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  #51  
Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orseay View Post
I'm sensing somewhat of a divide in opinion...

Let me clarify. I am by no means looking at this as a walk in the park that any moron with $20k can figure out overnight.

For me and my girlfriend, this would be an EPIC journey. I'm not asking for a list of deterents or dangers..those won't be ignored, but they can be studied and examined once the decision to go or not has been made. I'm simply asking...can it be done?

Part of the adventure would be lining up the right boat, spending time talking with as many people who know their sh*t, doing some basic training in Florida, and THEN making the - allbeit risky - journey!

This is SUPPOSED to be a little bit crazy, not dumb, but yes, a little bit crazy.

Just pretend I've made the decision and this IS what I'm going to do..what would you suggest? Where do I start? Etc..
Maybe a good thing to do would be to go out with someone on a really crappy day to get an idea of just what you are dealing with. Being completely new to this, you can't yet have the healthy FEAR of the ocean that is necessary for self-preservation. This is what could get you in trouble big-time. It's like anything else with a lot of inherent danger: what keeps you alive is skill, knowledge, and practice.

By the way, as someone mentioned above an Alberg 30 would be one to look for although they draw a bit of water. The timing is right to get a good deal on a boat.
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Last edited by smurphny; 03-07-2012 at 08:54 PM.
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  #52  
Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
As you put "Me" in front "my girlfriend" I question your motives. Is your girlfriend blindly in lus..err love with you? Or is she just a mouse following your piping?

Cards on the table? It's really going to be your trip, your epic journey, and she's along for the ride to tell you how wonderful you are, right?

In all seriousness, it's imperative that she learns to sail and handle the boat and more. It's not the same as "playing house" Think of her out there on deck at the wheel or tiller, in the dark.. dark like you can' perceive. and you sleeping down below.

jus sayin....
What a load of unmitigated bollocks!

You have no idea about this guy's relationship other than what you project on it!

You come off as a hard-core misandrist, as well as demeaning to the man's female companion. Give her some credit!

"playing house"? Can you be just a little more patronizing?

Next thing we'll have some 'family' lawyer piping up about how these people are in obvious need of his services.

We no nothing about this guy or his relationship other than what he has written.

My opinion on whether he should 'go for it' is this: if you think you (that is you and your girlfriend) are ready for it: Go for it!

The mechanics of sailing are pretty straight forward - you'll probably have it sorted out after an afternoon on the water. The technical stuff will take more time. I would suggest you are very clear in your understanding of weather, navigation (the ability to read charts etc.), tides etc.

Make sure you are intimately familiar with your boat systems. Make sure that the boat is safe.

Bear in mind that even the best found boat cannot guarantee your safety. Just look at what happened to this guy!

The thing is with the guy who lost his boat off New Zealand, he had enough experience to recognize that he was in danger, and implemented a strategy to ensure his survival. You have to be able to anticipate the dangers as he did.

Best of luck!
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  #53  
Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

No comment on your relationship with your girlfriend, but Denise has several points you should pay attention to.

As a boating safety instructor, I see couples all the time in my classes who I have to separate when they start fighting. Usually when we get to the navigation part.

Your GF should know, at the very least, how to use the radio or SSB to call for help, how to operate the boat in order to either get to safe harbor or anchor, how to know where she is in order to relay her location.

For your part, you should make sure, make DOUBLY sure that she isn't following you out to sea because she's in love. Make certain that her dream is your dream. I know, you're sure. No, you aren't. You're too young to be that sure even though you'll deny it. Argue with that if you want but while you're arguing, do yourself a favor and ask her anyway. There's nothing like being in a small boat (compared to the open ocean) in a dangerous situation to bring out the true feelings.

There's all sorts of dynamics that owning a boat and sailing together in a small space can bring out. Hopefully you'll make her a full partner in this venture, not just a passenger and boat fluff.

Best of luck.
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  #54  
Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
No comment on your relationship with your girlfriend, but Denise has several points you should pay attention to.

As a boating safety instructor, I see couples all the time in my classes who I have to separate when they start fighting. Usually when we get to the navigation part.

Your GF should know, at the very least, how to use the radio or SSB to call for help, how to operate the boat in order to either get to safe harbor or anchor, how to know where she is in order to relay her location.

For your part, you should make sure, make DOUBLY sure that she isn't following you out to sea because she's in love. Make certain that her dream is your dream. I know, you're sure. No, you aren't. You're too young to be that sure even though you'll deny it. Argue with that if you want but while you're arguing, do yourself a favor and ask her anyway. There's nothing like being in a small boat (compared to the open ocean) in a dangerous situation to bring out the true feelings.

There's all sorts of dynamics that owning a boat and sailing together in a small space can bring out. Hopefully you'll make her a full partner in this venture, not just a passenger and boat fluff.

Best of luck.
No worries, thanks for the thought.
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  #55  
Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
Are you referring to the posters who are simply trying to give the kid enough advice (that he solicited, no less) so that he doesn't have to call the Coast Guard before he crosses into international water?
No! Sorry to be misunderstood, I was typing one handed while a little distracted, I was referring to dock jockeys only from my own past experience. Lots of free advice from guys at the dock that had fully developed ecosystems on their boat's bottoms Many telling me how foolish I would be to do X, Y, or Z especially solo sailing.

