head, and test and explore how it would work best for you.

With a back problem, look carefully to where you would sleep. I bought 2" of memory foam and put it in the vee berth. It made all the difference for me.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:55   #64
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

Thanks for the guidance Rakuflame, if anything got rough I'm sure my GF would head for the berth and I would use life lines. That's a great idea attaching to the wheel, I could see me falling off and her staying below, not a good picture.

I'm in good shape, just have the aches. She is mobile as well, just aches more than I do (so she says).
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:18   #65
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

The drag line is a good idea, unless your motoring. A line around your prop is not fun. (I know there are cutters for this. But then you lose the line anyway, so pull it up.)
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:25   #66
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

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The drag line is a good idea, unless your motoring. A line around your prop is not fun. (I know there are cutters for this. But then you lose the line anyway, so pull it up.)
My dragline is 150 feet of polypropolene, which floats. I also put three floats on the end, with reflective tape on it, so other boats would see it. IMO if you're in open water (not a crowded bay, for instance) you should have it out if motoring. Under power, nothing is going to stop that boat.

Polypropelyne is really hard on the hands, and I figured if I was dumb enough to fall overboard I was dumb enough to not have gloves on, so I put figure 8 loops in the line for handhold. Polypro doesn't like to stay tied, and I actually sewed the knots in place.

The crucial part about doing this is having a ladder you can deploy from the water. People have drowned right by their boats because they couldn't get back on.

I sail a lot by myself so I have to think of these things, but as soon as your crew member is disabled for some reason, you're a single-handed sailor.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:38   #67
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

What about a kill swith whille motoring, clip it on your clothing or loop around your wrist? I also like fold down swim platforms at least a ladder.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:44   #68
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

You can do it, just go where it's nice and when it's nice. You don't need to cross the Pacific through hurricanes to have a good time. Your idea of perfect cruising might be close to home. For instance I know of several cruisers from the West Coast that never made it past the Sea of Cortez because it had everything that they ever wanted.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:59   #69
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

The idea of a drag line attached to the wheel to bring it hard over is a good one although some interesting things could happen as far as what the sails would do. I wonder if anyone has ever actually tested whether this would be effective. A windvane drum might work well for this if the whole pedestal didn't pull loose. Being able to stay on a drag line at all with the boat doing 6 knots is very doubtful.

The best idea is to stay on the boat with short tethers on solid attachment points like the mast.

In a previous thread, someone mentioned having full length lines, bow to stern, hanging along the gunwale, outside everything so that once over the side there would be something reachable to grab. That, along with some kind of stern ladder to get back aboard seem to be as good as it can get (which is not good).
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:42   #70
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

We continue actively cruising in our mid-sixties as we did in our twenties. We do spend much time in protected inland waterways, bays and sounds, but we are also in and out of many inlets from Maine to the Bahamas. Passages through inlets are often more precarious than any time spent offshore and jacklines & teathers are wise choices, but much more is to be said for planning with concern to weather, tide and current. Those that cruise without committments to arrival deadlines and selecting the best time for passages do best. We stay more vigorous and healthy when we are cruising compared to times languishing in port.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:59   #71
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

How about a bluetooth enabled device that when you go out of range or press a panic button:
1. Kills your engine
2. Uses autopilot and wind data to turn your boat into the wind.

This could be connected in your PDF so when it inflates it activates. It could be overridden by other crew on board.
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Old 08-08-2011, 15:40   #72
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

CptForce, that's what I have in mind, same grounds together with rivers getting there.

Don, Bluetooth, is that a fish? That's a great idea, it's amazing what tehno stuff can do.

I guess my Unimog (A Mecedes cab over truck with a big camper on the back) and pulling a smaller cruiser wouldn't count as a live abord....

I just went to Yachtworld and looked, I'm sure I could buy more boat than I could build for the money, some nice ones and lots are cheap....
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Old 08-08-2011, 19:50   #73
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
The idea of a drag line attached to the wheel to bring it hard over is a good one although some interesting things could happen as far as what the sails would do. I wonder if anyone has ever actually tested whether this would be effective. A windvane drum might work well for this if the whole pedestal didn't pull loose. Being able to stay on a drag line at all with the boat doing 6 knots is very doubtful.

The best idea is to stay on the boat with short tethers on solid attachment points like the mast.

In a previous thread, someone mentioned having full length lines, bow to stern, hanging along the gunwale, outside everything so that once over the side there would be something reachable to grab. That, along with some kind of stern ladder to get back aboard seem to be as good as it can get (which is not good).
On my first, smaller boat, just tug on the drag line and the boat hove itself to. If it had been on the opposite tack, it would have turned 180 degrees and then hove itself to. It stopped dead in the water.

Attached to a wheel, it should turn the boat. The whole idea is that you don't want the boat to keep sailing straight. The boat I have now (Hunter 31') has a reputation for not heaving to. I think it's the high freeboard. However, it is considerably slowed down. Yes, staying on the boat is the best plan, but things happen.

I haven't tried it on the Hunter yet -- too busy with major engine problems -- but I'm going to take it out and test the drag line with me in the water and someone else on the boat, and I'll report back.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:46   #74
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

Please post a detailed finding on how it works and how you rigged it. Don's idea of an electronic gizzmo seemed like a good one, I just wouldn't know how to do that.....I can't even post pics!

Every time I or anyone has been injured on by boats has been loading or unloading or to do with beached functions. I really doubt I woulld have any heart issues, I'm pretty good, that seems to be a possibility for many reaching maturity.

I'll probably injure myself more building something than being on the water.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:52   #75
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Re: Too Late To Start ?

There's another thing I do when sailing alone. I wear a fanny pack and keep a waterproof radio in it.

As to rigging the drag line, there are some tricks. 150' of polypro really wants to tangle itself up (and there's no point in having a short drag line). So I coil it up in approximate 25' sections and secure them with double-sided velcro. Then when I deploy it, I deploy one section at a time. Deploy it all at once and you'll have a huge tangled mess. guess how I know!

I think it's really important to put something on it that makes it visible during the day (I used yellow fishing floats) and at night (I put reflective tape around the floats). I think the floats cost about a dollar at West Marine.
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