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  #1  
Old 12-28-2010
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Sailing boat home..

I know it is stupid, but HOW stupid for an inexperienced sailor to sail a boat down the coast in view of land? There is a boat I'd like to buy in Virginia Beach and take it down the coast to Charleston, SC. How long would it take to do that single-handed? Could it be done in a few weekends, docking it along the way during the work week..?
Only other option would be to de-mast and trailer it down, but there is not a trailer with it and I wonder about the costs, etc. involved with doing it that way..I'd really like to sail it, but don't want to die either. :-)
Let me know your thoughts and the biggest challenges to doing this. Thanks.

By the way, the boat does not have an engine at all..totally sail driven at the moment.
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Old 12-28-2010
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with a few safety items, good chart books and some common sense, it would be a very enjoyable trip. You would do better to do the intracoastal water way than offshore, but with no motor it would be tough to do either within the time constraints you have laid out..

buy a motor or trailer are your most likely options
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Old 12-28-2010
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Almost anything is doable, but is it wise or prudent? What make, model and size of boat, what equipment?

My hesitations would revolve around:
  • an unknown, un-tried boat
  • no engine
  • inexperienced sailor
  • single handed
  • weather this time of year
  • your knowledge of naviagtion and nautical rules of the road
  • your knowledge of and experience with marine radio communications

Just my thoughts.

Happy New Year

Rik
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Old 12-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd3pc View Post
with a few safety items, good chart books and some common sense, it would be a very enjoyable trip. You would do better to do the intracoastal water way than offshore, but with no motor it would be tough to do either within the time constraints you have laid out..

buy a motor or trailer are your most likely options
There aren't really time constraints, just has to be done on weekends..so, how many weekends is not a problem. Not necessarily thinking about doing during winter months. Can be left in a marina in Va. for now and then moved when weather is better. May also be able to do a 9 day stretch sometime in there. Not sure as to the nautical miles involved and calculating how long that will take. I guess I was assuming 600nm at about 30/day..so, 20 days total..is that reasonable.?
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Old 12-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikhall View Post
Almost anything is doable, but is it wise or prudent? What make, model and size of boat, what equipment?

My hesitations would revolve around:
  • an unknown, un-tried boat
  • no engine
  • inexperienced sailor
  • single handed
  • weather this time of year
  • your knowledge of naviagtion and nautical rules of the road
  • your knowledge of and experience with marine radio communications

Just my thoughts.

Happy New Year

Rik
Regarding your concerns:
1- Un-tried boat - Certainly getting the boat surveyed by someone with knowledge of such things.
2- No motor, Inexperienced, single-handed..- No response currently.
3- Weather - will most likely wait till spring to move.
4- No Navigational knowledge - That is why I was thinking about staying within sight of coast. Figure as long as I see land to my right I will be okay. Possibly over-optimistic assumption.
5- Radio skills - Can probably learn those skills by the time I move the boat..
May also be that I can sail it around Chesapeake Bay some before moving it..

These are all just initial thoughts and it may be that this is nothing I can really do..I just saw the boat and wondered if it was worth doing. Can probably find one closer to home..
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Old 12-28-2010
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Well at over 350 miles at about 5 MPH in a prefect world your looking at 70 hours and the wind is not that reliable about its speed or direction

IMHP Its a bad idea at this time of year for anybody that cant afford to wait out the weather which tends to not work out on weekends

Without a good motor you really cant count on being able to get in and out of the ocean inlets
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Old 12-28-2010
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With an engine, using the ICW, and picking good weather, it's a delightful trip for an inexperienced sailor. Much will be learned in a relatively benign environment. 20 actual sailing days is rational, but you need to factor bad weather and/or repair days. Add 10% to 20% more time and be willing to change (What if Sunday is a bad weather day? Don't push the schedule because you have to be home the next day.)

Without an engine, sailing offshore, the trip moves to the "advanced" category. For an inexperienced sailor, it's foolish IMO. If one were to try it and survive without incident, it would be through luck and not skill. There are better ways to gain experience.

A direct analogy is to give my 16 year old daughter a Formula One racer and tell her to drive in a 24 hour race. She may survive, but there are better ways for her to gain driving experience.
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+1 everything others said, and welcome to SailNet!

I would add that if the boat is small enough for an inexperienced sailor to singlehand safely, you will likely find the running time between inlets to be 20 hours or more. If you've never run an inlet before, I'd say the time to start is not in the dark after 20 hours of sailing. It's all fine and dandy to be within sight of land, but the particular piece of land you are considering transiting has very few places to get inside if things get snotty outside.

