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Old 16-07-2021, 13:13   #1
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Okay... its finally happening

Hey all,

I have posted in cruiserforum before and got some excellent redirection on my sailing plans and we have came up with something that seems ambitious but doable for my wife, myself and my three kids.

We have been needing some adventure in our lives and the public school systems are not what I was hoping they would be for our kids, with all that we decided to sell our house (which is now under contract and we should close within the next 3 weeks) and after paying off debts and moving we should be left with close to 250k to buy a yacht, improve it to bluewater standards, take a few sailing lessons and set off from Olympia WA. I would like to spend as little as possible on all of this and leave as much options open as possible financially just in case this turns out to be a colossal mistake for our family.

our sail plans for this voyage start with coastal cruising with short passages to start off with and increasing in length into mexico where we will depart from la paz (ish) area and landing in Hilo, HI 3-4 weeks later where we will spend a few months cruising the Hawaiian islands before weather permits another long passage back to Olympia, WA.

We are trying to leave in July of 2022 and plan to spend a little over a year on this voyage.

So now that we have an accepted offer on our house with backup offers in place and I am not currently working (personal choice) I am planning on spending the next 12 months finding a solid boat that is inexpensive but proven, fixing it up and learning how to sail along with my wife (who works three days a week).

It sounds simple but I know that its a massive hill to climb and that's why I'm saying hi to everyone here.

So... Hi!

If anyone wants someone to hang out with in the Olympia Wa area and doesn't mind showing me and my wife how to do.... well just about anything sailing.... let me know!

-Josh Bradley
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Old 16-07-2021, 14:05   #2
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Re: Okay... its finally happening

I love plans and I notice that you say that you plan to leave July of 2020. Does this mean the date that you begin starting the coastal cruising or when you plan to leave for Hawaii?
I don't see that buying a boat; outfitting the boat; learning to sail; learning the skills of cruising with local coastal excursions; adapting to fulltime life aboard; and then sailing to Mexico fits into 12 months. I may have been slower with my plans, but it took me most of a year from buying my first cruising boat to head out for just a one thousand mile voyage and I already knew how to sail. As so many have said on this forum before, the best instruction for learning to sail comes on board an 8' to 12' boat that reacts quickly to your every move, giving you immediate feedback.

You plans are more than just feasible, but achieved by many of us. Don't be disappointed if your goals require more time. There's great joy in all the stages that come before you depart across the Pacific. Enjoy the whole process and adapt. Keep us posted of your adventures.
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 16-07-2021, 14:20   #3
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Re: Okay... its finally happening

Congrats, it's a big and exciting day when you set the plan in motion!
However, the first step should be to get rid of the schedule. I know it's a cliche but it's TRUE. Schedules put demands on you.
Instead, Why not set an overall plan with no dates. Step one is buy the boat and learn to sail. Next step will happen when you are ready for it. There is so much more enjoyment and release of pressure this way.
Good luck and enjoy every step of your journey!
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Old 16-07-2021, 14:36   #4
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Re: Okay... its finally happening

Josh, welcome to CF and bonne chance for your plans.

Personally I think your time frame is far too compressed, both in terms of finding and buying and preparing the vessel, and in the execution of your cruise itself. There seems to be no slack in it for hiccups and "aw shucks" moments... and as a fairly experienced voyager and cruiser, I am quite sure that such events will pop up.

Your geographic location adds some difficulty too. The trip south from Washington is not an easy one for a first ocean passage, and getting enough boat time and experience to make that passage safely and with pleasure doesn't seem to fit into your schedule very well.

Finally, setting out cruising with a firm schedule of any sort is IMO a mistake. One of the primary joys of cruising (to me) is the spontaneity of changing destinations, activities or explorations on a whim, a whim developed as the experience progresses. The pressures of a schedule kinda interfere with this, and in extreme cases have caused folks to set out on their scheduled passages in uncertain conditions, and with bad outcomes.

So, don't give up on the general idea, but don't set anything in concrete now. Your ideas will change, perhaps radically, as you progress up the learning curve, and flexibility will be your friend... many times!

Good luck,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II, lying Port Cygnet Tasmania once again.
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Old 16-07-2021, 14:53   #5
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Re: Okay... its finally happening

Hi, Jbradley15,

I'm going to blow cold on your timing, although I think you have an interesting leg up on your plan. It is that northern hemisphere hurricane season runs about June to November. Hawaii is affected.

Maybe you could say a little more about your imagined "proven boat." Proven how? What size? (how many berths?) I'm a monohull person, but cats have more private space per foot of length, cost more, and are lightly built, in general. But then, so are some monohulls.

Home schooling 3 kids: what ages and genders are they and how much room do they need? Can they share an aft cabin? Do they get seasick? (Some people prefer mono motion to cats; others, the other way around.)

Do you or your wife get seasick? Have you factored in insurance, berthing, and classes costs? Do you have a re-entry plan?

