What to learn and prepare for the voyage? - SailNet Community
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What to learn and prepare for the voyage?

I intend to circumnavigate with my wife.
I will be in the market for a 42 cat within 2 years. I’ve got about 60k for the down payment. I have investments, pension, and rental for income. I am trying to learn what I can while I am still a landlubber and have a good job. We will be about 52/56 years old when we begin. What should I learn or read up on?
• I’ve sailed for about 4 years.
• Chartered a lagoon 44 from US to Bahamas and bashed bad seas and dragging anchors.
• Lived on my own C&C MkII 30’ 1988 sailboat for a year, and maintained it fully by myself. Installed refrigeration, diesel repairs, electrical, etc. I can live in small spaces.
• Have RV’d for decades and love to travel and see new places and people. I have been to many foreign countries.
• I can just about fix anything! AC, DC, mechanical, electrical, diesel engines, refrigeration, etc.
• I’m pretty educated and have tons of common sense.
• I have been learning about route planning.
• I’m studying about marine weather.
• Gave up doing celestial navigation.
• My wife is learning first aid and cooking.
• Took ASA classes and navigation courses.
• Working on how to provision.
• Already downsizing our house and goods.
• I need to figure out how to pay bills and manage money while off the grid.
• I do not plan to keep my house in New Mexico. I will not move back there anyway.
Anything else I should be working on?
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1988 C&C 30MkII used as a live aboard in MD. Sailing experience: Started 2014; 6-mo on Hobbie Cat Wave 13', 1 year on a Potter P15 sailboat, and ASA 101,103/104 classes. Power boater for 20+ years.
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post #2 of 9 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: What to learn and prepare for the voyage?

Golly, I am gunna have my butt bitten saying this...

There is nothing you need to learn before you go. You will pick it up along the way.

What is best to study up on is the exciting stuff: The places you are going to! Their history, culture, geography etc. Then when you arrive you will be able to enjoy the new land and people even more.
Buy the book: Identifying Whales and Dolphins. Also theres Coral Reef Fishes (1 book does the whole world). Also have a look for a book of maritime birds - I dont have one and would like one.

If you are leaving from the USA East Coast the first big stop off is the Caribbean Islands. Being there a year is easy. Chandelrys are huge, boat workers excellent. That trip down from the US (via Bahamas or direct) is your shakedown cruise. That will give you the experience to know what upgrades you want on your boat. Do them in the Caribbean, not at home before you leave.
Some people spend years 'outfitting' their boat after purchase and then find they have totally bought the wrong stuff because the *think* they know... so wait until after your first long passages because then you *will* know

Other advice is not to read any books about shipwrecks, sail boat disasters, survival stories etc etc etc. They are usually all just scary stuff that hinders your mind instead of enhancing your mind.

A tropical downwind circumnavigation is a truly wonderful, easy, enjoyable non-scary experience.................... However, between now and when you go everyone will try to put the fear of .... into you. Don't listen to them!

Plan of action --> Buy Boat --> Get on board --> Sail South --> When you know the boat excellently then do your upgrades/projects --> Continue cruising at a slow pace forever!

Mark
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Notes on a Circumnavigation:
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Re: What to learn and prepare for the voyage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Golly, I am gunna have my butt bitten saying this...

There is nothing you need to learn before you go. You will pick it up along the way.

What is best to study up on is the exciting stuff: The places you are going to! Their history, culture, geography etc. Then when you arrive you will be able to enjoy the new land and people even more.
Buy the book: Identifying Whales and Dolphins. Also theres Coral Reef Fishes (1 book does the whole world). Also have a look for a book of maritime birds - I dont have one and would like one.

