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Discussion Starter #1
We are about to set off with our new boat and novice skills to see the world for a while or forever. Yes we are novice sailors but we are taking it slow and gaining experience as we build up to more challenging locations. Starting off from Florida in September 2020 for destinations unknown. We would love to share parts of our journey with others and, if you have experience, always happy to learn everything we can.

PLEASE READ OUR PROFILE as it answers a lot of questions including Covid safety

We will probably start off in the Florida Keys and just see where we can go from there depending on Covid restrictions. So if you're looking to cruise for a few days to a week to start contact us and let's chat about it.
All walks of life welcome. If you read our profile you'll know if you're a good fit.

We are wrapping up our new boat purchase. Modern around 45 feet with all the simple luxuries and comforts of home. We like to live on a budget but we don't sacrifice the things that we love or the comforts of home for the sake of it. And we love tech so if your friend Alexa controls your entire home we will get along well!

We are new to this so, by all means, if you just have some tips for us we would love to hear from you also.

Just a note: We know everyone has their opinions and we love that you do. That said, we know some have strong opinions about novice cruisers just picking up anchor and setting a course for whatever is over the horizon. Let's have supportive constructive conversations about being newbies. If you're more inclined to shake your finger let's just not clutter up the forums :) Thank you! Can't wait to connect with all the cruisers out there living their dream, whatever that dream looks like for them.
 

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Welcome! Of course you don't know what you don't know. But to leave the dock you will have to "know" and that means learning. You can do it.. especially if you have native intelligence and some good manual skills. You learn from seeing... watching media these days.... reading.... books, articles, forums, blogs and from DOING and learning from mistakes. Try not to make serious mistakes! Plan plan plan before you do anything to or with your boat. Contemplate outcomes.

You'd be foolish to just toss the lines, raise the sails, flip the plotter on and head for the horizon without preparation. How much prep? That depends on many things.

Ask a lot of questions... no question is dumb or wrong. Build you confidence and skills. Respect the sea and don't get over confident.

There is so much to learn. Don't be daunted. The knowledge will make you a better person and sailor. You'll know when you have enough under your belt. All it take is time, smarts, skills, money and dedication. If you have them you can do it.
 

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I'm not trying to be dismissive or stop you sailing off into the sunset, but you should really consider delaying your trip until at least the middle of November. I doubt you'd like to begin your cruising lifestyle by going through a hurricane. It has already been one of the most active seasons on record and the forecast is for quite a few more storms before the end of the season.
Find a safe place to stay close to and putter around that area getting experience day sailing and short cruises. Good luck and by all means have fun.
 

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So where is a safe place to putter about...wyoming maybe
Just be aware and have good net/communication conection.
You are supposedly a very experienced captain, why not answer the question yourself?
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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So where is a safe place to putter about...wyoming maybe
Just be aware and have good net/communication conection.
I would guess Wyoming is one of the most dangerous states in a lot of stats. I don't know anyone to have succumbed to a hurricane, drowning here is not uncommon though, death by Grizzley Attack is also a possibility.
 

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I would guess Wyoming is one of the most dangerous states in a lot of stats. I don't know anyone to have succumbed to a hurricane, drowning here is not uncommon though, death by Grizzley Attack is also a possibility.
Or stomped by a bison
 

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I would guess Wyoming is one of the most dangerous states in a lot of stats. I don't know anyone to have succumbed to a hurricane, drowning here is not uncommon though, death by Grizzley Attack is also a possibility.
Or stomped by a bison
Or fried by the Yellowstone super volcano eruption.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm not trying to be dismissive or stop you sailing off into the sunset, but you should really consider delaying your trip until at least the middle of November. I doubt you'd like to begin your cruising lifestyle by going through a hurricane. It has already been one of the most active seasons on record and the forecast is for quite a few more storms before the end of the season.
Find a safe place to stay close to and putter around that area getting experience day sailing and short cruises. Good luck and by all means have fun.
We are taking it slow so by the time we get anywhere significant the hurricane season will hopefully be gone. Right now just looking for light sailing with a few safe harbors in site at all times. We figured even having to put around until hurricane season is over was better than starting on the west coast. Coming from San Francisco the water is cold and we wanted to learn some of the ropes where there is a lot more cruisers around like Florida. But yes, thank you for the comment. If we were any newer to this we might have sailed right off into the next one :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Welcome! Of course you don't know what you don't know. But to leave the dock you will have to "know" and that means learning. You can do it.. especially if you have native intelligence and some good manual skills. You learn from seeing... watching media these days.... reading.... books, articles, forums, blogs and from DOING and learning from mistakes. Try not to make serious mistakes! Plan plan plan before you do anything to or with your boat. Contemplate outcomes.

You'd be foolish to just toss the lines, raise the sails, flip the plotter on and head for the horizon without preparation. How much prep? That depends on many things.

Ask a lot of questions... no question is dumb or wrong. Build you confidence and skills. Respect the sea and don't get over confident.

There is so much to learn. Don't be daunted. The knowledge will make you a better person and sailor. You'll know when you have enough under your belt. All it take is time, smarts, skills, money and dedication. If you have them you can do it.
I've been sailing on and off for about 5 years and still amazed at how much I have to learn. It's been mostly day sailing which is why we wanted to start off in Florida where coastal cruising was better for us. My partner is new as of this year but it's even teaching me a lot watching him learn. Can't wait to get a lot more experience but not always looking forward to all the mistakes and touch and go experiences that it comes with. Slow and steady is the best we can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would guess Wyoming is one of the most dangerous states in a lot of stats. I don't know anyone to have succumbed to a hurricane, drowning here is not uncommon though, death by Grizzley Attack is also a possibility.
I've done the snow and bears. Ready to take my chances with the sharks this time.
 

