Vancouver island to panama canal and beyond
I have recently purchased a 32ft J.T Taylor sloop, and am starting restoration, my ultimate goal is to sail down the west coast and beyond, my question is how much experience is enough, I realize that this may be diffrent for everyone, but for someone who has quite a bit of experience and is very comfortable on the water, can repair their diesel and electrical system.
I estimate the boat will be ready for a journey like this in about a year, and during the restoration I will be out sailing on a regular basis.
Cool. We're still several years from shoving off on the same trip. Lots can be learned from reading blogs from folks that have already done it or are currently doing it. A lot of folks from our neck of the woods start out their trip with a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in the summer time before continuing down the coast. That gives them a chance to get some experience and find the deficiencies in their boat.
Is this a Contessa 32?? As for how much experience is required... I'd highly recommend working your way up to it... start by daysailing, and then weekend, and make progressively longer voyages, and move progressively further from shore. :)
You could get the experience you need in the year it will take you to prep the boat... provided you're pushing your experience progressively further as you go along.
There's a difference between 20 years experience and a first year's experience repeated 20 times.. :) If you don't keep pushing a bit... you'll end up with the latter, not the former.
Bluewater cruising association
I would strongly recommend that you join the Bluewater cruising association in Vancouver. Check out the website:
Bluewater Cruising Association, Vancouver, BC, Canada
You can learn a lot by going to the meetings and they have a lot of resources as well as arrange courses. There are chapters in Victoria and Calgary as well.
Two suggestions: spend one summer sailing BC coast, perhaps getting all the way to SE AK. or out to the Queen Charlotte Is. The next summer circumnavigate Vancouver Island. After that, you will probably be ready.
My advice would be not jump to sail down the west coast as soon as the boat is ready. Its a long way to decent cruising grounds and it's a difficult trip back up the coast if you decide you really don't like it. Besides, BC and SE AK have some of the best cruising in the world. You're lucky to live where you do.
Don't be in too big a hurry to leave.
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