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Old 21-07-2021, 08:20   #1
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Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Hi Everybody,

Should I spend 6k+ chartering for a week with an instructor or just put that money towards a boat and figure it out on my own?

My goal: become a single hand solo liveaboard sailor and then lure a spirited piratess to join me in my raids of exotic islands.

Took a weeklong certification course two years ago. Thatís all my experience.

Looking to by a smallish sailboat, but maybe up to 41 feet. Cat, mono...not sure yet.

Should I invest in a weeklong charter with instructor for some hard core training, or use that money to just buy the boat and do it on my own? I think I can do it. More training would be nice, but is it really necessary? So many books and videos available. One can figure it out, no?
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Old 21-07-2021, 08:31   #2
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Well, considering you have no idea what boat you'd buy, that alone nixes idea of putting the money towards a boat. Your profile/post give no information on where you're located. If you're near a boating center, joining a sailing club of some sort might be a good compromise investment. Plus, you just might find both a suitable boat for sale and a mate along the way.

Good luck -

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Old 21-07-2021, 09:57   #3
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Figuring out yourself works for some, tuitution for others. Only you can decide for yourself. Then, there are sailing schools which hopefully might be a bit cheaper than what you estimate. In some countries, proof of qualification is needed and here, a school could provide (if you do not have a recognized certificate yet).

The luring part - good luck. I'd say don't rely on the assumption, that it will work. It may, but you also need to be happy with your decisions and enjoy the lifestyle if it doesn't work out.
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Old 21-07-2021, 10:08   #4
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Thanks for the tips. Iím living on the road right now. In Alaska working, but prefer Florida. Could buy a boat anywhere, but probably east coast or GOM, and probably cruise Florida and Bahamas to start.

Been looking hard at Hunters, 31-41 feet. Also small cats: PDQ, Gemini, Mahe, Lagoon 37 & 380, Leopard 39. Looking between 60-200k.

I donít really wish to join any clubs. Really just want to jump in and go. I guess 6k for training is a good idea. Or maybe just getting the boat and having fun figuring it out would be more fun. That 6k would cover 6 months of slip fees, or new doodads.
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Old 21-07-2021, 10:15   #5
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

$6000 for a week of training?

There are far more economical and value added ways to get training. I would not go the $6k route. I don’t care how hard you train and how good the instruction is, you can only absorb so much in a week.

As mentioned, find a sailing club or center. Group training is much cheaper. More water time for less money.

Research what boat you want, something that is manageable singlehanded, and pursue that in parallel. Buy the boat, start training and practicing on that, and slowly start taking on longer trips to build experience. Get additional, more advanced training as you go.

I’ve seen too many people take the keelboat courses and/or drop tons of money on a 1-2 week charter crash course, only to then know enough to be dangerous—yet now they think they’re ready to cross oceans because they took the zero to hero course.
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Old 21-07-2021, 10:34   #6
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Maybe a definition is in order - to me, a "Sailing Club" is a place where you pay a few hundred bucks a month and have use of boats in their fleet. The one's Ive seen bear very little resemblance to a Yacht Club if that's the impression. Pretty sure most/all offer some lessons and help people develop their skills as they progress from small keel-boats on up to 30-footers (or more depending on club). I'm not a 'joiner' either, and have never been part of a boat club, but certainly makes sense.
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Old 21-07-2021, 11:08   #7
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Thanks everybody. I like the advice Iím getting. Will be more open minded about the club situation.

I need a place to live. Will not throw money away on rent. Donít want to buy a land property. That and my wish to sail alone or with a close companion makes me not want to hesitate much longer.

Should just buy the boat. If it doesnít work out for some reason, I can get out at a loss and not feel bad. But I donít want it to be because I got more than I could handle.

Might be the great! Might not be. Wonít know until I do it. Iíll figure it out. Thanks for listening.
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Old 21-07-2021, 11:15   #8
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

If you are serious about the "hard core" then I might go the instructor route. Figuring out how to sail in 12 knots is doable, but if you want to be happy and confident in 25-30 knots it might benefit having someone with you the first time. Ditto sailing at night, ditto practicing heaving to/MOB in adverse conditions etc.
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Old 21-07-2021, 11:31   #9
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Sounds like solid advice Mac. Thatís what I want. To be ready to handle more difficult conditions, especially if someone elseís life is in my hands. Not fun when youíre in over youíre head for sure.

