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Old 18-08-2012, 15:58   #1
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Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

Hi everyone!

My husband and I are considering abandoning our land life for one at sea. Sounds all too familiar, I'm sure and what's worse is we've never sailed a lick in anything of notable size. (I can hear the groans, but bear with me a minute. )

He's active duty Coast Guard and has been on a ship his entire career, which began 13 years ago. He's very much a lover of the sea and shipboard life. I've sailed only small Hobies/sunfish and am a gypsy soul for certain. Sun, sand and saltwater are my love and also my business. I'm a jewelry designer by trade and my line is heavily nautical.

In any event, I came here to see if I can get pointed in the right direction to find out where we'd start for becoming more familiar with sailing extensively. Our goal is blue water cruising...island hopping in the tropics. We have two children, one of which is my son and doesn't perform well in traditional school settings, however this year I enrolled him in a junior sailing program during the summer and he took to it instantly. He loves the water as much as I do...

I don't know what the next step is, aside from poking through the hundreds of threads here. Do we go enroll in a school or take a trip aboard a catamaran to familiarize ourselves of expectations and how to handle the boat?

Any advice to this rather green mermaid would be appreciated.

Fair winds and following seas to you all...

~Danielle
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Old 18-08-2012, 16:49   #2
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

G'day Danielle & Crew, welcome!

What to do? All of the above, I guess: research, and practice. You have it easier than me because you are near water.

Do you have a family boat for "training" cruises? Perhaps one of the easy to build small boats would be useful and economical as a step-up. Personally I'm going for the Caledonia Yawl from Ian Oughtred, a stitch & glue ply beach cruiser. Only got a lake near here, but it's better than sailing the SV Palmolive past my knees for the umpteenth time. Your boy might particularly enjoy being a shipwright...

Have you looked at a charter somewhere nearby? Not really comparable to long-term boat life, but also a start.

Members of a boat club, or scouting marinas and regattas for sailing opportunities, contacts, and brains to pick?

And most importantly, how united is the whole crew about this? This includes relatives and closest friends, seeing as how the family unit already seems keen....support and encouragement are important.

Fair winds and a stout ship! Best wishes....
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Old 18-08-2012, 18:17   #3
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

If you have a tow vehicle, get a cheap trailer sailor/pocket cruiser. I'm talking really used. Spend $2500 - $4000. Get some sailing books to learn, and sail, sail, sail. Spend as much time as you can for a year coming up the learning curve.

You will learn fast, and spend less than a one week charter in the caribbean.

Go to the boat shows if you want to see the big and shiny boats. It's a great place to dream.

At the end of a year think again about buying a big boat and going off. You'll know if it is right. Worse case is you hate it and can sell the trailer sailor for roughly what you paid for it.

Welcome to CF, and fair winds!
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Old 18-08-2012, 18:31   #4
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

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Originally Posted by ohdrinkboy View Post
If you have a tow vehicle, get a cheap trailer sailor/pocket cruiser. I'm talking really used. Spend $2500 - $4000.
This is wonderful advice! What might I look for in terms of a "pocket cruiser"?
Any solid manufacturers that I should keep my eyes peeled for?

~D.
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Old 18-08-2012, 18:31   #5
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

We started just over three years ago and then I could not tell you the difference between a boom and a bilge pump. We bought our boat (a 34' classic plastic) before we ever raised a sail. We were beyond novice - not a single hour of sailing experience.

We then availed ourselves to the help and knowledge of new friends at our marina, all of whom were more than willing to share their knowledge and experience. A great deal of our additional knowledge came from trial and error. More came from reading, as amazon.com became our newest friend. When not on the water we read - read and read some more. There is little you will need to know about sailing that has not been written about in graphic detail in a book. That said, when you read about trimming your sails or heaving to you need to go practice it. We did.

As we became more knowledgeable and comfortable with the basics we took short overnight trips, then longer voyages further from home port. We poked our noses out into the big blue and pushed the limits within the boundaries of reasonable safety and our comfort level.

We made mistakes, laughed them off and tried again.

Then it was off to the Bahamas from the Panhandle of Florida for a four month shakedown cruise. Over 2000 miles and we learned more in those few months than we'd learned in the past three years. Our next, much longer, cruise is planned for October 2013. We continue to learn.

The point is: Do it. Choose a starting point and go from there.
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Old 18-08-2012, 18:39   #6
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

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Then it was off to the Bahamas from the Panhandle of Florida for a four month shakedown cruise. Over 2000 miles and we learned more in those few months than we'd learned in the past three years. Our next, much longer, cruise is planned for October 2013. We continue to learn.

The point is: Do it. Choose a starting point and go from there.
We have a beach house in a little tiny town outside of Panama City, FL. I do so love it there.

I love your advice of just going and DOING. I'm tired of daydreaming. No adventure was ever had by sitting back and watching. I want to do and luckily, my husband is "on board" with me!
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Old 18-08-2012, 18:46   #7
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

Sail, sail and then sail some more.

Practice is the way.

