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Noob wonderings and questions about sailing, life at sail and sailboats
I am sure they questions have all been asked before at some point, pardon me for asking them yet again. Then again thats what places like this are for, yes? I have been reading over the site the last few days and still have some questions.
I have been on, around and operating boats all my life. Fishing boats, race boats, ski boats, etc. I have been out on the sea untold numbers of times. Back and forth across the Columbia river bar and Tillamook Bay bar more times than i can count. Been on seas incredibly rough and potentially dangerous and seas so calm one would think they were on a lake. My father has been an avid fisherman all his life and imparted that to me.
I have a distinct lack of experience with sailboats though. Of course my fascination with them is greatest. I have been out on a sailboat on two occasions. One was just a motoring, the other a great day sailing on a Greek vacation. On that occasion the Captain was one of those who liked his passengers to learn the skills and do the majority of boat operations away from the dock. In other words he spent a lot of time napping. It was enough to spend the day listening to the sounds of the sails flapping and rigging moving about. It was a great experience even though is was only a day on the water with light winds. I need more of it, it only served to increase my long obsession with sailboats.
So, here i sit, very late 30s looking at middle age approaching and wanting something different and a sailing life seems perfect. Obviously it isnt always beautiful beach and sunny days. So, i spend my idle time wondering, dreaming and going to boat shows thinking about possibilities.
I also am fortunate in that i am in a position to be recieving an inheritance of a substantial amount. An amount that will allow me to purchase a very nice boat to live this kind of life and still have more than enough to fund continued adventures for years. If not extravagant, certainly comfortable.
My plan thus far, buy a smallish(20-25) boat to get some personal experience on after i take a few classes. After a few years have passed, i will be ready to move up and the financial aspect of things will be taken care of.
So as for my questions to all of you with the experience. Lets start with sailing itself.
The idea blue water long distance sailing really appeals to me, but the idea of getting caught in a really bad storm hundreds of miles from land terrifies me to no end. How do you all deal with this possiblity? Dont you worry your boat will come apart or go down?
I imagine that lure of such a passage overcomes the fears eventually as one wants to see more than lakes, river or coastal sailing.
The impression i get from reading here is that boats such as Hunters and Beneteaus are not held in high regard. That surprises me as they seem to be great selling boats. Is it that they are only ideally suited for sticking close to your base of operations? Kinda hard to imagine after spending 300k on the low end for a boat.
What is it that makes some of you regard them this way? Is it that a lot fo their owners use them for display purposes and putting around a bay?
Conversely, Valiants are held in high regard. What do they do that is so much different? What about Oyster or Hylas? Do they have what it takes?
All of the previously mentioned boats are some that when i first started researching this possible endeavor were all contenders as a craft i would purchase.
I am married but my wife doesnt share my passion for this and is uncomfortable on the water. So, i want a boat that i can comfortably single hand, even if i manage to coax her into joining my crew. I invision preferring something in the mid 40 foot range. Is this unrealistic? Just how much boat is too much for one person and is there a preferred size range for making blue water passages?
I am certain that proper knowledge, skill, preparedness and supplies make all the difference. That much seems obvious.
Any general knowledge that you have accumulated from the years sailing would be great. Personal perspectives and cautions greatly desired.
Thanks for any info.
Last edited by Vans; 01-25-2007 at 03:14 AM.