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Old 17-07-2014, 15:13   #31
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Re: Landlocked in the Desert With a Five Year Plan

"Now I own a small boat that I sail on a local lake. I've learned that owning a boat is radically different than dreaming about owning one or even chartering one for a month. Even though I kind of knew that going in, I am still amazed at how much I hadn't considered. My advice to you is to buy a small, fairly simple sailboat that is not a project boat. Sail it on Lake Mead. Learn all you can about sailing and boat ownership on a small boat. Then plan your next move." jwing

This is excellent advice. You will learn a lot, and what you do learn will inform your choice of offshore cruising boat. If you're lucky, you'll make some friends more knowledgeable than you and they will help with your learning, too.

One problem you will find is that without a knowledge base of your own, you are vulnerable to popular opinion about what constitutes an offshore cruising boat. I recommend you read the CF thread about the sinking of the Cheeky Rafiki, there's a lot of discussion of construction methods. Basically, your budget will keep you to older boats. Of those, you will be served best by those which can take good care of you.

Good luck to you both,

Ann
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Old 17-07-2014, 15:35   #32
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Re: Landlocked in the Desert With a Five Year Plan

Thank you guys again for all the great advice and encouragement. Lake Mead does have a yacht club, and we did spend a day out on a 29 footer with someone there. They do have a course offered sporadically, no future dates announced (probably when it's not 115-120 degrees), which Paul and I will take. The guy who took us out became less interested in returning calls after we didn't buy the boat he has sitting in his yard! We have looked at a few boats, but I find that at this point in our lives with two teens to finish raising that a 300 a month slip fee to be prohibitive. We will continue to look for a small boat with a trailer, because I just can't stomach the idea of a mortgage and slip fee.

Our plan is actually to sell the house. We may decide to get a small condo or apartment on the gulf, but the dream is to live aboard and have less stuff, less responsibilities TO stuff and the financial freedom that will come from not paying both mortgage and slip fees.

We totally plan that from here on out all vacations and family time will be spent on the water, learning to sail, feeling what it's like to sail and making sure that we don't simply have a romantic Jimmy Buffet ideal that we can't live up to.

So much to learn, so much to do!


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Old 17-07-2014, 15:46   #33
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pirate Re: Landlocked in the Desert With a Five Year Plan

Get a M26.. good enough for lake sailing and a bit of coastal..
Trailer sailing will get you up on rigging.. and as you say.. you save $$'s and travelling time for any maintenance..
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Old 17-07-2014, 16:10   #34
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Re: Landlocked in the Desert With a Five Year Plan

Two bits of extremely important advice... like Ann, I think it's very important that one or both of you are mechanically inclined; mechanical issues come up daily and there usually isn't someone around to help you figure stuff out. I just purchased some climbing gear from a mountaineering store earlier today, so that I can climb the mast solo... this sort of stuff comes up.

Bring along a box or two of Bonine or another seasick medication on your first adventure, or..... it will probably be your last. I write this whilst sitting inside at a rock and rolly anchorage that would be enough to make most people vomit. I don't mean to be a drag, but you get the idea.
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Old 17-07-2014, 18:25   #35
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Re: Landlocked in the Desert With a Five Year Plan

At your stage a small trailer sailor is just what you need. And I don't mean some fancy thing like a McGregor 26 with a humongus outboard that you can also waterski behind (I'm surprised at you, Phil, for that suggestion!).

A simple daysailor dinghy will be an excellent learning platform. In my case, it was an O'Day Osprey, about 16 feet OAL, sloop rig, very forgiving and lots of fun. OH... so simple that there was essentially NO maintenance required (except on the trailer!). I bought it used for 1200 dollars, sailed it for 18 months, learned heaps, went "sail-camping" on lakes with a young family, tried club racing, had a lot of fun... and then sold it for 1200 dollars when we moved up to a Catalina 22.

Such boats show up frequently on Craigs and E-Bay, or local notices in Yacht Clubs or even supermarkets. It doesn't have to be in tiptop shape or be shiny... just have its full complement of sails (main and jib), mast and boom and rudder and you can sail your heart out.

From such a vessel you can learn all the basics of sailing with very little fiscal exposure. You'll find out enough to justify the next increment in expense and complexity. Time enough then for worrying about "blue water" and system maintenance.

Good luck...

Jim
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Old 17-07-2014, 19:10   #36
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pirate Re: Landlocked in the Desert With a Five Year Plan

Sorry Jim..
Was thinking a M26 of a certain age is fairly cheap, water ballast, so light to tow.. adequate space below to use as a weekender.. even one week with its easy open plan..
Prep the boat in the week.. Friday hit the road.. if you make it in time launch and sleep afloat.. if not sleep in the boat anyway..
Sunday head back..
Give them a good feel of what's ahead.
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Old 18-07-2014, 05:57   #37
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Re: Landlocked in the Desert With a Five Year Plan

I believe, at early stages, it makes all the sense to join a form of sailing club. Be it a beach sailing club.

You get access to the boat.
You get to meet those who do.
You get to spend time on the water - sensing things, watching boats, getting suntan.

PS Racing is a great first step to learn first rate boat handling skills FAST. Do some racing too, if you have this opportunity.

If there is a club nearby, pop in, say hello, see what there is in it for you!

b.
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Old 18-07-2014, 11:30   #38
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Re: Landlocked in the Desert With a Five Year Plan

Howdy Stephanie!

I read your nice intro and all of the replies from the helpful folks here. You have already gotten lots of good advice from knowledgeable boat owners.

I am not a boat owner. But will be in the future. So, I know about spending time thinking of the "Plan."

I also appreciate what you wrote about eliminating "excess stuff" from your home/life. I went through that a few years ago and it was truly liberating! I had literally tons of stuff (furniture, etc.) that were unneeded "anchors" holding me back.

I have a bit of advice (an opinion of course) on taking sailing lessons that I will share with you later. But at this point I just want to tell you that I enjoyed reading your intro and can understand your desire (and that of your husband) to enjoy a life on a boat and sailing too. You are lucky to both share that dream and lucky that you both are willing to make the changes to make the dream come true.
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Old 05-09-2014, 13:20   #39
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Re: Landlocked in the Desert With a Five Year Plan

Aloha and welcome aboard!
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