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Old 05-08-2018, 18:21   #1
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Future cruiser

Hello,
Currently reading a book I got from the local library here in Barrie, Ontario, Canada entitled ĎCruising: from dream to realityí where the author argues that for a sailing beginner like myself, a small seaworthy boat is the way to go for someone looking for a better chance to succeed at the lifestyle. Now Iím in a position where I contrast this argument against the vision of sailing in the big cat someday which as the author would point out, someone with my financial means should never attempt to begin with.
Now the book is quite dated so the argument may not hold true in the same way but Iím feeling obligated at this early stage of my sea fairing life to heed the advice.
The question then becomes what kind of small boat should I be looking for.
All I know is my house is up for sale and Iím a 100% invested in making this happen for me.
I joined this group because I need to learn everything and thereís much to be learned from the community so thank you.
If anyone is local to Ontario Canada and can show me some things in exchange for whatever! that would just be amazing!
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Old 05-08-2018, 18:27   #2
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Re: Future cruiser

I’m not in the “learn on small boats” crowd. To me wasting time on small boats is just wasting time and money. It’s better than not sailing, but if you want to cruise sail cruisers.

Also books make sailing seem hard. Sailing is easy, sailing well is harder. But the difference quickly becomes small.

Good luck
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Old 05-08-2018, 18:45   #3
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Re: Future cruiser

Port Credit Yacht Club, almost 30yr. cruiser liveaboard between Lake Superior and Antigua. C'mon by, You buy the beer.
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Old 05-08-2018, 19:00   #4
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Re: Future cruiser

If you're going to live aboard, then starting on a small boat doesn't really work.

Still, I'm a big proponent of learning on a small tiller boat, especially for learning to sail. You just get a better feel for how the boat responds. Starting with a steering wheel makes it harder to internalize that you're not driving it like a car. And for sailing, you get more immediate feedback. So maybe a large liveaboard and a small sailing dinghy?
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Old 05-08-2018, 19:22   #5
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Re: Future cruiser

And I think you're on the right track. If there is just one of you, 25-29 feet can work for a liveaboard. You might choose to upgrade later, or not, but the smaller it is the less expensive much is. If you are a happy backpacker, a 27 footer will be spacious luxury. You're looking at sailing the way people did in the 70's and 80's, and all will be well. Sailboats can be real holes in the water to fill up with your hard earned dollars, and small and simple is the least cash heavy way to go. The guys in the 3-4K per month range will have bigger, more complex boats. That's okay. Once you get out into the Pacific, a boat's a boat, and you are treated as a compatriot by other cruisers.

The first time we left the States and went to French Polynesia, we met three couples, that I still remember. One was sailing in a 22 footer, another in a 24 footer and another in an Top Hat ~25 ft. There was a family of four on a 26 footer, but the kids were quite young, and therefore, small. People today think that's too small, but it is merely opinion. We have some dear friends that circumnavigated in a 27 footer, and their only electronics were a VHF and a depth sounder. It really can be done, small and simple.

Good luck with it, mate.

Ann
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Old 05-08-2018, 19:31   #6
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Re: Future cruiser

Buy your last boat first. It will save you thousands if not tens of thousands.
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Old 05-08-2018, 19:49   #7
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Re: Future cruiser

that is an argument the author makes as well.
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Old 05-08-2018, 20:45   #8
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Re: Future cruiser

Start your education here .... Marine Survey 101
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Old 05-08-2018, 22:04   #9
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Re: Future cruiser

The biggest problem I see with buying big first, is you don't have the experience or knowledge base to really know what your preferences are.
But..
If you are already selling the house/ready to transition, I would take boatpoker up on his offer. And any other boats you can in the short term. Maybe even book a charter on whatever most appeals to you. Get as broad an experience as possible so when you start actively looking at boats for sale you have an idea of preferences and what the trade offs are.
Good luck
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Old 05-08-2018, 22:06   #10
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Re: Future cruiser

Our 1st sailboat is what we are on now, a 42' Leopard Cat. Like Boatpoker said "Buy you last boat first."

