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  #1  
Old 04-05-2012
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Big Question, need answers...

Hi everyone. This may sound a little suicidal, but I am thinking, strongly, of selling everyhting i own and buying a sailboat and going around the world solo following the warm weather.

One little hickup. The last time I sailed was in summer camp on a lazer.LOL

If anyone would be so kind as to maybe offer some advice, ie; boat size, dangers, time needed to cross the atlantic and maybe cost for such a trip.

i am super handy and i can live on nothing. i have for years.

thinking about buying a small 26 footer.

any thoughts?

Ulric
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Old 04-05-2012
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Re: Big Question, need answers...

I've never done it, likely never will.

By the time you have enough experience for it not to be more than a little suicidal, you'll need to ask all the other questions over again. You need at least two or three (better 5-10) years' solid sailing experience in varying boats, weather, conditions. Then think about it again. There's a reason the Coast Guard requires 2 or 3 years' worth of 8-hour days to sit for even a small captain's license.

Once you've done that, look at what others have sailed, and spent. There's a young man just finishing a 'round the western hemisphere solo voyage in a 27' Albin Vega: http://crabsailing.org/http://crabsailing.org/ That's about as small as you should go, and the Vega's a solid offshore boat, most are not. I think the voyage cost around 25K, and it sounds like this was bare-bones, most will cost more--look up the Laura Dekker and other teenage solo attempts in the recent news, betcha they cost a whole lot more.

Crossing the Atlantic I would guess you average 4 knots (if nothing breaks), 3000 miles so around 30 days, but you don't need us to tell you that.

As a long-term goal? Great. But get the experience, then judge for yourself if you still want to do it.

Last edited by nolatom; 04-05-2012 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 04-05-2012
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Re: Big Question, need answers...

i was just wondering if it was really that crazy. you need a capatains licence to sail your own boat? damn. thanks
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Old 04-05-2012
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Re: Big Question, need answers...

No, you don't need a license unless you're in commercial service. This was just to give you an idea of how much sea time you should accumulate, what you're contemplating is a lot dicier than running an offshore crew or supply boat with a crew, so your experience logically should be even greater.
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Old 04-05-2012
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Re: Big Question, need answers...

Read every single thing on this website: Atom Voyages - Home

You can do it on a small boat and a small budget, and he tells you how, but there is a tremendous amount to learn.
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Old 04-05-2012
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Re: Big Question, need answers...

Inexperienced sailors can sail small, poorly prepared boats when close to shore b/c you can get accurate weather forcasts for at least a few days. If you are on a 30 day passage, you cannot predict if you will run into some really nasty stuff, and need to have the boat and skills to be safe.
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Old 04-05-2012
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Re: Big Question, need answers...

There's a simple process for answering your question. If you actually know enough to accomplish what you're proposing, then you don't have to ask here for anyone's thoughts on the subject.
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Old 04-05-2012
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Re: Big Question, need answers...

"Oh, Lordy! Here's another wild and wooly one!"*

Since you're so committed, I'll skip usual advice of starting with a 15-16' daysailer. Get an 18-20' 'pocket cruiser' (with a keel, even if it's a shoal draft) and get familiar with sailing it in the bay/harbor. Then go on the ocean. Go up the coast a few miles and make it back. Go down the coast a few miles and make it back. Go around those islands that are just a few miles offshore and make it back. Pack some food and water and go away for a few days and make it back. Then do it all again.

If you spent a season or a season and a half doing all of that, you would have answered a lot of your own questions; you could also chime in on here and help answer other people's questions.

It's fun and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

Now that you're a little bit salty (you'll know because barflies will lick you before they take a shot of Tequila) you can move up to a 27-30 boat which might be 'the boat'. Get comfortable with that boat and improve on all of your accomplishments from the smaller boat. That should easily take 2 more seasons.

Put all of that on hold and cross an ocean as crew on someone else's sailboat. Maybe you could do this a few times in the off-season. Get used to being crew as well as captain.

So, with modest money and a lot of drive, 4-5 years from now you could be at the helm of a small blue water boat taking on longer and longer passages and aquiring better and better equipment until you finally feel that you and the boat are ready.

Kinda makes me want to be young again.

*Can you name the movie?
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Old 04-05-2012
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Big Question, need answers...

Not everyone has several years of experience before selling all their stuff, buying a sailboat, and starting on a trip around the world. Not everyone AGREES that several years of experience is required. Learn as you go. Start with day trips and work your way up before tackling the longest passages, take on crew for longer voyages, become a slave to favorable weather. It's your life. There are several blogs written by fools who leap in where angels fear to tread. Learn from others who are learning as they go. Our blog is at morejoyeverywhere.blogspot.com. Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2012
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Re: Big Question, need answers...

I'd say do it. Once you start sailing and see what is involved you will be able to more accurately gauge whats involved in sailing around the world.

I'd suggest reading all the blog posts, in the following link. It shows pretty much what to expect and different eventualities you need to prepare for, keep in mind that he is a seasoned sailor, and has people with the skills and contacts to get him help when he needs it.

Solo Around the America's Under Sail | An audacious attempt at sailing the Northwest Passage and circumnavigating entirety of both continents, to benefit Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating

Remember as well he is doing it non-stop, if you stop here in there you'll be able to fix things he isn't able to.
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