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Old 21-11-2021, 13:35   #1
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New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

Hello all:

New here. Sailing experience? Not much.
Buying a sailboat in the next six month, hopefully here in Florida.

Goals:

- Caribbean sailing - Jamaica, Cuba, Bahamas, Venezuela, Haiti, PR, DR, etc.
- Climb a mast (not good with heights) and fix something
- Lash myself into the bowsprit during rough seas and experience wave bashing for a few minutes

Not much else to say. I used to do huge software projects for a big IT consulting company. Now I write crime fiction from the criminal perspective.
Smaller paycheck but much more fun.
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Old 21-11-2021, 14:07   #2
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escape Plan 11 View Post
Hello all:

New here. Sailing experience? Not much.
Buying a sailboat in the next six month, hopefully here in Florida.

Goals:

- Caribbean sailing - Jamaica, Cuba, Bahamas, Venezuela, Haiti, PR, DR, etc.
- Climb a mast (not good with heights) and fix something
- Lash myself into the bowsprit during rough seas and experience wave bashing for a few minutes

Not much else to say. I used to do huge software projects for a big IT consulting company. Now I write crime fiction from the criminal perspective.
Smaller paycheck but much more fun.
Welcome.

What kind of boat are you considering?

Any links to you writing?
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Old 21-11-2021, 14:20   #3
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

At this point I'm looking for a Catalina Morgan 38.

Most of the time I will be alone. Sometime management but I don't count on her being present often. So a single handed boat setup is a necessity. See it a lot in Catalina Morgan and the Hunter 38s. If wife likes it enough I'll move up to something larger...a Morgan Out Island sees almost a perfect boat...except for the age.

But I'm open to almost anything with a decent back cabin (center cockpit), single-handed setup, and enough space for an expandable solar array on the davits.

Was on a Cat 42 but hated the open galley arrangement. Thought it ruined the boat even though I liked the Pullman berth.

Any suggestions?
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Old 21-11-2021, 14:26   #4
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

Choosing a boat for someone is akin to an arranged marriage...

If you're hoping to get the wife on board,... see what she likes.

The Bahamas are a great place to get your feet wet... but you want shallow draft. Consider catamarans.

Look up a Lagoon 38 / 380 just to get an idea.
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Old 21-11-2021, 14:51   #5
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

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Originally Posted by Escape Plan 11 View Post
Any suggestions?
Try and get some experience before buying. Walk the docks. If you're friendly, easy going, and useful, you might be able to hitch a ride or two. Better still, if you're located near a marina or yacht club, try and join the racing crew. Club racers are always looking for competent (or even semi-competent) crew.

You could take a course or two. Find a liveaboard intro course and take that. Maybe even go with your wife. The point is, you're on the romantic side of the sail-away escape plan. If you don't want to crash hard on the rocks of reality, you should try and get some real experience before committing to the life.


P.S. Catlife is absolutely right. Only you can know what you want and need -- and at this point you don't even know that. I'm not trying to harsh at all. We all start somewhere. But most people need to crawl before they can climb a mast. If you're serious about this dream, you need to gain some actual experience first.
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Old 21-11-2021, 15:01   #6
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

as above.....

find someone that has a boat and go sailing with them....hell, you live in Florida, practically everyone has a boat there...walk the docks...go to boatshows...read...study...watch youtube....etc..etc...

rinse and repeat for at least 6 months...12 months is better....

at that point, you'll have a better (better, not good, but better) idea of what it is all about, and can chose a boat accordingly..

at this point, it doesn't sound like you've ever got your feet wet yet..you've got aways to go yet....
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Old 21-11-2021, 15:06   #7
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escape Plan 11 View Post
Hello all:

New here. Sailing experience? Not much.
Buying a sailboat in the next six month, hopefully here in Florida.

Goals:

- Caribbean sailing - Jamaica, Cuba, Bahamas, Venezuela, Haiti, PR, DR, etc.
- Climb a mast (not good with heights) and fix something
- Lash myself into the bowsprit during rough seas and experience wave bashing for a few minutes
Hmm.. this one marked in red was a favored means of punishment in the Golden Age of Piracy, if memory serves.

Maybe start with beating upwind in five-second chop first, then work your way up from there. You might need a class or two for that.
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Old 21-11-2021, 18:59   #8
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

I thought lashes were reserved for crew caught sipping on the captain's grog...

" fifty lashes for you, you miserable, swabbie, for stealing mah grog !!!"
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Old 22-11-2021, 02:56   #9
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Escape Plan.
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Old 22-11-2021, 06:24   #10
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

Welcome aboard, Escape!

Here's something you might try:

Sailing Opportunities - Hank Schmitt
https://www.sailopo.com/Home_OPO_History.aspx?rd=1

One Forum Member I know did a delivery this Spring (May 2021) with SailOpo (look under their "Swan Program") - 52' Swan from Antigua - Newport, RI. He had an absolutely fantastic time, said he learned tons aboard while on passage (he's an experienced club racer, but had never been offshore, so watchkeeping, hourly navigation and logkeeping, setting watch scheds, offshore cooking and chores, etc. were all new to him). He's now on the hunt for his own boat.

