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Old 19-01-2021, 16:21   #46
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Originally Posted by FutureCapt View Post
I can't imagine anyone has ever been on their deathbed thinking, "I wish I hadn't sailed the word."
I would like to circumnavigate the globe.
When I told people that I planned to retire to a cruising boat, I was asked if I was going to sail around the world.

My answer is that I intended to sail to where ever looked interesting. If that ends up around the world, fine. If not, fine.

Once I'm up-anchor, I'm done with commitments.
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Old 19-01-2021, 17:47   #47
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Sorry for your loss.

Life is full of surprises but the good news is that they are not all such unpleasant ones. For me, 29 is a lifetime ago. You have almost your whole adult life still in front of you, & I wish you well with it. If you are mobile & you think you will love sailing, why not move somewhere that lets you do that more easily? One of the fantastic things about Europe is that you don't have to go that far to be in a whole different scene with an active sailing community. I'm not suggesting you relocate to Europe but no doubt there are places in USA where sailing is a big activity? Massachusetts? Looks like there are lots of Americans in & around the Caribbean. Must be a reason.

You have received a lot of very sensible - but sometimes conflicting - advice on this forum. The real answer is that even the longest journey begins with but a single step. If you want to sail solo around the world (& maybe come back), I would most strongly suggest there is one thing you must have above all others.

It isn't a boat. Its a book. Ideally, you would have this book before you buy any boat at all. Very plainly, you do not possess this essential book as yet.

The bad news is that this book is not in any bookshop, is not online, in fact it is not available for you to buy anywhere in the world. Like everyone else, you will have to write this book for yourself.

The good news is that you can start writing your version of this book immediately, without any huge commitments or real money needed at all. AND you will have the greatest fun writing it.

The book is your own personal sailing logbook. Buy a blank one & start filling it in, any way that you can. Do the courses, crew for others, join a club, charter for yourself, maybe do some delivery trips as crew. You will rapidly acquire sea miles, experience, competence, confidence & knowledge with every line you write in your own logbook. And before too long you will be far better able to understand & compare the advice you have been given & to answer your important questions for yourself.

Good luck. Go for it. The chances are high that in time, in due time, in your own good time, you will meet someone else. Maybe they will share your sailing dream. Maybe not. If its the right person, it won't really matter either way. There are lots of ways to have a good life on this Earth.
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Old 19-01-2021, 18:52   #48
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

my husband and I have sailed and owned boats from 22' to 41'.
We realized that we did not use 10'of the 41', so we went down to 32'. For us boats from 27' to 32' is the sweet spot.
We have plenty of storage, the boat is easy to handle, and costs less to keep and maintain.
If the budget is tight then a couple of feet shorter might make the adventure more affordable.
Good luck to you
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Old 20-01-2021, 01:43   #49
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post

Four time solo circumnavigator and successful Longue Route competitor, Tony Curphey (74), says the Nicholson 32 is the safest boat in the Southern Ocean. He's off again, I believe!

Randy and Cheryl Baker cruised for 25 years aboard their Nic 32 in the Atlantic and South Pacific. The book of their adventures is riveting and delightful:
"Half Fast" by Randy Baker.
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Old 20-01-2021, 02:21   #50
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower


Boy, can I relate to this! I'm a few months "ahead" on this curve. I lost my wife just over a year ago. Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and only 3 months from diagnosis. No warning. Bang!

I hope you're doing okay. It's so hard but it's good to talk about it. I find it helps. So does planning for the future and moving forward.

My late wife and I sailed quite a bit, cruising and club racing, on our Nicholson 32. Perfect! We'd planned to sail to the Med to retire in 2026.

There are so many unpredictable and painful stages in grieving! It's a roller coaster. It's not over yet, I'm sure.

I kept thinking about sailing away. Just away. I didn't know how far nor for how long. Rent out my house. It's quite feasible and I can sail solo. And I have a great blue water yacht.

But now I'm waiting. I need to move forward, step by step. Perhaps, this year, I'll be able to make some short passages around Britain's shore or across to Europe again. I hope, in time, I will venture further. Right now I need my home base and friends. And sort out my head! There's no rush, even though I'm twice your age!

I wish you well. I hope these few thoughts may be of some help.

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Old 20-01-2021, 03:46   #51
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Pay attention to Sean. He's been around the world once already (Although I respect his right to go engineless because of his environmental beliefs, I never have myself. Yanmar, Beta or Volvo for me!)

I have no idea what George_SD's background is, but I would respectfully and strongly disagree with ALL of his posts.

Big boats are NOT better boats. Single-handers need to be conservative about boat size for exactly the reason you mention. And bow thrusters have absolutely no bearing on anything. You will not be using a bow thruster to sail across oceans.

Go try sailing a Catalina 36 by yourself (It's not easy) - they are also not boats you want to sail oceans in! (I went across the South Pacific in a 38' boat with a crew of 3-4 and that was plenty big of a boat for 3-4 people. And we never had problems with tankage, storage and suchlike.)

