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Old 06-01-2017, 10:19   #1
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New to sailing

Hello my name is mike. I live near lake Michigan. My wife and I want to buy a sail boat and sail from Muskegon MI to Kew West FL this summer. We are both new to sailing and need some guidance. All help is welcome and appreciated.

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Old 06-01-2017, 17:29   #2
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Location: Bayou Chico, FL 32507
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Welcome Aboard

I don't care how good you think sailing/cruising is going to be - it is better!

You are smart to join this group and ask for advice, so from the standpoint of this old sailor/cruiser you are approaching your dream correctly.

I suggest a few ideas.
-Find a local class or online sailing classes. Learn theory and practice. Now that may be difficult in Michigan in the winter. Check out your local West Marine store for seminars.
-Consider flying down south for some sail training, Key west, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and up the coasts. We have the Lanier Sailing Academy here in Pensacola.
-Be objective when choosing your boat. Ask what do you want the boat to do for you? Don't fall for a "pretty" boat that may not be appropriate to your needs.
-Spend time on this forum as there are some very experienced folks who will help.
-After you have your boat, learn all you can about it and it's systems. VIP!
- Don't set unrealistic travel goals. Smell the roses.
-Weather Rules! I have a plate on my boat, "WX RULES".
-If you come this way, down the Tenn-Tom, be sure and stop by Bayou Chico. We will make room at our dock and drive you shopping.

ENJOY! It's gonna be better than you dream.

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Old 06-01-2017, 17:59   #3
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Re: New to sailing

I agree with most of what oldcal said above, but think that a bit more thought on his comment of "unrealistic goals" is deserved. I'll put my project management hat on and think about a timeline for this:

Find and purchase a sailboat
- identify candidates (how long?)
- visit several for consideration (how long?)
- make conditional offer on best available (you get the drift ...)
- get survey done
- withdraw offer and repeat previous steps
- (this all assumes you have the financing, insurance, etc. already arranged)
Get boat ready to sail
- identify problems
- fix problems
- repeat
Learn to sail
- whatever
Prepare for voyage
- provisioning
- nav planning
- a bunch more stuff

It can be done. Lots of people have done it. I'm skeptical that it can be done this summer. But that's my cartesian view of the world.
My boat is like me. People look, and say "... pretty good shape ... for its age ..."
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Old 06-01-2017, 18:28   #4
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Re: New to sailing

Go for it, but realize that "sailing" and "cruising" are not the same. Cruising includes sailing, but also includes weather, anchoring, radios, docking, navigation, sleep deprivation, charts; it's too late in the evening for me to be very creative, but it's a long list.

I know a couple, now accomplished cruisers, who (and this is how I met them) on their first night on their new boat looked at the sounder, saw 30 ft. to the bottom, and put out 35 feet of anchor rode just to make sure.......

Do it. Now's your chance.
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Old 06-01-2017, 18:34   #5
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Re: New to sailing

What ever you do don't buy a boat yet. Reseach and do as much reading here and other places as well. You have quite a few things to learn before you get to the buy a boat part.

The reason I say this is. When I first started thinking about buying a boat. The good folks on here steered me in the right direction. I had no idea about design and other factors. Thanks to the community I made a really good decision on the first boat.
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Old 06-01-2017, 18:48   #6
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Re: New to sailing

Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
Find and purchase a sailboat
Learn to sail
Perhaps get a good start on the latter before considering the former?
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:36   #7
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Re: New to sailing

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mike.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 08-01-2017, 10:30   #8
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Re: New to sailing

Thanks everyone for your welcoming and encouraging posts.
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Old 08-01-2017, 20:03   #9
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Location: Allegan, Mi
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Posts: 436
Re: New to sailing

There is a very active racing group in Muskegon, try to connect with them. Torreson marine, might be able to help you establish contact with someone looking for help/crew and they might be able to teach you the "ropes" to speak. On, there is a fairly active group on the west Michigan forum, that should be able to steer you in the right direction as well. One bit of a warning, or heads up, the sailing anarchy group can be very aptly named, at times....

If you are seeking help/guidance, your parameters, might be a great way to break the ice.
Fair winds from the crew of the S/V Siren.
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Old 08-01-2017, 20:14   #10
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Re: New to sailing

Don't know anything about sailing/boating? Please don't just buy a boat and go from Michigan to Florida. Plan on several years of education and practice beforehand sailing and getting the boat prepared. It won't be inexpensive.

Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
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sail, sailing

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