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Old 07-07-2016, 19:22   #1
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Hi all, here to get an education!

I've been lurking around here, reading some threads of interest, and I figured I might as well join up and be a bit more proactive in my learning. From what I've read so far, this definitely looks like the community for me.

A little bit about me...I'm turning 50 later this year, have never owned a boat, and I live 2.5 hours away from the nearest ocean access. But in the last six months since losing my dad, I've made a few decisions about what I want (and don't want) to do going forward. I don't want to work until I'm 63 just so I can afford to continue to live my current lifestyle in high-cost-of-living California. I've started to downsize, simplify, and plan for retirement at 55. Conveniently, I've also become single again in the last six months, so I can make those type of decisions now. Anyways, as I started looking at the places I'd want to live, I started warming up to the idea of living aboard, and cruising the western Caribbean in the process. I spent a week living aboard a sailboat (docked) last year when I visited Seattle, it was an AirB&B rental, and I loved the experience...I've always loved boats and being on the water.

So I've begun my so-called 5-year plan...only because I need to work another 5 years to hit the pension number that I feel comfortable with. At that point, I'll also have a couple hundred $K in starter cash to buy a boat and outfit it suitably. I know next to nothing, at least nothing from first-hand experience...but I am a relentless researcher and I have some time to educate myself. I plan to start by taking sailing courses and getting some certifications. Outside of that, I will be here, reading, reading, and reading....I may even ask a few stupid questions from time to time. Any and all words of advice will always be tremendously appreciated. Thanks, and happy to be here!
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Old 07-07-2016, 21:32   #2
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Re: Hi all, here to get an education!

Welcome to the forum. I couldn't guess whats going to happen in my life 6 months from now let alone 5 years. Hope it all works out. I believe John Lennon had a quote about life and plans.
"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 08-07-2016, 00:05   #3
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Re: Hi all, here to get an education!

G'Day BD and welcome to CF.

Your plans are similar to many posters here, and they are certainly attainable if you put the effort into them. You don't say where in CAlifornia you are located, but there are lakes near many places, and you can do a lot of learning sailing a small boat on even a small lake.

My usual advice for folks like you is to buy a small (13-17 fiit +/-) daysailor on a trailer, and get out and go sailing... a LOT. This will cost you less than a sailing school curriculum and will be a hell of a lot more fun... and with a couple of days book study and a sense of adventure you will be out on the water, this summer, and sailing, on your own boat and when and where you want.

I know this can work because that's how I started sailing about 45 years ago. The current fixation on lessons, schools and certification is not the only way to go, and IMO tends to catapult folks into bigger boats sooner than is optimal. The reason of course is that following this route the schools get your money, the yacht brokers get your money, you don't get much sailing in and it takes you a lot longer to amass the funds to go cruising.

With your 5 year time frame, a year or two spent as above will give you a sound basis in the arts and skills of sailing. Then you part with the little boat (usually at a near break-even price) and start moving up the size ladder. By this time, you will have made friends with lots of fellow sailors and can start sailing OPBs (other people's boats) as crew. This is another good way to learn skills and keep saving your money for the time when you will lash out and buy your cruising boat. You will do so with a lot more practical knowledge than you would have gained from ASA xxx through yyy.

I expect that other CFers will advise a different, more currently conventional path, and you should think about their views as well. There are lots of ways to go sailing and every individual has an optimum path to seaworthyness!

Good luck,

Jim and Ann
s/v Insatiable back in MBTBC marina, waiting for next eye jobs to be done
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