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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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Old 01-25-2011
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Hi everyone. My wife and I live in the Rocky Mountains and am planning on being here for a few more years (probably 4 more years) before moving to the coast and buying a sailboat . We have a 3 year old son and am planning on having another child soon. We are also planning on cruising for a few years in 5-7 years from now. I grew up sailing but have not done much cruising. Since we live far from the ocean I am wondering about creative ways to still prepare our family for cruising. Here are some ideas:

We have a Vanagon Westfalia that I have rebuilt and enjoy camping in. This seems like it has certain parallels to cruising.

Pledge to charter a boat once a year for atleast a week.

Local Deisel Mechanics course.

Read lots of books, surf the web, etc...

Learn about homeschooling.

What is the best way to learn about radio communications? Get a ham radio license? Could I use the same radio equipment at my house that I would use on a boat. Any good links to more information on this subject?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks for the help.
Baldwin
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Old 01-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgoodell View Post

We have a Vanagon Westfalia that I have rebuilt and enjoy camping in. This seems like it has certain parallels to cruising.
Does it have a leak over the skippers berth?
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Old 01-25-2011
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yep the sunroof leaks when it rains really hard!
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Old 01-25-2011
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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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Old 01-25-2011
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Where in the Rockies are you?

I have a view of the Canadian Rockies from my house.

You might look for a local sailing / yacht club and do some racing. Like the old Porsche ad said "Racing improves the breed." It really help to get a feel the boat.
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Old 01-25-2011
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You could get in some sailing on Bleu Mesa Res. near Gunnison.
Hell, You could even do some ice boatng in winter there.
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Old 01-25-2011
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Thanks for the help everyone. We live in Billings, MT now. We are planning to move back home to Bellingham, WA and purchase a boat probably two years before we cast off.
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Old 01-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgoodell View Post
Thanks for the help everyone. We live in Billings, MT now. We are planning to move back home to Bellingham, WA and purchase a boat probably two years before we cast off.
I've been to both of those, and if it weren't for the Pacific and warm weather, I'd rather be in either than where I am now.

Great that you are starting younger than I did. You will never regret your time on the ocean, as you probably know.

Your camper idea is good. It will obviously give you and the family a sense of living minimally and close together. In our preparations, the wife and I got rid of the house, moved into a really small quarters, sold all of our furniture, sold everything in storage, and have pruned our lives down to living between our office (we own a business together) and our boat. You might want to think about the pruning thing. You won't be able to take very much aboard.

Keep us all posted!
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Old 01-28-2011
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While you are in MT, maybe consider getting a smaller boat to learn how the various systems work, get some time on the water and make sure everyone likes it? looks like there are a bunch of lakes sw of red lodge.
this one is kinda far away:
1984 Catalina Capri 14.2 Sailboat For Sale In Salt Lake City, Utah - BoatTrader.com
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