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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Sleeping at sea
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-19-2010 01:22 AM
jephotog Before I add my advice I got one multipart question for you. Do you own a 34' motorhome, and a C172 and are now looking at a 40"+ sailboat, if so what do you do for work and are they hiring?

I think you should consider a smaller boat to learn on, for many reasons.

Get a quote for a new mains'l for this boat. If that does not convince you figure out what it would cost to haul and paint it. Not only the cost for working on this type of boat are exponential so are the times involved. I have read plenty of stories of owners bankrupted before their boat splashes or years of waiting before their first sail.

Sailing a boat 30+ feet solo or even 2 crewed is in the realm of experienced sailors. Unless your friend is Dennis Conner, I think you will need 3 if not 4 for a delivery this time of year especially if one of them has no coastal/heavy weather sailing experience. Likewise once you have the boat home you will need an experienced sailor to go out with you at first then once you are comfortable as captain, you will need a number of crew just to leave the dock. This could be a huge block to learning, meaning your boat might become a dock queen. There is an old sailing wives tail "the bigger the boat the less it leaves the slip". It may not apply to members of the board here but there is a kernel of truth in it.

For the cost of a new mainsail for a 40 footer you could buy a 25-30 foot boat and sail for the next year, then sail your 40 footer home yourself a year from now.
09-19-2010 12:42 AM
chef2sail Nasomi,

I have read this thread for a while. I have taken the trip from Maine to the Chesapeake a few times and from the Long Island Sound to the Chesapeake every summer for vacaction. I have also done a fair amount of blue water Caribbean and Coastal sailing.

Here is my 2 cents. Best conditions for taking this trip are in June/ July /August with less storms and also with many more daylight hours. Even for 2 experienced sailors and a top notch checked out passage made boat this is a 6-10 day trip ( averaging 50 miles per day, 5 knots per hour, 10 hours per day if you plan on pulling in and anchornig every night, which I highly suggest. You must give yourself weather days in your trip. This would be the prudent safe way to take this trip in a known boat for 2 good sailors (of course you could push all night, but thats another story)

You are planning to take this boat in an newly purchased 40 year old boat with no experience on it at all. In addition One out of two of you has any "real sailboat experience". Please tell me how much cruising experience this other person has and what kind of boat he owns. While I understand the questions you have...some of them draw light on the lack of experience you really have ( we all were there at one point. I am not putting you down by saying that just stating the obvious straightforwardly.

This "expedition" is fraught with unnecessary risk which most of us who have some experiences would not take. In fact experienced cruisers and coatal cruisers take precautions to minimize some of the risks you are presenting.

The two most important are the condition and knowledge of the boat you are traveling on....and the overall sailing passagemaking experience of the crew. Look on a map... Your route takes you along the coast in the ocean...through areas of tides...currents,,,,r0cks..NJ with trecherous inlets. One experienced person is not enough. I being an exoperienced sailor probably would not take this trip with one other person with as limited experience as you have in October with a boat I knew nothing about.

I suggest you have the boat trucked down if you buy it. I suggest you have at least 2 experienced sailors on board. I suggest you allow 7-10 days for this for breakdowns of the boat as well as weather windows. If you take this time you will gain great experience from the trip from the others. Lastly I suggest you find a boat closer to home so you do not face these challenges and gain your experience and confidence in day and weekend sails at first, not an ocean passage. This is no way meant as a put down.

On my vessel, as I am am sure on many of the captains who post here, it is safety first on their boats as it is mine. This adventure is not reresentative of that.