Look to the single-handers on this Forum as concrete examples:

SeandePagnier - Alberg Triton 28'
Orion Jim - Cape Dory 30'
Snore - Dufour 35 (although I believe he has a partner)(he also is a Master Mariner with a 100 Ton Captain's License)
AtCowboy - Cape Dory 27
Thomm225 - Bristol 27
DJousset - Diane, is your boat 30 or 32?
KelseyB - Custom Steel 30'
Spot - Custom 22'
With all hale to Boatie (Boatman61) also a single-hander who has single handed boats of every size and persuasion, so it's hard to keep track

Perhaps also read the bios of Members who are providing advice. See if they have crossed oceans single-handed. Pay attention to them.

Originally Posted by seandepagnier View Post
the bigger the boat the less likely you will achieve your goal. I use smaller boat with weight 4 ton or lower so that it's possible to easily sail as well as human power the boat.

Bigger boats are more dangerous:

1) falling from mast is too high. I fell from the top of my mast and didn't break anything.
2) accidental jibe more danger. I would probably be dead already on large boat.
3) running aground much more difficult to get off again.
4) anchor buried deep in storm, big hassle to raise
5) large boat difficult to sail puts you in difficult position. too many here rely on engine power, I have never used one. the engine often breaks and I never had this problem
6) large boat also costs a lot in too many different ways and the danger is to spoil your plans when you cannot afford to continue.

many people around the world are disgusted by wealth inequity. in many pacific islands they may smile but they are reasonably upset to see large cruising boat dieseling in destroying the reefs of the world when they are living in harmony. I know all about this because the people there told me so! In the most interesting places you can sail to the people prefer a visiting cruising boat without pollution engine. I received more kindness and friendly people and many special passes.

I encourage you and hope you select a boat no longer than 33ft, and prefer 4 tons or lighter in weight. Boats from 24-27ft are adequate. I strongly encourage you to consider the merits of engine free cruising!
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Old 21-01-2021, 16:46   #52
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Where and when do we shove off ? It all sounds perfect to me. I've been planning a circumnavigation for 5 years now and I'm chomping at the bit, waiting for covid19 to pass. You be the captain and I'll be the engineer. You won't get any crap or attitude from me. Lets have a chat and maybe make some plans. This could be blast ! Email if your serious.
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Old 25-01-2021, 08:10   #53
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

I own an Island Packet 31, and would not hesitate to take it around the world by myself. A larger boat would not be better to single hand. Read the book "30 Feet is Enough" by Lin and Larry Pardey. I believe that their first boat used to circumnavigate was a heavy displacement 24 foot. They eventually went to a 30 foot, both of which were engineless.
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Old 25-01-2021, 08:18   #54
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

As others have noted, yes, truly sorry for your loss. Not easy, but good to be looking forward.

"Dreaming". "Studied sailing". "Circumnavigation".

Well many of us have heard and maybe even experienced all the above going really well - or really badly. The eternal optimist vs the worried and leery.

In any case, we're all different, and advice from "experienced" sailors aside, it's important to know and be realistic about who we are. Again, we're all different yes?

Size of boat is important, but only a piece.

Displacement, initial build quality, condition, prior use - prior care. Age (not only of the boat but of all the systems). What was the boat designed for, or set up for - day sailing or long distance cruising. Motion. Speed. Hugely important variables.

And what about the skipper - what is he/she set up for? Skill level, tenacity, temperament, tolerance. Lots of unbounding energy... or not so much. Like being outside in the weather and elements all the time - regardless of what it is? - that's a given in cruising. Needless to say, it's not all sunny, perfect wind, crystal clear blue green Caribbean-like water. It's not all friendly quiet anchorages or ports.

What is needed for comfort in terms of the boat: quick, reactive, sharp sailing - but in reality often tiring... or slow going and responsive, so so sailing - but in reality potentially more comfortable.

What is comfort - a fast efficient exciting passage, or a slower methodical journey?

Adventure or running away? Companionship or solitude? Forget or remember?

Is "studying" sailing enough? Is it appropriate for a significant investment, and/or circumnavigation?

The sea, the water, the ocean - is truly beautiful and amazing, and healing for lots of what life presents us with. And... it can also be at times very challenging, very difficult, and very unforgiving.

Your call, your decisions.

Best of Luck!
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Old 25-01-2021, 08:19   #55
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Sorry to hear about your loss ... so so young, so so sad.

Here is a bit of a twist ...

You are still a young man seeking adventure and have a lifetime ahead of you. Consider a career in the yachting industry where you get paid to sail, even if you do it only for a few years. Upside is that you can go sailing without investment into a boat, you will be properly trained on how to sail, and you will learn a great deal about types of boats, what works-what doesn't, and much more. After a year or two (you may never leave), you will be better equipped to set out on your own if you still want to do that. And you will have a network of professional sailing friends you have made along the way, some of whom may want to join you.

