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Old 30-01-2012, 15:40   #1
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Gosh, How Do People Afford to Learn to Sail / Spend Time on Boats ?!

Hi all! I've been lurking for some time and have read lots of interesting and helpful stuff so thank you! I'm looking forward to continuing to learn and participating a bit in your community.

I've long been interested in simple living, my interest in tiny houses led to my researching sailboats for design ideas and then reading sailing blogs and forums and now my tiny house dream is a sailing dream! I love to travel and being able to take my tiny house with me would be amazing. But first things first, I will need to learn to sail!

My husband is not as convinced of a life on the sea as I am quite yet. We both have a healthy fear of the ocean I think but I'm definitely the more adventurous one. I've been out and about on boats more than he, I've been sailing a few times, and have done some extended kayak trips. I'd like to get him more comfortable with spending time on the water but wow, when I look at courses and bareboat charters in our neighborhood, I'm not sure we'll be able to afford it! $2500 for a one week bareboat charter! Holy Cow! That would get us a nice hotel + airfare to Hawaii so that could be a hard sell for hubby... Also moorage here is expensive and 5+ year waitlists for liveaboards (which is likely the only way we would be able to pursue this dream) is crazy! Well, if anyone has any ideas to share, I'd love to hear them!

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Old 30-01-2012, 16:22   #2
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

Other people's boats

Start posting on local forums and at various marinas for crew avaiable. I'm willing to put up sometimes with people I don't know if they kick some beer etc and maybe a burger for after the sail.
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Old 30-01-2012, 16:28   #3
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

Buy a cheap old boat and start sailing it as much as possible. You can find something you can camp on for $2500, plus you'll learn a lot about maintenance, etc. I can't believe there aren't places within an hour or two of Vancouver where you can get a cheaper mooring--you have to look outside of the city for less cost. Get a swinging mooring (a ball out on the water), not a dock space. A lot cheaper.
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Old 30-01-2012, 16:29   #4
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

You find a way , you really have to live for it, then it all makes sense. Yes chartering is not the cheapest vacation but once you have done it , a boating vacation becomes the only way. Try that first , see if you fall in love with it, If you do , nothing will stop you from getting your own boat .

Live to dream , then live the dream .
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Old 30-01-2012, 17:05   #5
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

You can do it. Turn your dream into a plan with incremental goals. Keep each goal as specific as you can, but don't be afraid to modify your plans as conditions change. I know you can do this. You have already started just by contacting others who are already doing what you want to do. Add trips to marinas, boatyards and boat shows to your research. You will be amazed at the information you will pick up.
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Old 30-01-2012, 17:19   #6
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pirate Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

If you've a driveway or access to a 'protected' bit of land get a 20-26ft trailer sailor... saves on marina charges and gives you a variety of sailing that you'd not otherwise have... get the big boat when HWMO is more pliable...
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Old 30-01-2012, 17:20   #7
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

I joined a sailing club. I don't know if such a thing exists in Vancouver, but I joined one here and take out a boat about 2-3 times a month. My skills have come along nicely as has my understanding of what I want in a boat.

Other people have suggested crewing on other people's boats. That is also a good idea and way to meet people in the sailing community. They can be an excellent source of local information.

You can actually charter a boat off season for a lot less than $2500 in the Puget Sound area. That said, it is still real money.
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Old 30-01-2012, 17:26   #8
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

If you were in Southern NE I'd take you two for a week for half that and teach you lots and you could get to experience what life aboard a boat is like. You might be able to find someone closer to home to provide this. Of course it would be opening one's home to a pair of strangers for a week and that could be good or bad... one never knows.

Make an offer / place an ad aimed at some local cruiser to take you guys on board for a week for a grand and provide some education on boating. I think it would be good for everyone!

I definitely would start in with the sailing until AFTER you spend a week living aboard a boat and determined it was for you BOTH.
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Old 30-01-2012, 17:31   #9
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

Jericho sailing center on the south side of English Bay has lessons and clubs to join. It's mostly dinghies, which is the best way to learn how to actually sail, but I did see at least one club has a small keelboat. I've been up there for some Hobie regattas.

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Old 30-01-2012, 18:12   #10
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

Hi City girl,
There is also the Barnet CO-OP. they have a variety of programs, sunday sails etc. Check them out Home - Barnet Sailing Cooperative.
Cheers,
Wayne
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Old 30-01-2012, 19:55   #11
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

Get to know local sailing people and go sailing with them.

Is there any sort of Sailing Club / Yacht Club nearby? Racers need movable ballast (that's you in the early stages of your learning curve), cruisers may like company. If you come across like minded people, they may give you plenty of tuition for free.

If your location is far from the waterfront, consider spending your holidays in a waterside place - seaside, lake, etc.. Also remember that renting boats off the peak season is often way cheaper than doing so in the middle of summer vacation.

Maybe your country is specific. I, in any case, learned sailing and never spent a penny on courses. I have never hired boats either. I spent money on boats, but not on courses and not on charter. Can be done then.

That's the on the water part. Meanwhile, use some of the long winter evenings and do some self-study. Plenty can be gathered from the Internet. Then there are books.

If you are in a place with a lake and the winters are harsh - check if there is an ice-sailing club. Ice-sailing is a great introduction to sailing (much as you may get addicted and miss the hiss later;-).

Buy a s/h windsurfer / Laser / Mirror. Learn the basics then move on.

The world is your oyster. Where there is will, there is way.

Cheers,
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Old 30-01-2012, 20:47   #12
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

As far as chartering goes, I can't speak to it in your area, but can in a place like the BVI. You can get a boat that holds 6 for about that same price or less. Split 3 ways (assuming 3 couples) makes it more affordable. You can do sailing schools this way as well - get a trip to a warm climate AND get some sailing experience at the same time.

It really comes down to how much you want to do it. For us, we'd rather spend $2500 on charter than a trip to Hawaii. We'll visit Hawaii in the future when we sail our boat there
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Old 30-01-2012, 21:40   #13
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

Aloha and welcome aboard!
You'll find a way to do the things you love.
kind regards,
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Old 30-01-2012, 22:01   #14
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

I've been looking at sailing since about high school (16yrs ago) but not too seriously since I didn't have the means to do so. More recently, I was looking at the tiny house stuff too and people downsizing into them. I caught hell for it when I was talking about it with a couple people from work (probably because I'm 6'5"). Also looked into boats and now resparked my desire to do sailing. Now, I'm set on wanting to go sailing and even live aboard. Fiancee is saying no that it's a waste of money and I should get a huge expensive house.

Hopefully, You'll be able to find what works for the two of you and get it to work. Starting smaller could work for a few years then move up as you gain more experiance.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 30-01-2012, 22:44   #15
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Re: Gosh, how do people afford to learn to sail/ spend time on boats?!

How can you NOT afford to do it is the question. Wouldn't the question "what if?" drive you nuts if you DON'T do it?

I could teach you to sail in a day. You could spend the rest of your life practicing.

Read, learn, research boats, bum rides, buy a small boat as suggested and just go do it. You don't need charters unless you want to. You don't need classes unless you want to. You just have to want to sail. No, you NEED to sail.

If you don't like it, sell the thing for what you paid for it and move on. I've watched my first boat be sold 4 different times now for basically the same amount in 6 years on Craigslist. I wonder how many people have learned to sail on that wonderful, forgiving boat. Go for it.

Fair winds

John
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