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Old 10-03-2021, 00:00   #1
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Next step?

Bit of back ground:
51 years old in a a few weeks. Just started learning to sail on Pacer's.
Just starting to attempt to get on a the Saturday arvos racing boats.

Looking forward id like us to be cruising in 5 or so years which is the whole point of learning to sail.

Not looking to hire boats or work on other peoples.

What should i be looking to do next to keep progressing? Thinking the offshore survival course?
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Old 10-03-2021, 02:24   #2
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Re: Next step?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Luke 1 View Post
Bit of back ground:
51 years old in a a few weeks. Just started learning to sail on Pacer's.
Just starting to attempt to get on a the Saturday arvos racing boats.

Looking forward id like us to be cruising in 5 or so years which is the whole point of learning to sail.

Not looking to hire boats or work on other peoples.

What should i be looking to do next to keep progressing? Thinking the offshore survival course?
Maybe update your profile with your location, so Forum members can make sail training recommendations relevant to your location...

But keep sailing in any case. Get on the racing boat if you can as well. Contrary to "everyday sailing", racing forces you to sail the boat on all points of sail and learn to make the boat go well on all points. Everyday sailing, I find, people fall into a rut of doing what I call out-and-backs: set the boat on a reach, sail for X-number of hours, come back on a reciprocal of 180 degrees and reach back. Conseqently, they never learn to sail their boat well, under a myriad of conditions.

Fair winds,
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:14   #3
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Re: Next step?

What does cruising mean to you? Sell everything and take off? 6-months on and 6-months off.

Learning to sail is not the hard part. Money and lifestyle changes are, especially at 51. Of all the aborted and abandoned cruising dreams I've seen, not one was because they couldn't figure out how to sail.

Its not incredibly difficult to learn to handle a boat in protected waters. Expand your horizons as you learn more.

Good luck

Peter
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Old 10-03-2021, 05:12   #4
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Re: Next step?

SOLAS-training is never wrong, but not necessary yet.
You'll also need in many areas the SRC for VHF-radio. This can be done any time and is easy to get it done. Actually, in many places this is the only certificate you're mandated to have on board.

Next step would be to figure out where you want to cruise and get a little experience there to check, if this is really what you want. Life in the BVI is very different from the PNW and different again from the Med.

Expect the next few vacations (from 51 to 53/54) to go sailing on other people's boats. Do berth charter or go with friends at the beginning and get the certifications to charter boats (I think it's ASA in the USA) so you can charter at least once on your own. This is a very cheap way to prevent costly mistakes and get a glimpse at your dream.

This will teach you what kind of boat is the right fit for you and what style of cruising gives you most pleasure. No point in going for a bluewater-cruiser when you're interested in mostly coastal / island sailing with 2 short passages to get there and back every year.

Around 53 (assuming your finances allow it) start looking for a boats. You should already have a good idea what you don't like and a rough idea what you would like. Specially in the off seasons, good deals come along. Unfortunately I got my boat about 5 years to early, but I was stupid and fell in love with it. That wasn't clever.

Once you get ready to retire at 55, if you have the chance at 54, before going full time, start with small steps. Your new-to-you boat will need some work, you will destroy a few things, other things will break on their own and most important, you will have to build confidence in your boat and your skills with the boat.

Lastly, use the time until to get your finances ready.
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Old 10-03-2021, 06:19   #5
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Re: Next step?

I see darned good advice above. I'm adding, not contradicting.

First note: "We", commonly called "The Admiral," to separate you from him/her and establish ultimate rank. Be sure that he/she shares your dream and takes up the skills that you do.

There's a set of skills that separate sailing from cruising. They include radio use, weather, handling weather/waves, cooking, energy management, maintenance, anchoring, navigation, pilotage, engines, creative uses of obscenities, and a few others that don't come to mind at present.

Not to scare you off, and some can be learned or partially learned while reading a book. Others will take experience, which means that when you do get to your first boat on cruising water you need to respect your envelope and push it gently, so your judgement, which comes from the exercise of poor judgement, comes in the form of "Well, that didn't work, and will be expensive to repair" rather than "OH, SH*T" or even worse.

