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Old 08-05-2011, 08:02   #1
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Steps One and Two - Bought Boat, Took Lessons - Check . . .

Hello Y'all from Charleston, SC. Total newbie here, but already have "the dream" to be island hopping in the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean upon a sailboat too one day.
My hubby and I have trveled the Caribbean via cruise boat for the last 10 years, and just got back from our 6th stay at our favorite little town of Negril, Jamaica. The dream all started on our very first cruise to St. Thomas, San Juan, and St. Croix. Then we went on another cruise to Cozumel, Ocho Rios, and Grand Cayman, and then another, and another, we started repeating places 2 and 3 times etc. Then we started flying to Jamaica and first stayed in Trelwany Jamaica at an allinclusive and went on a day trip to a little beach town over 2 hours away called Negril. The drive wasn't so bad it wasn't our first time seeing such poverty so we didn't have the normal culture shock some have when getting off the resorts fake utopia they stage so much. It makes you really realize how much stuff we collect in our life that is almost worthless, and that there is more to life than the material things we consume our lives with.
first we started looking into islands to move to, and my hubby would make comments about sailing around the islands, but it always went in one ear and out the other. We don't sail, never have before in our lives except for a guided hobie at the resort or in day camp back in our early teens or something but I know NOTHING about it, and neither does the hubby. Well then late one night last June (2010) the hubby was searching the local craigs list and found a little 1969 Coronado 25 for sale, and it wasn't a project boat, it was in really good condition. The owner really took care of her . It was cute, and her name was Saline, and it was now ours marina slip and all!
Last summer we didn't use it that much! I was nervous! My heart would beat so fast when we would leave and especially when we would come into dock, I hated it , I would rather jump off the boat and swim in and meet the hubby at the car than pull that boat in that little space.

We didn't know how to sail and needed to learn but didn't have much time last summer either, so we "docked" a lot and we'd bring dinner down to the boat at sunset and walk the marina a little. We did go out 3 or 4 times (I always insisted we went with someone else so I'd have help when we were coming into dock) we never had a perfect smooth docking though the first docking someone went into the drink Iphone and all he wasn't hurt though it was actualy funny! Summer and Fall came and went then it was winter and was too cold to use of course, we went on a Christmas Cruise on a cruise ship of course, and this year and i gave the hubby an ASA sailing certified class that he completed in March of 2011, this week we joined a local cruising club that cruises the local area once a month for an overnight stay in a local river we thought would be fun and knowledgeable.

So now nearly a year of slip payments and we have been out in our little boat 4 or 5 times kinda pricey! We went out last weekend BY OURSELVES for a wonderful sunset cruise and came in to dock and I was once again nervous the water was calm and slick as could be so no worries right? Once again it wasn't perfect but we made it and didn't damage anything and didn't have a slip mate anymore !!! Then we went out yesterday and you know what...... WE DID IT, brought her right into the slip like we had been doing this for years!!! I loved it, it was sooooooo much fun! Now the hubby is out today deep sea fishing and I'm kinda upset we aren't in the boat, oh well it is going to be a good summer and i have to prepare for the mothers day dinner tonight!!!!!!!!
So hello all! sorry this was so long, and I hope to learn a lot here, and in 7-10 years we hope to be cruising the caribbean in a different boat of course ....so far step 1 and 2 check....now step 3-50 to go!!!
SOON COME!!!!!!
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:12   #2
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pirate Re: step 1&2....bought boat..took lessons.. check

Welcome to CF Sooncome...
What an abosolutely brilliant first post... I loved it... and the ending was ace..
Thats the hardest part sorted... now you can sit back and enjoy the fun...
Happy Day'z
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:26   #3
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Re: step 1&2....bought boat..took lessons.. check

Welcome.

So hubby has done ASA. Your turn. If you want to go cruising you both need to be able to handle the boat alone when that time comes.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:45   #4
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Re: step 1&2....bought boat..took lessons.. check

Adelie,

That's generally good and prudent advice, but it does put a burden on the OP that she might not need or want just now, as she contemplates the unknown. What if she takes the ASA, totally flubs it, and decides she's not cut out to drive a boat?

Actually, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

My wife and I cruised quite a bit in the Chesapeake and eastern Caribbean, and the deal was that she didn't sail the boat. She loved being on it, but didn't want to have anything to do with the sailing and anchoring part. She did go on an ocean passage once--from Virginia to Bermuda and back. "No need to do that again", she said! So I had friends crew with me on subsequent bluewater passages to the islands, and my wife flew down with the cat to join me.

We had some absolutely wonderful cruising all up and down the Lesser Antilles. I was essentially single-handing the boat, with her as a happy passenger. Worked fine for us. You just need to pick your comfort zone.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:47   #5
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Re: step 1&2....bought boat..took lessons.. check

Great first post and thanks for sharing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
as she contemplates the unknown. What if she takes the ASA, totally flubs it, and decides she's not cut out to drive a boat?
I think one answer to that is to take one of the all girls courses schools run and clearly there is a demand if they run them. It means that questions can be asked without lots of testosterone jumping in with the answer.

