Join Date: Oct 2002
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The following dictionary definitions of the word you chose for your screen name say it all.
3 a (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery b : a revealing scene or moment
At age 54, never having sailed a day in my life, I was bitten by the same bug that has nailed you. I stumbled into a MacGregor 25 and, for the next four years, had the most fun ever learning what I could do. I moved up to a Catalina 30. Just five feet in length, but truly another world. After fourteen glorious years I succumbed to the need for greater creature comforts and gravitated to an Irwin 38CC. I''m truly glad that I did. I''ve never been more than fifty miles offshore, but I feel as if I have sailed around the world.
I singlehand 99% of the time and each boat has been an education. I believe that the key is to have on board all of the manual mechanical means necessary to enable you to do whatever has to be done. I stress manual because anything that depends upon electrical energy will, at some point, fail to operate; most likely when you need it most.
I came across a pearl of wisdom on one of these boards and I saved it because it seemed to me to capture the essence of, what for me, sailing has been all about.
"The Catch 22 of self reliance is that if we don''t leave the dock until we know everything we need to know, we''ll never learn everything we need to know."
Even more apropos to myself, and you, too, I think, are the words of Aldous Huxley,
"A childlike man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on
the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of
continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves
in the cocoon of middle aged habit and convention."
By all means, jump in. My sole caution has to do with the physical strength side of the equation. Many respondents have urged that you start smaller and work up. This could
consume much time and delay your goal unnecessarily. Right now, why not charter a 43 footer, with a captain, of course, for a day. As soon as the boat is under way, ask the captain to direct you through all of the actions necessary to operate the boat as if you were single-handing it. As you perform these actions, you''ll know whether you are biting off more than you can chew.
If you can manage the tasks without becoming fatigued, then keep the 43 in your sights. If it proves too strenuous, try chartering something smaller until you have reached your comfort level. Keep in mind that some tasks which are simple in a calm can become next to impossible when the wind pipes up.