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I may be crazy, but here is my plan.
I had this dream that I wanted to sail around the world with my 2 boys (10 & 11) before they were too old and left for college. At the time I had a girlfriend that shared the dream, so we bought a 50'' ferro-cement ketch (in wonderful condition). Since then she has had to back out and I moved to California (from NC). I am still planning on leaving in October of 2003, but I now have a small problem (OK a few).
1) I have limited sailing experience and with my boat 3000 miles away, limited chance to practice.
2) How do you go about finding competent crew for a trip like this?

I guess those are the main problems. I know some people will try to talk me out of going or into waiting, and they may be right or wrong, but we are going to leave regardless and have the experience of our lives. It may take us 4 years (as planned) or 10 years to go around, but we will make it one way or another. Everyone "out there" seems to have the same advice...Just Go. So I am going to heed that advice. I am just looking for some advice on how I can best accomplish this.
Thanks for listening.

Bill
 
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Probably the first step is to sell the boat you have and that could easily take a year of more. 50 feet is too long and too heavy for a small crew and a couple kids to handle easily. Looking at something more like 38 to 40 feet. In that size range you can single hand around with only the kids to stand watch while you catch some necessary sleep. It sure beats paying a crew to go along and free crews tend to be pretty unreliable, especially if you don''t know much yet.

If you don''t follow the advise to sell your boat, call Robert Eberle, who is one of the most through and knowledgeable marine surveyors that I have met and who also lives in Oriental, North Carolina. Have him do a detailed top to bottom survey of the boat. This will literally take days on a boat that size and have him put together a list of what it would take to get your boat ready for a circumnavigation.

In the mean time, buy yourself a 24 or 25 foot fin keel performance keelboat and go sailing and cruising every spare minute that you can for the first year. This will teach you a lot about sail trim, boat handling and what to do when all hell breaks loose out there.

Put together a list of skills that you will need to have to go around the world. Minimally this would include; Boat husbandry, Customs and country entry proceedures, Electical and Engine trouble shooting and maintenance, First aid, Food procurement and preparation, Foreign language skills, Long distance money management, Navigation, Rigging, Routing, Sorm tactics, Weather and so on. Then break these into more detail.

You only have two years and four months to learn all of this stuff. Set up a schedule as to what you will learn, set up a logical sequence, prioitze the information and then stick to that schedule.

Those items that effect how you boat will be equipped need to be early in your process so that you can be planning the work that will be necessary to accomplish prepare the boat and finding sources for the materials that you will need.

At the end of the first year, sell the 24/25 footer and go to work prepping the real boat to go. It is the rare boat that does not need 6 months or more(if not a year or more) of preparation to be ready for a circumnavigation. Start listing and researching those items that you will need to put aboard.

Spend 3 or 4 months shaking everything out. It is so much easier to buy things in your own home waters than in some strange land.

Of course doing all of that in two years and 4 months does not sound realistic.

Good luck
Jeff
 

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ChapterOne:

You got some great advice from Jeff, tho'' I don''t agree with all of it, and want to either add to or reinforce a few thoughts...
1. It''s great to ''hold the dream'' but you have to walk the talk: if you''re serious about such a HUGE commitment, which you seem willing to acknowledge you don''t have the experience to comprehend yet, then what are you doing in CA with your boat in NC?! I''m not quite as willing as Jeff to suggest your boat is the wrong size - we''ve just been cruising with an older couple on a 45'' ferro cutter, and he had polio (I think) in his lower legs...so I can''t say it''s impossible for a Dad & 2 teen sons to handle the boat. But while the survey is a ''must'', the surveyor can''t tell you what you three are capable of...and let''s face it, right now your 2 sons aren''t capable of much simply due to size, strength & skill deficiencies.
2. Jeff''s ''work list'' of things you need to do to get ready is fine, altho'' I suggest that some categories (understanding immigration & entry procedures, the legal & logistical stuff of foreign countries) is not much of a hurdle & the advice you pick up along the way (via SSB nets, others you share an anchorage with) will be more current & more practical. But I think the bigger issue is that it appears you can not develop such a list on your own right now...which leads to the puzzle of how you can commit to something you can''t yet comprehend.

It''s all well & good to be excited about the prospect of cruising. But especially if your time frame is so short, you need to begin either cruising your boat (even a weekend cruise will present you with some weather, an anchoring drill, the need to fix lunch underway, etc.) on some boat *right now*.

IMO forget about buying yet another (smaller) boat for initial skill building. It''s a sensible idea but will just extend your timetable. Your ferro boat - or a replacement boat, which you really should consider - sails, too. Use it!

Along with skill building, you can not overestimate the amount of time you will want to have to a) become familiar with the boat''s systems, performance & weak points, let alone the time it will take to ID mods to the boat, gear to be shopped for & then added, and then adjusted or repaired or replaced due to subsequent experience with the boat. I''d encourage you to go back and reread Jeff''s comments on this topic. He is right on the mark.

Bottom line: You aren''t in a position yet to know whether this idea makes sense for you & your sons; there are many rewarding adventures you three could be committing to, this isn''t the only one. But if you''re initially serious, then turn off the computer, call the movers (household or boat), and get going ''cause the clock is ticking. My suggestion? Ramp down the goal a few notches, commit to doing a Chesapeake, Intracoastal Waterway & Bahamas cruise - an absolutely wonderful experience for kids and parents alike, and a good training ground for future cruising - and then decide about bigger steps. You''ve got far better odds of this less agressive goal, yet it''s congruent with your long-term desires. Oh, and check that ferro''s draft - it may be just one more reason why you''ve got more boat than you need (or ultimately will want).

Jack
 

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It sure is hard to circumnavigate without "experience" and "a 38 to 40 foot boat" and a "survey"... but it's impossible without BALLS.

Just do it.
 

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Tager—

I seriously doubt that they much care, since the post you're replying to is almost EIGHT YEARS OLD... and if they left on a circumnavigation and haven't finished it by now, they're on an island in the South Pacific drinking Mai Tais with grand children running around—seeing as the boys would be 18 & 19, and they start young on them islands.
 

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The OP had me at his first 4 words...... I may be crazy ......
 
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