Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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While a Ham license is a good idea, for use on a boat, you'd really want a Marine SSB radio that can handle the ham bands as well, like an Icom 802.
Since you're landlocked, that will make prepping a bit more difficult, since you really do need to get time in on a boat at some point. Chartering gives you a bit of that, but there's a big difference between cruising full-time and chartering.
First off, when you charter, you aren't really responsible for maintaining and prepping the boat. When you are cruising, you most definitely are responsible for prepping, provisioning and maintaining the boat.
Second, you have fewer supplies and gear aboard a charter boat than you do a full-time cruising boat. Things like tools, spare parts, etc. are all required for cruising, but not when chartering.
I would highly recommend getting the boat at least a year before you intend to head out so that you can finish fitting the boat out yourself. This will give you a familiarity with the systems on the boat that is vital for cruising. Also, you should own the boat long enough to do some decent shakedown cruises aboard her, so that you get the bugs out of the systems while you're still close to resources to fix them with.
You will, at some point, want to learn something about fiberglass repair/modification, 12 VDC boat electrical systems, plumbing, diesel maintenance and operation, sail rigging and repair, etc. The more self-sufficient you are, the better off you'll be when out cruising.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 01-25-2011 at 10:07 AM.