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Old 13-08-2009, 20:06   #1
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Hello Everybody, from Toronto

Hey guy/gals,

I'm Derek, a guy who's very interested in getting into sailing. I look forward to talking with all of you and benefiting from your collective knowledge and expertise. I definitely have lots of questions!

I hope to take some lessons, perhaps next summer; in the meantime I plan to do plenty of reading. In the future, I see myself sailing down to the Caribbean and maybe making a life for myself down there, with frequent trips back up the coast. The possibilities are endless.

I guess I'll start by asking you guys what kind of boat you'd recommend (come the time when I'm experienced enough, and financially set enough, to make a purchase) that would be seaworthy enough to make the voyage, and be sturdy enough to handle the waters down there...is it possible to make such a voyage alone, or do most boats (capable of the trip to, and around, the Caribbean) require at least two people?


Look forward to hearing from you people,


D
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Old 13-08-2009, 20:23   #2
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Welcome! I just joined the group myself.

When I started looking I read up all the info about what to look for in a boat, who produced a great boat, who to avoid and I knew all the specs etc. One day a friend said you can read all that but when you set foot on your boat you will know it... and all you have read will go right out the window.

That's how I found myself sailing around on the Ford Escorts of boats and LOVING IT!

Having said that, learn as much as you can so you can make a smart, informed decision.
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Old 13-08-2009, 20:31   #3
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Quote:
I guess I'll start by asking you guys what kind of boat you'd recommend (come the time when I'm experienced enough, and financially set enough, to make a purchase) that would be seaworthy enough to make the voyage, and be sturdy enough to handle the waters down there...is it possible to make such a voyage alone, or do most boats (capable of the trip to, and around, the Caribbean) require at least two people?
The key is when you get to the level of experience needed you will already know the answer. If you can get out there sailing you gain experience. That is the key to being able to a good sailor. It's not the boat as much as you might think so. When comfortable with a boat and have experience most nay boat will make the trip. No boat sails itself.
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Old 14-08-2009, 04:12   #4
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Derek (Deke?).

Almost any well-found production boat will be adequate for your stated purposes. In fact, the “possibilities are (nearly) endless”.

While many single-handed sailors enjoy cruising alone, most would prefer a congenial companion.
The boat-handling & seamanship aspects of single-handing are much easier to overcome (with knowledge & forethought) than are the social aspects.
Neither are insurmountable.

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Originally Posted by Green23 View Post
... In the future, I see myself sailing down to the Caribbean and maybe making a life for myself down there, with frequent trips back up the coast. The possibilities are endless...
I guess I'll start by asking you guys what kind of boat you'd recommend (come the time when ...)
...is it possible to make such a voyage alone, or do most boats (capable of the trip to, and around, the Caribbean) require at least two people?
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Old 14-08-2009, 08:15   #5
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Okay, well here's another question...seeing I've yet to even get my feet wet in sailing, how long do you think it will take for to "learn the ropes", so to speak? I plan on either taking a sailing course, or perhaps volunteering to help crew someone's boat or something. I understand there's alot to learn; I like to think I'm a pretty quick study, but realistically, how long do you think it would take to learn the ins and outs of sailing and feel comfortable out there?

I realize there's probably not a cut 'n dry answer to this, but just kind of an estimate would be cool. I'd like to find myself sailing to the Caribbean in the next year or two. Is that unrealistic?
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Old 14-08-2009, 08:59   #6
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No, I donít think itís unrealistic to hope to be prepared to sail the Islands within a couple of years of fairly concentrated learning.
Iíd think youíd want as much time on the water as possible, supplemented with some dedicated home study (books), and at least the basic Power & Sail Squadron courses.

The next Seamanship (formerly Piloting) course, in Toronto, will begin September 14/09; but the prerequisite basic Boating Course - (includes the "Boat Licence") wonít begin till January 19, 2010.

