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Old 27-07-2013, 10:05   #1
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Starting the Dream!

I have been in love with the sea and sailing for years but never learned myself only took part while on vacation. I'm land locked in CO but have decided to start here. I am looking into classes (ASA) now and trying to decide if I should do them here on a lake or go out to Texas where I can spend a whole week on the ocean... I would think the ocean experience would be more useful? I am also trying to decide if I should buy a 20 - 25' boat or I found a club here that I have unlimited rental of their 22' (nice new boats) for 900 a year? My plan is to learn as much as I can then buy a 35 - 40' and set out for a year to the Caribbean with my 17 year old son. At that point I will probably be out of $ so will have to reassess and figure out a living on the water or do the 6/6. Any and all advice is welcome.
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Old 27-07-2013, 16:57   #2
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Re: Starting the dream!

Congratulations on starting a new journey!!

I took Liveaboard Cruising classes in the Caribbean (Offshore Sailing School) and in San Diego (J-World). Offshore was a better school, and you just can't beat the location in the BVI, but J-World was enjoyable too.

You could always do some lake classes first and then do some ocean classes later... all in all I took 4 sets of classes (some repeating so I could bring along my 2nd husband who was new to cruising and the ocean), and there were good nuggets of info in each one.

You've got a great plan. Enjoy the forum -- lots of info and some great cruising blogs too. You might find a pointer or two or just some fun stories on ours... Dreaming of Sailing and cruising? RV Life? Our RV blog & sail blog is for you!
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Old 28-07-2013, 00:25   #3
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Re: Starting the dream!

Welcome to the forum. Spending the $900 might be a great introduction to the lifestyle.
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Old 29-07-2013, 23:49   #4
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Re: Starting the dream!

Welcome aboard
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Old 30-07-2013, 01:41   #5
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Re: Starting the dream!

I always get a bit concerned when people use the word 'dream' in association with the cruising lifestyle. Its different certainly, but often its not a dream. It can be hard work, sometimes terrifying. It involves difficult boat maintenance in foreign environments. The boat takes more time and costs more to upkeep than you could ever imagine. The life has its memorable highs, but it has a lot of lows as well. Best to be informed about these.

I'd recommend sailing as much as you can, then charter overseas in unusual waters for a few weeks, just to taste the life and remove the 'dream' quality. Then you can make more rational decisions about the boat and training that you need.

This is by no means meant to put a downer on your plans, its just that reality and dreams often don't co-incide. We have been full-time on our boat in the Med now for 12 months, so we are still 'newbies' to the cruising lifestyle. But we've had our share of difficulties and joys. Still love the life, buts its harder than a lot of people 'dream'. Eyes wide open!

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Old 30-07-2013, 05:23   #6
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Re: Starting the dream!

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Originally Posted by steve.garlick View Post
I always get a bit concerned when people use the word 'dream' in association with the cruising lifestyle. Its different certainly, but often its not a dream. It can be hard work, sometimes terrifying. It involves difficult boat maintenance in foreign environments. The boat takes more time and costs more to upkeep than you could ever imagine. The life has its memorable highs, but it has a lot of lows as well. Best to be informed about these.

I'd recommend sailing as much as you can, then charter overseas in unusual waters for a few weeks, just to taste the life and remove the 'dream' quality. Then you can make more rational decisions about the boat and training that you need.

This is by no means meant to put a downer on your plans, its just that reality and dreams often don't co-incide. We have been full-time on our boat in the Med now for 12 months, so we are still 'newbies' to the cruising lifestyle. But we've had our share of difficulties and joys. Still love the life, buts its harder than a lot of people 'dream'. Eyes wide open!

Regards,
This is good advice. There probably needs to be a special forum just for dreamers. I have seen folks "talked" into the lifestyle and cheered all the way. It seems though in lots of these conversations nothing about the real issues comes up.

A boat is small, sailing is slow, there are long periods with little sleep, and if there are kids or young people involved they can get separated from the real world. On top of all that, there is very little real exercise.

