Originally Posted by tdw
I've crewed on longer than passage to Lord Howe but not skippered. Going offshore in one's own boat is indeed a big step and yes, it makes me somewhat nervous to think about it, but to my mind overconfidence would be worse than a slight case of the jitters.
I feel somewhat lucky in that it's easy in the UK to sign up for a 7-21 day offshore learning experience, primarily for gaining sea miles and to learn from a yachtmaster. Last year, both my wife and I crossed the channel (only 65 miles, and not true "offshore"), but we did it on separate RYA trips and learned alot about crossing shipping lanes and doing night watches.
We hope to do the same this June with the kids on our own boat, and we're preparing accordingly (epirb, improved safety gear, paper charts, etc.). It's another step.