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Old 24-07-2014, 16:15   #1
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Talking Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

Hello All-

I am a Virgin to the Sailing world but not to old to learn and respect the whole voyage.
i am 3 yrs out from retiring, my plan is to Sell everything ... buy a small to medium size sail boat to live on just south of Puerto Rico and live out my days enjoying Gods piece of heaven on earth.

So I am seeking advise from all of you on ... if you had to start over and knowing all that you do, how would you go about it??

feel free to tell of what NOT to do....

and what you feel would be the best place to start for a very newbie.

I appreciate your time and knowledge... May the wind forever be in your sails that take you to your paradise!
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Old 24-07-2014, 17:31   #2
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

Most costal areas have yacht clubs and races and lots who race need crew. Its a great way to learn. I think one learns faster on a race boat. The one you are after is not the go fast hi pro boats but theres lots who have cruising boats that race and enjoy the company and a beer afterwards. Many would love a person of any age to go out on their saturday races.

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Old 24-07-2014, 17:37   #3
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

Thanks Mark ... wheew that might be a crash course in the sailing world, they may end up throwing me overboard ...
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Old 24-07-2014, 18:34   #4
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

I think you are already half way there: our "mistake" was retiring early, before we could draw our pensions. The pro was doing our cruising while our health and stamina were still intact.

Another mistake was moving on too fast. We sailed our rtw and now what.

So my advice is: take it slow, savour the places, and the moments.

Bon voyage,
b.
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Old 24-07-2014, 19:01   #5
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

Spent my life aboard and now that I'm old and tired, had to head inland for health reasons. As long as you are fit and reasonably healthy I would follow Mark J's advice and hang out at yacht clubs and marinas... put up a few notices to skippers looking for reliable crew (reliable being the operative word!). As a former skipper, I would take reliability over experience any day! Get some rail time in then try and hook up with a delivery skipper or cruising couple looking for help. Get a few passages aboard different boats under your belt then go boat shopping if you are still interested. Also get set up with a few courses in boat maintenance, mechanics, heavy weather sailing, rigging and boat handling. You will then be able to make a more informed decision about what you want, better still what you don't want and begin your hunt. If you don't have much experience, once you settle on a couple of prospects make an offer contingent upon a Marine survey and sea trial. Adjust your price after both of those are completed then go hunting for an experienced skipper to take you where you want to go and have him teach you along the way. It is a healthy and rewarding lifestyle which I wish I was still able to handle... good luck and fair winds. Phil
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Old 24-07-2014, 19:05   #6
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

Welcome to the forum, What Mark J, & Capt. Phil said. Get to know what you don't want and you will form an idea of what you do want. Learning on other peoples boats is the best way to get good insight. Good Luck!
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Old 24-07-2014, 19:24   #7
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

wow ... thank you all for taking the time to respond. that is a wealth of information . yes , i am going into this blindly, however, my heart and soul has always longed to be on the water... as I find my peace and serenity there. I also know Mother Nature can hand a person a whopping if their not respectful and paying attention. But, my desire to be on the water, is very strong and probably always will be until the day I am anchoring off the shore of Culebra Island. I want to learn to scuba dive and snorkel and enjoy the underwater beauty that I want to see with my own eyes. I am preparing my self to rid my desires of "stuff" and just have bear minimum... i don't want the BEST boat but a safe boat that I will feel safe with and bond with over the next decade or two (God willing).

Where would I find these opportunities to go out with a skipper to learn the ropes?


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Old 24-07-2014, 19:35   #8
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRBound View Post
wow ... thank you all for taking the time to respond. that is a wealth of information . yes , i am going into this blindly, however, my heart and soul has always longed to be on the water... as I find my peace and serenity there. I also know Mother Nature can hand a person a whopping if their not respectful and paying attention. But, my desire to be on the water, is very strong and probably always will be until the day I am anchoring off the shore of Culebra Island. I want to learn to scuba dive and snorkel and enjoy the underwater beauty that I want to see with my own eyes. I am preparing my self to rid my desires of "stuff" and just have bear minimum... i don't want the BEST boat but a safe boat that I will feel safe with and bond with over the next decade or two (God willing).

Where would I find these opportunities to go out with a skipper to learn the ropes?


