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Old 17-12-2012, 10:02   #46
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Notice the OP was asking how he could try liveaboard cruising.
Point WELL taken!! I apologize for getting off topic as I tend to be annoyed by that myself. I think my mind stopped at "I've never sailed..."

As you say...IF you like the sailing experience on a "live aboard" THEN learn to sail...

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Old 17-12-2012, 10:05   #47
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

Lots of good advice here! It might seem like much of it is in conflict, but it is really all about a bunch of parallel paths you can take, and they are not exclusive of one another. A basic class would be great! Buy a day sailer? Sure, why not? If it is a well used older boat, you will probably resell it for what you paid for it, when you upgrade. There are plenty of fixer-uppers out there for cheap... I live aboard my boat, bought for $2000. And yes, it is ready to sail and I do sail it. New boats have this whole depreciation thing going on, and you will definitely lose money on the boat when you upgrade, so I would lean toward old boats initially, and maybe buy your ultimate, final, this-is-it boat brand new. You can learn on your own, with a day sailer, and you can generally drag most of them home on a trailer and not have to lease a slip. Mine is a dock queen that never saw a trailer since she was built in 1976. A rough-around-the-edges boat big enough to live aboard would be sort of jumping over the logical first step of a daysailer, but still entirely do-able. Folks that hang around marinas are usually pretty helpful, especially if you have a cooler full of beer on ice prominently displayed in your cockpit and something on the gas grill clamped to your rail. (That should be your first purchase for your boat, for social as well as gastronomic reasons... I recommend a Magma kettle type for a small sailboat.) Get your neighbors talking to you and you will probably find quite a few willing to go out with you and work with you on the finer (or coarser!) points of sailing.

If you are ready to pay a share of expenses, a LOT of folks will be happy to have you aboard as crew for a short cruise or a race. If you are content with sitting on a rail getting sunburnt to a crisp, you are racing crew qualified! Once you are stateside, I highly recommend you follow all the previous helpful advice on finding a crew slot. There is a subforum here, by the way, and it is fairly active. Post your qualifications even if it doesn't seem to you like you have any. Post your requirements (you want someone experienced enough that you can learn a thing or two without having to do your learning from serial disasters!) And definitely post what else you have to offer, like a share of fuel and groceries, post-cruise dinner, etc! There are a lot of impoverished yachtsmen out there who would love to have a hand with the expenses. I dare say that many of them are impoverished because they have boats and have had them for a long time, and these would be the experienced guys to learn from.

The TWIC card... nice to have, sure. Other stuff like STCW mandated training and a MMC would also be none of this is really strictly necessary for most pleasure boating activities. What it would be good for is finding a job on the water. You will probably want some more money once you are a boat owner! Nice to have a few extra thousand a year to save for your first nice boat, too. As a professional mariner you will learn a lot about safety, regulatory stuff, antipollution, safety, general seamanship, Rules Of The Road, safety, navigation, piloting, helmsmanship, safety, and other stuff. And safety, in case I forgot to mention that enough. A lot of it will tie in closely with your recreational boating. Some folks will take you more seriously if you have a bunch of certifications and documentation. Some won't care. Some won't even know what the hell you are talking about. (That's your cue to shut up about it... some people are uncomfortable whith what they don't understand LOL!)
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Old 17-12-2012, 11:24   #48
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Re: Is there a way to try it?


First off thanks for your service. It is appreciated. As far as liveaboard goes I think that I would take it is steps. 1) learn to sail. In my opinion the best way to learn is on a dinghy. If you like sailing go on to step 2) Sail something bigger. A small keelboat is good. J24 comes to mind. Assuming you like that spend as much time as you can on the water. Network. yacht clubs have races and boats often need crew. 3) Learn what you can about boats. They are a lot of work to take care of. Learn electrical, diesel engines, woodwork and fiberglass. That should be a good start. Read up on navigation then try to put it into practice on charts.

It is amazing how easy it is to find a boat that needs someone to sail it. Often there is an old guy who has lost all his sailing partners and just needs an extra set of hands. You can get all kinds of certificates but in the end it is your experience that is going to keep you on your boat or someone elses.

There is a lot to learn about sailing and boats. Before you sell your house make sure that it is something that really settles nicely with you. The sunshine and drinks in the cockpit part of sailing is great but the storms or the cleaning out the head part of sailing really are not very pleasant.
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 17-12-2012, 11:32   #49
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

Well said, Charlie! Happy holidays!
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Old 17-12-2012, 12:30   #50
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Notice the OP was asking how he could try liveaboard cruising.
With a little bit of re-reading I can see that I misunderstood OP's subsequent post a tad - thought it was a supplemental into step 2.......

......therefore I will revise my advise on size , if going by OPB (Other Peoples Boats) then IMO the bigger the better! Because:-

a) it ain't your dime.
b) it will be more comfortable (at sea and in port).
c) it ain't your dime .

With a couple already onboard I would suggest 40 foot and the more folks the bigger the boat - strangers take more room! Of course can cram folks into boats, but that tends to wear thin after a while .
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Old 12-02-2013, 16:19   #51
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

If you live near Fort Campbell Ky, I will be glad to take you out on Kentucky Lake. It is a good place to start learning. And we are putting a cruise together to the San Juan Islands in 2014 for several boats. My sons retire in about 3-4 years and one has the sailing bug. He has taken all the ASA courses and with that he is able to charter. I do not have the TWIC card and have never been asked for it from any charter company in the BVI or San Juan Islands. I always carry my military ID and ASA book and have never been asked for either. If you get to a charter and have questions about the boat and location, ask to have one of their instructors go out with you initially, first day. Their confidence in you goes up, your confidence goes up and everyone is happy.

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Old 12-02-2013, 17:09   #52
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

Originally Posted by RetiredArmy View Post
If you live near Fort Campbell Ky, I will be glad to take you out on Kentucky Lake.


Welcome to the Forum. I just happen to be at Ft Campbell and should have my boat up in Grand Rivers in the next month or two. Or how ever long it takes for me to replace a seacock.

Can't wait for it to warm up a bit so I can spend more time on the boat.

Daniel - Rhapsody Blog,
ďA sailorís joys are as simple as a childís.Ē ó Bernard Moitessier
"I don't need therapy, I just need my boat"
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Old 13-02-2013, 04:29   #53
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Re: Is there a way to try it?

My boat is Friday's Harbor located at Peir 3, Lighthouse Landing. Come by for a drink. Are you a member of Kentucky Lake Sailing Club. I am the Secretary and we are doing more "cruising" stuff now but retaining our racing program. We have a trip with five boats going to the BVI for a week and are planning a trip to the San Juan Islands in Seattle for summer of 2014.
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