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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #1  
Old 12-08-2009
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How much experience did you start with?

I've been lurking around this borad for quite a while and have found the discussions educational and sometimes entertaining. Like many folks, my husband and I dream of a cruising life. But, I'm not sure its doable. I'm wondering how much sailing experience you had when you started crusing?

Thanks in advance for your replies!
~~a
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Old 12-08-2009
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Hayduke

Your dream is doable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Put your dreams into acton. Make cruising a life goal. Make a plan on how you will reach that goal.

Cruising was only a dream for my wife and I. A lot of talk and no action. But now we have a plan. We took sailing lessons in March. We bought a 30ft. sailboat in July. Now we are learning how to fix a diesel, reef a sail, dock a boat, navigate. All the things that one needs to know to cruise. We have a LOT TO LEARN. We live in Louisiana and plan in three years to cruise the gulf coast, Florida Keys, and the east coast.

We are having more fun than ever. Wish we would have set our dreams into acton 20 years ago.
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Old 12-08-2009
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I had been a passenger on a couple of sailboat rides on the Mississippi. I had also done a week's charter from Florida to the Bahamas twice. I knew absolutely NOTHING, but did what I was requested of, pull this, push that, lift this. One thing I did know was that I loved it.

Years later I took 40 hours of lessons. 3 months later I was sailing my own 30ftr. After 18 months of sailing S.F. Bay, and the last 12 months of the same time period single-handing the bay. I sailed underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and turned left for Mexico single-handed. You need to learn to live your dream, and not just dream your dream.......BEST WISHES.....i2f
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Old 12-08-2009
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The knowledge you need is quite small...learning how to use that knowledge takes a lifetime of practice...which is why we plan another 50,000 miles before we quit.

Good luck to all beginers it is a wonderful lifestyle...
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Old 12-08-2009
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I live a sailing life BUT not a Cruising one ,It allows me to be out on my boat or another 2 to 5 times a week in season.


It really depends on what your willing to give up on land and what comforts you feel you need on the water to enjoy it as this will vary the cost a LOT
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Old 12-08-2009
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While I have had some on the water experience and just a little bit on a sailboat! I bought an old used sailboat then sailed/motored it from LI to MD. I am still using that sailboat and I am currently living on it. I would say that you are going to just have to make up your mind as to whether or not you guys want to really take the plunge. IF you’re not sure try joining a sailing club to get some experience. Take a sailing class this spring or just go down to the docks talk to some people who have their own boat offer up a few beers to take a look at their boat and who knows you might get lucky and get a ride. I would say buy a boat then figure it out later. Go for it! You can always decide that you hate it and go back dreaming. Dan
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Old 12-08-2009
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I went out and bought a little boat, taught myself to sail. I bought a bigger boat and am now teaching myself to boatwright, go figure...
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Old 12-08-2009
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I started out crewing other's boats. Not only did I learn tons and visit a lot of places I wouldn't have, it also gave me the opportunity to see if long term cruising was something I would really enjoy.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-08-2009
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I sailed as a kid on sun fishes and sail boards so I had the idea of the helm and basic sail trim going into 'cruising'...although this level of skill could be attained in a few weeks of fooling around with a first boat. I bought a 24 foot boat and sailed it for three years... I did club racing which pushed my competency as a sailor (a lot of cruisers probably don't have or really need this level of skill.) I worked my way up the pack racing and sail the boat at least twice a week (most of the year.)

I took a couple of weeks of cruise and learn courses to get to the advanced skipper level with navigation.

I bought a 'big' sail boat and sailed it on the ocean for a few days, then a week and then 3 weeks.

I still sail on the lake a lot.

I am reading voraciously and have for the last 4 years, SN, magazines, books, books, books.

I am learning boat maintenance and working on the big cruising boat ready to full time cruise one year from now.

I plan to take the family to the South Pacific in 2011!


That's my way, methodical, determined, committed.
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Old 12-09-2009
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I do it

ive been living aboard for two months, and my attitude has been one of the 'wing it' variety. have some trouble w/the mrs. so figured this is as cheap (or cheaper) than rent... and heck, if it works out, we have a boat!

i grew up on the shores of lake michigan, but my experience has been limited to hobie cats and sunfish... some beer can races (floated kegs to mark course) out of belmont harbor. I have never skippered a boat this big (72 Grampian 30), but have found the dock neighbors to be very helpful. willing to help me get the hang of a larger vessel. if you join the coast guard aux. you can take their classes if you want.

the headroom is nice (6'4), i looked at a variety of boats, and the berth differential is amazing as you move just two feet in length. i found that just a few minutes aboard 25 or less i would always be hunched over. 27 (and i am alone) seemed to be my minimum... 30' found to be about right, but remember i am solo. head yes, but i try not to use it. the marina has showers/bathroom which helps. she's got 120v inverted power which is very helpful, and shorepower which i would say is a must.

meals change/hobbies change (ie hobby=work on boat), but the nature/peace/friendship of the boating community is def. worth it for me.
oh, scratch that part about cheaper!!
hope this helps
Quinn

Planning on a winter refit, if we dont work out, im taking her from north texas to corpus to parts unknown.
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Last edited by QuickMick; 12-09-2009 at 04:37 PM.
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