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Old 30-08-2020, 13:55   #1
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It all began as a joke...

My daughter is looking at schools in the Canadian maritimes, and my ex joked that he would buy a boat and go live half the year in a river near her. I thought the boat thing sounded good, so I looked into cost of owning a boat. Then cost of living on a boat. And there went the imagination.
DH and I are in the Houston area. He is English and I hold dual citizenship w US and Canada and so do my kids (the youngest also has UK.) He retires in 10 years, which is also when youngest will go to college, so we are now planning to be ready to take off on a boat when she goes.
Our families are spread out to, coincidentally, mostly coastal areas. Canada East coast, Florida, Texas, Oregon, California and England. That means we would actually be able to see all of them. We want to travel but wouldn’t be able to afford airfare and accommodation and still maintain our home here (new 30 year mortgage not gonna be paid off forever.)
The more we consider the idea, the more it sounds workable and good, even to my husband, who tends to start with a negative slant on new stuff.
For now, we will take sailing lessons and join a sailing club. When we’re comfortable and reasonably confident, we’ll rent a boat and take it out for a couple weeks to see if we actually enjoy that much time on the water. Then buy and cruise btween Nova Scotia and Caribbean, with eventual goal being W-E passage and the Med. maybe crew a crossing before that. We’ve also considered buying in Europe and cruise there before doing ARC as first passage.
Anybody have recommendations for classes/club in Houston/Galveston area? Or just tell us we’re nuts? Right now it feels pretty good to have something to look forward to.
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Old 30-08-2020, 14:04   #2
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Re: It all began as a joke...

Whelp, we have family in Newfoundland and Philadelphia but are allergic to cold and cities.

Solution: TWO boats

Actually a cottage and a small boat in NL with the big boat normally living in the Caribbean. We have sailed from Northern Newfoundland to Grenada and back to North Carolina and a bit more in the last 4 years.

So if you are nuts welcome to the loonie bin. (Canadian joke eh?)

If you’ve questions ask away. There are a couple of us here who mess around in the Maritimes.
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Old 30-08-2020, 18:11   #3
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Re: It all began as a joke...

Suggestion:

In the next month or so, buy a trailer sailer, and teach yourselves to sail. Do not try and jump start the project with expensive charters. You'll want that money to put towards a well found boat for your sail to England. If you have a driveway, you may be able to store the trailer sailer right there in your driveway, thus eliminating costs associated with berthing. Sail every sailable weekend for about a year, and then decide exactly what you want to do next.

Sometimes people don't care for sailing. Sometimes people can't find a cure for mal de mer, although most people are usually okay after 3 long, long days at sea. Anyhow, after that if all went well, start looking at more boats. Best is to find the smallest you think you can live with. People cross oceans in very small boats, people with small pocketbooks, or just loves "small" and "cosy". Read the old Pardey books. May be hard for someone from Texas, but boats are very much expressions of their owners, and so, for instance, you might find the 32-36 ft. range would work for you for a cruising boat. It's easy to get seduced into thinking you need all the "mod cons", but every last one of them adds complexity, and therefore to hours of maintenance. If you are KISS kinds of folks, the simpler you do it, the more freedom for exploration you'll have.

One other thing, join a local sailing club and volunteer to be "green" crew. Sail with as many different skippers as you can. This is better than lessons, the skippers bring you along, and while you start making up lines and packing chutes, eventually you'll be allowed other jobs. You'll also experience different styles of skippering, and that will be a guide for you. You'll see a variety of boats, and boat layouts, and that will inform your choice of what the cruising boat will actually be.

If you do eventually do lessons, do them separately from your significant other. It will not cost significantly more, but then you'll both have inputs from different instructors, and that is an extra bonus.



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Old 31-08-2020, 13:58   #4
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Re: It all began as a joke...

Hpeer, I very much appreciated your loonie joke. My husband did not �� He didn’t even get it. He’s never been to Canada. I haven’t been in almost 15 years!
We are ages away from making any kind of real progress toward casting off, but I’ll be around here lurking I’m sure.

Our first step is paying off some debt, so no purchases of even the smallest of boats is happening in the next couple of years, let alone next month. We still have an 8 year old at home, and we live an hour from the coast, so lessons will be hard to squeeze in, and may have to wait until after this COVID mess has finally passed us by. If the election doesn’t bring us new leadership that will help us get back to normal, we may even move to Canada to get away from it. In that eventuality, the timeline could be moved up or down. Who knows what the next year will bring!
As I mentioned In my previous post, neither of us is from Texas, or even the US, so Bigger is Better doesn’t necessarily work for us. We’ll likely be looking at 36-42’, mostly because we expect to have lots of guests while stateside. But again, that’s years away.

Right now we just need to learn to sail, and with so many options for both classes and sailing clubs in the Houston/Clear Lake area, I was hoping I could get a recommendation from somebody here.

Cheers,
Ali
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Old 31-08-2020, 15:03   #5
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Re: It all began as a joke...

My 2 cents is that sailing classes are rather expensive for what you get. You need the instruction but the cost is high because the school or club needs to maintain a fleet of boats. Get the text for ASA 101. Learn some terminology and show up for some beer can races. You'll be rail meat but you'll get to ask questions and its nearly free. You'll learn the broad strokes of a sailing in a couple evenings.

I learned to sail when my local yacht club offered an intro class for $75. That gave you 4 Saturdays on the water. I found it thru meetup.com

Now cruising is a bit different. It's a lot of fixing stuff. You'll learn electrical, plumbing, and diesel mechanics as you go.

Welcome and your idea isn't crazy at all!
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Old 31-08-2020, 15:25   #6
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Re: It all began as a joke...

And for the extreme other end, not recommending mine you, I bought a 33’er and sailed away, single handed, up the Nova Scotia coast, 1 hour instruction from the PO and off we go.

It all depends upon who you are and what your appetite for risk is, and how confident you are in yourself and how cheap you are.

I looked at the cost of chartering and figured it would be cheaper for me to buy a boat. Even if I didn’t like it I could get some money back. Chartering would have blown my best egg and left me with no boat. But also I’m a solitary kind of person and don’t always play well with others.

No one answer. No zero risk solution. You WILL learn a lot about boats and yourself.
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Old 31-08-2020, 16:19   #7
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Re: It all began as a joke...

Given your time frame, I wouldn't worry about lessons before spending some time on the water. Check out the nearest schools for things like "introductory sails." Maybe look for daysails on crewed boats...most big tourist ports have sailboats that offer group sails, sunset cruises, etc. See if you like that before investing time and money.
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Old 31-08-2020, 19:07   #8
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Re: It all began as a joke...

The renting a boat thing...yeaaaahhh. Didn’t realize how pricey that is. Won’t be doing that. You literally *could* buy something small instead. What a racket.

Good recommendations on holding off on lessons. Will definitely do the sailing club thing. We are a ways from Kemah and Clear Lake but my husband’s office is out that way. Sadly the boaters we know through there are all power boaters. My husband actually used to not like boats due to forced frigid pre-dawn fishing days with his dad in England. Boating here on the gulf coast has changed his attitude. I’ve been a non-working guest on sailboats on the lake a couple times, and done dinner cruises in the keys and USVI. I love boats but never even entertained the possibility of having one because of the expense.
We are heavy DIYers. I rented architect software to do the full plans for our tear down kitchen remodel. We did everything but the breaker box. Plus we do whatever car repairs we can on our own. This weekend we have to do the power steering pump.
We prefer not to spend our money on labor we can do ourselves. So the cruisers life could work for us in that regard.
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