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  #21  
Old 08-18-2013
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Re: how much experience do I need

All snarkiness aside, if you were my son I would suggest crewing on a couple offshore passages with some experienced sailors before undertaking the voyage.
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Old 08-18-2013
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Re: how much experience do I need

Quote:
Originally Posted by randsail View Post
...I want to sail from Boston to Florida... If I have the boat and it is seaworthy, what can I expect...Iam sometimes impulsive, but I wont quit if things get tough?
I would expect you would be uncomfortable, wet, bored, thrilled and elated at various times. That is a long trip for a newbie, sort of like a casual walker deciding to hike the entire Appalachian Trail without ever having been camping. Even though you might imagine sailing most of the way, you will probably spend quite a bit of time motoring, or waiting for the wind.

Why do you want to do this? Sailing is great, as is camping on the boat while you travel to and from a nice destination, but living on the boat while you travel down the coast for weeks and weeks on end in all kinds of weather? People (delivery captains) are paid to do this because boat owners do not want to. Beware of undertaking an activity that will cost you money when others are paid to perform that same activity. That should tell you something.

Personally, I enjoy day sails, weekend cruises and extended cruises up to about 10 days. After a week, I long for air conditioning, a dry stable bed, and an easy and convenient lifestyle.

Essentially, at your price range, you will be on a very long, uncomfortable, camping trip on the water.

You should ease into sailboat cruising gradually. See how you feel after a weekend aboard or a week aboard. You might change your mind. I would try to invest as little of your own money as possible before committing to the boat purchase solely for the purpose of taking this extended coastal trip. I second the recommendation to crew on other people's boats while you learn the ropes.

By taking it slow and trying some shorter cruises before you commit to this trip, you will also discover the answer to your own question about how much experience you need. Like any other activity, although anyone could learn to sail and cruise, extended cruising will be easiest for those with a certain skill set, natural ability and personality. You will not need as much experience if you have great natural spatial relations ability, good mechanical ability, some athleticism, problem-solving ability, a calm and decisive temperament, courage, perseverance, independence, self-reliance, introversion (if you sail solo) and a love of nature. While you could force yourself to finish the trip without any strengths in this particular skill set, you would probably be miserable and may meet with some mishap, such as the loss of your life or your boat.

Staying a mile offshore would subject you to an unnecessarily long, winding and dangerous course. Most of the hazards are closer to shore. Plus, you want to take the shortest distance possible and the coast is not a straight line. Even coastal cruising, you will likely be from 5 to 25 miles off the coast.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 08-18-2013 at 06:41 PM.
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  #23  
Old 08-18-2013
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Re: how much experience do I need

You can do this trip with absolutely no experience and survive. However, if the stuff hits the fan, and you don't have the experience, you can die! Learn first, leave later.

Being a mile or so off shore is not a plan. If there is no port to enter when the weather gets really bad you may as well be 20 miles off shore because you and the boat will not like the landing.
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Old 08-18-2013
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Re: how much experience do I need

You need practice sailing on the ocean, not lakes. Salt water is a whole 'nother world.
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Old 08-18-2013
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Re: how much experience do I need

In my opinion, first thing that I think that you should do is take some ASA sailing classes. While you are doing that you will meet some very knowledgeable people and sail several types of boats. Not to mention, you will have sailing instructors that can answer all of your questions. Don't let people scare you away from what you want to do, you can do it, just not in the way that you may be thinking. If you shop around you should be able to find a boat that can make the trip for the amount of money that you plan to spend. Take those classes! Good luck
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Re: how much experience do I need

only one requirement! don't fall off the boat!other than that its all good
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Old 08-18-2013
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Re: how much experience do I need

Dylan Winter posted a link to a youtube record of a Brit who bought a $4k boat and sailed it from New York south. There is a well travelled and protected route south once you get past New York.

I would get an experienced skipper to help you get past New York. Once into the protected waterways you should manage on your own. You should have learned enough by then from your skipper. It is not rocket science. Pop out for an ocean leg when you feel ready.

BTW your plan to sail down ONE mile off shore is DANGEROUS. You will have onshore winds most of the time that means a lee shore. Anything goes wrong and you are on the rocks in minutes. The further you are from land the safer you are.
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: how much experience do I need

Here is a link to the guy who bought the $4k boat

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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: how much experience do I need

"Question:?? How far Out do I have to sail to avoid the problems but still be close enough to take cover. "
There are stretches where you simply can't take cover. The east coast is not heavily peppered with safe inlets and harbors. Yes, there are many, but there are also long stretches where there are no inlets, or no safe inlets, and even the harbor patrol and USCG will not risk using them in bad weather.
So safe to duck in? Just not possible, you may need to read the weather two or three days ahead and make your decision based on that, then be able to stay out and ride it out if you are wrong.

Which brings up another point, solo sailing. Even Superman needs to sleep, and your error rate and possibly fatal mistakes literally doubles after 12 hours "on the job". If you stay offshore, sleeping on watch is arguably dangerous and definitely illegal. If you duck in for shelter, there are times places where you can't do that every day or night. Extended solo sailing, or compromising by taking on crew, needs to be considered.

How far offshore? Among other things, depends on the weather, which affects what directions you will sail in, and which hops you want to make in the shortest distance across, versus the closest distance to shore. You will need navigational skills, you will need to get comfortable with charts and plotting.

"What are the worst seas I can stay out in??" Kinda depends on you and the boat, and what breaks who first. In a 28' boat, eight foot seas and forty knot winds may wet your pants in more ways than one. But in the Atlantic, six to eight foot seas can easily be expected. You'd want to know that pilot charts exist, and how to read them, and the historical data from ocean buoys, to know what actually can be expected in different places and times. Not just what people tell you they've experienced.

Can a 28' boat be safe in that? Sure, but the ride may be exhausting. Read up, you'll find a number of people call for rescue, abandon ship, and the boat is found weeks or months later, perfectly intact until it runs ashore someplace. I'll be just as happy if I never have to ride out a hurricane at sea.
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: how much experience do I need

buy a cruddy boat with a reliable engine (outboard is cheapest)

give yourself enough time to be able to wait somewhere safe when the weather turns bad

go for it

you only go once around this wheel of life

take lots of snaps - write a blog

D
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