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Old 07-03-2013, 12:24   #1
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This Should be Interesting!

Hi cruisers,

My name is Jonathan, I apologize ahead of time for this being long and I really appreciate anyone that takes the time to read this and comment, positive or negative, the feedback is what I'm looking for and I'm really curious about the responses I will get... if any.
I'll start by telling everyone a little about myself and then why I'm here... I'm 24 years young and currently living at home with my mom, and working full time in south jersey. I'm all over the place, back and forth a lot between seeing my girlfriend in philadelphia and long beach island where I spend my summers(cousins house, he lets me stay there for all the work I do for him and his properties) I'm currently repairing the damages caused by sandy. I do HVAC/R and carpentry work on the side, so I'll have everything up and running for summer, 7 feet of water can really do some damage, I've never seen anything like it before. I live the fast paced lifestyle jersey is somewhat known for, not much r&r in my life. A few hobbies of mine are DJing, graphic design, art, reading, reptile breeding, billiards, poetry, my 66 mustang, fishing, sports, the beach, snowboarding and of course boating.
Ok, so I know your all wondering why I'm here... What else could this guy pile on his plate. Joining forums was never my thing, but I am in the pursuit of knowledge, yours specifically. I want to exhaust all the resources I can to be sure what I'm planning on doing is done safe and successful. Growing up in SJ and LBI, I've interacted with a lot of boats and over time really come to respect and appreciate the ocean, the lifestyle and the culture around it. My family has always loved recreational boating from my grandfather who built a 20 some foot cabin cruiser in the 70's in his basement(don't ask how he got it out), to the philadelphia police marine unit my cousin works for, regularly taking me out on their fleet of boats, to the vacation i took in the keys, I went out on a different sailboat everyday, to the boat i grew up with, my dads 20' bow rider which I currently own( I know it's nothing special but it's mine). Boating is in my blood, I absolutely have caught the boating bug. But in a different way, a much more extreme way, to the point where I've grown tired of the fast paced lifestyle I am living, i want to give it all up and i want to completely change my life. I'm just working to support being able to work, it's all I feel like I do anymore. I've always wanted to travel and see different places and I've always been fascinated with sailing, so now you may know where I'm going with this...if not here it is... I want to buy a sailboat! I want to live on it, and When its ready and I'm ready I want to sail!
I know... what a naive thought! I'm here to get information on all aspects of doing this. I'm not planning on quitting my job doing this tomorrow, so please understand that. I'm 24 now I won't plan on leaving until I'm about 30. In the meantime, I want to buy the boat soon, I can pay it off and get a slip and live on it awhile and practice sailing locally(no I do not have sailing experience). I want to be fully prepared for my journey, I want to be debt free and financially prepared for boat maintenance and cost of living, I'm not wealthy, barely middle class, but I believe I am marketable, so I will save as much as I can, but I want to hone the skills I will need for freelance work to support myself while I'm out there, become certified in as many different things as i can like scuba, I've researched this out to some extent on my own, but i need direction, I plan on speaking with my cousin, who works for the Philly marine police squad and USCG, but I want to hear from this community first. The Balls in your court! Let's see what you got!
Thanks again!
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:33   #2
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Re: This should be interesting!

Welcome to the forum. Great place to learn and ask questions.

It does sound like you have a good, basic outline of a plan and a realistic idea of what's involved in getting on the water. Otherwise I didn't see a question in the post. So what exactly do you like to hear from "the community"?
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Old 07-03-2013, 13:16   #3
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Re: This should be interesting!

Welcome aboard!

Get some sailing in this season. There are plenty of folks with sailboats looking for crew for day sails, races or short cruises. Also, allow me to recommend some courses. I found the ASA sailing courses to be very helpful.
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Old 07-03-2013, 13:32   #4
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Re: This should be interesting!

If it is just you, a 30' pocket cruiser would be large enough as a live aboard (using the marina's showers), small enough to fit a tight budget of less than $10K. Great for day sails and weekend trips. For extended cruising on a tight budget, if funds permit, a 36'~40' could be had for less than $30K, and for that money should be cruise ready or close to it.
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Old 07-03-2013, 13:48   #5
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Re: This should be interesting!