The 6k is for a one week charter on a 35 foot boat in the San Juan Islands this October. About 3k for the boat, and 3k for private instructor and incidentals. My thinking is that if the instructor is good, one on one learning should give me a chance for repetitive drills on docking, sail handling in higher winds, setting up jack lines, heaving to, etc. Then Iíll be ready!?

Itís only 6k.

Then my adventurous side says ďPfft! Just get the dang boat you wuss! Other people did it! 6k is 6k! Youíll have more fun just figuring it out by yourself!Ē
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Old 21-07-2021, 11:38   #10
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilburleft View Post
Sounds like solid advice Mac. That’s what I want. To be ready to handle more difficult conditions, especially if someone else’s life is in my hands. Not fun when you’re in over you’re head for sure.

The 6k is for a one week charter on a 35 foot boat in the San Juan Islands this October. About 3k for the boat, and 3k for private instructor and incidentals. My thinking is that if the instructor is good, one on one learning should give me a chance for repetitive drills on docking, sail handling in higher winds, setting up jack lines, heaving to, etc. Then I’ll be ready!?

It’s only 6k.

Then my adventurous side says “Pfft! Just get the dang boat you wuss! Other people did it! 6k is 6k! You’ll have more fun just figuring it out by yourself!”
IF that's what you want maybe look at some of the private operators rather than the charter companies.

I've always wanted to do a trip with Mahani (Sailing Schedule – MAHINA SAILING) they still have some trips next fall.

Quote:
Leg 7 – 2022: September 3-14: Bellingham, WA to Ucluelet, BC (1/3 of the way up the outside of Vancouver Island)

6 berths available
But there are lots of other smaller operators that are better suited to do custom trips. But if you want to stick with the charter guys look at the Around Vancouver Island trips. Most of them do two a year: one spring, one fall.
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Old 21-07-2021, 12:02   #11
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Thanks for the tips. Doesn’t have to be PNW. My plan for the San Juans was because the timing works out.

Long story. I drove to Alaska in late June, thinking I’d stay a couple of months. I work up here. When I arrived, I mailed my passport in for renewal, thinking it would be maybe 4 weeks. Find out later it’s 18 weeks. My bad. Can’t drive out until it gets here, hopefully early October. Then I out the pedal to the metal and arrive inBellingham just in time for the one week when this particular boat is available.

Also I’m told the winds there are stronger in October, which is good practice with the teacher along. Lastly, the charter company has the school where I got certified two years ago and I like them.

But, I can really go anywhere.

I wonder though, might I not learn faster just doing it alone? I don’t think anyone would let me charter without more experience, unless wind conditions are weak.
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Old 21-07-2021, 12:26   #12
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Here is my $.02. If you buy a boat, and have no real world experience, your insurance provider would probably require some training. This would be best on your new to you boat. You could hire a captain for the training, and he could help you learn your boat. It would be cheaper and more relevant to your needs.
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Old 21-07-2021, 12:28   #13
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

That makes a lot of sense Wheelguns. Thanks for chiming in.
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Old 21-07-2021, 12:43   #14
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

Depending where you are, you can get a hell of a lot of sailing instruction for $6k.

I have sailed off and on since age 16, we took the occasional course, bought a small beater boat for under $6k some 13 years ago, and we did a bareboat charter 2 years ago (and really enjoyed it, cos we were all decent sailors by that point).

In your shoes, I would join a club near to you, take lessons and gain experience, volunteer to crew for races, and review your goals in a year or two.
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Old 21-07-2021, 12:58   #15
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Re: Just Buy Boat OR More Training...HELP!

MacBlaze's advice of looking at John and Amanda Neal's "Mahina" is excellent. These folks have been at it for 30-years and are the real-deal. They deal with real cruising issues, real passage making issues, and they have taught 100's (1000's??) of people. Hiring a captain in the PNW would be fun, but I'd wager it will fall far short of your expectations for deep learning. John started cruising on a small boat (Vega or Triton - I don't remember) 35+ years ago. He's got old-school cruising in his DNA, as does Amanda. Rock-solid folks.

I've never met John Kretschmer, but he also does similar voyages in the Caribbean.

https://johnkretschmersailing.com/

Downside is you may have to be patient. These types of voyages fill-up quickly.

Peter
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