I am definitely not directing my mirth to any on this board.
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  #56  
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvio View Post
No! Sorry to be misunderstood, I was typing one handed while a little distracted, I was referring to dock jockeys only from my own past experience. Lots of free advice from guys at the dock that had fully developed ecosystems on their boat's bottoms Many telling me how foolish I would be to do X, Y, or Z especially solo sailing.

I am definitely not directing my mirth to any on this board.
Ah. In that case, I'm sorry that I jumped on you.
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  #57  
Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

What I would think, if I were you, isn't "Does sailing to the Bahamas sound fun," but "Does owning a boat and sailing on it" sound fun. If it does, borrow a boat to test it and be sure you like it, then buy a boat, sail it, ENJOY IT, and then when you feel ready, go to the Bahamas. You might find that's in a month, or a year, or you hate sailing, or you wind up getting really involved with club racing and decide to stay where you are. Who knows?

I think people here are jumping on you because it sounds like you're trying to do too much at once, when, if you read closely, you're not. You want to get the boat, learn, prepare, then go. And to be fair, sailing to the Bahamas, while definitely a dangerous activity, isn't a huge suicidal undertaking. And you could find a boat and find that within a month you feel perfectly comfortable doing it.

But in the mean time, Bahamas or no, I promise that you'll find a smile on your face if you get out on the water. Any water.

(That said, if you can find a boat in a month, I'll be impressed.)
EDIT: P.S. Click the General Chat button at the bottom of the screen and say "Hi".
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

On the surface, this dream seems naive, given the TOTAL lack of experience. That said, there will be lots of experience gained IF Oresay sails down the east coast from Canada. Buying a boat in Florida and immediately jumping off to the Bahamas does not seem like a responsible option. If Oresay and his gf can convert the experience from sailing down the east coast to Florida into good judgement, they might just make the Caribbean dream happen.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to research the experience of others and educate oneself in seamanship. The financial picture, as jimrafford mentioned, is a factor in all of this.

Another option might be picking up a boat in Puerto Rico and do island hopping after a trial period in the Virgin Islands (Spanish, US, BVI). But one needs to be realistic about the costs. Food is not cheap and North Americans need to realize that water is not free down there.
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Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Ors, check out this thread:

Reality at Sea - For Cruisers, Singlehanders, and Normal People.

Drake is an awesome dude that really tells it like it is.
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  #60  
Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Can I sail to the Bahamas with NO experience?

Hi Orseay,
You've received a lot of respectable advice above. I'll throw in some other tidbits to keep you going towards your goal.

I watched the following documentary, with horror and amazement, and a bit of jealousy. I'm amazed they survived, horrified that someone would try to do this as they did and finally jealous that they completed the journey. Hold Fast, a documentary about anarchy and sailing - Boing Boing

1) To your question about size and cost of a boat to do such a journey; An opinion has some weight to it, but documented experience is a better source. Here is one source: The Bahamas - Sailboat The boat documented, Suselle, just sold for around (or under?) $14,000.

Further to your question on size and cost, almost every sailor I know records all sailing / boat costs. You would do well to talk to some local sailors that are near your level of comfort and ask if you can discuss detailed costs. Not the off-the-cuff, over-breakfast costs, but hard numbers. That will give you a better idea than Internet opinions from people with varying comfort levels.

2) No one can answer your second question but you. We can help you with specific subjects and skillsets that you will need to learn. But your aptitudes and resources will dictate how fast you can learn and gain experience. I was talking to a friend of mine about the skills required to sail on a voyage. I jotted down on a napkin an outline or curriculum of subjects she would need to learn in order to take on a long voyage. Perhaps you have a mentor that can do the same for you.

With regards to your last comment about a "month of experience", well, let me rephrase it this way. If you were to learn to drive a car in a parking lot in Florida, and practice your skills in a parking lot in Florida for one month, would you be able to drive in the icy mountain roads in Europe? The answer is "maybe". If the weather is good and you drive without making mistakes, then you'll be fine. If you get caught in a blizzard or your attention waivers, your mistakes may end up with serious consequences. You gain experience by making and recovering from mistakes... one month doesn't give you much time to make those mistakes.

My last bit of information is about the common advice about "relationships" on a boat. My 'wife' and I have a typical relationship and we travelled 6 weeks in the Great Lakes on a tiny boat with our dog (same boat as Suselle above). We faced our good days, we experienced trying days. We fixed poopy head hoses, we swam in crystal clear crisp cold water. We were swarmed by stable flies, we were suntanned. We lived with one-burner alcohol stove and an ice box that rarely had ice, but ice makes beer that much better. We motored in calms and sailed in 14' waves... and at the end of the day, she's still willing to sail with me. If we can do it, you can do it... even though extreme's can happen, ordinary people will survive.

ok that wasn't the last bit. Check out Bika's blog(s) and see where a little budget and a little spirit can take you. They've been sailing since Norway 2005 Home - Bika
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