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Old 07-01-2015, 08:03   #16
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Been there, done that at age 29 in a custom built (1936) 30' gaff rigged cutter. It altered my life in ways I could not have imagined. I met people and learned skills that altered my life including giving me the ability to earn a very good living that I could take anywhere and work when I wanted. To this day, decades later, I still have friendships formed on that trip. I recommend you read these two must read books: Desperate Voyage by Caldwell and Adrift by Callahan. It speaks to exactly what you dream of.

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Old 07-01-2015, 08:14   #17
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

I think the Pacific crossing should be well down on your list of worries. By the time you make your way down the Atlantic and through the canal you will be more than experienced enough to do that crossing, assuming you survive.

At this point, you should be working on learning to sail and getting some time on different boats so you know what you want in the one you are going to buy. This is important because you will read many different opinions on what is the best equipment, or best boat, and it often comes down to what works best for you.

A great start would be to find a sailing school in the Caribbean or Florida that offers a 7 day, live aboard class that covers Basic Keel Boat, Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Charter. You will not come out of this class fully qualified to sail around the world but you will at least be exposed to most things you need to know and you will have had a fun vacation while doing it.

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Old 07-01-2015, 08:21   #18
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Originally Posted by LongFirstTrip View Post
....So i mean i have practically no experience sailing.....
My though is to buy a boat in june 2015 ( I can afford boats i've seen 30 to 39'), sail it around the st-Lawrence for a couple month and then embark for the great journey. So i would pick up a couple month experience in calm waters then sail the US east coast gaining experience on the way with blue waters before i cross the pacific.
I am definitely someone adventurous, but i would like to ask advice to see if it's a complete suicidal idea?!
....Thank you
I like doing the most crazy adventures with the best possible preparation.
So my advice would be - start sailing as soon as you can, take charters, go to sailing school, join friends sailing, read ocean crossing manuals, whatever!
There was not long time ago a thread on CF discussing tools and equipment for ocean crossing.
You will find soon enough, how much you need to know before embarking on ocean crossing, and then you will be able to decide for yourself when is the proper time to set out. Being 29 is a good age, but it will not be the end of the world if you start your adventure at 30 years of age.
Just see that you fully understand what you have know and to do as boat preparation in order to minimize the risk to acceptable level (never zero). You would not learn it on any forum...
Mark, S/Y Bat-Yam
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:30   #19
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

I've circumnavigated with just my wife and I on board. If making this trip is your passion you can do it. You'll learn everything you need to know by the time you get to Panama.

Maintaining a boat underway does require an ability to problem solve mechanical, electrical, and other issues. Sometimes during a stressful situation.

My biggest concern about single handing would be lack of sleep and not being able to share the joy you will experience. If you have a powerful need to say I single handed from point a to point b, then go for it. But otherwise find crew to go on the adventure with you.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:04   #20
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Just do it. Buy a small, solid yacht of the sort that other folks have sailed around the world. Make lots of stupid mistakes. You will never know everything and will be happily amazed how many people come out of the woodwork to help you.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:21   #21
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Wow, i am amazed by the number of response i'm getting. Thanks to all of you.
Considering everything you all said. i think my plan now is the following.
in 2 weeks from now i am flying to australia (trip already planned) for 2 weeks.
I will go to the marinas and offer to pay to learn short trips. just so i can get a hands on.
Then, will do my theory learning (thanks for the links) until spring comes.
Buy a boat at spring time and hire someone to train me a bit on the st-lawrence for a couple months with the help of someone to inspect it's condition.
Then, getting a crew with experience for a good ride (possibly hired crew).
once panama is crossed, possibly get a crew passenger depending on skills acquired. i also saw that people tend to do the crossing from panama to australia in boat groups, that sounds very reassuring.
I am not worried at all about having to do repairs on the way, as i said i am very confident with electrical, plumbing, woodwork etc.
I am now quite confident this is a good plan. I also know and aware that there is always danger and risk. Doing this as prepared as i can and obviously if this all goes beyond my capacities, i will just get to shore and fly away.
All that said, you only live once! This is a time of my life where i have the opportunity to realize yet another of my dreams, so i'm in.
Very excited about all this!!! :-)
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:28   #22
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

I have done the pacific crossing twice.
First when I was 25 (2008 and novice)
Second 2013 when I was 32.

