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Old 25-06-2018, 15:53   #1
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Man With a Plan

Hello everyone! I'm 44, a father and a husband and completely new to this. I live in Tampa with my wife and 11-year old twin boys. I am exploring the possibility of cruising once my boys go off to college in (hopefully) 7 years. If possible, I may look into buying a smaller >30 footer to take some day/weekend trips to start exploring and getting some calculated experience. In the meantime, I'm signing up for some ASA courses and looking into some local Meetups.

I have to be honest, I started my research about 2 months ago and it's been very overwhelming, but I'm anxious to learn.

I appreciate all of the information people have been willing to share on this site and I hope to be able to contribute one day as well.
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Old 25-06-2018, 15:54   #2
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Re: Man With a Plan

Welcome aboard.
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Old 25-06-2018, 16:15   #3
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Re: Man With a Plan

Since you are in Tampa and have twin 11 year olds, why not buy a Laser or Sunfish now. (or Hobie 16 which can hit 25 knots or so)

Both you and the kids can sail it by yourself and learn tons about sailing big boats in the process

My son started racing beach cats with me at 10 years old as crew.

He could sail the boat by himself at 13 and when he was 15 he was crossing Pensacola Bay with his friends as crew to go to Pensacola Beach and cruise chicks



For better performance and to learn spinnaker use, daggerboards, and a boat with a rotating mast adjuster you could also go with an F16:


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Old 25-06-2018, 16:27   #4
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Re: Man With a Plan

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Since you are in Tampa and have twin 11 year olds, why not buy a Laser or Sunfish now.

Both you and the kids can sail it by yourself and learn tons about sailing big boats in the process

My son started racing beach cats with me at 10 years old as crew.

He could sail the boat by himself at 13 and when he was 15 he was crossing Pensacola Bay with his friends as crew to go to Pensacola Beach and cruise chicks
I definitely want them to like sailing, but not so much that they'll want to come with us ALL the time.

Lol, I am partially kidding ... I know it sounds selfish, but I think it would be great for my wife and I to have something to look forward to for just the two of us. Our boys keep us plenty busy and they are already into soccer, swimming, piano, tennis and more. To your point, something smaller certainly does make sense. I do think it would be a great opportunity to make family memories sooner than later and learn about what will eventually work for us in something far less expensive.

Thank you so much for your comment.
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Old 25-06-2018, 17:44   #5
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Re: Man With a Plan

Welcome to the forum, and to sailing. Coincidently enough I am also 44:-) my youngest is 16 though so I am a little farther along in that regard. I was in your position 4 years ago though. I knew cruising was where I wanted to be.
My wife and I took a dingy sailing course and enjoyed the sailing part. We did not enjoy the wet and uncomfortable part.(although the colder water temps here may be a contributing factor) we bought a wider beamed 26' cruiser/racer. Much dryer, much more comfortable and we enjoy it. But we aren't doing it to race or be competitive.
I guess what I'm saying is figure out what your desired outcome is, and follow that route. There is no right or wrong way, there is just different experiences.
We are closing in on the dream, 1.3 years left. So also be aware that the time actually passes quickly. Learn as much as you can, and try to enjoy it all. Including your boys growing up and becoming men. My oldest just moved out to his first apartment this morning!
Hopefully one day we will meet up in an anchorage and share stories of our boys over a rum.
Until then, fair winds!
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Old 25-06-2018, 18:27   #6
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Re: Man With a Plan

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Originally Posted by chris mac View Post
Hopefully one day we will meet up in an anchorage and share stories of our boys over a rum.
Until then, fair winds!
We won't be doing it for the racing or competition either, quite the contrary. Sort of feel like there's been enough of that in life.

First round is on us Chris!
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Old 27-06-2018, 13:23   #7
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Re: Man With a Plan

Quote: "We won't be doing it for the racing or competition either..."

Welcome :-)

Don't be too hasty to dismiss racing - racing is where you learn the finer points :-)! The objective of racing is not to win, but to be bashing around a short course in a small boat with a coupla dozen other small boats close to you. That teaches you all kinds of things you didn't even imagine that you had to learn.

