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Old 15-03-2006, 12:22   #1
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Hi Everyone, I am new to this site and quite new to sailing (6months) My husband and I started sailing last summer and I fell in love I can't get enough. We are thinking of becoming live aboards. I am going to a sailing school in Annapolis next month to get more experience. My questions are: How long (years) should it take us to get enough experience to sail to the Carrib and does anyone have any ideas on what sailboat makes a good l/a. We have a 28ft Pearson now although nice its rather small for the two of us plus the dog. Thanks

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Old 15-03-2006, 13:03   #2
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Welcome Wendy. I don't think anyone can give you an answer to either of your questions - you're going to have to work them out yourselves. The Pardeys lived aboard Taleisin, which I think was 29' and their previous boat was smaller. Some people want or need more amenities - up to you to decide that (be brutally honest) and go look at boats. For going to the Carib. - if you're unsure, I would suggest crewing for someone more experienced, and that will help you determine if you're ready. Fair winds...


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Old 15-03-2006, 13:04   #3
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Hi Wendy,
I'm new here too, but allow me to be the second to welcome you aboard.
Congrats on discovering the wonderful world of sailing, and taking the time to attend some classes is a great idea for learning the right (and safe) ways to do things.
You have a great boat there in the P28, perfect for learning without being overwhelmed. I'd recommend keeping it for a year or two, doing as much overnight type stuff as you can, anchoring in a variety of places and experiencing lots of different weather conditions. That's a really well built boat, and she'll teach you alot. Meanwhile, I'd suggest chartering in the Caribbean as much as you can afford it, and perhaps crewing for some folks taking their boat down there so you will know when you are ready to do it yourself.
When chartering, you'll be exposed to different kinds of bigger boats, and while you're out there you can make friends with cruisers and get a peek inside a few boats to help you decide what might be right for you.
Just my 2 centavos worth!
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Old 15-03-2006, 13:39   #4
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Welcome Wendy. I agree with both above. I hope you use the Forum to ask and answer frequently. If I may ask - how did you find us ? Larry

We have met the enemy and he is us. - Walt Kelly
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Old 15-03-2006, 13:43   #5
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Hello Wendy.

Guess I'll be number #4 on welcoming you onboard!!

You should also consider what you and your hubby are looking at spending here also. Different price ranges for different make and model of bigger boats.

If you look around the web. You'll find some decently priced second hand (used) boats for fair prices. Some can be outragous!!

Try Ebay. Or some of any web based yacht brokers. You could find your bigger boat in a ad online in one of them?

Also like the previous posts mentioned. Try out other boats. Get some experience livingaboard your present boat. Get the feel of your present boat. And see if livingaboard is for the both of you. You'd be surprised it isn't for everybody!!

Get a chance. Try chartering a few boats. Try monohulled boats. And try a multihulled boat. And then also make a decision based from those experiences. And on what you both can afford!!

Good luck. And welcome aboard!!

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 15-03-2006, 13:58   #6
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Your based on one of the best cruising grounds in states. Cruise the bay actively for a few years. Take two week trips or longer and go some distances. Once you feel more comfortable do some night passages. Anchor out - a lot. Learning to anchor without yelling back and forth is a skill and an art. Go out sailing when it's blowing 20+ and learn to reef and heave to. You can do all of those things on your boat now and build critical skills.

While you're doing that go to boat shows look at the different styles and types of boats and get a feel for what you like and don't. Regarding size of boat 38'+ is a good starting point, however the larger the boat, the significantly more it costs and the greater the learning curve. A great cruising boat is not necessarily the same as a great vacation boat. Search the boat talk threads number of good ones on this site and the SSCA site. Talk to cruisers you see while your out there sailing and anchoring. Trust me you can tell them from the weekenders. Look for folks flying the SSCA burgee they tend to be more serious cruisers. Attend the SSCA GAM in Annapolis during the boat show. It's an opportunity to mingle with a lot of full time cruisers.

Ready is a state of mind. The Bahamas and then Caribbean are not that hard of a trip especially if you do the 'Thornless' route. Pick your way south through the Bahamas. Of course you can do the offshore route as well -- Go east towards Bermuda than South when it's a reach all the way...
S/Y Sirius
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Old 16-03-2006, 02:37   #7
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Experience is not measured in years, but in number of miles sailed, and different weather experienced. Thus you could quickly gain the necessary experience, if you are sailing the whole time!
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
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Old 16-03-2006, 12:10   #8
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Thanks everyone for all your helpful information. Reading all of your replies certainly has helped. First we are going to live on our Pearson this summer and sail as much as possible. I will be attending Womanship Sailing School this April to get more experience and to do that as often as the finances allow. We will also be taking private lessons. I am reading everything I can get my hands on about sailing and living aboard. I heard about this website from the Living Aboard website. The Chesapeake Bay is a beautiful area to sail I love it here, but my husband and I are in our mid fifties and are eventually planning on going south. I don't know if anyone here sails in to Solomons but we lost two of our great restaurants yesterday to a bad fire also some boats were lost no one was hurt thank god. (Lighthouse Inn and Bowens) Once again thank you everyone for your answers. Wendy

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