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Old 03-06-2003, 00:27   #1
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Wannabe Cruiser

Hi all,

I've been interested in sailing for around 3 years or so. I got caught up the romance of sailing to far away ports, etc. My initial goal was to build a sailing resume that would allow me to charter bareboats in places like the Carribbean, the Mediterranean, etc. I started taking ASA classes and completed the Bareboat Chartering course last year.

Since then, I have chartered a couple of times: once on Biscayne Bay (Hunter 410) and once on the Chesapeake (Siedelmann 34). My classes were onboard an Island Packet 32, an Island Packet 350 and a Hunter 460.

After these charters and a three month low budget trip through Europe, the cruising monkey is firmly on my back. My wife and I both enjoy sailing (she has taken the same classes) and exploring new places. We also enjoyed spending 3 months of 24 hour days together (I have heard that constant togetherness is one of the challenges faced by new cruising couples). The idea of sailing our home to new places sounds amazing.

Before we head off on an extended cruise, we want to spend a few years developing the skills we have learned (boat handling, sail trim, navigation, anchoring, etc.) as well as gathering the resources to take a cruise sabattical. We hope to buy a suitable cruising boat in the near future and spend a few years really getting to know her before we head off far away ports. I am working under the assumption that a quality 15 or 20 year old boat in sailaway condition can be enjoyed now and upgraded for cruising over the next few years for less money than buying an interim boat (or sequence of interim boats) to practice on and then buying a cruise-ready boat when we are ready to go. Five or so years of shakedown cruises is also appealing.

I intend to continue taking ASA classes up to the Offshore Passage Making class and maybe do one of Bob Bitchins' 'Share the Sail' trips (or something similar) to get some offshore experience. I also intend to charter in some of areas where I am interested in cruising to get a feel for the local conditions, etc.

I'd welcome any advice on boat selection, good charter agencies in the Carribbean or Mediterranean (Moorings seems like a good outfit, but very pricey), ways to get short term (1 or 2 week) crew experience, etc.

thanks!
--gray
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Old 03-06-2003, 02:48   #2
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Re: Wannabe Cruiser

Quote:
Gray once whispered in the wind:
Hi all,

...I have heard that constant togetherness is one of the challenges faced by new cruising couples ...

I am working under the assumption that a quality 15 or 20 year old boat in sailaway condition can be enjoyed now and upgraded for cruising over the next few years for less money than buying an interim boat (or sequence of interim boats) to practice on and then buying a cruise-ready boat when we are ready to go...
--gray
GRAY:

The constant togetherness can be reafirming, as well as challenging. Maggie & I only got "closer" living aboard a 28.5' boat for nine years.
Some don't (get closer).

There is NO such thing as a "cruise-ready" boat - it's a myth, perpetuated by salesmen . As you indicated, best upgrade yourself.

Regards & Good Luck,
Gord
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Old 18-06-2003, 20:45   #3
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marital harmony

Close quarter living can be a challenge that is why we are building a cat at least that way you can get away from each other.
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Old 19-06-2003, 12:24   #4
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wannabee's

one way that you can get short term crewing experience is to put a notice up in as many yacht clubs as you can - when I was sitting my Yachtmasters I hired a yacht for the day from a sailing school, rang up the Royal Southampton Yacht Club and they consulted their list of available crews, and "hey presto" one young, experienced and eager crew. - So, if it worked for me that way round, it should work for you, your way round. Happy sailing, and may all your winds be broad reaches.
regards
Tony
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Old 23-07-2003, 00:59   #5
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Used Boats

Hi Wannabe

Alot of differnt sailors have alot of differnt ideas on buying used and fix up or buying new and sailing away. I bought used. Since then I made alot of changes and now have an older boats that suits me much better than any stock boat could. I mostly sail single handed so I wanted everything to be easy andreachable from the cockpit. I needed only one berth so I converted 1/4 berths into storage areas. I expanded the "v" berth so I can get my 6'3" body in without being all bent over the next morning. So I vote you look around get a deal on a boat that is sea worthy meets your needs right now and has the ablity to become the boat you really want.
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