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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 05-19-2002
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Advice

I will try to make a long story short...
I am looking for any kind of feedback/advice on a situation that I am thinking about. I am a 35 year old single female that has a goal/dream to sail fulltime/circumnavigate. I have a fulltime bartending job & a cheap little apt. I want to quit my job & move out of my apt. & crew fulltime. My biggest hurdle (might be more then one!)is I have 2 small lovable dogs that are my companions. So far, allot of people are receptive to them as sailng crew. I have a few people on the East coast that I can alwasy shack up with if I''m ever inbetween sailing gigs. So my quandry is, I''m just letting go of the "normal" way of life. Which is a bit scary but in my eyes, necesary!!
Does anyone have any experience with this way of life? I''m a good sailor & am ready to follow my dream. I believe that with all the sailing web-sites out there, its more feasable to find these situations.
I''ve been thinking about this for some time & want to make the jump by the end of summer, so I will be collecting info for the next couple of months.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2002
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Advice

I am not exactly clear on your goals. It sounds like you want to crew your way around the world. I would think if that is your goal, it should be possible.

My best advice is to develop as many skills as you can, from simple knot tying to helmsmanship, to sail trim, to navigation, to electronics, to sundries like basic boat maintenance and cleaning etc. I am not saying this because you are a woman but because the more you know, the more likely it is that you will find a boat that needs one or more of your particular skills.

Physical conditioning is important. As mechanized as bigger boats have become, there is still a lot that needs to be ''manhandled'' and that requires strength. In sizing up a crew strength and physical conditioning while not a sole criteria is often the reason that someone gets onboard while someone else is left behind. I think this may be especially true of woman in that many cruisers do not have the luxury of bringing along a passenger and will look at a person''s physical condition as a sign that they are willing to work.

In all frankness, I think that having two dogs would make it much harder to find boats willing to take you aboard. While people do cruise with all kinds of pets, in a general sense, for most vessels, your goal of cruising with a pair of dogs on board would certainly limit your desireability as a crew person. At best dogs are a bit of a pain in the neck at sea, as they are like one (or two) more crew to look after. They can distract you should one get injured from your appointed tasks, they require feeding, watching and cleaning up after, depending on hair length, thier hair can block bilge pumps and clog bilges. It means carrying more food and water which can be a serious concern. It limits the size boat that you might accept a crew position. Some people are allegic to dogs or just plain don''t like dogs. Some counties do not allow entry by boats with pets aboard and those that do sometimes add bonding or other restrictions to the procedures to clear port. Dogs are hard on the varnish work and some get very seasick, and so on. So, with any or all of these possible reasons that any one boat might use to exclude you from being asked to crew, having a pair of dogs seriously reduce your chances of getting aboard a boat as crew.

At least that is how I see it. Now then if you are talking about buying your own boat and going cruising with two dogs, that might be a viable alternative, although even there having two dogs on board still really complicates that prospect.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 05-19-2002
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I dont see the dogs as a setback. If you think of them as bait or an entre'' in a pinch. Even a mid size dog could easily feed several crew if things got real bad. Imagine you have to go on deck in a blow and slip on some poo, I dont think a nano second could describe the time it would take to "cat"apult(sorry about the mixup in species)the animals. Please dont get me wrong I love dogs, But for me, a dog is a land based or coastal type of animal.
Now cats are the excellent shark bait and easy to double rig for real life action, 15 yards back in the wash. I think they are better than daisy chains
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Old 05-21-2002
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Ahoy SailingChrs,

Don''t worry about the dogs. I would imagine most circumnavigating yacht owners and crew are single men or married men far from their wives, and if you rate anything above a "7" you could get on board with a 101 dalmations!

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Old 05-21-2002
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SC, love your idea.

Realize that you have to find someone to live with close to your sailing base that can and will keep your babies (that you trust) for you when you are at sea. On deliveries, unless you are on a private yacht and you have the okay from the owner (which is highly unlikely) you will not be able to take the dogs. And please realize that, once on a private yacht, the destination can change at the whim of the owner, thus the time away can change. You don''t say where you live, but if it is anywhere near the coast in the south east, finding someone should not be hard.

I am 38. I did this for 14 years, until I was about 34, but I never had the babies to worry about. Okay, I did have a parakeet, Bubba, for a few years, but I succeeded in sneaking him aboard and back and forth on the airlines. And was content to be godmother to my friends'' dogs when on land. Now I am landlocked and have a cocker spaniel of my own, who has been out on many a daysail, he''s a go-with-flow kinda guy, like my goddog cocker Joe.

I have known many women like you, and younger, who have made this work. Find someone you trust to keep your babies and go for it, if that''s what you want.

Anyway, the fact is, you can do this, you just have to find someone who will take care of the kids. Makes me wish I still had my apartment in Little River. (Oh, but then I wouldn''t have moved here, gone thru a horrid marriage, and divorce, to a drunk and gotten my dog.) Oh, my little cocker is worth all of it, who am I kidding!

If I can be of any more nonsensical help, please post again. Otherwise, you can do it if you want. Just make sure you trust the person taking care of the guys.

Best of Luck,
MaryBeth
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Old 05-22-2002
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Hello
Having cruised offshore with my little SHIH-TZU, for nine years, I doubt that you will be able to find a decent boat to crew on with two dogs, unless the boat is undesirable.
You must remember that dogs limit your port of entry;a numer of countries do not permit animals, they require much care and many are not capable of being trained to do their duty topsides. Cruising will require much anchoring: try taking your dogs on and off the boat a number of times, see if you can manage it, especially in foul weather. Can you imagine having two dogs aboard while crossing the North Atlantic and encountering bad weather such as I encountered`for thirteen straight days, What will you do with the dogs?Also, make certain that the Catain/owner is a dog lover.
As for yourself, I doubt that there will be much of a problem in getting a crew position on a boat; especially if one is attractive and has sea going experience. But, CAVEAT EMPTOR.
Joe and Chi Chi
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Old 05-24-2002
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Sorry for the following, but WHAT IN THE HELL DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH ONE BEING ATTRACTIVE?

The fact that you have slummed along for a few years has nothing to do with this young woman''s question. Are you saying that you schlepped along for a few years with an attractive man or woman, or that you are attractive so he or she put up with it and your dogs? You have not really sailed, just taken advantage of someone on his or her boat. In any case, after that comment, I hope the young woman asking puts no creedence in your comments. This is what lets the cowboys get the girls offshore.

Try encountering 13 days straight of bad weather for years on end, dude or dudette. Hurricane season''s a bitch, but what can you do?

Especially if one is attractive? Get off it!! What a load of crap!!

So pissed,
Mary
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Old 05-24-2002
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Hello
Mary Beth you are full of .... , I believe I carried more sea bags than you have worn underwear. You are so stupid it is not worthwile to discuss the matter with you. By the way,are you homely ?
` Joe
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Old 05-25-2002
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All of this hostility and not one mention of a Benehuntalina! You go girls!
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Old 05-26-2002
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That may well be the case, Joe, as I hardly wear underwear and have only toted my own and equipment bags for almost 40,000 miles, and the fact that you seem to be referring to women as sea bags. And, no, I appear not to be homely or ill-built to myself or any of the people who know me. Are you?

Perhaps I am upset from my own reference, in being hit on to sail for looks only and not for experience, and you are going on jealousy? Many men make fools of themselves enough in this business without women fanning the flames. But then, so do many women. I do have to admit I have let my looks speak in order to get on a few winning racers through the years, but without the experience I have, I''m sure I would have been taken on as ballast instead of trimmer. (And no, they''re real, not silicone.)

Now, what do looks have to do with it?

MaryBeth
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