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Old 20-06-2012, 12:26   #16
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Re: Training plan for becoming a skilled sailor

Originally Posted by carstenb View Post

Read Beth Leonards "The Voyagers Handbook". It will tell you pretty much anything and everything you want to know about cruising. If it's not in her book - you probably don't need to know it
If you had to pick one book

Also forgot to add (More 2cents) when interviewing the captain to crew on his boat try to get previous crew references. Or ask to talk to the crew that is aboard, have they worked with him/her before? You can also ask around crew circles if that captain has a rep. Or if the boat has a rep. Harbormasters are a good source for info too.
For me, I crewed to get my offshore experience ( 25,000+). I particularly liked family boats. Because of the children aboard, they usually had well maintained boats, good safety equipment, least amount of high risk behavior. Being a young girl at the time I also doubled as a babysitter in port, even had a impromptu day care at marios marina for the anchored yachts up the Rio Duce ahh memory lane.

Sorry for the thread drift, good luck

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Old 20-06-2012, 12:41   #17
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Re: Training plan for becoming a skilled sailor

The way to gain offshore experience is sailing offshore.

The way to learn sailing is sailing.

Do a lot of sailing, then sail across. No big deal, if done in this order.


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Old 20-06-2012, 12:46   #18

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Re: Training plan for becoming a skilled sailor

Originally Posted by Jassen View Post
First, I need to say that I have been shocked so far at how friendly and welcoming everybody on CF has been since I joined last week. So far, I've been finding this same warm welcome down at the marinas on Hayden Island here in Portland with sailors I meet in person, as well. Ya'll are some good people!

And like all newbies, I come bearing questions. I like to think I've done more research than the average nub, and on Sunday I attended my first sailing class (on board a 420, fun little dinghy!). My interest is definitely more blue water keelboat sailing in the long run, but it seems prudent to learn sail handling and whatnot on small boats first.

I was reading a little bit about a recent unassisted, non-stop circumnavigation by an Australian girl, and the controversy surrounding her record attempt. I was looking at her training record (it's listed on wikipedia), and marveled at her lack of open ocean experience for a solo circumnavigation attempt. The attempt struck me as overly brazen, given her experience.

But, it did lead me to a line of thinking. I'll be taking the ASA 101 through 105 sequence all within the next 60 days, and I plan to be out on the river sailing dang near every day, but well within my limits. I'll be joining a local sailing club, crewing on their weekly Santana 20 races, crewing on any weekend off-coast run to the Puget Sound that I can, and joining in on the weekly 420 races, as well.

I'd like to get on the open ocean as soon as I can. Perhaps crew on a trip to Hawai'i, Alaska, Costa Rica. I know there are "crew wanted" sites, but at what point do I say, "I think I'm ready to crew that far"? And then, at what point do I know I'm ready for the challenge of single-handing to Hawai'i, and beyond?

I realize there is no "Trans-Pacific License", but I'm the kind of person that psychologically requires a checklist for everything I embark on, and this is no exception. This is obviously a forever-learning endeavor, but I also need to have something tangible out there on the horizon that I can use as a landmark.

Thanks folks, you all rock!

Jassen, just plain old "time over water" counts. I think you have a great plan for learning to sail, and you'll learn a lot from racing, but make sure you do more than that. When you race, you usually have specifically assigned tasks, and you're not always encouraged to think for yourself. So while you're racing, be constantly thinking, "What would I do in this situation?" Then see if that's the call the skipper/strategist makes.

If it's not, *after the race* you can ask questions. Might have just been gut instinct, but maybe that person had a very clear reason you can learn from.

Also make sure you go on cruises since that's your goal. You're more likely to be given more responsibility on a cruise, especially if you tell the skipper what your goals are.
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Old 21-06-2012, 22:46   #19
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Re: Training plan for becoming a skilled sailor

Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
Impi, I am sure your son had a great learning experiance, but i would be very carfeul before I would let a loved one sail with the average delivery skipper. When on my first cruise we met a couple of 18 year old boys that were crewing on a beautiful 40 foot sloop. We werent much older and had them over for dinner a few times. The boat owner had run out of money so their engine didnt work any more. We ran into them in Hawaii a couple of years latter and learned that on the passage to Hawaii the tootheless tatooed skipper had slept every night and the kids slept with a string tied to ther toe to wake each other up at the watch change. Capt Toothless couldnt do more than a noon sight so they guestimated their way to Hawaii. For anybody wanting to crew, INTERVIEW THE CAPTAIN AS MUCH AS HE INTERVIEWS YOU! My 2 cents worth.____Grant.
Yeah Grant ... totally agree with you and we did make sure of the captains credentials. We actually had a chuckle at our son as when they approached Montseratt, the sulphur smoke from the volcanic mountain stank terribly. The skipper and first mate quickly looked over at Terry (my son) and said' Terry, you did get that injection in Cape Town didnt you?'
Terry looked at them and said 'what injection?'
'Oh' said the captain (skipper), the one to inoculate you against these toxic fumes' ... the first mate then (also in on the joke) also chimed in 'Hey Dennis, he's not stupid. Of course he had the injection!'.
I have photos they took of Terry sitting on the boat who had now tied towels around his face and wet them for protection.. he was terribly upset with the skipper for having been so irresponsible as not to warn him!
They only told him later that day it was all a joke ...
Terry learnt a lot about sailing on that trip and indeed a lot about life. It was good for him and by the way, we know a huge number of these delivery skippers ... most of them are highly talented guys and of course one must check the credentials.
A number of my mates have sent thier kids on these crossings and in every case so far they come back with a new zest for life!
In our own style and our own time ...
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Old 23-06-2012, 17:51   #20
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Re: Training plan for becoming a skilled sailor

Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
so I would put own boat as a major milestone in the plan even if first use is not transocean......getting some time onboard in less than ideal and / or changing circumstances is useful - especially when not far from home....and by that I am not talking about heading out into a F8!, but just the dull day to day squillion variations of stuff - esp. involving breakages or plan changes. and simply getting familiar with your it "The Buck stops here 101 Training".
Thanks for sharing your wisdom, it is much appreciated.

