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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Learning to cruise and live aboard
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Thread: Learning to cruise and live aboard Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-18-2009 08:27 PM
CaptainForce Remember, you don't need to take huge steps.....Get the boat in a slip that has good access to daysailing. After gaining that experience take a few short cruises. We cruise with the seasons on the East Coast,- there is no downside! 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
11-18-2009 06:13 PM
pdqaltair
Don't discount any of the advice offered...

It is all a different part of what you will experience.

Racing is not bad, if you are new to sailing and want to learn fast:
* Need to claw off a lee shore in bad weather?
* Need to get the chute down fast?
* Want to make good time to the next port to beat weather or night?
* Want to learn differnt ways to sail many boats?
You will learn these things better and faster sailing on multiple race boats. I hate racing, but I know how. It is VITAL that a cruiser know how to ring every knot out of their boat, even if they don't often choose to.

Buy dingy and sell it in the fall. Something with a jib (Precision 15, Albacor) that you can go out and push to the edge of the envelope. You will get back what you paid for it and learn a ton about how a bigger boat will handle conditions you hope to never see. I am amazed how many big boat sailors freeze up when the engine fails, because they never learned how to sail without a motor. I've actually sailed into my slip twice (different boats - engine failures).

Have fun and don't focus on equipment until you learn more.
11-18-2009 04:21 PM
mikeandrebecca What do you mean it isn't all margaritas and sunsets? That is what we signed up for!

11-18-2009 03:55 PM
GregX999 Thanks for all the advice guys!

wind_magic - I DO realize cruising isn't all margaritas and sunsets. I've read a few books (by L. & L. Pardy and by Annie Hill) - so I realize (at a purely logical level) the amount of comforts being given up. But obviously just "pretending" to do it in your house isn't quite the same.

mikeandrebecca - Wow, that's quite an endorsement. Thanks! (Are you sure you don't own the company? )

braidmike - Yeah, that's what I figured would be the best way to learn. It would just suck to jump-in feet-first (what other way is there really?) and then after a month or 2 or 6 decide that you want out. And yeah, the money thing can be scary - it's so hard to get a realistic picture of what's needed - I read stories of people out sailing for years on $1000/month, and others saying they need $4000/month. Obviously comfort-level has something to do with that (ie: refrigeration, water makers, boat size, etc.), as well as how handy you are (ie: scraping and painting your own hull, etc.).

SVAuspicious - Unfortunately, I have ZERO interest in racing. But I get what you're saying... just get out there and start "doing".

I realize there's no perfect way to go about it, no way to know *for sure* how much I'd like it, no way to learn *everything* I'd need/want to know. Well, at least I'm young and single and the "spirit of adventure" hasn't been squashed out of me yet!

Greg
11-18-2009 11:53 AM
SVAuspicious
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregX999 View Post
So, my question is... how can learn both 1) how to sail, navigate, operate, repair, provision, etc. (to a level sufficient enough to do it on my own) and 2) if I'll even like the live aboard/cruising lifestyle enough to make the downsides worth it?
Hi Greg,

I think wind_magic overstates things a good bit. Don't stress.

For sailing, about the best you can do is find someone else who needs racing crew. You will learn more that way than any other.

Navigation can be learned at USCG Auxiliary classes or books or on-line courses like Starpath offers.

Operation comes with the territory.

Repair skills (as opposed to resources) can come easily from pitching in as the race boat you crew on prepares for the season and needs help getting in the water.

Provisioning is easiest. People eat everywhere in the world. Keep an open mind and you can always eat.

The longest passages I can think of are in the South Pacific and rarely exceed a month. The longest hop I took crossing the Atlantic was three weeks. You can practice at home -- think about what you want to eat for a week and buy all the food at once (refrigerator is allowed -- most although not all cruisers do have refrigeration) and eat from that. Push to two weeks and do it again. You'll find it isn't hard at all.
11-18-2009 11:38 AM
braidmike One more: Get used to thinking in 'Boatbucks', usually abreviated '$BB'. I think the current conversion factor is 1000US$=1$BB. This represents the minimum outlay for anything that touches the marine environment. I'm not sure who coined the term, but can attest to it's accuracy!
11-18-2009 05:13 AM
MikeinLA
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
Hello Greg,

Sailing issues aside, the living life on board part you can do right now. Go unplug your refrigerator to start with, turn your heat off, turn the main breaker off on your fuse box, and turn the main water valve off so you don't have any more water. Now move everything you own into one room and you are making a good start.

