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post #1 of 3 Old 06-29-2011 Thread Starter
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Experience and Timing

So my brother and I have been planning a long-distance sailing trip (Starting in the Caribbean and with no strict itinerary) for some time and have saved a fair amount of money for the goal. However we are constrained by two major factors; first our lack of experience, and second a desire to leave as soon as possible. One of our crew has crewed on a racing boat for several seasons and all of the other members have scattered experience on smaller boats and will be crewing on cruising boats for at least a month before we go. We are also wondering about purchasing a boat in the US (we are Canadian), what sort of laws and taxes would come into play here as well as how long we would have to stay in the area to find and arrange the purchase (we would of course contact several boat owners before we went down there). Of course some work would have to be done on the boat before we left but as we would be losing money once we went down there so we would want to make all of out arrangements as quickly as possible. So, do you think our level of experience would be sufficient to safely go on a long cruising trip and do think there any obstacles to purchasing the boat in the US as Canadians?
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-29-2011
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Aureon.

Try breaking your goals into individual major components and then develop a list of tasks or questions that need answers for each component.

1.) The Boat.
How many people must it accomodate...Size?
What is the Budget for purchase?
Purchase includes: taxes, registrations, re-fits and equipment required to outfit the vessel, airfares, hotel stays, surveys etc. what is the cruising budget after purchase?

2.) Location. Where to buy? Caribbean ( where in the caribbean?) The U.S ? Do you mean the US Virgin Islands?

3.) Legal issues, taxes, registrations, fees, visas, insurance, etc etc.

4.) What is your destination after the boat purchase is complete?
Define.. " long cruising trip"

5.) Desirable crew Experience....navigation, weather, sailing, anchoring, repairs and maintenance, storm management, rules of the road, tides and currents..communications ( VHF, SSB, Weather fax..etc.)

6.) Develop a timeline: What does ASAP mean? (Work expands to the time allotted.)

7.) last but not least....Hurricane Season...this might be another constraint..on your plan

This is a simple outline...as you get deeper into the " plan" each component will grow in the number of issues/questions/challenges that need to be resolved.

Hey, you could get lucky...and find a vessel that's ready to sail away tomorrow..

Tempest
Sabre 34
Morgan, NJ

Last edited by Tempest; 06-29-2011 at 07:24 AM.
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-29-2011
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First: Welcome to the forum. I can not help you on the purchase info and can only offer an opinion on the experience question. It may prove less expensive in the long run to spend a couple of extra weeks learning the boat and cross training with the crew. Small steps, day sail, overnight at anchor, three days sailing and anchoring, sailing at night etc. Try not to depend on one person for any aspect of the trip.
The quality and equipment on the boat you purchase will make a big difference in the safety of your trip. But even good equipment can not replace experience, common sense, quick thinking and a good attitude.
I have met people that have basically jumped on a boat and gone. They made it but had issues. Others have planed and prepared for years only to find they did not enjoy cruising. Shoot for somewhere between the two. Dan S/V Marian Claire
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