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MarkJ's advice is sound... check out yacht clubs and marinas where racing is on mid week as well as weekends. Once you have established yourself, talk to brokers who regularly employ skippers to relocate vessels and many are looking for crew. Also crew lists like on CF... there other good ones as well. As a word of advice, interview the skipper before signing on as he will want to do with you. If you are halfway into a 2-3000 mile passage, it isn't the time to find you have issues that can only be solved by walking home! Same with cruisers... talk with them first before dropping your sea bag aboard. I didn't notice your avatar before but assuming you are female, make certain you know the ground rules before jumping aboard. Good luck in your search. Phil
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Old 24-07-2014, 19:45   #9
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRBound View Post
wow ... thank you all for taking the time to respond. that is a wealth of information . yes , i am going into this blindly, however, my heart and soul has always longed to be on the water... as I find my peace and serenity there. I also know Mother Nature can hand a person a whopping if their not respectful and paying attention. But, my desire to be on the water, is very strong and probably always will be until the day I am anchoring off the shore of Culebra Island. I want to learn to scuba dive and snorkel and enjoy the underwater beauty that I want to see with my own eyes. I am preparing my self to rid my desires of "stuff" and just have bear minimum... i don't want the BEST boat but a safe boat that I will feel safe with and bond with over the next decade or two (God willing).

Where would I find these opportunities to go out with a skipper to learn the ropes?


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
The go learn on a dinghy crowd will be here soon so I'll jump in ahead...

Find a local club that offers training in small keelboats - 22 foot Capris are popular. Look for "competent crew" training. Read "Start Sailing Right." in advance of class.

No connection from me on this link but you might check them out...

http://www.northtexassailing.com/

Many of these course gang students together so you will likely meet 3 other newbies.

Post a note on the club BB that you are crew available. Figure out ways to get introduced. Clubs are a great environment to get plugged in.

Scuba and snorkeling can likely be learned at a local YMCA or something. Why wait?

Good luck and welcome aboard CF. BTW we have more than a few ladies living on boats here - SailorChic is doing it solo and lives in SFO - she is wise counsel on your future plans.
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Old 24-07-2014, 19:54   #10
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

You got some great advise. Go and sail with other people. I was lucky enough to do that, even crossing the Pacific. Helped a lot to understand what "YOU" need and want, besides all the ropes you learn.

Seems like you are looking for a place to live on. Catamarans are worthwhile looking at. After long not wanting to go that route I would not want to live on a mono hull anymore.
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Old 24-07-2014, 19:54   #11
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

thank you ..thank you.. thank you....


i am taking notes

searching the internet and local groups as well figured it cant hurt ...the more I know the better i will be.


keep the advise and experiences coming...




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Old 24-07-2014, 21:12   #12
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

Sailing for Dummies is a REALLY good book. Get a second hand copy for next to nothing, can't go wrong, it's very good.

Lots of newbie advice, well written.
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Old 24-07-2014, 21:41   #13
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

For learning to sail, my advice is to learn on the smallest boat you can find - El Toro is one. The reason is that you'll get immediate feedback on what you do. On a bigger boat such as a race boat with several crew, you can do several things wrong and the boat will still go along pretty well. On a small boat if you do a couple of the same things wrong you'll be swimming!
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Old 25-07-2014, 05:09   #14
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

Lots of good advice about the mechanics of learning.

Now, big-picture stuff. I'm approaching retirement too. I think I have a sound financial plan. Nothing elaborate, but feasible. But my point is you'll find the dream of living out your days care-free and expense-free, living off the bounty of the sea in some exotic port with nary a care, is over simplified.

I'm not saying don't do it. If you can, you should! But go in with a solid plan.

Even though the wind is free, owning a boat isn't. Anchoring is free, but there's a whole lot of work in between to make that possible. To be brutally honest, most people's health care costs go up as they age. If you're lucky, you will live long enough to eventually have to move back ashore. While shopping for a boat, I came across a lot of sad stories of dreams either unfulfilled or cut short because of health issues.

It sounds like a great adventure you're embarking on. You'll have a lot of fun learning to sail, and even more planning your escape. Just make sure you go in with both eyes wide open and a firm grip on reality. No wait, it's about a boat. Forget the firm grip. Just keep a wary eye on reality, and don't ever let it catch up to you.
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Old 06-09-2014, 13:23   #15
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Re: Seeking Wisdom of those that learned from Mistakes!

You certainly are getting a bunch of good advice. To learn to sail or scuba for that matter then go with a certified course which can be found at the Red Cross, YMCA, YWCA or most sailing clubs. You'll learn safety and not pick up the sometimes bad habits of "free" instructors. I think Ex-Calif expressed what I was going to suggest.
Finding a good boat is a big part of what you'll want to do so get aboard as many as you can by introducing yourself at marinas or clubs and see what features you like the most and then try to find those features in whatever boats you look at to buy. Absolutely do not take on a project boat and don't let anyone talk you into doing it. Marine surveyors are a must for anyone who is new boating. So before you purchase, find a marine surveyor. That's been said already so I'm just stressing that point.

Aloha and welcome aboard!
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