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Old 21-07-2014, 11:18   #1
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Following My Dream-7 Years Out

Hello, I am not only new to the forum but also sailing- as in- I HAVE NEVER SAILED. I always said "if I win the lottery I'll buy a boat and sail the Caribbean" well I don't play so I decided to make my dream a reality.
I'm 50, hubby is 46 and the extent of his sailing experience was back in college with a freind that raced hobies. My goal was in 10 years. My husband is now on board with the idea so we are shooting to buy a boat within 5 years and leave in no more than 7 years. Currently I have been scouring the internet, reading books, and asking questions. I will be taking sailing lessons in 2 months. I have a little Snark (don't laugh) that I will play with in the lake across the street. Now I'm not totally crazy- we have boats (4) but all power for fishing and we scuba dive and both love living on the gulf. We aren't land landlocked dreamers- just dreamers.
Any and all advise is welcome.
Any recommendations on sailing schools on the Gulf- we live in AL but LA, MS and FL are reasonable distances to go for a weekend. I plan to take one new sailing class every 2-3 months. Hubs will do the same at separate times- then next summer we will take a cruise together and see how it goes.
Any and all advice is welcome- but no nay sayers! We are both engineers and pretty darn logical- I'm hoping this helps- though I've been told my desire to do this is totally not logical
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Old 21-07-2014, 11:23   #2
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

As you can see from my name- motorcycles used to be my passion. All my user names and passwords revolve around bikes and if I don't use the same I will never remember my log in etc. My youngest daughters name is Harley. I think my husband realized I was doing this and really would send postcards when I sold my bike to start my funds. This weekend we had a huge yard sale and will do this for the next 2-3 weekends- we will use the money to pay off the little debt we have and save for the boat. The house is paid so we will use rent as income. I am currently reading "The Voyagers Handbook" -highlighting and making notes throughout. Hubs is reading about boats and rigging them. We will switch books and discuss. As anyone else out there started this dream and lifestyle with no experience?
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Old 21-07-2014, 11:24   #3
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

Playing is key -- keep it fun, not work. Maybe get a Hobie again, many around in driveways everywhere. Then go have a good time. Just like riding a bicycle, it did not get less fun, we all just got side tracked by other concerns.
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Old 21-07-2014, 11:40   #4
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

Welcome!

Oddly enough, I am in the same boat (pun totally intended).

I have just began to sail in answer to a long calling dream that got put on the back burner for years and years. I first went sailing when I was a teen, then nothing for decades. Coincidentally, that 50 Year Old thing is calling me to 'do it now' as well.

So, my plan is somewhat similar to yours. I have a little 17' daysailer that I practice on at a nearby lake most weekends. Fortifying and building upon that with sailing school courses and much reading over the next few years is the plan.

My longer term goal is to find a 25'-30' foot boat for longer cruising or perhaps (tbd) live aboard. As i see it now, it's easy to see mostly east coast coastal cruising from New England to FLA. Eventually, I'd like to explore Gulf Coast FLA, and the almost perfunctory Virgin Islands, Caribbean Sea etc.

Oddly enough, home port would most likely be something in southern NJ, sort of in between my proposed cruising grounds of NE in the summer, and FLA area and surrounds in the winter... (not the least bit original, I know...)

As you probably already know, finding your boat means first determining what cruising means to you and your hubby (crew). That will help determine the best boat fit. I.E. for me, although it may raise some saltier eyebrows, I used to be a chef, so a good galley is in the upper 5 most important things in a boat that may get added to my list of favorites to be explored further when it comes time to purchase.

I am sure you will get a lot of feedback here and discover many eye opening threads as you browse the forum.

So best of luck with your dreams, and you have, what seems to me anyway, to be a logical and thought out approach to making them reality.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 21-07-2014, 11:54   #5
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

Welcome aboard. Sounds like a great plan. Since you like to fix stuff, you'll be very happy on a boat which will present your engineering mind with a new puzzle daily.
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Old 21-07-2014, 11:56   #6
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

It's more of my dream than hers, but first boat I ever sailed on was the Island Packet 38 that I bought, never have had a class. In my opinion, to some extent boating is boating, navigation etc is the same no matter what drives you through the water, now docking a heavy full keel single screw sailboat boat is a little different that a twin screw powerboat so there was a little learning curve, but the systems are very similar, and if you look at the threads on this forum there are at least ten threads about engine issues than sail issues which makes me think the sailing hardware is pretty straight forward and relatively easy to repair.

Now logically buying a smaller boat or two to learn on and taking classes and maybe a charter or two would have been more logical, but that would also have added up to a considerable expense.
By buying the boat first, I should have it completely paid off and fitted out for cruising by the time I retire in a few years, that wouldn't have happened if I had gone the more logical route.
My opinion an important thing is to become debt free and in a financial position to where you can afford to cruise, that was the major reason for me buying a 27 yr old boat, sounds like you have already figured that out though.
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Old 21-07-2014, 11:59   #7
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

I share the same dream as yourself. I'm 48 and my wife is 46. Although her passion for sailing is no where near what mine is, I'm hoping that she will one day desire to be on the water as much as I do. We've taken a few sailing lessons together but as of yet do not own our own boat but its all I seem to think about. We currently live in Little Rock Arkansas which is by no means the sailing capital of the world but I am determined to learn to sail and one day retire and live near the sea where I can fulfill my dream for blue water sailing. I wish you and your husband the best of luck in your adventure and hope one day to see you out on the water myself.
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Old 21-07-2014, 12:21   #8
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

We are on a similar path with a similar timeline. We know what we want to do, where we want to go, and we know what boat we want. It will take a us a few more years to be able to retire early and have the kids out on their own so we can leave.

