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...So, either one of three things happen here: 1) this is a lark that will never come to fruition....

...I'm going with ... you never do it.

Considering that the original poster came on here over a week ago, posted this one question, and hasn't seemed to have even come back to read the responses, much less comment, I'd say he never was very serious.
 

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I have not sailed since I was a youngster and recently decided that I might want to take up sailing as I near retirement and eventually do whatever ocean sailing I was comfortable with. I used to jump into new hobbies with both feet but as I have grown somewhat wiser with age I realized that this was something that would require a potentially lengthy education before setting out. I plan to spend between 2 - 3 years taking extensive classes in sailing and navigation including celestial before even thinking about venturing off alone in a sizeable boat.

So when I saw KGS's post, I was curious what advice he would get from members. Mikel 1 and Midwesterner's replies were what I would hope to see, polite and encouraging but with some sage advice and temperance. Ajax MD and svHyLyte however were not. Their replies are typical of guys who think they have seen and done it all. Yes, KGS is a bit overcharged in his enthusiasm and has far to go but I doubt that Ajax MD and svHyLyte just poped out of the womb as able bodied seamen. Their attitude reminds me of the cocky guys I used to have jump out of bed and go out at night to pick out of the water or tow back when I was at a SAR station in the USCG, usually for something foolish they should never have tried or could have prevented had they planned a little better.
Why not try to encourage people and give them some direction rather than mock them. I apologize if my directness has offended other members. When I came on tonight I did not imagine this as my first post.
 

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Maybe so Midwesterner, but if I had received some of the replies that KGS got, I probably would have gone elsewhere for help as well.
 

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I was in the same (sail)boat as you a few months back; never sailed and decided to buy a boat. I flew down to Florida to pick it up and ended up spending a few weeks on the hard getting all of the immediate items repaired. Went in the water and sailed in the ICW for 160 miles; decided I was ready to try for open water. **** myself leaving the St Luce inlet. Turned around, parked the boat and went home (Minnesota). Went back the next week and headed out of the Fort Pierce Inlet. Kept the pants clean this time but came back shortly.

Thing is... I don't know if water breaking over the bow, the boat rolling and pitching, and my mast taking a drink is normal or if I am getting myself into some situation that I can't get myself out of.

I've decided, now that I know my boat some, I'm going to hire an experienced captain to go out into the blue for my first time with me. At least then I will really know if I'm being a chicken or it's time to mayday.

That being said, I haven't felt more alive since buying my boat and setting off (to the marina, haha). If that is your passion, do it. There are a lot of dicks on the internet so take what they say as you would a grain of salt. The best and most helpful people you will find are at the marinas. Pick up a mooring ball. Make sure you join them for coffee in the morning and happy hour at night. Most of these guys are waiting for a weather window and more than happy to talk and give advice to guppy's like us in the mean time. You will never learn to sail via youtube.

Good luck to you and be safe.
 

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Thing is... I don't know if water breaking over the bow, the boat rolling and pitching, and my mast taking a drink is normal or if I am getting myself into some situation that I can't get myself out of.
Well, from all of the sailing videos I've watched "...water breaking over the bow, the boat rolling and pitching..." all of that can be a part of a normal day of sailing. All until you got to the part about the mast going in the water. That sounds like you were over canvassed and should have reduced or reefed your sails significantly before it came anywhere close to that.

The sailors with actual experience will weigh in on this soon, I'm sure.
 

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...Thing is... I don't know if water breaking over the bow, the boat rolling and pitching, and my mast taking a drink is normal or if I am getting myself into some situation that I can't get myself out of.

I've decided, now that I know my boat some, I'm going to hire an experienced captain to go out into the blue for my first time with me. At least then I will really know if I'm being a chicken or it's time to mayday.

Good luck to you and be safe.

Here are a couple of good articles on reducing sails in heavy winds.

I have successfully used these techniques for every cruise I have taken in my armchair in my living room.


http://sailingmagazine.net/article-591-sailing-under-control.html

http://sailing.about.com/od/learntosail/a/Sail-Adjustments-For-Strong-Winds.htm
 

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Well, from all of the sailing videos I've watched "...water breaking over the bow, the boat rolling and pitching..." all of that can be a part of a normal day of sailing. All until you got to the part about the mast going in the water. That sounds like you were over canvassed and should have reduced or reefed your sails significantly before it came anywhere close to that.

...
Agreed.
 

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I've decided, now that I know my boat some, I'm going to hire an experienced captain to go out into the blue for my first time with me.
Imho do not hire a "captain". Hire an instructor.

You are the captain, inexperienced, yes, but you need to be in command.

If you hire a captain they will be in charge... and may treat you like a child.

Hire someone who fully appreciates your position and precedes with you on that basis.
Then you will learn more and the excitement will be enhanced :)


Mark
 

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Hello experienced sailors,

I've got this crazy idea of doing some solo-oceancrossings. I've lived on an adventure on land travellling the world the last two years, and now I want to do it at sea.

I can feel that I would love start sailing, but I've never been aboard a sailboat. I've watched hundreds of sailing videos on youtube and I have to do something like this as the adventurer i am.

I'm thinking of buying a 30 foot boat. Nothing fancy.

Is it possible for a total beginner to just buy a 30 foot boat with OK equipment for about $10k and begin sailing singlehanded?
I had similar thoughts - I've never been over Niagara Falls in a barrel, and was wondering if it was possible to get a barrel for less than $100 bucks and do it.....

