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Old 13-01-2016, 15:15   #1
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Newest of the new

Greetings all. I am new... Not just to this forum, but also new to boats. I can count the number of times I've been on a boat of any kind on my fingers and don't currently own one. It has however been a lifetime interest for a boy that grew up on a farm far far from the deep blue sea. Now as I grow older and the threat of retirement looms not too far off on the horizon, I've become interested in living out one of my life-long dreams... Checking out lots of those teeny-tiny green specks that are so fun to find and look at on Google Earth - but that I can imagine are far more fun to see firsthand. I figure after retirement I'll have plenty of time to go nowhere in particular and take my time getting there. After a life of high stress in the tech sector, nothing sounds more restful and relaxing. I'd be particularly interested in any pointers anyone can give me, the rankest of newbies to prepare me to live out that dream. If anyone has concrete suggestions, I am in the greater Seattle area. So folks, where do I start and what do I need to do?
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Old 14-01-2016, 08:20   #2
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Re: Newest of the new

Are you thinking sail, or power? If power, a terrific little boat to start with is a C-Dory 22 Cruiser. It's simple, great to learn on, rugged and seaworthy, economical to own and operate, and trailerable with a modest size tow vehicle. Designed with PNW cruising in mind, it can take you as far as Glacier Bay in SE Alaska. That's how we got started. Just for fun you might take a peek at my book, "Cruising in a Big Way".



I might also suggest a Coast Guard Auxiliary or Power Squadron intro boating course.
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Old 14-01-2016, 09:38   #3
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Re: Newest of the new

Thank you very much for your kind reply. You know it's odd. When I first started pondering pursuing this dream, I was convinced that I positively wanted a power boat. I came to this conclusion because sailing seemed like absolute voodoo to me... something thoroughly impossible to understand. Advancing a throttle to get where you want to go didn't seem like such a foreign concept to me. The more I thought things through, did research, read and frankly watched YouTube videos the more I began to see the simple beauty behind sailing. The whole notion of tapping into mother nature as your source of power seems kind of cool to me now. Beyond that (and correct me if I'm wrong - because I very certainly might well be considering my absolute inexperience) sailing is the way to go if you want to do economical long crossings since there's no fuel stops midway between say Ecuador and Marquesas. There are still a few years before I retire however so I may well start off with a power boat to get my feet wet before switching over to sails. I will certainly check out your book. Can you tell me what other books you believe should be the basis of a well stock nautical library? I had already looked into the Coast Guard Auxiliary courses and plan to attend some quite soon!
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Old 14-01-2016, 09:44   #4
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Re: Newest of the new

Seattle boat show is at the end of Jan. A good place to start. Look around but find a broker that will listen to what you want and find you boats that fit those needs. Do come up with a set of parameters:
Intended use including location, how many people etc.
Size. (you think you need)
Budget (including some upgrades).
All this helps narrow it down.
Good luck.
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Old 14-01-2016, 09:50   #5
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Re: Newest of the new

Thanks for the input. I was aware of the boat show, I will have to make a note to attend... if for no other reason than to drool over pretty boats. I just moved to the Seattle area though and still have a house to prepare and sell where I used to live, so there's a few hurdles before I start looking at actually procuring a boat... Besides, I want to learn a bit more so I can more sentiently answer concoct a list of parameters.
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Old 14-01-2016, 09:53   #6
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Re: Newest of the new

Frankly you can't go far with power.... fuel is very expensive and if you get off the beaten path not that easy to come by (or reliable).

Yachts have power and can move by pushing the throttle! And many sailors do whether because they are lazy... don't have the time... or some other reason... they motor. Some motor sail and get a nice lift from the motor... and use less fuel than powering without sail.

But the real beauty of sail is the wonderful feeling of being driven by the wind... not motors.. no noise except the waves... It's amazingly relaxing and thrilling at the same time...

