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Old 27-07-2016, 08:56   #1
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Land lubber with a plan

Hi all.

Im a kid in his late 20's... tackling a mid-life crisis. I am realizing life is too short to just dream about sailing south. This is my first post and opinions are welcomed.

Sailing experience... none. Ive never even been on a sailboat. I have contacted a few friends that own daysailers and will be going on the river a few times with them.

I have played with power boats for a while and even own a 24' cabin cruiser and love spending nights on the water. I know this is the serenity i need. I rebuilt the 5.7L omc engine, redid the plumbing and wiring and gave it a house bank. I also maintain 3 more outboards for the fishing boat and friends. I dreamed of going around the world in a diesel cruiser.

I am not a sailor but i do know a few things about boats. Mostly their systems. I maintain a few industrial size reverse osmosis systems (yah this is maple country and our RO'S have to process 300G of sap an hour. We keep the brine and dump the pure water). I also have built a few hunting camps and their offgrid power systems. From PV to making my own wind generator. Even experimented with thermoelectric generators. My friends know me as the mad scientist... i am not mad, but if i am on a boat, i get voted to fix stuff.

I am more than ok with plumbing, wiring and everything else that makes your lives easier on a boat. That is probably the only thing i have experience with.

All that to say that i am more of an engineer than a skipper. I am also the canadian equivalent of a sport pilot. Which means i can read weather and wind.

Then in june 2015, my life changed drastically. I was involved in an airplane crash(i was NOT the pilot). I broke my spine and lots of other bones. I ended with a partial paraplegia. I spent a year recovering, relearning to walk and working on my balance. First in a wheelchair, then a walker, then a cane, then just my 2 feet.

This whole experience made me realize life is short... and if i am to wait until i retire to live my dream of sailing, someone will have to push my wheelchair on the boat. Ill be useless by the time i get 50-60 yrs old. Time is of the essence. I want to leave by 2020. I want to go on a 5 yr north american circumnavigation. The plan for the destination might change, but the dream is there and wont go away.

My budget will be around 150K canadian total. I need to find a boat, refit it and sail within that budget. I want to learn to sail because there is no way ill be able to afford the diesel of a decent cabin cruiser.

I am not too sure what to be looking for. I know i will need a boat that can handle long periods on the hook and still be comfortable underway. If i am still single in 2020, i will go by myself even if i need to hire crew.

Here's the problem.... i am disabled, there's no way i can manage a sailboat single-handed or can i?
My balance was rated at 68/72 ... not perfect but close enough. Im still confident i can handle a listing boat. I am thinking i might need crew for most of the legs.

So here is the main question for all you experienced sailors. What boat? Can i make one ready to go for 30-35K? I need absolutely no luxury, i am ok with "camping".
The best area for me to shop is the great lakes and i live just around ottawa which connects with the st-lawrence seaway.

How would you plan this escape?

Am i crazy to think i can do this?

Tobie
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Old 27-07-2016, 09:16   #2
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

I just did a quick google search "disabled sailors" and came up with so many links that you will have to google for your self.
I think you will be surprised by the sailors that are out there, doing their own thing, and just adapting what they have to fit there needs.
Im.sorry I dont have a name for you but I just heard a story of a quarapelic sailor who sailed solo around Autralia. I dont know what special equipment he had but he finished his goal.
Then there is the yacht "Aspect Computing" crewed by all disabled sailors. They lived through the disasterous Sydney to Hobart race and did better than many of the boats with able bodied sailors.
In short, your dream is doable.
Take a class locally. Dont worry about a boat just yet. Get your feet wet, let this experience feed your imagination. Even dighy sailing will help order your thoughts and point out concerns you may need to address.
Welcome and I hope to see you out there!
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Old 27-07-2016, 10:04   #3
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

Heck ... im mobile and can climb a ladder .. if you are to see me up a mast replacing anchor lights or a block pulley, it will be in the next 10 years. Hence my sence of urgency. I am still able and mobile, but not forever.

Just had a txt from my friend . Will go sailing around Montreal next week. I promised steaks, he doesnt drink.

First experience sailing next week.

Aylmer and west ottawa (above portage and deschenes rapids) seem to have great marinas with lots of sailboats but not a whole lot of training available. It's fresh water for hundreds of miles around.

With my qualifications in mind, i want a boat that is structurally sound and solid. I am willing to spend 2018-2020 to refit it to my needs. Hopefully, refitting most systems myself will allow me to save a bit on purchase costs. Give me electronics and plumbing to refit but i want everything else solid. I even dont mind an overhaul on an engine. I dont want hull or deck issues. Hard physical work, i have to get done.

