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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cal29 needs 2 people, experience preferred, to sail on May 25 from Cambridge, MD to Bocas Del Toro, Panama. We can make port whenever we feel like it.

I can be reached at wmartin78758 at yahoo.com.

Thanks for looking.
 

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Seems like kind've a loose plan for an adventure of this sorts. You might provide a little more information for others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My boat is a 1973 Cal 29. It's been on the hard at the marina in Cambridge, MD for 2 years. In Sept 2014, I, along with my trusty wooden mallet, tapped the deck and the hull exhaustively No Bubbles or blisters or soft spots were found. I inspected the chain plates and the shrouds at the chain plates. No evidence of unraveling, corrosion, or loose chain plate to deck damage. The forward port cleat had been ripped out of the deck. It's temporarily sealed until I can patch it and replace the tie down cleat in early May before sailing. Someone had removed the head toilet and replaced it with a porta potty which will be removed and a new toilet installed. I have a 12v potable water pump new in the box that I'm bringing to replace the hand pump at each fixture.

The VHF radio works well from the hard. The Atomic 4 started easily last September. The shaft bear through the hull had been leaking so I need to replace the seal and rubber boot, then reconnect and balance the shaft connection to the transmission. The repair will be on the hard; the balancing in the water. I inventoried the sails and they all are in good condition. The mainsail was only partially raised because of the boat being on the hard. I have not inspected the antenna, top shroud connections, or lights because of the boat being on the hard. One Danforth anchor, chain and rode.

PFD's are there along with flares and portable horn. I will purchase 2 inflatable ocean 2 person kayaks for use as dinghies. I have a depth finder and Garmin GPS unit that I need to mount. I have two laptops with GPS. One Laptop is a military waterproof unit with built-in GPS, touch screen, and chart plotter with good digital charts from Chesapeake Bay to the Yucatan Peninsula.

Decent V-berth, settee in main cabin, and 2 aft berths on either side of the engine. I had one crew member lined up and we were going to both take sailing classes (I haven't sailed since my Hobie 14 on Oahu in 1977). But since neither of us would have had any decent recent experience, she was talked out of going. I have a friend down the road from me in Volcan, Chiriqui who has experience also. She wants to fly up to Baltimore and help crew. My Dell laptop has a 17" screen and I'm bringing an external flat 20" monitor. I have bout 400 movies on the Dell's external hard drive to relieve monotony.

The plan is to do sea trials in Chesapeake Bay during the second week of May, then head to the Atlantic and cruise south. Stops along the way as needed for water and any emergencies. Last stop in the Keys, then on down through the Islands and into the Caribbean. Head for Bocas Del Toro, Panama as destination. In the near future (as soon as I replenish my funds), transit the Canal then south to Ecuador then West. The cruise from Maryland to Panama is expected to take 3 weeks to 1 month.

Let me know what you think. Besides email, wmartin78758 at yahoo.com, I can be reached by Panama cel: 011-507-6277-9589.
 

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Only because I'm bored. I will restrict my comments to just a few points;

1. If you sailed in 1977 your age is north of 50. Not a deal-breaker but you are not a bullet proof teenager.

2. Your boat is 42 years old. Have the chain plates, rigging been REPLACED? If so, when.

3. The trip is 1700 +/-, do you have a reliable autopilot. Hand steering, even with three crew, sucks.

4. Cal 29 carries 20 gals of water. Even with 2 Jerry Jugs, that's 10 gals per person. 5 days at 2 gals per person per day.

5. Sounds like you have taken care of the electronics. This is a very common error of inexperienced cruisers. These are the LAST items you buy. Fix the things that will get you killed, first.

6. Two Ocean Kayaks, where do you plan to put these on a 29 ft sailboat. If you plan to tow them then the conversation is over.

7. Skip the 20" flat monitor, you won't be watching movies. You may be in one. The USCG have excellent video cameras on board their rescue Helos.

8. Have you taken those sailing classes you mentioned? Or done any offshore sailing as crew?

See, I can be nice, mostly. Keep us posted.

Gerry
 

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...

Let me know what you think. ...
I think you might want to spend the next two seasons making your boat seaworthy and learning how to sail. it sounds like you just bought this boat and you did your own survey?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do an awful lot of reading about sailing.

Actually, I am being advised on all aspects of the boat. It'll be as safe as anything out there. At 65 years of age, I want to live another 65; I'll never risk surfing Pipeline or Waimea Bay again but I'll surf up to head high any chance I get. I won't hang glide or sky dive any more, but I'll ride on a plane. I will not take unnecessary chances with my life or any other life on my watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think you might want to spend the next two seasons making your boat seaworthy and learning how to sail. it sounds like you just bought this boat and you did your own survey?
Thanks. I wish I had two seasons but my window is coming up. I had a friend with surveying and sailing experience help me on the survey/inspection. I know basics from my old Hobie 14 and the head high waves and tradewinds showed me it's not all smooth, glassy water. The boat will be seaworthy and though I will not be proficient as a sailor, I'll be able to take directions from someone who is.
 

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Martin, Don't let them squash your love of adventure or your dreams.

