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oldvermonter 07-04-2008 05:59

Beginner Advice
Good Morning

I'm a 65 male whose wife of 47 years recently passed. So I imagine I will be going through this new experience alone. I plan on learning to sail this summer. Presently I spend 6 months each in Florida and then Vermont, on Lake Champlain in Vermont. At the present time my goal is be able to purchase a sailboat that will allow me to sail for the winter months in the Keys, Bahamas and Turks & Calcos Islands.

My current plan is to start my education on sailing by taking courses at a Lake Champlain, VT sailing school and then this coming winter continue with another course in the keys. Since I am totaly unfamiliar with the various ways I can achieve this goal, I am completely open to suggestions.

Also suggestions as to how what type of expenses I will incur and a $ range of these expenses. Dumping fees, sailboat upkeep cost, mooring fees, etc etc. I am not really into or expect to live in a sailboat which is moored to a dock.

As everyone might guess I have many, many questions; however, the first and foremost is what is the best way to gain the necessary experience?

thanks for your help:smiling:

imagine2frolic 07-04-2008 06:24


It would depend on what kind of comforts, and luxuries you would like. Also your budget will account for a major input. You can be a minimulist, or be extravagant, and will have pretty much the same fun as everyone else.

If you plan on living at anchor on a simple boat. Your cost will be at the lower range. Eating out can be expensive, so cooking your own meals is a plus, and it uses up part of the day. How tall you are will make a difference in your selection also.

I use as a good reference point. You can look at a huge amount of boats, and get an idea of what may cover your needs. I also like roller furling, a good one! Being able to reef from the cockpit at least once, and hopefully twice. An electric windlass is much faster than manual, but electric takes juice. I find a wind generator, and solar panels a fantastic help with maintaining battery power.

It's a whole big world of choosing a boat. Others will jump in with some practical knowledge also, so BEST WISHES in finding a good solid boat......

Abaco 07-04-2008 07:45

Chapman has a good sailing school in Stuart, FL if you are interested.

SkiprJohn 07-04-2008 13:47

Aloha OldVTer,
Welcome aboard!! You'll get lots of suggestions and I think your idea of a sailing school is a good one. At my age, 63, I don't want to have to relearn things to get it right so I'm all for schools. Sometimes self taught works and sometimes it doesn't.
May I recommend the book, "Start Sailing Right!" and of course, anything else you can find in a public library that has to do with boat handling and seamanship.
Another recommendation I have is that you visit marinas, talk with sailors or powerboaters and join a club if there are any inexpensive ones in your areas.
Good luck in your new life and sorry for your loss.
Kind Regards,

Hud3 07-04-2008 14:12

There have been lots of discussions of cruising costs on the Forum. Click on this link and enter some key words relating to your specific questions, and see if you can find some answers in the many threads. Then try posting your own new thread with more specific questions.

Cruisers & Sailing Forum

anglooff 07-04-2008 16:59

Welcome.... And condolences on your recent loss.

The forum will provide you with many answers to your questions as there are already many threads that address these questions and no doubt those you will have in the future. So jump in and enjoy.


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