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Old 30-03-2013, 04:18   #1
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Yet another wannabe

Hi all,

I found this site while researching cruising routes in the western hemisphere.

It's time to put my dream of sailing around the world into action. I've already tried to do it once, some 10 years ago, but made two big mistakes: bought a wrong boat and failed to get the wife onboard with the whole plan. At least, that experience taught me a lot about sailboat systems and maintenance.

But the dream did not die. Now I'm doing it from scratch, and this time, I'm doing it the right way. We've just (March 2013) bought a very simple 21-footer and will be racing, daysailing and cruising it for the next couple of seasons. We'll also do a charter trip or two on larger boats in the meantime. In 2015, I'm flying to Carribean to buy a cruising boat, and go island hopping for a few months. In 2016, both of our older kids go to universities (or whatever adult life they choose), the rest of us (me, wife and our younger kid) rent the house out and transition to full-time liveaboard life. This is the plan.

In the next three years, I'm also planning to ask a lot of stupid questions on this forum.
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Old 30-03-2013, 05:30   #2
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Welcome aboard Redherring!

Glad you got the wife on board with the idea. Makes the transition a bit easier.

You may wish to consider buying your cruising boat in Florida, or perhaps even the east coast of the U.S.

Florida has a lot of boats to choose from and cruising the Bahamas to start can be a good way to start out with a LOT of fine cruising grounds.

A lot of boats that cruise the Carib seasonally, start from the east coast of the U.S., many from the Norfolk area of Virginia.

Just some thoughts.

In any case good luck!
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Old 30-03-2013, 05:45   #3
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, RedHerring.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:02   #4
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here.
kind regards,
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Old 21-09-2013, 01:53   #5
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Re: Yet another wannabe

In the spirit of keeping myself accountable to some like-minded people, here is what happened in half a year since I posted this thread:

* we raced and sailed our 21-footer as much as we could. Three rookies moving from the very bottom of the fleet to upper middle tier, in a competitive one-design fleet of 20+ boats, in one season. Not too bad, and lots of fun (both good and bad sort) for the whole summer.

* me and my wife spent some quality time, watching and discussing movies and articles about cruising couples with kids, she also read two books along the same lines.

* Got a VHF radio operator license.

* Going for a training cruise in PNW next week, to revive my coastal navigation and get a CYA Intermediate certificate, while I'm at it.

* Booked a 34' Bene in BVI for 2 weeks in March. This charter will ultimately determine if we are going as a family, or I'm going solo. Gotta make it perfect

* Spent a lot of time (a bit too much time, actually) studying used boats market. One thing I figured out is that I should need no more than $40k to buy and outfit a nice 30' coastal cruiser, which will be enough for our current purposes. Historically, my family's idea of a summer vacation has been backpacking through some mountains. Living on a small boat is far more luxurious in comparison.

* Earmarked $17k for boat-buying budget so far. Need to save another $20k in the next year or so.

The plan is still on to buy a cruising boat at the end of 2014 and go on a long cruise in 2016, but it's going to be one year of Caribbean/East Coast cruising, not an indefinitely long circumnavigation. A smaller step towards the same direction for now.
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Old 06-04-2014, 15:30   #6
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Update.

Caribbean charter is done, and went pretty damn well. Nobody got seasick, a couple of episodes of somewhat interesting weather (gusting to 35 kts) didn't cause any panic, the little one behaved herself like a champ, wife really liked the whole experience. To quote her, "the best vacation ever".

Next step: search for a ~35 ft medium displacement cruiser fit for island hopping.
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Old 03-06-2014, 17:33   #7
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Update.

Boat hunt started in earnest. So far, spent a weekend touring BC marinas. Looked at nearly a dozen different boats, found three that fit, all in the 30-40k price range. Getting ready to negotiate, but still looking for more boats nearby.

If anyone knows a nice, clean, proactively maintained medium displacement cruiser of 30-40ft in BC or Washington, please PM.
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Old 03-06-2014, 17:38   #8
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Ah yes, the current revision of our plan calls for a boat in BC. Two sets of tickets to Caribbean and back more than make up for the price difference between PNW and some less expensive boating markets. So, the idea is to spend 2 or 3 seasons in BC, get used to the boat, have a couple of shakedown cruises, then embark on bigger adventures.
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Old 12-06-2014, 22:59   #9
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Update. Spent a weekend crawling through a dozen different boats in and around Vancouver. Found three boats there that fit the "well-built, well-maintained performance cruiser of 30+ft LOD" description during this trip. A pretty nice CS 33, an immaculate but recently listed and therefore (in my opinion) overpriced Ontario 32, and an Ericson 35 Mk II.

