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Old 17-11-2005, 17:38   #1
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Question Blue Water or Fresh Water?

I'm one of those neophytes looking into learning how to sail, and eventually purchasing a boat(15 or 20 years, hence). I've seen those threads that question which boat is necessary for blue water cruising. I'm on Lake Ontario and I reckon if I were to pick up a yacht from this area, it is suited for a day cruise around the lake, rather than a five week passage to Europe.
When I get onto the Yachtworld used boats site, I'm unable to determine whether the boat I'm reading the specs for is suited for the blue-water cruising(which would be my ultimate goal). Could someone point out to me the features or specs which will help to distinguish a blue water boat from something that stays close to home? I'm well aware that I've a lot of learning to do before considering any transoceanic ventures. Its early days yet...


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Old 17-11-2005, 18:15   #2
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If you are not expecting to be purchasing a boat for another 15 or 20 years, then I would advise not worrying too much about types of boat at this stage. Get yourself onto a boat, any boat, in fact, as many boats as possible. In 15 - 20 years of semi-regular sailing I can pretty much guarantee that you will work out what type of boat is right for you and your needs (whihc might be different from what you think they are at the current time)!
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Old 18-11-2005, 04:24   #3
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Hi John,

Welcome to sailing.

Weyalan gives good advice above but I can recall when I was in my pre-sailing life, that how much FUN there was in just exploring boats etc and living the dream. It is usually those dreams that keep one motivated even tho' actually ownership was along way ahead.

So suggest you don't stop dreaming - but definitely take Wayalans advice and do start actually living a bit more of a sailing life.


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Old 18-11-2005, 09:11   #4
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Decision for John

John I just wanted to tell you that I still ask the same questions.
I have had my boat since 1979. I sailed before that on a variety of boats, and sailed on many others since I bought my boat.
If you want to get out on the water and get a feel for what it is like, may I suggest a Tanzer 22. There are plenty in your area and they are reasonably priced, they sail very well and most of all will take care of you. Sailing a boat like that will give you the exerience you need. There is also an active class association and a yahoo chat group.
Disclaimer: " I own a Tanzer, I used to sell the boat I am referring to "
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Old 20-11-2005, 14:22   #5
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Thanks for your responses. I guess I'll have to take a few years to get to know my way around things.
I looked at the Tanzer22, and there are a few for sale in the area. What kind of sailing is that particular model best suited to?

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Old 20-11-2005, 16:32   #6
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Having grown up on Lake Ontario and lived near Lake Superior the better part of my life I can say sailing the Great Lakes are not all that simple to sail well and often. The Great Lakes can dish it out as bad as you can take. Were you a skilled Great Lakes Sailor your judgement would be as sharp as any. The quality of the boat rarely exceeds the skill of the sailor. Selection of the boat is not the most critical task you face. 90% of sailing is about showing up.

Perhaps the biggest difference is the damn salt<g>. It is the most vial of differences from fresh water.
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Old 21-11-2005, 17:44   #7
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Lake Superior has the reputation as an inland sea, hasn't it? I see Gordon Lightfoot commenting on knowing how rough it can be sailing on the great lakes, from his own experiences. There has been a number of comments about the "witch of November" on the news here in the last couple of weeks, in reference to the sudden changes in the weather.

I appreciate all of your responses. I'm going to get into the training and all when I feel I've built up a good bit of cash that makes me confident that buying a yacht will be viable. Its going to take a lot of overtime at work to stash enough away, and I believe that it will take 7-8 years at a minimum. It feels a bit impolite to ask,"how much did it cost you to buy that yacht you sailed to New Zealand?". Its just a way of determining if its a realizable dream amidst the mortgage and child-rearing. Can I afford a boat like the one Miles Hordern circumnavigated the Pacific in? Can I cruise the world without all of the latest gadgets with the bells and whistles?

One further question to you all. Is there a "bible" for learning about sailing and seamanship which will help me to get my head around all of the concepts and skills involved, prior to the actal hands-on experience?


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Old 21-11-2005, 18:39   #8
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I suggest you read "Lone Voyager" written by Joe Garland. Might give you an idea of what has been done with very modest means.

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Old 21-11-2005, 18:44   #9
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You might check out "Royce's Sailing". It's just a tiny little book, that has an amazing amount of info.
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Old 22-11-2005, 05:00   #10
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The Great Lakes is (collectively) considered an “Inland Sea”, with Superior the largest and nastiest (tho’ Lake Erie has taken more ships & men, due to her heavier traffic). Your apprenticeship, on Lake Ontario, can provide excellent preparation for saltier cruising.

The "witch of November" is a term given * for a fast moving, gale force storm that often signals the beginning of winter on the Great Lakes. Thirty years ago, a particularly brutal storm of this type was bearing down on Lake Superior. By 1:00am on November 10, 1975, the winds had picked up to 52 knots, and by afternoon, the “Edmund Fitzgerald” had lost her radars, and was coping with waves crashing over the deck. Sometime around 7:30pm, she sank beneath the waves with all 29 hands.

* I'd never heard the term, prior to Gordon Lightfoot's famous memorial to the "Fitz".
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Old 22-11-2005, 14:46   #11
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I am not sure how it works over there, but here (in Australia), most of the reasonable sized yacht clubs have various facilities for the novice sailor. These facilities might include: Sail training days, or even weekly sail training courses. Twilight "racing" (i.e. relatively informal racing - not as full-on as wekend pennants) where inexperienced sailors can be introduced to an experienced skipper & crew and come on board for a series of "low stress" races. When I first decided I wanted to sail, I just went to my local yacht club on the evening of thier weekly twilight race and asked around for boats needing crew, and sarted from there!

As I said before, the best way to get into sailing is to sail and sail often. There are 4 yacht clubs within 6 miles of where I live, and between their respective twilight races and weekend pennants and crusing races I could generally find a boat to sail on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday.

Good luck with it.
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Old 26-08-2009, 01:30   #12
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Yep, get a small boat to learn how to sail and get out there and enjoy the water.

Just do be careful and treat the lakes with respect.

For those who aren't familiar, the Edmund Fitzgerald was a 729ft freighter that was overwhelmed and sank in a storm in Lake Superior in the 1970s, just 13nm from shore and 15nm from safe harbor.
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Old 26-08-2009, 01:40   #13
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Wow, you dredged this one up from the depths of the archives!
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Old 26-08-2009, 02:11   #14
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Oh sheesh. I thought i saw it on the "recent posts". It came up somehow without my looking for it... hmm.

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