Hello everyone. I know I am not supposed to ask questions here, but thought by way of introduction
I’d outline my cruising plans and where I am in need of some immediate help from CF. I’ll surely be participating in the various threads but would also appreciate any guidance or pointing from here.
The wife and I plan to take a few years off work
. I would say we are slightly more than novices. We’ve day-sailed for a number of years, including on Lake Michigan. This year, we brushed up on our sailing EDU – taking ASA
101-114 in the Caribbean
, captaining a L380 on bareboat charter
in the BVIs and a L52 in Grenada/STV with a group of other sailor friends. We may take the Advanced Nav and Costal Cruising ASA classes
, and will be taking a marine
deiseal and electrical
class. For us knowledge & prep gives confidence, which gives comfort.
Our IDEAL sail plan consists of exploring the Caribbean
, Eastern US, and the Med. We are thinking 1.5-2 years (maybe more).
Our IDEAL boat
would be a 40-44ft catamaran
. Having sailed both mono and cats, we appreciate the comfort of cats. We also have 2 small dogs
who will be joining us and we feel a cat will be easier and safer for them.
We are planning to finance the boat purchase
. We have saved enough to cover purchase
expenses, outfitting, maintenance
, and 2 years’ worth of boat payments and living expenses, with a healthy ‘emergency’ and ‘return home’ fund.
Given the financing
, we understand that we need to purchase in the US (E / S US given sail plan). This also means that rather than purchasing
in the Med and crossing via the trades, we will need to cross the Atlantic West to East if we indeed want to get to the Med.
This is where things get disorienting. What research
I’ve done thus far makes this crossing seem more difficult than others and perhaps outside of our (even near future) skill level. Feedback from folks has also been mixed. Everything from ‘crossing West to East is not for first-time crossers’ and ‘it will be too difficult for a cat’, to ‘na, just strap a ton of diesel
and sail late in Spring, stay south until you’re comfortable, and motor
if needed – don’t let fear get you. You’ll be fine’. Who to believe?
I realize we are not ready right now, but not sure if after sailing the E USA and Caribbean, we’d be more ready, or if the ARC
would provide enough extra support needed. I feel the need to have a solid sail plan (at least between costal only or blue water) before deciding on the type of boat and setting off.
So am hoping CF will help in that manner.
Sorry for the length. If you’ve made it this far, feel free to comment.