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Old 08-01-2014, 15:44   #31
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Re: What's wrong with liveaboard sailing schools?

Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
you think that you can do say celestial navigation, secondary tidal height calculations, or even course to steer simply by experience, you have to be in effect " taught them " , whether in a structured classroom or on a weather deck of a boat , doesn't really matter,

I hate to be the one to break this news to you but 90% of the Cruisers out there can't do those calculations either! Have you spent some time in a cruiser anchoage lately?
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Old 08-01-2014, 16:08   #32
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Re: What's wrong with liveaboard sailing schools?

The point that has come up in previous discussions (and been touched on in this thread) is that flying to a charter destination and chartering a boat (let alone a big one) is expensive.

Some calculations suggest it's a significant percentage of the cost of a reasonable cruising yacht.

Still, I agree, it's got to be one of the nicest ways to spend a vacation. Myself I'd be costing out smaller boats.

For mine the key aspects of cruising are navigation, weather forecasting and knowing what weather is to be avoided.

So I'd agree with what you're doing with your small boat, but please make sure you are fully up to speed with weather forecasts and, if you haven't done so already get a plotter that can plug into a cigarette lighter socket and get used to using it.

If yous do do a charter bring your plotter (and 12V extension lead!) and laptop/tablet/smart phone along (for the weather) and practice using them.

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Old 08-01-2014, 16:22   #33
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Re: What's wrong with liveaboard sailing schools?

Sounds like you are doing the right things and staying in control.

Is the Catalina on a trailer? If you have the time, try the North Channel of Lake Huron. (Canada) It may take a bit of convincing that a Texican is really a US citizen but this island archipelago is one of the top ten cruising destinations in the world. Spend at least two but preferable four or more weeks here. July-August - its too hot to sail in the south anyway. You can charter here too.

If you trailer up, launch at Spanish or Little Current. You can also put in at Government Bay area or Drummond in the US and sail in. Many options limited only by available time. Many sailors stay here for the entire summer. Friendly people, affordable, they sort-of speak English don't ya know. Lots of Youtube videos.
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Old 08-01-2014, 16:40   #34
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Re: What's wrong with liveaboard sailing schools?

Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
And yet there are sailing schools out there that tell you that you will be.
Which would be an excellent reason to avoid those schools.
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Old 08-01-2014, 18:05   #35
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Re: What's wrong with liveaboard sailing schools?

Nothing wrong with op 's approach - but ain't one simple and quick way to learn everything. The good news with boats is it aint rocket science to get going, where the knowledge and experiance comes in is when dealing with bits of 'everything ' that crop up, not necessarily by knowing the answers but by being able to puzzle one out (or at least close enough )...... And being able to avoid them in the first place! ........having the basics understood (courses / books / others / trial ;& error by self - likely a bit of everything!, own choice as to how much of each) and then taking a slowly slowly catchee monkey approach at own pace will be fine for most.......even a rtw adventure can start off slow instead of at cape horn.

Get a handle on your unknowns and then fill in the blanks.
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Old 08-01-2014, 19:25   #36
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Re: What's wrong with liveaboard sailing schools?

Years back I used to teach Cruise and Learn courses out of Vancouver.

From basic to advanced cruising, heavy weather and celestial.

7 to 14 day overnight classes taught the students a lot more than the sailing skills.

I found it the most rewarding for serious couples to learn how to work as a team, when dealing with a weak or biased student crewmember.
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:13   #37
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Re: What's wrong with liveaboard sailing schools?

Don’t waste your money chartering thinking that the charter experience for a week, two or even 3 will matter. Save that money for the boat or gear. All that trip will do for you will be a vacation and that money could be nice to have later for gear, which will cost a LOT more than you think.

I can't agree with that , chartering is a very valuable , even if expensive, way to experience the boat , especially bareboat chartering. It also gives partners and others a" taste" of the lifestyle and some introduction to cruising. Yes it is clearly what it is.

