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  #1  
Old 02-08-2010
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Question My 15 year plan

Hi All,

My wife and I have recently decided that once the kids are all grown up and out of home, we are going to set sail and visit this planet. That gives us around 15 years to go from complete novices to confident sailors. 15 years is a long time, but I like long term goals, they help get though the daily slog.

At this point I'm trying to sketch out a plan for both of us to gain skills needed. For the sailing part, we are going to go through all the necessary courses available through the local yacht club and then find ourselves a spot as occasional crew at local events/races. What other skills should I be including in my plan? So far I am thinking of the following:
  • Marine radio and ham operator licences
  • Basic diesel engine maintenance and repair
  • Advanced navigation
  • Weather forecasting
  • ...?

Thanks for your help
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Old 02-08-2010
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A lot of things can change in 15 years...including health and ability. Why not get a small trailerable or a small cruising boat and just enjoy weekends and vacations on the water. If you truly are a complete novice sailor, it makes sense to work your way up to cruising couple.
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Old 02-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Why not get a small trailerable or a small cruising boat and just enjoy weekends and vacations on the water
That is of course most certainly part of our plan. We intend to spend 2 to 3 years just learning the ins and outs of sailing while crewing other boats before splashing out on a small cruiser for weekend outings of our own.

My question is more around other skills that a serious offshore sailor would need. We'd like to schedule some night courses down at the local adult learning center to make sure we can set out with a solid skillset when the day comes to cut the dock lines.

Last edited by pwillems; 02-08-2010 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 02-08-2010
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The following skill sets would also be helpful:

Fiberglass repair, especially if you're getting a GRP boat

Plumbing, since there are no plumbers at sea

basic 12 VDC electrical system troubleshooting and repair, also basic 120 VAC if you plan on having a shorepower, inverter or generator system aboard

small outboard maintenance and troubleshooting, since you'll probably have one for your dinghy

Basic splicing of double braid and three-strand ropes

Rigging repair and tuning—at least to the point where you can replace a stay and get the rigging back to where it should be after doing the replacement
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 02-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
The following skill sets would also be helpful:

Fiberglass repair, especially if you're getting a GRP boat

Plumbing, since there are no plumbers at sea

basic 12 VDC electrical system troubleshooting and repair, also basic 120 VAC if you plan on having a shorepower, inverter or generator system aboard

small outboard maintenance and troubleshooting, since you'll probably have one for your dinghy

Basic splicing of double braid and three-strand ropes

Rigging repair and tuning—at least to the point where you can replace a stay and get the rigging back to where it should be after doing the replacement
reading and making notes ..

knowing I am going to be an extremely busy man ..

thanks sailingdog .. again
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Old 02-09-2010
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Thank sailingdog. That is precisely the kind of information I am chasing.

Repped
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Old 02-09-2010
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Perhaps a Wilderness First Aid Course of some type?
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Old 02-09-2010
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Yes, a Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT course would be an excellent addition to the skill set.

If you plan on having a refrigerator or A/C on your boat, learning the basics of refrigeration/A/C systems might be a good idea, if only so you can figure out what is wrong with the system and have someone repair it.

The more self-sufficient you are, the less expensive it will be for you to own your boat and for you to cruise it... and the further from civilization you can go. This is true of both you and the boat. A good cruising boat will have fairly decent passive electrical generation capability, like a combination of solar and wind, since fueling a generator is just foolish when the wind and sun are free. A watermaker is also a good addition on a lot of long-distance cruising boats...and between a water maker and a good passive electrical generation setup, you can stay out of marinas and harbors for a long time—since electricity, water, food and fuel are the most common reasons for coming into the marina.

Also, make sure that you setup the head on the boat so that the holding tank can be pumped out when you're out past the three-mile limit. My recommendation is to plumb the head directly into the holding tank and then to plumb the holding tank so that it can be emptied by a diaphragm pump through a seacock and through-hull or via a deck pumpout system. In many more remote areas, you will not find pumpout facilities, so having a way to empty the holding tank is a necessity.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 02-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
The following skill sets would also be helpful:

Fiberglass repair, especially if you're getting a GRP boat

Plumbing, since there are no plumbers at sea

basic 12 VDC electrical system troubleshooting and repair, also basic 120 VAC if you plan on having a shorepower, inverter or generator system aboard

small outboard maintenance and troubleshooting, since you'll probably have one for your dinghy

Basic splicing of double braid and three-strand ropes

Rigging repair and tuning—at least to the point where you can replace a stay and get the rigging back to where it should be after doing the replacement
Heck I am going to eventually have to learn all of that stuff too just to fix up my boat.
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Old 02-09-2010
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PW - I saw a thread recently from an older gentleman wanting to learn to sail and cross the Atlantic. One response contained an excellent list of skills but I don't seem to be able to find it. I'll keep looking - and maybe someone else has seem that as well.
Cheers
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