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Old 28-01-2008, 16:56   #1
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Sailing advice

Hi everybody, my name is JC and I am in the final process of selling my shares at my international Software Development Company softairltda.com with the solely purpose of getting a sailing boat an live aboard in the Caribbean, I have been looking around and I like the Benetau 40 as this will be my home for many years.

I need help as I dont know how to get started...

Thanks

JC
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Old 28-01-2008, 17:28   #2
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Welcome,

"Getting started" can mean everything from learning to sail to buying a boat to fitting out a boat for extended liveaboard cruising, etc. It would be a good idea to be a little more specific re your experience, etc.

If you are interested in Beneteaus in the Caribbean, you will have lots of company. They are the most popular charter monohull in the region. So it's easy to charter one for a week - either bareboat or crewed, and see if you really like it for what you have in mind. Eg.:

Moorings - The Best Sailing In The World!

The Beneteau charter yachts usually have the twin aft cabin design. Many models are also available with a larger single aft cabin instead, and this would probably be the preferred configuration for most liveaboard cruisers.
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Old 28-01-2008, 17:37   #3
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Thanks for your swift reply Slomotion, let me be more specific:

I am 38 years old and ready to retire, I have only previous navigation experience on airplanes as I am a retired Airline and Corporate Transport Pilot, no sailing experience but I will have contact with a pro sailor in my country that will probably willing to teach me...my plans is to live all the time on the boat but not really in a Marina I would like to sail and stay for a couple of weeks, months on the selected caribbean destinations, can a Benetau 40 be safely sailed by sombedy new to sailing? I am looking for something such as Benetau 40 as I know I will have many visitors on my boat coming in and out...

Awaiting your reply, thanks slomotion
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Old 28-01-2008, 18:07   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soft Air View Post
I am 38 years old and ready to retire,
I’ll try not to hate you.

When it comes to experience, more is always better. However, with proper instruction you can learn to sail, navigate, and anchor very quickly - the rest is cruising guides, practice, weather, troubleshooting and attitude. Well, except for docking - I’m not sure you can ever learn how to dock a large monohull.

A 40' Beneteau is large for a first boat. You can’t just buy one, cast off and go; but there is no reason that a fit novice cannot sail one in the Caribbean. Every cruiser was a novice at one time, and practically no one had a full cruising skill set when they first started cruising. The nice thing is that you will find a community of cruising people just about anywhere you go in the Caribbean.

At this point, I think a crewed charter in the BVIs makes even more sense. You can do it on something close to the kind of boat you are interested in; you'll get a pretty good idea of what the boat is like and a kind of compressed view of what cruising is like; you can ask a lot of questions as they occur to you; you can get a lot of instruction/sailing time; and you are almost guaranteed to have a blast. You can bring some of the people who might visit you along, but don't buy a boat just because they like it.
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Old 28-01-2008, 18:39   #5
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Hi JC, Just had a long post ready to go to you and tried to load a link - the post disappeared!! Having chartered Beneteaus in the med and Ireland, just a few words of caution - perfect for liveaboards of a week or two, but it's not your guests you should be concerned for - you intend to live aboard for longer periods. With no offence intended, these are lighter displacement boats, perfect for limited cruising intentions (but hey, could round the Horn too in the right hands), wide "carry home" allowing double aft cabin arrangements, but a bit too much of a "caravan" for my personal liking - sure - plenty of spares for where you intend to cruise, but there's nothing like "growing out" of a boat when your experience and desires start to increase. I would go for a more "solid" long term alternative, spend a little more or spend the same for a slightly older boat. The link I was trying to send you was for a Passport 41 on Yachtworld.com at Port St. Lucie Florida - a beauty, but $275k before negotiation - check it out - many other makes like Hylas, Hans Christian, Bayfield (check out www.yachtpuff.com) Lord Nelson, Valiant and more that will spring from this forum if detailed intentions are outlined - 38 and leaving flying (my dream) behind - trying hard not to hate you too!! Welcome bud, fair winds and far off horizons!!
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Old 28-01-2008, 18:54   #6
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My advice (worth nothing) would be to get a bunch of good books about the cruising lifestyle etc... they will really give you lots of background. Read as much as you can.

The I would go to a really knowledgeable broker to find you a good boat since there are many possibilities and a knowledge broker should be able to steer you to the best boat for your future plans.

I started with a 36 from the get go so you can do a 40 and you can dock it too! Next you will have to get lots of experience with your boat both its gear and sailing her. I would strongly recommend that you fit her out with all the goodies so that you know how everything works. You can't pull into a service station so you will need to really know you boat like the back of your hand... and everything in it.

This will take hundreds if not thousands of hours. And then you need to sail her in all sorts of conditions.

Today we have incredible navigation equipment, but you should always be prepared to revert to the old stuff, paper and dividers and so forth.

Try to find some competent sailors to sail with you in the beginning to help with sail trim and so forth and soon you will be completely in control of your boat.

