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Old 06-20-2014, 12:17 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2014
Home Port: Fort Myers
Posts: 3
Default Seeking sailing experience for my father's 80th birthday.

My fatherís 80th birthday is coming this year, and he has always had a longtime interest in sailing. It's always been a dream of his to be part of a sailing crew.

He would like to sail on a boat at least 50 ft long for 7-14 days. My family would be willing to pay more than is customary for shared basic expenses. We would be willing to fly out anywhere.

He is mentally alert, in good shape for his age, and very responsible. He understands the basics of sailing, and did some as a child. He is in good shape for his age, and capable of doing the normal crew responsibilities within his physical limitations. (he probably wouldn't want to climb up a mast.) He would actually enjoy manning the helm at night.

He is in an army veteran, owned and operated a ranch and a travel agency, and has a pilotís license. He has good character, a good sense of humor, and is very easy to get along with.

If you had room aboard your boat, I could also accompany him (Iím 39). I know very little about sailing, but am a quick learner and would come prepared. Anyway, please let me know if this is something that is possible. I would greatly appreciate it.

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Old 06-20-2014, 11:11 PM   #2
redbopeep's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,188

Good luck in finding a boat that can take your father or both of you as crew. You are suggesting a lengthy time aboard a rather large vessel. Most cruising boats are actually not quite that big, though some are. A "first trip" of that length of time is actually a little risky as a good adventure for an elderly person.

You might alternatively consider a (crewed) charter vessel to obtain the sort of experience you'd like for your father's birthday.

Another more "organic" way of finding your way onto a boat? You might consider linking up with your local yacht club (Fort Meyers Florida?) to try and find a skipper who would be willing to have you two along as crew. Volunteering to be "rail meat" during the (usually weekly and casual) races is pretty much a good way to learn more about sailing and to get into the good graces of the local skippers.

Finally, something that may really go far in achieving your father's crew dreams is to get him some sailing instruction on-the-water on an actual cruising boat. That would be an awesome gift. He can pass the classes for certification at a variety of levels (ASA or RYA) and will then be pretty appealing as crew for cruising skippers. Food for thought. There are many excellent sailing instructors to choose from. For example, I know of a well qualified young couple (both USCG Capt) who could take you and your dad along with up to 2 other students on their cruising boat for instruction. Here is a link to their site Sail Training Expeditions - Sailing School Coastal & Offshore

Again, best of luck to you and your dad!
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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