The experts will absolutely HATE this…but here we go. Cruising is SO MUCH EASIER than everyone wants non-cruisers to think it is! That way we get to be special for having done it or are doing it, honestly, we SO over-prepped both our boat and ourselves that I laugh not at all the wasted time worrying and planning and buying we did before we cast off. We saw plenty of couples with zip-zero-nada experience fly to Mexico buy a boat and bingo…they are cruising and learned the ropes at they went. This idea that you need years of training and experience to go Island hopping is a myth. Now please use some common sense here, don’t jump on a boat and head off that afternoon on a circumnavigation, but honestly, the vast majority of the cruisers out there wouldn’t pass the ASA tests, especially on anchoring…ha ah ah …but that’s another story

IN reality the experts really don't care what you do. But for everyone that jumps on and sails off, there are many , that get into trouble, have nasty experiences, get out of their depth , or really frighten themselves. Anyone who sails a lot will have seen the issues. Basic education in sailing and navigations etc ALWAYS is an advantage. So why not take that advantage.

IF you want to learn about cruising, start reading some good Cruising Blogs and put down the glossy cruising world and sail magazines! Cruising Blogs are where you will find real everyday people writing about what it is really like out cruising. I’m just a self-described “Cruising Bozo”, but here is a link to our blog early in our cruise: What Happens in a Cruising Boat's Galley | SV THIRD DAY
Maybe my style isn’t for you, but there are hundreds, no thousands of blogs out there, so make part of you learning experience being reading cruising blogs.
Blogs are great, trouble is their other peoples experiences not yours. Chartering, crewing , etc are the only way to build up personal experiences, short of owning a boat and cruising it in the area you are interested in

For example , you many wonder what the med is like, chartering gives you a chance to find out without having to sail there , etc

Set your computer home page to and start looking. The fear of buying the wrong boat kills ways too many dreams. We did our 4 yr cruise on two different boats about 2 years on each, a 36ft-er and a 50ft-er, going from one of the smallest in the anchorage to one of the biggest. And you know what…we had just as much fun on BOTH of them! That boat doesn’t matter as much and way too many people get trapped into the “Gotta have the perfect boat game”, then just getting out there. Your boat isn’t like a car where it’s a status symbol game. Sure we all turn our heads at the nicest boat in the anchorage to admire it, but the cruising community is different than “real life”. No one really judges you or cares what car you drive or size of your house or your zip code. And if you are like our family and many cruisers we talked to about their boat, it wasn’t the boat at all…it was the anchorage, or beach, or bay that we were floating in that mattered.

Funny, this I agree with , Ive consistently said, Boat selection is over discussed and picked over endlessly ( the is this a blue water boat ?) . buy a sound boat and get on with it

See No 1, about the dangers of taking advice from armchair cruisers on chat rooms.
All advice is "advice" the receiver can sift through it as they please.
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Old 09-01-2014, 14:41   #38
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Re: What's wrong with liveaboard sailing schools?

Thanks folks, as always lots of great responses and really only a few that made my eyes roll back in my head. So thanks and please keep em coming.

For me, I completely agree that chartering someone else's boat in an ideal location is not necassarily the most accurtate assessment of what it will be like to be a full time cruiser, but it's going to be MUCH closer to anything we've done so far. Since we both currently have well paying and somewhat demanding jobs, at this point the $ for the charter is less of a concern than getting a chance to start the process. We need a vacation or two a year to stay sane (or close to it) and we'd both much rather get out and see a new place while also starting to build on our sailing knowledge.

We'll be out this weekend on our little Catalina and while I love our lake and we're blessed to have a boat on it, I'm sure I'll be dreaming of that tropical beach. I just wanted to ensure I wasn't missing something by booking this as a liveaboard (8 day) class.

Neither of us is looking to jump out and start making passages immediately following the class. That being said if we can start making our vacation more and more about sailing, and enjoying the process, then I think we'll be that much more confident when it comes time to pull the trigger on that perfect (for us) boat...whatever the hell that ends up being.

Much appreciated
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Old 09-01-2014, 15:50   #39
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Re: What's wrong with liveaboard sailing schools?

Variation is a useful tool for learning. Your approach is well within the ballpark (and imo the small boat - lake or sea - is an ideal tool to learn......and also fun!)... And given your circumstances your approach with the charter sounds spot on. Likely that once done it will guide your future learning choices.

What you find is the more you learn the more and better questions you have - to ask self. And then to answer - for one else can find "your " answers for "you ", even if others can help.......... which is a frustration of many on cf .
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Old 15-01-2014, 06:39   #40
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Re: What's wrong with liveaboard sailing schools?

"Repetition is the mother of skill..."

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