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Old 08-11-2008, 23:53   #1
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Small Sail boat big circle- Thoughts Please

I've read some really good/interesting posts on this board.

One post I found very interesting was about budgets for living aboard. seemed like $10k/year to sky's the limit.

I'm considering sailing from Peoria down the IL River to the MS River through the Gulf of Mexico around Florida up the East Coast through the Great Lakes and back to Peoria IL. Maybe in the Oct to Jun time frame to avoid the cold freaking weather. I'm considering picking up an inexpensive less than $10k boat. & not spending too much money along the way.

I've fished quite a bit on lakes in Minnesota and have a little time in a small sunfish sail boat.

I'm single 37 yo guy and have a golden doodle (dog) and a tennis addiction.

Would this be entertaining/fun? or would it feel like work/boredom?

Couple kind of basic questions.

-Would I have to buy a fishing license in every freaking state & in the ocean to fish?
-Would I have to pay newhere I docked?
-Ne chance of finding a nice woman along the way?
-What exactly do people do on board? (I have laptop I hook up to a cell phone for an internet connection)
-From most of the posts, quite a few of the posters seem to have a sig other along on the trip. Be boring doing it alone?

Any thoughts opinions welcome.
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Old 09-11-2008, 00:48   #2
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Teach your dog how to play tennis and if he/she eats fish you won't get bored at all.Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:07   #3
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Researched and considered that trip...

I even did portions of it. It was a lot of fun! and I was solo on a very tiny sailboat.

Your questions:
  1. Fishing licenses? Yes, you must follow the laws of every state in which your boat is located. I suggest you check out some of the books about the North American Great Circle route which address this question on a state-by-state basis. (Here's one I just found via google - no clue what its contents are, not recommending, just mentioning.)
  2. Docking? Yes, most places you dock overnight you must pay. However, many cities/towns/parks/launches allow docking for a few hours for free. The rivers, bays, and coves you find along the way may be very good anchorages, most of which you can anchor at least temporarily without cost (excluding some portions of Florida at least.) You'll have to do your homework on this one, too.
  3. Find a partner? Cruising is not a good way to find a partner. It's possible, just not as good as finding one by being involved in social activities ashore.
  4. What to do aboard? Maintain the boat, read books, indulge in hobbies/interests which can be done aboard, take care of yourself. If you're not comfortable staying alone in your house/apartment for a weekend, you might not be comfortable staying in a boat alone for a few months.
  5. Boring by yourself? Hardly! Things to see, do, experience every moment, and it's not like you're going to be in the middle of the ocean with minimal ability to interact/communicate. Your planned cruise might never be out of cell phone service. A huge number of marinas/bays have wifi coverage, so you can participate in Cruiser's Forum every day. You can stop in any small town and mail your nieces and nephews the cool gewgaws you pick up at the small towns. And every little town has a story, a unique site, a great cup of coffee, someone to ask about the weather. Depending on the time you depart, you might be heading south along the greatest bird migration route on the continent, and then back north with the spring coastal migration! One night on the Mississippi I anchored between two sand islets with 5' to shore on either side of the boat, and startled a curious doe and its fawn in the morning. Another boater I knew would pull into the backwaters to shoot duck. Being bored aboard takes work at being oblivious to the opportunities both natural and civic.
Most of the authors I read about this route were multi-trip veterans - they enjoyed it so much they did it again and again. Some of them are involved in the Great Loop Cruiser's Association. There's a regular migration of snowbirds taking this trip, so plenty of people to share information and be social with from one section to the next.

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog anchored in a coral atoll.
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:24   #4
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We use a pcmia (?) card, and get internet just about everywhere. Even up to 8 miles offshore, and sometimes farther.
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:12   #5
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Hi Amgine - Thank you for the good post/information.

How big of a boat were you on?

How far out is a fishing license not needed?

Yeah I do probably have to head to the library and do some book research.

Find a partner? yeah picking up a hitchhiker along the way probably isn't the best/easiest way to find a cruising companion.

My parents do the snowbird thing to ft. Myers so probably could spend some time in the Ft. Myers area.
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:31   #6
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My boat at the time was a Skipper 21, which was an 18' fiberglass double ender with a sloop rig and an outboard in a centerline well. A great boat for the river as it was extremely shoal draft, but not the greatest sailor in the world. Cute as a bug's ear though, with lapstrake-style hull.

I believe the US claims exclusive economic control for 12 or 20 miles, but I frankly don't know the answer to your question as it would relate to *state* controls over ocean waters.


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