It seems mysterious... but anyone can learn. Just give it a go and you'll likely be hooked.
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Old 14-01-2016, 09:57   #7
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Re: Newest of the new

@Sandero, you state my case far more eloquently than I do.

As a side note, what skills should I work on acquiring? I think I may already have some useful skills. I am a HAM radio operator and know a thing or two about electronics. As I previously mentioned, I grew up on a farm - So not only do I know my way around engines, but I also know how to bodge together a hasty fix for nearly anything out of bailing wire and JB Weld until a proper part can be acquired. I passed a scuba certification eons ago - I really should get back current on that. So what other corollary skills should I work on?
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Old 14-01-2016, 10:45   #8
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Re: Newest of the new

Hi ggutshal,

I sure understand the lure of sailing - we've done a good bit of charter sailing in the Abacos, BVI, and St Martin. That's how I first got interested in cruising. You might be surprised how quiet and peaceful (and inexpensive) power cruising at modest speeds can be - we travel the Inside Passage mostly at 6 knots.

As for skills to acquire: one reason to look at my little book is that it discusses skills needed, in a way targeted toward a relative beginner. Does not include sailing skills, however. You could find it on Amazon or Lulu.com and look at the preview.

Not sure where to start on reference books to recommend, especially for learning sailing. For pleasure reading though, here are some I've enjoyed:



BOATS, CRUISING, FISHING, EXPLORATION, the SEA

The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway

The Sea Wolf Jack London

Alaska Blues, and others (travel and fishing in SE Alaska) Joe Upton

As the Sailor Loves the Sea (commercial fishing SE Alaska) Ballard Hadman

The Curve of Time (early small boat cruising on the BC coast) Wylie Blanchet

My Old Man and the Sea (Sailing around South America and Cape Horn) Hays & Hays

In the Heart of the Sea (Moby Dick was based on this true story) Nathaniel Philbrick

Over the Edge of the World (Magellan's Circumnavigation) Laurence Bergreen

Mutiny on the Bounty Charles Nordhoff

Endurance true story - Ernest Shackleton’s Incredible Antarctic Voyage Alfred Lansing

South: Memoir of the Endurance Voyage Ernest Shackleton

The Perfect Storm (sinking of the sword fishing boat Andrea Gail) Sebastian Junger

The Hungry Ocean (and others) Linda Greenlaw
(stories by the real female sword boat captain involved in The Perfect Storm)

Blues John Hersey

River Horse William Least Heat Moon

Grey Seas Under (Remarkable rescues on high seas of the north Atlantic) Farley Mowat
also: The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float

Adrift (True story of survival raft crossing the Atlantic) Steven Callahan

Cape Horn (scary true adventure, sailing the southern ocean) Hemingway-Douglass

Cod (the fish that helped inspire discovery and exploration of N. America) Mark Kurlansky

Longitude (revolutionary improvement in navigation - invention of Chronometer) Dava Sobel

Where the Sea Breaks its Back (discovery of Alaska by Bering and Stellar) Corey Ford

Working on the Edge, & others (King Crab fishing in the Bering Sea) Spike Walker

Sailing Alone Around the World Joshua Slocum

Travels in Alaska John Muir

Heart of the Raincoast (life on the BC Coast) Morton & Proctor

Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson

Sitka (historically-based Alaska adventure) Louis L’Amour

The Blue Bear Lynn Schooler
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Old 14-01-2016, 11:04   #9
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Re: Newest of the new

ggutshal: My deffinition of sailing as apposed to power boating is this,
In Power boating you are trying to get somewhere, In sailing, your already there!!
whether its going an hour down the coast to drop anchor for lunch, going for a week or, sailing around the race markers its about that moment in time. Even when the wind slackens and your only moving with the tide is a state of ok. If your at peace with that then sailing is for you and will give you a great sense of fulfilment that power boating may not, although I do enjoy a good run ever now and then.
Gives new meaning to fun between the sheets!!
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Old 14-01-2016, 11:15   #10
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Re: Newest of the new

In my career in software development every project is high-stress and fast paced. No matter what you do and how you do it, you're already late before you even get started. It tends to be dog-eat-dog so the notion of existing purely in the moment is very alluring. So your definition of sailing noicholson31 rings kind of true to my newbie ears.

