Join Date: May 2001
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You got some great advice from Jeff, tho'' I don''t agree with all of it, and want to either add to or reinforce a few thoughts...
1. It''s great to ''hold the dream'' but you have to walk the talk: if you''re serious about such a HUGE commitment, which you seem willing to acknowledge you don''t have the experience to comprehend yet, then what are you doing in CA with your boat in NC?! I''m not quite as willing as Jeff to suggest your boat is the wrong size - we''ve just been cruising with an older couple on a 45'' ferro cutter, and he had polio (I think) in his lower legs...so I can''t say it''s impossible for a Dad & 2 teen sons to handle the boat. But while the survey is a ''must'', the surveyor can''t tell you what you three are capable of...and let''s face it, right now your 2 sons aren''t capable of much simply due to size, strength & skill deficiencies.
2. Jeff''s ''work list'' of things you need to do to get ready is fine, altho'' I suggest that some categories (understanding immigration & entry procedures, the legal & logistical stuff of foreign countries) is not much of a hurdle & the advice you pick up along the way (via SSB nets, others you share an anchorage with) will be more current & more practical. But I think the bigger issue is that it appears you can not develop such a list on your own right now...which leads to the puzzle of how you can commit to something you can''t yet comprehend.
It''s all well & good to be excited about the prospect of cruising. But especially if your time frame is so short, you need to begin either cruising your boat (even a weekend cruise will present you with some weather, an anchoring drill, the need to fix lunch underway, etc.) on some boat *right now*.
IMO forget about buying yet another (smaller) boat for initial skill building. It''s a sensible idea but will just extend your timetable. Your ferro boat - or a replacement boat, which you really should consider - sails, too. Use it!
Along with skill building, you can not overestimate the amount of time you will want to have to a) become familiar with the boat''s systems, performance & weak points, let alone the time it will take to ID mods to the boat, gear to be shopped for & then added, and then adjusted or repaired or replaced due to subsequent experience with the boat. I''d encourage you to go back and reread Jeff''s comments on this topic. He is right on the mark.
Bottom line: You aren''t in a position yet to know whether this idea makes sense for you & your sons; there are many rewarding adventures you three could be committing to, this isn''t the only one. But if you''re initially serious, then turn off the computer, call the movers (household or boat), and get going ''cause the clock is ticking. My suggestion? Ramp down the goal a few notches, commit to doing a Chesapeake, Intracoastal Waterway & Bahamas cruise - an absolutely wonderful experience for kids and parents alike, and a good training ground for future cruising - and then decide about bigger steps. You''ve got far better odds of this less agressive goal, yet it''s congruent with your long-term desires. Oh, and check that ferro''s draft - it may be just one more reason why you''ve got more boat than you need (or ultimately will want).