Join Date: Jun 2012
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Can I learn on a 40' boat?
Green sailor here, just got my CYA Basic and trying to decide what to do next. Eventually I would like to give the cruising lifestyle a try, but for now I know that the usual advice is sail some more, then sail, sail, sail some more, then perhaps consider buying a boat. The problem in my case is that I live 3h away from the ocean, so I don't have the option of joining a yacht club, going to Sunday races as crew, or anything like that. The commuting time and fuel costs to the closest club just don't make sense, I could be using that money to repair/outfit and old boat.
I've only been on a 3-day cruise during my course and both my partner and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but we obviously have very little experience. However I feel that I understand everything taught and have no gaps on the said material. I have further self-studied the curriculum up to CYA Advanced and understand it well. Would it be stupid (i.e., dangerous), to buy a cruising boat at this stage, live aboard full time (i.e., no more rent and commuting to the ocean), and expect to slowly hone my skills on it? I have a strong preference for a Passport 40 or 42 by the way. They are typically rigged for short/single handing with all lines coming in the cockpit, but I suspect many would argue that it's too much of a boat for a beginner? What if I only took it out on fair weather in the beginning, to slowly gain experience?
I know that the typical advice would be "buy a small boat to gain experience, then sell and buy a suitable cruising boat". Normally, that would be a no-brainer. However, the reality is that in this market it's really hard to sell a boat even if it's popular and well maintained, let alone some crappy old little boat. And there is no economic fundamental to support a recover of the global economy any time soon, so I feel that this decision could be the make or brake of my cruising pursuits: being stack with a small boat that I cannot sell for years to come would be the ultimate deal-breaker. If it did sell, it would probably be at a material loss.
So, how realistic is the idea of honing my skills on a Passport 40 or 42, perhaps after taking a docking clinic with an experienced skipper on it? If you think it's a terrible idea, please explain why exactly so that I can better understand what the challenges are. Just saying "oh, you'll die", or "you'll loose the boat" will not be very helpful, so I'd appreciate some depth there. More particularly, in what areas exactly would I need to become proficient to safely operate this boat, and what, if any, would prevent me from learning it on that boat?
Some more details about us:
- I'm a software engineer so can work remotely as long as I can establish an Internet connection
- My partner is an archivist and works locally, she can only quit her job if we move aboard (so we have no more expensive rent to cover)
- Areas of interest: we'd like to cover low latitude tropics, the med, AU & NZ, in no particular order or timeframe (obviously we may never make it, it's just a wish)
Many thanks for reading, any advice appreciated!