Anyways. A 26-40 sloop would fit my needs quite well. Something heavy and slow more than a light fast sporty sailboat.

To be continued, more reading to do.

Tobie
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Old 27-07-2016, 10:21   #4
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

Welcome, and congratulations on the barriers you're overcoming. Do not rule out diesel trawlers. They are very economical on fuel, and don't have some of the expenses of sailboats. No sails, no rigging, and much more simple ways of getting electrical power. They don't require quite the agility of sailboats, although sailboats have greatly improved in that area over the years. I shifted from the sloops of my youth to a trawler for retirement in good part because of the issues you see - limited years with the agility to handle a 40 foot sloop, but a bigger window if I went with power.
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Old 27-07-2016, 11:15   #5
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

Opinions on motorsailers?

I would hate to spend tons on diesel to get anywhere.
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Old 27-07-2016, 15:38   #6
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

It's not tons. Our very heavy (60,000 pound dry, 44 ft, 15 ft beam) trawler, much bigger than you need, gets two nautical miles to the gallon. I'll leave it for others to tell you what they get with lighter boats and smaller engines. Mine isn't even up to modern efficiency standards - it's a Navy surplus 4-53 Detroit Diesel, weighs 1100 pounds and produces 140 HP. Think about four miles to the gallon, 2 gallons an hour, 7-8 knots, and do the calculation on where you want to go. Remember that you are going to places, not simply sailing into the sunset, and add up the runs. I wish fuel was my biggest boat expense, but $2/ft/night in a marina, $88, costs more than the 60 mile or so run getting there in daylight. Even in my boat that's thirty gallons, and thirty gallons doesn't cost $88 at this moment. And guess what - the motor sailer is motoring part of the time. Wind sounds free, and will get you places without spending on fuel, but it isn't free. I'm sorry if I've offended the hard core sailers in the forum, who have my greatest respect, but Tobie isn't talking about crossing the Pacific.
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Old 27-07-2016, 15:44   #7
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

P.S. - Yes, motorsailers are a very good option for you. They give you the option to choose: sail, motor and sail assist, motor. They're also more seaworthy than most trawlers.
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Old 27-07-2016, 16:21   #8
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

A gallon of diesel in my neck of the woods is 4$. I would like a boat i can run for 2-3 lph. My goal is to hit the cheap keys down in mexico and enjoy cheap life for a while in the gulf.

I know some of the best places to visit are "on the way" so motoring will be required if i go the erie canal route.

Speed IS NOT a requirement, cost efficiency is. Id rather plan at 5 kt and take my time.

With the value of the canadian dollar, i want to get the most time out of my hard earned pennies. I want to eat for 2$/ day and catch fish.

If i find a trawler that sips half a gallon an hour it just might fit the reqs. Otherwise, i need a hull shape that is easy to motor to half hull speed. A motorsailer seems to have less drag.

I also like the redundency of having a sail or a motor to get me home.

I am also.perfectly comfortable with an outboard out the back, but i prefer an inboard so i can hook a decent alternator, fridge compressor and a high pressure pump to it for a desalinator.

Keep the ideas coming!

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Old 27-07-2016, 16:52   #9
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Land lubber with a plan

We have similar backgrounds, except I'm not disabled, I had never sailed anything before I bought my current boat, but have a boating background and have made a living fixing things.
I know I harp on them, but to me it sounds like a Westsail 32 would be the ticket, strong as it gets, and as seaworthy as anything, getting a little long in the tooth, but that is good as the price ought to be lower than a newer boat.
Fuel wise a sailboat is about as efficient as it gets, reason is they have to be, a motor boat can just fit a larger motor, a sailboat has to have a very efficient shape. As a reference point I burn 1 GPH at 2000 RPM and cover 7 NM, so of course 7 NM per gl. Slow it down to 5 kts or so and maybe 10 MPG, a little wind of course and no fuel burned.
I think your smart to consider a good motoring sailboat, not necessarily a motor sailor, but at least a good motor.
I don't know if a W32 has a cored deck or not, but especially in an older boat, I'd try to find a solid glass boat if possible, they do exist, probably heavier and slower, but the decks can't saturate.

Do not get a project boat, they will break the bank, but I think you can find a W32 ready to go, or at least as ready as you need her to be for your price.
I take it you don't need watermakers, washing machines, ice makers, freezers, satellite TV and the like?

I can't help you with crew, I'm going to guess that may be difficult, I assume you can't pay well, and it will be tough I think to find volunteer crew you can depend on. So I think best plan is to find a boat you can single hand, and sometimes that may mean turning the key and motoring, nothing wrong with that.


http://bluewaterboats.org/westsail-32/

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Old 27-07-2016, 17:19   #10
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

Do not get a project boat, they will break the bank, but I think you can find a W32 ready to go, or at least as ready as you need her to be for your price.
I take it you don't need watermakers, washing machines, ice makers, freezers, satellite TV and the like?