Then there is maintenance. The others can fill you in on this.

Some folks with very little sailing experience have even gone through with the idea only to head south in their boat, park it at the first pretty spot and begin a drinking lifestyle because they had had enough close calls trying to sail there.

But IMO, if you work up to it slowly, it may work out for you. You have lots of time. I just don't believe you need to rush it.

I've been boating/sailing 25-30 years but the monohull big boat sailing is different, and there are different things to learn. I'm still working up to what you want and have 15 years sailboat racing experience, but only 2-3 on a big boats. I have the sailing skills it's just all the other stuff plus the slower paced lifestyle that I'm trying to prepare for ..........
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Old 30-07-2013, 06:41   #7
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Re: Starting the Dream!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, brittann.
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Old 30-07-2013, 06:56   #8
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Re: Starting the Dream!

I guess I should clarify "dream" I have wanted to embark on this for the last 15 years however my oldest daughter was never up for it and gets really sea sick So for me it has been years and years of thinking, wondering, hoping and yes lots of dreaming. I will be an island hopper as I love to explore new places and even considered just moving to an island but then again I would lose the ability to pick up and move on when ready. I have been reading as much as possible on this forum and others hoping to learn from those who "live it" so I know what to expect (as much as I can). No where is perfect. I have been considering a move to Florida or Texas just so I can be closer to the ocean and gain much more experiance Colorado seems to be so difficult in this area, with a season only lasting from April to Sept, with much more of a market for speed boats.

I am so thankful for everyone in this forum it really does help those of us new to sailing
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Old 30-07-2013, 08:17   #9
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Re: Starting the Dream!

These folks dove right in almost and bought a pretty nice catamaran. They are sailing as a family. They aren't doing too much sailing right now, but you have to give them credit because they are making it work so far.

Now that has a lot to do with the fact that they seem to be able to adjust to new situations quickly. Plus the lady of the family is almost a professional writer which helps with their website (maybe).

They were on this forum (actually I think it was the sailing with children forum) a while back. I was one of those that thought they should get more sailing experience. It's been fun though following their adventures.

I was in Florida 12 years so had many similar experiences but lived in a small apartment (with my son for some of those years) on the water with 2 small racing catamarans assembled and ready to sail anytime right on the beach there. My son and a couple of his friends actually used one of the boats for transportation to and from Pensacola Beach ..............to meet girls. This was about a 10 mile sail with about 7 miles across Pensacola Bay. He was 15 when we first got there already having 4 years sailing/racing experience on lakes in Tennessee. He was my crew from ages 11-15 in Tennessee on Hobie 16s.

Almost forgot, here is the website for the folks I was speaking of above:

The Life Nomadik | Chronicles of a Lunatic VoyageThe Life Nomadik | Chronicles of a Lunatic Voyage
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Old 30-07-2013, 09:05   #10
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Re: Starting the dream!

I see your point. But haven't you ever been brought up short with the realization of where you are, what you are doing? Can't tell you how many times I've just shook my head in disbelief that I was in the middle of the ocean on a small boat, how'd I get here? What did I do to deserve this beautiful moment? While my friends were fighting traffic and debating the best cable providers, I was in an unbelievable beautiful blue world. It was a realization of a crazy dream I dared to dream, while swinging in a hammock landlocked in Houston, Texas.
Of course, sinking boats, psychotic crew, and scary port officials wasn't part of the dream...and had i known i probably wouldn't of set out on that adventure, so ignorance is bliss, and sometimes necessary to get on the road.

but a minute of beautiful offshore seems to erase hours of wet, cold. Go figure.
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Old 30-07-2013, 09:20   #11
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Re: Starting the dream!

