Advise on transitioning from racing to cruising - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 06-20-2009
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Advise on transitioning from racing to cruising

Iíve sailed all my life, from age 5 with my dad to my present 51. Iíve always been involved in racing sailboats because I easily get board. I currently race a J24 and 16 foot Comet in NJ. Iíve been considering selling the J24 for a while and buying a cruising boat but can't make up my mind. I eventually would like to retire to cruising the Caribbean and am I guess in a bit of a transition. Iím pretty handy and enjoy restoring boats so would not be opposed to a moderate project boat. Currently with the state of the economy and the state of my family I have no excess money and donít see a real market for J24s. Iíd love to trade up and take a couple of years off while restoring a 30 - 40 footer before truly transitioning into cruising in earnest.

Iím curious as to what others have done and am looking for some guidance in my moments of indicision.

Also let me know if your're interested in trading for a J24 in ready to go racing condition.

Bob
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Old 06-21-2009
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Your gonna get really upset how cruising boats DON'T sail
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2009
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Learn to relax... you are not in a race to get there...
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Old 06-22-2009
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Personally, I am not sure "cruising" and "slow" need to, or should be in the same sentence.

As far as the buy low, fix up and sail......that can be a good thing, or a bad one. Sometimes with older boats, one can find a fixed up turn key boat for less than you can buy a fixer, and fix it!

Now for whether you will like cruising......it depends upon the design/builder of the boat you buy. Buy a full keel Westsnail 32 or equal, lord help me! That thing is slower than a dead slug moving backwards! An "old shoe"!

On the other hand, I know of two couples from my local area, both are sailing around the world, one in a J105, the other a J109! Neither of which are considered cruising boats per say, but have the ability to sail off shore, built to sail off shore, and are fast for there size.

You can have both! Speed and cruisablity!

Marty
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Old 06-22-2009
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Our good friends have been cruising the Caribbean chain since 2003 on a Bene 36.7 - probably not very high on anyone's "Ocean Cruising list". However island hopping in the Caribbean they get some exhilarating sailing, frequently into double digit boat speeds.

The trade offs are there, of course... It's a much wetter ride than a typical cruiser, amenities are relatively sparse and with such good sailing battery charging times are reduced making it more difficult to keep the fridge (i.e. beer) cold. The boat does not lend itself to solar or other auxilliary means of creating electricity.

Though they occasionally have guest crew on board (fortunate for us!!) much of their time is spent doublehanded. It's all about deciding your own priorities when it comes to boat choice. Though they've toyed with the idea of a dash across to the Med one year, I'm not sure they feel this is the right boat for that trip.
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Old 06-22-2009
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Change of attitude:

Racers take everything they can OFF of the boat; cruisers put everything they can ON to the boat.

Racers want to sail for as short a time as they can. Cruisers want to sail for as long a time as they can.

Racers want new sails every year. Cruisers want their rags to last forever.

Racers tweak their sails minute by minute. Cruisers record a sail adjustment in the log book. (Me? If I adjusted the sails last Tuesday, well, that's good enough.)

Racers go sailing once a week. Cruisers go sailing once a year.

Racers leave their anchors on the dock. Cruisers leave their anchors on the bottom.
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Old 06-22-2009
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I would suggest keeping the racing boat and getting a cruiser. Both are suited for different things & I doubt you will be able to part with the racing itch that the cursier will never fulfill.
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Old 06-22-2009
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Carry more gas. If the wind gets light, you can just motor.
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Old 06-22-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryandSusanMacDonald View Post
Change of attitude:

Racers take everything they can OFF of the boat; cruisers put everything they can ON to the boat.

Racers want to sail for as short a time as they can. Cruisers want to sail for as long a time as they can.

Racers want new sails every year. Cruisers want their rags to last forever.

Racers tweak their sails minute by minute. Cruisers record a sail adjustment in the log book. (Me? If I adjusted the sails last Tuesday, well, that's good enough.)

Racers go sailing once a week. Cruisers go sailing once a year.

Racers leave their anchors on the dock. Cruisers leave their anchors on the bottom.
I have never heard it said better. A proud Cruiser, here.
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Old 06-22-2009
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After racing for years, we started cruising on a Santa Cruz 40, but by the time we hit NZ we decided that we wanted a hot shower and an anchor windlass. Ended up with the Beneteau First 456, which is still a lot of fun to sail, but has more amenities.

Its a difficult transition, best summarized by the time early in our cruising career when I got the crew up at 0200 to gype the spinnaker when we got lifted. That got us to our destination at 0430 and we had to wait for 2 hours for daylight.
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