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Old 11-03-2019, 09:48   #1
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Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

Hi all, I am looking for some guidance as to my thoughts/plans. My end goal is to sail around the world in about 10 years when I retire. At this point I do not have any experience with sailing, but I used to own a 36' power boat. My plan at this point is to complete most of the ASA courses. Since I live only 1.5hr from Annapolis, I have signed up for their "Complete sailor" 5 day course first week of May as a first step and joined their keel club to learn to sail on a 24' boats they have. Beyond that is where I am looking for advice:
- Should I volunteer/look for opportunities to crew on vacations?
- Hire a Capitan and rent a boat (seems to be very pricey)
- Purchase ~30 foot boat (money that could be going towards retirement savings)
- Schools or courses to learn to maintain my own vessel, if yes which ones?

I am sure there are other things I am not considering at this point, but would love to get input from y'all
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:27   #2
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

I took ASA 103 and 104 at the same school that you are taking a class and am a member of the club also. The Monday night races are a good experience and free to club members. Getting ASA 104 and chartering may be a more cost effective means than some others. After you have some time on the water under your belt, crewing on a delivery is good experience and should be all expense paid at a minimum unless you want to pay for the privilege of sleep deprivation.

Maybe I will see you at a Monday night race.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:39   #3
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

Nothing wrong with your plan, sounds like my own at that stage – since you are already a power-boater, much of the boat-handling will be second nature – if the ASA sailing courses had been available to me, I’d probably have taken them, but basic sailing is pretty intuitive if not necessarily easy (actually it is easy, it is the gadgets and gizmos that seem to complicate it – but don’t tell anyone, keep the mystique alive). I would strongly suggest as heavy a duty of navigation courses as you can stomach – and then, most important, actually go ! I did most of the above although I tend to be a DIY kind, so I seldom hire much, bought the required boat (several) for the big escape and then allowed myself to get mired in life of the moment, and never left the Bay… don’t do that !!
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:40   #4
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by fahtcha View Post
I took ASA 103 and 104 at the same school that you are taking a class and am a member of the club also. The Monday night races are a good experience and free to club members. Getting ASA 104 and chartering may be a more cost effective means than some others. After you have some time on the water under your belt, crewing on a delivery is good experience and should be all expense paid at a minimum unless you want to pay for the privilege of sleep deprivation.

Maybe I will see you at a Monday night race.
Thank you for the reply. I am planning to do as much as possible with the club, including attending seminars, and getting on the water. Helping out delivery caps is a great idea, once I get through ASA 106. Looking forward to catching up at the club
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:57   #5
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Medved.
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:38   #6
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

Volunteer to RACE Annapolis. Choose the cruising class, not the A or B fleets. Do that for a few seasons and you will pass my muster.

The ASA stuff is ok, the racing will build the muscle memory and put you in multiple stressful situations that the ASA won’t.

Second, buy the 30 footer. The money is not “gone” from your retirement, just in a different form.

Find a beat up Catalina 30 with a universal diesel and work on it. That will get those skills built up for your circumnavigation. You will need them.

There you go, you’re on your way!
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:12   #7
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

I would agree with akprb. If you can get involved with sailing in Annapolis, getting crew experience in any of the fleets competing is a good way to gain practical application of sailing theory and practice. I would not discount the A and B fleets out of hand. Some of the best sailors happen to be involved in competitive sailing. I wouldn't avoid the opportunity if it presents itself for any of the fleets looking for crew.
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:19   #8
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

Hello Medved,
Welcome,
Experience , Experience, Experience.
I am North of Annapolis and I am always looking for crew to go out for a day sail or trip.
I had bought my boat 3 years ago, for my husband who had sadly passed away 3 days before the boat had hit the water. I do okay in handling my boat, however,I always take someone with me for safety reasons.
If you would like some experience in handling a 32' sailboat, I would be happy to have you come along for a sail.
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Old 12-03-2019, 13:23   #9
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

You don't need a 30' boat to practice on. If you want a boat to practice would look for a smaller boat, something between 22'-26'. They are available for very little money, relatively cheap to berth, and have all the sailing systems of a bigger boat. You won't get the wonderful experience maintaining a refrigeration system but will have the joys of an outboard. If you want a palace, Catalina 27's are often listed below $5,000, If you need an excuse to buy a pickup, a trailerable will do and greatly expand your range of exploration. No matter what, sail the crap out of the boat, do overnighers when the opportunity presents itself, take the boat out when it's nasty to enjoy the experience of salt spray down your neck. , and most of all to get familiar with sailing a boat in a wide range of conditions and learn about anchoring, navigating, and the many other things that are involved in sailing. Hopefully you'll grow to love sailing even more and you'll have a much better idea what you'll want and where to go with the boat you'll be sailing around the world. If you buy right, won't have much money invested and might even be able to break even on the boat when you sell it to buy your ultimate boat.
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Old 12-03-2019, 16:46   #10
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by akprb View Post
Volunteer to RACE Annapolis. Choose the cruising class, not the A or B fleets. Do that for a few seasons and you will pass my muster.

The ASA stuff is ok, the racing will build the muscle memory and put you in multiple stressful situations that the ASA won’t.

Second, buy the 30 footer. The money is not “gone” from your retirement, just in a different form.

Find a beat up Catalina 30 with a universal diesel and work on it. That will get those skills built up for your circumnavigation. You will need them.

