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Old 10-02-2016, 19:41   #16
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

Welcome Aboard Jason. I bought a three cabin (Owner's Version) 39' catamaran in the Bahamas. Sailed it up the ICW to Baltimore, south to Trinidad and across the Pacific. We're now in Sydney, Australia. I put lots of solar panels on it (1250 watts) and a water maker. It's just my girlfriend and I on board so we have lots of space but we have travelled for a couple of weeks with six adults on board and no worries. I heartily support what you are planning. Maybe you and the missus should take a week's sailing school to try it out. I can recommend the "Zero to Hero" course by water sailing">Blue Water Sailing School. (ASA Basic Sailing, Basic Cruising, Catamaran Sailing and Chartering). I took it in the Abacos, Bahamas.
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Old 10-02-2016, 20:25   #17
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

When we started our circumnavigation, we were told by the "experts" that a catamaran under forty feet was not seaworthy. Unfortunately, we were 39 feet long, but we went sailing anyway. We survived. We sailed around the world. No sailing lessons either. We took what we learned on our Westsail 32, and transferred what knowledge we could to our catamaran and set sail. No rocket science here!
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Old 10-02-2016, 21:21   #18
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

Someone asked where I was at, I live in Atlanta Georgia. I am very much land locked. Something I would like to clarify about my reasoning for wanting a boat and to sail around the world. The experience for my children would be priceless and everything I do, I do for them. Last year I had an itch to do something new, something that would be life changing. It was just a nagging in the back of my mind. At the turn of the year it had gone from being a nagging itch it a full blown urge. For whatever reason I have a serious sense of urgency. I realized last year I worked 60-70 hours, 7 days a week for about 4 months straight. The rest of the year was 40- 50 hours. I did all that work, some of it away from my family, for someone elses profit. I don't begrudge my boss for owning his own company, he's actually very nice and understanding. But I still work 6-7 days a week. I miss basketball games and cheerleading games. I can hear their disappointment when I tell them I have to work or go out of town and I won't be home for Valentines day. So, as a father I can still honestly say I will do this for my family.
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Old 10-02-2016, 22:21   #19
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

I'm with you on this Jason. I am a dad too. I got a bad case of the bug too. A little different perhaps because I started sailing when I was a teenager and I have done some cruising. Now I am just doing coastal island trips, the kids are 5 and 10 and my wife is new to sailing. It's really important they all have a good time or the whole thing can begin to fall apart. I have to be sure its safe and nobody gets scared. I don't go unless the conditions are almost idyllic. I have them sleep on the boat a night or two before going so they are used to the motion and are less likely to get sea-sick. I am fine with a range of sea conditions, but if I want it to be a fun family experience I have to be sure I am not pushing them at all. I have taken folks out on trips when the weather turned bad and when they got off the boat they kissed the ground and I never heard from them again! I have a good friend who years ago outfitted a boat, planned a trip to Hawaii from Cal here and asked me to go along. The poor guy didn't get out of his bunk for three days because of sea-sickness. When I finally suggested maybe we should go back he looked at me with tremendous gratitude! He didn't sell his boat, but I never saw him sail it after that. I don't want to discourage your family adventures. It's just that it is best to build up experience to provide a good base for successful cruising. I think you can find a lot of family adventures, relatively safe and very fun close by, in a large boat, likely a cat, in the Caribbean for quite a while. Crossing the Atlantic will involve a new set of skills and challenges. You can do it, but get some experience with someone else first on a few longer trips out of sight of land to get acquainted with it.
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Old 11-02-2016, 04:40   #20
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I'm with you on this Jason. I am a dad too. I got a bad case of the bug too. A little different perhaps because I started sailing when I was a teenager and I have done some cruising. Now I am just doing coastal island trips, the kids are 5 and 10 and my wife is new to sailing. It's really important they all have a good time or the whole thing can begin to fall apart. I have to be sure its safe and nobody gets scared. I don't go unless the conditions are almost idyllic. I have them sleep on the boat a night or two before going so they are used to the motion and are less likely to get sea-sick. I am fine with a range of sea conditions, but if I want it to be a fun family experience I have to be sure I am not pushing them at all. I have taken folks out on trips when the weather turned bad and when they got off the boat they kissed the ground and I never heard from them again! I have a good friend who years ago outfitted a boat, planned a trip to Hawaii from Cal here and asked me to go along. The poor guy didn't get out of his bunk for three days because of sea-sickness. When I finally suggested maybe we should go back he looked at me with tremendous gratitude! He didn't sell his boat, but I never saw him sail it after that. I don't want to discourage your family adventures. It's just that it is best to build up experience to provide a good base for successful cruising. I think you can find a lot of family adventures, relatively safe and very fun close by, in a large boat, likely a cat, in the Caribbean for quite a while. Crossing the Atlantic will involve a new set of skills and challenges. You can do it, but get some experience with someone else first on a few longer trips out of sight of land to get acquainted with it.
Excellent post and excellent advise.