Consider going to Florida (Ft Lauderdale) which has much more to offer than California. You will need to be in the work area to apply for jobs and will need to meet minimum requirement of STCW Basic Safety Training (1 week course & $1,000) and a maritime medical (ENG1). Another couple hundred dollars for a Powerboat Level II course so you can drive the yacht's tender and you will be off to the races. Work on yachts of your choice - sail or power, big or small. You will bank most of your income because crew usually live aboard and all onboard meals are included. If this interests you, google search for yachting academies in Flordia. There are several in the Ft Lauderdale area. Speak with a representative in the career and training department and they will provide good advice information.

With a small percentage of what it costs to purchase a yacht, you can get all the training you need to become a professionally certified captain making a great income sailing the world on luxury yachts. You won't risk spending a great deal of money on a yacht only to find out it is something you don't want.

The industry has been slow over the last year due to Covid-19 and lots of entry level people have left the industry. I believe there is lots of opportunity to enter the yachting industry and once this Covid thing is behind us the industry is going to take off. As a professional yacht captain I have some insights into these matters.

Do what you love and never work a day in your life!!!

Best wishes and good luck, whatever you decide.
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Old 25-01-2021, 08:25   #56
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

I'm very sorry for your loss, too. As a widower myself as of 25 years ago, I recall advice I heard back then: "Don't make any major life changes until you have had at least a year, better two, to live with your grief and get adjusted to the world in a new way." That turned out to be very good advice, as I can attest without going into details.
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Old 25-01-2021, 08:32   #57
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

I recommend you look for boats in Baka California. Many a world sailing dteam has ended with a well outfitted sailboat in the yard on the hard in Mexico. Hundreds of them in Guyamas. I know a couple nice ones that are in Loteto and a broker in Mazatlan. Covid has forced a number of Canadians to stay home this season. Their boats might be available as well.
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Old 25-01-2021, 08:35   #58
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Hi Kelly,
The boat you are looking at and all your training and self learning are fabulous. It is so sad to read that your plans are now having to be adjusted due to the loss of your wife. Here is a concept that adds a different consideration for you. Where might be the best place to start from? Having sailed in both the Pacific Northwest and the East Coast of the United States, as well as the Caribbean and Atlantic; I would strongly advise you to take a look at the option of starting from the East Coast of the United States. There are a lot of really great reasons for doing this, especially if you were thinking of doing it solo.
1.A much larger selection of boats to choose from.
2. A coast line that is extremely cruiser friendly with thousands of anchorages and marinas, hundreds of chandleries and boat yards for when you need stuff.
3. Perfectly suited for building confidence and skills for solo sailing with hundreds of miles of simple day hops sailing all the way down the coast.
4. Excellent access to the internet, low cost food for provisioning, and parts as you get yourself and your boat ready to go offshore while still enjoying cruising and making your way around the world.
5. Two great options for starting your offshore adventures and circumnavigation. A. Bermuda to the Azores and either the Med or the return via the Madeiras, Canary islands and Cape Verde Islands to the Caribbean. Or B, sail south into the Bahamas or Eastern Caribbean. Both options are then perfectly suited to head for the Panama Canal and the expanses of the Pacific Ocean. Total time required 6-8 months.
5. Finally, with this circuit as your starter it gives you plenty of incredible cruising and options to sell your boat, easily upgrade it, or find a more suitable vessel if required.
6. There are also endless opportunities to meet others and maybe even find a new partner to share the rest of your circumnavigation with.

All in - the East coast USA- Caribbean and Atlantic are a much more user friendly starting area than the west coast and massive expanses and more isolated destinations of the Pacific ocean.

Whichever boat you choose my only advice would be to think long and carefully about the KISS principle. Keep It Super Simple. The less you need to maintain the more you will enjoy wherever you decide to sail.

All the very best to you.
SV Oh!
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Old 25-01-2021, 08:36   #59
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

I'm so very saddened to hear of your loss.
As a 'Delivery Skipper' (plus 20yrs in the Navy!) - I've sailed a huge variety of boats. I'll cut this down to the bone by adding my 2 quick comments/opinions:
1) I find that 41 or 42' is about as much as I like to handle alone coming alongside and managing myself when refuelling etc. I have driven much larger boats on my own.....but the slightest errors can become disasters quickly as the boat size increases!
2) Coincidentally, I find a 41' is about the minimum for a deep water boat that starts to handle/feel like a yacht - and not a 'camper'.
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Old 25-01-2021, 08:45   #60
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

My advice (and I offer it to EVERY new/dreaming sailor) is this: DO NOT spend your time, energy or money, contemplating a circumnav! In all likelihood you will NEVER do it. BUT find a boat you like, learn to sail safely and proficiently, travel in your vicinity and beyond... and most importantly, see if you LOVE sailing. This will likely take years. THEN if you’re still interested, start learning about a circumnav. As a lifelong runner and sailor, I have similar advice for non-runners who announce, “I’m training to run a marathon.” Grandiose goals detract from the joy of the actual activity (both running and sailing). Just get out there and love sailing. It’s a wonderful experience, regardless of the distance.
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