I'm 23 years old. My girlfriend and I are bored and looking for a tropical adventure.
I've come up with a few ideas but the one I'm most seriously looking into the feasibility of, is buying a sailboat and spending like 6-12mth just cruising down the Bahamas; gaining more experience along the way and heading further South towards the Turks & Caicos, Dominican, Puerto Rico, BVI's, St. Lucia, etc..
SO, the two biggest questions I have are:
- Can I find a comfortable, used sailboat - qualified for the trip - for under $20k, all in?(preferably closer to $15k).
- How long would it take/what would I have to do, to learn enough so that we could safely embark on the initial journey from Florida to Grand Bahama?
I'm thinking I could spend a solid month reading and researching the basics of sailing, then buy the boat in Florida and spend another few weeks/month practicing and learning on the water with someone locally. Then be ready to hit the 'road' with my girlfriend and our dog. Is this at all accurate or am I dreaming?
I'm a very optimistic person and although a bit naive perhaps, I'm pretty confident I can do this given the right advise and guidence.
Thanks so much for any and all input!
Just do it! Go ahead. As you proceed through each and every twist and turn of life, sometimes things go well and sometimes they don't.
But, we all started out at one point or another with less experience than many would say we "should" have and are still here, aren't we...?
I wouldn't even support your idea of spending a month reading about sailing.
Just do it.
You will either learn what you need to know about how to sail your boat, or you won't and will pay some sort of idiots' fee. Yes, that could include your life, but what the H_ll, you are young and strong and full of confidence.
Get the boat, and take her out, as often as possible. Each time you leave the dock, and return, you will learn a LOT.
You might consider only raising the Jib, for the first "cruise", and get used to that. Then, the next day, or that afternoon, or whatever, raise the main.
Try to limit your initial cruises to LIGHT WIND DAYS.
Good luck, and ENJOY!