Over the years I have brought on a lot of newbies for crew. Most did great but one or two suffered almost terminal seasickness. It is really, really important to get the family acclimated in a fun, easy way before jumping into the deep end of the pool.
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Old 11-02-2016, 04:59   #21
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

My 2 cents:

While learning to sail and figuring out if you even like it is very, very much advised, you don't HAVE to. Enough "never been on a boat before but off we go" stories to proof that. Look at the Bumfuzzle site for instance (Adventures | Bumfuzzle).

But from reading your posts, I don't understand why you want to travel by sailboat, to be honest. I see a lot of (great) arguments for traveling but none as to why by boat. Why not drive? Or fly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonbailey View Post
she said she liked the sailboats better, they were prettier.
Thinking sailboats are "prettier" is kind of irrelevant when it comes to living on a boat and sailing across oceans. Looking at pretty boats tied up in a marina is not the same as sailing through rough weather or living in a tiny space with the whole family - and a dog who'll need to do his business on deck since there's no getting off the boat.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do it -- all I'm saying is to figure out why you want to sail. And maybe try and find out if your idea of what it's like to cruise around the world is anything like reality. If you think the answer is yes, charter a boat that you'd consider buying (and is within budget), and see how it goes for just a week or two first.
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Old 11-02-2016, 17:56   #22
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

Wow, so many negative people here. I'm probably going to piss off some people here because I haven't spent a lifetime learning or I'm not what you would consider wealthy or even well to do. When I put my mind to do something, I do it. It doesn't matter how long or quick. Maybe you're wealthier than I am, maybe you've been sailing for all of youradult life. I don't care. I came to this site looking to ask some much needed questions and gain some valuable knowledge so I don't go out and get myself killed. To answer some of your questions, if I wanted to drive (which I also love to do), I wouldn't be on this site. If I wanted to fly, I would be looking at the cost of plane tickets. I didn't know how to build a house until I learned. I didn't know how to build a 5 story hotel until I had built 40 offices and a dozen houses. And even still I had to learn a few things. Why a boat? Maybe because I want to be able to get there on my own terms, by my own knowledge. Some of you seem to think I'm some snot nosed kid that will just immediately buy a boat and risk killing my entire family by sailing when I don't even know how.

Urging me to be cautious is welcomed and warranted, but the attitude that some of you have while seemingly trying to talk me out of it is getting old. As I stated o my first introductory post: I came here to ask questions and learn. Please do not take me as being rude as that is not my intent. I will learn to sail, one way or another. As far as those who suggested a charter, I honestly had not thought of that and think it is a great idea and I am looking into it.
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Old 11-02-2016, 18:29   #23
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

Jason, I read that there are people who are concerned about the welfare of you and your family. Sometimes people can get obsessed about pursuing a dream and believe that all they need is a strong commitment and everything will be OK. Without substantial experience in sailing and maintaining a boat you can get you and your family into very serious trouble. I have met people who share your dream and experience and there are people who have crossed the Atlantic with very little experience but I can assure you that many more have attempted it and failed and sometimes with dire outcomes. It's hard to explain the risks,but perhaps this video might help Awesome to WATCH: This is My Worst Fear... - Cars Moto Club