Dave
09-19-2010 12:01 AM
Maxboatspeed Cool
I kinda misunderstood. Now it's a little clearer where you're coming from. I can relate to your ideas and interests. I never meant to dis you. I have sailed a bunch, lived on sailboats, run tugs, blahblah. I guess I didn't get what you wanted to know?
Get a boat. Have fun. Be safe
Max
09-18-2010 11:35 PM
nasomi It's not that I don't trust him to ask everything. But pounding one person with all your questions can be a little much sometimes. Plus, as with everything else in this world, there is no end all, the right, perfect answer, for all the questions regarding sailing. So I wanted to get opinions from all different sides, people with different experiences, and so on. For instance, when underway, I didn't know that it was flat out illegal according to COLREGS to sleep while anchored out at sleep when not at a harbor or anchor ball. Now I do. I figured at night the sea was pretty much dead if you weren't in shipping lanes, I know this to be untrue now. And countless other facts, reccomendations, and so on, that I've picked up thus far tahnks to the people contributing in this thread.

Also, I know bigger isn't ALWAYS better. I am pretty good at knowing exactly what is right for me, though. a 52' yacht isn't something that appeals to me, I am pretty sure I would not like it, though I've never tried it. Similarly to how i knew that a cesna 172 was the perfect plane for me. I knew I wouldn't be needing or desiring anything more. I've flown bigger but it just wasn't my cup of tea, it wasn't "ideal for me". But I knew it before I flew bigger or smaller. I tried others only to verify the fact. I knew a 25' motorhome wouldn't be good for me, nor a 40', but a 34' would be exactly ideal. And it was. I've gone over all, and came out only verifying what I already knew. 35-45' is a good range for what I want for a boat. 25' I would not be happy with i dont think, and would suffer buyers remorse in a matter of a few outings. I'd rather push my limits, and have help on hand, than do something I could be single handing without a problem after an hour or two. My intentions are to sail single handed, with him there, so if i get into a jam, he can help. He can watch what i'm doing, point out my mistakes, and so on. I can correct them, or he can step in and take over. I certainly know when to step down when soemone else is stepping in for a situation that is beyond my ability.
09-18-2010 11:17 PM
Maxboatspeed
Quote:
Originally Posted by nasomi View Post
I don't doubt his competence. That's not why I ask. I ask because he shouldn't have to pick up after me, and displaying a bit of my own competence so the load isn't entirely on him.
Ok
i just posted, then saw your last. An important point is this: He is the master. That means a lot. It's cool that you'll be learning while sailing your boat. It's cool that you are doing everything you can to lighten his load. He has the responsibility to keep you and your boat safe. He owns that load. He's responsible for everything. Decisions are his. That's just the way it is on the water.
Of course, it's up to you to crew on this voyage , or not.
It's up to you to trust this guy as master of your boat - before you commit.
I wonder if you both get that? I know you can learn to sail this boat. I want you to be safe. I don't exactly get what you are asking? I guess it sounds like you may not know what to ask? I think you should ask the "vet." You should feel that you can trust his advice. After all, you'll be trusting him with the safety of your life and boat.
Safe Sailing
Max
09-18-2010 11:07 PM
Iflyka200s
Let me..

Try and interject something.

I once was a pretty good sailor, I crewed on Tartan 30's and 37's and a 39 Yankee for many years in the 80's. Before I did that I sailed Clearwater Prams (Now called Opti's but we called them IODA Prams) I was an ok sailor, I sailed a lot of Bluewater and a lot in Biscayne Bay.


You couldn't do spit with an Atomic 4 when the weather is bad. SPIT (sic) You are on a boat getting bounced around even with 4-5 good sailors, somebody isn't feeling great, it's been a long day, the wind is howling, waves are kicking and confused, it's all you can do to keep your head straight. Just trying to hold a wrench, brace yourself and work, it isn't gonna happen and I promise you no matter how strong your stomach is, inside a hot boat that smells, getting tossed around, gasoline smell... You are toast. Do some research on how incapacitating sea/air sickness is and how difficult recovery is.

I've since become a commercial pilot and I fly 350+ hours a year, your theory about "bigger & better" is so flawed I can't begin to break it down to you. Yeah, a guy with a Private Pilots License might be able to fly a 777. Airplane controls are pretty standard as are all aviation basics, but in sailing, like flying, starting small seems to be the best way to learn.


