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Bill SV Rangatira
421 Posts
Hey everyone!

I'm interested getting started in sailing and cruising, but I'm not sure how to get from beginner to ocean passage level competence. I took the ASA 101 class, and I'm signed up for the 103/104 and intend to keep going with the rest of the classes on offer. But where do I go from there?

I'm an avid learner and over the years I've tried all sorts of stuff - flying, diving, languages, etc. One thing that I've found is the classes really only get you in the door to the point where you're inexperienced but theoretically know what you're doing. AKA the danger zone. There's an experience gap where I've found what you really need is to practice with someone who is 'master level', but not necessarily as a formal student/teacher relationship.

The tricky thing here is that I'm 30, single, semi-retired, and all my friends are into the whole 'career' thing. I'm also not really from an area where there is a strong nautical culture (midwest) I have the funds to buy a boat, and support myself in the cruising lifestyle indefinitely. I don't want to get in over my head by just buying a boat and heading solo into the deep blue beyond. I'm open to things like single handed cruising, but again the experience issue seems like it would be even worse there.

Does anyone have suggestions for what to do after completing all the classes in order to be a competent, capable sailor who can traverse the oceans of the globe safely and enjoyably? Obviously not gonna be a weekend project but I'm unsure as to what the next step is after classes.

I do have one idea, but I'm not sure if its reasonable or not. I see a lot of crew postings on various sailing websites. If I owned my own boat, would it be reasonable to post a request for someone experienced to skipper the boat and cruise around to build up that experience to a level I feel comfortable? Would that be something people would want to be paid for, or would there be people interested in doing that on a shared costs basis?
first question where are you located at the moment
2nd get some time on a variety of boats
get to know the cruisers in your area many a good tale heard on the dock has some truths hidden in it
3rd buy your first boat with all intentions of moving up to something bigger 3ft itis will not hurt as much if you don't have a ton of $$ invested
after you have gottent to your 3rd or 4th boat you wil know what you like and dislike in a boat ... listen to the boat you will see one and it will speak to you
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