If you are leaving from the USA East Coast the first big stop off is the Caribbean Islands. Being there a year is easy. Chandelrys are huge, boat workers excellent. That trip down from the US (via Bahamas or direct) is your shakedown cruise. That will give you the experience to know what upgrades you want on your boat. Do them in the Caribbean, not at home before you leave.
Some people spend years 'outfitting' their boat after purchase and then find they have totally bought the wrong stuff because the *think* they know... so wait until after your first long passages because then you *will* know

Other advice is not to read any books about shipwrecks, sail boat disasters, survival stories etc etc etc. They are usually all just scary stuff that hinders your mind instead of enhancing your mind.

A tropical downwind circumnavigation is a truly wonderful, easy, enjoyable non-scary experience.................... However, between now and when you go everyone will try to put the fear of .... into you. Don't listen to them!

Plan of action --> Buy Boat --> Get on board --> Sail South --> When you know the boat excellently then do your upgrades/projects --> Continue cruising at a slow pace forever!

Mark
^ Listen to this guy.

Mark might be too humble to say it so I will say it for him.

He did exactly what you wish to do and he did it mostly as he describes above.

My advice is similar.

Buy the boat and go sailing. Try not to bite off more than you can chew to begin with and figure the rest out as you go

'Life is either a daring adventure or nothing' - Helen Keller


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Re: What to learn and prepare for the voyage?

Thanks guys. Feeling better about the jump to cruising.
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Re: What to learn and prepare for the voyage?

Serpa4, Im in about the same exact spot you are in, with about a 2.5 year time span before launch. I envision following the same suggestion as above- sail the caribbean for a bit and get used to the boat, refit, and head off. Nice to see that thinking confirmed. Some of my "hard questions" at this point are:

-I will be selling my house, since I dont expect to be land based for a while, once I get the big boat. But there are some things I really dont want to get rid of. I have a ton of automotive tools. Im a big car enthusiast. I may have a cool Porsche I cant part with. Family items, etc. Anyway, trying to think of options other than a storage locker. Those things are a rip-off.

-I need an alternate plan if I end up buying a boat on the west coast. I guess just go up and down the coast. I want to start, after the carib, in the pacific anyway. So maybe it doesn't matter. But the caribbean just seems like such an easy place to learn and get comfortable with the boat.

Im sure it will all work its self out in the end.
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Re: What to learn and prepare for the voyage?

One minor point, you both should learn first aid, (not just your wife) and have a good medical book on board as well as an advanced medical kit.

Otherwise it sounds like between what you know and what is said above I have nothing to add. As far as cheap storage, if you are sure that you will come back and want all that stuff, you may be able to rent someone's garage or barn. I did that for a year back in the 1980's. It was about half the price of the commercial units.

Jeff
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Re: What to learn and prepare for the voyage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrispyCringle View Post
I need an alternate plan if I end up buying a boat on the west coast. I guess just go up and down the coast. I want to start, after the carib, in the pacific anyway. So maybe it doesn't matter. But the caribbean just seems like such an easy place to learn and get comfortable with the boat.
Heading down to Mexico and cruising the Sea of Cortez would make a great shakedown cruise if you end up buying on the west coast.
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Re: What to learn and prepare for the voyage?

Have a backup plan....
Change calls the tune that we all dance to.
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Re: What to learn and prepare for the voyage?

I would suggest picking up a copy of Royce's Sailing Illustrated. It is by far the best, most fun, most informative and most likely, cheapest book on sailing, on the market. I have been using it for more than 50 years to teach people the basics on through to things like anchoring and spinnaker rigging and handling. No preaching here, just good info laid out in a fun format.
I would also recommend you pay cash for the boat. Making payments while cruising and keeping such a high insurance policy can cost you dearly if you end up with a big repair bill along the way. Plus the insurance rates are likely to skyrocket on you, messing up your budget.
Just a thought. There aren't nearly as many cats long distance cruising as monos, so you might want to sail a few monos before you absolutely decide on a boat. Both have their plusses and minuses and it couldn't hurt to be completely familiar with both before you actually put out your hard earned cash on a vessel on which you will surely not recoup your investment.
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