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  #11  
Old 10-27-2011
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Plan on sailing for 1-3 years before taking a offshore passage.


A good FLA school is

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  #12  
Old 10-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian T View Post
I have never sailed anything before. I need some help.

The dream is to learn how to sail with my wife, buy a small sailboat, then sail from my home here in Tampa, Florida to Cozamel and back with our 3 year old daughter. Then sell the boat.

Where should I start? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am looking to begin preparation immediately. I want to do this right, for as you can imagine, nothing is more important than the safety of my daughter.

Thanks in advance!
I'd suggest starting by doing ASA Basic Keelboat lessons with your wife. Partly for the learning, partly just for the chance to try sailing and see if you like it.
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  #13  
Old 10-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post
I love these posts, it's like FIGHT CLUB for sailnet, and the OPs usually scurry.. don't let it intimidate you Ian T, it ain't your question... please elaborate if you would.
Shnool's right, you know. We enjoy jousting! Sorry. We don't bite.

I started by renting a Sunfish for a few hours. I'd bet 30% of the posters sailed those at least once. Then I bought a small boat (beach cat in my case, but there are many choices) and learned about sailing and the water.

So my suggestion, after a few books and a lesson if you like those, is to buy something second hand and small, and learn about the wind and the water.

Sail Delmarva: The Merits of Learning to Sail on a Small Boat
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  #14  
Old 10-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
Shnool's right, you know. We enjoy jousting! Sorry. We don't bite.

I started by renting a Sunfish for a few hours. I'd bet 30% of the posters sailed those at least once. Then I bought a small boat (beach cat in my case, but there are many choices) and learned about sailing and the water.

So my suggestion, after a few books and a lesson if you like those, is to buy something second hand and small, and learn about the wind and the water.

Sail Delmarva: The Merits of Learning to Sail on a Small Boat
I'd second the remark about small boat sailing. Have fun with a dinghy for a few years, while reading and doing courses.
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2011
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I'm relatively new to sailing - a few lessons, a decent amount of time on rented 14's at our local lake, and am now the proud owner of a new-to-me C25. I also have two boys, ages 5 and 3. I can tell you that there's no way I'd consider doing what you're proposing, at least not in the next 2-3 years. We are probably very different, so take my comments with a grain of salt, but here are a few things to consider:

1) sailboats move slowly - how far is that trip? Assume you'll make 5 knots (if you're lucky) as an average speed; how many days' travel is that?
2) time in a confined space is a killer for small kids - you're going to be living in a space that has maybe 300-400 sq ft (including the foredeck and the cabin, though you should probably think very carefully before allowing a 3 year old on the foredeck, especially alone while underway) of usable living space. That's for three people, and all the "stuff" needed for a several week trip. How will your daughter occupy herself during that trip, especially on rainy days when she's stuck below deck?
3) single handing - you'll really want at least a 25-30' boat to make that trip (family will really need that space, and the stability associated with the bigger boat), but the problem is, the bigger the boat (in general) the harder it is to single-hand. Your wife and you will likely be trading off the kid-patrol duties, so one or the other of you will be doing most of the sailing single-handed.
4) safety - your wife and you (presumably) have the coordination to handle a swaying boat underfoot; does your daughter? How will you handle if she gets sick while you're out at sea? Adults can "tough it out" and care for themselves a lot easier than kids can, and it can be VERY scary when something unexpected happens to your child, especially a 3 year old.
5) sailing isn't easy - you can't just hop aboard and go; it isn't a power boat (unless you're going to motor). It takes time to accrue the knowledge/experience you'll need to make that kind of trip.

Now with all of that in mind, I want to stress a) I'm not saying don't do it, and b) it's a very romantic idea and has a lot of appeal to me, too. What I would consider, instead, is taking lessons and owning a small boat (14-20') for 2-3 years. Build your competency in the local conditions first, and hone your skills in those boats under different weather conditions. By that point, your family and you will know better whether you'll be able to tolerate each other for a multi-week voyage where everyone is confined to a small space, and you'll give your daughter more time to grow up around boats, learn where she can/can't go, how to sleep on a boat, how to walk on a boat, etc. Plus, at 6 or 7, she'll be older and more self-sufficient, which will make for a more enjoyable experience for all three of you. At that point, if you're all game for the trip, by all means, go for it. Get the right safety gear, a bigger boat, etc., and have a go at it. It would certainly be memorable (another reason to wait until she's a little older, so the memories will linger longer), probably be a lot of fun, and hopefully you'll have developed the skills to make the voyage safely and without any major problems.
DRFerron, SHNOOL, ottos and 1 others like this.
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  #16  
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OK, I did a quick search, and according to Distance Calculator - Measure the Distances between two cities or towns, it's about 620 miles from Tampa to Cozumel. At an average speed of 5 mph (because I'm lazy), that's roughly 125 hours of sailing time. If you assume 12 hours of sailing a day (which is probably a lot, unless you and your wife are going to trade off in shifts, which will probably not be conducive to an enjoyable family experience), you're looking at at least 10.5 days to get there, and another 10.5 days to get home, plus your time in Cozumel. That would be a heck of a trip, but not really for a 3 year old (or at least, not for my 3 year old).
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Old 11-02-2011
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As well intentioned as we are, we take the adventure out of what might have been an unplanned ,steep learning curve life style choice. This is different from saying "Watch out for the rocks" Ian, follow your heart and "Watch out for the rocks"
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Old 11-03-2011
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I wonder if Ian even came back to read the replies to his post. Maybe he woke up from his dream.
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Old 11-09-2011
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Welcome to SN, Ian.

Are there any community or coop type boat clubs in your area? It's worth a quick internet search.

If you're near any size city with a waterfront, there is usually a community boat club. The club fees aren't too much, everyone becomes part owner in the club's boats with membership and there are usually adult sailing lessons available. These tend to be small, friendly, social clubs with lots of BBQs and informal get togethers. This is a good way to find out if you really like sailing and if the reality is as good as the dream you envision.

EVERYTHING you learn about sailing before you start crossing big bodies of water, will keep you and your family safer. Read as much as you can. Volunteer to crew on other's yachts - this is a good step to learn more about seamanship and what kind of boat you prefer to buy.

Good luck! Keep us updated on your progress.
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