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Old 08-08-2013, 20:58   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: In a one bedroom apartment
Boat: Invisible sailboat, 30'
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Slow Learner


I heard about this place from a friend of mine at work. He did a great six-month cruise from Lake Superior to lots of great places in the Caribbean as a complete novice. But he's young.

I'm not.

Yet the cool thing about all that is, though the guy is 20+ years younger than I am, I've learned a TON from him, including how to be a better person.

Beyond that, I've learned to re-imagine the definition of possible.

Before I get too old, I'd like to accomplish a trip just like that, only maybe longer.

Now I've read some posts on this forum before I joined it. Like lot's of places there is no shortage of opinions here.

My goal in this forum is to gain advice from those who have done it, and if I'm ever able to do it, to pass along what I have learned.

I won't disparage anyone, and I don't say mean-spirited things. I'd ask the same from you.

Now for the question I'm sure every newbie has: How to start? Maybe the question can be more focused by asking it this way....For a guy that's never been anywhere near a sailboat (but would take a class to learn), what's a good idea for size of boat if I wanted to sail the islands from Florida towards South America? I'd probably do it alone, or with one other person.

Finally, was that rambling enough?

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Old 08-08-2013, 21:26   #2
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Re: Slow Learner

I'd guess in the 25-36 foot range, although plenty of people have smaller or larger boats. Bigger costs more not just in initial price but in all the doodads and oversized gear you need for bigger boats. A 28 foot boat you really don't need a windlass, a 45' boat it's sort of required (the ground tackle gets a lot bigger). Of course windlasses aren't cheap, nor are the cables, nor are the batteries, nor are the charging systems you'll need, etc, etc.

Maybe go sailing with your coworker? Nothing beats sea time. Even with an ASA class under your belt, you probably won't feel comfortable until you've had an overnight trip or three plus at least a few dozen harbor sails.

My $0.02 anyway.

There are people who rarely leave the harbor, and there are people who just hopped on the boat and left and figured it out along the way. For the latter scenario it helps if you have a lot of money and luck.

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Old 08-08-2013, 21:42   #3
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Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
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Re: Slow Learner

Welcome to the forum...Yes...there is a lot to learn. Especially the differences between boats. The other thing id your own financial limitations. I can almost guarentee you after you buy a boat, you will spend almost as much as the purchase price to bring her up to cruising mode. But I have seen people do it on a shoe string. My personal feeling is 30ft. and up. 35 is better and 40 begins to be a handful, if you are a single hander.
Bottom line, I have seen a person buy a Pearson Vanguard 32 for $5000 and leave with a few thousand, never to be seen again. I have also seen a couple on Island Packet 40 of the $200K mark, throw another $100K at it for toys and now I never see them and the boat has a green beard around it. It's more up to the individual than the boat as I see it.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 23-09-2013, 17:46   #4
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Re: Slow Learner

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good idea to take a basic sailing lesson and then start talking with folks in a marina or in a sailing club about what boat might be best for what you want to do.
Good luck.
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