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Old 07-06-2010, 18:10   #1
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What's Up, Everyone ?

So I am pretty new to sailing. My roommate and I are planning on sailing from the Pacific NorthWest down the Pacific through the Panama Canal and end up near The Keys someday. I have a lazer, but that is our total experience sailing. Any advice?
Pura Vida

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Old 07-06-2010, 18:17   #2
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Read, read, read, Sail, sail, sail, and pray, pray, pray, that the keys are not covered in oil and dead pelicans when you get there. God Bless!

Paul and Angela Young
St. Somewhere

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Old 07-06-2010, 18:26   #3
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Don't try it in the lazer.
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Old 07-06-2010, 18:40   #4
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With a Laser you know how to sail. To sail to Panama you need to learn seamanship, ie how to safely take a larger boat across the ocean. This includes navigation, mechanics, meteorology, safety and a host of other skills.

The trip you mention is very ambitious. Not one that is recommended for a first trip or even for a second or third. Maybe you should walk a little before you try to run.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 07-06-2010, 19:54   #5
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You gotta start somewhere and a laser is a good place to start.

My succession of sailboats was:
Tyler 22
Chrysler 22
Pearson 27
Westsail 32
Privilege 39 Catamaran.

The Tyler 22 was sailed across the Atlantic by an Englishman and sold in the Panama Canal where I purchased it.

The Chrysler 22 was a daysailer.

The Pearson 27 (Renegade) was a coastal cruiser great for sailing in the Caribbean when I lived in Puerto Rico.

The Westsail 32 was a real ocean cruiser. Awesome yacht that I sailed in the Caribbean.

The Privilege 39 was the yacht that I chose for my circumnavigation because my wife likes level sailing. It was a good choice for a family circumnavigation in the trade winds.

There's lot's of stages to becoming a real ocean cruiser. You need lots of common sense, gradually increasing experience, and unstoppable determination to make it happen. You can do it.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 07-06-2010, 20:55   #6
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Location: Puget Sound
Boat: Irwin 41 CC Ketch
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Go for it...wee need a new record attempt to follow...

Welcome Aboard
"Go simple, go large!".

Relationships are everything to me...everything else in life is just a tool to enhance them.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:36   #7
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I've had the same thoughts. But I've been informed and have realized that the PNW offers up some of the Best cruising in the world. I plan on spending some good quality time here before setting the compas due south.
But to each their own. If you want, there is a way.

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Old 24-06-2010, 11:42   #8
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Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
Sometimes you can sign on to some really inexpensive classes that help with navigation and seamanship. One that comes to mind is the USCG Auxiliary courses. They don't cost much and give a lot of information. Its a place to start.
Even if you already sail a Laser sometimes its good to join a club or take a beginning sailing class so that you learn proper sail trim and all the safety things that go with it. If you already race your Laser against others in your area you are miles ahead of a basic sailing class so don't bother. Racing teaches you sail trim and rules of the road for racing. Remember that rules of the road for racing are not the same as rules of the road for sailing and powerboating so you need to learn both.
Hope this helps.
For boat recommendations check the links after my signature.

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