@NewMoon: Thank you for your literature suggestions. I was really looking for the inventory of indispensable reference books as well as fiction works.
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Old 14-01-2016, 11:16   #11
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Re: Newest of the new

I had never touched a sailboat either. The first thing I did was buy and read 'Good Old Boat' by Don Casey.

I'd maybe get the boat and live on it for a year at a marina while continuing to work and go out sailing on weekends. Gives you time to fix anything major while you are still near hardware stores and have a steady income
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Old 14-01-2016, 11:21   #12
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Re: Newest of the new

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggutshal View Post
Greetings all. I am new... Not just to this forum, but also new to boats. I can count the number of times I've been on a boat of any kind on my fingers and don't currently own one. It has however been a lifetime interest for a boy that grew up on a farm far far from the deep blue sea. Now as I grow older and the threat of retirement looms not too far off on the horizon, I've become interested in living out one of my life-long dreams... Checking out lots of those teeny-tiny green specks that are so fun to find and look at on Google Earth - but that I can imagine are far more fun to see firsthand. I figure after retirement I'll have plenty of time to go nowhere in particular and take my time getting there. After a life of high stress in the tech sector, nothing sounds more restful and relaxing. I'd be particularly interested in any pointers anyone can give me, the rankest of newbies to prepare me to live out that dream. If anyone has concrete suggestions, I am in the greater Seattle area. So folks, where do I start and what do I need to do?
Good plan.

Good place to start is gaining some certs. Check out the ASA (American Sailing Association) or the equivalent powerboat org.

I'm assuming your decision will be to sail if you want to visit far off places.

The most common advice seems to be set some deadlines and go for it.

We did just that and have now been living aboard for over 2 years now on a Liberty 458. www.sailingtheplanet.com

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 14-01-2016, 11:36   #13
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Re: Newest of the new

You need to know basic coastal navigation skills for power or sail... colregs and so forth... there are course you can take... probably online. Learn the old style and don't just jump on the high tech thing... know how to do it all manually.

There are some excellent boots about sailing... I love a little pocket book "SAILING ILLUSTRATED, the Sailor's Bible, by Patrick Royce.... is about as good as it gets... WOW this handy little book has everything you need to know.

http://www.amazon.com/Sailing-Illust...ilor%27s+bible

He does all the drawings too! WOW just WOW. I love this book!

Then you need to get to a sailing course... Colgate is good... you learn all the basics... knots and so on... excellent course...

That's how to start.... Read and then take a learn to sail course.

One of the reviews sums it up:
"This small hand book is one of the most useful reference books that I own and I make sure that it is on every boat I own or captain. One of the responsibilities of a captain is to train and teach. I was first aquainted with this book in the 1970's when I was circumnavigating. We often added crew that were not sailors and they had to come up to speed quickly. They would constantly ask questioins and I eventually found it most helpful to tell them that the answer is in Royces and when they found it I would be happy to discuss it with them if more explaination was necessary. A quick answer was a disservice to the goal of transforming them. I discovered that in their search through the book they would actually spend hours on other subjects and would like a sponge much more quickly come to terms with the larger scope of naval science topics necessary to become a good sailor. The book is well illustrated packed with succinct explainations and a joy even now after all of these years just to skim. I have never found an instance of advice or fact in this book that was worth quibbeling over. I run a boatyard now and I purchaced this copy for the next generation of high school summer hires who are running the marina. I buy one or two copies a year to give to sailors starting out on long trips for their boat library."
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Old 19-01-2016, 18:53   #14
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Re: Newest of the new

Welcome.... Learning is the best part...


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Old 19-01-2016, 18:56   #15
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Re: Newest of the new

Get on a boat. There are lots of opportunities for that in your area, from making friends to taking a few classes!
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