Sounds like you are in an ideal situation. Play the family psychology right for the next four or five years and your boys will be too busy going to college and sailing to want to go cruising with you.

I have taught a few hundred university students to sail in a type of 14-foot dinghy called the "Enterprise". That design is an antique by now, but that means that you can prolly find one complete with trailer for five hunnert bux. We teach younger kids, starting at age 7 on a type of 8-foot dingy called a "Sabot" or. alternatively, a 10-foot "Mirror" dinghy. The kids then go on to the modern equivalent of the Enterprise, a dinghy called a "420", and ultimately to "grown-up" racing boats or to cruisers.

Now if you were to get a Mirror, your boys could learn the basics on it - and so could you, because the Mirror is used in adult competition also. If you had one, I would, if I were you, keep it after getting a cruising boat, because the Mirror makes a WONDERFUL tender for a cruiser :-)

By all means spend your waiting time taking ASA courses, but grab every opportunity you can to go sailing in OPBs. Join a sailing club, even if only as an associate member, because if you know the basics, and you prove to be a good crew member, you'll get lots of invitations (to go racing) and therefore lots of opportunities to learn "in real life".

Passage-making in a cruising boat is, unless the weather is pretty snarky, pretty boring. The joys are to be found at your destination when you have your hook down and you can go gunk-holing in the tender, or explore exotic cities. That is why so many people race. It doesn't require passage-making Racing demands full commitment of both body and intellect and is anything BUT boring :-)

Now, when you eventually come to chose a boat, be mindful that cruising boats are one breed of cat - even when they are monohulls - and racing boats are quite another. Most of what you find in the "new to you" market are bastard cruiser/racers that don't do a particularly good job of either. You won't be in a position to decide where on the spectrum of bastardy you will want your "final" boat to be until you have many miles behind you in many different boats - i.e. in OPBs :-).

Now, when you have become a sailing club member, and when you boys meet the age requirement, they can become Junior Members at a very favourable Annual Subscription and often with no Initiation Fee (cos Dad is a member). The sailing club will have a junior program to teach youngsters on dinghies such as those mentioned above. The fee for the program will include "rent" of the club's dinghies. This finesses the whole situation, because if your boys are anything like I was, they'll prefer to be taught by someone other than Dad :-)! And when you and your wife are ready to "run away to sea" the boys will have so many new friends to go sailing with that you'll be lucky to convince them to spend a week-end with boring old Mom and Dad ;-)!

All the best to you

TP
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Old 28-06-2018, 04:58   #8
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Re: Man With a Plan

Thank you so much TrentePieds for taking the time to share your knowledge, I truly appreciate it and it sounds like an amazing plan.

I will admit that I am super-competitive, in work and in life, so I am not apposed to the excitement of racing. That being said, its not the initial prime objective.

It's more about taking time to appreciate what you have and where you are without constantly looking over the horizon and envying the people that have more and better "stuff" than you and eat better food only to relentlessly post it on social media. It may just be my midlife crisis speaking, but the point for me is to slow down, simplify our frantic lives and to remember what it is like to be bored sometimes. When I say "it's not about the racing", it's probably more metaphorical than anything.

Again, thank you SO much for taking the time to reply to my message and for the great advice. I will definitely look into it.

Cheers!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Quote: "We won't be doing it for the racing or competition either..."

Welcome :-)

Don't be too hasty to dismiss racing - racing is where you learn the finer points :-)! The objective of racing is not to win, but to be bashing around a short course in a small boat with a coupla dozen other small boats close to you. That teaches you all kinds of things you didn't even imagine that you had to learn.

Sounds like you are in an ideal situation. Play the family psychology right for the next four or five years and your boys will be too busy going to college and sailing to want to go cruising with you.