Goto ➥
Boating courses in Toronto
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Old 14-08-2009, 09:00   #7
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A warm welcome to you, Derek.

Not too unrealistic, if you have the time to go at it pretty hard. Along with your sailing lessions, look around for a local yacht club. They're usually made up of folks who would love to give an interested young person the opportunity to get into the sport.

And I also recommend you get a copy of fellow Torontoan Ann Vanderhoof's book, An Embarassment of Mangoes. It's a really well-written and entertaining account of Ann and her husband doing just what you want to do.
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Old 14-08-2009, 09:25   #8
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Thanks, guys. I'll look into what you've suggested. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions soon. Actually, here's some more right now:

Just to be clear, Gord, I need that Boating course before I can take the Seamanship course? Is the boating course out in the water (in January?)

Hud, thanks for the book suggestion. I'll go find it at the bookstore ASAP. As for a yacht club, I do believe we've got a Marina here in Whitby. I'll pop in there and ask some questions.
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Old 14-08-2009, 09:33   #9
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Welcome Derek,
I back all the others - its not the boat but the sailor that's important - and getting out actually sailing is for sure the best way to get started on this plan.
And for sure you can learn enough (for you'll never stop learning) to sail safely down the coast in two years, provided you put in the time and application.
Good luck
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Old 14-08-2009, 09:36   #10
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Derek:

If you're in Toronto, there are dozens of places to take the initial sailing courses. Try Humber College -- they offer the full range of CYA courses, starting with introduction to boating. They might still have openings for courses this fall.

I took both Basic and Intermediate Cruising through Humber. I probably would want those two and either (or both) Advanced Cruising or Standard Offshore before heading down south.

As of now, you need, as Gord mentioned, the Pleasure Craft Operator Card to operate any vessel with a motor. And in Toronto, you need to have a harbour license, again for a powered vessel.

But while you're taking the courses, your instructors will have the appropriate licenses. You just need them if you're on your own in a powered vessel.

No power? No problem? Go where the wind takes you.

You don't want an on-water course on Lake Ontario in January. Trust me on this. We did the Basic Course in April and brass monkeys weren't in it. (We did the Intermediate course in Guadeloupe ... that was nice.)

You might also contemplate getting a crew membership at one of the clubs and going racing with some of the competing skippers. Many will welcome a newby who has no bad habits to unlearn.

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Old 14-08-2009, 09:37   #11
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Well, I just called the local yacht club (right here in town) and they offer an Introduction to Sailing course. After that, something called Intermediate Keelboat Cruising. I guess that's a start...
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Old 14-08-2009, 09:38   #12
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Derek:

If you're in Toronto, there are dozens of places to take the initial sailing courses. Try Humber College -- they offer the full range of CYA courses, starting with introduction to boating. They might still have openings for courses this fall.

I took both Basic and Intermediate Cruising through Humber. I probably would want those two and either (or both) Advanced Cruising or Standard Offshore before heading down south.

You don't want an on-water course on Lake Ontario in January. Trust me on this. We did the Basic Course in April and brass monkeys weren't in it.
Yeah, that's what I thought. Sounds cold! The Whitby Yacht Club seems to offer the same courses you're suggesting at Humber. Just as good, would you say?
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Old 14-08-2009, 09:48   #13
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I'm sure Whitby's instructors are CYA certified and would be just as good. OTOH, a college course is tax-deductible. OTOH again, if yer in Whitby, it's a long drive to Etobicoke.

Whitby has a nice club, BTW, and the people seem very nice. They come in in a gaggle once or twice a season to our club (Toronto Hydroplane and Sailing Club) and are very pleasant.

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Old 14-08-2009, 09:50   #14
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Awesome. Well the Whitby club is just down the road from me, so I guess that's the best spot for me to get started.
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Old 14-08-2009, 21:11   #15
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Aloha Green
Welcome aboard! To get a jump on the course check out the boo "Start Sailing Right!" You'll be glad you did.
Regards,
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