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Old 22-07-2015, 07:34   #1
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Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

My wife and I are from the vast open mountains and prairie, and have the crazy notion that we want to retire soon to a sailboat - probably a half-time deal. We're inching our way closer, one toe at a time, learning about boats, living aboard, and such. We've got a short stint in the San Juan's planned soon to try it out, and hope to build a little experience over the next couple years spending time on different boats in different waters, learning as we go. We look forward to the great advice I already see is available here!
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Old 22-07-2015, 07:36   #2
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

Nice to see your post. You should hear from quite a few working on the same plan. My husband and I are from the Midwest and hope to be out there by 2018. Original plan was 2016 but delayed.
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Old 22-07-2015, 07:57   #3
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

Tides and Currents and rocks are the main concerns in the San Juans. You will enjoy the Islands, we never get tired of them
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Old 22-07-2015, 08:13   #4
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

Depending on where you are in Colorado, there are very active sailing clubs at Cherry Creek in the Denver area, and on Lake Dillon near Silverthorne.

Good luck!
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Old 22-07-2015, 09:26   #5
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

We started out like you are now. We lived in the Denver area and decided to get in to sailing and cruising in 1999. We took a trip to the PNW to see if we could imagine ourselves doing that and decided we could, and we did.

The San Juans are a great place to take a vacation. You may or may not be able to sail any though as many sailboat trips become motorboat trips, especially in August (also known as Fogust around here) when many people come. But lately the winds have been good and the weather hot and dry (very unusual but it looks like it is the new weather).

We made it to NZ after 4 years cruising and sold the boat there but we moved back to Anacortes since we loved the area so much and we "might" get another boat. We just got that other boat.

So go for it.
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:11   #6
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

Thanks exMaggieDrum - We're just finishing up the trip to the NW, and had a great time. You're right that the winds were a bit light, but we were able to sail a bit, and enjoyed the time on the boat. We're pretty sure we can do this, and are starting to walk on some boats now and get a feel for them. As for choosing the NW as a base, we're undecided. It's beautiful this time of year, but we might be too spoiled to the Colorado sunshine, and might melt (or melt down) in the winters... Still trying to figure that one out, but looking at boats. It's been SUPER educational for us -- learning a TON.

Since you're from CO too, did you find it hard to adjust to dreary winters?
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:38   #7
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, bicyclewriter.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:13   #8
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

Bike,
A warm welcome from an ex-Boulderite & road cyclist. My wife & I are 18 months away from retirement on a boat. We are heading in the opposite direction from you, the SE / Caribbean; I much prefer the warm water. It's tough being land-locked & trying to get more boat time in. The Hobie sailing on Cherry Creek only goes so far, but it's better than nothing. We try to do mini vacations & combine some boat time with travel. Southwest has some good deals non-stop out of DEN to the east coast. Yachtworld, Sailboatlistings, & sailboatdata are good websites for shopping & comparing different boats. If you really want to add fuel to the fire, try to get to the Annapolis or Miami Boat Show this Oct / Feb respectively.
Good luck!
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:30   #9
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

Hey Bike,
Our biggest concern moving here was the weather too. We did like you did and came up in the summer (August is normally the driest month here although it is often foggy in the morning - but not this year) to check it all out. We are very happy we moved here though. We do miss the low humidity of CO for sure, and all the sunshine. It is wetter and drearier here and the days seem really really short in winter. But on the coast, snow is infrequent, small amounts, and melts quickly. It is the damp cold that gets some people. I rarely wear a heavy coat. Some crazies here wear shorts all year round.

But - everything grows here - grass, trees, flowers (and moss and mildew) without watering it to death. It is so beautiful here. There are two Washington's though (and Oregon too): west sides and east sides. The east sides are more like Colorado but both share some spectacular mountains, which are close to the coast up north.

It is a great place to have a boat. Islands, semi-protected waters, marinas, dry storage, boat yards, other boaters. Whales, salmon, dungeness crab..... And, for the most part, people are very friendly here too. I have lived in several different areas of the US - west Texas, Colorado, Florida, Connecticut, Montana and this is my favorite.

But some people absolutely hate the fall/winter/spring weather. Our best friends are now in Mexico on their boat and don't understand why we don't hate it here as much as they did. But we hate the hot humid weather of summer Mexico so are still not sure if we can handle whole years down there.

So it really depends on you both whether you will love it or not. Plenty of opinions both ways. Note: we did pick one of the better little towns to settle down in. The boat is only 10 minutes away and the San Juan Islands only 90 minutes farther. You couldn't pay me to live in Seattle now - crazy traffic, out of control growth, less friendly - just like Denver only with trees and flowers.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:06   #10
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

Hey there SummitFun. Yea, we're kind of in the same boat. Initially we assumed we would be looking to live SE somewhere, but wanted to check out the NW first since we'd always heard such great things about the San Juans, plus we figured late July would be better NW instead of SE. After a week here, I love this time of year, but we're both thinking that warmer is probably better for us in the winter. Plus, it seems like there are more options in terms of places to sail to when you're based down SE or Caribbean, right?

Yea, we were thinking about trying to get to a boat show or two this winter.

Have you guys tried any bareboating options? What sorts of trips have you taken, or want to take, prior to actually writing the check and moving?
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:29   #11
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

I grew up in Miami & started sailing as a kid. My wife is a farm girl that loves the water, so sailing was an easy transition for her. I had a 27' sailboat in NC when we met. We did a couple day trips on Biscayne Bay, then the ASA 101-104 couples class last April. We relocated to WV at the beginning of summer, so now the boat search is back on. It's looking like hurricane season in WV & the SE / Bahamas / Caribbean the rest of the year. Colorado / SE would be a good match, I miss Boulder! We're heading to Annapolis in 2 weeks to look at a couple boats in the area, then back in Oct for the boat show. A trip to Lake Champlain is in the works to check out a couple boats there too. We were going to do a bareboat, but decided to put that money towards a purchase.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:35   #12
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

My advice would be to visit the areas you are interested in during the worst time of year, not the best.

A whole lot of people come down to Florida in January or February, love it, move down here, and then find out that they cannot tolerate the heat, humidity, and bugs during July and August. I'm sure the same is true for folks who visit the NW during the dry season--only to find out that they cannot take weeks at a time with little to no sun during the rainy season.

Good luck, whatever you do.
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:22   #13
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
My advice would be to visit the areas you are interested in during the worst time of year, not the best.

A whole lot of people come down to Florida in January or February, love it, move down here, and then find out that they cannot tolerate the heat, humidity, and bugs during July and August. I'm sure the same is true for folks who visit the NW during the dry season--only to find out that they cannot take weeks at a time with little to no sun during the rainy season.

Good luck, whatever you do.
I've lived in both places and what denverd0n says is very, very true. May be a boat in each place and spend half your year in one and then the other. Just can't find that absolutely perfect place. California isn't it either, nor is Maine, nor the Carolinas, nor Texas......You have to pick your poison and just enjoy what matters most to you. Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2015, 15:10   #14
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

Great advice Denverd0n and ExMaggieDrum - Thanks!
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Old 13-08-2017, 06:42   #15
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Re: Newby Coloradan Early On The Learning Curve

Hi Mike. Just thought I'd follow-up with you and see if you guys made it to a sailboat?
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