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Old 16-08-2021, 06:29   #1
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New sailors

Hello, my name is Tina. My fiancé and I currently live in MN and have a 26 foot sailboat on a lake here. We are quitting our jobs come December and heading with our boat to the Florida Keys to get a taste of the cruising life. We plan to buy a bigger boat eventually and cruise the Caribbean. We are fairly new to sailing and the lifestyle and would appreciate any tips and or advice on equipment, sailing in general, or anything else that could help make this life transition smooth. Thanks! Hope to see you all out there soon!
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Old 16-08-2021, 06:32   #2
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Re: New sailors

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Tina.
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Old 25-08-2021, 03:57   #3
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Re: New sailors

Hi and welcome from Ontario Canada

I also own a 26', a 1974 Grampian. It's a nice size to start out. Definately invest in some lessons. It takes less time than you think and you won't be a hazard to yourself or those around you. You have an exciting plan so please keep us posted on your adventures. Fair winds
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Old 25-08-2021, 05:13   #4
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Re: New sailors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjoymilano View Post
Hello, my name is Tina. My fiancé and I currently live in MN and have a 26 foot sailboat on a lake here. We are quitting our jobs come December and heading with our boat to the Florida Keys to get a taste of the cruising life. We plan to buy a bigger boat eventually and cruise the Caribbean. We are fairly new to sailing and the lifestyle and would appreciate any tips and or advice on equipment, sailing in general, or anything else that could help make this life transition smooth. Thanks! Hope to see you all out there soon!
Which way will you be going South?
Are you trailering her to the Keys, or will you be sailing South? (Or maybe trailering her just to Troy or Norfolk...?)

If sailing, I would suggest spending time now before the canal closes in October to get her to, and through, the Erie Canal or sail to Oswego and get through the just the Oswego to Troy, New York. From there, you'd be able to make your way to the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway to Florida) on less of a deadline - although it will be cold! Also if trailering, make sure you'll have some place to park your truck and trailer once you get to Florida. In-season, I understand that's a bit of a challenge.

Here are a couple of useful threads to review:

Tips for Long-Term Winter Sailing
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ng-243260.html

Practicality of Trailering a Sailboat
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...at-174545.html

In the Spirit of "Go Small, Go Now"
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ow-197237.html

Cheers and welcome aboard!
LittleWing77
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Old 28-08-2021, 19:21   #5
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Re: New sailors

Welcome.

I would suggest updating your profile with your general location and your boat make & model or “Looking” in the "Boat" category. This info shows up under your UserName in every post in the web view. Many questions are boat and/or location dependent and having these tidbits under your UserName saves answering those questions repeatedly. If you need help setting up your profile then click on this link: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3308797

I would happily help more if the link above is not enough.
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Old 30-08-2021, 06:18   #6
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Re: New sailors

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Which way will you be going South?
Are you trailering her to the Keys, or will you be sailing South? (Or maybe trailering her just to Troy or Norfolk...?)

If sailing, I would suggest spending time now before the canal closes in October to get her to, and through, the Erie Canal or sail to Oswego and get through the just the Oswego to Troy, New York. From there, you'd be able to make your way to the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway to Florida) on less of a deadline - although it will be cold! Also if trailering, make sure you'll have some place to park your truck and trailer once you get to Florida. In-season, I understand that's a bit of a challenge.

Here are a couple of useful threads to review:

Tips for Long-Term Winter Sailing
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ng-243260.html

Practicality of Trailering a Sailboat
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...at-174545.html

In the Spirit of "Go Small, Go Now"
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ow-197237.html

Cheers and welcome aboard!
LittleWing77
Hello!
Thank you for that information, I will check all that out. We were planning on trailering to the keys. I haven’t started looking into it yet but it is definitely a concern where we will keep the truck and trailer while we sail for a few months. I may look into having it trailered there and we would fly to meet it. I’ll keep you posted on what we end up doing. Thanks again!!
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Old 30-08-2021, 06:22   #7
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Re: New sailors

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Originally Posted by Nauticus View Post
Hi and welcome from Ontario Canada

I also own a 26', a 1974 Grampian. It's a nice size to start out. Definately invest in some lessons. It takes less time than you think and you won't be a hazard to yourself or those around you. You have an exciting plan so please keep us posted on your adventures. Fair winds
Hello!
Thanks for your reply. I have booked some lessons for next week. We’ll be having an instructor come on our boat for four hours. I’m hoping that will be helpful but if not we may do the same once we get to the keys. Thanks for the tip!!! I’ll let you know how it’s going!!
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Old 30-08-2021, 08:47   #8
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Re: New sailors

Welcome to the forum!


