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Old 07-07-2020, 10:19   #1
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Advice needed

Iím recently separated and now Iím looking into buying a sailing catamaran ! Iím 48 years old and have never sailed a day in my life, I have been on all kinds of other motored boats. Iíve done large amounts of research on sailing while I was married just as an interest but now that Iím in the process of being single again I figured why not start my next great adventure. What advice is there out there for someone like me?
Thank you in advance

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Old 07-07-2020, 11:10   #2
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Re: Advice needed

Why do you think you would like sailing?
That’s not a specious question it will help people give you better advice.

Identifying what part of the world you are in will also improve the precision of advice.

I’d suggest less research and more doing. The doing might be easier with a bit more knowledge by doing in a structured way ...i.e. lessons. Lessons can be everything from cheap local community club to spending a week or four at a place like minorca sailing or sail minorca or Laser Training Center Cabarete...

Check out ASA and RYA or whatever your local national authority is for training options.

When it comes to learning to sail nothing beats a dinghy for kids and for intermediate adults. In dinghy sailing particularly lighter boats like a Laser you get instant feedback as to whether the thing you just tried was a good or a bad idea which is the critical learning loop.
For neophyte adults sometimes the amount of time you spend swimming and all that tipping over stuff can be off putting so they may prefer to learn on small keel boats until they have got the basics. Don’t start on big boats, keel or may learn a “job” or a “role” but you won’t get the holistic understanding that is such an important foundation for further learning.

What you want to do with your sailing will shape a bit your lesson plan. Broadly speaking there is what racers care about and all the other stuff that cruisers care about.

Racers care about all the nuances of handling the boat for maximum performance and understanding the nuances of wind, current, tide and weather to get around the course the fastest – plus developing a deep understanding of the Racing Rules of Sailing in order to stay out of trouble and put some pain on your competition.

You’ll make a better cruiser if you learn the performance aspects of racing (rules less important unless racing is your goal).

The best way to do that is crew on other peoples boats – depending on where you are there are probably lots of local clubs where you can join a crew pool or otherwise get to use someone else’s capital investment to pursue your sailing interest. If you are willing to make a commitment and help out with the boat etc. you can often get on board a surprisingly competitive boat. Look for a competitive boat, with a good atmosphere. The smaller the boat the more likely you are to learn a broad skill set.

If your sailing interests include cruising that is a whole additional curriculum. Many racers who do nothing but dinghy or inshore racing would be in trouble if the had to do for a couple of days what cruisers have to do (navigating, living aboard, anchoring etc...)...
Give some more info and you’ll get some better advice.
Good luck.

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Old 07-07-2020, 11:27   #3
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Re: Advice needed

I grew up by the ocean I’m from and currently live in new England I’ve traveled by land everywhere between Mexico and Canada. What I want from sailing is easy, I want to travel and live a simple life. I chose a catamaran over a single hull because I wanted a more stable platform for both living and sailing and as far as where I want to go I guess where ever the wind takes me��
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:40   #4
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Re: Advice needed

It's not a good idea to jump out of one relationship into another. I'd buy a smaller boat and sail locally while building sailing skills. Especially if you're going to solo. Learn how much sail you can handle and what it takes to put theory into practice.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:41   #5
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Re: Advice needed

If you know someone who is a sailor, talk them into chartering a catamaran in the BVI and see if you even like the sailing life. You can get a variety of conditions in a week or two and can learn a little about sailing from your friend. It would be better to invest $4K in a sailing vacation to learn you don't like it vs $300K on a boat that is going to need work. The definition of cruising is working on your boat in exotic locations. Then you need to figure out what you want from a catamaran and where you will go. If you want to spend time on the intercoastal waterway, you will need a boat with a mast with less than 65' air draft. If you are just day sailing till you learn to sail, then you could get to a harbor that is easy to get in and out of and learn. If you are going to just jump out in the ocean without knowing what you are doing, it can be done but the learning curve is steep and can be very expensive.

People have this idealized image of sailing that has nothing to do with reality. There are 4 stages of competence, and you are currently at the state of unconscious incompetence - you don't have a clue what you don't know. Before you take a long trip you need to be at the stage of conscious competence - if you think about it you can figure it out.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:44   #6
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Re: Advice needed

Check with marinas around you. A slip for multihulls can often be difficult to find and expensive once you have one. Pre-corona you could do a charter in the Caribbean to learn to sail and get the catamaran experience. While those are expensive it is much cheaper than the carrying costs of a boat you buy and find out it's not for you.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:45   #7
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Re: Advice needed

Iím a nobody to give advice in this matter but what Iíve been doing worked for me, I sailed here and there, limited coastal experience. One day I took a 5 day sailing training course (live aboard and all). Life changing for me, although I donít currently own a boat. Not cheap training but amazing. Above all I learned the ocean is not a road where you can pull over, seems a silly lesson but the ocean is a serious matter. Hope the best for you.
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Old 07-07-2020, 13:00   #8
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Re: Advice needed

Well, I'm 47 and live on a catamaran, so can relate to your plan a bit. My advice is learn to sail first. Lessons, buy a practice boat, crew on other boats, racing, dingy's, all good options. The best for your situation, in my opinion, do a week long live and learn course.
You live aboard with the instructor and learn all aspects of running and living on the vessel. Ideally do this on a cat to make it as close to your vision as possible. Including location. It will give you a taste of what it's like.
Make sure it includes some serious sailing. They won't take you "offshore" but hopefully at least away from land so you can get a sense of what rough water is like.
I've compared boat choice to shoes before. Right now you can only pick what you think you like. You dont really know until you go for a walk. So try to get out sailing on as many boats as possible so you know what feels right to you.
And have fun!
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Old 07-07-2020, 13:18   #9
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Re: Advice needed

Look for a sailing school near you(preferably on the ocean) Get your Keel boat certification.
Then look for a live-aboard bareboat cruising school in the Caribbean. Its typically a week long course with an instructor where you stay on the boat (Catamaran) the whole time.
You can actually do both in the Caribbean, but doing the keel boat locally will likely be less expensive and you may find you don't like it and you will then not be so invested.
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Old 07-07-2020, 13:52   #10
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Re: Advice needed

I don't see a problem. But a Cat is a big start. I would start with a smaller mono and see how you like the life maybe.
That also gives you time to stabilize your life. For all you know you will meet a dream girl in a month who hates the water!
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 08-07-2020, 00:45   #11
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Re: Advice needed

Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
That also gives you time to stabilize your life. For all you know you will meet a dream girl in a month who hates the water!
Then she wouldn't be a dream girl.

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