So, go at it on all fronts. Make it your hobby for the next several years.
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Old 10-03-2021, 07:43   #6
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Re: Next step?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Luke 1 View Post
Bit of back ground:
51 years old in a a few weeks. Just started learning to sail on Pacer's.
Just starting to attempt to get on a the Saturday arvos racing boats.

Looking forward id like us to be cruising in 5 or so years which is the whole point of learning to sail.

Not looking to hire boats or work on other peoples.

What should i be looking to do next to keep progressing? Thinking the offshore survival course?
You need to SAIL more! Not be part of a race crew and just basically be meat, but SAIL!

My first year after taking lessons I joined a club and my wife and I sailed on the weekends for 3 months. Then we got our first boat, 39', and sailed every weekend and start did more and more advanced sailing as we learned and got more experience.

Owning a boat also teaches you the harder part of cruising on a sailboat, which is how to maintain and fix it. The sailing part is the easy part.
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Old 10-03-2021, 23:47   #7
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Re: Next step?

Cheers, some good advice.

I'm In Tasmania so Bass Straight is and will be my learning ground. Dive in the deep end as they say..lol

My wife is also learning to sail with me at the local yacht club but also with an all girls group called She Sails at a nearby yacht club. We both think its extremely important she can also sail. Plus she wants to.

Am looking at something like a inexpensive trailor sailer to supplement any race boat time before the larger purchase but not looking at chartering.

I'm not after any financial advice at the moment but I wont be selling up to make it happen. I'll make it happen on a smaller budget and rent out the house for our cruising budget.

VHF course is a very good idea. Also thinking an updated first aid wont go astray. Weather is something i will struggle with a bit i think but not aware of a course for that, at least not locally.

So offshore survival, VHF course and first aid. Look into weather courses.
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Old 10-03-2021, 23:57   #8
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Re: Next step?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Luke 1 View Post

Looking forward id like us to be cruising in 5 or so years which is the whole point of learning to sail.

Not looking to hire boats or work on other peoples.
The above advice given by experienced voices here is golden. However, I want to make a slight suggestion of an edit to your own words:

Looking forward id like us to be cruising in 5 or so years which is the whole point of learning to sail.

One really helpful step along the way would be to hire boats and sail with other people.
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Old 11-03-2021, 00:23   #9
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Re: Next step?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF Sailing View Post
The above advice given by experienced voices here is golden. However, I want to make a slight suggestion of an edit to your own words:

Looking forward id like us to be cruising in 5 or so years which is the whole point of learning to sail.

One really helpful step along the way would be to hire boats and sail with other people.
Sailing with other people is on the cards hopefully. Chartering in Australia is very expensive and time consuming. Im self employed and semi retired and whilst i rarely work a full day or a full week taking 2 weeks off to charter a boat in the Whitsundays would be a huge hit both financially and in time I dont normally get off.
Im not trying to be argumentative and i hear what your saying, its just that it might not be feasible.
We do have friends who sail 3 days a week in Sydney, The husband also has raced in a few Sydney to Hobarts and Hamilton island race week etc and they have never chartered. Instead the $ have gone into their boat budget for when they retire.
Chartering is expensive here in Aus.
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Old 11-03-2021, 00:59   #10
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Re: Next step?

Its about $1000 bucks a night (5 night min) plus, plus, plus. Out of my humble budget. Could spend the 5 nights on a trailor sailor instead and sail it often in much more diverse and challenging waters.
https://www.yachtcharters.com.au/pricing/
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Old 11-03-2021, 01:09   #11
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Re: Next step?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Luke 1 View Post
Sailing with other people is on the cards hopefully. Chartering in Australia is very expensive and time consuming. Im self employed and semi retired and whilst i rarely work a full day or a full week taking 2 weeks off to charter a boat in the Whitsundays would be a huge hit both financially and in time I dont normally get off.
Im not trying to be argumentative and i hear what your saying, its just that it might not be feasible.
We do have friends who sail 3 days a week in Sydney, The husband also has raced in a few Sydney to Hobarts and Hamilton island race week etc and they have never chartered. Instead the $ have gone into their boat budget for when they retire.
Chartering is expensive here in Aus.
Gotcha, Luke. I get where you're coming from.

