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Old 05-02-2012, 05:58   #1
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Stupidly Ambitious Noob !

Hello Everyone!
My name is Nigel and I'm an Irish guy living in England these days. Hugely enjoyed sailing Laser IIs as a teenager and young lad, then circumstances pulled me away from sailing for decades. We've got a club at work which I joined and did my day skipper....ahem, 5 years ago! And I promptly did not sail again...

Now I've decided to get off my stern and do something with 2012, so I'm going on some cruises and trying to find people to sail with. The club I'm in is very uncommunicative - no clubhouse or even a forum! So it's hard to find people to sail with.

My goal is to buy a small boat and go single-handing. I came across this site looking for stuff on single handing and read some very interesting stuff posted by Canadianllama and the single handed sailing ladies - apologies, I've forgotten your forum names. Probably my goal is dumb, hence Stupidly Ambitious! But hard can it BE?????? I've jinxed myself now!

Pleased to meet you all....


Aylesbury, UK.
(Insert boat type here - eventually!)
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:17   #2
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Re: Stupidly Ambitious Noob!

Hello Nigel,

Not sure if everyone will agree but I think single handing not all the difficult. In your case I would not try stepping up to something too large but with your experience sailing Lasers you already know the details of handling the sails. The other logistics: docking, launching (if a trailer boat), boat systems and such you should be able to pick up if you don't go too big and complex in the next step.

All that being said, I can't imagine that you couldn't find someone to sail with in the UK. Maybe not this time of year but certainly in the summer. Racers especially are frequently looking for extra hands. May not be your cup of tea, but an easy way to pick up so experience in larger boats.

The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:33   #3
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Hey Nigel... Welcome to CF..
Solo sailing is great and not that hard coz you've no one else to impress with how good you are... so ya just chill and go with the flow...
Two boats I'd recommend for starting long distance cruising solo... there's the Corribee 21... handles like a dinghy with a lid but served Ellen Mcarthur well in her Round Britain... prices between 1500-4500 depending on area/condition..
The other is the Hurley 22... more little ship than the Corribee and a lovely sailor...
Sailed both models across the Biscay to Portugal solo.. the H22 in December...
Prices in the same area as the Corribee's... though they go up to 7K on the later models
Stop looking for folk to sail with... till you get a boat... then folks will likely want to sail with you..

Born To Be Wild
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:44   #4
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:50   #5
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Re: Stupidly Ambitious Noob!

Stop looking for folk to sail with... till you get a boat... then folks will likely want to sail with you..[/QUOTE]

Thanks very much! I do believe the Corribee is what Roger Taylor uses - aka Mingming? Fantastic little boat. My main issue is trying to get some more experience so I don't wreak havoc in the marina trying to undock or come back alongside. The sailing I can probably handle! But as you say, once I've got the boat....woo hoo! Sounds like I don't need to spend millions either. Good - haven't got millions! The Hunter Sonata was mentioned in another thread too.... I'll keep my eyes open. It will be winter 2013 before I can consider a purchase but I want to log a lot of miles between now and then....

Great to be here, thanks for the welcome, folks!

Aylesbury, UK.
(Insert boat type here - eventually!)
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:07   #6
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Re: Stupidly Ambitious Noob!

Welcome as well
You did not say way abouts you are located, I do a fair bit of single handing, mainly due to shortage of volunteers over the winter months.
Usually manage a couple of trips over to Ireland each year, Strangford Lough ias due a visit in late spring
Beneteau 473
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:36   #7
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Hi Nigel,
Good point! I live in Aylesbury, Bucks. About 90 minutes from the south coast but willing to travel to get some sailing miles on my logbook!

Nigel. But not the Nigel this post is addressed to. Confusing I know...
Aylesbury, UK.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:55   #8
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Re: Stupidly Ambitious Noob!

Boatman61 knows of what he speaks. Me too had a Corribee .

Not to say it's perfect for everyone, but if looks are important (and headroom not so!) then would be my vote for a first sailing boat - that sails well and is as seaworthy as any small boat can be (a lot to do with the Skipper....but IME as much "idiot proof" built into the boat design is nice ).

And they come in both fin and bilge keels.....albeit not really a "trailor sailor" even in B/k form. But plenty of other small boats that would also be suitable. So unless you fall in love with one particular design I would look to buy whatever is available at the best price and in best condition (avoid a complete fixer upper as the first boat - you will find enough to do on anuthing you buy. Trust me on that ....but you really want to start with the sailing end of things, even if boat condition / equipment dictates no extended voyages - but plenty of fun (and learning) to be had near to home port.....can always add tweeks and bit's & bobs as you go along - just important not to need to from day 1 (or at least only minimal / bolt on stuff).

I would recomend starting older and small (and 20 foot + / - a few feet is IMO a good size) - big enough to be past the dinghy with a lid stage, somewhere down below for a khazi (never know, might have some female company onboard - apparently most not so keen to sh#t in a bucket on deck - whilst in the middle of a Marina. Women )...and somewhere below to put the kettle on and have a snooze (Khazi, Kettle and Kip )......

.....and small enough (and something old enough) not to financially cripple you when you sell for less than you spent on her (purchase and tweeks / upgrades), whether that because sailing not for you or you want bigger. or simply bought something that was a bit of a dog / a money pit (it happens - some second hand boat Vendors can be as honest as the b#stard child of a 2nd hand car dealer and an Estate Agent - but balanced out by some being very straight and want a boat to end up in a good home).

The first thing I would do is decide where you want to moor her and find out the costs and availability of moorings. Nothing wrong with something on a Trailor - just good to know that's what you need before you buy (something else!).

The second thing is to have a look on E-bay (and simply Google) will find plenty of small boats in all sorts of conditions and prices - not always a direct correlation between the two - see my earlier comments, and add a category of Vendors: deluded optimists .

If you visit the local area where you intend to keep her, will get an idea of the sort of boats others have bought - no guarantee that they are all suitable!, but should get you in the ballpark. Also it's where bargains can be found, not everything gets on the internet - especially stuff which is small and cheap (and semi forgotten by Owner / Vendor).....keep an eye out for "for sale" signs and don't be shy about asking around - both at boatyards etc and boat owners (the favourite pastime of boat owners is gossiping - and for that you need to know everyone else's business ).

Oh, and unless you can transport her on a trailor I would avoid buying something that needs relocating by sea more than a day sail (or maybe 2?. maybe) costs (in money and time) to relocate a vessel.

Feel free to bounce back here with ideas and suggestions as and when you narrow down your thoughts.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:02   #9
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Re: Stupidly Ambitious Noob!


I have a 33 ft LOA small ketch rigged steel flushdeck design that is presently under an upgrade process scheme.
In mid-may I would like to join the malt cruise around the west-coast of Scotland and at the end of it to sail down the westcoast UK to visit the places I never had been before. For the malt cruise I can use a companion as the organising committee requires a min. crew of 2 per boat. (Look at
I can pick you up from any place UK eastcoast, Dover > upwards.
If it' s something for you, pm me.
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Old 20-02-2012, 16:37   #10
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Re: Stupidly Ambitious Noob !

Aloha and welcome aboard
Good to have you here.
kind regards,

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