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Old 01-05-2015, 21:43   #16
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

Thanks again, Robin3. Maybe the first-trip-as-crew idea would be the best way to prepare. But do you think they'd take an old man aboard, one who'd never sailed? What time of year do they generally go and about what do they charge, do you suppose?
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Old 01-05-2015, 22:18   #17
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

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Thanks again, Robin3. Maybe the first-trip-as-crew idea would be the best way to prepare. But do you think they'd take an old man aboard, one who'd never sailed? What time of year do they generally go and about what do they charge, do you suppose?
Not sure of an answer to any of those points, I do know that some members of a UK yachting forum have made the trip on a cat as crew several times east -west and at least one of them was well past retiring age, but was an experienced sailor.

A full RTW was originally on our bucket list but delayed retirement for financial reasons intervened and we decided to relocate to the USA and start again as live aboards here ( my wife is American with kids and grandkids in the USA) We thought very seriously about sailing our then 41 footer which was set up for long distance cruising and long term living and in some ways I regret no doing so, but the reality is that boat with it's 7ft draught and 55ft air draught would be totally unsuited to east coast USA cruising and especially so in the ICW or the Bahamas and we would have sold it at a loss most like anyway. WE went motoryacht for a time for simple liveaboard space but then went dirt living after my stroke and back to my real love of sail with a shoal draught (5ft) 36 footer with an air draught for the bridges of just under 50ft. for ease after my stroke our current sailboat has pull string in-mast furling and reefing mainsail and as ever a roller reefing headsail by contrast our beloved 41 footer of old had a very powerful, tall rig with large sail area, harder work indeed for the pair of wrinklies that we now are. We now have to exchange our lost muscle power for 'experience applied guile' and some help too from the gadgetry like the in-mast mainsail stuff and a dinghy in davits, but hey who cares. So we don't go as fast as we used to nor do we battle the elements for pure fun like the in old days when an upwind cross English Channel weekend trip on a Friday night in a full gale to stock up on French wines was relished and not shirked,
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:31   #18
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

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Any suggestions, comments?
My first suggestion is to stop reading and ordering books and go get some sailing time. Join a sail club, go down to the marina and ask around, post here and on other forums to be crew. Since you are retired maybe just take a week long sail course.

Basically make sure you like sailing before wasting a bunch of thinking time.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:04   #19
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

I like Sailorboy1's advice above.

Being 70 and wanting to cross the ocean aren't huge problems, but that "..never sailed a lick" comment needs a cure. I think it's best to get some experience on a small simply rigged boat in protected waters first.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:12   #20
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

Cacalak, can I just chime in with no particular advice, only to say, you legend. I hope you make it work mate.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:33   #21
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
My first suggestion is to stop reading and ordering books and go get some sailing time. Join a sail club, go down to the marina and ask around, post here and on other forums to be crew. Since you are retired maybe just take a week long sail course.

Basically make sure you like sailing before wasting a bunch of thinking time.
Definitely so. Have encountered a number of people over the years that thought they would love sailing and, for one reason or another, found out they hated it. A couple of cases of people that suffered horrible sea sickness that never did adjust.

One guy I hired for a delivery crew got deathly ill as soon as we left the dock, stayed in his bunk until we got to the first port, left the boat straight to the airport and, as far as I know, never boarded a boat again. This guy had never had motion sickness issues before in cars or airplanes but something about boats did him in.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:07   #22
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

I think I can relate, having begun my sailing late in life, and I can share a few thoughts. Reading and studying are fine, but they can't begin to take the place of actually getting time at the helm. Joining a crew is close, but really you've got to get out there to make and live with your own decisions. I strongly suggest taking sailing classes, joining a crew, and then getting your own boat. Find a mentor!

The Westerly Centaur is probably under-tanked for a crossing. You should also consider the lengthy list of equipment required for a crossing; it's not trivial. You'll need complete safety gear and an inventory of spares.

People learn at different rates, so I can't tell you how long it will be before you are a competent sailor; some people who have been sailing for many years really have only six months experience over and over because they've never been pressed or because they continue to make the same mistakes year after year. You may be able to learn quickly; I feel that I did, but I learn something new or better every time I sail.

What I think you need is not just experience sailing, but experience sailing your individual boat - and knowing everything about every system on it, including how to repair it on the water with no one to help. If you can't do that, your crossing may be a veiled suicide mission. You should have a serious talk with yourself about that possibility as you might well put other lives at risk.

I don't mean to sound discouraging; sailing is now an important part of my life and I've logged a few thousand miles. I wish you well living the dream.

Fair winds,
Leo
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:10   #23
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

Hi,

My thoughts:

1) It will not be the boat that will be doing the crossing. You will. At the beginning, focus on your skills, your knowledge and on physical and mental preparation. A crossing in a small boat can be very physical. It can also get mental unless you are one of the lucky people who like to and who can go it alone. Your land lifestyle is an indication, but not a proof. TEST yourself small way, before going full monty.

2) You know what you want. Now find all the hows.

3) Try to enroll at least one experienced local sailing pal on your project. Find an ocean going tutor. Those who have done it will help you sort out the musts from the nicetohaves. You WILL save heaps of time this way.

