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Old 25-01-2021, 08:51   #61
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

My condolences for your loss. As others have already given you a lot of great advice on training and getting sea time under yourself (very important!), I won't repeat it. As to your question about the Catalina 36, yes, they are great boats for their intended purpose and would probably do the trick so long as the sea was kind. But you can never count on that.

Personally, if I was contemplating such a solo circumnavigation (which I'm not), I'd be looking at those who have gone before me and what they chose, and why. Keeping it at 40' or under is wise. Easier to handle solo and when things break, they'll be easier to fix by yourself.

Jeanne Socrates, age 77, did it in a 38' Najad.
Jessica Watson, age 16, did it in a S&S 34.
Laura Dekker, age 16, did it in a Jeanneau 40' ketch.

And these were solo, nonstop circumnavigations.

I'd also include in the list of possibles a Pacific Seacraft 34 or 37.

Spending a couple of years getting experience with a variety of boats will tell you much about your personal preferences, as well as the pros and cons of various designs and builders.

Good luck to you!

Intentional Drifter

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Old 25-01-2021, 09:43   #62
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Hello Kelly.
It is wonderful that you discovered sailboats together and opened that door. I don't know where you live--did you mention that in your post? This is a "before I rush off to work" posting so I didn't read it thoroughly.

As others have mentioned it is so important to have a plan and a goal. Jimmy Cornell's book will certainly give you a broader picture, something to aim for.

Meanwhile, I suggest getting a lot of sailing under your belt closer to home--get comfortable with night sailing, for instance. When we started, here in Vancouver, British Columbia, we went sailing on our tiny 25-foot Northern 90 days of the year, almost all weekends, and Friday nights we would set sail to the islands in nearby Howe Sound, meaning night-time sailing. As you sail and work with your boat(s), you get to know what is really important, what you can handle as a single-hander and what is not such a good idea.

We went offshore for 2 years (see Time For a Catamaran Adventure – Isn't Time For Yours?) and had all wonderful, and some challenging experiences. We are still amazed that we crossed the ocean twice in our (then) 32-foot catamaran. Any boat is small on the ocean, but when we look at our pictures now (as we have extended to 37 feet), we are amazed. That extra 5 feet has allowed a lot of things we didn't have when we crossed, but -HEY!- we did it when we had the energy and time to do it. Many single-handers have done significant passages in a 28' Bristol Channel Cutter. The main thing is to be able to handle the boat with complete confidence and safety o your own.

We wish you luck and are very happy that you have a dream.
Kindest thoughts,
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Old 25-01-2021, 09:49   #63
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Might I suggest.... Not buying a boat?!

You could travel by sailboat, lots and lots of places for nearly free by just getting on a crew website. I've picked up crew as young as 18, old as 72, completely inexperienced to vastly more experienced than I. I also crewed many times before I bought a sailboat, and I will say out of all those I had 1 bad experience, but the rest were lovely and I made good friendships on every voyage. Many of which I stay in contact to this day.
At 29, free yourself, don't get saddled with something you can't quickly let go of. Life is full of trappings, no need to put your head thru a snare you set yourself.

You'll be welcomed aboard many a boat with a good personality and youthful energy. You probably will find a boat going somewhere you want to visit without much effort or wait.

I am sorry for your, and your wife's loss, to be young and face death is unfair, to have to accept it is unjust. I have lost many people over my career, those I could not pull back from the edge no matter how hard I and others tried. In the elderly there is some solace, in youth there is none.
"We can choose what we learn but have little or no control over what we forget, fill your head carefully" Dr. R
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Old 25-01-2021, 11:11   #64
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

My wife also died of stage 4 breast cancer. The best advice I got was slow down a bit. Take it easy. Donít make any big decisions. I was like you ready to leap out there. But I took the advice to heart.
Since then (15 years now) I have done many more offshore trips. Initially on others boats. More recently on my own boats.
Taking the time out was great advice.
Maybe you could consider crewing. There are so many opportunities out there. And you can then get to grips gradually with the offshore cruising life and work out what suits you best. And you will meet a variety of people. Maybe even meet a new partner. I did.
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Old 25-01-2021, 11:18   #65
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Not of you budget you want to spend but I found two 31’ Island Packet sail boats. One asking $50k and one asking $40k on the East Coast. That 31’ IP will get you anywhere and are a solid boat. The two boats were on Yachtworld, go there and search Island Packet 29’-32’ in the 70’s and 80’s you’ll find them, one listed below.
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Old 25-01-2021, 12:33   #66
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

You are 29. You can start out with coastal sailing, or in your case sailing up the the Alaska panhandle juneau and surrounding area for the summer of this year and the puget sound. Then hoop down the Pacific coast to Oxnard area. You will have the chance to find a sailing companion or two. Then Decided of you are heading to Hawaii or the Marquesas
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Old 25-01-2021, 12:53   #67
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Sorry for your loss. Ive been there, its hard, but it gets better with time.

