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Old 23-12-2015, 20:30   #1
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In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

In a burst of spontaneity, I've decided to go cruising. To buy a boat and head out to sea. I've read all of C.S. Forrester's books - what could go wrong?

Ok, truth is I don't do spontaneous.

Thirty years ago I was browsing the magazine rack at the Darby Kaserne PX (Nuremberg), saw a copy of "Cruising World", and ended up fascinated with the idea. I read most every issue, for a number of years, picked up some books on the cruising lifestyle (Tristan Jones' etc.) and books on sailing, sailboat design, etc. And spent a week at AFRC Chiemsee taking a sailing course, starting with Sunfish and ending with 25-foot keelboats. Ended up with some sort of certificate, though I don't remember the details and wouldn't consider it meaningful after all these years.

Since then I've done almost no sailing.

Now I'm getting to thinking about what to do for retirement, and realizing that I should be able to afford a modest live-aboard, and wondering whether this is an actual interest or just a passing fancy.

I'm about as far from the sea as it's possible to get, but as places that are far from the sea go, I'm in one off the best - Minnesota. There is a school, here, offering ASA 101 out on Lake Minnetonka, a modest-sized lake about twenty miles west. I've been thinking about signing up for that, next season, then doing some day sailing rentals.

Year after that, there's a school up in the Apostle Islands (Lake Superior) that offers ASA 103. Year after that, maybe do ASA 104 down in the Virgins. Then, if my interest holds, I might be ready to do some bareboating.

Which means, in five years or so, I'll be ready to spontaneously decide to toss it all and go live on a boat.
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Old 23-12-2015, 20:37   #2
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

Welcome to CF, Jdege!
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Old 23-12-2015, 20:41   #3
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

I spent a few summers as a teenager in mission Bay sailing sunfish's and hobie's then 25 years later i got a 14' dolphin, took my 101, 103, 104 in a month's time.
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Old 23-12-2015, 20:49   #4
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

Okay, J, I'll bite, I'm from MN too. I sailed a bit with my dad on dingy's when very young, read lots of shipwreck stories and around the world stories and then started out on a 17 foot my dad couldn't sail any more, trailering to lots of MN lakes. Then the LOWISA on the 17 footer. Then a class in the Apostles, followed by a 26 footer. Next, a 25, then 31, then 37, a few crew training trips on the Atlantic and now a 38, retired, and this fall I got as far as the Chesapeake, with Florida in my sights for January via ICW and outside.

Check out racing as crew, either on Minnetonka or the St. Croix at Hudson. Crewing gave me the attention to all the variables that speed you up and slow you down and can leave you confident about your sailing - we sailed in almost all weather. There are weekly and weekend races both places. Read about boats, start with something cheap and re-sellable to find out what you need, want, and don't need, then get something you can both afford and handle easily and just go. Fix things and add what you find you really need along the way.

Best wishes, see you out there!


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Old 23-12-2015, 20:57   #5
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

Sounds like a plan!
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Old 23-12-2015, 22:10   #6
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In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

Hello J,
You are right. MN is a far way from a salty ocean but a good place to sail, although the season is short unless you like sailing on hard water. Minnetonka, White Bear, Calhoon, Lake of the Isles, and on and on. And the one called Superior. You probably know the Good Old Boat magazine is published from Maple Grove, MN. Lots to do and lots of places to sail, just not right now. Stay warm and happy sailing.


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Old 23-12-2015, 23:36   #7
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

All the best from another fellow Minnesotan.

Your plan sounds great.

On the whole, it's a wonderful way to live.

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Old 24-12-2015, 03:15   #8
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jdege.
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Old 24-12-2015, 05:22   #9
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

Welcome to CF jdege !
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Old 24-12-2015, 06:57   #10
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
Year after that, there's a school up in the Apostle Islands (Lake Superior) that offers ASA 103. Year after that, maybe do ASA 104 down in the Virgins. Then, if my interest holds, I might be ready to do some bareboating.

Which means, in five years or so, I'll be ready to spontaneously decide to toss it all and go live on a boat.
if that's your plan why not just skip the first 2 and go down to the Islands and take a week long cruising course?

Good luck
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Old 24-12-2015, 07:38   #11
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
if that's your plan why not just skip the first 2 and go down to the Islands and take a week long cruising course?
  1. I'd rather start with a smaller investment in time and money, until I'm sure my interest holds
  2. I'd not consider myself competent to take a boat out of harbor after a one-week course
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Old 24-12-2015, 07:58   #12
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

I'm from Michigan, and although there are plenty of sailing opportunities here (5 months out of the year), I think the tropics will be more fun! I had the same thought as you about a year ago, and have taken my ASA 101/103, here in Michigan and then the 104/114 in the BVI's. Great people and great experience...but My advice...DON'T DO IT! : ) Seriously though, you'll be hooked and be formulating your escape plan from the great white north in no time! Worst case, you don't like the feeling of the warm sun, endless picturesque anchorages, cold refreshing beverage at the end of a fun day of sailing, but I doubt you will.
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Old 24-12-2015, 13:27   #13
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Re: In a Burst of Spontaneity ... (new member hello)

jedge,

Welcome aboard. It sounds a reasonable plan as far as it went. I would support the suggestion to go racing locally, because it gets you aboard a number of different types of boats, and will refresh for you how it feels to be sailing "on your ear" and maybe some other bits that are not vivid to you from before. It will also expose you to a variety of boats and skippering styles, and what you learn from that will enrich your growth as a sailor and cruiser to be.

You are correct about "if it continues to hold your interest", and I would add that a cruising lifestyle is something you may be drawn towards, and it may, indeed hold your interest. It is very different, though, from the camaderie and bustle of racing schedules.

Ann
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