You would not be the first to take a MacGregor to the Bahamas. It will take planning, practice, patience, and a good weather window to do it safely. Don't be in a hurry!



Macgregor 26X: Chinook’s Cruise to the Exumas, March 2 – June 9, 2011 | Log of the Chinook


Macgregor 26S: Macgregor Trips-1 Index


There are a lot of resources, information about your boat, and what people have done with it at https://macgregorsailors.com/index.php


Tell us a little more about what you've done so far!
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Old 30-08-2021, 09:47   #9
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Re: New sailors

Hi Tina and welcome to the forum. There are millions of tips for your transition to the cruising life. There's an old saying. You can learn to sail (or cruise) in a day but will spend a lifetime mastering it.

First few things that come to mind.

Make sure you have a GOOD anchor. Winter in the Keys you will get occasional cold fronts that bring a lot of wind. Need a good anchor to keep the boat off the beach. Mantus (my current favorite), Rocna and a couple of other new generation anchor designs will let you sleep better at night. And go big. Too much is better than not enough in this case.

Speaking of cold fronts, learn about the Florida weather patterns. Short summary, you are in the trade winds belt meaning 90% of the time you will have moderate winds from the east. Maybe a little NE or SE but basically east. Until a front blows in then you will see strong winds from the north for a few days then it circles back around to east winds.

Get a good bimini top or a big boom tent to give you shade. Sun in the Keys is ferocious and loves to burn up pale Minnesota skin.
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Old 30-08-2021, 17:28   #10
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Re: New sailors

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Hi Tina and welcome to the forum. There are millions of tips for your transition to the cruising life. There's an old saying. You can learn to sail (or cruise) in a day but will spend a lifetime mastering it.

First few things that come to mind.

Make sure you have a GOOD anchor. Winter in the Keys you will get occasional cold fronts that bring a lot of wind. Need a good anchor to keep the boat off the beach. Mantus (my current favorite), Rocna and a couple of other new generation anchor designs will let you sleep better at night. And go big. Too much is better than not enough in this case.

Speaking of cold fronts, learn about the Florida weather patterns. Short summary, you are in the trade winds belt meaning 90% of the time you will have moderate winds from the east. Maybe a little NE or SE but basically east. Until a front blows in then you will see strong winds from the north for a few days then it circles back around to east winds.

Get a good bimini top or a big boom tent to give you shade. Sun in the Keys is ferocious and loves to burn up pale Minnesota skin.


Hello!
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply and for the info!! I will check into the anchor ASAP. What resources can you suggest we use to get accurate weather forecasts?
We are not your typical Minnesotans! We are late 40s with no kids and good jobs so we are blessed that we get to travel quite a bit so we are rarely pale!!! I lived in Florida for ten years, a year and a half of that was on Big Pine Key. I’m familiar with some of the weather patterns but I learned to sail after I left six years ago and moved to Minnesota so I don’t know much about the winds. Any other useful info is appreciated!! Thanks again!!!
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Old 30-08-2021, 17:33   #11
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Re: New sailors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Be Free View Post
Welcome to the forum!


You would not be the first to take a MacGregor to the Bahamas. It will take planning, practice, patience, and a good weather window to do it safely. Don't be in a hurry!



Macgregor 26X: Chinook’s Cruise to the Exumas, March 2 – June 9, 2011 | Log of the Chinook


Macgregor 26S: Macgregor Trips-1 Index


There are a lot of resources, information about your boat, and what people have done with it at https://macgregorsailors.com/index.php


Tell us a little more about what you've done so far!


Hi there!!
Thanks so much for your reply!!! Oh no! We are not planning on going to the Bahamas, we’re not quite ready for that. We plan to cruise around the Florida Keys only. As of now our sailing experience has been on a big lake in Minnesota where we live called Lake Pepin. We are always up for an adventure and love to travel. We’re also avid scuba divers and are looking forward to doing plenty of that in the Keys. Any navigation or weather apps you can suggest that might help us?
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