Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SF Bay area
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Learning to cruise and live aboard
Ok, so I'm looking at the possibility of being able to buy a sailboat (28-34 footer) to live on and cruise sometime this coming summer.
I've taken some basic ASA sailing classes a number of years ago. And I've sailed on friends larger boats a couple times. But I've never spent a night on a boat or tried cooking on one or anything like that.
So, my question is... how can learn both 1) how to sail, navigate, operate, repair, provision, etc. (to a level sufficient enough to do it on my own) and 2) if I'll even like the live aboard/cruising lifestyle enough to make the downsides worth it?
I found a school (Offshore Sailing School) that has a "Fast Track to Cruising" course that covers both their "Learn to Sail" classes (I could use the refresher) as well as their "Live aboard Sailing" class. It's only a week long, so I don't know how comprehensive it is, but I figure it would at least help me answer the 2nd part of my question. Has anyone ever done a course like this? Or know anyone who has?
And are there other options? I currently don't live near the ocean nor do I currently know anyone who owns a cruising sailboat - so that's a slight disadvantage.
My main interest is to live aboard full-time while traveling - so maybe something like east coast US in the summer, winter in the Caribbean, over to Northern Europe for summer, down to the Med. for winter, more Europe the next summer, cross back over to South America for their summer, then through the canal, etc... (So, basically hanging out for a season in one general locale before moving on - with ocean crossings once a year or so.) But, of course, that's all just speculative based on my dreams/imagination.