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Old 08-05-2011, 09:36   #6
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pirate Re: step 1&2....bought boat..took lessons.. check

I agree with Hud..
Her own way... Her own time... she's done great that way so far...
And with good humour.. all a good sign....
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:34   #7
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Re: step 1&2....bought boat..took lessons.. check

Great Post! Several years ago, my wife and I bought a 55,000 pound, 46 foot hunk of a motorsailer. We had never sailed and had never owned a boat before. We had to take sailing classes to get insurance. But before we had completed the sailing course (and before we had insurance), we decided through much deliberation and hand wringing to take the boat out for a short cruise. Just us, a calm, well protected lagoon, and our Jack Russell Terrier, named Bentley. The cruise went fine but the reality of having to dock the boat on our return was never far from our thoughts.

Just as we had never sailed before, we had never docked a boat before. Although we had seen a lot of people do it, read a lot of articles about doing it, been passengers on boats that had done it, and had seen a lot of boats already docked, as we returned to the marina, our fear of actually doing it rose as each fender was kicked over and each dock line was coiled and recoiled in preparation of the deed.

Lucky for us there was no wind, no current, nobody around, and a long, 55 foot floating dock (our slip) waiting there to receive us with open arms or open pilings (however a dock does it). Even though we were terrified, my wife and I had done a pretty good job of convincing each other that everything was going to be all right. Unfortunately, neither one of us convinced Bentley. As we approached the dock, he started running around the deck whining and barking in a full panic. Needless to say this did little to help the moral of the rest of the crew because in reality he was the only crew member on that boat that was being completely honest about the situation. At the last minute, my wife grabbed him up and locked him down below, and then ran forward to assume her docking (or crash) position.

As we cruised towards the dock, my wife kept saying in an ever louder and louder voice: reverse. Reverse. REVERSE! YOU ARE COMING IN TOO FAST! Unfortunately, I had put the boat in reverse long before her first utterances and was pulling back furiously on the controls to no avail. Just then I heard a low pitched howl from down below and through an open hatch I saw that Bentley had pooped all over the inside steering station.

As the boat hit the dock, I had many questions:

1. How far will the boat ride up on the dock?
2. Will the keel stop it?
3. Are we going to hit the boat on the other side?
4. Can dog poop jam a transmission?

The answers to these questions were: 1. Quite a ways really. 2. Thank God for a full keel. 3. Barely, and 4. No, dog poop will not jam a transmission but a mechanic who had just overhauled it and put the parts in backwards certainly can.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we survived our first disaster with little damage (except to the transmission), completed our sailing class where we finally learned how to dock, and soon after, cruised and lived aboard in the Bahamas and Carribean for several years. Currently we sail a 46 foot catamaran with 4 Whippets aboard.

Now, whenever I approach that little sprig of a dock with the wind howling, the currents swirling, and the crew pooping, I always say to myself: Thank God I'm not trying to land a plane.

The best of luck in your docking adventures!
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:22   #8
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Re: Steps One and Two - Bought Boat, Took Lessons - Check . . .

KC, great post, we have all been there

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Old 08-05-2011, 13:21   #9
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Re: Steps One and Two - Bought Boat, Took Lessons - Check . . .

thanks y'all !
Gosh I couldn't imagine taking the dogs on the boat while learning how to sail that would be another thing I'd have to worry about. We have 2 dogs a chocolate lab and a boykin spaniel I know they would love it, but not on this boat at least not for now! Besides it's kinda nice to have one place that is dog hair free!! Our boat isn't set up for dogs too really it's just to small. We don't have that walking area(i'm new don't know all the language but am learning) on the sides, you have to climb over the bimini top, and then you are on the top of the cabin no alleys on the side what so ever its cabin top or overboard.....
I couldn't imagine one of them going to the bathroom on the boat!!!! Funny story though thanks for sharing next time we have to dock I will think of your story hopefully it will make my heart beat at a more normal pace.
....As for the ASA classes for myself I totally think I should learn how to operate the boat especially if we seriously plan to cruise the bahamas and caribbean one day I don't want to be at sea and have the hubby unable to operate the boat and me be clueless, but I don't know if I have to go the ASA way to learn either, or at least not yet? correct me if I'm wrong!!! I think experience experience experience is the best teacher. I think we will invest the $$ into the hubby taking all of the ASA certifications so we can bareboat a boat in the caribbean in a few years who knows what the future holds we'll see!
The ASA certified Captain we used here in Charleston was wonderful!! On Sunday he came to our boat and took both of us out in the harbor, and showed me a few things too! It's a small world as he is a young Captain 28, and you know where he use to live, and where his parents currently live????.....Negril Jamaica, and we have some mutual friends !!!!
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Old 23-05-2011, 13:21   #10
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Re: Steps One and Two - Bought Boat, Took Lessons - Check . . .

Aloha and welcome aboard!
You've got a knack for writing and I'm glad your first post ended on a happy note.
You should feel no particular pressure to take a class right away. I think experience is a great teacher but a class can help you to start doing things the correct way when it comes to the actual sailing part. Many folks who learn from experience pick up a lot of bad habits and never really learn the proper terms for what they are doing so can't explain things to other sailors. Yes, a book can help and reading over your husband,s classroom materials will help too.

kind regards,
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