So why not buy a Catalina 22? (or similar) Cheap, easy and plentiful starting small will help you get better. As others have mentioned, why not try it first?
09-18-2010 10:35 PM
nasomi As I said before, this is speculation, I'm still looking at many different boats.

I don't plan on running at night, I assumed keep the same sleep schedule. I don't think of it as master/mate, i think of it as two guys on a boat, one with more experience than the other. If this happens to be the boat that everything comes out perfect with, sure, it'd be great. HOwever time-frame would probably not be as fast as late september, even under the best conditions, buying a boat in 2 weekends seems rushing it, when you consider surveying, going over it, getting first impression, and so on.

I saw the boat, gave it some thought, and said to myself "this is hte most appealing boat in my price range yet. I wonder if i bought it how would I go about getting it home" as I lay in bed that night. My biggest concern was simply what to do at night. keep sailing, not high on my priority list, I'd feel more comfortable waiting for dawn to break. So I wondered how safe it was to sleep, and thus, this posting. It was not me saying "i'm going to get a boat, sail out 5-7 miles, drop anchor, and go to sleep". I was only looking for the general consensus.
09-18-2010 10:17 PM
Maxboatspeed
Questions/answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by nasomi View Post
I was planning on 4 days for the trip, but alloted a maximum of 7. Shorter the better, preferably, but not looking to kill myself running around the clock.
I'm interested and want to help you consider stuff. I'd like to give you the advice your looking for. Also, I'd like to know more about the boat and planned voyage. Deal? I am sincere and have...Uh, I guess experience is the best word I can think of.
Anyway -
I get that your looking at a '63 ketch? 37'? LOA or LWL? I only know of "Westlawn" as a design school. I wonder about the boat. Material, builder, how many of them were built. I'm just curious.
I think you're telling me you will be the owner. I think you're telling me that you intend to sail doublehanded, day and night, 300ish miles, ME to NJ, late Sept., a trusted capt., you'll be "mate", you'll hold a solo watch as the capt rests? You've never navigated, or been in charge of a boat this size? I think you said you've crewed sailboats offshore?
So... The other guy is the Master (for this voyage). You should understand what I'm sayin. Let me if you don't! You are the owner and will be in charge of a watch? Not only will you be in charge of the navigational watch, you'll have no watch partner? Is that right? I'm a little confused. I guess it sounds like you might intend to run at night as the "veteran" sleeps.
I want to help you to make prudent decisions. I can only do that if you tell me what you know and what you intend to do. I will give you advice, if you ask. I'm thinking you should ask.
Safe sailing!
Max
09-18-2010 09:59 PM
nasomi I don't doubt his competence. That's not why I ask. I ask because he shouldn't have to pick up after me, and displaying a bit of my own competence so the load isn't entirely on him.
09-18-2010 06:19 PM
davidpm
Quote:
Originally Posted by nasomi View Post
Still, I'd prefer to be the one at the helm when under way.
I've done a lot of boat moves lately and I too prefer that the least experienced person is at the helm most of the time. It keeps them out from under my feet. Unless of course you have a auto-helm but you can pretend it is broken.

The situational awareness that includes, navigation and watching for hazards, preparing for the next process, checking out funny noises etc is best done by someone who has done it before and is not tied to the helm.

You are getting a lot of good advise and a variety of opinions. The reality of the deal is that if you buy a boat you already know you are not qualified to handle the boat by yourself and plan on bringing your friend. Now ideally you trust this friend enough that any questions such as should we go forward, should we anchor, should we sleep etc will be decided by him. He is after all the sailor in the family. If you are asking your questions here for background information that is great. If you are asking because you doubt your friends competence, or physical ability, that of course is a problem. Depending on the rig sailing a boat like you are talking about may be a significant physical process.

Your friend being a good sailor may, and it is very possible, not be comfortable taking such a trip effectively by himself with a greenhorn and may insist on another competent sailor aboard. Depends on the boat, the people and the route and weather etc. etc.

In short keep asking questions but trust your friend if he is trustworthy.
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