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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 09-22-2013
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If Thinking of going out to sea?

If you are planning to cruise the gulf of mexico from anywhere along the US coasts and have no experiences but lake sailing with a boat of 24 foot long, and need to get experience on the sea as a step for that travel. what is the suggestion to do so for such travels?

I would suggest a bigger boat and going out a little at a time each time to see how the boat and you handle the seas. Then figure out how much water and food u need.
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"""Here's a toast to you on the coast and the sailors out at sea Drink your ales, hoist your sails Ride the windssssssssss and think of me,,,,,,,,,, 'cause Oh I wish I was there tonight"""
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: If Thinking of going out to sea?

I've cruised the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast and crossed the Gulf Stream in 35knot winds. They only place I have ever been scared is Lake Ontario.

If you can handle nasty stuff on the Great Lakes, you're good to go.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: If Thinking of going out to sea?

The Gulf is easy... hell I've been out there when the water was so calm you could see the reflection of the moon as clear as teh moon itself! (now the Gulf can get nasty, but they usually name those storms, Andrew, Camille, Frederick, Katrina, etc and you get a weeks warning)... The afternoon squalls come and go quickly, just weather them and your good....

I sail a 24ft that I sail in the gulf all the time... took a 3-day cruise from Gulfport, MS to Pensacola, FL over thanksgiving -- had a ball.... Lack of wind can be more of a problem than too much wind!

the beaches and water are gloriously beautiful (as are the girls if you sail that close to the beach!)
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: If Thinking of going out to sea?

some 24 foot boats (and smaller) can be extremely seaworthy. The feeling that you need a "bigger boat" to go out to sea is a fallacy.

Is a bigger boat safer? Yes, Can it hold more supplies? yes.. but that does not mean that some smaller boats can't hold their own

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All 23ish foot boats that are seaworthy and have made transatlantic crossings
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: If Thinking of going out to sea?

Not knowing how much open ocean experience you have you might want to go out a few times on a fishing charter boat. I have seen people so seasick I thought they were going to die.

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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: If Thinking of going out to sea?

I prefer boats to have daggers or Keels or 2 hulls and sails! no power boats sounds like some good advice .. i have only sailed Lake Erie in bad weather, but you also need to know what your boat can handle to.
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"""Here's a toast to you on the coast and the sailors out at sea Drink your ales, hoist your sails Ride the windssssssssss and think of me,,,,,,,,,, 'cause Oh I wish I was there tonight"""
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: If Thinking of going out to sea?

As mentioned, a good 24 footer is all you need to go to sea. More important than size is the integrity of the hull, rig, sails, safety gear etc and your ability to handle it if a storm comes upon you. Having had boats right up to about 45 feet, I am now happy in a much smaller boat because I can handle everything I need to without a crew.

A good way to overcome fear of the sea is to start with a few day sails in open water, then move up to an overnight passage. Do a few of these to get used to sailing at night (often the best time). Don't go storm chasing, but don't defer sailing if the wind is up around 25 to 30 knots because this is just a stiff sea breeze and normal in many parts of the world. Really, ask me how I know....
Hopefully you won't get seasick, but even if you do, it seems that immunity builds with time at sea.

An ocean voyage is really just a bunch of 24 hour passages end to end. If you have enough food and water and a good weather forecast it's very satisfying to spend a week at sea. The way to deal with fatigue if you have no crew is to take frequent short naps during all of the 24 hour day, maybe setting an alarm to wake you up after each hour. In busy shipping areas AIS would be a good investment, but even this won't protect you from small fishing boats, crab pot lines etc.
Although in theory you must always be on watch, it's no good being so exhausted that you start making silly mistakes, so get your head down at every opportunity.

Will you be frightened sometimes? You'd better be. An occasional adrenalin hit never hurt any sailor and may have even kept a few alive.
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Old 09-23-2013
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Re: If Thinking of going out to sea?