I have taught a few hundred university students to sail in a type of 14-foot dinghy called the "Enterprise". That design is an antique by now, but that means that you can prolly find one complete with trailer for five hunnert bux. We teach younger kids, starting at age 7 on a type of 8-foot dingy called a "Sabot" or. alternatively, a 10-foot "Mirror" dinghy. The kids then go on to the modern equivalent of the Enterprise, a dinghy called a "420", and ultimately to "grown-up" racing boats or to cruisers.

Now if you were to get a Mirror, your boys could learn the basics on it - and so could you, because the Mirror is used in adult competition also. If you had one, I would, if I were you, keep it after getting a cruising boat, because the Mirror makes a WONDERFUL tender for a cruiser :-)

By all means spend your waiting time taking ASA courses, but grab every opportunity you can to go sailing in OPBs. Join a sailing club, even if only as an associate member, because if you know the basics, and you prove to be a good crew member, you'll get lots of invitations (to go racing) and therefore lots of opportunities to learn "in real life".

Passage-making in a cruising boat is, unless the weather is pretty snarky, pretty boring. The joys are to be found at your destination when you have your hook down and you can go gunk-holing in the tender, or explore exotic cities. That is why so many people race. It doesn't require passage-making Racing demands full commitment of both body and intellect and is anything BUT boring :-)

Now, when you eventually come to chose a boat, be mindful that cruising boats are one breed of cat - even when they are monohulls - and racing boats are quite another. Most of what you find in the "new to you" market are bastard cruiser/racers that don't do a particularly good job of either. You won't be in a position to decide where on the spectrum of bastardy you will want your "final" boat to be until you have many miles behind you in many different boats - i.e. in OPBs :-).

Now, when you have become a sailing club member, and when you boys meet the age requirement, they can become Junior Members at a very favourable Annual Subscription and often with no Initiation Fee (cos Dad is a member). The sailing club will have a junior program to teach youngsters on dinghies such as those mentioned above. The fee for the program will include "rent" of the club's dinghies. This finesses the whole situation, because if your boys are anything like I was, they'll prefer to be taught by someone other than Dad :-)! And when you and your wife are ready to "run away to sea" the boys will have so many new friends to go sailing with that you'll be lucky to convince them to spend a week-end with boring old Mom and Dad ;-)!

All the best to you

TP
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Old 28-06-2018, 06:38   #9
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Re: Man With a Plan

Racing an old dinghy or trailer sailor at your local yacht club is a great way to start. There are always newer faster boats, but then often there is the "all boats" fleet which is a mixed bag with results determined by handicap rather than first across the line. You may start off coming last, but any improvement will result in increased handicap scores and will give a sense of achievement - you might even win the season. Most yacht club members are extremely helpful and friendly before and after racing there is much to learn about rigging, sail adjustments, boat handling etc that builds week end after weekend. Go down the yacht club, find the commodore and just have a chat - it will follow its natural course from there. Your investment would be membership fees, then maybe a trailer-able dinghy or yacht, keeping one in the water is just a pain and expensive. I had a quick look on the internet and Davis Island Yacht club looks pretty cool. Davis Island Yacht Club although I have never been to Tampa. It looks like it does Thursday night sailing - that would also be a great intro.
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Old 28-06-2018, 13:07   #10
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Re: Man With a Plan

You are welcome, and please know that what you have said has struck a chord with me. So in response to your reply, I make bold to add the following to what I've already said:

Quote: “I have to be honest, I started my*research*about 2 months ago and it's been very overwhelming, but I'm anxious to learn."

The quantity of knowledge a sailorman has to have is indeed vast and overwhelming. That is the reason that in days of yore boys were sent to sea as midshipmen (“snotties”) at the age of twelve while osmosis can still be an effective means of learning such arcane material. But be systematic about the task before you, and break the material into discrete rubrics. There are, IMO, three such for you to address at this time: 1) Rudiments of yacht design so you may choose well when you get to the point of writing cheques for biggish amounts, 2) Boat handling, so you may avoid the dramas one all too often sees in marinas, and 3) Skippering so you may keep you crew safe wherever you go.