Reasons some other boats were rejected included: too small interior, a leaking teak deck, an apparent hull deformation, rusty (!) standing rigging and a plain old ugliness (center cockpit just doesn't seem to work in a 33-footer).

After a whole bunch of back and forth with the sellers of the last two, I've agreed on price and terms for the Ericson. Sea trial and survey in two weeks.

Useful lesson learned: if you go to a popular sailing area with a clear idea about the kind of boat you want and an open mind about make/model, it seems pretty easy to find the right boat nowadays.
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Old 14-06-2014, 21:55   #10
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Loving the updates! You give this fellow newbie hope!
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Old 25-06-2014, 03:34   #11
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Update:

Since yesterday I own a 1979 Ericson 35-2 called Spartan in Vancouver. Survey and thorough inventory of the boat found a bunch of small things (as expected), but thankfully, none of those that I feared the most. No wet deck core, rotten bulkheads or any other major hull integrity problems found anywhere. There are blisters, not of a life-threatening variety - these can wait until I get her into a drier climate with cheaper yard rates.

Full sail inventory for cruising, all except genoa are brand new sails. The diesel is ancient, but recently rebuilt and nicely painted. If I'm careful and lucky, I should get a few more years out of this machine before replacing. Standing rigging looks okay, but is of unknown vintage. Therefore, I assume having to replace it.

Electronics are basic, but all I need is there and works. There is a windvane, solar panels and autopilot.

There is half a dozen safety-related things to take care of immediately, e.g. automatic bilge pump switch that doesn't work... oddly, it did when I first looked at the boat I also have a long list of comfort-related projects, but none of these are big exercises, or must haves.

Last but not least, the boat comes with a very nice and friendly PO who works at a sail loft (!) and lives nearby. There is a TON of custom canvas stuff, including a full cockpit enclosure, expensively done and in great condition.

So far, life is good.
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Old 25-06-2014, 03:50   #12
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Re: Yet another wannabe

G'Day, Red,

Well done, mate! You have joined the ever broke yacht club, an exclusive and tony group of folks who own older boats. You will have a ton of fun with her, and likely learn some new non-PC language as you go. I think you have the right attitude for success as a yottie, so full speed ahead.

Meanwhile, do be aware that bilge pump float switches are notoriously unreliable and crotchety. Not at all unusual to have them fail, and not too surprising... just think where they hang out... pretty nasty for things electrical.

And you are right in thinking that a friendly and knowledgeable PO is an asset. We bought our current boat from her builder, and are still good friends 11 years later.

So, go sail the hell out of her and let us know how it is going from time to time.

Cheers,

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Old 25-06-2014, 04:23   #13
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day, Red,

Meanwhile, do be aware that bilge pump float switches are notoriously unreliable and crotchety. Not at all unusual to have them fail, and not too surprising... just think where they hang out... pretty nasty for things electrical.
Recently installed a Jabsco Hydro Air Switch on a bilge pump for exactly that reason. The electrics sit completely dry a foot or so above the bilge water.
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Old 29-07-2015, 15:56   #14
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Update: I've had my Ericson 35 for about a year now, including a month worth of coastal cruising trips and a couple months worth of just staying on the boat in the marina, working professionally during the day and doing boat stuff in the evenings. And really liking every single day of it. She is a beauty under sail, nicely balanced and literally steers herself upwind; (touching wood) so far there were a lot fewer nasty surprises than I'd expect from a 40 years old boat.

Money-wise, it's more than I "knew", but well within my actual plan, which allowed for 100% extra on stuff I didn't know.

Uneventful winter, got a Canadian ham radio license and some shortwave radio gear, a couple of coastal trips so far this year, working on my navigation and sea fishing skills.

The boat is sitting on the hard right now, bottom painting and a bunch of small maintenance projects below the waterline. Failed to line up standing rigging replacement with the haulout, so that's a major exercise postponed until the fall. We are splashing tomorrow and sailing away for two weeks in Desolation Sound, BC.

Meantime, we are also still racing that 21' soapbox in the prairies. Actually got the first honest bullet (1st place in a race) just recently. "Honest" as in "one-design fleet, dozen boats starting, normal wind conditions, everyone in the club who knows what they are doing is there, and nobody crashes or does any penalty turns".

Life is good.
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Old 29-07-2015, 20:47   #15
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Re: Yet another wannabe

Well done, Red! I thought that you would do ok from the very first post.

I think that you have left the Wannabe group, stood on through the About to bes, and have graduated into the doin it group.

Congratulations.

Jim
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