Seas like this are not rare. Experienced sailors will do everything they can to avoid this but also prepare for it as well. What would you do if you were faced with seas like this?
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Old 11-02-2016, 18:42   #24
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

mmmm . . . . I will say there is 'sensible an prudent advice' . . . and then there is what we did - which was with essentially minimal sailing experience, buy a boat sight unseen (had a surveyor vet it) day sail the boat twice, and then set sail round the world. We made it (twice). I am not necessarily recommending you take our imprudent approach, but I will comment that #1 it is a lot faster way to get to see than the sensible approach and #2 that ALOT of what you learn in the sensible approach is actually not so relevant for double handed ocean crossing (like just for example you usually don't learn how best to sail downwind for several weeks at a time . . . or the things I mention next)

My experience suggests that sailing is the easy part. It is not at all hard and is easy to learn. For most harder is learning to fix all the boat. Suddenly you have to be your own power plant engineer and water plant engineer and diesel engineer and rigger and weatherman, ect ect. I would focus my learning time on areas like these.

I would make sure that your wife is solidly on board with your dream. That it is truly both of you wanting to do this, as dragging a less than fully committed partner is painful, even if they are nice and supportive enough of your dream to not complain.

I would check if any of you get seasick (by going to sea on an overnight charter in some waves). It is not a knockout if you get seasick - I do - but it does make the whole thing more challenging - the partner needs in part to 'cover' solo while you are sick.

Now, as to the boat, there are a whole lot of opinions, and it really comes down to what you personally happy with. In multihulls, I would say there might be a general agreement that under 30' is way too small and that over 50' is too big for a less experience couple. Between there, you have to decide how much space your family needs for privacy and I would urge you to go as small as you are comfortable in rather than as big as you can afford.

As to water tankage - it is somewhat important to keep weight down on a multihull, so many will carry water makers and thus don't need vast tanks. You can also catch rain water.

As to how big a single man can handle - will depend a lot on skill and experience, but mmm a 700 sq ft mainsail is certainly possible but is a chore single handed. I personally would not be eager for bigger than that.
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Old 11-02-2016, 20:46   #25
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

Trust me when I say no one here is more concerned about my well being here than I am. After all I can't learn to sail a boat if I'm dead or severely injured. The most dangerous thing I do on a daily basis is drive. It doesn't matter that I drive the speed limit or that I dont play with my phone or even listen to the radio for the most part, if the people around me are not being as safe as they can then none of what I do matters. But I can help myself by paying attention to whats around me. The only way I'm going to know how to recognize those dangers is through experience.

I've heard of those water makers from a few of the other members, what are they, and what do they do?
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Old 11-02-2016, 22:41   #26
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

Well I am pretty sure I am not wealthier than you... You came hear to get advice from people who are doing what you would like to do. I think we have been pretty positive and supportive considering you have no experience and you want to take your whole family across the Atlantic within a year. Look, if I told you I really want to build a dozen houses by the end of the year and it will be me and my family doing it, can you help me? you would rightfully want to give me some of your very experienced advice, and it might come across as negative. With what you are proposing, there are MANY ways to fail (all of us here have probably found most of those ways but still lived to tell the tale) and a few ways to succeed. Of course there will always be stories of those who "made it" because the ones who didn't either aren't around to tell us or they have moved on and will never set foot on a boat again. If you'd prefer to hear that all you need is a few ASA classes and then buy a Lagoon 400, then I am probably the wrong one to be answering here. But I still find your dreams for your family very inspirational.
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:40   #27
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

As the Chinese proverb says - "A journey of 10,000 miles starts with the first step".

So Jason, your first step IMO can be, as previously stated, just to charter a catamaran in the Caribbean or/and the Mediterranean for a week or two each. If you feel it's expensive for you that means that buying and maintaining a 40+ foot catamaran will be even more expensive, etc. So that's the first test to pass.

