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Old 14-05-2008, 18:08   #1
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Rookies just getting started

I'm starting off a 3 year program which will ultimately lead to the purchase of a Multihull and relocation of my wife and I to a life on the seas.
Year 1 - sailing lessons - Canada lakes
Year 1 - 1 week Multihull charter - St. Lucia
Year 2 - Multihull training school - Suggestions???
Year 2 - Rent Multihull for easy solo trip.
Year 3 - Purchase Multihull - year 1 in Caribbean, after that, the world.

So, we know nothing. We're looking for help in understanding what will be required to acheive our dream.

Some questions:
Best type/size boat for my wife and I - must sleep 4 - ultimately want to cross Atlantic after a year or 2 in Caribbean.
Best Marinas in Caribbean based on both cost and services?
Should we rent berths by day, month, or year?
Insurance costs?
Monthly operating costs?
Dos and donts?
Internet connectivity while on the seas....We will still be doing consultancy work.
Cost of communications systems?

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 16-05-2008, 11:11   #2
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Aloha Jeff,
Welcome aboard! It is good that you have a plan. I would suggest you remain very flexible. Sailing and boats aren't used to complying to plans.
I also recommend that you visit marinas and hang out with folks that belong to sailing or yacht clubs for a bit and hear their conversations. Lots of times you'll pick up good bits of information at boat yards too.
Good luck and kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 16-05-2008, 13:32   #3
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Jeff,
Go to the following site and you can ammuse yourself for weeks if not months with Bill Dietrich's ideas on how to retire on a sailboat and cruise off into the sunset as well as his logs since he actually did it:

Retire Onto A Sailboat

Good Luck!
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Old 16-05-2008, 13:40   #4
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Originally Posted by cashed-out View Post
Should we rent berths by day, month, or year?
There is an infinite variety of cruising styles and they are all valid and appropriate for different people. However, if there is such a thing as "mainstream" cruising, it is dominated by anchoring with only occasional use of marinas.

I agree with SkiprJohn - good plan, but be flexible and open minded. Most of your questions are unanswerable, or more likely have an infinite variety of answers because, well ... there is an infinite variety of cruising styles. It's OK to have a schedule or timetable for getting ready to go cruising. It's not OK to have anything more than the vaguest schedule or timetable for where you go and how long you stay once you really start cruising. Eg. More than a few people thought they would spend a year in the Caribbean before setting off on a circumnavigation and wound up staying forever. More than a few people have favorite islands that they never intended to visit, but they got there anyway because that's where they wound up when they fell off wind to get a more comfortable ride on their way to someplace else.
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Old 16-05-2008, 14:16   #5
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I would get the biggest, and sturdiest ground tackle for the type of boat you buy. The more you stay away from marinas the longer you can make that money stretch. Once you start cruising all the answers will come to you, and they will be easy choices. There are as many answers to your questions as there are boats, and sailors.

P.S.,
I would do some chartering for more than a week at a time. It will give you a better idea of reality. Those pretty pics in the magazines come with a price. It is called BLOOD, SWEAT, & TEARS
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Old 17-05-2008, 14:40   #6
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I just peeked at this.

It is really packed with a lot of things from all over.

Great, thanks.
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Old 17-05-2008, 15:28   #7
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Jeff, have you considered joining a yacht club? You will likely get more experience in bigger boats than by just taking lessons (and, many clubs have lessons available as well). I would also urge you to consider buying a smaller, used monohull that will sleep four in your second year and then get first-hand experience in navigation, maintenance (including bleeding your diesel), anchoring, reefing, etc., etc. If you get a boat that is popular in your area, you should have little difficulty re-selling and the loss, if any, will be relatively minor in the overall scheme.

Understand that after only some sailing lessons on the Canadian (Great?) Lakes, you will not be able to charter a bareboat CAT in the Caribbean without also taking on a skipper. And I would imagine that you wouldn't (or at least you shouldn't) want to.

The bottom line, as I see it, is that you'll get the experience you need when you are your own skipper, mechanic, sail-trimmer and navigator. You will also get the chance to see if this is really the life for you and yours.

Brad
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