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Old 21-05-2022, 08:47   #1
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Looking for cruising experience

Looking for advice on how to get some cruising experience. My husband and I have a jet boat that we use for day trips on fresh water. As we approach our retirement years, we've entertained the thought to sell our home and do the liveaboard life. Prior to making this drastic change in our life we would like to get some experience with long range cruising. Any suggestions on how to charter a boat with an experienced captain that would share real life knowledge for the liveaboard life?
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Old 21-05-2022, 09:13   #2
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Re: Looking for cruising experience

There are charter companies and you can hire a captain to go along with you. Also there are sailing schools that combines sailing lessons and certification that you spend the week on. A short word google search should find them with no problem.

But I mostly responded because you have a great name.

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Old 21-05-2022, 09:55   #3
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Re: Looking for cruising experience

Welcome first to CF. Do please fill in your profile so we know a little about you. Especially where you are.

Not sure how serious you are, but there are many skippers willing to take 'guests' as extra hands on trips. Some are professional some amateur and many don't care if you're looking to gain experience.

In my view a better option than chartering with a skipper. Not to be dismissive of a charter boat, but they're far more focused on you having a very pleasant holiday rather than learning to sail.

Perhaps you should post in Crew Available here or a web site like Crew Finder?

Just as an aside you might contact the author of this web site White Spot Pirates. Nike and her friend Joanna often have paying guests wanting to learn to sail and experience life on a boat. I think that they're based somewhere in the vicinity of the Sans Blas.
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Old 21-05-2022, 16:04   #4
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Re: Looking for cruising experience

The trick here is that not every country has the requirements for offshore skippers and crews that NZ has, so that just crewing with anyone, you have no idea whatsoever what their qualifications for teaching someone are. If you've taken the RYA Offshore Crew course, then you would be in a position to possibly benefit, and even criticize (to yourselves), but with no real previous sea experience, you'll mainly be an onlooker at how one couple runs their boat--it is only an "n" of one. Not enough to generalize from.

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Old 22-05-2022, 00:29   #5
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Re: Looking for cruising experience

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, DDLucas.
Gord May
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Old 23-05-2022, 04:42   #6
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Re: Looking for cruising experience

I will throw my hat into the ring since sailing school was offered (hope thats ok on this forum) . We are an ASA school. I would suggest that you get your beginner lessons (ASA 101) near you and see how you take to it. Then let us know. We offer that level, but best to get it on a small boat (more feel) then comin straight down as all of our boats are 40'-47'. Great for a week long live-a-board class, but not much feel. Think about when you were learning to drive, better to do it in a Miata instead of a Mac Truck. Best of luck!
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Old 23-05-2022, 06:29   #7
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Re: Looking for cruising experience

Get your cruising certificate rating. Then learn what the life is like by like by crewing on other people's boats.
Look at
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Old 23-05-2022, 06:50   #8
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Re: Looking for cruising experience

I second the ASA course series.

ASA has the covered topics for each course on the website, and I'm impressed. I'm usually quite skeptical about mass-education coursework, but if they cover what they say they do, it's worth the investment.

Others in your shoes have taken the ASA courses, and I cannot think of any negative comments posted in these forums. You can search for past user mentions, and see what they think. MANY people here have taken the ASA courses.
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Old 23-05-2022, 11:02   #9
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Re: Looking for cruising experience

After ASA courses there are places like Offshore Sailing Opportunities, 59north or John Kretchmer sailing (many oithers) that will take you offshore and give you a feel for distance cruising. If you decide you like it OPO, Salty Dawgs and other similar organizations will help you find volunteer crew positions for Bluewater cruising. Have personal experience with OPO and salty Dawgs and they have been great wxperiences.
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