Your plan is not unrealistic, but first learn to sail rather than focussing on buying a boat. You dont need to own a boat to do that. In fact, you dont need to own a boat to circumnavigate. Build some solid experience and you will have more sailing opportunities than you can take (I've had to turn down trips totalling about 25% of a circumnavigation just for 2021 so far).
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Old 25-01-2021, 13:06   #68
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

You've received a lot of advice, a lot of it bad.
If you want to take the cruise to die at sea, jump right into it!
Do you have a captains license and can navigate when your electronic go out?
Do you have wind and solar generators?
Do you have a water maker?
How well do you know your Diesel engine, simple repairs?
Single handing is okay but not as much fun as having someone hearing your berth!
Do you have skills to make money while on the hook?
Size? You have to carry food and water and things (books, games, iPad, etc) to stay sane. Look at the marinas. Are there serious cruisers and what boats do they have?
I suggest leisurely sailing down the coast. You'll get a better idea of cost and check out deck mates. Take your time cruising the Gulf and Caribbean. You'll have a great time and you can sail to England and the Med with few problems.
Then you should be able to take on the pirates and the Pacific.
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Old 25-01-2021, 13:45   #69
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

I have not made a full circumnavigation, but have more than equalled it in miles sailed on a Tayana 34, with the engine removed (but a diesel generator in its place!). I highly recommend less than 40 ft., And frankly… If you can find one… The Tayana 34 is a great world traveler.
I spent a lot of time re-working halyards and other lines to tail end of the cockpit, with new cockpit chocks so that single handling would be an easy task, right from the cockpit. It was quite successful… and I always felt comfortable.
The engine removal was not intentional. When I bought the boat, the engine had blown Head, And I chose to remove engine and prop blade… And dropped a nice generator in its location and tied it into the exhaust. It was a nice thing to have for offshore power when I needed it. I was not technologically savvy enough about solar power at the time to use it… it has been a few years.

Focus a great deal of your time on learning to sail in rough condition’s. Make yourself go out and some bad weather and rough seas and see how things handle on various boats if you have the chance. You are undoubtedly going to run into something comparable.
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Old 25-01-2021, 14:13   #70
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

The condition of the boat is what matters, your get the job done attitude is what matters. People have all sorts of opinions regarding what's the best boat, it dosent matter. I've seen all sorts of boats out there.

Circumnavigating the world is a worthwhile goal, a human needs something to do and something to look forward to, this fits the bill.

Go for it, there will always be a reason not to or why you cant, move forward, correct along the way and dont look back, I did ,you can , it's that simple.
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Old 25-01-2021, 14:18   #71
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Zac Sunderland did it on a 36 foot boat he bought for $6000 when he was 17.
I think for soloists a 36 foot is ideal (simple systems, quite manageable single handed).
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Old 25-01-2021, 14:26   #72
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

I would quote the Pardey's."Go small, go simple, go now."
Founding member of the controversial Calypso rock band, Guns & Anchors!
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Old 25-01-2021, 14:53   #73
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower


A couple points:

If I was me, I might look into crewing with experienced owners of a much larger ship.

How familiar are you with the acronym 'H.A.L.T.'?
It breaks down as:
* Hungry
* Angry
* Lonely
* Tired.
Users suggest avoiding any decision while you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.

An early-2022 departure would squeeze a lot of re-finishing of deferred maintenance on a 'new-to-you older vessel' during a rough year of emotional recovery/renewal/re-direction.


And yet, it can be done.

2003, my Very Significant Other got sick.
Naturally, we acquired a 1997 Ford CF8000 commercial truck to convert to our concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.
In less than a week, we completed our conversion while selling everything.
Less than a week after diagnosis, we left Oregon with the vague goal of 'south!'.

Twenty-four months twenty-four thousand miles around south America.
Alaska, Panama, all over north an central America.
Each moment a precious gift.

Would I do it again?
You bet!
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Old 26-01-2021, 05:20   #74
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Hi, lost my wife of cancer also seven years ago. Wanted to sell everything and sail off too. Already had a small boat and I wanted to find a bigger one. Fortunately it took quite some time to find the right boat and by the time I found it my pain had somewhat calm down a little and I could start to see I was making a mistake. May not be your case...but something to think about...
time is a good advisor.

Good luck...
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Old 26-01-2021, 12:19   #75
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Re: Cruising Advice for a Widower

Originally Posted by FutureCapt View Post
Hey all,
This is my first time posting here. Please let me know if I am breaking any etiquette or rules so I can edit and correct.

So small backstory. I am a recent widower. My wife, of nine years, and I made a trip to Kenai Fjords two summers ago and I fell in love with sailboats. I've studied sailing since then. My wife passed from stage 4 breast cancer in August. I am 29 years old and unfortunately with no children. My thought is I am never going to be this young and/or available ever again.
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.

I know this is a bigger task then I realize currently. I am hoping some experienced salt may help me make a reality of my dream by sharing their experience.

I've talked to some of my friends about joining me and it looks like it would be just me, solo.
I sailed a little in the boy scouts (eagle scout here) but that's been over a decade now so for all intents and purposes I'm a beginner.

I've been enamored by the Catalina 36. It's well within my price range and I've seen it on the world ARC list before. What do you think this boat has for pros and cons in a circumnavigation.

I like the "usual" two-and-a-half year circumnavigation plan with the extra season in the South Pacific/New Zealand area. I'd start heading south and west-ish from the Seattle area around February 2022 as a target. I know please laugh, I don't know what I'm talking about, that's why I'm asking for help.

I haven't looked thoroughly at any real routes but have purchased Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes and World Voyage Planner and Don Casey's Complete Sailboat Maintenance Manual.

Do you think that $1,500.00 per month (so 45K cash for the voyage, with an additional 2.5k set aside for the Panama Canal) would be a realistic budget for 30 months travel?

I know this is all still new to me so please excuse the naivety and offer experience and assistance if you are able. Please let me know any other information that may be needed or DM me.
Thank you in advance,
Hi Sorry for your loss truly.

Iíve recently bought a 27 ft Albin Vega a really nice one Iv decided that what I could do if I donít want to sail Accross the Atlantic from 🇬🇧 UK to the Caribian sea is have the boat put on one of them yacht transport ships and taken Accross , then sail from there. My thinking is after that I only need a smaller boat. My boat can do it but itís an option. This saves me tons of money buying a bigger boat . And lots of money in Marina costs while Iím cruising.
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