Both times together with my girlfriend and I recommend you to have someone to join you, first because you will have someone to share it with and second cause itīs easier (reefing, sleep, repair etc). A lot of people out there who would like to join you!
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:37   #23
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

One final piece of advice, not to scare you, but to help put things in perspective..

Don't take anything lightly and don't get cocky. The oceans can be dangerous places and there is always risk. Just this year a cruising family lost their boat crossing the Pacific. Its a long story, but the takeaway is anything can happen and cool heads can prevail.

Of course.. Who would want to do it if there wasn't an element of danger involved.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:19   #24
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Originally Posted by LongFirstTrip View Post
First thank you very much for your insight. for money about the boat is not an issue as i could buy it twice over. of course i'm not looking to just burn cash but it's not an issue for me. that said, i guess an inspection by a professionnal would be sort of a good "insurance policy" if only to assure me the boat is well! Also, i'm quite of a handyman, not that i know anything about boat construction but i know my way with tools. Actually, i think i would prefer a boat in good sailing condition but i don't care about the esthetic and interior furniture, i would like to make it to my taste. Probably on the way as a hobby.
My main concern i guess is the crossing of the pacific. I have been reading a bit and found some people say a 27' boat is kind of a minimum. but none of them really explained why. Is that for stability, safety, speed or else? i'm not really concerned with speed, i got all my time.
No right or wrong answers on the size I think. My preference was on the smaller end, but that's just me. Part of it was that I am not a master seaman and smaller boats are by and large more forgiving and easier to handle. I was also able to buy a very nice small boat for the price of a so-so larger boat and still be self-insured. Many small boats are purpose-built for ocean voyaging (or can be refitted appropriately), though a larger boat would get you there faster and generally give you less motion underway. There's also the argument that a larger boat moving faster would allow you to better run from weather and give you faster passages within weather windows.

Also bear in mind that a particular 25' boat may offer you more than a certain 30' boat of another make. Really depends.

One last comment.. if you limit your boat choices too much, you will probably have a tough time finding the right boat unless you are willing to travel far and wide to find it.

Best of luck!
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:49   #25
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

A long first trip is just a series of day trips one after another. Like others said here, by the time you reach Panama you will have enough experience to do the crossing. And yes, take experienced crew with you.
Regarding a boat, I would suggest 32'-36' otherwise you might not have enough room for crew or big enough water tanks for two or three on board for a passage.
Since you have plenty of money, take a look at Mahina Expeditions. They will teach you all you need to know about buying the right boat and offshore sailing. Mahina Expeditions conducts sailing and navigation training and expeditions in the South Pacific and offers offshore sailing seminars
All the best.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:56   #26
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

If unexperienced Tania Aebi can do it so can you. If you can't find the book just google her name.
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:03   #27
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pirate Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

If you think at 29 going from Canada to Australia is crazy how about a couple of 29 year olds with little or no experience leaving Florida and 4 yrs later and around the world coming back to Florida....have a fun read....Bumfuzzle
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Old 07-01-2015, 13:23   #28
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

The answer is pretty clear. You can absolutely do it if you have the personal qualities required. However, you need to take the sea very seriously. You have a lot to learn and you need to respect what you are doing.

I would definitely look to take somebody with you. The trip will be a lot more fun and safer.

You can do it on a 25' boat, but you'll be more comfortable and safer on a bit larger boat. Also room to pick up crew. I'd target somewhere in the 30's.
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Old 07-01-2015, 13:35   #29
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Originally Posted by LongFirstTrip View Post
Ok, yes i am a newbie! I know. But now you just drew a big ? in my mind. Why are you mentioning that?
He's saying you may love it so much you never leave. It's happened before.
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Old 07-01-2015, 14:04   #30
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?


In a nutshell, smaller boats are slower. This means more days from Panama to landfalls to the West. Therefore, the water tankage issue is most important. When Jim and I crossed SF-HI and return on his 30 footer, we planned on 1/2 gal per day per person, and to carry an additional 50% in terms of days, for possible lack of wind, serious slow down due to breakages, or whatever.

A caveat: if you have any sort of inkling your pushing your time frame, do step back and take a closer look. At this point, there's a steep learning curve ahead of you, you can't know it all first--life doesn't work that way--so allow time to make changes. Keeping to schedules can lead to poor and some times, even life threatening decisions.


Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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