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Old 27-12-2010, 22:03   #1
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Landlocked Dreamer

Hey all! I registered here after reading only a few posts today. My wife and I have been discussing one of our bucket list items. We have talked about sailing to Alaska. We have no sailing experience but do have boat experience. Currently we have been limited to canoes but both spent a good deal of our lives either around water (Nanaimo, Vancouver area BC, Anchorage, Kodiak AK) or on the water (I was a commercial fisherman for a while).

I joined here to get a feel for whether this should continue to be a dream or see if maybe it can be something to be crossed off the list. Our time frame is about ten years. We think that ten years should give us the time to buy an older sailboat, fix and refit for safe travel and learn what is necessary to have a safe journey. Oh, and make enough cash to do it.

Probably our greatest hurdle is going to be the boat and learning to sail. Currently we live in a pretty landlocked area with few local boat related resources. Nothing money can’t cure I guess.

So hi all, if I sniff around a bit and ask dumb questions, you have been warned.

Matthew
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Old 27-12-2010, 23:10   #2
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Welcome aboard!!

And good luck! Lots of folks start out just like you describe.

Are there no watering holes in your area? You can learn on an inexpensive, small very imperfect boat while working toward a bigger more seaworthy boat. By imperfect, I don't mean unsafe. There are many things that a boat could have that you don't need to learn to sail it. And smaller is better on little puddles. I have learned, much to my surprise, that a lake can teach you a lot.
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Old 28-12-2010, 08:30   #3
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Well Aquarian, there are lots of watering holes here. You can go into any of them, belly up to the bar and talk about Tinnies and walleye fishing all day long.

Seriously though, we plan to start small. There are enough small lakes around to get our feet wet. A larger lake is about 150 miles away, we will get there once we upgrade to a larger trailer sailor. If we get to the point of cruising to Alaska we are thinking that a Cal or Ericson 30ish would fit the bill. I haven’t found anyone that offers lessons and there are no clubs around so learning will be interesting. It certainly will be an adventure.

Matthew
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Old 28-12-2010, 08:39   #4
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Welcome Matt... good to have you and the Missus on board...
Don't worry about dumb questions... ask away and I'll be happy to supply you with my dumb answers that I've become infamous for on here ....
The first and most important thing to learn on here is the use of the IGNORE BUTTON......
Have a great time and enjoy the learning curve
PS: Love the humour...
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Old 28-12-2010, 09:36   #5
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Boatman61 is definitely a worthy source of good advice. I'd take him up on that offer.
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Old 28-12-2010, 09:54   #6
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So I should put him on ignore? I think that's pretty harsh considering I have only been here a day.

Just kidding.

Matthew
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Old 28-12-2010, 10:05   #7
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No silly. Listen to him. He will not steer you wrong.

See he is right already.
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Old 31-12-2010, 21:01   #8
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I'm so excited. At work yesterday a co-worker was showing me pictures of the extreme power boat he is going to buy. I rolled my eyes when he started talking about twin 454’s. He knows I like boating and asked what excites me. I explained what we want to do. His eyes sparkled and he told me he loves sailing and has been sailing/racing for 30 years on his dad’s Macgregor. He beamed that if we need a first mate he is in. “Get a boat and I’ll have you running rails in the water fearlessly in a month!” He talked for a quite a while about different sails they have and pushing the extremes. He might be a speed nut and an adrenaline junky but he should be a good person to learn from. “Before you junk it up with electronics we’ll take it out and capsize it so you know how to right it, done it lots of times.”

Awesome to finally fine someone that knows what a sailboat is. I might have to take a pass on the capsizing but you know, he might be right.

Matthew
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Old 31-12-2010, 21:12   #9
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Whoooo Hoooo! You're on your way to incredible!
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Old 31-12-2010, 21:33   #10
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Good for you mate.... one foot in front of the other and you'll soon be there...
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Old 31-12-2010, 22:03   #11
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This is a huge bonus for us. The closest ASA school is about 600 miles away.

Matthew
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Old 31-12-2010, 22:47   #12
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most funnest part of sailing is sometimes trying to sink the boat in weather-- it wont-- just sail the piss out of it-- learn from this guy--he has the right attitude!!!
have fun learning and smoooth sailing!!!!! welcome to cf
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:39   #13
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plenty of time is good

in your shoes I would start small - i'd go for a dinghy / small day boat (their is a difference between trailerable and easily trailerable - mostly about wanting to ). Don't let small boat size put you off - it is proper sailing and will stand you in good stead for when you go larger, and will arguably teach you more / quicker about the sailing end of things by giving more immediate feedback.

I would also pick the brains of (and blag trips with) as many different folk as possible - but I would take everything you learn under advisement and not as gospel.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:11   #14
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Unless a fantastic deal falls in my lap we are a couple of years from buying. There sure are some good prices in the Great Lakes area. I've been looking and I think a roller trailer will be under what I buy, easier to launch. Yesterday my co-worker described a simple system they use for mast stepping.

I am rigging a canoe with a sail this winter. It has already been a great teacher just understanding the physics behind what makes it work. Pretty cool project. It helps get through the long winters.

I appreciate those that express starting small. Last year I was told just to buy a used canoe instead of building one (don't get in over your head). I now own a beautiful cedar strip because I chose the hard, expensive way. What a great learning experience it was. Well, it also filled a long winter.

I find that time and determination drive success. Have your doubts but remember that they are YOUR doubts.

Matthew
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:14   #15
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Sounds like my wife and I are just a couple years ahead of where you are now.

Finding a boat....

It took awhile to find the deal, but it did finally drop in our lap. I watched the adds for a couple years, had all kinds of ideas about what I wanted, talked to several brokers, decided to listen to the one that told me that what I wanted was not what I wanted. I also thank my wife for insisting that I not buy a project.

Sailing schools...

Other than small lake boats we had very little experience sailing. I had worked on a fishing vessel a couple seasons. After a couple times out with the previous owner we took her out alone, rigged the sheets wrong, stuck her in the mud, looked like fools at the fuel dock....School of hard knocks and dirty socks,.....and reef early... At this point I've decided it's not so much how to tack, jibe, and keep wind in the sails, as it is to know the systems, and how to keep a problem at sea from being a mystery at sea.

Starting small..

When I first saw her she looked really big. I was suprised how quickly she got small. In a couple years when we re-up she'll be a great deal for some one like you.

Oh...and welcome aboard from another newbie.
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