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Old 04-02-2013, 03:33   #1
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Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

I recently bought a Reliant 49 Ketch in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Details are on my blog. I am currently in Afghanistan working on a contract until November. I will be visiting the boat in May for a week to work on it and evaluate what it needs to be ready to sail. Then I will return around December to get it ready to sail and plan to cruise locally to do sea trials and to gain experience.
My current sailing experience is ten days (5 keel boat and 5 trimaran). I have completed many other training courses including 40 hour Ocean Search and Rescue, Red Cross first aid and CPR, fire brigade training etc. I have read a number of books on sailing and plan to read a lot more in the meantime as I transition from shopping for a boat to learning to sail and cruise. I may take the Nauticed courses online as well. I have a library of borrowed books on sailing, rigging, navigation, weather forecasting etc.
An additional challenge is that my wife is blind in one eye and can only see out the the lower half of her remaining eye. She does remarkably well with that but we will need to be able to handle the boat working around her disability.
I am thinking about hiring an experienced Captain to work with me around December time frame to prepare the boat for launching and to train my wife and I for a month afterwards or until we are competent to sail her without assistance. I don't plan to make the boat perfect before launching, just seaworthy with functional systems and safety gear (ie forget installing a new cabin sole). I will know a lot more about the work needed after spending a week on it in May...I will hire out the bottom paint job so the work involved would primarily be testing/ fixing the systems. My current wild guess is three weeks for two people plus the Admiral to get her ready
If you know anyone who might be interested in this project, please pm me or reply here. A local Captain would be great, but I am not averse to flying someone in if I think they would be a good match for us. We are blue collar laid back people with a sense of humor and my wife is a wonderful cook. I am an inexperienced cook but I can build and fix stuff when it breaks. MRE's anyone?
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:47   #2
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Hi Icedog... nope... sorry... not offering my services, you need better than me.. you need a teacher.. I'm crap at that
But I did want to say 'NICE ONE MATE'....
Your wife should do just fine... met a nice guy out in Tasmania who got blinded in the Bali bombing... has partial in just one eye..
He goes out as crew when there's local races etc.. does crewing on deliveries etc...
Its tough but folk are amazing the way they can get round handicaps when they want to... all the best..
And to the Missus... 'Respect'..
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:12   #3
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

Chances are that after 3 months for 2 people you will be half way there.

New priorities required.

It isn't easy.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:18   #4
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

Thanks Boatman. There's nothing like jumping in with both feet! I think my wife will be fine too. She's quite independent and ran a business for three years in Costa Rica since losing most of her vision in 2006. Right now she is backpacking around Ecuador with some friends.
I hope to transition to living part time on the boat and part time in Playa Zancudo in Costa Rica (near Golfito). I may throw in a few 6 month Antarctic contracts to pay the bills along the way but I am taking all of next year off to play on the boat and in Zancudo.
Having read your exploits over the years I think you would be perfect to train us up as I think we would get along just fine
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:50   #5
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

Savoir,

Only time will tell on that one. I expect to know more in May. My back up plan is to hire out some of the work if need be while I stay in Afghanistan. I am also going to follow David Old_Jersey's philosophy...

“My top tip as you go along is to ask self "do I really need to do this job" and if the answer is simply "I would like to" then drop it behind the list of things that are needed............cash and enthusiasm (aka will to live!) both have limits - spend what you have of both wisely ” David_Old_Jersey

The boat is not going to be "finished" but I am going to cruise and live aboard and have fun doing it. I think many people think everything has to be perfect and sparkle before taking their boat out. I look at working boats that go to sea every day looking like hell but being fully capable. I plan to do the basics, get the systems running ( and I am good with systems) and go sailing
At least the boat is fairly new...
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:08   #6
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

Reality always takes longer than fantasy. Anyway, carry on and see for yourself.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:56   #7
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

They said I was crazy when I built that too but I showed them...
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:17   #8
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

Don't hire anyone till you get to GCS. There are many retired cruisers who live or hang around there. You can get all the help you need by asking Crystal in the office. For example there's a guy there called "Bottom Dave", he does bottoms and at a good price. Good luck with your project, the time taken to do things on boats might surprise you. It usually takes at least twice the time that you've planned for.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:17   #9
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

You mentioned cleaning the fuel tanks in your blog, but I will just emphasize the need to check the tank(s) for any water sitting in them, and any microbial growth if there is fuel left standing for extended periods. You should consider removing any old diesel and water from the tank, and replacing it before redoing your fuel line and filter. BTW, your entire scenario sounds so much like "Captain Ron" I'm half expecting Kurt Russel to show up for your request for a "Captain." If you havn't seen the movie, put it on your "to do list." Good luck with your project.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:38   #10
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

Hi Vasco,

I have already communicated with Crystal about the boat and I am having Bottom Dave's wife clean the boat interior. Crystal is going to put a bunch of desiccant in it for now after the cleaning. I plan to use Dave for the bottom painting. If I meet someone I feel I can trust, I may have some of the work done ahead of time. I don't want to finish the boat at the start of Hurricane season next year... I am competent with electrical, electronic, mechanical and RF systems so I can go either way with the work needed. I would enjoy doing the work but I would also love to be out sailing.

Shorebird, I don't know if the two diesel tanks are full/partly full or empty but I will prioritize making sure that I have fresh clean fuel before launch. There is a St Augustine outfit called Microclean that works at GCS marina that can service the tanks.
I have seen the movie a long time ago but I'll have to watch it again... It will probably be a rerun of the movie
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:22   #11
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

STILL, take a lot of fuel filters. Our boat sat for 8 years with an almost full tank, we cleaned the parts we could get to (baffles) and scrubbed the fuel for 48 hours and it still plugged 10 filters coming 1500 miles down the coast.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:36   #12
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

Good point on the filters sww914. I have read a number of threads here on fuel tank cleaning and I expect it to be an issue. It would be great if the owner/builder installed the tanks with clean out ports but that would be too lucky. After reading all the threads, I'm surprised it's not standard on all boats.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:13   #13
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Dunno if its any use but on MY boats when they're diesel I cut the fuel line before the Racor (WHY) and fit a couple of cheap 10/5 micron car fuel filters push in type... at a buck a shot they're less heartbreaking than half a dozen new Racors....
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Old 13-02-2013, 19:47   #14
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

Have you actually seen that boat yourself?
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:21   #15
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Re: Learning on a 56 foot sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Hi Icedog... nope... sorry... not offering my services, you need better than me.. you need a teacher.. I'm crap at that
But I did want to say 'NICE ONE MATE'....
Your wife should do just fine... met a nice guy out in Tasmania who got blinded in the Bali bombing... has partial in just one eye..
He goes out as crew when there's local races etc.. does crewing on deliveries etc...
Its tough but folk are amazing the way they can get round handicaps when they want to... all the best..
And to the Missus... 'Respect'..
I had been at the Sari club about 2 hrs before the bomb exploded,we had went down to Peanuts and were going to return to Sari after hitting Crazy Horses..People were warning each other about going out all that day...Sorry about jumping your cloud Icedog,good luck with the boat shes nice..
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