As for rudiments of yacht design, I recommend that you sign up for e-mails from the many yacht brokers that operate in your neckathewoods. I get three or four listings for boats for sale every week.. These emails show you what is available at any given time, and what the going (listing) prices are. At this time, prices are declining, and I would hazard a guess that SETTLEMENT price is about 60% of listing price on most boat sales. These listings always have lotsa pictures of the boats in question.

Here is a sample link to a site you will find invaluable:

HUNTER 41 DS sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

We in this forum refer to this site constantly. The technical data given is, in conjunction with the drawings, a starting point for understanding and comparing the competencies of sailing yachts, and therefore it is a basis for coming to grips with the fundamentals of yacht design. This cited boat is popular, but it would not be my choice for a raft of reasons we can chat about anon if you like.

You might also like to read Skeene's Elements of Yacht Design edited by Francis Kinney, a treatise well worth the bux it will cost on Amazon.

As for Boat Handling, that is the easy part. Were we not on opposite corners of a large continent, I could take you out and teach you the fundamentals of handling a 30-footer in one long day in my home harbour. So you can put that problem aside for now, and worry about it only when you come close to needing the skills. If you go sailing in OPBs it will come to you by osmosis.

As for skippering – that is “der Pudels Kern” as Goethe put it! Learning to be a skipper is never-ending, but, again, be systematic about the learning. Always keep in mind that skipper's first responsibility is to keep his crew safe. He cannot do that unless he keeps himself and his ship safe. To do so requires a certain compendium of knowledge and a certain mindset. Tricky bit here: If you have the mindset, the knowledge will accumulate as you go. If you DON'T have the mindset, no amount of knowledge will be enuff :-)!

Quote: “It's more about taking time to appreciate what you have and where you are without constantly looking over the horizon and envying the people that have more and better "stuff"...I may look into*buying*a smaller >30 footer to take some day/weekend trips...”

Sensible thought! IMO 30 feet is the “sweet spot” in many, many ways. Big enuff to accommodate man and maid for weeks, even some months, at a time, but small enuff that it doesn't eviscerate the retirement budget. Easy to handle. Doesn't terrify the novices.

Remember that buying the boat is no trick at all. Keeping her and maintaining her is what costs the money. You can buy a perfectly adequate “frozen snot” (fibreglass) boat for twenty grand. Moorage and insurance, IN THESE WATERS, will cost $4K p.a., and this is an irreducible minimum that will continue as long as you own the boat. These costs vary depending on where you are. For a $20K boat that comes to you in good condition, I would budget another 5K p.a. for the first five years of ownership to take care of running maintenance and the odd upgrade, such a replacing the toilet or the cook stove. Or the battery charger. Hauling and antifouling will run $800 – $1,000 each year. New sails for a 30 sloop will cost you $15K if you need them. A replacement engine likewise $15K. This is why a grand is known on the waterfront as a “boatbuck”.

Remember also that Willy Occam is the best boat mate a novice can have. Willy is the man who said “KISS”. 'Cept he said it 700 years ago. In Latin. It is no less valid for all that. By all means accept whatever bells and whistles come with the boat, such as a chart plotter, but try to ignore these things until you've learnt two of a skipper's proudest skills: Pilotage and Dead Reckoning. Pilotage is coastwise navigation unaided by electrons, but involving paper charts and the mariner's compass. Dead Reckoning is knowing at all times where you are without recourse to satellites. An ASA course will teach you all about that :-)

Enuff :-)!!

You are off to a good start.

TP
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Old 28-06-2018, 15:48   #11
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Re: Man With a Plan

Thank you again for the great advice and taking the time to craft your words of encouragement. In addition to the freedom and adventures, it's people like you that make this such an appealing lifestyle. Please know that I will take all of your thoughts to heart and hope to pay it forward one day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
You are welcome, and please know that what you have said has struck a chord with me. So in response to your reply, I make bold to add the following to what I've already said:

Quote: “I have to be honest, I started my*research*about 2 months ago and it's been very overwhelming, but I'm anxious to learn."