It was a great learning boat, taught us well and now serves us nicely anywhere we want to cruise. No need for a starter or middle boat.
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:50   #11
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Re: Future cruiser

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, destiny.
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:22   #12
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Re: Future cruiser

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Originally Posted by chris mac View Post
The biggest problem I see with buying big first, is you don't have the experience or knowledge base to really know what your preferences are.
That's true. But sailing around on a 20 something boat doesn't really do it either.
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Old 06-08-2018, 06:44   #13
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Re: Future cruiser

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That's true. But sailing around on a 20 something boat doesn't really do it either.

I disagree. There are many lessons to be learned- particularly about actually "sailing" that are best learned on small boats. The best sailors started on Sunfishes and the like.


Those of us who grew up sailing can spot the difference between those who have sailed a lifetime and those who are newer. This runs the spectrum from sail trim to tools aboard to anchoring (location and setting) to getting out of trouble.


I can't count the number of times I've watched "new big boaters" narrowly avoid catastrophe and they have no idea how close they came. And it's virtually always that the boaters I've had to lend emergency assistance to are the "new big boat" owners.


So we will have to disagree on how and where to start. I don't think though that any harm can come by starting with a smaller boat.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:00   #14
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Re: Future cruiser

I disagree (and you just said I don’t know to sail as the smallest boat I’ve ever even been on was 33’). I’m not going to pick apart your massive misstatement assumptions, but what I’ve noticed is that most of the time when I see a cruiser that needs to adjust the sails some is they are still going pretty fast and kicked back. Cruisers lots of times aren’t in a hurry and 5.6 knots mellow instead of the 6 they could do if they paid attention mean nothing. Sometimes we prefer to relax.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:25   #15
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Re: Future cruiser

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I disagree (and you just said I donít know to sail as the smallest boat Iíve ever even been on was 33í). Iím not going to pick apart your massive misstatement assumptions, but what Iíve noticed is that most of the time when I see a cruiser that needs to adjust the sails some is they are still going pretty fast and kicked back. Cruisers lots of times arenít in a hurry and 5.6 knots mellow instead of the 6 they could do if they paid attention mean nothing. Sometimes we prefer to relax.

I too prefer to relax. Sometimes relax means making the right decision, as we recently had to do- leaving port at 10:30pm to avoid coming Force 9 winds, and making landfall and entering a poorly lighted port with many unlit bouys at night.



Knowing sail trim can make all the difference when it's really needed. Making port before a storm thanks to extra speed is relaxing; having 90 minutes to go and having to cross the bar in a storm is not. The latter isn't "bad luck" it's inexperience.



There is often some sort of arrogance that comes with "new big" boaters who think they know everything, or at least enough. Not that this is unique to boating- if anything, the attitude is far exceeded in amateur auto racing. The thing about auto racing is that the new guys with big motors and attitude usually learn pretty fast the hard way, whereas the "new big" boaters may go years before they learn the lesson.


Case in point, I joined a "new big" sailing vessel off Australia that had left the US east coast, spent a year in the Carib, gone through the Panama Canal and all the islands. First big storm, and it was like sailing was scary and new- "we're going to rip the main" no we won't, oops there it goes. "we should lash the jib" no we don't need to, then five minutes later I'm burried under seas lashing the jib as it's trying to escape overboard.


Who needs to read charts or know what the declination is? Nobody, we have a chart plotter. Who cares about storms, we have a big boat with a turbo motor. Yada yada. Oh my gosh, our anchor "mysteriously" failed to hold in the storm.


Perhaps the best indicator of experience vs. "tough guy" is the local USCG. Though the young kids have extensive training, and are purportedly led by those with experience, it a regular observation that they have difficulties with boat control, knowing the lay of the sea, etc. I'm sure they, like the "big new" boaters, think the problems they encounter are typical, or normal, while those of us watching understand that most of the problems are avoidable and self-induced.


It's funny sad the typical problems that magically happen- motor won't start due to suddenly bad batteries, dock damage due to improper springs, dragging anchor, running aground, no tool to repair something, etc. It isn't bad luck. It's inexperience, often with arrogance. And as we hear the story about this terrible bad luck, we often just sit and listen- because the "big new" owner isn't open to hearing that it wasn't "bad luck".


Carry on! We'll be here when you need us.
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