Seriously though, I bought a 35' sailboat and crossed the Pacific with my wife. There were some 5 day solo legs through reef strewn waters (e.g. Tonga to Fiji) and it was a challenge. I had sailing experience prior, but not crossing an ocean. Would I do it with no sailing experience after watching hundreds of YouTube videos - NO! Absolutely unequivocally NO. Even after 3 years of preparation and outfitting a spartan 35 footer there were many essential things I didn't know and should have.

The other members had the best approach. GO SAILING, take some ASA courses in Navigation and at least coastal cruising. Go to seminars (and take the Pardees with a pinch of salt), crew on boats, learn and learn more. YouTube is not reality. You may be a world land traveler but that does not directly translate to a blue water sailor. Luck and hope are not a plan, unless you want to go over the falls in a barrel....
 

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I was being a bit over dramatic about the mast being in the water. Not to distract from the OP, but my point was that it's a lot different out there from what you see on Sailing La Vagabond. The videos don't give the power of the sea justice. Don't be afraid to take it slow and ask for advice.
 

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I was being a bit over dramatic about the mast being in the water. Not to distract from the OP, but my point was that it's a lot different out there from what you see on Sailing La Vagabond. The videos don't give the power of the sea justice. Don't be afraid to take it slow and ask for advice.

There is one of his episodes on La Vagabond where he discusses that very issue about his videos. He apologizes for not showing all of the realities of sailing and making it look too easy.

He says it's not their intention to mislead people. He explains that, when they are fighting a storm in rough seas, they don't usually think to take the time to turn on the camera because they are too busy managing the boat.

In that episode he added some footage with a fixed mount camera as they were battling through a night passage in rough weather and seas. Then he talked about how they arrived in port the next morning absolutely exhausted.

If you read Tania Aebi's book, Maiden Voyage, she admits that she was not fully prepared for her solo circumnavigation trip when she left New York. She made her trip before GPS technology and took her Celestial Navigation course while she was working nights. She was half asleep during most of her course and didn't understand that celestial navigation required multiple sightings to get a triangulation.

She really learned to sail during her voyage. But I don't think she recommends that most people do it that way. She later started a sailing school for women.

I believe that it was John Rousmaniere, author of Fastnet: Force 10, who cautioned people not to follow the example of the handful of people who have written books about setting off to sea to learn to sail. He points out that these are the people who got lucky and made it back to write a book. He points out that there are many people who have tried it and didn't write a book, because they didn't make it back.
 

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Mast in the water? Never happens...
Imagine that you intended to add
;-)
to your post.

Of course smackdown's happen, but my point was that, if this new sailor was seeing his mast hit the water, he either was out in wind and seas that were extreme, or he had too much canvas up.

He didn't indicate that the wind and seas seemed too extreme. He acknowledged that his hunch was, that he didn't manage his boat and sails properly, which sounds like the most logical explanation.
 

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I was in the same (sail)boat as you a few months back; never sailed and decided to buy a boat. I flew down to Florida to pick it up and ended up spending a few weeks on the hard getting all of the immediate items repaired. Went in the water and sailed in the ICW for 160 miles; decided I was ready to try for open water. **** myself leaving the St Luce inlet. Turned around, parked the boat and went home (Minnesota). Went back the next week and headed out of the Fort Pierce Inlet. Kept the pants clean this time but came back shortly.
I took a similar path two years ago...came down from Minnesota after too many years freezing my *** off!

Bought a sailboat sitting in a field at Indian Town and worked on it over the Summer. At the end of October I made the trip down the river and out the inlet....I was very lucky to have the perfect day to do so. Small seas, NE wind at 10-15Kns...made it down to Lake Worth after two days of perfect sailing. The next weekend I took it out the Lake Worth inlet without regard to sea state....5-8 seas coming over the bow...mast passing 45degrees while taking breaking seas on the beam...trying to turn tail and head back to the inlet. Sea state over the Winter months is pretty rough here most of the time....the Summer has many more "perfect" sailing days. It takes a lot of patience to wait for that acceptable window in the Winter, especially if you want to cross the Gulf Stream and head to the Bahamas!

Now I know better...haul the boat and work on it during the nice "cool" winter months. Enjoy smooth seas and delightful sailing in the Summer!
 

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Imho do not hire a "captain". Hire an instructor.

You are the captain, inexperienced, yes, but you need to be in command.

If you hire a captain they will be in charge... and may treat you like a child.

Hire someone who fully appreciates your position and precedes with you on that basis.
Then you will learn more and the excitement will be enhanced.

Mark
My experience supports what Mark says above. I did my 5-day cruise and learn vacation with an instructor. She was great. She interviewed me prior to sailing to find out what my goals were.

She made it clear that, if all I wanted to do was sit back and drink beer, she would sail for us. On the other hand, if my goal was to learn to sail myself, she would throw me into every situation I was willing to take on.
I asked for the latter situation and she did. There were times when I stumbled and faltered and struggled but she left me alone and offered only verbal assistance.

Our boat was a charter. We met up with a flotilla one evening and there was a family that had just bought a Hunter 50 which was a big jump up from their last boat. They had hired an instructor from the same sailing school who was helping them tweak their sailing skills with the larger boat.

My Instructor was very kind and never made me feel inadequate. She was even careful not to "out" me as a newbe in front of others in case I might feel embarrassed for some reason.. On our first stop to a marina she had me skipper the boat entirely while she stood at my side to quietly offer advice if needed. When the marina's dock staff, who caught our lines, said, "okay good job", they were surprised and very encouraging when I said, "Thank you, that's only my 4th time pulling into a slip and this is only my third day of sailing experience." Everybody congratulated me and gave me great encouragement.
 
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