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Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Overwhelmed sailing novice seeks advice

Not a bad position to be in. If you are able to travel to Florida regularly then I don't see a problem with your plan. Buy a boat, find a marina in a bay somewhere (many to choose from in Florida) and if you are able to spend 2-3 weeks at a time, several times a year sailing it you are ahead of many boat owners that live within an hour of their boats and don't sail that often.

You may find that talking to your friends about sailing in Florida every month or so will inspire some to want to join you. I wouldn't worry too much about building experience. If you manage to sail as often as you predict your competence level will increase on a steep curve. You should have enough of the basics from your classes to get you off the dock and into protected waters. From there it is just a matter of taking it easy and pushing your own limits when the time is right, you'll know when that is.

I recommend getting a boat that you can manage alone when necessary. Keep the systems simple but don'e make yourself so uncomfortable living on board that you won't want to make the trip dreading "camping" when you arrive.

I would suggest that you look at the west coast of Florida, even the panhandle area as it is MUCH less expensive to keep a boat. The bays open to the Gulf and you will never lack sailing destinations and opportunities. It is a fun trip around Key West and over to the islands.

A lot of folks own vacation homes in Florida, think of your boat as your vacation home and it doesn't sound far fetched at all. We have started referring to ours as a floating condo since we are planning short trips and not much out of the bay this year.

Stick around the forum, you will hear everything from "sell it all and circumnavigate now" advice to " don't do it, can't be done, you will certainly sink your boat, lose your fortune and start wearing a funny haircut if you keep a boat anywhere but in your yard on it's trailer" all part of what makes Sailnet a community.

There is a wealth of knowledge and experience that you will gain from around here.
Cheers!
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