If you want to sail it, buying yourself a reliable outboard motor and taking it down the ICW would likely be your best. Charlston is 465 ICW miles from Portsmouth. That'd be about 100 hours of running time. You don't have much more than 9 hours daylight this time of year, so figure 11 or 12 days on the water, if nothing breaks.

Your shortest, safest, and probably cheapest option would be to buy a trailer or hire a transporter. As long as the boat has less than 8' of beam and is less than about 10' from keel to coachroof, you won't need permits. I know a fellow in Oriental, NC who moved my 30 footer from Oriental to Baltimore for $1,600. - r
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Down the coast

If you are thinking of going down the coast this time of year, you may be playing with your life... Little experience, no auxiliary power, cold weather
and some potentially lethal storms.
I defer to May.
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Old 12-28-2010
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If it were me, and given that I've had a professional survey done, I'd do the following:

1) Wait until spring, like you said. That will make it a lot more enjoyable and I think the weather is more predictable.

2) Buy an engine. This gives you so many more options that it's amazing. Waiting 12 hours in a lull versus moving along at-will. I know we are all about sailing here, but it's also fun to motor along when the water is glass-flat. Get one with an alternator (battery charging) if possible so you can keep the battery topped off for VHF radio, music, and lights. It also adds a lot to the safety factor in my humble opinion (IMHO), since it allows you to more easily set your anchor, correct a mid-night dragging anchor, get into inlets, motor down the intracoastal waterway (ICW), there's probably 100 reasons why having an engine is better. If you are retired then you can do the trip in 100 days and not care about it. Some people would really enjoy doing it without an engine. But otherwise - and that's a big otherwise - get an engine. New is better than used since breaking them in properly means running at 25% power for longer than your average person will have the patience for. (Whine, whine, I paid a lot and I want to go fast NOW.)

3) Take a Power Squadrons course or other navigation and rules-of-the-road course. They are offered everywhere and taught by volunteers who will take the time to make sure you know how to navigate. Because you can't just pull over to the side of the road when the crap hits the fan. And you'll scare yourself in some way 3 or 4 times on such a long journey. When it hits the fan, it's better to quickly go "oh yea, I do xyz when this happens" and quickly get out of scared mode and into fun mode (or at least "this is ok" mode). There are also BIG THINGS out there that take several miles to stop. At a Power Squadrons course, you'll learn to recognizing them (day or night), know where to expect them to go next, and stay out of their way.

Here's one local contact for your area. There are probably others within driving distance if you use google:
Lake Hartwell Sail & Power Squadron
WebSite: Lake Hartwell Sail & Power Squadron
Contact: P/C James Bertram Baxter, AP
Phone: 864-616-6555
Email: bert@scbaxters.com
Location: Greenville, SC
Centered around: GREENVILLE, SC 29607
They have a basic class and then more advanced classes. See if you can take one or two of the advanced classes. Check this out:
America's Boating Course it's as easy as ABC

Boating is Fun...We'll Show You How. Our next Basic Boating Skills Course will be held 7, 14, 21, & 28 March 2011 with optional on-the-water instruction on March 19 or 26, weather permitting. This Class will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church in Mauldin, SC. To Register for this class click here to download a Registration Form and mail per the instructions on the form. Email Lake Hartwell Sail & Power Squadron for more information.
I believe the list of their courses/seminars can be seen here.

4) Go sailing with someone who can show you the ropes. This can be on their boat or yours. If you spend some time with someone who has sailed a lot, you'll learn a great deal. This would augment the classes very well.

5) Take a lot of local day sails and overnight sails to get used to the boat before you make the big trip. You may want to fix something or add something, and having stores nearby -- and your car to get there -- will make it a lot easier. You may find the bilge pump is broken, or the battery no longer holds a charge. Or you want to add a reading light, or a second anchor, or a small grill, or an alcohol stove, or a chart plotter, or a couple flashlights, or a dinghy, or a flexible solar panel. The list is long and half the fun of owning a boat is tweaking things to be the way you want them to be. A little expenditure can make your time afloat more to your liking.

6) Go. Given the above, check the weather each day and go! Enjoy the trip because you are well prepared. Post an ad for crew wanted here. We have a lot of members that love to take trips. Some are building sea-time on other people's boats to get their captain's license, other just want to sail. Remember your camera and post some pictures here.

Most importantly, keep asking the questions. That's what everybody does here.

Regards,
Brad
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Last edited by Bene505; 12-28-2010 at 04:37 PM.
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