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Old 12-14-2011
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A good way to gain more experience is to take at least a week long vacation aboard the boat with a distant destination - say 200 miles or more away. You will gain valuable experience sailing in different waters and learn about living aboard the boat for an extended period of time. If you regularly use your boat in more protected waters like the Chesapeake Bay or LI sound, this longer trip could also involve a coastal hop, where you gain valuable experience sailing in the ocean farther away from land.
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