A couple things will go on here, One, "they get to flex a bit" every-time a newbie hops on the site, it gives a sense of power to have knowledge and experiance when they respond. They dont mean any harm and will teach you a great deal if you listen, in fact 5 or 6 years ago when I started much the same way you and many start out, As we reach out for help and comment we make the "cardinal sin" mistake, of offer them what we hope to do. We tell them our dream, our "PLAN"
Here is what they taught me is short order, "And I'm still using it now"
1) Do not leave the dock yet.
learn your boat and its systems. Not just how to use the systems, but what makes them tick. Learn how to repair them. You need to know every thru-Hull's condition. If you can stop encroachment of water. You need to inspect every valve on your boat, Water Fuel, gas, propane, water separator and make sure that the all wok smoothly if not replace or rebuild it.
2) They are somethings that we are not qualified to inspect. ie, Rigging instruments. engine and the like. Don,t be fooled. it could cost you your life.
3) Now how to sail by your self. Like the mention of the autopilot, you can not endure 2 or 3 days with something other than you driving the boat. What 4) what if's. This is the most important question that a sailor ask of him self. What if I lose my mast? What if I lose my engine? What if I start taking on water in a water intake to the engine? What if the Head over flows a floods the cabin? What if I have a lighten strike and loose all GPS, ST4000, auto pilot, VHF, and all you are left with is the cockpit compass? What if my sailing partner falls out of the boat and I never can find him?
5) how do you call for help? Distress, Safety and Urgency Calls.

Now, I, like you and many others have spent a long time reading and researching all this information, however knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom comes from practical application. That comes from doing.
that's what they taught me here. So here is what my plan turned after they spent time answering my questions and helping me figure out my new 34 year boat.
1 year plan: Move to the coast Buy a boat big enough to cruise in but small enough to single-hand
5 Year Plan: Learn all the systems on the boat and learn to sail "This boat" single-handed. Do some chartering in other boats and start doing over night trips.
10 year plan: find a way to bug out of corporate America and still have enough income to cruise with me and my wife. This for us will work out to $1,600 to $2,000 a month for us. That number will be different to everybody.

Keep it up and untie the lines. Take the na-sayer's with a grain of salt. Most of them don't sail anymore but do spend a great amount of time stopping leaks and getting the bird poop off the decks of their dreams.
Peace
 

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Thanks. I wish I had two seasons but my window is coming up. I had a friend with surveying and sailing experience help me on the survey/inspection. I know basics from my old Hobie 14 and the head high waves and tradewinds showed me it's not all smooth, glassy water. The boat will be seaworthy and though I will not be proficient as a sailor, I'll be able to take directions from someone who is.
Now, seriously, I'm worried about your safety. A 29 foot boat with an auxiliary engine is not the same, system-wise, as a Hobie. Not nearly. Also, you're asking for crew help from strangers. You're hoping those strangers are truthful and really have the experience that you lack. Do you have a plan for vetting them and ensuring that you aren't taking on some deadbeat who just wants to escape...whatever? Since you mentioned at some point replenishing your funds, I'm going to take a guess and assume that you're looking for unpaid crew? So, someone you've never met to essentially teach you how to sail, move your boat, be responsible for your boat, able to troubleshoot, fix things, tell you when things are going south...for free?
 
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Do you have an EPIRB, sat phone, life raft, means of getting weather forecasts offshore? If the answer to any of those is "no" or worse "what's that" stay in the Bay! A Cal 29 is not an offshore vessel. No means to carry adequate food fuel or water. Buy 3 tiller pilots. At least 2 will fail.
 

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It has always intrigued me... in the litigious USA...Do the owners of the Forum have any legal liability when they provide a platform for the recruiting of 'innocents' for a clearly dangerous and ill advised sea voyage while they monitor the whole process?

"Beware! this thread could be hazardous to your health!

Phil
 

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I'm generally a big supporter of getting off the dock and figure out your priorities as you shake things down.

I don't suggest that here.

People have circled the planet in pretty small boats. I don't infer the experience and skill for that to be wise in this case.

I ran the numbers for a Cal 29 from Cambridge MD to Bocas del Toro and came up with 33 days NON-STOP. Add stops for fuel, water, and provisions and some margin for weather and repairs and you're looking at six or seven weeks, not three or four.

Two people in a Cal 29 who start as strangers is concerning. Three is untenable.

Unless you are a very competent mechanic I am concerned about launching in a boat with an Atomic 4.

My suggestion is hold on to your dreams but find a way to pursue them that is more practicable. Sail down the Chesapeake and motor the ICW. Plan to spend a season in the Bahamas. From the Bahamas sail to Bermuda and back to the Chesapeake and with experience of your own outfit your boat for broader adventures if that remains your dream. You may retain your dream on a different boat.

Good luck.
 

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We have done the trip you are thinking about. We sail a Jeanneau DS40 and i can tell you it is not a sail in the Cheaspeake. We left from Miami around to the West coast of Florida and then down to Mexico and worked our way south. It is a long trip and as above I might suggest you try getting out of the Cheaspeake and down through the Bahamas and back for the first year and if that goes well then try venturing farther afield.

By going to the Bahamas you will learn what you don't know quickly and what your boat is prepared or not prepared for. And if you need to bale you are close enough to the USA to get back fairly easily.
 

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I agree on the engine point Mermaid Hunter, Unless you are a very competent mechanic I am concerned about launching in a boat with an Atomic 4.
 

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I am very impressed with the helpful and reserved responses. I thought this thread was going to turn into the first massacre of 2015. And please don't use this (my) post to pivot the topic in the wrong direction. My first sentence was typed with sincerity.
 

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No comment about your planned voyage. Several books that might be of interest is all of Nigel Calder's Books including the Mechanical and Electrical Manual and also the Cruising Handbook. A good read also if you have any time between preparation is A Voyage for Madmen by Nichols. It's about the Golden Globe race around the world that took place in the late 60's and gives details about the nine men who competed in that single handed non stop race. Good Luck
 
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