I have never once set foot on a sail boat
. No one in my family
has. That should be enough to tell me that the rest of this post foolishness, but damn it, if I don’t make any bad decisions then I won’t have any good stories to tell later in life! So…
We’ve decided to move our family
onto a sailboat and escape the stresses and “hoops” of modern US culture. I’m trying to come up with a list of basic steps that my wife and I need to take to get us there. Any and all advice on the topic is welcome.
About us: I’m a 6 foot tall disabled Army veteran with PTSD issues, a bad back, and am way overweight. My wife is perfectly healthy and capable. We have 9 (yes, NINE) children
at home now ranging in ages from 6 months up to 16 years old, all healthy, athletic, and willing. I suspect a couple might be moved out by the time we move through this list and make the move.
Here are the steps we came up with as a START so far:
• Drop weight down to 270 (minimum, 250 or less ideally)
• Be able to walk at least 2 miles non-stop
• Visit friend’s 40’ sailboat on nearby lake
• Reorganize spending/savings habits to make sailing the priority
(ie no major purchases that can’t come with us on a boat)
After my weight and health
get to be less of an issue we’d then start moving through some other steps:
for a week or so (make sure this isn’t something we’ll hate)
• Take a sailing course (ASA?) near us
• Find some crew opportunities for me (and maybe one of the teenagers) to gain hours and experience
At some point along here (2-3 years from now??) we’d expect to have an idea of boat types, sizes, features, that we could work
with and might start looking at boats to buy. I’ve been looking at them now anyway, but only so that I have some idea of what good and bad deals might look like (and some daydreaming of course
) . I figure with a family this size that a Catamaran
is going to be a must. We anticipate a few years around the States/Carib/Bahamas to learn/teach/refine our skills, establish routines, get our sea legs, play, etc… before we would like to try circumnavigating.
Enough though… what advice do you have for non-sailors looking to learn? Do these steps and timeframes seem reasonable? What have we overlooked? What are we too ignorant about to even question? Fill us in and help us out! Thanks!!