Good luck with it mate, what you are most lacking is sea time, as a skipper. If your good lady wife is involved in home schooling, she will have limited time to relieve you on passages.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 16-07-2021, 16:04   #6
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Re: Okay... its finally happening

Congrats on the big move, hope it’s every you’re dreaming of. I can’t offer much about sailing in your area but we have several decades of expertise in Homeschooling so if I can offer any advice there just ask.
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Old 17-07-2021, 08:58   #7
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Re: Okay... its finally happening

Thanks for the replies all!

for clarification;

I am planning on leaving Olympia in July of 2023

I don't have set plans on when I will be leaving the small marinas and towns along the way but access along the west coast are limited and I have some places that I we would like to stay at for a while. We are studying our world cruising routes in order to plan timing with the weather.

As for solid dates I really want to catch the baja ha ha in 2023, other than that I plan on watching the weather and referring to the world cruising routes book and keeping close to the main groups of sailors that are going the same routes as us.

Yes, I know my timeline is tight and I might not leave when I am hoping to, and thats okay. I am pretty goal oriented and have a tough time not procrastinating without some sort of goal. Since there is so much to do in the short amount of time I don't plan on finding a job and am dedicating my time to this project... although the "aw shucks" moments will probably happen and push us back a few months or year, I'm going to plan on them not happening and work as hard as I can at it.

Yeah this approach will bring me some extra stress but its the only way I know to keep me from being lazy.

JPA Cate, I'm specifically looking at kelly-peterson 44, Hardin 45, Tayana 42 and like boats. I have a 3yo and 11yo girl and an 7yo boy, everyone, even old salts get seasick sometimes but if there was one thing that could really derail us from this trip, its that. As far as space I plan on making sure each has their own berth that does not (or we will not) convert to something else. My latest book I have been reading which is really helping us in getting our kids excited and hopefully the lessons in this book will help us keep them happy through this journey. I'm 100% sure they will still fight occasionally but mostly their great kids and I am really excited to be spending this amount of time with them.

Insurance is something I really need to figure out, that's on the agenda but I think I have most of the other expenses understood and accounted for.

again, thanks for the responses and happy sailing!

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Old 17-07-2021, 20:56   #8
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Re: Okay... its finally happening

It is possible that you aren't going to find very many examples of your chosen vessels, so it may be condition of the vessel alone that will make the decision for you.

Not sure you're aware of this or not, but the most desirable all condition berths are just aft of the mast. Often those sea berths are the settees. With the addition of lee cloths, you can sleep on either the uphill or downhill side of the boat. Sleeping forward of the mast can be quite bouncy and (at least for me) isn't user friendly hard on the wind. (CF has lots of threads on preventing seasickness. Use a CF Custom Google Search, under the Search button. For most people it is preventable.)

How many berths do you think is minimum for the 5 of you? By the time you leave, your elder daughter may be beginning the hormone madness of the teen years, and may well need a private space to which she can retreat. Some of the Petersons have a pilot berth in the walkway between the galley and the aft cabin. That might do, with a privacy curtain. The two younger ones could share for a while.. But you should make those decisions with them and your good lady--personalities will have a huge bearing on what will be best.

If you find a boat with two pilot berths (some boats have them outboard of the settees), maybe they might do for the two younger ones. And, on passages, you and your wife will be using one of the settees while the other of you are on watch. I would not expect the 11 yr. old to stand a night watch unassisted, but allow it during the day, with supervision. Let the kids earn the right to be productive crew: it will be very good for them, building self confidence. You may be surprised how much help the kids can be.

You might want to ask the forum about known flaws of those boats.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 17-07-2021, 21:07   #9
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Re: Okay... its finally happening

There are a lot of PNW sailors in these forums. I’d consider signing up for others ( forums) as well. I’m out of Pt. Defiance.
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Old 17-07-2021, 21:18   #10
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Re: Okay... its finally happening

Ann I was going to say I have never surveyed a good Kelly Peterson 44. All needed lot's of work before they would be cruise ready. They are just getting so old and are pokey compared to a more modern design.
Surely your kids will be doing lots of swimming so a sugar scoop would be nice.
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Old 17-07-2021, 23:54   #11
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Okay... its finally happening

Today , why people would choose old , dilapidated designs is beyond me . I think this is an American obsession with a certain type of boat most of which are decades older at this point and will need seriously systems upgrade. Other then custom stuff no one is really building this type of boat anymore

Try an broaden your horizons and look at what long distance sailors elsewhere are sailing in , remember a circumnavigation is a series of coastal trips interspersed by a few big ocean crossings. Look at Ovnis, etc and other more modern constructions

Unless you actively want a massive, expensive and time consuming “ project “ why not consider something much more modern with reasonably up to date systems , good light air performance , good systems for long periods on board etc.
Interested in smart boat technology, networking and all things tech
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Old 23-07-2021, 10:48   #12
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Re: Okay... its finally happening

Welcome aboard and congratulations, your boat should be a nice one!
YouTube: S/V Just Smile and Wave
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