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Old 04-05-2014, 11:12   #1
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I Would Love Advice in Getting Started

Hi All,

Joining a forum for the first anywhere. Anyway, here it goes ... I am looking to actively cruise the Caribbean in about 5 years. In the meantime, I would like to get started by cruising 1 or 2x a year with the family in the Caribbean. I live in long island, ny and was wondering whats the best way to get started. I would like to cruise to south pacific at a later time as well. I am thinking of purchasing a new sail yacht and chartering it out until I am ready to cruise full time to cover some of the cost; looking at fractional ownership as well. My first instinct was to buy a new 46 or larger benneteau / bavaria but I am not so sure after reading many online posts. (Out of ignorance, I am thinking larger ships are safer and easier to handle, hence 46 or larger.) Any advice in helping me get launched will be greatly appreciated. lastly, I would love to hear of possible business opportunities in sailing and related field as well; willing to relocate.

Feel free to contact me with any comment ir questions. Thanks again.
Happy cruising,
SE
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:27   #2
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

Aloha and welcome aboard!

If you are going to buy into a charter service then look that up in the search function here on the forum to see the pros and cons. Many cons as a well as a couple of pros. In that case maybe a larger 46 vessel might be worth it.

You didn't mention your sailing experience so if it is appropriate I'd say that taking enough classes to get your bareboat charter qualifications done would be your first step. There are packages offered in the Carib which would be a good start.

I've had lots of experience sailing and in my point of view a boat from 32 to 36 feet is ideal unless you expect to have several people sailing with you each time you go. Several people hear may disagree. Larger boats are by no means safer. It is the skipper and crew and their experience that make the boats safe.

Good luck in your enterprise.

kindest regards,
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Old 04-05-2014, 13:01   #3
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

i am a novice considering Steve and Dorris Colgates' Offshore sailing school. Any schools you recommend?

I will look into charter service. thanks.
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Old 04-05-2014, 13:08   #4
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

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i am a novice considering Steve and Dorris Colgates' Offshore sailing school. Any schools you recommend?

I will look into charter service. thanks.
Sorry I don't know any schools on your coast or down in the Carib. ASA and US Sailing offer many courses. I remember hearing good things about Colgate but don't have experience with them. Check under the forums at the top of the page and see if there is one that more appropriately fits the subject and post another message there. That'll get you more specific information.
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Old 04-05-2014, 13:10   #5
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

thanks again.
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Old 04-05-2014, 13:13   #6
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

Sailing School is worth reading.
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Old 04-05-2014, 13:31   #7
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

I would fight your first instinct (i.e. purchasing a large sailboat and entering an unfamiliar business). Instead, I second the motion to go take classes (e.g. through ASA). After taking each class, take your family and replicate what you learned. For example, take the ASA 101 basic keelboat class. After graduation, charter the same or similar sailboat and take it out daysailing by yourself with the family where you went in the class. Similarly, take the ASA 103 (basic coastal cruising) and ASA 104 (bareboat cruising) classes. After graduation, charter the same or similar sailboat and take it out by yourself with the family following the same itinerary. And so on through all the ASA classes.

Instead of buying the big boat now, go sailing now. Buy a manageable trailerable boat, or join a sailing club, or get involved in regatta racing as crew, or crew for an active sailing friend. This summer you should rack up many days on the water sailing. Make that a priority.

After ASA classes and some sailing experience, plan and execute a bareboat charter. The location and itinerary will be different from your classes, but you should apply what you've been learning. As you engage in different bareboat charters, select different boats so you learn what you like and dislike. I will be surprised if you don't change your mind about your target boat.

I'm excited for you and for all the fun ahead of you this summer and the coming years.
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Old 04-05-2014, 15:49   #8
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

Welcome to the forum. Good luck on your search.
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Old 04-05-2014, 16:06   #9
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

Not sure where you are located but I suggest you head to the nearest docks, marina, mooring field, of yacht club. Or simply call up some near by yacht clubs. There are many more boats looking for crews than crews looking for boats. It may cost you some sodas and pizza to get a ride but it will give you some idea of what you are getting in to. Plenty of yacht clubs have members with no boats. Marinas usually have a message board where folks post messages looking for crews, and for that matter boats for sale.

There are lots of folks at these places who will be more than happy to talk to you at length about how realistic your goals are, and after talking to you for a short time will have a much better idea of your capabilities than those of us posting here.
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Old 04-05-2014, 16:33   #10
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

Therre are couple of yatch clubs by me .... Douglaston and manhasset I was under the impression clubs were invite only only for the country club folks ...I will see if I can join. Thx.
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Old 04-05-2014, 16:51   #11
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

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Therre are couple of yatch clubs by me .... Douglaston and manhasset I was under the impression clubs were invite only only for the country club folks ...I will see if I can join. Thx.
Some clubs are way more welcoming than others. Some clubs are just country clubs and not worth the effort. Find the one that suits you and is affordable. To walk the docks in a public marina doesn't require a yacht club membership but sometimes the gates are locked for security for boat owners.
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Old 04-05-2014, 18:59   #12
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

Sara, Offshore isn't the only game in town. There should be one or two sailing schools still based in Oyster Bay among other places. Colgate was based on City Island a long time ago, but now they run pop-up operations out of many places to suit demand and their main location is Sanibel or Captiva, down in Florida. They're affiliated with Moorings (charter) and they have an active "alumni" program, so they're set up to feed you right into one of the larger charter operations as you gain experience. That could be a good reason to find out where they're teaching on LI now.

I think you'd learn far more, far better, much faster, by taking intro & intermediate sailing classes with any sailing school, and then bumming rides at a local yacht club or marina *after* you get the basics. Anyplace that has weeknight (and weekend) racing needs crew most of the time, but it helps if you learn the basics from a formal program that will teach them to standards, first.
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Old 04-05-2014, 19:10   #13
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

there's port sailing school in port washington. are you familiar with this school by any chance? also, do you know of any welcoming yacht clubs around oyster bay or on long island? Manhasset club seems very formal and expensive with other activites, hard to join. thx
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Old 04-05-2014, 19:12   #14
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

Yacht clubs differ a lot and some can be snooty. But many are friendly and welcome new members with or without boats. Most also have a fleet of small racing boats members can use and offer lessons to members. For the cost of a single ASA course you should easily be able to pay for a years membership to a local yacht club. The advantage of this is a much longer time spent on the water and talking with local boaters. The advantage of an ASA (or similar course) is if you buy insurance for a boat an ASA certificate will get you a discount.
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Old 04-05-2014, 19:16   #15
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Re: I would love advice in getting started

I am contacting Douglaston and Port Washington Clubs; skipping Manhasset because it requires an invitation and two month minimum application process. I will let you know how I make out.
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