In the mean time, we read, take classes, and plan.

I would highly recommend reading the following books, some of which are free.
The second book is co written by Lee Chesneau who is a weather forecaster and router. He teaches classes at many boat shows and other venues. I attended two of his classes in May and thankfully, I was reading the weather book in the first link since it allowed me to keep up with him. He teaches classes that last almost a week so trying to teach days of material in 3 hours is a bit tough to do. Taking his full class is a big to do for us.


I have been looking at the hurricanes/typhoons that are popping up and after reading Lee's book, the storms have gone just were I thought they would. This has surprised the heck out of me... Being able to figure out the weather is a critical skill as far as I am concerned. People focus on cyclones with good reason but the big low pressure systems that cross the higher latitudes are really scary.


Later,
Dan
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Old 21-07-2014, 12:35   #9
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

Glad to know I'm not the only one out there working towards the same goal. My husband is a hunter and fisherman-I am (was) a biker- I love to get out on the water. We plan to live aboard and are thinking 32-42 footer. We want something little that needs little wind as I want to sail as much as possible and motor very little. Requirements from hubby- A/C! We plan to stay within the Gulf of Mexico so feel a max draft of 5' would be best. We have 2 dogs- black lab who is currently a duck dog (not sure what she'll do on board) and a Coton De Tulear- who used to ride the bike with me (hubby was NOT a biker) We are making lists and timelines towards our goal. If we can accomplish it earlier we will. We are lucky that we could if need be cruise a while then find contract positions to support the lifestyle but I believe we will be able to completely retire and enjoy life. We thought about selling the house but decided we would eventually need to come back to land at a certain age and the income would be nice from rent.
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Old 21-07-2014, 12:39   #10
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Lightbulb Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannc View Post
We are on a similar path with a similar timeline. We know what we want to do, where we want to go, and we know what boat we want. It will take a us a few more years to be able to retire early and have the kids out on their own so we can leave.

In the mean time, we read, take classes, and plan.

I would highly recommend reading the following books, some of which are free.
Thank you for the book ideas- do you know if there's a list of suggested reading on this site anywhere? I also keep reading about classes at boat shows but the boat shows around here are all power boats
I'll be doing a search on line for sailing boat shows and lessons.
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Old 21-07-2014, 12:41   #11
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

[QUOTE=jplevens215;1589183]Welcome!

for me, although it may raise some saltier eyebrows, I used to be a chef, so a good galley is in the upper 5 most important things in a boat that may get added to my list of favorites to be explored further when it comes time to purchase.

QUOTE]

Interesting- we used to have a Cajun restaurant- hubby is the cook and a wonderful one he is! We will have to put a grill on deck as that is one of his favorite past times.
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Old 21-07-2014, 12:43   #12
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

It seems there are a few of us with the same goals and similar timelines- perhaps we will one day all meet as we prepare- we live on the gulf in AL and have two extra rooms- so people are always welcome here!
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Old 21-07-2014, 13:28   #13
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

Don't feel the snark is silly. I had one, though I am big enough that if I sat too far forward I'd submarine the bow when it sat down with some good speed. It's a great first sailboat, and just like biking or flying, you will learn to sail with it. And just like biking and flying you work your way up to bigger and more complicated rigging, but the basics are still the same.

My timeframe is similar to yours though I am building mine. I'll never be able to save to buy outright, so but what I need for the next two weeks of work and keep on trucking that way.

Have fun


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Old 21-07-2014, 13:58   #14
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

Hello. I have a great recommendation for a sailing school. I live in Pensacola, which isn't too far from you. Back in April I completed my ASA 101 course from Lanier Sailing Academy. If you're familiar with Pensacola, they're located at the Palafox Pier and Marina. Very nice place, and a super awesome group of folks to learn about sailing. I joined their boat club the day of the last class, and I've sailed every weekend mother nature would allow me to. I highly suggest you consider them.

Lanier Sailing Academy
They're on facebook too.
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Old 21-07-2014, 14:16   #15
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Re: Following My Dream-7 Years Out

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Originally Posted by Phitod View Post
Hello. I have a great recommendation for a sailing school. I live in Pensacola, which isn't too far from you. Back in April I completed my ASA 101 course from Lanier Sailing Academy. If you're familiar with Pensacola, they're located at the Palafox Pier and Marina. Very nice place, and a super awesome group of folks to learn about sailing. I joined their boat club the day of the last class, and I've sailed every weekend mother nature would allow me to. I highly suggest you consider them.

Lanier Sailing Academy
They're on facebook too.
THANK YOU!! I saw that and for some reason I was thinking Lake Lanier in GA by where I used to live . I will certainly check them out. I sold my motorcycle to a P'cola police officer last Friday. I look forward to meeting you there one day!
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