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  #111  
Old 03-09-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

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Originally Posted by bartonio View Post
Or you could just fly over to the Bahamas and buy a boat there and start you journey learning to sail it while in the Bahamas instead of making the crossing right off the bat. You could expediate the "fun" part and do the learning WHILE in the carribean. I think thats what I would do.
Sorry, but I'm not sure that's a very pragmatic approach... For one thing, there is currently ONE boat listed on Yachtworld under $20K for sale in the Bahamas, a 17' daysailer... Passing on one of the largest markets in North America for the type of boat he's looking for, simply in order to avoid an initial 50 mile crossing of the Stream, sounds like a losing bet, to me... (grin)

But more importantly, as myself and others have noted, the Bahamas is NOT the best place for a newbie to get his feet wet, and embarking on the Thorny Path to the Eastern Caribbean with minimal skills could REALLY be a recipe for disaster...
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  #112  
Old 03-10-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Noonsight of course is a great website for the paperwork / entry regulations for the different countries. A few countries charge annoying fees to visit, and some are picky about pets and other things. A cooperative attitude and a tidy boat may help is there's ever a question of things being quite right.
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  #113  
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Her's 2 in Bahamas one for 5k one for 4K.
For Sale: 2 Cheap Boats in the Bahamas - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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  #114  
Old 03-10-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Orseay - if you're still reading the posts on this string, here's my two cents worth...you can definitely do this trip with the right prep and mindest. There are lots of boats for sale in Florida that would be suitable for your trip and budget. Here's an example:

View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com

If you start out sailing the coastal areas of Florida or the Keys for a couple of months you'll gain some sailing experience and get familiar with the joys and frustrations of living on a boat while you're in areas where you can go to a store to get supplies or equipment you will realize you need or to fix something that breaks...and that will happen more than you think as you are getting your boat set up.

Sailing the coastal areas will also give you time to figure out if cruising with a dog is going to work for you, your girlfriend and your pup before you hit the high seas. I have a Jack Russel that daysails with me but she isn't happy on anything longer than that, so when I cruise she stays with friends.

Read the books and links suggested by the other posters here, too. That will help more than you realize.

As you cruise Florida for a while you will meet fellow sailors who can give you help and advice, and hopefully buddy up with when you make the jump to the Bahamas. Good luck and enjoy the adventure.
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  #115  
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

I cannot say much about the safety aspects as i am almost as new to this whole thing as you are. As you noticed, reactions vary from you can row to the bahamas and to ´you need a year of experience, get expensive sailing lessons first´. What applies to you, you can only decide for yourself, some people are talented and will learn things easy, others will never learn. Of you know where you are on that spectrum, you can decide what side of the spectrum of replies to believe. You need to be objective about it though, so maybe ask your girlfriend

I can advise you about the financial part though. I have seen many boats last month in Florida. I just bought a rawson 30 for 10.000$. It is in good shape and equiped for offshoring with liferaft, solarpanels and spare parts + tools.

This was a pretty lucky deal i think, and mostly they are more like 15.000$ for a decent and well equiped 30ft. If you and your girlfriend can be comfortable in 28 feet, you can find yourself a good boat for about 6000$ probably and maybe add a few more for the equipment you want. I have seen many good ones in this price range (usually listed around 8, price will easilly go to 6)
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  #116  
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Here's a website which might be of interest http://atomvoyages.com/ James Balwin sailed around the world twice with little experience on a 28 foot boat. I did not read anywhere when you plan to do this but if it's a year or two off, buy a boat in Ottawa and sail the Ottawa river jion NSC or Britannia and take some Canadian Power Squadron courses over the winter. There are plenty of boats for sale in Ottawa well under your budget which you can sell after your finished sailing at home. Go here for example Nepean Sailing Club to the classified page.
Going to the Bahamas I would suggest going to the Abacos first. You can learn about cruising and what you need and want for extended living aboard. Most people do not sail across the gulf stream; they motor or motor sail so an inboard auxiliary is highly recommended. Definitely go with a buddy boat who has crossed before. Once in the Abacos sailing is much easier in the protected Sea of Abaco. Marsh Harbour, Abaco has stores and conveniences of the US or Canada so it's not so much of a culture shock. The first time we went to the Bahamas we spent the entire winter in the Abacos and a lot of people do that year after year. We went with a buddy boat who acted as our guide and provided a huge amount of assistance. After doing the Abacos, if you're up for more adventure you can then go to Eleuthra, then on to the Exumas and the some of the out islands like Long Island and Cat Island.
Sailing/cruising the Bahamas is a lot different than doing the Thorny Path so be aware of that before you adventure further south. "A Gentleman's Guide to Passages South" a good book to have if you do plan to go further.
Health insurance is an issue if you plan to stay longer than 7 month's. Contact OHIP and they will explain your options. While you're young and probably healthy accidents still happen and that could ruin you for life without insurance.
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  #117  
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

I say go for it. Plan your trip and enjoy!
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  #118  
Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Of course there is an alternative. If at 23 you are both bored you could consider finding something that extends or challenges you. That might be in a variety of fields - education or simply realising that your life purpose is not self-titillalation but what you are contributing.
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  #119  
Old 03-12-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidd View Post
So...can I sail to the Bahamas on a $10 K boat...?

$9K...?

$5K...?
Yes. You can sail to the Bahamas on even a SUB $5k boat, but remember your safety equipment and that there is no substitute for some practice!!!

That being said, how comfortable will you be for six months on a 25 footer? Nobody can say, not even you, until you try it out for a week.
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  #120  
Old 03-12-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

It's been done:

Hold Fast from Moxie Marlinspike on Vimeo.

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