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Old 09-19-2008, 04:30 AM   #1
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I am a land lubber with the dream of being a sailor.

The three things that I know of the sea is that it is wet, it is salty, and I want to be on it.

My dream is to live the "Cruising Lifestyle".

To turn my dream into reality I have enrolled in college and I am currently studying Web Design. I have done internet searches and contacted people from various countries and determines that Web Designers are in high demand throughout the world and offers a decent wage in most countries. I hope to travel/cruise the world and use my career to fund my boat and cruising. I have, at least, one more year before I graduate.

Upon graduation, I plan to enroll in a sailing school to begin my education in sailing.

At this point, I have reached the part of the map that is labeled, "Here be Dragons!"

So I have registered on this web site to seek the wisdom of the Experts, establish contacts, and make friends. I am sure that there are many, many, things that I have not planned for or foreseen, so I am seeking any advise, words of wisdom, and guidance that will help me turn my dream into reality.

Sincerely,

Koda
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:57 AM   #2
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Welcome Koda,

"the dream of being a sailor" that is how it all starts !

Where are you located ? will you be able to study boats and cruisers while you complete present studies ?

Read, surf the net - there are numberless different craft that cruise the oceans.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:22 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard Koda - may your dreams come to reality sooner than you expect.
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:03 PM   #4
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Here's my experience of the "cruising lifestyle", distilled.

(--puts on full dock admiral regalia--)

1) Sailing/Cruising courses teach you 1% of what you need (my CYA coastal cruising course neglected to cover anchoring, an occasionally useful skill). Start there; quickly move on to the 'learn-by-doing' phase.

2) Almost everything you think you will need is unnecessary and too expensive. If you must, buy it used from someone with a dead dream. Remember that cheap is good; free is better. Haunt the boatyard dumpsters.

3) The time it takes for something to break at sea is inversely proportional to the time you spent preparing it before leaving.

4) You cannot get by cruising on a small monohull (pace, oddbods who have been doing it for years); you need something between 32 and 35 feet for comfort and capacity. Two people cannot remain married on a monohull < 30 ft. Two strangers cannot share a boat <30ft unless one of them is on deck at all times (otherwise known as a crossing).

5) The boat you want is too expensive; offer them less. If they won't take it, keep looking. Remember the dead dream thing.

6) The most important thing is maintainabilty; you want something you can fix with coconut fronds, duct tape and twine.

7) Start out with an auxiliary engine that is about 10% of the capacity you need. If you have no choice, try and get one that fails at unexpected times. This is the only way you will actually learn to sail a cruising sailboat. Otherwise you just have a power boat with a stick. Once you know that, get a real engine before you go anywhere you are likely to risk life and limb.

8) If you have to pay anyone to do anything, you will go broke. Learn to do it yourself.

9) If you find competent, available crew, hold onto them like gold. Most people cannot crew because your sailing schedule conflicts with their availability (they only get 2 weeks of vacation a year; they have to walk the dog twice a day; they'll miss 'Oprah'). Many of the more available potential crew are that way for a reason (they can't cross an international border because of a criminal record for light treason, or their personal habits require them to carry more narcotics than Keith Richards on tour in the seventies, or they are biologically attached to a couch).

10) If you get mad at people, they will soon leave you to your own devices.

11) Don't sell your house. You will definitely want it again. Rent it.

12) Almost everywhere on the planet is civilized now; you won't lose the secret of fire if you run out of matches.

13) The only kind of plumbing that never breaks is a bucket.

14) Television is the enemy.

15) Never pay anyone for the privilege of attaching your boat to a dock if you can possibly avoid it. It is too expensive and you will go broke. At anchor, your boat points to the wind giving you natural air conditioning. Roaches, rats and other pests can't climb down the rope attached to your boat if it is connected to the bottom of the sea.

16) Nicola Tesla was not a cruiser; Edison probably was. AC power is designed to cover distance without incinerating the wires. Dump the AC devices and go DC-only. A P100 laptop running off an inverter takes, on average, 5 amps at 12v. Running directly off the battery it takes 1 amp at 12v. Do the math.

17) Do not fall off the boat. It will keep going and you will not be able to catch up.

18) If you are even slightly female and willing to put up with a man around the boat, these rules do not necessarily apply. Simply go to the Florida Keys or the Caribbean, find a marina, express your desire to go cruising, and hook up with one of the thousands of single men on boats who are desperate for a cruising companion. Try to find one who is not abusive or overly psychotic; there's lots to choose from--many of them are delightful. I'm not sure why this gender disparity exists, but it seems to be reality. Try to learn enough to sail the boat single-handed in case he cooks up a coronary or falls overboard while standing on the rail to pee after sixteen beers.
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:42 PM   #5
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P.S.

19) You probably cannot work in a foreign country. They have laws about that sort of thing.

20) If you must plug into shore power, resist the temptation to modify your big yellow plug with pliers so that it fits in the marina's unusual outlet. If you reverse 'live' and 'ground' your electrical system will respond by doing the same thing to you.

21) If you are having a sundowner in the islands and your dink gets loose in a tidal current, it is better to chase it with a boat than swimming. If you don't catch it with the boat, you can get another dink. The same thing applies to almost anything you drop overboard while underway.

22) Don't anchor between the red and green markers--tug barges can't stop on a dime and you might wake up dead.

23) Never leave a line in the water, never leave a line in the water, never leave a line in the water; if you are doing it on purpose, use floating line.

24) Never take a sailboat mast down before you have to; put it back up as soon as possible. This is one occasion where you should not cheap out. Pay the man. It chaps my butt, too, however, a sailboat with no mast and a dead motor in the middle of a large body of water is the most forlorn vomitorium you will ever experience.

25) Hold onto the end of the halyard unless you like mountain climbing.
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:06 PM   #6
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@mcgargle

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