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post #1 of 50 Old 01-01-2017 Thread Starter
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Alright, I hope I don't get clobbered here

I know this is a long shot but I would like to ask this community if they think I might be too old to start sailing and living on a boat as a useful crew member. I am a 67 year old woman, with no sailing experience BUT, I have lived around and been on many boats my whole life. I am healthy and live a pretty holistic lifestyle. I have mostly sailed in the SF bay and lived in and around Sausalito, Ca for the last 40 years. Presently I live in Florida. I am not a deck hand and almost always was on board as a guest. It has always been my dream -however- I never had the opportunity to live it because I got married and raised a child who passed on while in college. Presently in my life, I am a widow and thinking that this might be the time to take a look at life at sea. Of course I would have to find a boat owner that would allow an older newbie to learn the ropes. This could be wishful thinking on my part and that is where I need your community advice. It is either live my dream if I can, or just live out my life on land waiting like everyone else for the end to come. Do you think I am over the hill and perhaps should just give up this idea?
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post #2 of 50 Old 01-01-2017
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Re: Alright, I hope I don't get clobbered here

Allow me to state my opinion: You Go Girl!! I'm 68, so 67 looks kind of young (just kidding). You seem to have decent health, and a great attitude. Sailing is definately a sport/lifestyle that can be addapted to a variety of ages and abilities. Your "Can do" attitude will allow you to find just the right fit for you. God Bless, and wishing you to absolute best in this New Year. Fair winds and following seas (as my Dad used to say).
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post #3 of 50 Old 01-01-2017
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Re: Alright, I hope I don't get clobbered here

'The End' is coming, regardless.
I think it's sad to meet it when bored....and simply waiting.

Physical abilities will determine if you're monohull, multihull or trawler material.
Go with what you can do...comfortable doing.

I see too many people sitting around, relegating themselves to the Pearly Gates Waiting Room.

Never retire from life.

Start step 1...or it will never happen...and just be one of those dreams....don't kid yourself.....be a winner.
Losing sucks...
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post #4 of 50 Old 01-01-2017
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Re: Alright, I hope I don't get clobbered here

Find a local sailing club and start attending the meetings. I am in Ft Myers, and there is one here. Sailors are always looking for crew, and while experience helps, it is not the only criteria. I don't suggest that you crew for a race, unless you like getting yelled at, but you should be able to tag along on a cruise. I have trained more than my share of cruisers through membership in a sailing club.

If you go out on someone else's boat as a guest, bring food, snacks and beverage for AT LEAST yourself and the skipper.

Taking either US Sailing's Basic Keel Boat, or ASA's 101 would give you a leg up, and some valuable experience.


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Re: Alright, I hope I don't get clobbered here

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
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Taking either US Sailing's Basic Keel Boat, or ASA's 101 would give you a leg up, and some valuable experience.
Take a series of sailing courses for sure.
You will enjoy it...and then you're 'serious'.
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post #6 of 50 Old 01-01-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Alright, I hope I don't get clobbered here

Thank you all so much. It sounds like the sailing courses are the way to go for step number 1. I am close to the east coast of Florida in the central area near Daytona so I should be able to find some courses here. I am a very good cook and that might come in useful to someone. I will check out the local sailing clubs as well this is fantastic advice. I very much appreciate your replies.
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Re: Alright, I hope I don't get clobbered here

IIRC, there is an active sailing club in Daytona.
I anchored there a few nights a zillion years ago.
Biggest boat there at that time was maybe a 25
Hunter.
You need to get in some cockpit hours.
Nothing beats enthusiasm.
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post #8 of 50 Old 01-01-2017
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Re: Alright, I hope I don't get clobbered here

I'd like to second the idea (or third or fourth) that a good cook has a big edge. Bring lots of finger foods to share and you should be a sought after sailing crew. Yes, take the courses and up your skill set. Good luck!
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post #9 of 50 Old 01-01-2017
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Re: Alright, I hope I don't get clobbered here

There's a LOT more to being a liveaboard boat owner than just knowing how to move the boat around, be it under sail or power. If you are very well set economically, then the majority of the maintenance and repairs can be paid for. That only leaves the problem of finding reputable, capable repair and maintenance people wherever you travel, not an easy thing in itself. However, there are always things that fail underway, so you'll need some skills to deal with the most common ones.
I'm not trying to turn you off, just point out an often forgotten fact of boat ownership. There are a lot of systems that require maintenance and repair aboard boats.
The sailing is the easy part. It sure ain't rocket science. Anybody can learn to sail in about 40 hours of concentrated sailing. Another week or two for docking, anchoring, weather and navigation and you're off to the Bahamas or Hawaii, depending on which coast you live on. And all that's a lot more fun than changing the oil on the main engine and generator, just to name a couple of the less glamorous jobs that come up regularly.
So before you jump into the dream, check out the less fun aspects and see if you will be OK either learning to do these things or have the finances to have them done. I have been doing this stuff since I was 12 so I've got a pretty good handle on what's what. At 70, I've a much younger partner to help with a lot of the maintenance and repairs because, quite frankly, I don't have enough desire to do the sailing, if I had to do all the maintenance and repairs myself.
Another option for you might be to learn the sailing and seamanship stuff and then travel to places and rent a bareboat to sail there. No maintenance or repairs, just the fun part.
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post #10 of 50 Old 01-01-2017
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Re: Alright, I hope I don't get clobbered here

As a fellow mid-60's year old who sails races my 38 footer single handed, and whose father sailed into his late 80's I don't see why you would not learn to sail at your age.

When my mom was single in her late 60's she would wear a necklace with a sailboat charm hoping to meet fellow sailors. She did and she married him. She and Jack had a number of sailboats almost until the end of her life.

And while I agree that sailing lessons are a good idea, reading can also be helpful, but there are also people who can never learn to sail.

Lastly sailing can be a physical sport. Exercising and such balance improving regimes like yoga can be very helpful as well.

Good luck,
Jeff


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