Welcome,
b.
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Old 18-08-2012, 19:18   #8
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

Hi Danielle,
I'm a retired BMC myself, I have a 51 formosa now and had planned to do the same thing. My wife became ill and I have had to shelve the sailing for now. The boat is in St. Thomas and Is ready to cruise the world. I am looking for that special person,or family who will give her a good home. let me know I can send you photo's of the boat.
you can reply at antcir@hotmail.com
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Old 18-08-2012, 19:21   #9
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

Buying an older boat is more about condition than name. Come up with a list of 5-10 candidates you like after looking and throw it up here. You'll get lots of feedback. Hours on the water is the quickest way to get there.

BTW - when my wife wanted me to teach her to sail I sent her to Annapolis Sailing School. Marital thing gets in the way of learning. Same goes for kids. My dad had me crewing for a friend of his when I was in 5th and 6th grade.

Here's an example from the Jersey Shore Craigslist:
1978 Ericson 25' sailboat with 15HP

If you don't mind renting a slip. Lots of 30' boats under $10,000. Keep in mind that this is a boat you are use to learn. It doesn't have to be perfect.
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Old 18-08-2012, 19:23   #10
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

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Originally Posted by JerseyMermaid View Post
This is wonderful advice! What might I look for in terms of a "pocket cruiser"?
Any solid manufacturers that I should keep my eyes peeled for?

~D.
If you plan to keep the boat in the Cape May area, I'd go for something 30' or less, my favorites are Pacific Sea Craft 24/25, Contessa 26 or similar. The area around Panama City gives you a bit more latitude in the boats. I'd avoid any swing keel boats if you are planning on heading into the gulf for any length of time. There are several suitible ones on Craigslist down there, IF they are in decent shape.
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Old 18-08-2012, 19:32   #11
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

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Originally Posted by Anthonycirillo View Post
Hi Danielle,
I'm a retired BMC myself, I have a 51 formosa now and had planned to do the same thing. My wife became ill and I have had to shelve the sailing for now. The boat is in St. Thomas and Is ready to cruise the world. I am looking for that special person,or family who will give her a good home. let me know I can send you photo's of the boat.
you can reply at antcir@hotmail.com
Hi Anthony! Thank you so much for your warm reply. I admittedly had to google the Formosa, looks to be a single hull and is quite beautiful. I'd feel like a pirate of the high seas for certain on such a ship. I have been researching Lagoon Catamarans for safety and roominess thus far, and our budget would be for something used, once we get around to that point. I'm just now starting the process to see where we begin. Going w/ a pocket/trailer cruiser for $2-4K seems like a reasonable beginning.
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Old 18-08-2012, 19:42   #12
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

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Originally Posted by ohdrinkboy View Post
Buying an older boat is more about condition than name. Come up with a list of 5-10 candidates you like after looking and throw it up here. You'll get lots of feedback. Hours on the water is the quickest way to get there.

BTW - when my wife wanted me to teach her to sail I sent her to Annapolis Sailing School. Marital thing gets in the way of learning. Same goes for kids. My dad had me crewing for a friend of his when I was in 5th and 6th grade.

Here's an example from the Jersey Shore Craigslist:
1978 Ericson 25' sailboat with 15HP

If you don't mind renting a slip. Lots of 30' boats under $10,000. Keep in mind that this is a boat you are use to learn. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Oh, perfection is not on my list at ALL. Cost and seaworthiness are...as well as size. I don't want to get the wrong size boat, even for learning purposes. I did a little more research and was pointed towards 22' tanzers. I'm such a newb, but I've learned a lot just today, alone! I'd like it to be able to fit myself and my husband so we can learn together, and take my two wee ones with us as we piddle around here in Cape May. Trailerable is a bonus, as paying for a slip might become costly currently. However, I don't even know what that cost IS here. I suppose it depends on the size of the boat?

You all are fabulous...thank you so much. <3
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Old 18-08-2012, 19:59   #13
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

I would not get a learning boat unless you mean a Laser or else if you are 6.

Go get the target boat in due time. Before then, sail other people's boats.

BTW some pocket cruisers can take you to some fine voyages. Size does not really matter much as it does bring comfort.

Cheers,
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Old 18-08-2012, 20:32   #14
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Re: Pirate, Poet and Sailor...without a boat!

Hi folks

Living aboard and cruising the world have been at the top of my bucket list since I was 21 (actually that... and a date with Michelle Pfeiffer are the ONLY things on my bucket list.) Michelle won't return my calls soooooo it looks like it's the sailors life for me.

I've been researching for some time and decided a modest cat is the way I want to go. I also want to build because I will get what I want that way, I will know my boat inside and out, it is within my budget and because I can I suppose. Half the fun is the journey :-)

Anyway, I've been following the forum for a little while now and decided to join because I get to talk to nice people (who won't think I'm totally wacko), share my journey and get help and advice along the way.

Cheers
Bob
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Old 18-08-2012, 20:44   #15
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Used to live on the other side of the ferry from y'all. Over in Delaware.

Back in Louisiana now, and pretty much where y'all are now in the journey as well. We're pricing 'training vessels'...LOL

Anyway, best of luck!
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