The quantity of knowledge a sailorman has to have is indeed vast and overwhelming. That is the reason that in days of yore boys were sent to sea as midshipmen (“snotties”) at the age of twelve while osmosis can still be an effective means of learning such arcane material. But be systematic about the task before you, and break the material into discrete rubrics. There are, IMO, three such for you to address at this time: 1) Rudiments of yacht design so you may choose well when you get to the point of writing cheques for biggish amounts, 2) Boat handling, so you may avoid the dramas one all too often sees in marinas, and 3) Skippering so you may keep you crew safe wherever you go.

As for rudiments of yacht design, I recommend that you sign up for e-mails from the many yacht brokers that operate in your neckathewoods. I get three or four listings for boats for sale every week.. These emails show you what is available at any given time, and what the going (listing) prices are. At this time, prices are declining, and I would hazard a guess that SETTLEMENT price is about 60% of listing price on most boat sales. These listings always have lotsa pictures of the boats in question.

Here is a sample link to a site you will find invaluable:

HUNTER 41 DS sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

We in this forum refer to this site constantly. The technical data given is, in conjunction with the drawings, a starting point for understanding and comparing the competencies of sailing yachts, and therefore it is a basis for coming to grips with the fundamentals of yacht design. This cited boat is popular, but it would not be my choice for a raft of reasons we can chat about anon if you like.

You might also like to read Skeene's Elements of Yacht Design edited by Francis Kinney, a treatise well worth the bux it will cost on Amazon.

As for Boat Handling, that is the easy part. Were we not on opposite corners of a large continent, I could take you out and teach you the fundamentals of handling a 30-footer in one long day in my home harbour. So you can put that problem aside for now, and worry about it only when you come close to needing the skills. If you go sailing in OPBs it will come to you by osmosis.

As for skippering – that is “der Pudels Kern” as Goethe put it! Learning to be a skipper is never-ending, but, again, be systematic about the learning. Always keep in mind that skipper's first responsibility is to keep his crew safe. He cannot do that unless he keeps himself and his ship safe. To do so requires a certain compendium of knowledge and a certain mindset. Tricky bit here: If you have the mindset, the knowledge will accumulate as you go. If you DON'T have the mindset, no amount of knowledge will be enuff :-)!

Quote: “It's more about taking time to appreciate what you have and where you are without constantly looking over the horizon and envying the people that have more and better "stuff"...I may look into*buying*a smaller >30 footer to take some day/weekend trips...”

Sensible thought! IMO 30 feet is the “sweet spot” in many, many ways. Big enuff to accommodate man and maid for weeks, even some months, at a time, but small enuff that it doesn't eviscerate the retirement budget. Easy to handle. Doesn't terrify the novices.

Remember that buying the boat is no trick at all. Keeping her and maintaining her is what costs the money. You can buy a perfectly adequate “frozen snot” (fibreglass) boat for twenty grand. Moorage and insurance, IN THESE WATERS, will cost $4K p.a., and this is an irreducible minimum that will continue as long as you own the boat. These costs vary depending on where you are. For a $20K boat that comes to you in good condition, I would budget another 5K p.a. for the first five years of ownership to take care of running maintenance and the odd upgrade, such a replacing the toilet or the cook stove. Or the battery charger. Hauling and antifouling will run $800 – $1,000 each year. New sails for a 30 sloop will cost you $15K if you need them. A replacement engine likewise $15K. This is why a grand is known on the waterfront as a “boatbuck”.

Remember also that Willy Occam is the best boat mate a novice can have. Willy is the man who said “KISS”. 'Cept he said it 700 years ago. In Latin. It is no less valid for all that. By all means accept whatever bells and whistles come with the boat, such as a chart plotter, but try to ignore these things until you've learnt two of a skipper's proudest skills: Pilotage and Dead Reckoning. Pilotage is coastwise navigation unaided by electrons, but involving paper charts and the mariner's compass. Dead Reckoning is knowing at all times where you are without recourse to satellites. An ASA course will teach you all about that :-)

Enuff :-)!!

You are off to a good start.

TP
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