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I've been sailing on and off for about 5 years and still amazed at how much I have to learn. It's been mostly day sailing which is why we wanted to start off in Florida where coastal cruising was better for us. My partner is new as of this year but it's even teaching me a lot watching him learn. Can't wait to get a lot more experience but not always looking forward to all the mistakes and touch and go experiences that it comes with. Slow and steady is the best we can do.
Welcome to sailnet from another novice. Sorry, I don't have any tangible advice for you. However, what you said here reminded me of one of my favorite sayings “you start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.” Despite all your training and preparation, luck is still going to play a role in your adventure...continue to use wisely.

Good luck with filing that experience bag!
 

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Best of luck and I hope you’ll continue to share your experiences here. The coast of FL can be a frustrating place to putter around. Few good inlets and many that can be challenging in the wrong conditions. The inter coastal can be fun for day sailing, but is shallow and narrow in most places, so not all boats are well suited. Locals are welcome to disagree and provide the OP with better direction.

Whatever you decide, don’t be cavalier about hurricane season. Sept is the bullseye. You need a firm plan on what you’ll do with the boat, if one is barreling down. You won’t outrun it and without being on someone’s haul list, in advance, residents will come first.
 
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Florida is not only not great cruising grounds.... but it takes an enormous amount of hurricane hits... Caribbean is closed from cruising because of Covd19. This is not the best time nor is FL the best place to fiddle about with a sailboat. Give this more thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Welcome to sailnet from another novice. Sorry, I don't have any tangible advice for you. However, what you said here reminded me of one of my favorite sayings “you start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.” Despite all your training and preparation, luck is still going to play a role in your adventure...continue to use wisely.

Good luck with filing that experience bag!
Thank you so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Florida is not only not great cruising grounds.... but it takes an enormous amount of hurricane hits... Caribbean is closed from cruising because of Covd19. This is not the best time nor is FL the best place to fiddle about with a sailboat. Give this more thought.
Not much choice because there are few sailboats to buy on the west coast that fit our needs. We plan to stick around here for a while and get our boat ready, get some experience and just see how things go. From Covid to weather there are a lot of changes happening every day.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Best of luck and I hope you’ll continue to share your experiences here. The coast of FL can be a frustrating place to putter around. Few good inlets and many that can be challenging in the wrong conditions. The inter coastal can be fun for day sailing, but is shallow and narrow in most places, so not all boats are well suited. Locals are welcome to disagree and provide the OP with better direction.

Whatever you decide, don’t be cavalier about hurricane season. Sept is the bullseye. You need a firm plan on what you’ll do with the boat, if one is barreling down. You won’t outrun it and without being on someone’s haul list, in advance, residents will come first.
We are putting together a plan now and checking with the local marinas to see what they think is the best option for hurricanes. We are definitely not the risk taking type and, especially until we have more experience, plan to take it very slow and easy. At this point just making plans, hoping to find some people to sail and cruise with that have some experience. Whenever the weather and Covid cooperates we want to be ready. Even considered taking the boat (or have it delivered) to safer waters to get started. Thanks for the advice. We can't get enough I'm sure!!
 

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We are putting together a plan now and checking with the local marinas to see what they think is the best option for hurricanes. We are definitely not the risk taking type and, especially until we have more experience, plan to take it very slow and easy. At this point just making plans, hoping to find some people to sail and cruise with that have some experience. Whenever the weather and Covid cooperates we want to be ready. Even considered taking the boat (or have it delivered) to safer waters to get started. Thanks for the advice. We can't get enough I'm sure!!
East Coast is in the path of Hurricanes... but the further north your chances of avoiding a bad cane improve. You might look for a weather window to move the boat to NE and sail those waters until the time is right. Lots of options in NE or even the Chessie. Making easting is not the easiest from down in FL.
 

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Sounds like an ambitious undertaking. Good for you

So how much sailing experience do you think is necessary . Weeks, Months, Years?
what areas do you believe you need to know more in to meet as you said “ safety” concerns?
Have you ever chartered or spent two weeks or more on a sailboat over 100 miles from land?
What do you see as your biggest challenges to keep safety paramount given you have very little experience
In sailing or owning a sailboat.

There is nothing you can’t work through.
 

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I would do this in a hearbeat even an older me if I did not have so many obligations at home, a wife and a household full of animals. I am lost with what to do this winter with the pandemic, not sure I want to stand in lift lines or ride a gondola with crowds, not sure I want to travel in these times either.

Once upon a time I was a flight instructor and had some of my early clients was a gay couple. They were fresh out of flight school and bought a high performance airplane. I was hired as their pilot, mentor and to work with them towards higher ratings.

One of our first trips was to their boat in the Bahamas, where I spent 7 days getting paid to be their flight instructor. I ended up not invoicing them because it did not seem right after an awesome vacation. Even the flight, my first international was a great experience.

My suggestions:
Hire a certified instructor to work with you and your partner towards ASA or US sailing ratings. The ratings and certifications are not super important but having some level of professionalism and standards from an instructor is.

If you like this instructor keep him as a mentor or find and hire someone else to help you through the growing pains of boat ownership and full time liveaboard status. A local professional will likely be of great help getting things done like repairs or hurricane haul out.

You and your partner should have the skills to handle the boat yourselves in case anyone you bring aboard does not work out.

Maybe wait till the end of November to buy a boat so no hurricane concerns.

I am interested in what kind of boat you are looking for you can't find on the West Coast?
 
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