As the above posters have emphasised, ensure you get some ASA training or some solid experience - and **get the Admiral (your wife) onboard** before coming to loggerheads with the actual reality of cruising life.

Here's one of the Forum's favourite and most entertaining threads started by a guy who jumped in without any sailing knowledge. He did have a whale of a time for a while, but ultimately, his wife made him sell the boat and he hasn't been heard from since:

Attempted Trip to Bermuda
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...uda-91566.html

Fair winds and good luck,
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Old 22-11-2021, 07:15   #11
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escape Plan 11 View Post
Hello all:

New here. Sailing experience? Not much.
Buying a sailboat in the next six month, hopefully here in Florida.

Goals:

- Caribbean sailing - Jamaica, Cuba, Bahamas, Venezuela, Haiti, PR, DR, etc.
- Climb a mast (not good with heights) and fix something
- Lash myself into the bowsprit during rough seas and experience wave bashing for a few minutes
I would suggest rethinking a few of your goals, especially destinations.

Jamaica is probably doable with care but crime rate has risen a lot in recent years.

Cuba. For all practical purposes US yachts are not allowed to visit Cuba and you will be subject to fines and potential confiscation of your boat if you go without the proper approvals from the USCG.

Venezuela and Haiti. Don't even think about it these. Crime and violence in both countries is off the scale.

The bowsprit thing, I'll just assume this is a bit of humor.
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Old 22-11-2021, 07:30   #12
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

I shudder to look back at my early sailing days....they were frought with near misses with big objects, wild sleepness nights, broken gear, groundings, engine malfunctions, abandoning crew, and just general mayhem.

For the life of me, I didn't know how this could be considered a "gentleman's" sport and why I even chose to pursue this, I could not answer.

But then....that one perfect day arrived...when the stars aligned....the dolphins came out to play, the wind was right, ocean was smooth, beer was cold and nothing broke.

I had graduated from the "School of Hard Knocks" and had finally become a "sailor".....for most this training course may require several years...
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Old 22-11-2021, 09:59   #13
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

Thank you for the feedback and suggestions.

At this point I'm looking mostly for boats to avoid or maybe an overlooked gem model. 'This one has keel problems'...stuff like that. 'Don't forget about this model...it's similar.'

Here's the plan: start small. Get some experience in a smaller boat and then trade up in boat size, if things go better than terrible.

Wish I could afford a catamaran. I could probably swing it but it would take too much of the nest egg. Looking for 6 months on land, 6 months at sea every year.

Took the ASA 101 course recently and was fun. Will take the next two courses as well.

Was on a sailboat that sank in Lake Ponchatrain years ago. An interesting day, not my boat, but was a good reminder that drugs and alcohol don't mix with sailing, only at anchor. It also reminded me how much I despise drunk people. Everyone survived but some tried not to.

I write crime fiction from the criminal perspective. My main character lives on a 1995 Catalina-Morgan 45. He ain't no sailor, got the boat as payment for an investigation he did for a criminal who was going through a divorce and didn't want his floating love shack on his list of assets. Burn those sheets in the back cabin.

Just trying to make my psychopathic main character seem more relatable. From investigations to body disposal, Trunk has your back....hahaha.

Wife saw one of those boats a few years ago and fell in love with it. So I used it in my novels. I still need to convince her to go sailing for more than a weekend. But I have a secret weapon that I will spring after she has a few weekends at anchor.

'Wanna go to Cuba?'

That is my secret weapon. Slam dunk like Lebron James. I'm married to a Jewish socialist. She's been to Jerusalem, but she wants to go to her political holy land too...hahaha. I will exploit her weakness.

2022 may just turn out to be one of my favorite years.



I have been planning this for about 5 years now. Just had to wait for the pieces to fall in place. The last piece fits in January.
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Old 22-11-2021, 10:02   #14
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

Hello...good to be here.
Look forward to learning.
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Old 22-11-2021, 10:12   #15
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Re: New and lost...is the road to the happiness clinic?

Sorry...Peg Leg stole the grog, Captain. This sailor doesn't drink that poison.

Yeah, I might need to build up to the wave crashing.

I like to do things that scare the hell outta me. I've jumped out of a plane and did bungee jumping because of this. Will never do either of those again unless lives depend on it. Hated both of them!

Wave crashing is one of the few activities that may permit a build up to it.

Planning on going up one meter a day in a boson's chair until I reach the top of the mast. Fear of heights is a pain in the butt but once I'm up there it will be fine.

'Fear is a mind-killer' to quote the Litany of Fear.

Wave crashing might require a helmet...don't wanna die from a cleat to the head if it slams me onto the deck.
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