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Old 24-06-2011, 11:57   #1
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What Would You Have Done Differently ?

As a sailor wannabe, I am very interested in the experiences of people that have been there done that (or still doing that). Since I am in just the planning stages of my switch to the liveaboard life I have this question. What one thing would you have done differently. Be it something you would've put on your boat, a skill you would've learned, place to anchor, etc. And no fair saying you would've done it earlier

Thanks ahead of time for any and all responses!

oh yeah, and apologies if you've seen this post on other liveaboard forums on other sites. I'm asking the question everywhere !
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Old 24-06-2011, 15:54   #2
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Re: What would you have done differently

1. I would have realized earlier to never make plans or schedules and just move when the weather is perfect and you want to go. We now happily wait a week or more for better weather and never, ever push. In the beginning we were so interested in seeing everything and getting to the next place. It's a bad way to cruise.

2. I would have learned much more about weather including places online to get good predictions and experience to know when the predictions are suspect.

3. I would have gotten a bigger and better anchor. We never had issues (except once) but having the bigger anchor made sleeping better.

4. I would have installed the most powerful saltwater washdown available. It took us 6 years to do it. Having it makes anchor retrieval more enjoyable.

5. I would have realized that there is an expense to anchoring and it's often the case that a monthly slip rental isn't much more than that baseline cost. Being at a marina for a month is a nice treat although I like keeping the marina-to-anchoring ratio near 50%.

6. I would have learned and practiced much more with epoxy, gelcoat, and other finish products.


...and I would have done it all earlier.
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Old 24-06-2011, 16:57   #3
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Re: What would you have done differently

Thanks Jeff!

That is just the kind of information I was hoping to get. Much appreciated, and don't let that stop all you other wise sailors from chiming in
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Old 24-06-2011, 17:12   #4
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Re: What would you have done differently

I would avoid like the plague getting a storage unit ashore. We got one for "just a few things" ... now the damn thing is full and we need to get rid of everything so we can finally move on. Once you have one, and sometimes they are unavoidable, the tendency is to hang on to stuff that you wouldn't otherwise.
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Old 24-06-2011, 18:22   #5
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Re: What would you have done differently

Seeing how I was heavily mentored in my early days in the Navy, is the reason I seem to do it right every time. And understand the old saw:

A Superior Captain,
Uses his Superior Judgement,
To keep him out of situations
Requiring his Superior Skills.
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Old 24-06-2011, 19:30   #6
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Re: What would you have done differently

1) Before leaving learn all you can about all your boat's systems.
2) Keep boat as simple as possible so you'll have better chance to fix those systems.
3)Carry large anchors but of different types as well (Danforth, CQR, even a Fisherman if in rocky area). Different designs work better in different bottom types. (During our 16 months cruise we spent one week at a dock)
4)Slow down; seeing "deeper" is often more rewarding than seeing more.
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Old 24-06-2011, 23:35   #7
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Re: What would you have done differently

I have become more systematic with my approach to mechanical problem solving. Due to a distinct lack of time (I work for a living) many times I just bought services and repairs from people I assumed knew more than I did, subsequently having to do it again. Now I try to do the job myself first even if it takes time away from sailing. For this, I refer to the right chapter in the book and try to build a deep understanding of what the problem is and how to solve it. Then I ask around, including in this learned forum.
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Old 25-06-2011, 01:28   #8
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Re: What would you have done differently

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Originally Posted by Capn Morgan View Post
I have become more systematic with my approach to mechanical problem solving. Due to a distinct lack of time (I work for a living) many times I just bought services and repairs from people I assumed knew more than I did, subsequently having to do it again. Now I try to do the job myself first even if it takes time away from sailing. For this, I refer to the right chapter in the book and try to build a deep understanding of what the problem is and how to solve it. Then I ask around, including in this learned forum.
+

A long time ago I figured that most of the halfwits I was relying on to do stuff for me were not any brighter than me, they just had some training in areas I didn't.
I soon learned that most of the time your approach above worked just fine.

By the way... know of any more Hans Christian 48s going cheap?
We love the HCs, but the 48 is the only one I'd consider as a full time liveaboard because it's the only one with a decent owners cabin.
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Old 25-06-2011, 02:05   #9
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Re: What would you have done differently

Keep it simple
Get a smaller boat than you think you need
Do it now, not later.
Smile, your doing what many would love to do.
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Old 25-06-2011, 03:27   #10
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Re: What would you have done differently

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1.
5. I would have realized that there is an expense to anchoring and it's often the case that a monthly slip rental isn't much more than that baseline cost. Being at a marina for a month is a nice treat although I like keeping the marina-to-anchoring ratio near 50%.
JEFF whats the expense to anchoring?
I have a mooring for my boat and I could not think of a cheaper way to have a boat.
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Old 25-06-2011, 03:40   #11
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Re: What would you have done differently

Artyif is right. Keep it SIMPLE. Any electronics are for fun, not necessity. Go NOW. You will learn on the way. Be observant and (silently) critical on other people's boats. Try not to have ANYTHING on your boat that you cannot fix yourself,- in mid ocean, you're the only repairperson. If you're going cruising, the fun is sailing and travelling, not repairing and trying to have spares shipped to exotic destinations. For me; no inflatables, they're all rubbish, and no windgenerators,- too noisy, use solar. Navigate celestially,- you'll get a far greater sense of achievement from your landfalls. Use the engine as little as possible, it will improve your sailing skills so that one day when you HAVE to sail out of a situation you are competant to do so. Read OLD books of cruisers,- they will illustrate just how simple a boat can be. GO. And have fun.!
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Old 25-06-2011, 03:49   #12
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Re: What would you have done differently

Bought the Yacht in MY NAME ONLY
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Old 25-06-2011, 05:54   #13
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Re: What would you have done differently

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JEFF whats the expense to anchoring?
Power generation costs money. Some types are less expensive than others and some boats use more power than others. Since we run our business from the boat itself, we're power hogs. Running the generator for a few hours a day is the easiest expense to identify. But there's also more maintenance needed on the generator, more wear, dinghy expenses, and anchor chain wear/maintenance. Anything that touches fuel use is starting to cost real money!

We use a figure of $20/day of extra expense when anchored. It's a little high but it's not unrealistic when everything is considered. It's quite easy to find monthly slip rentals for $600 - $800 for our boat (53') making a break even point close to get to.

We also find that we have more free/work time when we're at a marina. That's usually offset by the extra things possible to do when at a marina - walking around town, etc. which you just tend to do more of when tied up.
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Old 25-06-2011, 06:14   #14
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Re: What would you have done differently

I wish I had started earlier.....MUCH EARLIER......i2f
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Old 25-06-2011, 12:21   #15
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Re: What would you have done differently

On the ballance, I think I have done ok.
Yes it would have been nicer to have much more money.
I doubt I could have done much better given all the considerations of who I am and what I had etc. By 'who I am" I mean my adilities, or lack, of doing things mechanical. I'm sure theres many more people better suited in that regard. I think there's also better people who would put more work into their boat than me. etc.

Just go do it and fix up the mistakes along the way
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