Middle age crazy or what???? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-04-2003 Thread Starter
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Middle age crazy or what????

I have limited experience sailing. Have sailed since high school (I''m 45) on sunfish/dolphin''s. Moved up to Hobies a couple of years ago. Now, I want to cruise. What preparation do I need (schooling, etc.) to cruise from Texas to Central America, following the coast of Mexico all the way down? How long does it take???? I gotta get out of here!!!!!
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-04-2003
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Middle age crazy or what????

Oh dear, when I see the word schooling, I think back to the months before we went cruising. All those books, books on top of books. All that information running through my head, none of it matching up. If you read about good nutrition, you will basically get the same truths, eat a diet based on whole grains, high in vegtables, and low in fat. When you read about cruising, you get a million different opinions.

Take for example, one author stressing that you should take one dress suit and proper shoes. After arriving home, three years later, the suit was finally unpacked, never once used underway. Also, another author said they wished they would have never left home without their pasta roller. Since I already owned one, I took it. Used twice, once to make pasta and once to wring water out of a shirt. Both times, disaster.

If you want to go, go. You need a decent sea-worthy boat, a gps, charts, food and water. All the other goodies are options, not necessities! Of all the goodies, we found radar for night sailing and a good auto pilot priceless. However, these two goodies eat power so you need to look at boosting those areas. The more you take the more complicated it gets.

You can join every program, study every weather chart, and earn your captains license and still not be ready for extended cruising. In fact, it takes about a year of cruising just to get the hang of cruising. You should cruise the way you want to instead of how a course or how-to manual dictates.

Except you do need to give way to Mother Nature, and stay in when the weather is bad. I hope you get it together and get out of here. Cindy
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-05-2003
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Middle age crazy or what????

Cindy hit alot of the nails on the head. I do suggest that you take a good weather, navigation, engine repair, and first aid course if you do not have these skills. I suggest that you read Anne Hill''s book, ''Voyaging On a Small Income'' because of her very concise discussion on provisioning properly. I suggest that you figure out what kind of boat will suit your needs, buy that boat, put into shape to do what you want to do, then spend a some time cruising on ever more ambitious trips until you have confidence and comfort with the boat and your relationship to it. During this period, do as much of the preparation work and research yourself.

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post #4 of 5 Old 05-17-2003
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Middle age crazy or what????

Thank to both you and Cindi I learned alot from your posts. To cruise.. Curise.. I like the idea....
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-20-2003
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Middle age crazy or what????

A friend once said, "Once you''re done, you''ll know how to do it." Previous posts were right. My first cruising--cut way too short--was in a 30'' boat with no refrigeration, minimal electronics. Good sails, seaworthy, self-steering, safety gear. Rest is all optional.
One of the best books is still Lin and Larry Pardey from 30 years ago--Go, Go small, Go now.
Cruise for a year, then decide what you "need" to go cruising.
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