Welcome aboard, Jonniepop'

Dennis M"s suggestion to participate in some sailing early on in the program makes sense, because not everyone actually likes it, in spite of its romantic appeal.

Most foreign countries require a work visa for you to do the kinds of work you mention, which is not to say that some "under the table" work and pay doesn't go on. Usually the dollar amounts are less than you would expect in the US. Some of our cruiser friends sell magazine articles to augment their funds. One guy was a certified diesel mechanic, and his way was to consult for free, but if he went to someone's boat it was all up front that he'd be paid and at what rate. IMO, the cruising community mainly are quite careful how they spend their cruising kitties. There was a lady architect we knew who did water colors for sale, and that's something she could build up a store of beforehand, tropical water scenes, as well as local points of beauty.
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Old 07-03-2013, 14:17   #6
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Thanks guys! This is great! As for specific questions, I'm in recon mode right now. So anything helps, But first what can I do this season. Between Philadelphia and Lbi I'm sure there's a lot of sailing activities I can get involved with. How do I find the folks looking for crew for day or weekend trips/events. I'll look into the ASA now, I was looking for a good training program, and i want to get a good foundation down before I go out and try to get on a crew I want to start looking for a sailboat too, someone mentioned a 30' pocket cruiser for one, if it all works out my girlfriend will be joining me in this experience, and she actually has a lot of sailing knowledge/ same dreams of sailing as I do. I don't see us drifting apart so it's very realistic she will be with me for this. I believe what I should be looking for is something between 30' and 36' to give us a little room and we will be going for extended cruises, I'm looking to get one for less than 30k that floats, as I can do most electrical and motor repairs myself or with the help of my family. What are some good books I should read I have a list going already but the more the merrier! Really anything to point me in the right direction will be great I'm going to explore the forum some more when I get home tonight so I don't ask stuff that's already been answered.
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Old 07-03-2013, 14:17   #7
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Re: This should be interesting!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jonathan.
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Old 07-03-2013, 17:12   #8
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Re: This should be interesting!

One of the most recurring themes on this and other boating forums is that if you buy a true project boat the chances of becoming disillusioned rise rapidly. The extra few boat bucks you spend on a boat that is ready to sail far outweigh those extra dollars.

You could also spend some time reading the posts on this website, since, as you can imagine, you're not the first to ask this question, many times followed by "what's the right boat to buy." Asked and answered, too.

Not trying to kill the thread or your enthusiasm, but one of the great things about these forums is that over the years much great information has been developed that a little research goes a looong way.

Good luck with your dream, it is doable.
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Old 07-03-2013, 17:50   #9
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Re: This Should be Interesting!

