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New to sailing.. Very new.. Not even wet yet. Hey everyone.

1092 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  turboduck
When I retire in 10 yrs. my mate and I plan on cruising the Caribbean and the east and west coasts of South America for several years on a live aboard. We're both new to sailing and have only limited experience out in open ocean as passengers on charter fishing boats.

No time like the present to start preparing. We both see this as a series of small steps, the first being getting our certifications completed.
As I research this I've become aware of the ISPA, then there is the CYA, the IYA, the ASA and perhaps others. What is the difference between the organizations I've listed? The reason I ask is because there is sailing certification training through ASA for example in Florida as well as the Caribbean where we want to retire to and a training vacation in a tropical setting sounds much more appealing than the colder inside passages of BC, Canada. However what's the point if the Certification we achieve isn't recognized where we live at present and doesn't get us on our own boat here.
Once we achieved certification and confidence to at least bare boat charter in our own waters, we see ourselves sailing as much as possible each season to build our skills and achieve the competence, confidence and the required training and certifications to make long distance passages. We thought we would follow with the purchase a smaller 27 - 32' coastal cruiser in two to 3 years, mooring it somewhere on Vancouver Island or up the mainland coast of BC.
As we get closer to the big day I expect we'll know what we want in a live aboard and would purchase her two or three years before we set off, sailing farther afield, taking longer and longer trips down the pacific coast (if we buy in Canada) or in the Grenadines if we buy there. Still not sure. It's a ways away yet.
We like the idea of setting sail from BC following the North American coastline to Panama and taking the canal through to the Caribbean and Grenadines or even to linger for a few months the first year along the west coast of Central and South America. However, we can be in Grenada in a day out of YVR. Anyways, that's seven or eight years away and there's lot's we need to do first.
Who knows, sailing or the live aboard lifestyle may not be for us, but I know of only one way to find out...
We'd certainly welcome your feedback and any guidance you would care to share.
Best regards,
Cameron & Isabelle
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Thanks smackdaddy,
Kinda the way I'm leaning, but that's a couple years out. At that time when we're buying, I may see HER - "The One" resting quietly in a slip somewhere in some harbor, all forty feet of her and at first sight be smitten and no turning back.
We learned the ISPA Certification (International Sail & Power Academy) out of Parksville, BC is recognized internationally or at the very least, where we want to cruise. They say they have ASA and CYI trained instructors who hold that ISPA is as comprehensive and as it gets and is an excellent program. I guess we'll see. They contacted me immediately when I enquired about us taking the training.
I think we'll start here with a local school. I was open to taking training and certification outside of BC because we're a 7hr drive or one hour flight to the coast, or a six hour flight to Florida where I was looking at a couples sailing school and a four week live aboard sailing/training/certification adventure. (Hmmm, that still sounds so appealing..) With ISPA there's an ashore component that we can do online followed by the practical component on the water through each of the levels of competence to full Yachtmaster. It may work better for us as my Girl is a nurse and I own a business and getting away for four weeks at a stretch is well, a stretch.
By the way, you've got a beautiful boat. We both love the design of the Hunter. I keep getting drawn to that boat. They sure have beautiful interiors and lots of room.
Well, thank you and take care
Cam & Isabelle
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Since I was a child I have dreamed of sailing. In my tearly twenties I moved to the coast from the interior and for five years lived on Bowen Island just to be near the sea and the marinas full of sail boats.
Life happened, I got married, moved about as far inland as you can get in Canada before you start coming out the other side and raised five wonderful children with my wife of 26 years. Our children moved away and my ex asked me to do the same. She wanted to be herself and I guess we both lost sight of who we are. We're now friends and I hope always will remain so.
We've been apart for two years and the boy at heart that I thought was long dead timidly started to come out again. I'm doing the things I love and even forgotten I loved.
Recently I started my business succession planning. "Start at the end with the beginning in mind" so I looked at where, if I could be anywhere at all and live the lifestyle I wanted to live, where would I be and what would I be doing in 10 years from now. It had to be a vision so audacious as to be almost unattainable. It came to me in a flash. There was no thinking about it. I was lounging with my love on the prow of our 40' + cruising yacht, our home, sitting at anchor in an emerald green, crystal clear bay of an uninhabited tropical island, sailing where and when we wanted.
We started to do the math. If I want to be there in ten years, what do I need to do now to live that lifestyle? Well, I can tell you I was surprised. I can actually do this. I can make this happen. When the light turned on that was it. I've been pouring over everything about sailing and live aboard cruising ever since. To say I've become obsessive might be an understatement. I feel myself there already on some level. I'm so going to do this! I believe that true success is directly proportional to the passion one has for what they're doing. Otherwise it's a shameful waste of precious time.
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