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Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
I see your point. But haven't you ever been brought up short with the realization of where you are, what you are doing? Can't tell you how many times I've just shook my head in disbelief that I was in the middle of the ocean on a small boat, how'd I get here? What did I do to deserve this beautiful moment? While my friends were fighting traffic and debating the best cable providers, I was in an unbelievable beautiful blue world. It was a realization of a crazy dream I dared to dream, while swinging in a hammock landlocked in Houston, Texas.
Of course, sinking boats, psychotic crew, and scary port officials wasn't part of the dream...and had i known i probably wouldn't of set out on that adventure, so ignorance is bliss, and sometimes necessary to get on the road.

but a minute of beautiful offshore seems to erase hours of wet, cold. Go figure.

It's just water. You dry off, you warm up if necessary -- and you still have the memory.

The one that always pops into my head when people ask me "why live abord" is bioluminescence.

I'm not sure I ever would have seen it if I hadn't been living aboard because in the summer I was certain to be home from a day sail by the time it was dark, and it wasn't everywhere -- but it was INTENSE in my marina. If I wasn't home by dark, then I was some place else. My marina and less intensely, Boca Ciega Bay, were the only places I saw it that summer.

Just ... wow.
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Old 30-07-2013, 09:30   #12
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Re: Starting the Dream!

Sure it can be beautiful:




But then sometimes you have to stay alert when the wind just gets up a little and this isn't even " offshore" in most folks' mind. In other words, I sailed in a little later and didn't have to deal with this all night:

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Old 30-07-2013, 16:27   #13
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Re: Starting the Dream!

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Originally Posted by brittann View Post
I guess I should clarify "dream" I have wanted to embark on this for the last 15 years however my oldest daughter was never up for it and gets really sea sick So for me it has been years and years of thinking, wondering, hoping and yes lots of dreaming. I will be an island hopper as I love to explore new places and even considered just moving to an island but then again I would lose the ability to pick up and move on when ready. I have been reading as much as possible on this forum and others hoping to learn from those who "live it" so I know what to expect (as much as I can). No where is perfect. I have been considering a move to Florida or Texas just so I can be closer to the ocean and gain much more experiance Colorado seems to be so difficult in this area, with a season only lasting from April to Sept, with much more of a market for speed boats.

I am so thankful for everyone in this forum it really does help those of us new to sailing
You may not have to move at all to learn and enjoy sailing. And the daughter that gets seasick probably can sail too. Seasickness can be overcome btw. (another thread)

So many folks believe they have to get a big ole (slow) boat to be real sailors, and it just isn't true. Plus, some that went straight to the big boats have never learned to sail properly. It isn't needed to cruise

There is sailboat racing in Colorado. Now this is catamaran sailing/racing so you have to be in decent shape. Here is an example:



Here is the racing schedule for your area for 2014. This is from Catsailor.com. Maybe it's near you:



MOUNTAIN STATES AREA Notice: Clubs, Fleets, Divisions, Please get your upcoming schedules organized and submit to rick@catsailor.com
  • July 13-14 -- Tropical Dreams Regatta, Lake McConaughy, NE, HobieFleet61.org
  • Aug 23 -- Hobie Fun Day w/Craig Hospital, Cherry Creek Res, Denver, hinneber@jm.com
  • Aug 31-Sept 2 -- Mac Attack, Lake MCConaughy, NE HobieFleet61.org
  • Sept 21-22 -- Colorado Governor's Cup regatta, Cherry Creek Resv, CO commodore@denversailing.org
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Old 31-07-2013, 10:03   #14
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I think boat clubs are a great idea for new boaters. You get to "rent" them out and try out different boats. We are power boaters not sailors but I say buy into the club and go lake boating now. Take the local class and have fun! Dream the dream but live your life until you can move closer to the ocean.
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Old 09-08-2013, 19:46   #15
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Re: Starting the Dream!

Thanks everyone! I have decided to start with the sailing club here but still can't get my mind away from the Caribbean (my heart must be there) and my son, daughter (quite a supprise) and I will be going to St. Vincint through Bareboat Offshore Sailing to get our ASA certifications. I was thinking Feb for that and then back to sail in CO until Aug then back to St. Vincint for our 1st bareboat I figure familiar waters are best for the 1st bareboat.
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