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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 08-27-2013
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How to proceed?

I want to be out at sea on my own boat and fish. When I was young I obtained an ICC certificate for motor boats, never got to using it because I didn't feel I had the experience or money to do anything with it.
Now I have a bit more money, finished my student life and feel like I will be spending the rest of my life looking at computer screens 12h a day.
I look at these fast track sailing courses at around £8000 for 14 weeks at sea, it seems like a great way to learn but after 14 weeks I will be left with no boat and probably forget everything I have learnt.
So with around £8000 and zero experience in sailing, what are my options ? What is the best value for money motor boat or sailboat, maintenance,storage, fast track learning I can get ? Remembering my aim is simple, to "be at sea on my own boat and fish" ...without capsizing.
I know most of this info is available online, but as I said I spend enough time on computers as is. Prefer to ask the experienced.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: How to proceed?

Welcome to sailnet.

I'm inferring that you are in the UK (or maybe Ireland) based on your use of pounds. You may want to ask this same question on Yachting and Boating World - Sailing and motor boats for sale, forums, news | ybw, which is UK-based and will have more information on local schools and programs.

A common way to get started in the US would be to take less extensive courses (most people start with a basic class that is 12-16 hours on the water) and then rent or buy a small boat. Gain experience there, perhaps interspersed with more advanced classes, and potentially move up to a larger boat.

Licensing is quite lax in the US, so requirements to get started or charter boats may be different in Europe. Check with the local clubs.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: How to proceed?

Hi Alex,
Thank you for the help.
I say pounds because I'm currently based in the UK, but I'm actually a US national as well as European and I don't think my stay in the UK will be permanent.
In fact I will be going to Florida over Christmas, so I could take a class. How much is the typical "small boat" you mention, and do people store these in harbors? Storage would be a big issue for me because I'm constantly changing places, it would be more of a holiday thing I think.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: How to proceed?

First, I would suggest you pick up a little book called "Royce's Sailing Illustrated". I covers just about everything about sailing from anchoring to setting a spinnaker, set in a fun and non-lecturing format.
Next, I'd pick up a small, very cheap boat (I really like the Rhodes 19 as a learner) in not so great shape (so you can crash into docks and even rocks [not recommended]) without devaluing the boat too much and not causing you pain from "hurting your baby".
Depending on the time spent on the water, you could have a pretty good handle on this sailing thing in a short while, after all it ain't rocket science!
Then you could move up to a live aboard and/or cruiser and begin to venture farther from your base, or just say screw it and go forth.
Sailing is not something you need to pay to learn; it is one of those things where experience is the best teacher. It is mostly common sense and actually pretty easy; man has been sailing for eons, on everything from reed rafts to triple-decker, top heavy galleons, that wouldn't sail their way out of a paper bag, by today's standards.
Most importantly, "just do it" as some shoe company used to say. Don't get too hung up on all the fancy, unnecessary equipment, lists, plans and backup plans. Plans only go so far in preparation for real emergencies; each one must be handled individually; ingenuity, common sense and experience are the best tools you have to deal with them. A few spares aboard are also a lot of help.
Sailing has to be the safest sport out there, statistically, I believe, and at 5 to 6 miles per hour, there is a lot of time to readjust to changing situations without too much immediacy.
Lastly, it should be fun, don't let it become an ulcer breeding activity. Relax and enjoy it all, even the trying moments.
Good luck.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: How to proceed?

An under 25' boat is $0 to $10000, with somewhere around $5000 being typical of boats that aren't in great shape cosmetically, can sail okay, but might need newer sails or a replacement outboard motor. Prices can vary a lot depending on the boat. A lot of boats this size can stored on a trailer or in the water. I have no personal experience with trailering boats.

I disagree with capta that classes aren't beneficial. I think that instruction can really jump start the process and will also remind you to learn some important but often overlooked techniques like recovering a man (or any item) overboard, going hove-to to reef sails on the water, or learning proper sail trim to get the boat moving efficiently. Once you've got the basics down I think you can learn a lot on your own or in classes, depending on how you do best learning.

I do agree with him that the key is to get out there and start doing it. If you are only doing this on holidays I think the cheapest option would be to take sailing classes that allow you to charter, then charter the smallest/least expensive boats that you can find on your holidays.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: How to proceed?

I will pick up the book that you mention capta, and look in the range of $5000. I plan to take a very long holiday soon and have some money in my pocket so that I can buy a nice boat and learn by doing. I'm sure I will have lots of questions on the way so I will come back to this forum. All the best and thanks for now.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: How to proceed?

I am a Brit with a US passport who did the Fast Track. I also have a boat that I sail full time and a home on the water in Florida. So I can write with some experience and authority on your ambitions.

I always pull at least two lures and I catch a fish every 800 miles! In a good week of sailing! However, I do occasionally hook into a 200 lb marlin or a 30 lb 'good eating' fish

The Club we are members of in Miami will, 2-3 times a year, impounds a boat for non-payment of mooring dues and sells it for for 30% of market value. Usually for less than $3,000.

Send me your e-mail and I will put you in touch with some sailors in Miami who sail and never catch fish.

I also need crew from the Marquesas to New Zealand but to get that gig you would have to impress my wife by being willing to wash the dishes.

Good luck
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: How to proceed?

Hey Sailor31,

I lived in Ireland for 3 years. One thing that you can do that has a reasonable cost is to do the RYA classes via correspondence coarse then do the practicals via any RYA teaching organization. I did my Yacht Masters shore based through Teach Me Interactive Ltd and they were great. VERY cost effective and a huge challenge. They provided a 1:1 support system through email. The shore side course work and testing is tough, very tough. I then did my practicals in Northern Ireland. This is far more cost effective than those "all inclusive" courses. Take a look at that.
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