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Old 06-01-2015, 21:02   #1
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Lightbulb Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Hi everyone. I need some advice from experienced sailors. I'm 29 years old and i have this dream of sailing from home (Montreal, Canada) all the way down to australia through panama. I fell in love with sailing on a trip in fiji where i sailed a 6' tiny catamaran. I also met someone travelling the world, sailed one more a bit in montreal in one of those tiny boat again. So i mean i have practically no experience sailing. I have a great opportunity in the summer of 2015 to realize this fantasy of mine.
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?!
I also considered if it's too crazy, to get someone experienced on board in exchange for a free ride.
Please let me know your thoughts on this!
Thank you
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Old 06-01-2015, 22:11   #2
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

I don't think that's crazy, given you're able to temper things to the reality of your situation as it unfolds. If you want a safe, reliable boat that you know well and can maintain yourself, then there's a ton to learn, a lot of work to do on it, and probably more time and money to dump into it then you anticipate, even for a small, simple cruising boat. Your time frame to buy and have it ready to go may prove a bit optimistic, but a lot depends on the shape/simplicity of the baot you buy, how well the previous owner kept documentation of the systems onboard, how much risk you're willing to take, and how much of a perfectionist you are.

I also approached this thing with zero experience and just kinda pieced it together. The learning curve is fast when you don't know what you're doing I'm 31 and lived/cruised on a boat with some friends for a couple years before buying my own 3 years ago.

Just wrapping up a year long refit and getting ready to head south from the states to the caribbean. Had originally planned on a 3mo refit, but hey. YMMV
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:30   #3
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, LongFirstTrip.
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:43   #4
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pirate Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Hi.. Welcome to Cf..
No its not a crazy idea...
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:17   #5
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Just a thought, but here is a link to an around-the-world-race where people can pay to participate as crew.

Might be a good way to get your feet wet while developing real skills and experience before you invest a lot of time and money into something you might not enjoy so much when you really get out there.

The cruising life is great but it is not all fun and games all the time. Some head for Australia but never get as far as Hawaii, or in some cases only as far as Mexico.

https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:42   #6
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

You won't be 29 again -- ever!
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:57   #7
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Thank you for the tip Delancey. Although i'm one of those where i worked enough before that money is now not the issue to buy a boat and maintain. Also, i am not interrested in a race at all as the goal for me is to sail with no timeframe and to stop along the way! So sailing just for sailing is not the point for me.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:18   #8
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pirate Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongFirstTrip View Post
Thank you for the tip Delancey. Although i'm one of those where i worked enough before that money is now not the issue to buy a boat and maintain. Also, i am not interrested in a race at all as the goal for me is to sail with no timeframe and to stop along the way! So sailing just for sailing is not the point for me.
You may well never get past F. Polynesia and its fringes..
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:20   #9
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

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Originally Posted by laika View Post
I don't think that's crazy, given you're able to temper things to the reality of your situation as it unfolds. If you want a safe, reliable boat that you know well and can maintain yourself, then there's a ton to learn, a lot of work to do on it, and probably more time and money to dump into it then you anticipate, even for a small, simple cruising boat. Your time frame to buy and have it ready to go may prove a bit optimistic, but a lot depends on the shape/simplicity of the baot you buy, how well the previous owner kept documentation of the systems onboard, how much risk you're willing to take, and how much of a perfectionist you are.

I also approached this thing with zero experience and just kinda pieced it together. The learning curve is fast when you don't know what you're doing I'm 31 and lived/cruised on a boat with some friends for a couple years before buying my own 3 years ago.

Just wrapping up a year long refit and getting ready to head south from the states to the caribbean. Had originally planned on a 3mo refit, but hey. YMMV
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.
Thanks
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:23   #10
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

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You may well never get past F. Polynesia and its fringes..
And why is that? heavy waters?
getting to fr. polynesia is like 90% of my trip, so why would that little bit be so much harder than the rest?
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongFirstTrip View Post
And why is that? heavy waters?
getting to fr. polynesia is like 90% of my trip, so why would that little bit be so much harder than the rest?
Ahhh... a city answer...
No.. you'll leave the Islands...
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:40   #12
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

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Ahhh... a city answer...
No.. you'll leave the Islands...
Ok, yes i am a newbie! I know. But now you just drew a big ? in my mind. Why are you mentioning that?
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:48   #13
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

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You may well never get past F. Polynesia and its fringes..
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:46   #14
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

Why don't you get some open water experience on someone else's boat. The ocean can be pretty hairy and even a short trip, 3 days or so would help tremendously. I am also from Montreal. I took a two FULL day course at Pointe Claire yacht club and sank a 14' sailboat in lake st Francis.(Inexperience) Then I went and bought a 42' Tayana. Bought the boat in Venezuela and sailed to st Martin with the ex owner. Then I was on my own. but at least I had a break in on the handling of the boat. Also took a hands on charter from Bermuda to the BVI for six days previous to that. Have sailed 7000 miles so far. Good experience! ( Lots of bad also! lol )
Good luck
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:46   #15
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Re: Novice sailor sails to australia. Crazy?

I'm a newbie like you planning a similar thing in 2015 (except with my family).

Your plan seems pretty sound. I think you will have a pretty steep learning curve in the beginning. Maybe you want to ask a friend to accompany you on the first part of the journey. Having a second hand will make things much much easier when starting out. Even single handing our little 20ft training boat was too much for me in the beginning.

I also suggest you sign up for an online course NOW. Since its winter and you can't really sail, an online course makes sense. I recently signed up for the NauticEd Bareboat course and find it fantastic. For $175USD I don't think it can be beat. It includes theory on all the basics you need to know (navigation, anchoring, chartplotter, sail trim, ect). Here is a link.

NauticEd Sailing School - Learn to Sail and Get Certified

Of course experience is the ultimate teacher, but some theory is crucial.
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