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Old 23-04-2015, 18:03   #1
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pirate The Total Noobie

Hi everyone,

My wife and I have just recently join this forum, though we have never sailed on any yacht before, but have absolute intentions of doing so via owning our own. I have always had a almost hidden desire to be with all things nautical.

We have been living in a "Land yacht" (Our bus, see my album) for about 10 year now, so we are use to living in tighter confines (we started as a family of 6), moving around from place to place, mechanical breakdowns, constant maintenence working in tight spaces etc. We wish to keep moving, but have a desire towards the sea.

For those who may be wondering: it is a Leyland Atlantean, 72 Model built by Pressed Metalcorp LTD Sydney, for the Sydney City Transit, it has a Leyland 680 powerplus presently in it; approximately 215 bhp; Positioned transversely at the back. I believe it was eventually used as school bus out at Lismore. We found it in Bundaberg, Queensland, sold our business and purchased it "completely renovating" it and have lived in it since.

So we are wanting either to continue to renovate the bus again and the site it's now on and sell it, so as to be able to purchase a yacht of our own or possibly trade with someone who wishes to retire on the land due to possibly age, a change or illness.

Our bus and site aren't in 'mint' condition, but is still quite comfortably liveable, but as there are many boats out there that are also in a sense the same way, a trade wouldn't be such an insult. We can easily walk to anything necessary, even 10 minutes to the beach.

I guess many would disagree with the idea of us getting a large boat, (50' LOD, and a good beam) but that is what we would need for my family of 4 and we are the equivalent of 4 adults, to live permanently as liveaboards.

So what we are first looking for is advice, suggestions on where to go from here, and frankly there would be many ideas out there that I would have never thought of, and yes the idea that this is crazy, has also entered my mind too.

Like what is the best way to advertise? Where to advertise? What to look out for? What to avoid? I have been reading books, and spending time on the internet to learn as much as I can, but this is only scratching the surface of the learning process.

So please bring on the comments, also I would like to meet yachties in our local district. We live in wonderful Hervey Bay, in sunny Queensland, Australia.

Kind Regards,

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Old 23-04-2015, 18:23   #2
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Re: The Total Noobie

Howdy and Welcome Aboard Ruslyn!

You wrote a very good introduction. I looked at the bus photos and was impressed by how nice that double decker bus looks as a camper (it is the first time I have seen a double decker used for a camper). It really is nicely done and looks like a cool home. Well done!

Fair warning, to equal that about of interior space you might need a much bigger boat.

It sounds as if the Sailing Bug has bitten you!

As for advice?

Sailing offers many challenges and opportunities for learning, fun, adventure, exercise, travel, etc. So many possibilities, that it could take a lifetime to explore many of them. So, follow the course that your heart pulls you.

Since you have never sailed before, my advice is to first go sailing on other people's boats (OPB). Crew for them after you have read some of the books about the basics of sailing. Learn a few knots. Learn some terminology. Offer to help them any way you can. Go on as many different boats as possible to broaden your experience with both types of sailing and boats. If you are intending to purchase a boat in the future, this experience on various boats will help you make a better choice based on what you like and don't like about the OPB.

Books and videos can help give one some knowledge of terms and principles.

Going sailing with someone will give you a "feel for it."

Taking a class with a good instructor will give you a chance to learn skills, practice them with supervision, ask "dumb" questions without fear (as everyone is a student) and gain confidence.

I think taking a class (private or group) with a good instructor will help more than just taking a ride on a boat.

Tip 1: Women typically more enjoy taking a sailing class WITHOUT the husband along.

Tip 2: A good book to get is "Chapman's Piloting." It is a classic (but updated) reference work (been around for almost 100 years in many editions) about boating (and sailing) and has lots of terminology and illustrations that will help any boater be more informed and educated about what to do on the boat and on the water.

TIP 3: There are many free videos related to sailing on Youtube.


Good luck on your sailing adventures and have fun!

Ahoy All Sailors! Need experienced crew for a passage or delivery in Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, Med, PNW, ICW, coastal or across an ocean anytime in 2018? I am available on 24hr notice. See my CF Profile "About Me" page for details. Happy to lend a hand!
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Old 23-04-2015, 18:35   #3
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Re: The Total Noobie

Hiya and welcome aboard!

How did you decide that 50 ft is what you need for your family? Often, the difference between mid 40s and low 50s is mostly elbow room in the master cabin. Perhaps an extra head.

My advice is to actually get on as many boats as you can. This includes boat shows (our broker once held a free boat show of used boats), but also actual boating experience. By looking, experimenting and reading, come up with a list of necessary traits, rather than a specific size or model.

Are you planning on motor or sail?
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Old 23-04-2015, 21:08   #4
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pirate Re: The Total Noobie

Hi and thanks,

The main and principal advice given so far has been to get experience on boats and if possible on a variety of boats. I suppose the next question from here would be how to obtain that experience and how to do it for as little cost as possible?

Probably two heads would be best and it appears that a composting head might be better, one for the kids and one for the oldies (that's us).

Our bus and annexe has about 718 square feet, but we are use to 450 square feet of floor are, which does include where the cupboards and beds etc are. Both of our two kids only remember travelling and living in the bus, so the idea of a boat isn't too much of a readjustment.