A boat is not like a car or a plane. YOU create the boat, the gear and so forth. It is more like a blank canvas then a car or a plane and you make it fit to you.

There are many beautiful yachts in the 40 foot range, take your time and become an expert at fitting one to you.
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Old 28-01-2008, 19:07   #7
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It sounds as if you are picking the Beneteau simply because you like the interior and it has the space you need. You need to think about the other aspects of boat selection as well...particularly if you are going to cruise beyond the local environs. The Bene...may be just fine for your intentions...but you need to do some reading.
Forty feet is a bit on the large side for single handing...but not overly so if you have all your systems set up for single handing...and you are a competent sailor. Plenty of schools and individuals can teach you what you need to know in fairly short order if you apply yourself. Don't settle for less boat than you need!
Good luck!
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Old 28-01-2008, 20:07   #8
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Thanks to you all for such great and quick advice

Slomotion, thanks for your encouraging advice, I will start thinking on a possible charter in the USVI, I started commercially flying at 18 so please donīt hate me lol, I spent enough hours inside Boeings, ATRīs and Airbuses and I am sure that eventually some part time flying opportunity near to a port of call will show up. Mickmul I will look for those suggested boats, I think that one of the things that may help me is that coming from an airline background I am well educated when it comes to safety, procedures, understanding mother nature weather and decision making, I am just hoping that this makes me a safe sailor.

Thanks for your words defjef and camaraderie. One quick question, if you were to pick a place in the Caribbean to first take your boat, learn and live what will that place be?

Best

JC
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Old 28-01-2008, 21:06   #9
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Aloha JC,
Welcome aboard!! You are getting lots of good advice. My personal opinion is that you could do better and 36 is plenty long. I'd do some Bene chartering before I purchased one.
More experience is better.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 29-01-2008, 02:21   #10
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Thanks John, I think chartering the desired boat is a must before deciding, I am used to take lots of time of resources when making a major investment (for us regular human beings that dont own Megayatchs lol ) so yes I am taking into consideration every piece of advice I am getting here.

Question guys, I own a LLC in Nevada that if convenient, will purchase the boat with my funds, any restrictions in the Caribbean or elsewhere for a Nevada owned vessel that you may be aware of?

Best,
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Old 29-01-2008, 04:32   #11
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SoftAir, you really should try to join a local sailing club and get time on a boat. The best way to learn to sail is to join a racing crew and get time on the water with a knowledgable skipper and crew. Supplement that with training and charters, you'll learn quickly.
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Old 29-01-2008, 06:02   #12
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Bareboat Charter?

Softair...I'm putting together a spring charter in the BVI. I'm looking (this year) at possibly going on a Festiva Lagoon 440 catamaran crewed charter but would consider doing a bareboat (like I have in previous years) if others wanted to "go in on" a bareboat.

feel free to send me a private message if you would be interested in that.
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Old 29-01-2008, 07:04   #13
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Thanks Moonchaser I will send a pvt message to you

Best

JC
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Old 29-01-2008, 08:55   #14
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Air - I've known several people who have used LLCs - for the reason implied in the name. The only problems you might encounter with that would be with insurance - they really don't like the term Limited Liability.
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Old 29-01-2008, 09:14   #15
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JC,

Lots of good advice for you on this thread, and I can't add a whole lot, but here are a few points.

Your idea of living aboard in the Caribbean is a great one! It's an absolutely fabulous place to cruise and live, with a variety of scenery and cultures, and lots of friendly fellow cruisers, as well. Your aviation background should hold you in good stead. The consequences of error or equipment failure are obviously much less severe on sailboats than aircraft, but the discipline of checklists, maintenance, navigation and conservative thinking is something that will serve you well.

Regarding boat selection, my own experience was that it took the passage of time for me to decide on what I really wanted. Time to charter on different boats, sail with friends, go to in-water boat shows, read brochures, talk to other boat owners, etc. For me it was an evolutionary process. We chartered different Beneteaus, Jeanneaus, Sabres, Pearsons and an Island Packet. The last time we chartered, it was on a Moody 36 in the BVI, and my wife had her tape measure out figuring out how long and wide the cockpit needed to be for comfort, moving-around-room in the owner's cabin, convenience and efficiency in the galley, and so forth. We ended up with an Island Packet 380, which has been perfect for what we use it for--very comfortable living aboard, and it performs very well in Caribbean or offshore conditions.

Others will tell you to buy the smallest boat that you can be comfortable with, not the largest boat you are able to sail. That's excellent advice for a lot of reasons.

Oh, one other thing. I don't know where you're based, or where you'll buy your boat, but getting to the Caribbean could be the hardest part of the trip. You can learn a lot sailing here with an experienced captain and crew. Once you're here, it's not that difficult to sail pretty much anywhere you want, as long as you watch the weather and sea state, and navigate around the hard spots.

Good luck to you!
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