As for my own boat, I'm actually planning on getting my own relatively soon, as a place to live and for the purpose of learning systems. There will definitely be a boat #2 within a year or two.

Thanks again, I'm glad you think I'm on the right track, of sorts!
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Old 23-06-2012, 18:53   #21
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Re: Training plan for becoming a skilled sailor

Originally Posted by atoll View Post
you might also want to go off hiking for a few weeks on your own,many people do not handle solitude well.

counversely also try living in one room for 3 weeks with 5 strangers,damp bedding,constant noise and bad food!

the psycological challenges of long distance sailing are easy to disregard untill faced with the reality
AMEN to that.
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Old 31-07-2012, 01:44   #22
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Re: Training plan for becoming a skilled sailor

When I asked what kind of skills I need in order to crossatlantic, some very experienced folks from my club said: old school navigation. Everything will break down during the travel. All the electronics will let you down. The batteries gona be flat, your wind generator will stop turning and the solar panels will stop charging. Your GPS will show you are in Covent Garden London and your VHF will play DJ Numar.

I mean this is a pessimistic reality and the only thing going to bring your skin safe to destination is the old school navigation, compass and sextant. As people advised me, after some time of learning you keep your heading in head almost intuitively, you keep one eye on the sun, stars and know how many knots you make etc. The other skills are secondary.

About your willing to learn a lot before leaving I think you overcharge yourself or underestimating your own intuitive capacities to deal with all kind of situations. You will deal with this when this happens, no point to learn ALL the imaginable situations which could ever happen in a skipper's life. Just do your jurney and be confident. You already have so much skils, you can easily deal with most of hard situations.

I've bought my 24 feet and I never sailed before. I just went to a 5 days Competent Crew traning. And then started sailing on Thames (which is not the easiest place to sail). And I started to learn by myself EVERYTHING. I did even discover there is a oil to mix in the petrol for two stroke. There is swinging mooring which chew yor ropes in no time if you have no idea how to tie them. There is strong tides, etc. So I dealt with all situations when they presented themselves. That's it. I've learned to rebuild my engine, learned to tie my mooring rope and sail with tides.

What I'm saiyng, mate, you are probably much much more experienced and capable than you think you are. And you are capable to deal with all the sh..t happening during your travel.
Just do it. Learn the old school navigation and be confident.
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Old 31-07-2012, 18:57   #23
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Re: Training plan for becoming a skilled sailor

I hope this isn't considered high jacking a thread. As a nub like Jason I too am trying to get as much training and experience as I can. This thread has great advise which I take seriously. Next month I will be living on a boat for a week to get my ASA 101 - 104 certifications. I know they are only pieces of paper that mean I met the minimum requirements to just get me in trouble. Nothing takes the place of experience. I remember my aviation pilot training well and how long it took to get proficient. I'm sure getting proficient as a sailor will be similar. I would love to get experience crewing but what are the realistic chances of me a 61 yr old, still wet behind the ears, getting a crew position on a Caribbean or transatlantic cruise? It's crunch time for me.
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:30   #24
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Re: Training plan for becoming a skilled sailor


Unless you have sailed and have experience - probably few chances. Unless you are prepared to pay.

If you look on some of the "Crew Wanted" net site (On this site f.eks.) there are boats looking for crew for a part or whole voyage. Payment can range from expense-sharing to regular fees. Experience desired will range from none to "only yachtmaster oceans" need apply.

So you can find a place to crew easily enough - but you want to get paid for it - it will be tough
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:39   #25
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Re: Training plan for becoming a skilled sailor

Thanks again to everybody that gave me advice on this thread, it is much appreciated. Just thought I'd give an update on where I'm at....

A couple weekends ago I did the ASA 101 class, and I'm going sailing about twice a week in the afternoons since then, and will continue doing so for a while. I joined a local sailing club that gives me access to a variety of different boats, and also holds Monday night Santana 20 races, which I'll be joining in on next Monday. The club turned out to be cheaper that paying moorage on my own boat.

I'll also be going up to Olympia, WA once a month and sailing for the weekend up there, just to get in different water. Once tax season is over in April 2013, I will depart for a location TBD and sail off into the sunset as a volunteer crew member. At my sailing club, I connected with a guy that is well plugged into a group of annual trans-Pacific sailors, departing form Mexico and Costa Rica for Tahiti and Fiji each year, so I'm going to try hooking up with one of those boats next year. If that doesn't work out, I'm sure I can hope a ride to Hawai'i from California, even if I have to pay to sail.

Looking forward to the next grand adventure, because it has begun! Thanks again, folks!

-Jassen (OP)

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