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Old 26-07-2014, 08:09   #1
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Location: NC, USA
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Hello and pleased to pick your brains

My name is Dave. I've been lurking these forums since deciding to set my focus on sailing and purchasing a boat to live aboard about 2 years ago. I've finally made the step to join and become part of this community and am on track to have my dreams become reality within the next year or so.
A little about me. I'm a 40 old disabled veteran of the US Navy with over 2 years seatime on aircraft carriers. I've travelled around the world within and outside the military and have lived all around the US. My sailing experience is limited to a few trips on a friend's boat. I have extensive experience with sea kayaking and have been paddling the US east coast for almost 20 years, including a 6 week solo paddle along the coast of Maine. I was also a sea kayak instructor and guide in Florida for a few years, where I taught basic navigational skills and general boating safety. I'm hoping that experience will prove to be a helpful start in the sailing world.
My dream is to purchase a bluewater capable liveaboard and SLOWLY work my way from the ICW to a circumnavigation. Between reading books, lurking forums, taking a few lessons and picking several sailors brains, I have a good idea that I should be searching for a sturdy, safe, single-hand capable s/v within the 28-34ft range. These forums have been more than helpful in shedding more light on those requirements.
A short list of what I hope to learn in the near future is:
1. A list of "must have" reading materials
2. How to buy a boat, deal with brokers and get the best for my money
3. Liveaboard tips and tricks
4. What boat will best serve my needs
5. What costs are required aside from the boat upon initial purchase
6. What is required to travel abroad
My goals between now and next summer are to:
1. Take a diesel engine mech course
2. Take a few more sailing and safety courses (any certs I may need)
3. Look at as many boats as possible within the specs advised
4. Go sailing on other people's boats!
I'm sure I'll find most, if not all, of this information within many of the threads on CF. Any links to threads, lists or other websites are welcomed and greatly appreciated.
I'm happy to become part of these forums and hope I get the chance to meet you all within the threads and/or on the water. Thanks.

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Old 26-07-2014, 21:55   #2
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Re: Hello and pleased to pick your brains

Welcome to the forum

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 26-07-2014, 22:43   #3
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Boat: International Etchells USA 125 Black Magic, Santana 20 475 Ghost, Hobie 33 3100 Bruja, dinghies,
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Re: Hello and pleased to pick your brains

Welcome, Dave,

Even though you've done a huge amount of thinking about this, as you get more experience, your goals may get more refined, focused, or different. One thing that you might consider is some of the many ways of getting more time on the water in different kinds of cruising or other sailboats before you actually buy... hanging out with folks at a sailing co-op or club, getting on crew lists, etc.

A coastal area library may have many of the classic learn-to-sail sailing and boating boats such as Rousmaniere's Annapolis Book of Sailing (there are also companion videos), or the text books used for the various American Sailing Association and US Sailing classes, Chapman's Seamanship, etc. There are books about buying and inspecting boats (Surveying the Older Sailboat), fiberglass and systems maintenance (Nigel Calder wrote some in this group), and the whole range of how-to stuff. Then there are cruising guides and books about cruising. And all the classic voyage narratives going back all the way to Joshua Slocum and beyond.
Pat, from the Desert Sea
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Old 27-07-2014, 00:21   #4
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Re: Hello and pleased to pick your brains

SwabbiePost: Dave:

First off, welcome aboard. Cruisers tend to be a friendly lot.

About actually buying a boat, there is a thread on CF, something sort of like Surveying 101. Sorry I can't quite remember.

However, some caveats first: small sailboats are only like a carrier in that they float--most things are different.

Hence comes the advice to sail small boats first. Either learn on a dinghy or sail on other people's boats. Sigh up to be crew. Own up that you are a novice and want to learn, offer to help on work days. After you have sailed on a number of small boats, you will start to gain a feel for what you like, and if you are lucky, you will also start to learn small boat seamanship.

If you keep it simple for the first year or two, you will learn enough to save you many expen$ive mistakes.

My own experience was starting out racing on OPB's (other people's boats), "beer can races", the very lowest level of racing; and graduated to ocean racing, because skippers are always looking for crew. Crew who shut up and do whatever needs to be done are encouraged. So I usually support people doing racing crewing, because you learn a lot in a short time. There are courses and certifications, and all have their points, but IMO, mentorship is best of all. So keep open to the skipper who wants to bring you along as crew; that skipper will teach both by example and by outright telling you what to do.

Keep an open mind on picking up all you can about boat maintenance: this, too, will be of help later on.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 27-07-2014, 06:03   #5
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Location: NC, USA
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Re: Hello and pleased to pick your brains

Thanks for the warm welcomes and great advice. While spending my days reading, researching and sailing this summer, I have found myself speeding through used boat listings in hope to find the perfect boat (for me.) When the excitement takes over it's difficult not to wonder whether or not I'm passing up a good deal or if this deal will come around again. I'm also torn between the "just go and do it" mentality and taking my time.
It's nice to have realistic advice from experienced sailors to feed off of. Sticking with the the recommended reads and finding OPB's seems like a more steady course. Thanks again.
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Old 29-07-2014, 13:07   #6
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Re: Hello and pleased to pick your brains

Originally Posted by SwabbiePost View Post
My name is Dave....I'm a 40 old disabled veteran of the US Navy with over 2 years seatime on aircraft carriers...

4. Go sailing on other people's boats!
Dave, Welcome to the Forum.

Thanks for your service. Anytime we're in the same establishment, your first drink will always be on me.

What part of the Old North State do you reside? I'll be honored to have you come crew for me sometime.

Cogito Ergo Armatum Sum
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:35   #7
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Location: traveling extensively 2016
Boat: Still Searching for Her
Posts: 3,087
Re: Hello and pleased to pick your brains

Howdy and Welcome!

Your good intro shows you have a plan and some good experience too.

Have fun!
Ahoy All Sailors! I love traditional sailboats of all kinds (e.g. gaff rigged, schooners, cutters, smacks, woodies, etc.). See my CF Profile "About Me" page for details.
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Old 11-09-2014, 16:49   #8
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,169
Re: Hello and pleased to pick your brains

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Thanks for your service. You have a good plan and only single thing else I could suggest from your first post is that you talk your way aboard as many boats as you can so that you can compare one to another and pick the features you like. Sort out which features are best for sailing and which features are best for liveaboard. They are two different things in many cases. There is no one boat that fits the ultimate needs of both activities in my opinion.
Good luck in your search. If you haven't taken your basic sailing lesson yet then enroll just so you know if you are going to like it. Military bases often offer MWR sailing classes if you are medically retired or regularly retired.
kindest regards,

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