The Westsail 32 Sailboat : Bluewaterboats.org

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W32 is on on top of my list but a bit pricey. It is well known to be a seaworthy, real bluewater cruiser. It is solid glass and very well built. I am not sure i need a real ocean going vessel. My idea of single handed cruising involves putting the hook in every night and traveling only a few miles offshore, following the coast to warmer waters. No 300+ NM single handed for me unless i am cruising along at 100KT @ 6000 + ft.

Some motorsailers have water ballast instead of a keel. Is that good? I love shallow draft but im sure it comes at a cost. Benefit is you can dock it almost anywhere.

I obviously have more thinking and reading to do.

There is also the fine balance on how much i spend on a boat vs budget to enjoy it. The more i spend on the boat, the shorter my trip will be.
I still have to sell my house and at least one of my airplanes.


Tobie

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Old 27-07-2016, 17:38   #11
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

IN my youth,I sailed a bunch as crew and came to consider anywhere but BC inferior, so winter in SE Asia as a break from a terrific summer local. Sail or power and live up an inlet or a marina plugged in. Your choice. Thosands of miles of coastline.Maybe going sailing on different vessels will give you an idea of preference. I sailed Thane for 30 years and sold ' three hour sail'Look her up (Victoria) Pretty handicap accessible and gungho crew can be found for any limitations
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Old 27-07-2016, 17:55   #12
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

My watermaker will be a modified household 10gpd RO. Very cheap and if you give it decent pressure and replace the membranes by XLE series, you can get up to about 9-10gph. A 500$ (canadian) RO. I would hook a hydraulic gear pump up to the small diesel engine using an electromagnetic clutch like you see on car AC pulleys. Simple and uses parts you can find all over the world. Press the button while the engine is running and voila youre making water.

No icemaker but probably retrofit the icebox for a coldplate. I dont care about satelite TV. Id rather spend the budget on sim cards and cell phone data to keep in touch. Washing machine is overrated when youre surrounded by water.
Id rather spend that money on a decent radar, chartplotter and good sonars. No sattelite phone but a SPOT tracker with txt over bluetooth capability.

A few of those 60$ android tablets running navionics and open CPN with a 50$ GPS receiver.

I am far from a foodie and could probably live on chicken noodles for months. But i do like a scotch and cold (ish) beer.


Tinkering on a boat is half the fun for me. Bringing a boat up to 2020 technology is fun. Stripping a hull isnt fun. Painting kills my body but i can fish new wires all day. I am amazed nobody has yet used one of those rasberry pie's for an autopilot, onboard chartplotter, etc.

I am disgressing, back to hull choices for a solid boat!

Opinions?

Tobie

The landlubber with a dream
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Old 27-07-2016, 17:56   #13
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobie.lepine View Post
W32 is on on top of my list but a bit pricey.

This can't be true. The great couple from Sundowner Sails Again is in the middle of an around the world trip with their W32 on your budget.

How to sail with your disability? I would think superior upper body strength is a must. Hit the gym!

I would also say this is a case where learning on a smaller boat will be extremely beneficial. You'll need to learn to sail differently than most of us do. Hard to learn that other than from trial and error. Figure out how YOU need to sail then you'll have a better idea on the required boat/upgrades. Your budget is enough to get you there (as you aren't racing).

That said, look at the latest video from La Vagabonde on YouTube. They ran into a guy with muscular dystrophy and his wife in the middle of the Pacific. Can probably learn a lot from him.


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Old 27-07-2016, 18:38   #14
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

Tate and dani are inspiring but they use US dollars. And already have spent 5 years updating and refitting. Tate has wonderful dani to support and help, i dont have that luck.
But if i could get a sundowner of my own for under 50K canadian in great shape, that just might be my ticket.
Sundowner sails again is a reason W32 is on my list.

More sailing experience required if i go that route.

More reading underway
Looking forward to me crewing my friends daysailer next week

Thanks for all your support

Tobie

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Old 27-07-2016, 18:44   #15
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Re: Land lubber with a plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobie.lepine View Post
Hi all.

Im a kid in his late 20's... tackling a mid-life crisis.

(...)

Sailing experience... none.

(...)

How would you plan this escape?

Am i crazy to think i can do this?

Tobie
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Wrong forum, Tobie,

You want the Zen and Motorcycle one.

You are not crazy, you are ... lost?

Cheers,
b
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