4) I believe a Centaur is a bilge keel boat. It is a small boat too. As someone who sails another small boat, I would look for something with possibly maximum ocean-proof design and layout. I know someone sailed a Contessa 26 round the world. I think I like Frances 26 (Victoria 26), much as these may be more xpensive and difficult to find (?). A friend of ours sailed Europe to Caribbean and back in a plastic folkboat (much alike the Contessa).

4.5) Whatever boat you get, you will want your boat to be very strong, very reliable, very well prepared. This may imply some time and budget for full haul out, replacements (likely all rigging, maybe some chainplates and other fittings, etc.) repairs and mods. You are very likely to want a good wind-vane (wind pilot device). You may want some electronics too (AIS alarm or similar). If you take any devices, you will want energy for them too (maybe a solar panel or a windmill). You will see ....... our choices entail further choices these in turn entail more choices. Keep it simple but NOT too simple.

5) It may be well over a year before you are ready. Plan accordingly. Write up a strong plan, with targets, time line, and budget. Then review your progress weekly and adjust the plan accordingly. Plan, go ahead, adjust the plan, go ahead, etc. It is NOT essential, but it does help.

6) If sailing from the US coast, consider an alternative route: from the US to Bahamas or to Virgins up first then in late May and in June from the Virgins to the Azores and onwards. The earlier part of the trip could give you some sea legs. The crossing would be an extension of what you learned along the way about yourself, the sea and your boat.

I wish you all the best.

If you can sail a dinghy across the worst of the weather from one side of a big lake to the other, you have some chance of making it across in a small boat. It is the sailing skills up first, then the mental ability and then stamina. Add good luck or faith if you believe in them.

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Old 03-05-2015, 09:42   #24
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

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I guess I am interested in basic, basic advice.

Ive never sailed; not even a Sunfish.

And I want the adventure.
Basic, basic advice:

- learn to sail a sailboat,

- learn basic navigation,

- keep very fit physically and mentally,

- get a strong and safe boat, (an example: an IF (=International Folkboat = plastic folkboat), from Europe), get it ready (=time + knowhow + money)

- cross from Canary Islands to Caribbean (November-May), about 30-40 days,

- stop-over at Cabo Verde is an option, (some 10 days out fom Canary Islands), this may make the core crossing shorter (20-30 days now).

Adventure guaranteed. The less you can, the worse the boat, the more adventure. Avoid adventure. ;-)

Good luck,
b.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:52   #25
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

I can echo the posters saying east to west is an easier run, my last Atlantic crossing, west to east last November, from San Juan to Agadir we had the wind and seas on our bow the whole time, it would have been a wonderful sail the other way.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:27   #26
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

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Thanks again, Robin3. Maybe the first-trip-as-crew idea would be the best way to prepare...
Yes a good idea and let it be at a time where things get bad, maybe real bad, but they can handle it but you might think the end is coming right then. If you are still interested after that and don't have the following book on your list get it also...

http://www.amazon.com/Twenty-Small-S.../dp/0939837323

Also there are a number of boats that might be in your price range and so forth so don't narrow the list to just one. Start making a list so you have options and if you don't mind answering, it would be nice to know what you might have budgeted for this? That would also help in people making recommendations.

I'm assuming that you actually would like to make the crossing and this isn't suppose to be an ending of your life but maybe a new beginning. The best from an other old guy,

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Old 03-05-2015, 13:31   #27
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

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I can echo the posters saying east to west is an easier run, my last Atlantic crossing, west to east last November, from San Juan to Agadir we had the wind and seas on our bow the whole time, it would have been a wonderful sail the other way.
Yes. West to East can be easier. Should things get off the rails, the winds and currents may be taking you to Americas, quite fast too. (That young man who crashed mid-Atlantic needed only 76(?) days to get there, in a liferaft.

Statistically, this may be correct then. Still, we must remember that in any given year also the "easy" run from Cabo Verde to Barbados can be a near death experience to a less experienced sailor especially perhaps one in a small boat.

My conclusion, I think, is: plan for and imagine the worst, then smile broadly every time you make it across after an uneventful passage.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 03-05-2015, 14:02   #28
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

OP--Start sailing as much as you can. You'll need a bit of actual experience to prepare you for picking the right boat. Not just based on the recommendation of someone you don't even know.
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Old 03-05-2015, 18:06   #29
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

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OP--Start sailing as much as you can. You'll need a bit of actual experience to prepare you for picking the right boat. Not just based on the recommendation of someone you don't even know.
The above is basic, basic, basic advice and very wise one.

I fully subscribe to this point of view and to Terra Nova's attitude.

Similar boats, similar minds.

b.
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Old 03-05-2015, 18:39   #30
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Re: Or Die Tryin'

Basically what you're asking is comparative to someone who is never driven before asking to get behind a NASCAR vehicle and race in the Daytona 500. I don't understand the reasoning for wanting to do it by yourself most people don't and there's plenty of people that cross the Atlantic that are very good at it you can either join their crew or even pay to get on their crew and it would fill your dream and you would walk away from it
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