Re: The Chicken or the Eggs?
Welcome back, Me (it has been years since I was here).
To the OP,
The post below assumes you eventually intend to cruise, if you are just day sailing, ignore it ...
I found that the process that people normally think of 1) come up with a plan, 2) execute the plan, etc, didn't work for me at all. I did not have enough experience to make a plan so ...
For me, I had to experiment. I didn't just get _a_ radio, I've had at least three. I didn't just get _a_ toilet/head, I've had two. I didn't just get _a_ chart table, I've already had five, redesigning each time so that I end up with what I want. "Boat" is a verb, not a noun, it is an activity, one that never ends, and the best advice I can give is to either leave it all to someone else who has a lot of experience and end up with what they want, which is probably pretty close to what you will eventually want, or do what you can to keep your options open so you can change your mind and grow. That means not committing to things you can't change your mind about, keeping access open to electrical conduits, etc, so you can add to and modify systems along the way, and not going out and blowing all your boat bucks on what you think you want at the beginning because then you won't have boat bucks to replace it all when you change your mind later. Try to keep boxes and receipts in order so that you can resell the stuff you decide you don't want later. Believe me, if you are anything like I am you are going to acquire a pile of crap that doesn't work for you that you are going to want to get rid of before you're actually "done" (are you ever really done with a boat ?). So much stuff in boating looks great in theory but in practice is either too poorly made to use or in the end is just completely impractical. Many times the "hard way" ends up being the easy way, and gadgets and gizmo's just take up space and are a PITA to deal with.
The good news is that after you play with all this stuff you eventually do figure out something that works for you, at least I have.
If you have too much energy and want to "jump ahead", my suggestion is learning how to live with what you're going to have on the boat; eating foods that only have ingredients you'll have on the boat, reducing refrigeration space down to what you'll have on the boat (if you even have refrigeration, I don't), changing your water usage to use only what you'll have on the boat, electrical usage, etc. Changing your lifestyle is going to be the biggest, most challenging changes you'll make, and it is those changes in habit that require the most effort, in my experience. Said another way, anyone can learn to anchor or sail, that is the least of it; but not everyone can learn to eat cereal without milk, deal with not having internet access (off-shore, etc), and live without air conditioning on the hook. Goodbye long hot showers, hello cold water and wash rag. I think learning to live in a tent in the middle of the woods would be better "preparation for cruising" than going to the bahamas on a charter, like so many people do.
What are you pretending not to know ?
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Last edited by wind_magic; 05-26-2012 at 04:47 PM.