Now learn to live like that. Probably you are going to want to stay clean, so you have figure out a way to do that using containers full of water and no bathtub or shower. You're probably going to want to stay warm, so now without electricity you get to figure out how to do that. You will no doubt have electronics you want to use, so it is time to figure out how to generate your own electricity with solar panels or some other way. And you have probably gotten into the habit of eating periodically, so without electricity or refrigeration it is time to learn how to cook yourself enough food to keep your energy and spirits up. Edit - don't forget to unplug your cable while you're at it, no more cable television, and the high speed internet is gone too, you'll have to start using your neighbors wifi. Don't forget to unplug the telephone! Might be time to take up bike riding so you can get to the laundromat, don't forget the bike trailer so you can pull those heavy water containers along behind you.

Enjoy ...
I think it would be only fair to allow him a small generator to charge up his car battery for lights (he won't be needing it for his car). After all, what fun is it if you don't have your neighbors screaming "Turn off that f$@^&%ing generator!"

Mike
11-18-2009 04:46 AM
jerryrlitton
Quote:
Originally Posted by braidmike View Post
That is absolutely classic!! THANKS!!
Greg,
I was in the same place it sounds like you are about 5 or 6 years ago. Not sure I would recomend my approach, but my partner and I just started researching everything on the net, took a couple classes, bought a boat that seemed to have our name on it, and hope to start our circumnavigation next fall. We followed advice that resonated, ignored what didn't, made a few mistakes, all in all: having a great time! For us, it has been the experience of actually 'doing it' that is the best teacher. The ASA class we took was fun, but I probably learn ten times as much when actually out on the water in our boat. Everyone learns diferently, for us it seems best to jump in & figure it out as we go. FWIW
Mike
You actually forgot the part about taking a cold shower while tearing up $100 dollar bills.....
11-18-2009 03:16 AM
braidmike
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
Hello Greg,

Sailing issues aside, the living life on board part you can do right now. Go unplug your refrigerator to start with, turn your heat off, turn the main breaker off on your fuse box, and turn the main water valve off so you don't have any more water. Now move everything you own into one room and you are making a good start.

Now learn to live like that. Probably you are going to want to stay clean, so you have figure out a way to do that using containers full of water and no bathtub or shower. You're probably going to want to stay warm, so now without electricity you get to figure out how to do that. You will no doubt have electronics you want to use, so it is time to figure out how to generate your own electricity with solar panels or some other way. And you have probably gotten into the habit of eating periodically, so without electricity or refrigeration it is time to learn how to cook yourself enough food to keep your energy and spirits up. Edit - don't forget to unplug your cable while you're at it, no more cable television, and the high speed internet is gone too, you'll have to start using your neighbors wifi. Don't forget to unplug the telephone! Might be time to take up bike riding so you can get to the laundromat, don't forget the bike trailer so you can pull those heavy water containers along behind you.

Enjoy ...

Edit - P.S. it is actually a lot of fun to live like that once you get used to it.
That is absolutely classic!! THANKS!!
Greg,
I was in the same place it sounds like you are about 5 or 6 years ago. Not sure I would recomend my approach, but my partner and I just started researching everything on the net, took a couple classes, bought a boat that seemed to have our name on it, and hope to start our circumnavigation next fall. We followed advice that resonated, ignored what didn't, made a few mistakes, all in all: having a great time! For us, it has been the experience of actually 'doing it' that is the best teacher. The ASA class we took was fun, but I probably learn ten times as much when actually out on the water in our boat. Everyone learns diferently, for us it seems best to jump in & figure it out as we go. FWIW
Mike
11-17-2009 08:45 PM
mikeandrebecca My wife and I took Offshore Sailing's Fast Track to Cruising course last Christmas (we did it in St. Petersburg, FL). Prior to that time neither one of us had sailed anything more than a Laser! Before, and during the course, we had doubts about them being able to cover everything that they promised. Well, they did, and it was excellent! Since completing that course we sold our house, sold all our crap, bought a catamaran and lived on it all summer. We just sold our business and will be taking off to cruise in the Caribbean next year. As you might have guessed, we are big fans of offshore sailing and their courses!

Mike
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