Steve Dashew's Cruising Encyclopedia. I'll give you a spoiler alert, what he will recommend (and I agree) is as long and slender as you can afford. After reading this huge book, I bought a Cal 40 that was 20+ years old, 20 years ago. First solo passage was a 1000 nm downwind sled run, couldn't believe how lucky I was to have such a great boat as my first offshore capable boat. Because of their performance and continued popularity (a lot of class events for the Cal 40), today's price is twice what I paid, but most of the ones offered have been cared for, refitted for cruising. I matched the purchase price of $16K with my refit for cruising, so $32K ready to go. You will still find ready to cruise Cal 40s in the $30K~$40K range.
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Old 07-03-2013, 18:50   #10
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Old 07-03-2013, 22:01   #11
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G'day to you. I just joined the forum myself about two minutes ago. I remember when I was 22, I promised myself I'd sail around the world (Still haven't done it yet but might.). I obviously have not read enough of this forum to direct you anywhere useful yet. But Deckhand gave good advice in few words. You will notice he mentioned a "marina shower"? That's because "liveaboard" and "sailboat" usually aren't used in the same sentence. Oh! It can be done. You can live in a rowboat if you had to. But, with exception of catamarans, most sailboats that are big enough to live on are also too big for one person to sail and, if it's small enough for one person to sail, it's likely also too small to live aboard comfortably. Now that's not cast in cement. Lots have done it. As I said, you can live in a rowboat if you have to. And a 36-40 foot boat will probably fill your bill as close as any. But you will still find it cramped for space if you're used to living on land (Just look at the closet space.). For many, their entire wardrobe, other than what they're wearing when they came aboard, can be fit in a dufflebag. So a lot of stuff that you currently own isn't going to be coming with you. And so you'll need a place to leave it. And there's usually a fee for liveaboards too and you pay by the foot, plus taxes - Oh - and usually the last guy to get a slip ends up with the longest walk on the dock which you might notice come January as you struggle to reach your boat in a 60 mph gale and driving rain that decides to freeze to ice. And that "marina shower"? You also need laundry machines and a place to park. Not trying to talk you out of it (I hope it works for you ). I just figured you might want to go in with both eyes open. Oh! And you want to know what the words "sale subject to survey" mean and that the words "engine survey" is an entirely different subject when reading threads. Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2013, 22:18   #12
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Can you cook?
Yes, I can cook and my girlfriend is a rather good cook as well, she's was a culinary arts major.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:21   #13
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Re: This Should be Interesting!

Welcome to the Forum.

CF is one of the best forums on the internet (on any subject!) - apart from the usual freindly jibber jabber (my speciality ) most of it is about useful stuff . The archives / forum is worth searching, plenty of folks have turned up on CF over the years with the same basic idea as you, albeit the details are always slightly different........or failing that just stick around and pick up threads as they emerge, always something to learn - whether starting out or after a squillion seamiles.

As a head start, have a look at the recent BlackOak thread - he started from zero, bought a boat and commenced his travels (and learning curve!) "live" on CF .....adventure not yet concluded.........

Attempted Trip to Bermuda

On the boat side, would be worth having a look at the Project / Refurb thread in my sig - a bit lengthy!, and lots of repetition from multiple people (which adds to it).......it serves as either a cautionary warning not to bite off too much or as an "eyes wide open" heads up before you do.

Also the Cruising Equipment list (the collected "wisdom" of CF) is worth a peek - at least for an early heads up, especially on what to buy with the boat (ballpark costs are included with each item).....don't worry not everyone has everything and possibly not even anyone! - on your budget and boat size you certainly won't!..........which brings me onto........

Boats is all about choices (and compromises / trade offs) - only "you" can decide which are the right ones, lots of research helps as does hands on experiance - but at the end of the day you are still taking a punt / are on a never ending learning curve, especially as what you want changes over time.

Anyway, you are in the ballpark , whether you can get where you want to go is solely down to you and how much effort you put in, plus:-

1) Budget (the compensator for less of that is more knowledge - obviously a tricky thing to acheive at the start, but you can help yourself and simply have to accept that once you personally know more your life can get cheaper - can, not will!).

2) Ability (including to learn, don't need to know "everything" messing around in boats is not rocket science - but important to have a handle on your unknowns / areas to be concerned about).

3) Desire (what you want to do is acheivable, just won't be easy, simple or quick and will require choices while ashore - on both effort and money, especially on not spending it!).
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:48   #14
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Re: This Should be Interesting!

I've noticed myself that I wish I had studied at least some electrics and electronics when I was young. I have always maintained my cars myself and it helps a bit with the mechanical side, but boats are not cars and especially the electrics always seem to get me, especially because I try to maintain a guideline that I should be able to understand and fix most things on my boat. And with old boats there will always be issues. I would estimate that on my boats I've spent something like 80% of my all time spent on maintenance on various things electrical.
Fortunately you can find great people willing to help here on the CF!
-Erik
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:08   #15
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Re: This Should be Interesting!

some good material here,even people with money ,time and dedication can be thwarted,ps don't get the gf up the spout that can really ruin any sailing plans....

What happens to all the wannabees?
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