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Old 30-12-2021, 07:56   #1
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Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

It is common for people new to cruising to come to CF and ask for advice on which boat to buy, or ask questions like "which boats are bluewater boats" etc. Just as common is the standard answer, to start with classes, other people's boats, or a smaller boat to gain experience.


Clearly there are many who disregard most of this advice and who purchase 36'+ cruising boats, whether power or sail, and then read a book and take lessons from a delivery captain before setting out on their own.


We hear about some of the disasters.


Are there any success stories?
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Old 30-12-2021, 09:02   #2
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

Most of the people active on this site are 'success stories'. However, few of them started with "I've never owned a boat, I've never sailed, I want to buy a 42 boat, and sail around the world while I learn".

These are each daunting and have a high potential for failure. Those that stick around this lifestyle for decades took the long hard road. Much of the pushback is that what is interpretted from the newbie approach is

"I don't want to take the time to learn and earn my stripes. I'm in the middle of a mid-life crisis NOW. Just tell the sum of what I need to know, that you've learned over the last 30+ years as you paid your dues."
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Old 30-12-2021, 09:41   #3
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

This has been a great site with a lot of insight from veteran boaters from which I have very much appreciated their stories. Been building my boating resume for 30 years but nothing compared to the 46 live abroad we are aiming for with dreams of the Bahamas. Reality kicked in changing our plan to to the loop to earn our stripes before we go afar crossing the blue water of the Gulf Stream. Gives us a solid yr to work out the kinks and go thru some bumps and bruises being close to help along the coast and canals.
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Old 30-12-2021, 09:42   #4
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

We purchased a 47 foot ketch 5 years ago, our first and so far only sailboat. I'll say the toughest part was not learning to pilot such a large boat (which seems small now), but adjusting to the lifestyle - which would have happened regardless of boat size!
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Old 30-12-2021, 09:48   #5
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

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We purchased a 47 foot ketch 5 years ago, our first and so far only sailboat. I'll say the toughest part was not learning to pilot such a large boat (which seems small now), but adjusting to the lifestyle - which would have happened regardless of boat size!


How was the adjustment. Anything you would have don differently
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Old 30-12-2021, 11:33   #6
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

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How was the adjustment. Anything you would have don differently
We bought our boat and almost immediately started cruising. I went from working 9-5 to full time boat life. Things got hard and after 8 months, we quit.

We kept the boat though, and here we are at it again, but we are taking things more slowly. We lived aboard for a while at a marina before setting off but are still keeping things local. It's given us time to adjust to living in a small space together, as well as time to dial things in on the boat so they are "just right" for us.

I think the combined stress of living together 24 hours a day, plus consistent travel, figuring our new countries, overnights, etc. was just overwhelming. Though I'm sure some couples can handle this, we've learned that our travel pace is best when it's extra slow.
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Old 30-12-2021, 11:45   #7
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

I think success stories abound.

Asking these questions doesn't get you a defined answer, rather it gets you a discussion which makes you think about things you haven't thought of.
"You don't know what you don't know"
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Old 30-12-2021, 11:56   #8
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

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I think success stories abound.

Asking these questions doesn't get you a defined answer, rather it gets you a discussion which makes you think about things you haven't thought of.
"You don't know what you don't know"
Well said!!!!
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Old 30-12-2021, 12:37   #9
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

Bought a 40’ Beneteau this year after watching all these people living life on YouTube during covid lockdown. Figured why not us. Didn’t even know what a 12v switch panel did when I bought the boat, we upgraded it and 4 months later am writing it this from Exumas. We learn new stuff every day, stuff breaks daily and we can usually fix it, so it’s definitely doable as long as the boat floats.
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Old 30-12-2021, 13:27   #10
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
It is common for people new to cruising to come to CF and ask for advice on which boat to buy, or ask questions like "which boats are bluewater boats" etc. Just as common is the standard answer, to start with classes, other people's boats, or a smaller boat to gain experience.


Clearly there are many who disregard most of this advice and who purchase 36'+ cruising boats, whether power or sail, and then read a book and take lessons from a delivery captain before setting out on their own.


We hear about some of the disasters.


Are there any success stories?
I bought a 36' sailboat dead cheap around 8 years ago, knowing literally nothing about sailing and never having been on a boat before (I thought that 'sheets' were another name for sails). I wanted a cheap place I could live on that was 'my own' since the housing market was bonkers where I lived (it's since got even worse), picked up the book 'Good Old Boat' on a whim one day and thought "I could do that"

Moved onto it 6 months later, lived on her for 6 more years while refitting her, learning to sail and working fulltime. Sailed her around Vancouver Island, up towards Alaska and down to Mexico, mostly single-handed. Would have crossed to FP as well but Covid-19 intervened and I had to sell the boat after two years being stuck in Mexico - I needed to go back to work.

I kept a blog and it's funny to go back and see what I didn't know, or did wrong
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Old 30-12-2021, 13:29   #11
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

That Aussie fella on La Vagabonde freely admits he knew the square root of S.F.A. before buying his 43' Bene and setting out.

Are they a success story?
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Old 30-12-2021, 13:48   #12
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

What is success?

I knew a successful businessman who's first boat was a big, powerful boat. He successfully paid for it, fueled it constantly, and visited fun ports and ate fine food.

During some two decades, he also successfully paid, at various times, to have it put on a barge, replace the props, shafts, and struts, and effect multiple fiberglass repairs. He got to pay to fix other boats too. His next boat didn't go so well.

Surely he thought his jump into boating was successful. Not everyone agreed.
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Old 30-12-2021, 14:43   #13
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

I bought my first motorboat with zero knowledge, and experience, and after motoring around, taking some boating classes, and finally a sailing class, I bought a sailboat.

My first sail on a boat of any size was buying a 44 ft cruising catamaran, and sailing down the East coast, around the Keys to Tampa on the West coast.

There are a few things I would have done differently, but in spite of several boat malfunctions, and pilot errors, made it OK.

The thing practically sails itself, just be very alert to wind speeds, and reefing.
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Old 30-12-2021, 15:40   #14
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

I had reasonable sailing experience when I retired and bought my first boat. I had raced as crew on a few boats for a few years. Did 4 charters in BVI, Greece, and the Bahamas. Then I went shopping. Being an older retired guy now with a bit more money on hand and a good bit more aches and pains I moved from thinking of a smaller boat and wanted more creature comforts. My first ( and so far only) owned boat is a 46 ft monohull. Sails great and has lots of comfort items like electric winches, generator etc. It was a lightly used boat. I already was pretty good with sailing, navigating, weather etc. Within 4 months I took off for a winter season in the Bahamas. Lots of it singlehanded once I did the 5 day sail down. All this is the good stuff.
What I didn’t know anything about was boat systems. The electrical, plumbing, refridgerator as well as what it takes to maintain all this. That was a learning curve! But so far I am happy with my choice and I consider the oat choice and my 4 winters in the Bahamas a success.
If I was to do it all over again from the start I would still pick the same boat but I would do a lot more cruising closer to home before I took off for an area where parts and expertise are hard to find.
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Old 30-12-2021, 15:58   #15
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Re: Success stories from inexperienced buyers of large boats

These folks have done it so far. It was cool following them from this post to today and their YouTube channel.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...d.php?t=234133

https://youtu.be/bX-v9Gt56iI

https://youtu.be/5fUxMBv-DY0
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