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Old 22-07-2014, 11:23   #1
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Rookies

Hello all,

I have a long term goal (next five to seven years) to take my wife and son and sail the Carribean for six months to a year.
My thought is to start in Florida or an out island of Bahama and head south then eventually west.
Plan is to purchase a late model sail boat with three cabins.
I have bareboated once in the US virgin islands (on a power boat) have sailed here in California (very limited).
So obviously I need more seat time before then.
So looking for any thoughts, insights, ideas etc on how to be best prepared, best, most economical way to some short term sailing trips and get more experience.
OK thanks!
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Old 24-07-2014, 22:40   #2
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Re: Rookies

I am surprised that no one has chimed in yet on your plan. The Carribean has great sailing, but if you live in California, there is also great sailing. It is somewhat different between Socal, and Norcal, but you can gain lots of experience on the west coast. Small boats are cheep right now, so you might want to buy a minimum boat and go sailing/weekending with the family, while you learn , and make your mistakes on a small, easy to repair boat. You could even buy a mini cruiser, and cruise a winter in Mexico, and then trailer it home. Mexico is a very good learning ground. I purchased my last 2 cruising boats at long distances, and while I was already pretty experienced, it made outfitting very difficult. Instead of dreaming about how you are going to live, you might try living your dream while you are learning. It is not a bad way to go.____Just my 2 cents worth. _____Grant.
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Old 24-07-2014, 23:04   #3
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Re: Rookies

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlray View Post
Hello all,

I have a long term goal (next five to seven years) to take my wife and son and sail the Carribean for six months to a year.
My thought is to start in Florida or an out island of Bahama and head south then eventually west.
Plan is to purchase a late model sail boat with three cabins.
I have bareboated once in the US virgin islands (on a power boat) have sailed here in California (very limited).
So obviously I need more seat time before then.
So looking for any thoughts, insights, ideas etc on how to be best prepared, best, most economical way to some short term sailing trips and get more experience.
OK thanks!
Welcome aboard jlray...

You don't indicate if you are on a coast in California. but with 5 years to go maybe buying a small boat makes sense as the best advice is to get a lot of sailing time in.

gjordan has good advice if you want to do Mexico but the issue there is you eventually want to be in the southeast. Definitely makes sense to buy there.

Only you can figure out if a 22-26 footer makes sense to buy cheap now and sell on later.

In between charter, charter, charter. Fit it in to your annual budget but I have had great times chartering at least once a year and spending 5 days continuously on a boat -

Although I never charter or sail my boat away from civilization - I avoid going ashore to simulate the experience of off the grid.

You won't understand living on a boat until you do it.
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Old 25-07-2014, 03:29   #4
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Re: Rookies

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jlray.
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Old 25-07-2014, 05:56   #5
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Re: Rookies

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlray View Post
Hello all,

I have a long term goal (next five to seven years) to take my wife and son and sail the Carribean for six months to a year.
My thought is to start in Florida or an out island of Bahama and head south then eventually west.
Plan is to purchase a late model sail boat with three cabins.
I have bareboated once in the US virgin islands (on a power boat) have sailed here in California (very limited).
So obviously I need more seat time before then.
So looking for any thoughts, insights, ideas etc on how to be best prepared, best, most economical way to some short term sailing trips and get more experience.
OK thanks!
Why not do a few crewed vacation charters in Caribbean. You'll gain knowledge and other techniques (anchoring, docking etc...) from the Captain who will appreciate you taking the helm from time to time if you show you are able. You and your wife will gain provisioning tips from the cook. Plus you'll be having a vacation at the same time. Just let them know that you are there to learn as much as you can, ask questions and help out with the day to day chores. IMO it would be money well spent and you will learn a lot.
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Old 25-07-2014, 06:18   #6
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Re: Rookies

I would charter every winter in the West Indies. In 5 to 7 years this will give you plenty of miles and some valuable experience.

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Old 26-07-2014, 08:06   #7
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Re: Rookies

You didn't say where in California you are located. If southern then check out our club at marinasailing.com. If northern then look for something similar up there.

Take lessons, go on daysails, and offer to crew on races. Spend as much time on the water and on as many different boats as you can.

Worked for me.
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