There you go, you’re on your way!


Read this 3 times. He has it right.
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Old 12-03-2019, 16:52   #11
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

As many others have already stated, sail as much as you can, under various conditions. Experience, experience, experience!! I live in southern Arizona, in the desert, and seemingly as far from sailing water as is possible. Still, I've sailed about 5000 miles along the Pacific Coast from the San Juan Islands of Washington to Colon, Panama. All without owning my own boat. Volunteering as crew via CF crew wanted list and Latitude 38, a website devoted to West Coast sailing, has provided ample experience. Also, joining a local yacht club for weekend racing has helped. I've met some very interesting people and sailed under a variety of conditions. The only thing lacking was gaining knowledge of boat ownership. There's only one way to do that. But the boat. Good Luck to you in your future adventures.
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Old 13-03-2019, 01:27   #12
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

We are a bit of contrarian on some of these issues.


First we agree on the ASA lessons - basic stuff but good stuff to form a basis of learning as you will continue to learn sailing the rest of your life and good foundation is needed.


Second navigation is essential - I learned in the back country as a mountaineer - but it was easily transferable. the more the better.


Third we DO NOT believe in buying small, selling and then get the boat you want. The issue is how much money are you willing to lose as boats always depreciate and are hard to get rid of - we have had a few friends do this and they paid a huge penalty. Our first and only boat is a Jeanneau DS40 that we bought new 16 years ago.


Fourth - we agree on a sailing club but watch the racer sect. Some of those guys are the reincarnation of Capt Bligh or think they are Dennis Conner on an American Cup race - - one person above who wanted to day sails would be great - I would jump all over that.


Fifth - we got our boat in '03 and set out in '07 - so we sailed her a lot and got to know her before we cut the docklines - we knew what she liked and what she did not - we knew the pros and cons of her systems - we knew what we lacked and what we needed to add - THEN we did 2 winters in the Bahamas and EC of the USA and really knew what she needed for long range cruising - which was never our intent - but we added a few things and wow we kinda did that long range thing
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Old 13-03-2019, 05:02   #13
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by akprb View Post
Volunteer to RACE Annapolis. Choose the cruising class, not the A or B fleets. Do that for a few seasons and you will pass my muster.

The ASA stuff is ok, the racing will build the muscle memory and put you in multiple stressful situations that the ASA won’t.

Second, buy the 30 footer. The money is not “gone” from your retirement, just in a different form.

Find a beat up Catalina 30 with a universal diesel and work on it. That will get those skills built up for your circumnavigation. You will need them.

There you go, you’re on your way!
Thank you for the feedback. I must say that part of my desire to do this is the cruising community Can you please provide a link to RACE Annapolis? I did a google search, but I get various websites.
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Old 13-03-2019, 05:08   #14
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
You don't need a 30' boat to practice on. If you want a boat to practice would look for a smaller boat, something between 22'-26'. They are available for very little money, relatively cheap to berth, and have all the sailing systems of a bigger boat. You won't get the wonderful experience maintaining a refrigeration system but will have the joys of an outboard. If you want a palace, Catalina 27's are often listed below $5,000, If you need an excuse to buy a pickup, a trailerable will do and greatly expand your range of exploration. No matter what, sail the crap out of the boat, do overnighers when the opportunity presents itself, take the boat out when it's nasty to enjoy the experience of salt spray down your neck. , and most of all to get familiar with sailing a boat in a wide range of conditions and learn about anchoring, navigating, and the many other things that are involved in sailing. Hopefully you'll grow to love sailing even more and you'll have a much better idea what you'll want and where to go with the boat you'll be sailing around the world. If you buy right, won't have much money invested and might even be able to break even on the boat when you sell it to buy your ultimate boat.
I signed up for the Keel club with the Annapolis sailing school and they have 24' rainbow boats. I think between that and looking for opportunities to crew that should get me started.
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Old 13-03-2019, 05:12   #15
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Re: Wannabe sailor looking for feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
We are a bit of contrarian on some of these issues.


First we agree on the ASA lessons - basic stuff but good stuff to form a basis of learning as you will continue to learn sailing the rest of your life and good foundation is needed.


Second navigation is essential - I learned in the back country as a mountaineer - but it was easily transferable. the more the better.


Third we DO NOT believe in buying small, selling and then get the boat you want. The issue is how much money are you willing to lose as boats always depreciate and are hard to get rid of - we have had a few friends do this and they paid a huge penalty. Our first and only boat is a Jeanneau DS40 that we bought new 16 years ago.


Fourth - we agree on a sailing club but watch the racer sect. Some of those guys are the reincarnation of Capt Bligh or think they are Dennis Conner on an American Cup race - - one person above who wanted to day sails would be great - I would jump all over that.


Fifth - we got our boat in '03 and set out in '07 - so we sailed her a lot and got to know her before we cut the docklines - we knew what she liked and what she did not - we knew the pros and cons of her systems - we knew what we lacked and what we needed to add - THEN we did 2 winters in the Bahamas and EC of the USA and really knew what she needed for long range cruising - which was never our intent - but we added a few things and wow we kinda did that long range thing
Thank you for the list. On the last point I have been thinking to buy my retirement boat a year or two before I retire and live on it, which would make my commute a bit longer to work, but will give me an opportunity to learn the boat and get it ready for cruising.
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