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randsail 08-17-2013 06:24 PM

how much experience do I need
My Idea which I will take about a year from now to plan. Iam thinking about a 25 to 35 footer used boat. Ill have around 15000 dollars to spend on the boat. I have been on the water all my life ,but lakes not sailing, fishing.I want to sail from Boston to Florida. keep the boat about a mile from shore. I have no real sailing experience, but feel that I can do it. Am I fooling myself. If I have the boat and it is seaworthy, what can I expect. Iam sometimes impulsive, but I wont quit if things get tough. How much sailing experience do I need to pull this off??

bigdogandy 08-17-2013 06:44 PM

Re: how much experience do I need
Welcome to Sailnet, Randsail. You'll probably get responses to your question ranging from "are you firkin crazy? There's no way a $15,000 boat would make that trip" to "no problemo, dude, just take it easy and watch the weather". The bottom line is whether or not you can do a trip like that depends on you, the boat you choose, how much time you spend learning about the boat, boat handling, navigation, provisioning and provisions management, weather, etc. before you head off on the voyage.

Odds are, based just on the question you have asked, you don't have enough experience to know what the hazards are that you will face or how to mitigate or address them when you meet up with them, and for $15,000 you need to be very careful in the boat you select to get one that is both a seaworthy design and is in good enough shape to make the trip.

Take some time to read through the archives on this site, as your question, or ones very similar to it, have been asked and answered a hundred times. There's is a lot of experience and wisdom you can tap into here.....just be patient and be ready to sort out for yopurself what makes sense and what doesn't.

And - there's no better way to learn than sactually ailing, so find a way to get on other people's boats and get some experience on the water. Hang out at a marina and ask people if they need crew, find a sailing club and join it, etc.

Sailing isn't rocket surgery, and it won't take long for you to learn the basics and figure out what you need for a boat and gear to make the trip you're talking about.

Good luck.

Alex W 08-17-2013 06:44 PM

Re: how much experience do I need
I asked a similar question to an experienced friend when first getting into sailing. I was asking about sailing from Seattle upside the inside passage.

His recommendation was about 150-200 hours of sailing experience in a variety of conditions. I probably got about 300 hours of experience before doing the trip and felt like that was a good amount. Another way of putting it is a year of sailing multiple times per week and with some shakedown multiday trips.

15,000 is a difficult amount to have for a reliable boat. If you are staying in protected waters that will easily get you a 25-27' boat and leave you with enough money to replace equipment to get it into a good sailing shape. If you want to go offshore you'll already need to be an experienced sailor who is good at working on boats to identify the right 15,000 boat to buy. They are certainly out there, but 9 out of 10 boats listed for that amount or less will need a significant amount of money invested in them to sail safely offshore.

Donna_F 08-17-2013 06:50 PM

Re: how much experience do I need

Originally Posted by randsail (Post 1075357)
... keep the boat about a mile from shore. ...

This jumped out at me. What do you mean, exactly?

northoceanbeach 08-17-2013 06:50 PM

Re: how much experience do I need
I would say that the budget is good for an Antlantic coastal cruiser. Start learning to sail now so when you get the boat you will be closer to being ready. Once you get a boat you can learn on it where you buy it and take longer and longer trips until you feel you can make Florida.

I guess it all depends on you, how much of a natural you are and how quickly you learn. But deinitely start learning now. Also start looking at boats for sale even if you aren't going to buy it so you have an idea of what they should cost.

Sea Dawg 08-17-2013 07:08 PM

Re: how much experience do I need
It's been done, but call on the experience of others going the path ahead of you. Matt & Jessica's Sailing Page | Experiencing the world while it's still large There's plenty to be learned. Remember, experience varies directly with equipment ruined, so go break some stuff so you have that experience.

bigdogandy 08-17-2013 07:11 PM

Re: how much experience do I need
FYI - here's an example of the kind of boat to be on the lookout for....good design, quality build, lots of example of this type of boat making the kind of trip you're contemplating. And a low enough asking price you should have the ability to make some repairs (and there will be some needed - there always are) and add some crusing gear and still be within your budget.

1980 CAL 2-27 Sail Boat For Sale -

Ajax_MD 08-17-2013 08:08 PM

Smackdaddy- cue the Swaydosun story!

Chilton0585 08-17-2013 09:39 PM

Plenty of pearson 35s in good shape for 15k. Even less. Check yachtworld.

AKscooter 08-17-2013 10:21 PM

Re: how much experience do I need
I like that fact that you even asked the question. That alone tells me you are almost there! Get ready to have the time of your life!!!!

btw .....go offshore with some buddies for experience prior to setting out.
Yacht clubs are full of boats that never go out because there is no crew......

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