Well i dont live anywhere near the Ocean, but i sail Catamarans and my Hobie buddies are thinking of doing a vacation with our boats! So for just sailing in the gulf would be nice. So we will have to see where we can beach them and where we can stay at.
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"""Here's a toast to you on the coast and the sailors out at sea Drink your ales, hoist your sails Ride the windssssssssss and think of me,,,,,,,,,, 'cause Oh I wish I was there tonight"""
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: If Thinking of going out to sea?

ANYONE can feel to correct me on this, but if you are coming to the Gulf Coast, TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, no one "ownes" the "beach" down here in the "South". (I have lived on the coast of MS, AL and FL- not on "beachfront" property)

Someone may "own" "beach-front" property, but they do not "own" "ocean-front" property. I am not sure how each state draws the "property lines," but I have NEVER been denied access or disallowed access to an "ocean-side" beach... In theory, a man could walk from Pass Christian, MS to Miami, FL and never be accused of "tresspassing" (except for Coast Guard/Military bases). I have seen PLENTY of Catamarans beached for the day at almost every beach on the Gulf Coast.

I know in NY (I lived on Long Island for 3 years) that people "owned" the beach all the way to the water - and typicallyhad fences that ran all the way to the low-tide water-line. THIS is not allowed (to my knowledge) in MS, AL or FL. We, Southerners consider that "rude" and "ugly" and WE would never be so un-friendly as to NOT allow someone to walk on the beach. Just keep a courteous distance from the houses!

As far as "beaching" a catamaran and spending the night, I would simply say there are SOME cities that have ordinances AGAINST sleeping/camping on the beach all night. I typically anchor a few dozen yards off shore and I have never had a problem (but my boat has a cabin)

YOUR GUIDE SHOULD BE "COURTESY." I wouldn't pull right up in front of a beachouse and drag the boat on the beach and start a bon-fire You should be able to find PLENTY of "vacant" beach Between Mobile, AL and Tampa, FL.

One other thing, REMEMBER WHERE YOU ARE. MOST Gulf Coast states are "open Carry" States with "Castle Laws." I may get flagged for "political chat" again, but I am not speaking to if these laws are good or bad, I'm just letting you know THEY EXIST!

If you are unfamiliar, here's a quick primer:

Open Carry - this means a person can strap any gun they wish to themselves and walk around in "public." "Beaches" are considered "public."

Castle Law - (I know MS, AL and LA have this law, I THINK Florida does) This law states that a property owner does not have to "retreat" if he feels threatened on HIS OWN PROPERTY. This is the "shoot first, ask questions later doctrine." If you are "trespassing" and a home-owner (or renter) puts 3 rounds of 30-06 or 12-guage buckshot into you, then your family has NO recourse except to buy you a coffin. In general, you will find the beachfront property guys pretty mellow, but if they ask you to leave once, they MAY not be so nice the 2nd time - AGAIN, COURTESY FIRST...

Come enjoy our beaches. The "Emerald coast" is the most beautiful in the world! The Green waters and sun-bleached, sugar-white sand is amazing.. sail at night (especially in the fall), the Phospholuminescent Plankton is REALLY cool!!
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Old 09-25-2013
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Re: If Thinking of going out to sea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnycatt View Post
If you are "trespassing" and a home-owner (or renter) puts 3 rounds of 30-06 or 12-guage buckshot into you, then your family has NO recourse except to buy you a coffin. In general, you will find the beachfront property guys pretty mellow, but if they ask you to leave once, they MAY not be so nice the 2nd time - AGAIN, COURTESY FIRST...

Come enjoy our beaches. The "Emerald coast" is the most beautiful in the world! The Green waters and sun-bleached, sugar-white sand is amazing.. sail at night (especially in the fall), the Phospholuminescent Plankton is REALLY cool!!
I am just wondering if this was meant to be ironic? If so, bravo!

If not, for overseas posters, this is what we are dealing with in the U.S. now.
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