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Old 23-05-2014, 19:10   #1
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Pondering a Change of Lifestyle.

Hello all. Just looking for some feedback from experienced cruisers about buying a sailboat and cruising around the caribbean for a bit. I have little experience, but my plans are about 7 years out at this point. I will start by taking sailing lessons this summer with my son and then getting some time on the water over the next few years. I am thinking of a cat, but that is because I like the space aspects more than any other reason. Any and all comments are welcome.
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Old 23-05-2014, 19:13   #2
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pirate Re: Pondering a change of lifestyle.

Hi... Welcome to CF..
I totally agree with you about a cat.. dogs take up a lot more space.. and are noisy...
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Old 23-05-2014, 19:21   #3
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Re: Pondering a change of lifestyle.

Welcome aboard! Sounds like a fun plan and you are giving yourself time to get your skills honed.

Have to agree with boatman...cats are easier to keep.
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Old 23-05-2014, 20:00   #4
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Pondering a change of lifestyle.

Welcome to the forum. If you live in an area with "beer can races", I recommend that you find a position as crew on a boat. This is an easy and inexpensive way to learn to sail. Qualities needed to be a crew member: great attitude, showing up when expected, and willingness to learn/take direction.
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Old 23-05-2014, 20:35   #5
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Re: Pondering a change of lifestyle.

Okay. Now that we have established there are a few smartasses on this forum, I can say catsare nasty but I want a catamaran. I have sailed some, but nothing I would consider useful in my next adventure. Beer can races are probably not something I can count on, since I live in the mountains of Colorado. I have a very cold lake up the road that I will try and yes a small boat on, but it is damn cold, so overboard drills may not work well. Anyway, love to hear from you all, even the wiseguys, they tend to know more if not the most useful info. At least they can keep me from making a complete ass of myself.
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Old 25-05-2014, 09:01   #6
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Re: Pondering a change of lifestyle.

Ok, since you don't currently live in a sailing area, there are more obvious recommendations: 1. Move to your "where the boat leaves from" location, 2. Charter a cat, 3. Take a barefoot cruising course on a cat. Good friends of ours took a course for one week in Florida before buying their cat and it was a great experience, and it built confidence, for the whole family.
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Old 25-05-2014, 10:39   #7
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Re: Pondering a change of lifestyle.

Welcome to the forum...7 years uh? A lot happens in 7 years. I suggest dinghy sailing on the lakes in Co. and when the rain and snow is horizontal, ...charter.
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Old 25-05-2014, 10:54   #8
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Re: Pondering a change of lifestyle.

Learning to sail takes about 7 hours, maybe 7 days at most.
You've got enough time to start and finish building a cataraman in 7 years.
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Old 25-05-2014, 11:08   #9
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Re: Pondering a change of lifestyle.

You could get a small trailer sailor like a sabot or Lido to learn on in the local waters to you. There are some inexpensive "dry suits" available that would allow you to operate in the chillier times of the year, including wet drills. The basics of sailing are, well...pretty basic. It is the little nuances that take time to master. Practice and water time in varying conditions will build your confidence, regardless of salinity. The number of great used cats coming available in the next 7 years will likely be adequate. In my area, they are becoming rather prevalent.
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Old 25-05-2014, 11:14   #10
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Re: Pondering a change of lifestyle.

Thanks for the info. I have looked up sailing schools in Colorado. Florida and the islands. I am taking 7 years because my children are 7 and 9 years old. I want them to take the courses with me so they can be confident in their abilities. I also am in year two of a successful business that isn't quite ready to be left alone. In 7 years though it will be and I will be able to purchase a catamaran outright and live on the money I make from the store

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Old 25-05-2014, 11:32   #11
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Re: Pondering a change of lifestyle.

If you have the budget for a Catamaran co0l. If you don't, the Caribe is very doable in many types. I would plan on giving yourself 1-2 years somewhere like Florida etc to prepare the boat and use it often to be familiar with it and with how you want it set up before leaving. Good luck!
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Old 25-05-2014, 16:59   #12
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Re: Pondering a change of lifestyle.

I agree cheeckako. I was thinking that would be the easiest move. My question would be the feasibility of living on the boat from Oct to June and then living in Colorado from June to Oct. Just some of the decisions I will have to make

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Old 25-05-2014, 17:16   #13
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Re: Pondering a Change of Lifestyle.

That's sounds great if you are that flexible! June will be getting pretty warm, but not too bad on the water maybe.
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Old 25-05-2014, 17:26   #14
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Re: Pondering a Change of Lifestyle.

It's not that tough. Thousands of people do it. We spend winters "down there." The boat is currently in Grenada... along with 3 or 4 hundred others at Grenada Marine. Similarly, there are as many at Spice Island Marine... and the same in islands all through the Caribbean.

Some people don't move, they have plants growing on their back porch and on their anchor chain/mooring. Others are constantly moving from one island to the next looking for that perfect harbour.

You can virtually day-sail down there from Florida. Only 2 or 3 overnighters. Buy the Van Zant book, Gentleman's Guide to Passages South. Or purchase something down there and save yourself from all that easting. There are lots for sail.

Again, there are thousands of people who live on their boats in the Caribbean. The tough part is to untie from the dock.
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Old 10-06-2014, 22:13   #15
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Re: Pondering a Change of Lifestyle.

Okay. Couple steps forward. Got a 17 ft sunfish type boat to learn on the lake near me. Studying online to get terminologies correct and some info on what is needed to get to the point of living on a boat in the Caribbean. One question I have is how much hands on knowledge is needed about diesel engines other than oil changes and general maintenance issues?

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