Maybe's there's clubs in Sydney where people are looking for crew. I know I sometimes am looking for people to help out on tricky legs of my various wanderings where I am.

Hopefully you find ways to get out there. Best wishes and fair winds,
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Old 11-03-2021, 02:04   #12
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Re: Next step?

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Gotcha, Luke. I get where you're coming from.

Maybe's there's clubs in Sydney where people are looking for crew. I know I sometimes am looking for people to help out on tricky legs of my various wanderings where I am.

Hopefully you find ways to get out there. Best wishes and fair winds,
If i lived in Sydney it would all be allot easier. In saying that my country yacht club does not in any way resemble a Sydney club. lol.

Thankyou very much. I know its not a big leap but after 2 hrs sailing time (Edit it was probably closer to 4) i took a Pacer out of the heads and into Bass Sraight. And of course not out far at all but it was a milestone for me. Now to get out their in bigger boats regularly is my current goal. I spoke to the Commodore last Saturday after training about getting on a Keel Race boat. Im having the odd beer at the club house. so Im putting out to try to get something back.
Seasons over soon here so im running out of time for this season.
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Old 11-03-2021, 02:07   #13
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Re: Next step?

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. I know I sometimes am looking for people to help out on tricky legs of my various wanderings where I am.
When the world opens up again id be interested.
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Old 11-03-2021, 03:11   #14
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Re: Next step?

G'day Luke,

Sounds like you are well on your way already. The Pacer will be a good first step in learning basic sailing, but I agree that pretty soon you should start sailing on larger boats (owned by other, hopefully helpful, people).

I dunno where you are, but it sounds like the Tamar or Mersey or there-abouts, and I'm not familiar with the club environment up there in the Northland. Down here in the D'Entrecasteaux area there are a number of small, low key sailing clubs that would welcome you as a new member and offer plenty of OPB opportunities for sailing. Shucks, we could give you a ride or two and others at the Port Cygnet SC would do t he same. I'd imagine the situation up there is similar, and it sounds like you have already started kissing frogs, so keep it up!

I agree that chartering is a poor means of getting experience for going cruising. Expensive as you have said (a weeks charter would buy most of a decent trailer-sailor) and far too "spoon-fed" to be a true learning experience. I'm in favor of learning on your own boat... something around 20-23 feet that lives on a trailer would give you some useful tutelage and some fun with short coastal hops along the N coast and some river cruising. Also dips your toe into the maintenance waters... some of the skills desperately needed by cruising sailors and that you don't get in dinghies or while chartering. You could also trailer the boat up to the Queensland coast/Whitsundays for a cruise, tho' the ferry fares are kinda steep. Come to that, a trip down to these beautiful cruising waters would be pretty easy, too, and very rewarding. By the time you have worn out the fun in that boat you will be able to press onward from your own knowledge and not need CF for general advice.

So, that's my general outlook and advice. It is a parallel to how I cut my teeth sailing all those years ago: 15 foot day sailor, Catalina 22 trailer sailor, S&S 30 keel boat for coastal cruising in California and a Hawaii round trip, 36 foot ex IOR one tonner for our first serious cruising boat, and now our lovely Jon Sayer "last boat". An epic 50 year passage covering over 150,000 miles.

You can do it too!

Jim
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Old 11-03-2021, 04:17   #15
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Re: Next step?

In the US, boating clubs are fairly available where you pay a few hundred dollars per month for usage rights to the fleet. It's a pretty good deal if you use it. If Oz has similar, it might make sense for you. Years ago, a GFs father belonged to one in Oxnard California, about an hours drive from where he lived. Had an element of social activity and lessons too.
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