For some back ground to this dream; we were living in Darwin N.T Australia about 2 years ago and at that stage were considering selling the bus there and them moving down to Hervey Bay. And then a guy proposed the idea of swapping a 25' cat for the bus, once my wife sat on the boat, who up to that stage was very apprehensive, just down to relax for a moment, she loved the idea instantly but we really didn't like the cat as it was really too small for us to liveaboard, it was like a day cruiser type set up.

So since then we have been hoping wishing and praying, and a little bit of planning wondering how we were going to get to where we wanted to be.

We have been searching various broker sites on the net, places which sell on the net more privately, etc. and about the 50', "seems" to be about where we should be for what we need, and my daughter has long and pointy elbows. We were also wanting as least 3 cabins: mum and dad in one and son and daughter in one each of their own.

I am more so after a sailing craft, I don't really like the idea of a 'motor sailer'

"Sailing offers many challenges and opportunities for learning, fun, adventure, exercise, travel, etc." And this is exactly what we are after.

Not sure if my wife would want to learn away from me, compared to many couples we are very close, we have been married nearly 24 years and in that time we have only spent about 24 actual night apart. but if she wants to, well o.k.

I will search for the book that was mentioned (Chapman's Piloting) and my wife and I spend Sunday afternoon's together watching sailing Youtubes', and we usually get upset and depressed after, because it like looking through a glass window pane at all the sweets, with empty pockets.

And thanks so far for advice.

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Old 24-04-2015, 00:37   #5
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Re: The Total Noobie

Aloha and welcome aboard,

Find a marina and try to talk your way aboard as many boats as possible by being friendly. Clubs near marinas usually have a bunch of sailors that are willing to talk with you about their vessels and maybe take you to see them.

50 feet is a very very large vessel. My thoughts would be find something as small as possible that will meet your needs but you'll be able to determine that better once you've experienced a few boats and a bit of sailing. To get that experience try to crew for others on a short day sail or two. If your family is going to be sailing with you then involve them in basic sailing classes if you can.

Good luck in your new pursuit.

kind regards,
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Old 24-04-2015, 01:43   #6
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pirate Re: The Total Noobie

Hi John,

Thanks for your reply, I do see your point about the size of the boat, I guess I really need to get on a yacht of some form, as in try a variety of boats, so as to assess the need of size.

I appreciate your suggestion with the marinas' as I do want try some boats, and I would think it would work. And I'm thinking of putting up a few messages on some notice boards so as to get 'working rides' on a few yachts down at the marinas. The only thing that concerns me is the lack of experience.

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Old 24-04-2015, 02:33   #7
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Re: The Total Noobie

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Russell.
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Old 24-04-2015, 03:31   #8
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Re: The Total Noobie

Originally Posted by Ruslyn View Post
Hi John,

Thanks for your reply, I do see your point about the size of the boat, I guess I really need to get on a yacht of some form, as in try a variety of boats, so as to assess the need of size.

I appreciate your suggestion with the marinas' as I do want try some boats, and I would think it would work. And I'm thinking of putting up a few messages on some notice boards so as to get 'working rides' on a few yachts down at the marinas. The only thing that concerns me is the lack of experience.

Fifty feet is a LOT of boat for a new boat owner. Depending on the kind of cruising you plan to do - e.g. coastal cruising around Australia versus crossing oceans - you may find you do fine with less, even with four people. Our last boat was a 40' boat with three cabins; it would have been tight to live on but not impossible at all with four people.

But I would NOT start with 50'; you will likely find it overwhelming, frightening and miserable. Work your way up to it some day? Sure - that is an excellent plan. We started with a 27' boat in 1996, we crossed the Pacific last year on one twice that size that we bought ten years after the 27 footer. But every step up (from 27', 37', 40', then 53' over the course of a decade) was more maintenance, more complicated systems, more money, and more loads on things. The loads make a difference; on our first boat you hardly needed a winch to get the sails trimmed in. On this boat the jib sheets are like 7/8" thick iron bars when they are taught and we use powered winches.

Our first boat was small and simple, and it scared the hell out of me. We had no idea how to rig it or anything. I look back at how I intimidated I was by the little Atomic 4 engine and simple electrics and have to chuckle since we've come so far. As a total noob boat owner I could barely handle the simple 27 footer - if I bought a boat for my first boat like the one I have today I probably would have run away screaming from boat ownership and never looked back.

Keep in mind also that a lot of your boat expenses are by the foot/metre - storage, hauling, dockage, painting & other work (if you hire it out, but you still need more paint) - all those things scale up directly with the length of the boat.

There are quite a few differences being at sea versus being on the road, not the least of which is your mobile can't sink, you can pull over and park if you don't like the weather, and your motor home isn't constantly immersed in a bath of corrosive liquid that is trying to undo your maintenance quicker that you can do it! And your routes are well marked and usually maintained. you can always drive in the direction the maps suggest, and the roads don't have things hidden under them that will trash your vehicle...

I think your plan to get on a lot of boats is a good one. Do some coastal cruising, even some racing if you can - and see if you can get on as crew for a longer trip. A passage to the South Pacific islands or NZ can be a real eye opener for how inclined you are for a blue water lifestyle. Note - you don't have to cross oceans to live on a boat and cruise, heck you don't really even have to leave sight of land. But it does limit your options and require a different sort of mind set to stay coastal versus going off shore.

Definitely I think education is a good idea, and getting your wife some education without you present is brilliant too.

Good luck, it sounds like you are putting some good thought into your next adventure.

S/V Evenstar - Hallberg-Rassy 53 Hull #34
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