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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 09-21-2006
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Nice, a balance for a change. Both camps have truths to be gleaned but if you've only done fair weather chartering, I'd suggest the following:

1. Determine the boat to go to sea in (much to consider here) and buy it.

2. Outfit that boat and get it out in marginal weather to sharpen your skills.

3. Once you're comfortable with that level, take it out in worse conditions and practice some more.

4. Use the resources available to avoid nasty weather when ya do finally go.

5. When ya get caught in the crap (this will happen) fall back on what ya learned in steps 3 & 4.

This is a very abreviated list and I'm certain many of the more knowledgeable residents will chime in with additional info. Good luck with your endeavor.
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Old 09-21-2006
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By all accounts those children raised in circumstances like long term ocean cruising seem to benefit from the experience on a number of different levels. And, probably, the adult parents will have more anxieties and issues with the whole concept than the children will.

We've tried to live by the credo "you mostly regret the things you didn't try". I've tried some offshore, but the circumstances were not good and the experience was not terribly positive. I'd try it again given a better boat, crew etc etc.

But I would not discourage such an idea, and more power to those who pull it off.

However, at the risk of proving Surf's pre-emptive attempt to still the voices of reason, I would certainly suggest buying the boat and spending a few seasons learning her habits, shortcomings, systems and needs before heading offshore. Imagine finding a serious flaw somewhere, 4 - 5 days and 500 miles offshore in the first storm.... now what?
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Old 09-21-2006
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Circumnavigating is a wonderful and an achievable goal for many people PROVIDING that they understand and prepare for the many "challenges" of long-distance ocean sailing, and that they honestly assess their own skills and experience. Without knowing any more than you've revealed to us thus far, I'd say, "by all means, keep the goal of a circumnavigation in mind".

That said, I think the idea of setting forth on a circumnavigation without proper experience and equipment is just plain nuts. It's fine if you want to do this yourself, and put yourself at risk (though you may also inadvertently be putting other lives at risk among those who may have to rescue you). But to do this with children who don't have a say, and aren't able to make a choice, I think is the height of arrogance and stupidity.

Re: your adventuresome husband, every single day is an adventure when cruising. You don't have to cross an ocean to be adventurous.

Now, let's look at what's really doable. How about an intermediate goal of a few years of coastal and island-hopping cruising, with the kids, to gain experience and to prepare yourselves and your boat for the ultimate goal of a circumnavigation? Such a plan affords many opportunities to acquire the many skills required of a long-distance cruiser, gets the kids accustomed to shipboard life, keeps you near suppliers and yards and repair facilities and communications facilities and schools, and medical facilities, etc. It also affords the opportunity to work ashore as needed to add to the cruising kitty. And, it affords the chance to decide whether or not the larger goal is realistic and/or still a desirable one.

I've not circumnavigated in a boat myself, but have spent much of a lifetime abroad, including ocean sailing in many diverse locations. In recent years I've cruised from Maine to Grenada, and most places in between. My kids have often accompanied me, and have had extensive experience living and cruising aboard. Kids adapt quite quickly, especially if they're in a friendly environment (such as the Virgin Islands where the water is clear and warm).

In sum, by all means keep the dream alive. And take positive, achievable, reasonable, and responsible steps to achieve the dream just as fast as it feels right to do so.

Just my $ .02

Bill
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Old 09-21-2006
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Circumavigating with kids is a huge risk especially with your level of experience. Why not settle on a goal of CRUISING WITH KIDS in the interim and prepare yourself and vessel for a live aboard lifestyle and short coastal hops in good weather. Much safer...and when you gain experience and are sure you are ready...then you can try the circumnavigating route if you still want to.
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Old 09-21-2006
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Hi WannaSail14,

My wife and I sailed for a year with our 6 and 10 year old boys - plus our two big dogs! The entire trip, which began with an 8 month restoration project and ended with Hurricane Ivan, was unpredictable and unforgettable. Unlike you, based on your question about circumnavigation, we planned to sail for 2-3 years or until we decided to stop - no destination in mind. I agree with my friends on camaraderie, you don't need to set lofty goals, just get ready, have the whole family participate and set sail. When you're comfortable, go off shore. When you're more comfortable, cross oceans.

Have a great trip - you and your children will have memories to cherish forever based on all of the challenges you've overcame and the friends you've met. Be safe and live for the family and the adventure.

Sialia
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Hi All,

Thanks so much for all your insight and yes I have read Voyage of the Northen Magic, loved it. I guess we may be pushing ourselves, the reason we are is our oldest son is going to be 11 and if we didn't do it soon, he would not want to be stuck on a boat with his parents through his high school years. We were planning to move to Australia first and live on a boat there and sail. Then we wanted our kids to experience more travelling on teh sail boat and gain a world of experiences, so that is why were were thinking of changing our plans and so that they could all be with us. But maybe we should just go there and get experience and maybe not have the chance to do it with the kids, which is what my husband really wants to do but at what risk. Maybe it will be just something he and I will do ........
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Old 09-21-2006
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Here's my bet - if you don't do it now you never will. The decision is therefore - now or never because there will always be a reason not to go.
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Well, you need SOME experience before you set off on that.

You really have to be able to sail a wee bit, surely?

The first heavy weather you encounter is frightening enough without having someone aboard that has an idea how to tackle it and know when the ship is taking too much.
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Old 09-21-2006
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Web Stories

WannaSail -
Here's a web site produced by a family (older kids but) who are circumnavigating................
http://www.hackingfamily.com/

Canadian Family - I have not read this one
http://www.meriah.com/page002.htm

Sure you will finds parts that will provide some insight(s) into the Goal.

Choose from all sorts of Cruiser's experiences
http://www.cruiser.co.za/links1.asp

A few more that are not families:
http://www.outofbounds.com/

Older but
http://www.rayjardine.com/adventures...982-suka.shtml

Australia is a good jumping off point = access to various sailing conditions + a wide array of sailing resources & active sailing community.
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Old 09-21-2006
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There are a variety of good points that have been raised here. In addition to the voyage of Northern Magic, look up Liza Copeland. The Copelands did a roughly five year circumnavigation on a Beneteau First 38 with two (or possibly three) children. Liza has written several articles on Sailnet, which are still available (see link), as well as several books on cruising.

http://www.sailnet.com/collections/a...m?author_id=34
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