2nd, would be as previously pointed out, a check to see if "my family and I are excited about being on the boat" is really so after being on the boat for 1-2-3 weeks, with all different weather conditions, navigational challenges, issues of space and privacy, etc. Many people originally excited by the idea are even more excited after a few charters. But many are turned off and switch to other modes of travel and world seeing.

3rd, even in Atlanta area, if you have any sort of sizeable lakes nearby, you can find a sailing club or two which you should join immediately to start your learning curve. No matter if they only have small 22-25' day sailors as their biggest boats you will learn so much just sailing those. And this experience will come in handy later on for any kind of boat you end up sailing or buying. Most clubs also welcome kids and have sailing dinghies, etc and most kids will love sailing them. If they don't - well then you get the picture.

I know of some who went just like you described - from a landlubber-dreamer to a big boat owner practically overnight. One went from almost zero experience (4-5 days bareboat charter on a 34' Catalina few years prior) to a huge sailboat. Most survived physically but all had various problems with their lives as a result - losing jobs/careers, families to divorce or estrangement and not the least - a huge pile of $$. But once you will be ready (and you will know yourself when as in when you don't need to ask strangers on forums about such personal decisions) a boat will materialize and a way to purchase it will become evident and you will find what you were looking for. Until then - just learn as much as you can by doing not just by asking. Just go ahead and join a local sailing club. If you really don't live near one figure out what's more important to you - your current attachment to an area where there are no sailing clubs nearby or travelling the world at some near future on your own boat and make the appropriate choice. Good luck!
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:37   #28
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

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Maybe because I want to be able to get there on my own terms, by my own knowledge. I will learn to sail, one way or another.
I was only asking, not trying to be negative. Even linked the BF site for you, which should be very positive for you to read

One thing I do hope, is that by "I" you really mean "we". As in, you and your wife.
You will BOTH have to learn to sail and handle whatever boat you buy under any and all circumstances.

If you get sick, she'll have to sail the boat to shore, so she'll need to know how to sail, navigate, communicate etc. while at sea as well.

My concern is reading a lot of "I want" and "I will" statements, but you're talking about a whole family. A family that so far hasn't spent even one night on a boat in even the best circumstances, let alone some less then perfect ones.

For you both to become off-shore sailors isn't quick or easy, but it's very doable IF you are both very motivated.
Sailing with kids is A LOT harder then as just a couple, so you'll need your wife to be extremely invested in making this dream come true.

Saying she's OK with it cos she said "sailboats are pretty" doesn't sound like she's there yet. You may not want to hear that, but since you want to keep your family safe and happy, you NEED to be aware you two need to want this and commit to it.
She has to want it as bad as you do, and she has to be willing to learn as much as you are, and as willing to give up a lot to make this happen.

That is not being negative, just a reality you need to be aware of.
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Old 12-02-2016, 22:45   #29
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Re: I'm new and I have so many questions...

Regardless of what people think (which admittedly is probably my fault) I do appreciate the concern about what I want to attempt. I can admit that a year is a short time to learn something of this caliber.If it takes longer, it takes longer. I know my limits and I also know what I am capable of when I really put my mind to it. My wife will learn, but I know her well enough to know that she will be willing to learn once she experiences it on a smaller scale. And I've been thinking of maybe getting a smaller boat to begin with. Maybe a 30 foot monohull. We do happen to live near Lake Lanier which has a number of sailboats already on it. For my wife if I can get her to enjoy it first, then I can teach her how to do it. Same with my kids. As far as the "I want" and "I will", I bet there are more than one person here who was the one to "introduce" something new to their families. And theres also nothing wrong with being determined, everyone here was determined to first own, then sail their own boat. I like to ask questions of people more experienced than I am if only because you don't just get text book answers. For myself, every answer helps to paint a picture, a picture that helps guide me to more specific or detailed questions. I love working with my hands, I'm a very physical oriented person. And if anyone wanted to build a dozen homes then I say go for it: but you're going to need some help. It will give you a great feeling of accomplishment. You will probably need to see it done, then have some guidance. Enough to where you could do it on your own.
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